Home's Residents Step Out

Home's Residents Step Out

By Vicky L.  Lorencen
Sunday, February 15, 2009

The dancing was square. The cookies were heart shaped. And there were smiles all around.

Citizen Patriot - Erik Holladay
Gordon Baraclow, right, gets a hug from Barb Morton after they finished squaredancing Saturday during a Valentine’s Day celebration at the John George home.

Things were shaping up for a festive Valentine’s Day celebration Saturday at the John George Home, 1501 E. Ganson St. Ladies from the Jackson Friendly Home, 435 W. North St., were the special guests.

“They’re getting up in years, but we still have that sweetheart thing,” said Jason Cole, activity director for John George Home for 34 men ages 65 to 93.

The ladies of Jackson Friendly Home hosted a New Year’s Eve party, so it was the men’s turn to reciprocate.

“The ladies like to get out and chat because a lot of our guys know the ladies,” Cole said.

With the dining room decked out in red tablecloths, carnations and conversation hearts, it was time to start dancing. with the help of square dance caller John Bader, dancers from the Jackson Single Squares and the Stockbridge Stompers strutted their stuff dressed in red and white Valentine finery.

Bader said his favorite part of the party was “seeing the old people have fun.”

Jackson Friendly Home resident Connie Hinkle, 66, enjoyed some chips and dip after she had a chance to “chicken dance.”

“It’s a good party,” Hinkle said before planning to try a waltz.

“It was beautiful. They handled it well for handicapped people,” said John George resident Oscar Little, who explained with a wry smile that despite his name he’s really 5 feet, 14 inches tall.

In true gentlemanly fashion, the men had Valentine gifts waiting for the ladies.

“This was wonderful. They did everything to make it nice for us,” said Nancy Burgett, 82.

Burgett selected a pale yellow koala bear as her gift because the bear was wearing a bow tie and looked like he was ready for a party. Burgett decided to name the bear Jason, after Jason Cole. “He escorted me in and asked me to dance,” she said.

Dressed in a bright red blouse for the occasion, Ruth Trace, 80, planned to take happy memories back the Jackson Friendly Home along with a light pink bear to put on her bed. “It looks so inviting.”

Reprinted with permission from Jackson Citizen Patriot
Copyright February 2009

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