Rose Johnson, 80, has lived in Everett for 46 years.
She raised four children here. She went to Everett Community College. She worked at Boeing, doing a variety of jobs for 23 years. After retiring, she made the rounds at stores as a magazine merchandiser for about 10 years.
So, yeah, she knows the city pretty well.
Yet four years ago, she joined the Everett Area Newcomers Club. It’s never too late to be a newcomer in this club.
The club has been in Everett almost as long as Johnson has.
“I kept overhearing people talk about it,” she said. “Naturally, I had been here so long that I thought I didn’t belong or fit in. A friend at the senior center asked me to come.”
Now she’s the vice president of the 90-member club.
In addition to a group luncheon on the second Thursday of the month that has a featured speaker, there are regular meet-ups such as a coffee social, breakfast club, book club, theater group, bridge and other games, plus a variety of outings throughout the year.
Members are from 55 to 90.
“So if anyone is pushing 90, don’t be bashful,” Johnson said. “We’re all busy and active. We talk about so many different topics. It’s a very vibrant group.”
Membership is $20 a year.
“You can come as a guest for three times before you join,” she said.
The only requirement is that you have to be a woman.
“They can come as a guest,” Johnson said. “They can come and play.”
Johnson shares her home with Missy, a blind and deaf rescue poodle, and a sassy cat named Gracie.
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Why aren’t men allowed?
We talk openly when it’s all women. You just say whatever. You say things differently with men around.
What brought you to Everett?
My husband was being transferred to California for a job with an electrical contracting company and had an assignment in Everett for six months. Those plans never materialized, and in a year we got divorced. I was a single mom with four children.
Why join this club?
Your social circle is always changing.
I had my childhood friends, my high school friends. I joined the Navy and I had my Navy friends. I got married to a sailor, moved a lot and had babies along the way. I moved to Everett and had to make new friends again.
When you have your children, you have your kids’ friends’ parents. The kids grow up and there is a big void there. You get a job and you have work friends.
I got divorced and had single friends. Then I got married and had married friends again.
Then as you get older you don’t run around as much. With the Newcomers, I don’t have to drive very far. There are enough activities. There’s a community breakfast. We go out to dinners in the evenings so you always have someone to go with. You don’t have to go alone. We go to movies.
If there’s an activity you don’t see, you can always start it.
What are your favorite club activities?
Book club, coffee times, potlucks, day trips, substitute at pinochle. I schedule entertainment for our lunches and occasionally breakfasts.
Outside the club, what’s your passion?
Reading. True stories of things that people have done that I never got to do and never will.
Finish this sentence: People would be shocked to know …
I had a baby in the car. On Feb. 9, 1959, in the front seat. We were living in Seattle. It snowed that morning. It was a heavy snowfall. You know what it’s like when it snows in Seattle. There was bumper-to-bumper traffic. We were caught in a jam. We saw a cop on the sidewalk, and my husband yelled out to him, “My wife is having a baby in the car.” He couldn’t come to help us. We were on our own. The heater wasn’t working. My husband had to keep driving.
It was my second child. His head came right out into my hands about 10 minutes before we got to Swedish Hospital. I didn’t know what to do. He started crying. I held him between my legs. I had on a long coat.
My husband had to park on the street because he couldn’t get up the hill. He yelled at a nurse, “My wife had a baby in the car.” She opened up the door and said, “Oh, my gosh,” and ran and got two other nurses. They took the baby inside.
They said the cold air in the car was actually good for him, that it probably woke him up.
After my husband came back, he had a ticket on his car.
If you could have a drink with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My sons, Dwight and David. In 2013, Dwight died in March and David in October. I’d love to sit out back on the patio with a cup of coffee and sit there and just talk with them. That’s what we would do, just talk. I miss that so much. Life is very quiet without them around. (Dwight was the baby born in the car.)
What are three things in your fridge?
Two bottles of wine, a dozen eggs and jar of mayonnaise.
What is your pet peeve?
I tried to put my pet peeves aside. I try to keep myself calmed down.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; email@example.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.
The Everett Area Newcomers Club began in 1967 with a morning coffee and get acquainted hour. It grew to fill the need of members for a social outlet with multiple activities.
As the site puts it: All activities are for women and do not include children.
The next lunch is 11:30 a.m. Feb. 8 at Le Bistro at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center, 9001 Airport Road, Everett. Call 425-346-7071 or 425-322-4533.
More at www.eancclub.org.