Monday, August 11, 2008

One Little Question

It is show time again. Quite a bit goes on in the arts community in Denton. For the performing groups, this means being creative when it comes to finding adequate rehearsal space. Several local venues have been gracious in allowing us to use their facilities. Tonight we were in a new place, our local senior citizens' center.

When we moved to Denton back in the eighties, all of the Chamber of Commerce information about Denton touted it as a great place for both young people, because of our two local universities, and older people, because of available services to seniors, to live. Back then, as a young graduate student, I didn't pay much attention to what our city had to offer for its older citizens. Now that information seems a little more relevant.

Rehearsal began at 7 pm. As I entered the building, there were twelve or fifteen senior citizens gathered in a sitting area chatting and watching TV. They all seemed to be enjoying the company of one another. I made my way to the multi-purpose room to set our makeshift stage. It is a wonderful room with lots of space to work. While the costumer measured some of the actors, I wandered around the building just to see what was there. I must say that I was impressed.

There was a room with two pool tables, a library that works on the honor system, a gym area with treadmills and exercise bikes, and a cafeteria that serves lunch daily. I also looked at the bulletin board listing all of the upcoming events. Trips are being offered to local baseball games, to Southfork Ranch, to the Texas State Fair, to the casino just across the Oklahoma border, and to some local museums. These are some busy people! And if travelling about is not your thing, the center offers many classes right there on the premises - conversational Spanish, computer literacy, tap dancing, self defense, and belly dancing. They seem to try and find something for everyone.

The physical building is also well laid out for people who may be using walkers or in wheel chairs. Much of the space is open and the rooms that do have doors have extra wide ones. All of the hallways are lined with railings much like those that are found in hospitals, thus making it easy for those who may be a little unsteady on their feet to make their way through the building.

It is not surprising to me that every stall in the ladies' room was a handicapped friendly stall. There was one thing, however, about the restroom that was a bit puzzling to me. Why did they have sanitary napkin and tampon dispensers on the wall? Surely there must be some justice in the world. When I am old enough to enjoy all the benefits that our senior citizens' center has to offer, I better not need to be carrying a quarter for one of those machines "just in case"!

Other than that, the golden years in Denton aren't looking half bad.