Susan Duncan – Born: December 16, 1948 in Oakland and grew up in the East Bay. “We moved to Boulder Creek in 1970. We were caretakers at Camp Krem, 40 acres that caters to those with special needs and learning differences. I was a young mother at the time, an earth child and a folkie, and still am. I listened to artists like Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens. We moved to Santa Cruz when the kids started school.”
Family: Husband Don, two children and four grandchildren. “Spending time with my grandchildren is the best, plus I enjoy gardening and reading.”
Favorite color: Green
Favorite treat: Chocolate, observing people, ignoring the media, and looking forward to what’s going to show up in life.
Why Grey Bears?: “After retiring for the second time I began volunteering in the thrift store in 2010. Grey Bears is like my family, my home away from home. I really enjoy the customers and volunteers. There’s a huge diversity of people who come through each day, always someone doing something interesting.”
Any examples?: One woman carefully selects a couple of $2 a pair men’s shoes at a time, spiffs them up and donates them to homeless veterans. One woman buys puzzles here on sale, assembles them to make sure all of the pieces are there, reboxes and gives them to people who are incarcerated. A man came in the other day and poked around in our medical department. He found a couple of wheels that he’s going to use on a cart he built for his elderly dog to use.”
Pet peeve: “Shoppers who let us know any little flaw with some item to warrant a discount. Everyone wants a deal. I gently let them know that everything we receive benefits our brown bag program for seniors.
Practice what Grey Bears preaches?: “I have been recycling here for decades. We were living outside the refuse collection zone so I brought all of our recycling to Grey Bears. I’ve always aimed at zero waste. We compost, recycle and reuse everything.”
Worst part of getting older: “Self discipline is less important, it’s harder to stay in shape – mentally and physically.”
Best part of getting older: “I realize how much I don’t know and I’m not worried about it.”
Advice for young people: “Go outside, lighten up and appreciate every moment and what you have.”