Rides, Miles and Memphis

ITNs give rides. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. With affiliates across the country and the oldest providing hundreds of thousands of rides over many years, our tires have literally millions of miles on them. And the numbers keep growing.

ITNMemphis surpassed 5,000 rides this summer. They cover the Memphis metro area, one of 13 affiliates operating nationwide providing rides to older and visually impaired people, from Maine to Florida to California.

These rides support people like Lester Gingold, an ITNMemphis regular. Currently 95, Gingold was born on New Year’s Day in Birmingham, Alabama. The year was 1922. He served in World War Two as a combat engineer. After his service Lester spent 34 years working as a manager for Sears, and then the next 15 years as advertising director for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Commercial Appeal newspaper.

After that he “retired,” but not for long ­— Gingold next took over the reins of a local newspaper for seniors called Active Times, which eventually became The Best Times. He worked there for 18 years, covering stories such as when John Glenn, at age 77, became the oldest man to fly in space. Gingold now serves as publisher emeritus of The Best Times, an “encore career” that is also his passion. A man of enduring energy, he nevertheless said “the most difficult thing I ever had to do was to quit driving.” He has been one of ITNMemphis’ oldest members, both in age and in the years he’s spent riding with the organization.

“I have been blessed to ride with ITN,” he said, “and the excellent volunteers who are so helpful.”

Gingold is ITNMemphis’ honorary 5,000th rider. He continues to use the service. Because as Gingold proves, age is no reason to slow down.