A tribute to Martha

Sandra Sowell

Martha, Martha, the birthday girl

Each morning she takes us for a little whirl

Zigging this way and that

Along boulevard and cul-de-sac

The pleasure of it is quite a pearl

Martha Hackworth, that is. “Fearless, spirited and glamorous” as former SaddleBrooke Hiking Club President Michael Reale has described her.

And so she is, as she leads the walking group of the SBHC on her different routes. Her “chickadees” she calls them and they obediently follow her wherever she leads them. She is famous for her occasional last minute changes in direction, causing a sudden left or right turn. And if this quick change should end up in a dead end? No matter! Thus was born her motto, “Fitness is our aim, walking is our game.”

Martha and her husband Curt moved to the SaddleBrooke community in the fall of 2004. Just this year they celebrated their 60th anniversary.

Martha joined the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club in the spring of 2005. She fondly remembers her first hike to Romero Pools with Jim Strickler who passed away this year. As a member of the club, she has been in charge of the newsletter copies and deliveries for five years. She also takes great pleasure in being a volunteer worker at the Golden Goose.

Martha started walking with the club, and in the spring of 2012 she agreed to fill in as walk leader for the group. One thing led to another and the fearless, spirited, glamorous octogenarian has been punctual, smiling and welcoming to those old timers and newcomers who come to walk. And she has been doing it five days a week ever since, unless, of course, the thermometer on her patio registers below 35 degrees. She even admits to wearing her ear muffs into April. And she warns that the bar may be raised to 40 degrees.

The numbers in her group have ranged anywhere from six to 22. The walkers meet Monday through Friday near the basketball hoop just west of the HOA 1 Fitness Center. Start time is at 7:00 a.m. until April 1 when the time will shift to an earlier start. The group has breakfast after the walk on the first Friday of the month at the clubhouse.

On the third Monday of the month, one of the walkers hosts a coffee in their home. It was at one of these coffees that the group presented Martha with a tee shirt designed with her motto and a visor emblazoned with “Martha’s Team.” She wears both with great pride.

Thank you, Martha, for your example of leadership and faithfulness and uplifting spirit.