Commonwealth Journal

August 17, 2012

Motorized garbage can cart a cool gadget for local woman

By BILL MARDIS, Editor Emeritus
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

“Age is a number and mine is unlisted.”
Sort of a carefree attitude for a woman celebrating her 87th birthday. But this woman doesn’t look 87, and she certainly doesn’t act 87, or however you’re supposed to act after living eight decades plus 7.
Pardon us for the diversion. We were supposed to be taking a photograph of unique garbage can cart made by a son for his mother who was finding it difficult getting her trash can to the curb for pickup.
The garbage can cart was there, decorated in University of Kentucky blue. But the real story was the pert, youthful-looking, lady who pushes the cart.
Her name is Juanita Appleby. The occasion was her birthday and she was taking it all in stride.
“Age is all about attitude,” said Appleby. “It’s how you think about it.”
Appleby admits to having an attitude, mostly positive. For example, most folks, particularly older folks, get to their doctor’s office 30 minutes early so they will be sure not to miss their appointment.
Not Appleby. She had a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 a.m. on the day of her birthday. 
A reporter-photographer called to wish her happy birthday and ask if he could come right up and take a photograph of her and the unusual garbage can cart made by her son.
It was 8:40 a.m., only 50 minutes before she was scheduled to be in the doctor’s office. She lives on North Ky. 1247 at Campground and it would take the reporter-photographer 15-20 minutes to get to her place.
Then, there would be a picture-taking session, and after that she would have to drive to the doctor’s office. No doubt, she would be late.
“C’mon up,” laughed Appleby. “I always have to wait at the doctor’s office anyway. They are always running behind.”
Appleby is comfortable in her own skin. Besides, it was her birthday. When you reach 87 you do as you please, especially on your birthday. Appleby is the mother of five children. Before retirement, she worked for Union Planters Bank in Memphis and for Dill Scott Accounting and Kmart in Somerset.
Her son, John Little, an employee of Toyotetsu America, fashioned the garbage can cart for his mother to make it easier for her to get the can to the curb. It really wasn’t a birthday present, just something he thought his mother needed.
“I took the motor off a lawnmower and attached her garbage can to it,” said Little. “It’s easy ... she can push it right down the driveway to the curb.”
“They were always throwing my can everywhere after they emptied it,” Appleby fussed. “Now it’s attached to the cart and they can’t. The lid is still loose ... I guess they can throw that, but maybe they won’t after they read this,” she grinned.
Knowing his mother is a UK Wildcat fan, Little painted the lawnmower body in UK blue.
“Am I a Wildcat fan?” laughed Appleby. “Look at my car.” The vehicle was covered in UK  paraphernalia. It would make John Calipari proud.
Appleby posed for pictures with her garbage can cart. Then, she headed to the doctor’s office.
Frankly, she doesn’t appear to need a physician.