Obertos host Blue Angels viewing party for 100 strangers


The first family of Seattle hydroplane racing, Art and Dorothy Oberto have experienced many things over their life-time. They have traveled the world, seen things ordinary people will never get to experience in their life time. But nothing gives Dorothy Oberto more joy than to host her sixth annual "senior's party" at the family house on the shore of Lake Washington.

It all began when a senior bus got lost looking for a place to view the Blue Angels' air show. "Some how this bus full of Seniors ended up in the driveway," Dorothy Oberto recalls.

Oberto's offered up their backyard lawn near the I-90 bridge to the assisted living group from Kent and in traditional Oberto hospitality offered the weary travelers lemonade and cookies.

A half decade later the unexpected gathering has grown to over 100 people and three senior/assisted living homes from all over the Puget Sound. The party is complete with organ music and a fully catered lunch.

The three bus loads come from all over, Oberto said. The three groups who are attending this year's party include Stafford Suites (Kent, Wash.), Providence Mt. St. Vincent (Seattle) and EverActive Multicare (Tacoma).

"I know nothing about these people," Oberto said. "I don't know too much about nothing, but what I know is what little it takes to make these Seniors happy. I guess no one has ever invited them over for a picnic."

The group complete with canes, walkers, and wheel chairs come in all shapes and sizes.

"Last year we had a 100 year-old man that was teaching the ladies how to dance in the dance style that was around in his day," a beaming Oberto said while setting up in 100 degree temperatures.

After all are fed, the Blue Angels are back at Boeing Field, the organist plays God Bless American and "they all just go home", Oberto said.

While the company they founded has a hydroplane in the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair, Oberto's are bringing joy that extends outside the racing community.

This is the last party the Oberto's will host for the Seniors. Oberto's themselves are scheduled to enter their own Senior home by next Seafair.

"We will be in 'Happy Valley old folks home' next year," a joking Oberto said. We can only hope that someone invites us to watch the Blue Angels from their lawn, other wise we will have to settle for the lunch room at our retirement center."