SOLON & BEYOND: Remembering Solon Senior Center open house

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Lief just brought me a bowl of popcorn that he had just popped on this Sunday night. It was a very welcome gift as I sit here thinking about the ‘Good Old Days!’ Had greatly appreciated all of the Solon School news that had been sent to me and I enjoyed sharing it all with you, but I haven’t received any other news so I’m hoping you will like this old news that I found in my stash of old memories in Solon.

The first clipping I have in front of me states, “Senior Citizens To Hold Open House At Solon Tuesday.” Senator Harvey Johnson, of Smithfield and Representative Herbert Hanson, of Solon, were among the 37 interested persons attending an “Open House” at Fireman’s Hall Tuesday afternoon in observance of the forming of Solon’s Senior Citizens Center.

First Selectman Malcolm M. Hall, as Master of Ceremonies introduced Rep. Hanson and was extended the official welcome for the town. Mr. Hall then presented Senator Harvey Johnson who spoke briefly, mentioning elderly people, of his acquaintance, who stay young and retain meritorious abilities.

The Rev. Arthur Durbin, of Waterville, program director for the Upper Kennebec Valley Senior Citizens Centers was the next to speak. In presenting Rev. Mr. Durbin, Selectman Hall said he is well known to Solon residents, having been one of the supply ministers for the Solon Federated Church for the past few years.

He said these centers are service organizations, one of the mottos being, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He quoted one interested elderly person as saying, ” I don’t mind getting old but I don’t want to get old alone.” Another quotation from Mr. Durbin’s informative talk was, “Age is just a question of spirit.” He concluded his talk with the favorite slogan for centers. “Live as long as you can.”

Mrs. Marilyn Rogers has been named Director of the Solon Center and will supervise the program. Mrs. Rogers will be assisted by her committees including executive advisory, entertainment, program and service.

There was more to that clipping, but I don’t want to run out of apace to share the best clipping of all! And it is past our bedtime!)

This one starts like this, SOLON SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER Editor, People’s Voice: This is a rather exclusive organization being limited to ages between 60 and 110. This will create something of a hardship for those who have dreaded to cross the imaginary deadline and have been 59 for seven or eight years. In order for them to join it will be necessary to age a bit rather rapidly.When sufficient members reach the 110-year bracket, in manner similar to other organizations, they will be permitted to advance to the S.C.S,C. or Senior Citizens Super Center. Membership in this branch will be limited to 17 years, however some leniency may be observed in the enforcement of this rule. If members feel that they are getting too close to this upper limit: some vagueness as to the number of birthdays may be allowed.

Activities of the organization are to be strictly limited to what the members wish to do.

I regret that I cannot fully participate in the program as the director tells me that strict adherence to the truth is expected at all times; which eliminates a normal desire to depart slightly from cold fact in order to promote interest in an otherwise dull narrative. Apparently this innocent pastime, sometimes referred to as gilding the lily is frowned upon. Factual yick yack is definitely encouraged.

A primary part of the required regalia is a pleasant smile. Except for the foregoing stringent requirements there is little difficulty in becoming a member. So climb the stationary escalator, otherwise known as stairs, and join the fun. The above was written by Eldred Heald.)

I can’t remember how many years I had that fun job with many wonderful friends seeming to enjoy it, also. One of the things I showed them was painting, and as it turned out there were several truly talented people who produced some lovely paintings. We also went on many trips to different parts of our world!

And so now for Percy’s memoir: “Old age has a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then… we are freed from the grasp, not of one mad master only, but of many.”


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