Good morning, and since it’s Sunday it’s the Senior Center Happenings (my apologies to Meet the Press).
First thing I want to say “hi” again to all the people we saw at the dance on Saturday. I must say that Bobbie Jean and Mary and I had fun talking to you all as you came in the door for the music and excitement that the Grey Wolves Jazz Band had going on in the municipal auditorium. Thanks again for supporting your Shawnee Senior Center.

Good morning, and since it’s Sunday it’s the Senior Center Happenings (my apologies to Meet the Press).

First thing I want to say “hi” again to all the people we saw at the dance on Saturday. I must say that Bobbie Jean and Mary and I had fun talking to you all as you came in the door for the music and excitement that the Grey Wolves Jazz Band had going on in the municipal auditorium. Thanks again for supporting your Shawnee Senior Center.

At the center, as you all know, we have lots of things going on all the time (don’t believe me? — Check out the monthly calendar). And today I am going to tell you about a fun thing that is one of my favorite things to do, and that’s playing cards. And because we are the senior center that means all kinds of cards. Now because I don’t play all kinds of cards I went to the lady that plays on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 p.m. until 5 or so each week, and that’s Ellie MacDonald.

According to Ellie, if you are a card player come and join in the fun. The number of people who show up to play kind of determines what they’re going to play. Mondays and Wednesdays they usually play Canasta. That, as you probably all know, is a partners game for four people. Now if 8 people or 12 people show up, no problem — Canasta it is. Don’t know how to play but want to learn? No problem, because there are always helpers to get you started. Now if there aren’t enough for everyone to play Canasta they bring out the other card games. Some may play Canasta others may play some of the other card games that Ellie has in her basket. I’m going name them but I have no clue how they work – out comes the more traditional Spades and Hearts but then also comes out the not-so-traditional “Ace-10,” “Golf” and “Social Security” card games. No more info on those, remember “Not A Clue.” Everyone is welcome and this is not just a ladies thing, guys are welcomed into the group so you too can drop in and see what is going on in Card Room 2. And to quote Ms. Ellie, “We’d love to have you; the more the merrier.”

On Thursday, in the same room, we have pinochle. If you’ve never played or perhaps never even heard about the game, drop in and check it out. It’s easy to play and easy to learn. It’s a partner’s game but three can play it as a singles game. They’re always looking for people who play or want to learn how, so check it out. That starts at 1 p.m. every Thursday and lasts usually until around 4, but if you have a hot game going, stay until 5 when the center closes.

Now if you’ve been to the center lately you have probably seen the sign that says there will be a Bridge class on Mondays from 9 to 11 a.m. It’s being taught by Justine Thompson who is a Bridge Master and has two sets of sanctioned games for people who play bridge and you can check them out at the Seminole Senior Center on Tuesdays at noon and on Wednesdays in Shawnee at the First Church of Christ at 12:30 p.m. The classes at the Shawnee center are free to all and tomorrow (that’s Monday) you can check it out for yourself.

Justine wanted to make sure that I mentioned that because bridge is a game that challenges your mind it has been proven that it can help in the fight against Alzheimers and other diseases that affect the brain’s ability to function. It helps to maintain the creative and analytical side of your brain. Justine also told me that anyone can learn to play bridge (even, perhaps, me).

This, again, is a free class and will continue until everyone who is serious about learning knows how to play. Justine has been playing since she was in college (under the Goren system of bridge) but then the ‘90s arrived and the internet became available to the world. At that time a new world wide system came into play. Now when you learn to play bridge you can play bridge with people all over the world and, though you may not speak their language and they may not speak yours, the game continues. I think I just might like to learn how to play bridge just to be able to play with someone say in Japan who doesn’t speak English (and I certainly don’t know Japanese) – what a thought!

Justine taught classes at Rose State in Midwest City and she is a retired Shawnee High School librarian. Any more information about Justine Thompson should be asked to her directly tomorrow (that’s Monday) at the Shawnee Senior Center between the hours of 9 until 11 in the morning.

Now just as a reminder, Kate and Mike will be having their usual Senior Center gabfest at 8:35 a.m. Wednesday morning on “Mike in the Morning,” KGFF Radio (FM 100.9 and AM 1450). I always hear something new when I listen to them – you will too.

Remember at the Shawnee Senior Center “age is just a number,” the website is ShawneeSeniors.org, and the Facebook page is “ShawneeSeniorCenter.”

And, as always, see you at the center!