Volunteer Spotlight- Wayne Baker

Volunteer Spotlight – Wayne Baker

Wayne Baker has volunteered for our CarePool program for nearly 7 years now and has a lot of experience driving. Before volunteering at Vivalon, he owned a taxi medallion in San Francisco and drove a ramp taxi that accommodated wheelchairs. Wayne also taught a special education class at Skyline High in Oakland. Wayne has always done tremendous work. Vivalon would like to thank Wayne for his hard work.

More about Wayne:

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at Vivalon?          

I enjoy the people. They are invariably interesting, whether they think they are or not. They also have needs, some of which I can help with. It gives me purpose, and a reason for being.

Who is your hero?


What was your favorite movie as a child?


What is your favorite family vacation?

Probably a gathering of the far-flung aspects of my family at Mt. Lassen. If you’re talking about trips with a partner, it’s hard to pick a favorite: Israel, Jordan, Syria 1995; Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt 1996; Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos 1999; Italy house exchange 2004; Denmark house exchange 2005; London house exchange 2006; Prague house exchange 2007.

What would you change about yourself if you could?           

I’m pretty much happy the way I am. Maybe I could stand to have a bit more modesty or humility.

What makes you unique?

I don’t think I am unique beyond the individuality that each of us has. I suppose that being a laryngectomee is unusual, but it is by no means unique.

What’s something you want to learn or wish you were better at?

I wish I knew more languages. Everywhere I have travelled, people know more than one language. I met a woman in Madrid who had been an interpreter for the European Union. She could translate from any of five languages to any of the other four.

What’s your favorite place on earth?

Tough one, I suppose if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Pt. Reyes.

Who are the special people in your life?

My partner died recently. Beyond her, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren are closest. This just sort of takes my two daughters for granted!

Who is your favorite celebrity?

Of those I have met, Robin Williams.