CRESTVIEW — Among many local personalities, one of Crestview’s most familiar is “Miss Sara” Reese, a resident with mobility challenges that do little to stop her from near daily treks around town with the aid of a wheeled walker that doubles as a vehicle to carry her belongings.

From her home off Stillwell Boulevard, Miss Sara’s trips take her downtown and many times even farther.

“She doesn’t use her walker like most everyone else,” said Community Services Officer Wanda Hulion, who, like other Crestview Police Department's patrol officers, keeps an eye on Miss Sara when she’s out and about. “She uses it to carry her stuff. She’s got bags for her things, and she’s got her flashlight strapped to it because I fussed at her once for being out in the dark.”

Sometimes Miss Sara heads off to do her laundry, which hangs from her walker in plastic bags. Ever since her washer flooded her house, she prefers public laundry services, even after an officer offered to give her a stacking washer/dryer set.

Other times she’s on the Lord’s work, taking orders for and then delivering peanut brittle freshly made by members of her church.

Many residents have seen rush-hour traffic come to a polite — and surprisingly patient — halt as Miss Sara crosses Ferdon Boulevard North in the afternoon. Miss Sara just has a way of making folks feel kinder and gentler, and a little less in a hurry.

But all that traveling around town can take its toll on her walker wheels, and recently, it did, Hulion said. She started looking into a new walker for Miss Sara, but Miss Sara would hear none of it.

“She said, ‘Wanda, I don’t need a whole walker. I just need new wheels,” Hulion said.

So the officer called Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare to see about buying her friend some new wheels for her walker.

“I originally called to see if they’d offer a discount,” Hulion said. “The sales rep said, ‘Yes ma’am, how many do you need?’ I was hoping for a discount, not for him to just give them to her.”

But “just give them to her” they did, and now Miss Sara is tooling around town on a set of fine new, heavy-duty wheels valued at $120 courtesy of the nationwide health care mobility company.

That’s important to Miss Sara’s independence, Hulion said, not to mention her spirit.

“That mobility is what’s kept her going all these years,” she said. “It’s that fierce determination.

"Miss Sara’s independent and determined to keep it that way.”