'I'm thinking there will be those who are growing older and going to have a need one day. And at that time I ask, will there be senior centers?'

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Kathy Meyers, a volunteer at the Scappoose Senior Center, pours juice and other beverages during the lunch hour at the senior center. To her left, Felix, 3, watches and waits for juice. The senior center announced recently it will end its lunch program. At the time of my youth, we were shown how to dance and enjoy live music. Generally, each school had its own kid's dance bands.  These youth, as they got older, still had a need to socialize as it was gratifying. As years went on the afterschool socializing dance became a "stand around."

Being one of those that lent a hand entertaining others by playing music, I now see we're at a time when upcoming aging elders of today look for entertainment. The TV and their telephone can't be a chum. The elderly need senior centers. And Lord forbid Meals on Wheels should stop.

The point I'm trying to make has to do with socializing and group caring for men and women. Not as one, but as groups. As we get older, some of us either die or get ill, resulting in limitations. By not giving support for our senior centers, operations could be very difficult.

I will admit there was a time I didn't think I was old enough to be like those at a senior center. Now the wife and I no longer spend a full day in front of the TV. On Fridays we socialize at the senior center. We've even travelled out of state to another senior center in midweek.

And you may not know, but Meals on Wheels are cooked and run from most senior centers. For those who still rely on — maybe — one hot meal a day and the daily socializing with another person, knowing there are so many seniors unable to drive to a senior center.

With the cost, not all can afford a care center in today's market. There are many benefits at a senior center you may not be aware of. At many there are pool tables, playing cards, Bingo and — yes — dancing to a live band. Many also give classes in dance. Plus there are quilting, basket weaving or knitting classes at some. In general, most senior centers also have those that do/or give tax help.

I'm thinking there will be those who are growing older and going to have a need one day. And at that time I ask, will there be senior centers? Only you can help by paying a visit once or more times a week. I'd been hoping the live music at the senior center would entice many to come visit. You can say it is free entertainment. At most centers you may pay about $5 a meal for members and just a little more if non-members.

Dean Ebert

St. Helens

Contract Publishing

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