Meridian Star

January 13, 2013

People who need people

By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — In college I had a roommate  who talked incessantly (to my way of thinking) about the joy of having friends, how important they were to her and how everyone needed people in their lives. (She had Barbra Streisand’s album with this song.) I was ever the cynic in those days I suppose, a liberal know-it-all. I don't think I sneered at her sensitive leanings, rather, turned a deaf ear.

    But just before Christmas I lost the use of my house phone – as well as my little emergency cell phone, which I could not find. Never let the battery run down!

    There I was with no phone access to the outside world, rainy weather and an operator who kept telling me the problem was not on the outside of the house, but inside. I must have taken my two phones apart a dozen times trying to find the glitch. I finally "gave in" and requested a technician at a fee of $85, but the earliest they could come would be the day before New Year’s! I could go to work and use the phone, but who wants to go to the office when they are on holiday?

    Lo and behold, a full day ahead of when my technician was scheduled to arrive, he showed up, checked the line, climbed the pole outside the house … and I heard that beautiful ringing sound of a call. It was the technician telling me that all was repaired. I can’t recall when I danced around the house quite like that; the phone has never been my best friend, but it sure felt like one then!

    The whole thing reminded me of Leslie, my college roommate, realizing that at this time I was indeed glad to have friends to call on my working phone! Though, really, in my job I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful teachers and students, friends really, to brighten my days.

    Meridian Activity Center began Winter 2013 classes last Monday, but classes are still available to begin this week or to join existing ones.

    Cake Decorating is one class we always get phone calls for, and for a long time we did not have an instructor. Now, we have two. Jean and Keith Houston come to the center on Tuesdays, starting at 10:30 a.m., and walk students through steps in making a gorgeous decorated cake each week. Call me if you would like to take the class; bring a friend and make it an experience never to forget. (You can leave the cake at the center if you are watching your figure)

    Which reminds me: Our Weight Loss Class meets Monday evenings, from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., in Room 7 – just long enough to weigh-in and have a "group therapy" session. Call Penny McKinnis at (601) 934-3422 for further information.

    Another class we have requests for is more technology-type classes ... i.e. iPad usage, Quicken, Excel, Power Point, cell phones. I believe we may have just the instructor to help us out in Michael Remy.  He wants to begin by having a workshop on “Sharing Photos” — which can mean many things. Don’t worry about calling me up and giving your name and number, I won’t bill you until we get an eight-person class. And we could make it a one-time class to see what NEW things we can learn from Michael – on a Thursday night from 5:30-7:30. Call me!

    We have room in our Monday Machine Quilting classes – morning, afternoon and night. This is the perfect class for a beginner.

    Steve Owens Life Writing class is in the works; he will teach it in February, four two-hour classes.

    And now for something completely different! There is a new restaurant in town on Fifth Street and the owner-operator, Sandy, who hails from Martha’s Vineyard – won’t she have some good stories! – wants to teach an interactive cooking class on a Monday nights. Her place on Fifth Street serves organic food, but this class will be of food easily obtained here at local stores. Let’s see if we can get enough people interested in coming and welcome her to Meridian!

    For something even more different, perhaps stranger…but it is definitely to my liking: Papier-mache’ Class. Long ago, we had a papier-mache class and had a lot of fun playing with glue and paper. In fact some of the life-size creatures we made and dressed as human beings, sold for a pretty good bit of moola! Call the center if you’d like to try this teacherless class. It will make an afternoon fly by.

    I can’t say “That’s All Folks” because all our exercise classes have room for more students, our walking trail can handle more people, our Line Dance Class has room for more, ceramic studio, computer classes…etc.

    Meridian Activity Center is located at 3300 32nd Ave. (off 29th Avenue and 36th Street), in the old Lamar Elementary school. Look for our new sign at the end of 32nd Avenue. Call (601) 485-1812 to register or for more information.

    • Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at