At 83, Dewitt Sims has 'too many hobbies'

November 10, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

Dewitt Sims can be a very busy man.

"He has too many hobbies," his wife, Eva, said Saturday. How many is too many is hard to say, but there are a bunch.

They include motorcycling, photography, computers, the musical saw, old clocks, home improvement and repair, and amateur radio.

There is one hobby in which Dewitt - his wife, family and friends call him Dee - no longer participates. At 83, he can no longer pass the physical exam to keep his pilot's license, so he hasn't piloted an airplane for the last 21 years.

He recently went flying with a friend who let him take the controls for a few minutes. "When he came home, he looked like he'd been to heaven and back," Eva Sims said.


He and some friends bought an old plane and repaired it when he was stationed in Puerto Rico with the Navy during World War II.

Dewitt and Eva have been married almost 49 years. Both had been married before and have grown children from those marriages. They met when they worked for Paramount Foods in Louisville. "That's where I met the pickle packer," he said.

His other jobs were at Jeffersonville, Ind., airport and later in life he went all over the country installing and repairing large baking machines.

He is not the only one of the pair with several hobbies. Eva Sims sews, embroiders, crochets, plays the piano and organ, and until recently, rode on the back seat of her husband's motorcycle. They each have their own computers and have amassed a solitaire record of sorts.

They play Freecell solitaire on their computers. So far they have played 7,124 games and have solved all but 18 of them. The game allows a player to play sequentially through some 32,000 games on their program. He is convinced that all of them probably can be solved; they just haven't figured out how.

Neither thinks the game is a waste of time. "I think it's good for the mind," he said.

Dewitt Sims grew up in the Duncan community of Mercer County. He served in the Navy during World War II, but did not fly in the service. He has owned several airplanes and about 18 motorcycles. He notes that the pastor of his church is the Rev. James Harley.

The couple has had previous publicity and it has led to a planned performance of him on the saw and her on the piano at the extended care center at James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital later this month.

All of those things are hobbies, and the couple recently replaced all of the plumbing in their house and he has installed electrical appliances around the house. "Anything that needs to be done, he has done," Eva Sims said.

They both love animals. They have had four toy poodles, the latest one being Mitzy. They have taken their dogs on vacation and to motorcycle rallies. They are carried on an apron-like pouch in front of Dewitt.

They also rescue baby birds.

"We feed them dog food, but we've never gotten one to bark, yet," he said.

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