How do you get to Dayton Place? That was the first thing I asked Valerie Herder when she invited me to entertain at Morningstar, Dayton Place. Then, the silly stuff took over my brain and my inner self said, “Well first, you have to be retired! Second, you have to be looking for a wonderful retirement place to live, ho ho.”
It all kind of reminds me of the one about the kid in New York City who needed directions to Carnegie Hall. Soon he asked a stranger for the best way to get to Carnegie Hall and the mans reply was, “practice son, practice!” I know that’s an old joke but maybe that’s the best I can offer today.
The answer to the question of course is, Morningstar Dayton Place is located in SE Denver not far from So Parker Road and Jewell Ave. It’s a good sized facility with accommodations for approximately 200. I don’t quite know how that splits out in Independent living, Assisted living, and Memory Care but it’s a lot of minds to keep busy! To be an activities coordinator for all this is a big job and although I know Valerie has assistants to help out, her duties make her one busy, busy lady. Obviously, a place like this has a multitude of options for the residents in their entertainment scheduling and no doubt the bingo cards get a daily workout, but I have trouble keeping me entertained so I have a hard time comprehending what it must it be like when you’re trying to put a daily schedule together for 200 retirees!
The day I showed up to entertain, they first had me in a small but comfortable room off the main dining room playing for the folks in assisted living. These may be assisted living folks but it’s a pretty sharp crew of assisted living folks! Since getting everyone involved has always been a theory of mine, questions about bygone days are always good, and it follows that sometimes even dumb questions are OK as long as folks have an idea where you’re going with your dumb questions! Sometimes, if you frame them right, people will give you a pretty good insight as to how old they are and what they really remember. Don’t ask what folks back then traded those green stamp books for, if you don’t want to hear the answers!
Suddenly, an hour has flown by and you have to tell your brand new friends that you’ll come back another day. After the goodbyes, you pack up and head across the large courtyard to set up and play for all the Independent living folks. The format is usually somewhat the same but this time you lead off with something really intelligent like, “Who’s gonna win the Super Bowl?” The answers are usually as varied as the opinions and there’s no shortage of either one! People love to be entertained but many times they love to have the opportunity to offer their own two cents worth as well! It’s no surprise that another hour of entertaining goes by in a flash and soon you’re down to wondering out loud whether or not the Governor of New Jersey is a Bronco fan and whether he’ll shut down traffic on the George Washington bridge during the Super Bowl if he isn’t?!
Tonight, I’ll tell the man upstairs thanks for throwing good fortune my way and allowing me to meet Valerie Herder and all the great residents at Morningstar Dayton Place. I’ll also ask if I should make one of my special, super dooper, 2000 calorie “Dagwood Bumstead” sandwiches and send it to the Governor of New Jersey as a peace offering to make sure he gives the Broncos safe passage and they get to the Super Bowl safe and sound. The rest of it, I’ll leave up to Peyton and the guys. GOOOOOOO Broncos!
As usual send me your comments and critiques. I’ll be sure to read them all and use any that I can.
Posted by All Around Seniors at 1/29/2014 5:39 AM