2007-09-27 / News

The Senior Times

By Charlotte Richardson

Don't forget to come on down to the senior center for our seminar on 'Protecting Your Nest Egg' on Saturday, Sept.29, beginning at 1 p.m. There will a great deal of pertinent information on how to be prepared for your future. We'll be looking for you.

Members of the Jamestown Senior Center Watercolor Group thoroughly enjoyed their session on Sept. 20, as they took part in the filming of the "First Face," a production which will be aired nationally on PBS at some point in the not too distant future. "First Face" is a story about the famous artist Gilbert Stuart who painted the well-known 'unfinished portrait' of George Washington, which appears on the US one-dollar bills. The class task was to create a finish to the picture in any way they saw fit. Taking part in the painting were George Berglund, Mary Fiegelman, Shirley Long, Frances Mackabee, Barbara Pritchard and Charlotte Richardson. Two very large poster boards bore pre-affixed replicas of the famous painting with plenty of space for the students to go to work. Both groups chose patriotic themes about our freedoms and our debt to those early Americans who first set us free, led by George Washington. One showed a representation of our colonial flag, its stripes and stars and a rendition of the Liberty Bell; the other depicted the Western Hemisphere of the planet Earth joined with Europe and the British Isles, with a bridge representing the early immigration of Europeans to the new world. It was great fun and we learned that many groups from all walks of life had participated in various locations, and all of the renditions will be on exhibition at Boston Common in October. Plans are in place for a trip to view them.

Gilbert Stuart's unfinished portrait of George Washington. Gilbert Stuart's unfinished portrait of George Washington. The film crew included a current Jamestowner, Elizabeth Delude- Dix, producer and independent filmmaker; a former Jamestowner, Jim Wolpaw, an academy award nominee film maker; and Michelle Le Bran, who operated the camera. It was quite exciting and a great time was had by all.

Baseball player Yogi Berra once said, 'It's like deja-vu all over again!' And it's very clear - Jamestowners have no doubts - they have repeatedly chosen to live in a rural and pastoral community - they said so in a survey in the 80s - they said so at a Financial Town Meeting called for the purpose of purchasing the Golf Course, also in the 80s - about 375 voters (which included a great many seniors) said so again at a Financial Town Meeting on Sept. 18 when they voted, without dissent, to float the bond to purchase the development rights to two island farms, thus preserving hundreds of acres. In both instances, the voters shouted aye in a roar that will echo in the walls of the gym forever. Throughout the great campaign of the Conanicut Island Land Trust, the cows have spoken as well, convincing us to preserve and protect the pasturelands forever - a wise and commendable choice!

Baseball player Satchel Paige once said, 'Don't look back something might be sneaking up on you' - and he nailed it, too, because something has been sneaking up on us for quite some time - the threat of over-development, certainly a major threat on a small island. Consider the alternatives - more schools, more need for sewage disposal, and the age-old need for more water, more roads, more traffic on existing roads, more and more and more houses - and it's the development dilemma that would raise taxes way higher than the cost of preserving pasturelands. When you take into consideration the awesome alternatives, Jamestowners can be very proud of their conservation and preservation decisions, past and present. .

Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association (BLMA) recently held its annual meeting, which was very well attended. Many seniors are very active in the association and are diligently working on the pressing need to preserve the historical site of the third oldest lighthouse in the USA - Beavertail Lighthouse. It is probably the premiere attraction for visitors who come to the island, and adds much to Jamestown's economy with the myriad of paintings, post cards and memorabilia that are purchased by visitors, not only at the light, but in the downtown stores as well. People come from around the world to visit, and one of the most recent counts was approximately 22,000 in one summer. It is expected that the lighthouse will soon be excessed by the USCG and when that happens, a plan is in place to open the museum gift shop daily from June to Labor Day, as well as weekends only in June and until Columbus Day in October. Take a trip down there before this season ends and have a look at the many items that are just right for gift giving. You'll find some of seniors volunteering and very willing to tell you about the lighthouse, its past and its future. and it may be that most of those who volunteer their time and effort are seniors.

When you stop and think about it - our community depends a great deal on its seniors, as well as its future seniors. We are everywhere - on the Town Council, on the Planning Board, in the town workforce, on oodles of town committees; working and volunteer members of untold numbers of community projects - caring, concerned and taking active parts in every facet of activity that comprises the quality of life in Jamestown. The Senior Watercolor Group meets weekly on Thursday mornings in Pemberton Apartments community room, and are thoroughly enjoying their painting experience in that great space. The once bare walls of the room and the entrance hall are now decorated with framed paintings by members of the group and are very pleasing to look at. Stop by and have a look! Senior Center bingo players find pleasure in the recreational (no-profit) bingo games on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, also at Pemberton - nobody gets rich on their winnings - but everyone has fun! Seniors run for, and are elected, to office or appointed by other seniors to serve on committees and boards. Seniors are active, upbeat, dependable and knowledgeable, and can be proud of what they do! A community that enjoys the efforts and accomplishments of its senior community is a fortunate community indeed! Go seniors!

Return to top