SEATTLE — Local seniors throw birthday lunch for 100 year old.
Bob Dreisbach has long been the "go to guy" for poisons -- he wrote the definitive guide for antidotes, used round the world by physicians, nurses, and medics. His book is in its 13th printing.
But Bob doesn't want to talk about what can kill you - he wants to share what keeps him feeling alive: "Dancing, I just love it. You have to keep doing what you love!"
The well-weathered faces around him nod, as they take bites of the cake that Bob just cut. The one saying "Happy 100th, Bob!"
He's surrounded by his peers, active and able, singing him "Happy birthday," and dishing a dose of trash talk.
"I'm not nearly 100," Melvin says with a sly smile in Bob's direction. "I'm only 95."
There are about 80 seniors gathered in this modest room in Lake City, for a milestone birthday that was almost robbed of the celebration they're enjoying. That's because Lake City has no senior center, despite it's growing senior population. No place for the most seasoned among us to connect.
"If we don't associate with other people, then we're dead in the water," says 92-year old JoDean White, who is very much alive in her sparkly pink sweater.
They're afloat with the boost of Hunger Intervention Program. It covers the cost of two lunches a week. But volunteers have to set up, cook, clean, and serve. And most of them are seniors themselves.
93-year old T.W. rides the bus two hours to get here, so he can set the tables. T.W. says it's not a burden - it's an opportunity, "If I don't volunteer, I just sit at home, count my fingers, count my toes," he says as he lays down a napkin.
He and dozens of others can still contribute and connect. JoDean can sparkle. Melvin can tell his World War Two battle stories. T.W. can count forks instead of toes. And Bob can cut his cake - and a rug.
After volunteers clear away the lunch tables, he'll start showing his moves. "Dancing ... oh it's everything," he says with a broad smile, "It makes your brain work, makes your social skills work, makes your physical skills work. It does everything." 100 times over.
Hunger Intervention Programs wants to expand to five lunches per week. If you'd like to get involved, you can find information here.
After the Aurora Bridge crash, people in our area jumped into action, donating hotel rooms, blood, prayers, challenging Seattleites' reputation for being chilly (the "Seattle Freeze"). It inspired me to pass along stories of when we see people in the community coming together, or what I call #SeattleAntifreeze. If you know a story that should be told, let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more stories, click on #SeattleAntifreeze.
Cox Media Group