Meridian Star

May 19, 2013

May is National Older Americans Month

By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — May is the month we celebrate our senior citizens of Meridian and Lauderdale County. Therefore, seniors – claim it!

    Anytime someone toots their horn at you for going too slow, toot right back at them! These last days of the month are yours to enjoy. Gentlemen, take your hugs—you deserve them! Ladies over the age of 55: Get your hair and toenails done (I believe the age relating to seniors will soon rise from the 55 of today to 65 – like the highway speed limit!). If your doctor mumbles and writes illegibly, stay on the examination table until you get a typed diagnosis/prognosis that you can read and understand.

    In 1970, the Lauderdale County Council on Aging was appointed to "determine the needs of older people of Lauderdale County and to promote and to engage in any and all such activities and programs that will aid and assist in meeting the needs of seniors citizens of Lauderdale County.” The 13 members represent local organizations that work with seniors in recreational, health and care capacities – two of them are retirees.         Members will be on the radio and television during the month to urge our local seniors to take advantage of these activities:

    • Our Bingo games are being held one hour later than usual to allow assisted living and nursing homes time to load their vans with seniors looking for an afternoon out — and the chance to win a prize! Meridian Activity Center usually hosts Bingo on the first and third Thursday of each month at 1 p.m..

    Jim Knowles is our caller and we usually have a hospice organization bring mid-game snacks to enjoy. Jim enjoys the game as much as the players, as he comes with a pocket full of jokes. He loves making people laugh.

    • Monday's Life Writing is a spinoff of Steve Owen’s writing classes. His interest is in capturing family stories and facts to pass on to a younger generation. He said it's important to know from where we came to understand more of who we are today. This evening time will be spent listening to others share their observations and interview skills as they have begun writing about their own family.

    They will begin at 5:30 p.m. We’ll have coffee and tea available.

    • Donna Lewis and Ned McCormick are our representatives from the 186th Air Refueling Wing. If you have come to our fish fry in the past, you will have seen the 40 or so air guardsmen and ladies cooking the fish and serving the 800-plus seniors at the Frank Cochran Center.

    Donna and Ned are responsible for purchasing the food we serve. If you’ve also been aware of President Obama’s sequestration activities, you may know that this year we will be short 20 or more servers, as their hours have been cut. We hope to make up this gap with the Queen City Good Sams, who have graciously volunteered to serve. They also have helped with the clean up in the past.

    We have extended the health fair time this year one hour earlier. It will begin at 8 a.m., which will allow these health organizations an extra hour to talk directly to people who might be interested in their services. We urge participants to set up their booths on the Thursday afternoon before the event to avoid any last minute disappointment at the location of their space.

    Seniors will be coming in the doors as early as 8 a.m. as well. Many see it as a time to get together with friends before lunch.

    The Lauderdale County Council on Aging has planned this event for many years and tries to avoid any last minute disappointments by stating once again that this fish fry is to honor our older population in Meridian and Lauderdale County. We buy enough food for an expected amount of seniors and cannot feed other family members (children, younger adults or sitters) if it means one senior does not get a meal. We ask for your cooperation and understanding.

    We plan to have the city trolley car available to help those who have to park in the far parking lot across the street; just flag it down if you see it.

    The Council on Aging board members and friends hope to see you at the fish fry having a good time.

Summer classes

begin June 3

    Summer at Meridian Activity Center used to be slim pickins,’ as it was the time for harvesting and canning for the out-of-town folks and school’s out for the kids in the city.

    But times are a changin'.  

    We now offer a full spectrum of classes – same as spring, fall and winter. We actually offer some new workshops in the summer that are taught on Fridays and/or Saturdays.  

    • Sewing – This summer, Mary Gipson will teach machine quilting Monday afternoons and evenings. On Tuesdays, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., we are offering a basic sewing class with Gracie Payne. You can come and learn on our machines or bring your own.

    • Cake decorating – Once again, we are offering a cake decorating class on Tuesdays, from 10:30 a.m.-noon.

    • Computer – Next: Something everyone has been asking for – an IPad class. We’ll be making a list of interested students to keep this class size down to a minimum; we’ll try to offer several such classes.     Tom Milhorn is still teaching computer classes Monday nights and Thursday mornings; we are offering instruction in Windows 7 and Windows 8. (Windows 8 is the latest program for pcs if your computer was purchased between October 2012 and now.)

Wanted: 18 artists

    The Painter’s Palette Club has invited Indiana watercolor artist Mark Polomchak to teach two classes at the activity center next fall on a Friday and a Saturday. This is the same group that brought Mary Carol Larsons to Meridian from California just last month to teach portraiture.

    Visit Polomchak's website at to see his style and determine if you want to take the class. His style is suitable for beginners, as well as advanced students. The fee is $50 per class. Call Pat Dean at (601) 774-8354 or the activity center at (601º 485-1812 and speak with Barbara for more information.

    Meridian Activity Center is open to adults 21 years and older. The fee for an eight-week class for a Meridian resident is $20; if you live in the county it is $25. Seniors over the age of 55 pay half price.

    We are located in the heart of Meridian at 3300 32nd Ave. (off 29th Avenue and 36th Street), in the old Lamar Elementary School building. Call the center for information or if lost!