Knowing Verna Blough's age, you'd think you should handle her interview gingerly.
Turns out Blough is the one dishing out the ginger:
She's 95, and reveals that the administration of Homewood Retirement Center where she lives needs to censor her when she's standing before assemblies ready to tell what she calls her "dirty" jokes.
One she told involved a married couple who arrived at a costume party at different times, the husband switching costumes without the wife knowing, the wife making up to a man she believes to be her husband and the truth not coming out until they're home in bed that night.
Another involved a father-daughter tea party, with the daughter serving, after which the mother came home and reminded the father that the only place their daughter could reach to draw water was the toilet.
Blough recently won Home Instead Senior Care's Salute to Senior Service program winner for her volunteer efforts.
At Homewood, she emcees recognition dinners, fills in as Mrs. Claus at Christmastime, manages the Homewood Country Store and greets visitors at the front door, sometimes sorts mail, occasionally handles the front desk, serves on the Religious Life Committee and as president of an auxiliary group, helps raise funds, recruits other volunteers and helps with silent auctions, sending out thank-you notes afterward, according to Volunteer Director Debra Pierce.
She also works at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Martinsburg, Arbutus Park Retirement Community in Johnstown.
"I don't do that much," she said.
"That's such a lie," said Endy Reindl, a spokesman for Home Instead Senior Care.
Raised in the country around Martinsburg, Blough studied at Shippensburg College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, taught in Williamsburg, then Martinsburg - then in Johnstown for 36 years.
"She's a smart cookie," Pierce said.
She has a playground at the former Oakland School in Johnstown named for her.
She was widowed twice, the first time after 13 years of marriage, the second time 21 years ago.
She moved back to Martinsburg from Richland eight years ago, after she had a debilitating stroke.
It happened at a luncheon for retired teachers.
A woman sitting beside her "saw food running out of my mouth," she said.
The therapy was difficult.
Issues included a drawn mouth and difficulty standing.
A previous marketing director said she recovered through "sheer will," Pierce said.
Indulging in a bit of uncharacteristic puffery, Blough recalled that "my therapist said he had to tell most people to keep going, but me he had to tell to stop."
She would return from sessions and "keep practicing," she said.
They told her she might be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
She shook her head at the idea.
"I always liked to get up in the morning, get dressed and go out knowing what I was going to do," she said.
The reporter didn't notice any residual effects, other than a little unsteadiness afoot.
But there was not unsteadiness of opinion.
Before the interview commenced, talk turned to the artificial "waterfall" in a sitting room.
It's a large pane of glass, over which flows a sheet of water propelled by an electric pump.
Blough doesn't like it.
"There's nothing to it," she said. "I thought it was going to be bigger."
No unsteadiness of style.
She continues to drive a BMW convertible.
No unsteadiness of purpose.
She has learned how to work computers.
No unsteadiness of connection.
She plays cards till the wee hours, according to Pierce.
But modesty becoming a 95-year-old.
"Just keep it low," she told the reporter confidentially, with a flat-palm gesture.