Just A Little Ditty Can Make The Day Brighter
By Kathleen Spring
If a King of Comedy was crowned at the Lyons senior center, it would have to be Don Hunt. He brought jokes and songs to the seniors on many occasions over the years, but due to health concerns, he retired his repertoire in spring.
“Oh, it’s just little ditties,” said Don, “two or three lines long. Like, ‘They walked down the lane together. The sky was filled with stars. She didn’t know how to thank him. For he was the son of a farmer, and she was a Jersey cow.’”
Over the years, Don usually did his act with Edna Green, who had a ventriloquist dummy named Grannie. “I always introduced myself as her other dummy,” said Don. “I was the MC; she sang. And if I knew it, I could sing the harmony. “
Don has been replaced by the Internet. He use to dig up jokes, anecdotes, or tunes that made people laugh, while often learning a lesson.
Many people in Lyons know Don and his wife Mary, because of their efforts in improving life at the local laundromat. The people-pleasers started with one in the Lyons Shopette and moved on to a second one on High Street.
“There was no one there to take care of it,” said Don. “We fixed it up real nice with back to back washers, matching, white, clean, added paneling. Worked long nights on plumbing with a friend. We even brought in things to entertain them while they waited, like TV and magazines, a swamp cooler and more.”
The couple helped start the Lyons Golden Gang more than a dozen years ago and actively helped make it a success, from working big fundraisers to small personal touches. Don would stay late after lunch to socialize with those who had no reason to rush home. Special thanks to this valuable, caring couple who have retired to Longmont!
Make someone smile. Send greetings of cheer to the following seniors who have not been able to attend senior lunches and who would appreciate calls of friendship: Anne Marie Brown, who is under medical care and living near relatives out East; Vance French and Maxine Harkalis, who have been taking an extended peaceful break from their Golden Gang social life; Don Hunt, who has suffered some recent serious health concerns; Geneva Sabados and Lorraine Self who are recuperating from their injuries; and, Dale Saylors who is doing better (and has grown a beard). Call (303) 823-6711 to get contact information.
Special July birthday greetings go out to Don Hunt, celebrating 84 years, LaVern Johnson celebrating 85 years, and Don Colard celebrating 95 years! Many happy returns!
Historical facts and present day photographs of the Alaska-Canada Highway adventure of Monica Stevenson were presented to the seniors in July. The grateful seniors enjoyed the cool reprieve from the blistering Colorado summer weather. Locals, who are good speakers and want to share their travel adventures, or want to entertain the seniors with their musical talents, can call (303) 823-5223 to schedule a date.
The Longmont Meals-on-Wheels kitchen is being remodeled. In the meantime, lunches at the Lyons senior center will be served in paper serving trays. Lyons disabled persons or home-bound seniors can request meals to be delivered to their homes by calling (303) 823-6771.
GG ELECTION RESULTS
During the June board meeting, the Nomination Committee was only able to present the name of one person, Ruth Corwin, who wished to run for one of the four vacant positions. Therefore, members in the audience who were willing to take on the responsibility were voted into the Board. The board then elected their officers out of that group. There was no ballot sent out. Some Golden Gang members questioned this decision, and the board examined the by-laws and, at the July board meeting, discussed their decision and the costs. They agreed that time was of the essence, and it was important to conduct the election in the manner it was done. The matter will be reviewed again prior to next year’s elections.
As part of the process of clarifying the election procedures, the definition of who is a voting member will be updated shortly, and how ballots will be distributed. Committee responsibilities and who can be chair will also be discussed at the next board meeting. The public is invited to attend and/or volunteer for committee work.
New officers are; Sandra Cottrell, president; Dan Ballard, vice president; Karen Ryan, acting secretary; and Lora Gilson, treasurer. Barbara Matthews wishes to continue the job of secretary into the new year, but she has taken a medical leave of absence. Continuing board members are: Donna Cole, Shirley DeVeny and Anita Rodriquez.
Departing Golden Gang board members are: Aggie Brown, Jerry Ribble, Josie Rios, and Monica Stevenson. The membership thanks them sincerely for their hard work over the past year. And special thanks go to Janet Freeman and Maxine Harkalis who have served several years, and had to take a break due to the by-laws, and to hard-working past president, Bev Haley.
IMPORTANT NEWS FROM GG BOARD
Your voice is important to the new board of the Lyons Golden Gang. Non-board members are encouraged to attend and have their say, to the extent that they are being given a chance to vote along with board members. For example, if you feel the lunch room should recycle their paper goods and scraps, come to a board meeting and state your facts. When the Board votes on it, you will have the right to add your vote. See an officer for exact details. Incidentally, the board voted in July to cut the funds spent on paper products to a fraction of what is currently being spent.
The Golden Gang secretary will post in the senior center at least two weeks prior to each board meeting the minutes, and a suggested agenda Items sheet for people to read and add to. Jot it down, mail it in, or call the senior center main line.
The health and safety rules for the Golden Gang kitchen were reviewed. Of utmost importance were sanitary place settings, restrictions on people in the kitchen, washing hands and wearing gloves, and temperature of foods.
Upcoming projects include: Lyons Trustee and senior liaison Connie Sullivan is planning a meeting with Boulder County to discuss opening the Walt Self building up all day for the use of local seniors, including access to the internet. She also reported that the Town has decided to participate in the pilot program for the Boomer Bond, which is aimed at helping the newly retiring Boomer Generation.
The date of the board meetings has been changed from the third Saturday to third Thursday at 4:30 p.m. This is due to the majority of board members having other responsibilities on Saturdays.
EXCITING GG FUNDRAISERS
Support your local meals-on-wheels program by giving and buying items at the next Golden Gang garage sale, taking place August 17 and 18 at the Walt Self Senior Center. Bring items to the senior center during normal lunch hours. Despite temperatures close to 100 degrees, the garage sale during Good Old Days brought in approximately $300. Thanks to all!
For the first time, the board decided not to apply for the United Way grants due to their difficult requirements. They are hoping the garage sales will make up for the lost funds. The Longmont Duck Race ticket sales brought in $440. Many thanks go to Shirley DeVeny who did most of the sales. The new board plans to work on ways to get more participation from the membership in helping with future fundraisers.
Many people can’t wait for the Golden Gang to take BINGO to the next level. While members participate weekly in a fun game at the senior center, the group hopes to put on commercial games for the public in the near future. Six members went to class and took the State of Colorado Bingo/Raffle test in July. Thanks to Dan Ballard who instigated this idea.
The seniors will also start making crafts in September for the Christmas Bazaar. The public is welcome to teach or learn new crafts during the weekly sessions. For more information on all fundraisers, call (303) 823-6711.
All fundraisers will be reviewed by the incoming Agency Administrator in hopes of bringing the Golden Gang back to a comfortable financial position. Donations are always welcome from Lyons citizens and businesses, as a large number of the lunches are subsidized. Mail donations to Lyons Golden Gang, P. O. Box 1091, Lyons, CO 80540.