Well, this is kinda different because here I am writing this column on Wednesday morning and there you are reading it on Saturday morning (or whenever Saturday).
Well, this is kinda different because here I am writing this column on Wednesday morning and there you are reading it on Saturday morning (or whenever Saturday). Since my next deadline can be several days before something that was printed last Sunday will actually occur, (like the Saturday, Aug. 11 “50s Dance”) it is obviously just about impossible for me to write how, for instance, the dance went or how well received it was by all who came, because it really hasn’t happened yet today, Wednesday the 8th of August.
Now that I have managed to totally confuse you I will just say that I am sure everyone who went had a great time, enjoyed the music (with James & Tammy Cotton), the Elvis impersonator (Mike Black), the door prizes (donated by many Shawnee businesses), the trophies (from Shawnee Trophy) as well as the food and goodies arranged for by Tammy’s Crew of Rita Pate and Frankie Woodley.
Now since you know there is a dance tonight it’s only $5, starts at 6, open doors at 5:30 and has free music and food. I am going to keep right on going on about dancing and music for listening and dancing at the Shawnee Senior Center.
As I am sure you know if you’ve been a column reader in the last year (and if you’re new to the column, welcome and I can now add you to the other 32 people including my family who read this column), the center holds a country western dance each Tuesday and Thursday from 1 until 2:30 p.m. with live music provided by the Storytime Band.
This five-piece band has been playing each week for many years now at the center and there is no charge to come and enjoy the music, the dancing and, occasionally, the singing provided for your entertainment.
Current members of the band include Charles Story (an original member) , who has been playing here at the center on and off for 15 to 20 years; Dean Hudlow is another longtime member who also has been aiding and abetting the music with his harmonica playing for the same 15 to 20 years. Glenda Story Taylor (daughter of the originator of the group) started in the summers almost 15 years ago while she was in school and continues playing on her keyboard to this day. Richard Coffman on bass guitar is also a long time band member who has been adding to the band’s sound for 12 years or so. Brent Buroy has been coming here with the band for almost a year and he plays guitar and adds his voice to the band’s sound. Brent’s wife Sherrie has been known to drop in at the center during her lunch breaks from Visual Bank where she works to add her voice to the music. Norma Pettit is kinda new to the group (been coming several months now) with her fiddle playing and has been joining the band every Tuesday. Joy Lindsey is another member who pops in when she can to join the band.
Now those are the music makers and now I would like to introduce you to some of the people who come to the center to enjoy the music, maybe do some dancing and also to have fun, visit and generally have a good time on Tuesday and Thursday while listening to good old down home country western music.
In order to get some “dirt” on the seniors at the dance I decided I needed to talk to each one of them. I must admit that everyone was super nice, nobody threatened to call Kate and tell her I was pestering everyone so I felt really comfortable with this group of seniors.
The first group I hit on were not dancing because they were like me, listening and enjoying the music. I met June who’s only been coming two weeks but loves to watch people dance; Faye is a frequent visitor to the center when the band plays because she enjoys hearing the music; Dorothy has been coming quite a while, Carol has also been coming for almost seven years and loves to watch the dancers and listen to the band.
Elaine is a former Shawnee resident who just returned to live in Shawnee and has been coming since she moved back.
When I first came to the center I was told about somebody who had a cowbell and persisted in “ringing” it whenever he liked a song or just wanted make a noise and sure enough he and his wife were next on my travels across the room. He really does have a cowbell (actually he has four cowbells in his carrier) and the biggest two are “humongus” and he doesn’t “ring” them because I’m sure you would be able to hear it at the courthouse if he did. His name is Jimmy and his wife is Althea and they are regular visitors to the Tuesday, Thursday dances (tho they told me they don’t dance, just listen).
Jimmy was next and he’s been coming for two years. Peggy and David, a married couple from McLoud, were next on the travels and they’ve been coming here for quite a while. David provides some of the original music (like on a disk or CD) to the band of songs they don’t know so they can record and learn them.
The next table had Lynuel and he is a 40-year US Army vet who moved to Shawnee a couple years ago and comes to the dances with his friend, who is a lovely lady whose name I didn’t write down and I apologize. I got involved with chatting with the two of them and forgot to jot down her name. Also at their table was Marie, a single lady they brought along to enjoy the dancing and music, who told me she hadn’t worked and retired because she had been a house wife her whole life. We had a discussion about how much work you are doing as a housewife and how it can be MUCH more than working at a job so you should never try to diminish how much work a “housewife” has done in her career. Isn’t that right, Marie?
Paul, who is 92 by the way, was sitting by himself because his friend was unable to attend due to illness and that was the reason he wasn’t dancing. He used to be in the Smokey River Blue Grass Band (played guitar) a while back when he was younger.
Eva has been coming to the dances for longer than 10 years and her good friend Diane has been here for almost six years. Both of them come to listen to the music and enjoy the sound.
Betty loves to visit with her friends before the music starts and she loves to dance and enjoys the fellowship of the people who come to the center.
And the last people I caught to chat with are Leonard and Iva (married couple) who come all the time and love to dance. They told me that at the end of August they will have been married for 59 years and my guess is they will be dancing together for many years to come.
I know I missed some people because I tend to run on when I’m asking questions and jotting down names and info and I ran out of time but I so enjoyed this group of people. They were fun to talk to, loved hearing their stories and wish I had more room to put in more about each of them.
The only difference that I can see between people who come to the dance and people who are not involved with the center is that our center participants take the time and energy to come out to the center, keep moving, keep enjoying life and being a part of society. If you love music, it’s free here at the center. Come visit on any Tuesday or Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. (you can also come early and have lunch like some of these people do) and see for yourself what you’re missing at the Shawnee Senior Center.
Cruise Director Kate Joyce will once again by chatting and laughing with Mike Askins on Wednesday morning on KGFF Radio (FM 100.9 or AM 1450) at 8:35 a.m. so tune in and listen to the latest info coming from the person who knows and hear for yourself the fun these two people have on the radio and the info you can get from them.
Like I always say, I always hear something new when I listen.
And remember 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!