Nutrition center playtime features cowboy, cowgirls

Published 11:00 pm Friday, May 25, 2012

Each year, the month of May is proclaimed Older Americans Month throughout the nation. And, each year, the Administration on Aging develops a theme for the month. This year, the theme is “Never Too Old to Play.”

So, the seniors at the Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center in Troy, laughingly, said they saddled up their Charlie horses and hit the happy trails for a “play day.”

Hassie Green, Center director, said the participants all grew up playing cowboys and Indians so they were encouraged to dress in western attire for play day at the Center on Thursday.

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The men chose Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy as their favorite cowboys with Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, coming in a close third.

Two-Gun “Charlie” Terry said Hopalong Cassidy was his all-time favorite. His choice had nothing to do with Hoppy’s gray hair, only with his ability to catch the bad guys.

However, “Two-Gun” had difficulty getting his guns out of the holster. So, the other cowboys kidded “Two-Gun” that he might want to change his name to Barney Fife

As for the cowgirls, Dale Evans was a hands-down favorite followed by Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane.

“I admired the quality relationship Dale Evans had with her husband, Roy Rogers,” Dorothy Belcher said. “They always did the right thing and that’s why I liked her so much. She and Roy Rogers were good people.”

Essie Merriweather said Annie Oakley was her favorite cowgirl because she could ride like the wind and shoot a gnat in flight.

Another play day activity at the nutrition center was a penny auction conducted by Rogers Stone who gave each participant 10 pennies.

“The rules are that these are my pennies and I will take them home with me,” he said, laughing. “You may not borrow pennies and you may not get pennies out of your purse or pocket. When you spend all of your pennies, that’s it. There will be no more for you.”

The auction was highly competitive and fun and most participants got at least one item on the auction block.

The participants enjoyed a Roy Rogers’ movie as a way to relax after a morning of activity.

Green said play day was an especially fun day at the Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center.

“But then, we have a good time every day,” she said. “We always have something going on so we keep our seniors playing every day.”