Donald Getz doesn't exactly mention his age, but he's lived long enough to have had about three careers.
There was that first job in the aerospace industry where Getz was a specifications standards engineer. As an accountant would deal in spread sheets and bank statements, Getz's workday revolved around satellite systems, missiles and rockets.Not the kind of person to really retire, Getz found a second career as a writer. He's sold 186 short stories, mostly about the Old West. Getz is also known for his "cowboy poetry." He's printed several books of his verse, and one poem even appeared in a write-up in Writer's Digest.
But the most intriguing vocation he's managed to get into involves "critters," as he calls them, and recycling.
You've heard of being given lemons and making lemonade? Getz ought to have the Gold Lemon Award for what he's doing with the health problem he acquired.
Getz has emphysema and bronchial asthma that have impaired his breathing seriously enough that he must be hooked up to an oxygen supply. His comfortable Salt Lake apartment is criss-crossed with oxygen lines that allow him to move about from room to room and work at his computer or turn out a few tunes on an electric organ.
Instead of complaining about the incredible number of empty pill bottles and humidifier bottles for his oxygen tank, Getz has taken the refuse and whatever else he can find and recycled it all into wondrous "critters." With a screwdriver, Crazy Glue and a wild imagination, Getz turns out totem poles of wide-mouthed goonies. A friend who likes to shop at craft stores has donated fake hair for some bright toupees on several of the critters. Some of these little characters are obviously from outer space since they sport sproingy antennae and high-tech looks.
"I run a `face' factory and recycle trash," Getz said, explaining how he takes the pull-tabs on microwave tins, typewriter ribbon tapes and humidifier bottles and creates "critters." "I like to put faces on empty pill bottles," he said. The inventive little creations are now available at the Children's Museum of Utah and are reportedly selling like hotcakes.
Drop by the Children's Museum and see Getz's Henrietta the Horse made from a soap bottle. You may not know it, but you'll be looking at Grade A lemonade.