Aging Well September 21st

If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance. –African Proverb

Over thirty folks made it to the Center on a wet rainy Friday evening to enjoy an “Oldies Night”: listening to the hits from the 50’s and the 60’s – triggering memories of past youthful adventures. But that Friday night I made one mistake. One big mistake. I invited my wife. Because when she goes to a dance, she expects to dance and for some unexplainable reason she wants to dance with me.

And that’s a problem.

I didn’t dance in high school. My dad would often bribe me to go to dances. And when I did, I would stand terrified next to the door, thinking of excuses and avoiding all eye contact during the breaks when the girls would scan the crowd looking for their next partner. (But after watching Neva Reid dance the mash potatoe Friday night, if I known her in ‘62 it might have been a whole different story!) But fortunately for me, dancing evolved – or devolved – to when you no longer needed to know any dance steps or the latest dance craze. You just needed to “express yourself” which meant you could bounce, you could shake, you could roll on the floor. And even I could do that!

So Friday night was high school all over again – still thinking of excuses, avoiding eye contact and watching couples who really knew how to dance. But then it came to me. I didn’t need to know how to dance. I just needed a GPS system to direct my feet from A to B without stepping on C. A system where a feminine voice – sounding suspiciously like my wife’s – would announce, “Take two steps to the next corner, turn left, take six steps back, make a u-turn, now four more steps. Not three steps! Ouch! Rerouting! Rerouting! What kind of clumsy ox are you?” Or maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea.

But I guess I just need to find the courage to follow the polish proverb, “If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.” And at our age, aren’t we all on thin ice? So join the fun and enjoy the gentle thrill of dancing whether at the Center; the Civic or Cherry Park Grange. And one of these days you might even see me on the dance floor. (I wonder – is too late to learn the Mash Potato?)

And if you want to dance or just listen, Tuesday night is your night at the Center. From 7:00 – 9:00 PM there is always live music – open to everyone no matter your age or if you are rhythmically challenged or not. Next Tuesday the Jazz Generations will be playing the big band sounds. And tonight Truman will be crooning his country gold. It is all free but donations are warmly appreciated.

Duane Francis, President and CEO of MCMC, will be the speaker for the Center’s Tuesday Lecture next week on the 28th starting at 11:00. You will hear the latest news from MCMC, the challenges they face in the ever changing field of health care plus an opportunity to ask any questions. We appreciate Duane coming to the Center to share his thoughts and hope you can find time to take advantage of this opportunity.

Once again in partnership with the Occupational Health at MCMC, the Center is offering Flu Shots from 2:00 – 4:00 on Monday September 27th and from 12:00 to 2:00 on Tuesday September 28th. The shots will be given on the main floor which will make it quick, easy and convenient. And for folks on Medicare you will only need to sign in. If you have any questions you can call Occupational Health at 541-296-7811.

It was the one and only Chuck Berry who sang the 1958 hit “Johnny B. Good”. This week’s “Remember When” question – for a free Saturday breakfast – celebrates the nation’s fall obsession; football. What national #1 team did University of Oregon almost defeat in the 1958 Rose Bowl? E- mail, call 541-296-4788 or write it on a football signed by Dan Fouts or Ahmad Rashad – take your pick.

Looks like I have dodged enough random cream pies for another week. Until we meet again, look before you step, think before you speak but whatever you do always keep moving.

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age. — Robert Frost

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