Aging Well June 24th 2014

Summer and reunions go hand in hand – from high school class reunions to family reunions. And last week, my family and I flew back to Indianapolis for my Aunt Janet’s 90th birthday and a chance to visit the extended McKay clan. An added bonus was also seeing my Aunt Mo who will turn 100 next January. A retired PE teacher, she still pedals on her stationary bike every day. And she told me, “Age is just a number and my number is unlisted.”
It was also a chance to visit with my brother and sister and their families. And what’s better at a family reunion than dragging out the old slide projector (the ones with the slide carousel that always had at least one picture upside down), and subjecting our spouses and children to pictures of when we were so cute and adorable – dressed up cowboy gear or a birthday dress; and later how slim and attractive we were lounging around the pool. Of course, the audience, which could not escape, probably had other thoughts!
But we didn’t care. Because those old family pictures brought back memories and feelings long forgotten in our busy day-to-day lives: memories of childhood friends, tent camping along the shores of Higgins Lake in Michigan, and listening to Sid Collins announcing the thrill of the Indianapolis 500 on WIBC radio.
And whenever the McKay clan gets together, its family tradition to play the Midwest card game of Euchre. A game we always played while camping – after dark on warm summer nights, illuminated by a gas Coleman Lantern.
My sister-in-law, who isn’t fond of this McKay tradition, described Euchre as “A game invented by a bunch of drunk Germans not playing with a full deck”.  But if there are any sober Midwesterners who would like to play Euchre or anyone who would like to learn, call the Center and we’ll set a time to play a few hands.  
Although there isn’t Euchre at the Center – at least not yet, you can play Pinochle on Thursdays at 1:00 and Friday nights at 6:00. And if you haven’t played Pinochle in a while, come early on Friday nights and Gala Hill will give you a quick review of the rules. Also on Fridays starting at 1:00, there is Mahjong, a Chinese game which reminds me of rummy using tiles instead of cards. And there is Bunco at the Center on the third Tuesdays of the month starting at 1:00.
The Center is hosting its annual summer rummage sale downstairs from 9:00 – 3:00 on Thursday (26th) and Friday (27th); and on Saturday (28th) from 9:00 – 12:00 when everything that’s left will be sold by the bag. There’s plenty of good stuff including some furniture at basement prices. And just down the street at 1324 W 10th, the Center’s good friend Barb Pashek is having her “giving it up” sale on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 – 4:00 PM with antiques, shop items and her “ever famous” miscellaneous. You might even find a few antique bowling ball pins. 
The Strawberry Mountain Band will be playing their crowd pleasing country music at the Center on Tuesday, July 1st. Doors open at 6:00 and music starts at 7:00. All ages are welcome and donations are appreciated.
The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question is Spike Jones and the City Slickers Band who once toured in the 50’s as the “The Musical Depreciation Revue”. (The winner of a free July Cowboy Breakfast is Pat Davenport.)
While in Indianapolis (or Naptown as we use to call my hometown), I drove by the neighborhood grade school I attended from 1953 through 1960. One of my most vivid memories was the excitement of listening to the World Series during class.
I can’t remember the names of the teams, but during that span the New York Yankees were in five of the seven World Series – winning three. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the coach of the New York Yankees from 1949 until he was fired in 1960 after which he remarked he had been fired for turning 70 and “he wouldn’t do that again”. E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a number 37 New York Yankees baseball jersey.  
Well, it’s been another week wondering how many times do I have to do it wrong, before I get it right. Until we meet again, every day is a chance to make new memories.
“Family life is a bit like a runny peach pie – not perfect but who’s complaining?” Robert Brault

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