Interview by Cierra French

David Armstrong

Cierra French: Where did you grow up?
David Armstrong: I grew up in California, I lived there until I was 60.

Do you have any siblings? If so how many?
I have one sister, one adopted sister. They live in California.

Are you close with your sisters?
Not really. They live far away. I call my sister every once in awhile.

As a kid, what did you want to be as an adult?
Well, I grew up on a farm helping my father. So, I just figured to be a farmer.

What was your childhood like?
I was a sick kid, had asthma. I was allergic to a lot. My parents took me to the doctors. They said no matter where we live, it will be the same. I tried joining the Navy; they wouldn’t take me. They won’t take those who have asthma.

What major events have you gone through?
Well, I was born in 1943, when the war was happening, and then the Kennedy assassination happened. Then later my first wife died at age 36 to breast cancer.

What is your favorite memory?
I always loved riding on the back of the tractor with my dad. I shared work with him. When I worked with him I felt a real bond. I could actually feel it.

How long have you lived in Lyons? Why did you stay?
I have lived in lyons for 13 years now. I was in California but then my daughter
lived in Omaha, so my wife and I decided to come down and check out the town. We liked what we saw so we just bought a house because I had some money saved up. We had two houses, but we moved from the first one and moved to where we are now. We’re happy here.

What are your hobbies?
Well, I’ve been making jewelry, carving faces into the rocks. They’re called meditation stones. I do gardening, I collect tools, I love to read.

What lessons have you learned throughout the years?
Feels like I keep relearning things.

How is our generation different from your generation?
The technology is different, and the agriculture.

What do you think the community needs?
They need to make it more welcoming to retirees. We don’t take any jobs. It kind of feels like it’s been built for retirees, these small towns.

What all happened in your life?
I’ve done so much, had a lot of jobs. I have done farm work, worked at a paper mill, and made targets for the Vietnam War. I retired in 1994. I got back into work and had an antique shop, worked in Oregon, and worked livestock. I was a caretaker for a guys that had more money than God. I also worked at a rehab facility. Then I got my CDL to be a bus driver, I came to Nebraska, and I’m a bus driver here.

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