The headline “Free meals program needs financial boost” was accurate and the contents of the article was correct. But the picture of my friends eating lunch at the Olympia Senior Center under the “free lunch headline” gave a wrong impression. As people check in there’s cash drop box and a sign indicating a range of payment from $3 to $6. Some of us pay the maximum or more. Many members of the senior center are financially secure and make contributions. We participate in senior center’s activities because as you age (I’m 84) options for achievement, creativity and socializing shrink.
For example, 40 years ago whenever I auditioned for a part at Olympia Little Theater, I was usually cast. During the past 15 years auditioning for older roles, I have been passed over for younger men. Memorizing lines does become more difficult as you age, but the Readers Theater at the senior center gives us aging thespians a chance to create a performance piece and present to a receptive audience. Also, though I’ve never before been a rock and roll fan, I’m now thoroughly enjoying singing and performing with the Forever Young Rock and Roll Chorus. These and many other activities also provide the opportunity for friendship and an escape from isolation and the TV. The program needs donations from private individuals who -- face it now! -- will someday themselves be grateful for these wonderful services and staff.