66 years and counting

By Mauri Shuler (10-14-2017)

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(Photo by Frank Schulenburg)

Bill Hahn, 84, brought his wife, Patsy, home from the hospital to their home in Calistoga on Tuesday night before the fires came. Patsy, who had fallen, was released with bruises and a neck brace. They went to sleep and then were awakened by banging on the door at 1 a.m. They were told to evacuate immediately.

Bill helped his wife into the car, threw in a few valuables, and drove out of town as fast as he could. The couple ended up at the emergency shelter at the Napa Valley Community College. They slept, ate, were made to feel comfortable there.

Then the volunteers at the shelter learned the couple was about to celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary. The next thing they knew, a cake, flowers and 200 people showed up to help them celebrate.

Even the mayor of Calistoga stopped by to say hello because Bill and Patsy Hahn are well-known in his town as wonderful volunteers themselves.

Patsy could not stop talking about the Red Cross and the community workers at the shelter. “I am so impressed with the Red Cross,” she said. “Everyone has been so sweet to us. They protect me. A nurse even took out my stitches this morning and some kind woman helped me take a shower.”

“Everyone has been so wonderful to us,” Bill added. “The sadness and anxiety have been taken away by this place.”

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Lori Wilson and Jim Burns provided editorial support for this story.