Community ‘Personalities’

Hi readers.  This town where Jeanne lives and I currently reside on her couch gave me a strange arrangement of ponderings yesterday.  I knew my physical therapy at the hospital will be fading in July.  By coincidence the Olathe Community Center is opening, and I’d heard it would include exercise machines, etc.

By golly I don’t ignore coincidence.  Figured I could buzz over there three times a week as long as I’m here, work out, maybe connect with local seniors to play some chess, chew the fat, exchange low sodium recipes.  Old guys did those things on the Courthouse lawn when I was a kid, playing dominoes and spitting tobacco.  A piece of getting old.

To my surprise, that new Olathe Community Center is a bastion of healthiness, classes on Zombi or somesuch dancing, Yoga, big TV screens people can watch while stationary biking.  A room full of water capable of being peed into from everywhere within 100 yards any direction.  Maybe a hundred walking machines, weight machines, and combinations of all three.

And for kids?  Wow.  Two story water slide indoors with signs saying they don’t want heart patients [me] using it.  Piss on them.  I’ll use that thing if I want to.

Because in that entire enormous structure there is not one, not one single item specifically intended to be used by the elderly.  Not one ping-pong table, for that matter, to allow fast action small area activities, either.

I’d been casually searching for some while for a Senior Citizen Center in Olathe.  There ain’t one, even though the senior population here’s quite large.  Closed down a couple of years ago when the city sold the building, never reopened somewhere else.

Fairly strange.  A rich, rich, how you say, affluent community here with a large area of old, low-income houses in the older part of town inhabited by lower middle class non-upwardly mobile working-class scum and senior citizens.  And that new community center forgot they exist.

Hell, every tiny community everywhere has a Senior Citizen Center, or failing that, a pantheon of senior activities incorporated into the local community center.  Andrews, Texas, out on the high plains desert has a big one.  Half deserted towns all over Texas and New Mexico dying of thirst and hunger have one thing left functioning:  Senior Citizen Centers.

And this beautiful old farming community that’s become the home of thousands of high-income soccer and tennis playing SUV driving tofu eating Kansas Citians during the past 20 to 30 years has the singular distinction of having nothing of the sort.

Jeanne’s jobs are over in the neighborhood of Lenexa. Another grown-over KC bedroom community.  And when she got tired of my berating Olathe regarding the new Community Center and the implied attitude toward senior citizens she took me over there.  They’ve got a center about the size of one in Zuni, New Mexico, or Andrews, Texas.  About the size of each of the three in Kerrville, Texas.

Fine people over there in Lenexa.  We got there around noon, just looking around.  Maybe fifty people hanging around in there chewing the fat.  A lady running the place came up, introduced herself, showed us around.  Full of enthusiasm, got more programs going on than you could shake a stick at.  Even computers, computer instruction.

I asked about chess.  “We don’t have a chess program, but we can!  You can be the first one to get it started!”  Turns out they have a couple of exercise machines, too.  ping-pong table’s next door at the ‘regular people [read upwardly mobile SUV driving, tofu eating] living in Lenexa. 

Well, they ain’t new, and they ain’t as close as the brand spanking new shiny Olathe Community Center full of water sports and rosy-cheeked mamas with healthy white kids screaming their heads off.  But if I’m around here a while and decide to do anything senior citizen-wise, I have a feeling I’ll either try out Lenexa or go another few miles out and do it in a place where they still have real people driving 15-year-old pickups.

If such places still exist. 

Might even swing over into Missouri, where they remember what Jayhawk meant back when it actually meant something.  Lots of little towns over that way still no further than this from the VA Medical Center.  I’m betting they have senior citizen centers, too.

Not to say it’s a big item for me.  I honestly don’t like senior citizens all that much.  Too opinionated, though not as bad as younger people.  But old folks tend to be fairly obnoxious, on the whole.  I don’t blame Olathe Parks and Recreation Department for trying to forget they exist.  Old bastards need to check in at the Emergency Room down at the City Morgue.

 Old Jules

11 responses to “Community ‘Personalities’

  1. Don’t tell me. Five years ago our local Council sold our seniors club to a property developer. To date the developer has sat on the land watching the old building collapse around him. And the irony is that the bus stop outside still officially bears the club’s name. And all this is in one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the world – London. You will not be surprised to hear that our district is over-run with SUV’s – or Chelsea Tractors as we call them.

  2. Maybe Olathe’s supervisory officials just forgot about having a senior center – forgetfulness can be expected of people who’ve been in office too long.

  3. I can’t complain about a shortage of senior centres around here. Seems there’s one on every other corner. I don’t go there myself because they’re all old people. I mean o.l.d. Older than me. 😀 I’m too young for them.

  4. Senior Centers are important to a community, but I agree with some of my friends that there are really OLD people there. They think and move like old people. I go for some special events but don’t want to capture their mindset.

    • Hi Bev: When I get OLD I’m figuring on them still being too old for me. But I’ve been vaccinated against the infection you’re referring to. I can be around young people without becoming young, old people without becoming old, medium yeared people without becoming medium yeared my ownself. It’s something I had to do or spend all my time fiipping around between ages. Gracias, J

  5. Ah, now Jules, you know we are all getting older by the day. Just not all of us take on the old mentality and take the bait hook line and sinker that aarp puts out for those of the golden years. The local center has people that have time to go. Something I don’t have. Life is too short for going there for meals I can’t even stand. If you aren’t sick or diabetic this center will make you one if you eat their meals 5 days a week. Meals at the one in Farmington are much better and they serve 400-500 compared to 50-100 daily. Guess we’ll just have to look for places to hang out more to our liking. My garden and the barn yard with all my chickens, ducks and geese along with the 18 year old tom cat one would never guess is that old are preferable to me. Blessings, Mary

    • Hi Mary: The competition for our presence just rises every day, every day. Won’t be long before they’re sneaking in trying to abduct us just to have the serenity that comes with our presence. Gracias, J

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s