My Conversation with Betty Bunn

Perhaps one of my favorite parts about having this column is when I receive feedback from you, the reader. Betty Bunn is someone I have casually known for a few years now. Her granddaughter, Susan (Martin) Wheeler, has been one of my wife, Kasey’s, friends for a long time. Betty had sent me a message via Facebook asking if I could give her a call to, “talk about a few ideas for your newspaper column.” By the way, if you’re ever trying to reach me with feedback like Betty, for sure borrow from her and lead the conversation with that. It totally captured my attention, and a day later I was chatting on the phone with Betty.

I would have never guessed that my friend Betty is 89-years-old (something she shared with me, let the record state). She’s as sharp as a tack and just as quick on the phone even though she would tell you, “my mind is working a lot faster than my body.”

Our conversation covered a variety of topics and was very informative to someone who has only called Muscatine home for nine years now. Betty shared with me how she was once an active member of the “Kool-Aid Kids” that worked with youth and were involved in recycling and cleanup efforts, including working to pick up litter on the island across from Muscatine on the Mississippi River. Betty is also wondering if anyone that reads this will have similar memories of the group? If so, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and I can always relay the information back to her.

She also shared some really good ideas, like should Muscatine create a “Parents Without Partners” group aimed at connecting single parents who are raising children by themselves. After my conversation with Betty, I did learn that the Muscatine Community YMCA does offer a “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” support group that meets together twice monthly. Due to COVID-19, the group is connecting virtually or over the telephone. To learn more, feel free to contact the Muscatine Community YMCA and chat with my friend Diana Broderson. There is also information available online at

Betty possesses a character trait that I admire most in people; empathy. She is able to understand and share the feelings of others and realizes that there are folks in our community that could use help, or a friend, or support, whatever you want to call it.

At the end of our phone call, Betty said, “Tony, I’m supposed to be resting and taking it easy. I’m calling you because this is important to me and I want to do all that I can before I’m not able to vocalize it.”

Thank you, Betty, and I hope we’re able to take your ideas to heart. I’ll be in touch!