Friends help Council on Aging worker repair truck

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Like most people, Mary Ryan doesn&8217;t know what she would do without her truck.

Unlike most people, Ryan doesn&8217;t need it just to get around. She needs it to make her connections.

Ryan delivers meals for the Concordia Council on Aging.

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Again most people might view her work as just a job.

But for Ryan her job is more than that. It is a way to connect with those she serves.

&8220;I&8217;ve become attached to them,&8221; She said.

Each weekday, Ryan travel across the parish delivering meals to the homebound. Each day the people she serves expect a hot meal and a smiling face to walk through her door.

That is why having a vehicle is so important and why Ryan had her friends underneath the hood of her truck Sunday.

Freddie Clem Jr. and Lonnie Thompson were covered in grease Sunday working to fix the various problems that plagued her truck.

&8220;The transmission was leaking, the tires were locking up,&8221; Ryan said as she sat outside the truck. &8220;They are going to change the oil too.&8221;

The truck is not the only vehicle Ryan has had since joining the agency. The 14-mile-a-day trip, serving more than 20 people, puts some wear and tear on her vehicle.

&8220;I&8217;ve been through three or four vehicles since then,&8221; she said. &8220;Every six to ten months, I have to replace the brakes.&8221;

Despite that Ryan still looks forward to helping out her clients and they look forward to her visits, as well.

&8220;They look for me every morning, Monday through Friday,&8221; she said with a smile. &8220;That is why I have to have my truck fixed.&8221;