94-year-old whips library, self into shape

May 29 2011 - 11:09pm

Images

Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner
Ninety-four-year-old John Moore poses for a portrait in the gym at the North Davis Senior Activity Center in Clearfield earlier this month.
Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner
Ninety-four-year-old John Moore is a volunteer at North Davis Senior Activity Center in Clearfield, pictured on Wednesday. Moore organized and runs the library at the center and likes to encourage other seniors to be active and get exercise, as well as keep informed about their personal health. He himself works out several times a week.
Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner
Ninety-four-year-old John Moore poses for a portrait in the gym at the North Davis Senior Activity Center in Clearfield earlier this month.
Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner
Ninety-four-year-old John Moore is a volunteer at North Davis Senior Activity Center in Clearfield, pictured on Wednesday. Moore organized and runs the library at the center and likes to encourage other seniors to be active and get exercise, as well as keep informed about their personal health. He himself works out several times a week.

CLEARFIELD -- The physically fit John Moore, who, with the flexibility of a bendable straw, is able to touch his nose to his knees in a standing position, conjures up a whole new image for librarians.

The 94-year-old volunteer, who moved with his family to Davis County two and a half years ago from Encinitas, Calif., both organized and oversees the 1,000-plus material library in the new North Davis Senior Activity Center at 42 S. State St. in Clearfield.

The center is part of an $8.4 million county project that includes the adjacent Davis County Health Offices at 22 S. State St. The three-story health offices building and single-level senior center celebrated a grand opening April 19, Davis County Health Public Information Officer Bob Ballew said.

"It was simple," Moore said of organizing the library.

His methods, though, may have been "unconventional," he says, because he catalogued the books for shelving using a soft felt-tip pen.

The library in the Clearfield senior center is the third library Moore has had a hand in organizing.

In 1946, he set up a library in Lansing, Mich., for the United Auto Workers.

"That was fun. I got a lot of compliments," he said.

Moore used those same organizational skills to help out with the new Bountiful Heights Church library in Bountiful last year.

But Moore, who exercises between two and a half and five hours a week, says he would rather be doing something than reading something. The former newsletter editor knows the value of the written word.

"I'm not a real connoisseur of books, but I enjoy making them available for others," he said.

Moore breaks the image of a senior librarian because he continually promotes the idea of getting people up and moving, said Marian McPeek, North Davis Senior Activity Center director.

"He just took this (library assignment) on," McPeek said.

The assignment began when McPeek gave Moore a bookcase and asked him to open his collection of health books to the other senior center visitors. While organizing that one bookcase, Moore went on to create a library with nearly 1,000 materials, not including donated puzzles and VHS movies.

"Now, he has got to stay there (in the library) or (the patrons) will mess it up," McPeek joked.

Moore said the books he enjoys reading the most are those on healthy lifestyles.

"There is a lot of people who are not healthy," said Moore, proud of how he has cared for his body.

So proud, in fact, that he wears a set of shirts that read 1916 -- the year he was born -- over his heart.

"Some people are waiting for God to take them. God has got so many other problems to deal with in the world," said Moore, who admitted he developed a healthy lifestyle during his second marriage.

That marriage lasted 26 years, he said, with his wife getting him into the habit of taking better care of his body through diet and exercise.

"I have a candy bar occasionally," Moore admits.

In recognition of May being National Older Americans Month, Moore said, he was invited to speak to seniors about healthy lifestyle during a center luncheon this month. Those who would like information on that topic may visit the library where Moore works and check out any one of the number of books dealing with healthy living.

"I want to be just like (Moore) when I'm 94 years old," McPeek said.

That being said, seniors wishing to volunteer at any of the county-operated senior centers will not be required to touch their nose to their knee, Ballew said.

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