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Songsmith Review: Old Fashioned Day at Wakulla Senior Citizens Center (by Joan E. Smith)

Songsmith Review

by Joan E. Smith

Old Fasioned Day at Wakulla County Senior Citizens Center

cake pic 200.gifWhat’s cooking, Diane?  Southern Fried Chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, and a slice of home made southern corn bread, and tall glass of ice tea.  Yum!  Yum!

On Friday, October 5, 2007, at the Wakulla County Senior Citizens Center, Diane Lanter, Activities Coordinator, demonstrates true southern hospitality.  She graciously attends to the busy festive activities; encouraging everyone to celebrate life at the center – the ‘Old Fashion’ way.  Diane smartly blends in with the other attendees – She is wearing a beautiful polar white blouse and a lovely ankle length pastel skirt, which compliments her coordinating head scarf.  The day is bursting with excitement.  Everyone anxiously waits for the P&G (Pickin' and Grinnin') Band to start up the Country/Gospel music.

The P&G Band members line up their chairs in a horseshoe fashion around the front of the room.  Once the room is set, the fine tuned instruments merge into beautiful harmonies.  A few brave dancers glide across the floor.  It seems this fancy stepping pleases the crowd, because the on lookers respond approvingly with their willing smiles. 

{sidebar id=1}Of course, R.H. Carter, Executive Director of the Wakulla County Senior Citizens Council, is smiling too!  He strolls in and around the tables chatting and welcoming everyone with a huge smile.  He is sporting a somewhat non-traditional outfit.  Although he keeps with his usual business attire, he adds a little charm to his contemporary duds by wearing a soft-beige southwestern style cowboy hat.

Another fashionable dresser for the event is Dave Batson.  Dave is a regular member of the P&G Band and a special Reserve Deputy for the Wakulla County Sheriff's Department.  He is also a fine singer musician.  His western hat, bow-tie, and black vest, brings back memories of what gentlemen looked like during the wild-wild west days.  He received lots of compliments for his musical performance of Rose of my Heart.  Although Dave played his guitar today, he admitted he is really a percussionist drummer.

Mel Goffinett plays the electric bass for the P&G Band.  During one of the short intermissions Mel addressed the group, saying, “I feel each one of you here today, is my friend.”  Mel announced today is a special day for he and his wife Dee Dee.  On October 8, 1942, Mel married his lovely wife Dee Dee.  They actually met on a dance floor and now sixty-five years later, they are still dancing like newly-weds.  All eyes remained fixed on Mel and Dee Dee.  (Pictured above:  Mel and Dee Dee cut their anniversary cake.)

While sharing this special moment with them it was as though time had no hold on us.  Yes, it was truly a sentimental moment to see this sweet couple interact in such a tender way.  An especially tender moment occurred when they introduced their adult children; Gerry who lives in Nashville; Greg who lives in Minneapolis; and, Gill who lives in Orlando.  Wanting the Center to know their parents a little better, they shared some precious things.  It seems in the 50’s Mel and Dee Dee owned a bowling ally.  Mel also served on the school board and even helped build a new high school for the children.  He encouraged the children to play ball and be good at sports and other activities.  Mel is quiet an actor too.  He performed lead parts in various classical shows like Oklahoma.  In the 60’s while living in St Louis, Mel promoted his soft pretzel franchises.  Throughout the years he accomplished other tasks like building model airplanes, rockets, and helicopters.  He also built a barn on his farm.  Even though he did not know how to do it at first, it did not stop Mel from building a live coal steam engine from scratch.

After the Fried Chicken and all the fixing’s, on this day of celebrating life in the ‘Old Fashion’ way – dessert came when Mel and Dee Dee blessed our day with the cutting of their anniversary cake . . . and, oh how yummy good!

Seniors remember you are wanted and loved:  The Wakulla County Senior Citizen Center is lining up daily activities just for you  – so, come enjoy the good times each weekday morning and stay for the good home style meals served during the 12 noon lunch hour.


This article originally published on October 7, 2007.

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