Curt and Rachel Eikenberry

Two or three years ago when Curt was out for two months because of a disease, I found out we were called Grandma and Grandpa Wads.

I’m Curt Eikenberry and that’s Rachel. We’ve been here since 2013. We’ve seen a lot of ’em come and go. The joke was, we moved up here for our grandkids and now we’ve got a thousand of ’em!

Rachel: He’s got their names down. And because he traveled so much downstate in former work, he knows all the little teeny tiny towns.

Curt: Where the little towns are.

Rachel: A few years ago he asked a kid, “Where are you from?” Finally, the kid said “Twining,” and Curt said, “Well I know where that is. There’s a John Deere dealership…”

Curt: He went and got a whole bunch of friends from that town and said, “Do you know what? He knows where…” So then there was four of ’em that came and talked to me! But that’s part of what we do: by having two of us we let—if anybody needs to talk or wants to talk, we can.

Rachel: And they do want to talk. When it first started happening it was like—we looked at one another and said “I really didn’t need to know that. But they needed to get rid of it.” So we were the ears that heard it! And it has to be the two of us because during those two months that he was not here, I didn’t have time to do that kind of thing.

Curt: Something we do is try to watch for kids who are struggling and get ‘em hooked up with whatever. Sooner or later I’m not going to catch somebody; so far I’ve been able to catch everybody, as far as I know anyway. I’m sure there’s a lot of other stuff we don’t catch up on. We see ’em probably more than anybody other than their roommate on campus on any given day…

Rachel: …the kids that are in and out of here. In terms of what else we do, I crochet. In the summertime before Tech is out, we do a lot of gardening. We have been able to raise a lot of the vegetables that we eat so we don’t need to buy any: carrots, potatoes, red beets, rutabagas, spinach, green beans.

Curt: We used to go home during our break. Rachel: Now we nap [or read] downstairs.


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