(UPDATED WITH VIDEO) I’m willing to wait another 30 or so years, but being a senior citizen in Erie County can’t be all that bad.
Well at least that is my impression after spending some time in the recreation room/cafeteria of the Erie County Senior Center on Thursday. What started out as trying to take some decent photos for a Sunday Showcase turned into a very pleasant afternoon with about 30 people who enjoy the activities provided at the center.
Being there brought back memories of my grandma dragging me to the Bedford Senior Center in Michigan and the 10-year-old version of myself not looking forward to it all that much. I was the shy grandson who wasn’t interested in crocheting an afghan or doing a “do si do” to the newest square dance.
And how many “Boy, are you getting talls” can you hear in one day?
But looking back, I appreciate it now as those years my grandma spent participating, volunteering and even serving as president of her local senior center kept my grandma alive for more years than I think she would have lived if she hadn’t been active. It wasn’t until a hip replacement that kept her from promenading that she took a turn for the worse and then died a couple of years later in 2005 at the age of 85.
Spending an hour or two at the Erie County Senior Center during bingo with Helen Steele and her calling out “B-7” and “O-61” and her favorite: “N-40” was an enjoyable experience. I spoke with sisters Marion Beese and Willie Judge, both widows, who look forward to their time spent together playing bingo. Marion talked about how she doesn’t feel as lonely when she is able to get out and do things at the center. I also talked with Margaret Kalley after her big win of $1. Bingo is Margaret’s second sport; pinochle is her No. 1 game.
As you can see by the list on this page, there are plenty of other activities available at the senior center. And with the buses and taxis available in the area, there really isn’t an excuse why all the seats in the recreation room can’t be filled for a Monday bingo game at noon or Friday’s Wii Bowling.
If you have a senior parent or grandparent that can’t drive do them a favor and get them over to the senior center on East Water Street. From all the smiles I saw on Thursday, they won’t be disappointed.
I’d like to go back, but I’m going to have to brush up on my Pinochle. (I think someone tried to teach the card game to me when I was 10.)
When I returned to the newsroom from the high-stakes Bingo game at the senior center, Cheryl Welch, the Register’s assistant managing editor was talking about a great conversation she had with a woman who used to read the newspaper with her husband Charlie every day together. Now a widow, Joan Brown still reads the paper every day and called Cheryl because she was afraid her subscription was going to run out. I just wanted to say “hi” to Joan from all of us in the newsroom and thanks for reading. Maybe Joan could meet some friends at the Erie County Senior Center.
Tom Cats & Dogs
If you are looking for a good laugh, check out our "Cats available for adoption" story HERE. Each week reporter Tom Jackson visits either the Humane Society of Erie County or the Erie County Dog Warden to see what cats and dogs are available for adoption.
This week Tom had the chance to meet "Annie," a tabby that wasn't up for hanging out with Tom while we recorded a video. It rivals most blooper reels and Tom was a great sport and kept right on rolling as we filmed the spot.
And speaking of videos, I'm pretty sure everyone out there has watched our coverage of last week's implosion of the ConAgra building in Huron. All of our videos from the event were very well received, but if you haven't seen it go HERE. We have a video from 5 different angles and staff photographer Angie Wilhelm did a great job putting it all together.
The Register will have some more content from the implosion in the next few days at sanduskyregister.com
Thanks for reading this far, and we’ll talk soon