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Art and music featured at The Silver Foxes Den

At the end, a handful of our diners approached the singers, Ami Harbison and Kaitlen Richey, weaving in and out of the electric cords to the sound equipment to praise them for their performance.

It also happened the week before with the pianist Peter Moyer. He has had only two years of piano lessons and would make Vladimir Horowitz turn puce with envy.

This week John Hudson is tickling the ivories and Riley Gardner is serenading us.

Happy seniors, happy students, happy day.

Student musicians and vocalists from the Pagosa High School FAMA program and the community will play and/or sing most every Friday from now until January.

What is FAMA you ask? It is the Fine Arts Magnet Academy, which is a special curriculum that provides extraordinary learning opportunities in visual arts, music, theatre and digital media. The performers are either students of Dan Burch, the music instructor from the high school, or Venita Burch, a private instructor.

What about visual arts? Great news: the construction project in the dining room now allows for the hanging of the photographs, paintings and drawings of high school art students. The first Pagosa Springs High School Art in The Den will take place Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Come enjoy great photography, excellent company and support our students and seniors.

Adult protection

This is not about rubber gloves, bullet proof vests or birth control.

Adult Protection is, in Archuleta County, the title of a program through the Department of Human Services. The purpose of it is to ensure the health, well being and safety of persons over 18 years of age.

After I started my fabulous job, I was informed that I was a part of the Adult Protection team, that I was a “visitor” and that I got to lead the Adult Resource Meeting six times a year. Honestly, I didn’t know anything about any of this, so I turned to Kathy Kulyk at Human Services to educate me (she is very, very patient).

Kathy carefully explained that she receives reports of possible neglect and/or abuse of persons over 18 years of age. Much of the time, the calls are about seniors in our community. After she receives the call and documents the concerns, she goes to the home of the reported adult and checks out the situation. And she takes me with her. The Adult Resource Meeting is an occasion where appropriate staff members meet to confidentially discuss at-risk adults and reported cases and offer resources and help to where it is needed.

Last month I left my desk to walk across the parking lot to attend my first Adult Resource Meeting. I was happy because I knew there had been no reports of neglect or abuse. Kathy gracefully led this meeting, and I can’t write about most if it because I am bound by confidentiality. However, here is some bad news, good news and more bad news that I learned of that is not confidential and I have to tell about it.

Bad news: there is a program entitled “Aide for the Needy, Disabled.” It is being cut Dec. 31, and there is no other program to pick it up. It is a monetary gap filler until Social Security disability kicks in. This will effect 20-30 people, and is roughly $250 per month per person. Here’s the hard part: for most of these people, this $250 per month is their only income, and it will be gone.

Good news: there is an organization in town called Pagosa Outreach Connection. It is a committee of people from different churches and organizations that have loosely affiliated (they are not a 501(c)(3) and don’t want to be) to give money to people who need it, usually on a one-time basis.

More bad news: Pagosa Outreach Connection has given $75,000 (all from private donations) away this year alone. They cannot fill the need of the loss of the above program. And the economy is pitiful, fuel prices and unemployment are high and I could go on and on.

Do you need help or want to help? Here is some information for you who need help:

Kathy Kulyk, Department of Human Services: call her at 264-2182 if you need help or to report neglect or abuse of an adult.

Pagosa Outreach Connection: go to the Department of Human Services and pick up an application.

LEAP: this is the energy assistance program. Call Mary Ann Foutz at 264-2182.

Kathy suggests that, if you want to help, give money to Pagosa Outreach, or purchase City Market Gift cards in denominations of $20, and take them to Kathy at the Department of Human Services at Town Hall. Kathy keeps these on hand for people who need to eat. She expects a huge increase of people who won’t know how they will buy food this winter. Donations can also be taken to the Department of Human Services and given to Carmen, Ashely or Barbara.

I honestly can’t believe that my neighbors and the people I drive past on Put Hill could live on $250 a month, let alone on a $20 City Market card. In our town.

I’m getting a $20 City Market card each pay day and taking it over to Kathy. Who is with me?

Empty Bowls fund-raiser

This doesn’t have anything to do with seniors, except that I know a bunch of them who will be attending this important fund-raiser. On Nov. 14, The Empty Bowls, Make a Bowl Feed a Soul fund-raiser will be held in the Pagosa Springs High School Art Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For $10 to $20 you can have soup and/or a handmade bowl. All of the proceeds will go to fight hunger in our world.

Senior Spotlight

“Not getting shot at and not getting killed” has been the theme of his life, ruminates Tom Brown. Born in December 1918 in a suburb of Washington D.C., Tom comments that his grandmother, mother and he were very poor. His father died before he was born in the great flu epidemic of 1918.

When he graduated from high school, he worked as an usher in a New York City theater until he was drafted into the army for World War II. Tom was stationed in Italy as a photographer, where he laughingly comments, “I shot with a camera instead of a gun.” One time, he followed an infantry patrol that was out looking for Germans. “We found them, all right,” he said, “I ran like !#$!* into a house where all of the Italians took turns kissing my hand. I can still hear the sounds of the bullets going past my ears.”

After the war, he became an advertising executive in New York City for McCann and Erickson, one of the top three advertising firms in the country at the time. He was also the CBS television producer for the Monday night show “Studio 1” and many other shows. His favorite part of being a producer? “Making lots and lots of money,” he chuckled. “Also writing ideas on a yellow legal pad then ultimately seeing those ideas come alive on national television. And reading scripts. That was fun.”

One of his favorite memories is that he drank scotch with Gregory Peck every night for a week. He was dating an understudy in the show “Sons and Soldiers,” starring Gregory Peck.

“It was all because of a stand-in on Broadway,” he confided. “The show was awful and it closed in a week.”

Tom has lost two wives to cancer. One was an opera singer at the Met and one he went to kindergarten with. He moved to Pagosa Springs to be close to his daughter, Leanna, who raises horses.

Thank you

Thank you to Connie Giffin for her donation of two leviathan geraniums, a ficus tree and a large plant the name of which I don’t know how to spell, to our Senior Lounge, now a jungle. What fun!

Thank you to Dot O’Hara for the loads of candy. I am sad for you that you only had one trick-or-treater, but the diners and I are thankful for the candy that spoiled our lunch.

Thank you to Bob and Nelda Monjure for your time delivering frozen meals, compassion and great love for our people.

Medicare Part D enrollment

The Medicare Annual Election Period is from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, 2009.

This is the time to enroll in Medicare prescription drug coverage, or to switch from one plan to another. Your plan will be effective on Jan. 1, 2010, and you will generally have to stay in that plan until the next annual enrollment period, so it’s important to review your plan and make sure you have the best one for you. To allow time for your enrollment to be recognized and membership materials to reach you in time for use on Jan. 1, it is best if you complete your enrollment by Dec. 8, 2009.

Snow day closures

When the local school district closes for inclement weather, so do we. This includes our lovely lunches, transportation, programs and home-delivered meals. Listen to KWUF FM 106.3 and AM 1400 for closures.

Services

Are you homebound, or do you know someone who is?

Let the Silver Foxes Den help you with your meals. We have expanded our service to the more rurally isolated areas of the county and would like to help you help yourself.

These meals are the same meals prepared in our kitchen by the same cooks who prepare those scrumptious senior center meals. Our hot meal home-delivery program remains available to those living closer to town four days per week, and frozen meals are delivered on Thursdays. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give me or Musetta a call at 264-2167 for further information.

Weekly activities

Friday, Nov. 13 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Intermediate 9:30 a.m.; Tai Chi Beginning 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; ASI annual meeting (Senior Center dining room) and board meeting 1 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 16 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Lounge closed at 1 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 17 — Lie, Cheat and Steal (card game with Musetta, signups required); Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Sky Ute Casino 1 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; Healthy Cooking 11 a.m.; Tessa Michaelson “Fun Frugal Library” 12:45 p.m. November Nutrition Education at lunch.

Thursday, November 19 — Administration Day.

Friday, Nov. 20 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Intermediate 9:30 a.m.; Tai Chi Beginning 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; birthday lunch.

Our November Archuleta County Senior Center Newsletter is now available on Archuleta County’s Web site: www.archuletacounty.org/Seniors/seniors.asp. Look it up!

Medical expenses

The Silver Foxes Den, in cooperation with Archuleta Seniors, Inc. (ASI), may be able to help with excess medical expenses.? Items covered might be prescription copays, eyeglasses, hearing aids and dental care.?Qualifying amounts are based on income and need. Recipients must be current members of ASI. Dues are $5 per year. For more information about how we might help you or your family, please contact Musetta at 264-2167.

ASI memberships

Is it time for you renew or buy your 2009 ASI membership? You can purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Folks 55 and older will benefit with discounts from many local businesses, including the local hot springs. This is one of the best deals in Pagosa Springs.

Menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 13 — Cabbage roll, Japanese vegetables, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, chocolate chip cookie.

Monday, Nov. 16 — Sloppy joes on a bun, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and carrots, apple.

Tuesday, Nov. 17 — Beef Stew, crackers, corn, green beans, diced pears.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 — Chicken and dumplings, cauliflower and broccoli, sliced apples, bread.

Thursday, Nov. 19 — Administration Day.

Friday, Nov. 20 — Crunchy baked fish, whipped potatoes, mixed vegetables, pineapple and mandarin oranges, roll.