Downey Retirement Center Event of Sat., Dec. 6,'08
from Jessica Densmore
Scott and John scheduled this Event and planned the recruiting, script and playlist
to entertain the residents at Downey Retirement Center. Sharon, John's niece, is
Activity Coordinator at this facility. It's well-known to us as a lively group of seniors.
Many have shared that they danced to the '30s and '40s Big Bands. As we walked
through the doors we saw big smiles and comments of "It's the Jitterbugs". One of
the residents, apparently in the Military during WWII, saw Scott and Tony in their
vintage uniforms, and promptly returned wearing his original uniform. Photos were
taken and will be posted on the photo section of the SSRC website. Of course the
residents who were willing and able joined us during many of the music selections -
those photos also to be posted.
Scott based the Holiday Playlist on a Holiday Program done during the war years
by Glenn Miller. He did not do a formal script, but preceded each selection with
such interesting historical tidbits as the fact that much of Glenn Miller's music was
not released until 1994 because of some copyright laws in effect during the time he
was in the Military - so there is a wealth of Glenn Miller material to be discovered
by his "new" fans. Also, that Benny Goodman was so discouraged with his cross-
country tour that he almost gave up before coming to L.A. He and his band entered
the Palomar and were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from the audience -
the rest is well-known history...swing became "the thing".
Our participants came despite freeway detours and long distance commutes, and
Scott Giordano, John Apodaca, Tony Mercuro, Jeremy Heckman, Laura Greenlund,
Carol Hackett, Julia Voce, Myron (last name?), Naomi (last name?) and Todd
(last name?), Mark (last name?), Norman Kajikawa (who took photos) and
Jes (who also took photos).
One of the residents, Midge, said she remembered doing all this dancing when she was
young. She was asked, "Did your feet hurt when you finished a night of dancing?". Her
reply..."They still do!!!".
Resident Jessie, originally from Leeds, in England, said she missed her British
friend, Debbie, who usually narrates - she said to tell her "hello".
I think this Event was well received, don't you?
Thanks to everyone who took time out from their busy schedules to bring
some entertainment to a very appreciative audience. Special thanks to John and
Sharon for scheduling the Event, Scott for putting together the playlist and extensive
historical research, Norman for taking photos, and the residents for making us feel
so welcome. Also to Fons who apparently fowarded our Event announcement to
the Third Street Swinger List.