interviews by jane starr drinkard and brock colyar
KEITH SIMS Retired, Far Rockaway
Do you come here often? Yes. As a matter of fact, I turned 60 yesterday, and I’ve been going to the YMCA since I was 12.
It’s a family atmosphere. I raised my daughter in the YMCA—my daughter who made me a grandfather.
In which part of the Rockaways do you live? On Beach 84th. I live alone. My wife passed away from cancer in 2010. It was such a beautiful marriage.
Ain’t no secret or wisdom to a good marriage.
A little bit of compatibility. She was born March 29, and I was born March 31. We clicked. We enjoyed each other and did things together. Even when she would go to the beauty parlor to get her hair done, I would go with her. We were just like, Go, go, go, we ain’t wasting time. So that’s what I still do. I enjoy life. I love my plants, my pink Chinese evergreen. I love my squirrels—I give ’em the big walnuts. I’ve seen Shen Yun five times, I meditate. We only get one shot at this shit.