Here it is time again for more revelations about the Shawnee Senior Center. This past week has been an interesting one for me and I am going to share it with you in the hopes you will also find it something to think about.

Here it is time again for more revelations about the Shawnee Senior Center. This past week has been an interesting one for me and I am going to share it with you in the hopes you will also find it something to think about.

First of all I want to mention that I was invited to a surprise birthday party for one of the members of our 4 p.m. Tai Chi class. Her name is Miriam Clouse and she is a pretty new member, because she’s only been coming to class for several months now, but she is a remarkable addition to this class because this was her 98th birthday. You read it right and I typed it right … 98. She’s a tiny lady and, although she no longer drives, she has a great guy friend (Vic) who has been driving her to the senior center for years and wherever else she needed to go. After visiting with her and some of the others there I got to thinking about other people who come to the center. And those thoughts became this weeks “Senior Center Happenings.”

I believe that there are some of you out there who feel that this not the place that you should be at “50 or better” because you’re not ready to be “old.” Well let me tell you about some of the “old” people who come here, and I mean “old” only in the fact that they have more years behind them than they might have in front of them.

There are the guys up in the pool room who come every afternoon to play pool and b.s. with their friends. The “old man” (as the others call him) of the group is in his 80s, his name is Bill, and he is here every day except for the days he drives to a car show or some other big sale he wants to check out. Danny comes in after lunch when he can because he’s a brick layer with his own business and works mornings when it’s cooler. Cliff is a long time member of the group also up there in age who comes in, gets some ice cream product we may have, and goes on up the ramp to finish it and join a game. And that’s just three of the gents you can see up there and occasionally you will see a gal up there (that’s might be Roberta or Darletta) or a married couple who also are shooting some striped or solid colored things around.

The ladies and gents who are in those early morning and late afternoon fitness classes (like our Ms. Clouse) are there to keep their bodies fit and minds sharp so they can continue to fully participate in life and the things they love to do.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you can find Ellie (she is the Canasta and strange card games guru) and Betty and Sheryl and Virginia and more playing cards (I apologize because I really need to learn the rest of their names) in Craft Room 2 after they’ve usually had lunch at the center. Ellie is constantly reminding me that they need more players because, as she always says, “The more the merrier,” and from the laughter that resonates down the hall from their open door I’m guessing they’re already pretty “merry.”

On Thursday we have pinochle players like Bobbie (the cook at the center) and Ruth 1 (fellow Jersey transplant), Ruth 2 (new player), Dawson (whose son is a judge), Ken, Sheryl, Darletta, Nola, Kathy, Joanne, Larry and me. (That’s why I know all their names!) We also are looking for people who want to play pinochle so we can move on up to the pool room and give those pool players a hard time.

Then there are the seniors who come to the dances. The Storytime band performs and they either came with a partner or find one to dance with. I’m sorry to say I don’t know names like the couple who come (not married, just friends) who love to dance especially with each other; the three ladies who come in smiling and (with a wink) say “today is the day I find me a cowboy” and then leave grinning telling everyone at the desk “didn’t find one today, see you next time.” And then there are all the others who come to join in the fun of dancing or just listening to music that’s recognizable.

Everyone who comes to the senior center is “50 and better” but none of them are “old.” Maybe they qualify for the word “old” because of their age but they certainly do not act “old.” They enjoy life and living it and that’s what the Shawnee Senior Center is all about.

There is so much more to the center than I have time or room to mention here. So I say to all of you who are “50 and better,” come see for yourself. Drop in anytime we’re open, stop at the desk and ask if someone can show you around and see for yourself everything that is available here. I’ve done some walking around with new people and I always tell them that the center is so much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside (and I have no idea why that’s true but it is).

The Shawnee Senior Center is no longer the “best kept secret in Shawnee,” come check that out for yourself because that’s the truth now …. we are here in the paper each week, we are in the Shawnee News-Star calendar’s listing of event happenings during the week, and we have a brand new sign on our building that shouts out we are the SHAWNEE SENIOR CENTER.

I’m gonna step down from my soap box now to remind you to listen to Cruise Director Kate Joyce chatting with Mike Askins on the Wednesday “Mike in the Morning” show on KGFF Radio (FM 100.9 or AM 1450) at 8:35 in the morning. As I mention each time, you never know where the conversation is gonna go when those two get together but it’s always fun to listen and find out more about what’s going on at the center.

And as a final thought, I want to remind you all to come on down to the center and get your $5 ticket for the fantastic “50’s Dance” that will be happening on Saturday night, Aug. 11, to join your friends and family while you are also dancing and singing along to all those songs you remember from the 1950s. We’ll have more info here next week when I give you all the details on the dance.

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

And, as always, see you at the center!