It ain’t just Bingo, Gladys.

By: pbcmedia

Sep 24 2009

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Aging, SENIOR CENTER


Focal Length:16mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

Oh, I needed this.  And, I don’t mean a spritz of Sex in the City perfume that had just been gifted to this volunteer at my local senior center.

I was there taking photos of all the activities at the center in order to make a slide show for their website.  I was told this was the Arts and Crafts room.

“Tuesday’s the day”, the woman in the background told me.  That is the day when the room is filled with all sorts of seniors doing a variety of crafts.  I should come back then, she said.

Ok, I’ll come back for sure but let me tell you one thing, ladies.  I don’t think the Tuesday people are going to have any more fun than the Thursday people, including the photographer.

I photographed chair aerobics, men playing pool, one 81 year old woman (she told me her age, I didn’t ask) singing a song as she stretched out on her couch like a cat.  The song was from “Mary Poppins”  and the two other ladies sitting on opposite couches, said, “She starts singing on the bus over here!”.

I photographed a table of gamblers who quickly told me they didn’t play for money, and a woman who had just returned to the center on this day after a full knee replacement.  She was glad to be back, she said.  She usually teaches seniors how to use the computer.  Oh, yes, I photographed the computer room and one woman described her schedule of activities to me and I’d say the only  rival may be Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff.

I needed this today as earlier in the day I was fussing about a knee of my own, kevtching about not being able to go for long walks because of it, seeing the future knee replacement down the line, hip, you name it, I was catastrophizing all body parts failing simultaneously and needing to be replaced and having to get special controls for my new car so the brake and accelerator are no longer foot pedals.

O, I’d drive myself crazy if I wasn’t so used to me.

I’m going back again tomorrow to the senior center to photograph a party.  It begins at 10:30 AM and is over by 12:30 PM.

I have to tell you…these are my kind of party hours and this is before the full body part replacement surgeries.

©Pat Coakley 2009


15 comments on “It ain’t just Bingo, Gladys.”

  1. It makes you grateful doesn’t it? Grateful for today? Grateful for the youth that you still have, and that you still get to drive yourself, and the independence you still own. I know it does for me. Great shot, and a great reminder.

  2. Anyone in the computer room Twittering? I’d totally follow them . . .

  3. I love this shot. The look on the lady’s face is pricless.

    • Thanks, Razz! I’ve been doing my “people” thing at the center and am also trying to have a smackdown with my flash and live to tell the tale! The last flash I ruined within four months and had to buy a new one!

  4. beautiful. i could see a collection of these photos as a great work of art as well as sociology

  5. The party hours remind me of something. Remember the “pub” at Gram’s nursing home? The hours were 4-4:30 PM. Gram got a big kick out of that. I remember Dad saying, “Well, you wouldn’t want anyone LIVING in there, so I guess you have to limit it.”

    • Oh, I do remember that Al! Sorta wish there’d been that half hour limited happy hour BEFORE the nursing home, though! Your father’s remark? A classic, don’t you think? I laughed just reading it. And, missed him all over again.

  6. Pat~this is a priceless picture! You do people very well and you’ve “journaled” to us this lady’s 1000 words perfectly.

    When I get to be her age, I want that same little mischievous gleam in my eye too).

    “I’d drive myself crazy if I wasn’t so used to me.” hehe, you made me chuckle with us

  7. This sounds like one hopping senior center — a place where people love to go. I hope we are all so lucky.

  8. “O, I’d drive myself crazy if I wasn’t so used to me.”

    classic line.

    There’s always something learn from older people: humor, acceptance, humility, perseverance, humanity, …

    What are they making in that photo?

    note: see! I’m not anti-older people! I’ll be there one day hopefully. hee hee!

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