A 99-year-old woman assists vendor every farmers market

Stephanie IvankovichEditorsivankovich@theperrychief.com
A 99-year-old woman assists vendor every farmers market

A 99-year-old woman makes it her duty to go to the farmers market every Thursday to help a vendor.

Treva Melton, of Perry, hands Geneen Tibben, a farmers market vender, a plastic bag for her produce and baked goods that she sells to the customer.

This helps Tibben a lot, considering people wait in line to buy her products and most of her produce and baked goods are sold out before 5 p.m.

She has been helping Tibben for two years.

“It’s fun,” Melton said. “I got to have something to do and I don’t work for pay.”

Tibben comes to Spring Valley Retirement Home to pick her up since she doesn’t drive.

“I love seeing all of the people,” she said.

And many of those people recognize her.

“Hi Treva, how are you?” a customer asked her at last week’s farmers market. “You’re back for another summer, bagging up the stuff.”

Melton laughed.

“I’m still bagging away.”

Melton moved to Perry after she graduated high school in 1934.

The long-time resident said she loves seeing people that she hasn’t seen in a long time.

“Some of them still know me, they say my name and I don’t know who they are,” she chuckled.

She also helps Tibben prepare for the farmers market.

“Two days ago I went out to her garden to shell peas,” Melton said. “She took me around the garden. It was neat to see.”

Melton and Tibben have known each other for a long some time. The two met at Christ Lutheran Church.

“She’s my right hand person,” Tibben said. “She is always willing to help. Like she came and helped me pod peas.”

In the winter Tibben visits her at Spring Valley Retirement Home.

“She’s always come to visit and she takes me places,” Melton said.

She said she will continue to assist with the farmers market for as long as she can.

“As long as they are able to put up with me I will come,” Melton joked.

The farmers market opens at 4 p.m. every Thursday at Perry Marketplace near the Raccoon River Valley Trailhead.