Daily photo by Gary Lloyd|
Performing with members of the Golden Age Rhythm Band at the open house of Owens Senior Center on Tuesday are, from left, Naomi Key, Gladys Nelson, Kathleen Carr and Betty Turner.
Celebration marks opening of Owens Senior Center
By Holly Hollman
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OWENS — The bucket of a backhoe held iced-down colas.
Desserts covered any open space on the folding tables.
Steam rose from the goat, turkey and chicken stews simmering in kettles on butane burners.
And 87-year-old Mary Gordon was looking for a game of Rook.
"Me and my husband used to win trophies for Rook all the time," Gordon said during Tuesday's open house for the Owens Senior Center on Alabama 99, west of Athens. "Work would let me take off to bowl or play Rook on my lunch break."
That was back when Gordon's husband, Henry, was still living and the couple was going to the Pleasant Point Community Center.
Gordon lost her husband 15 years ago and lost the center in 2004 when it closed due to dangerous conditions.
Gordon had attended the Pleasant Point center since she was 65 years old.
The center was in a 1905 school building that had plastic grocery bags stuffed into cracks between the floor and wall. The roof swayed and the floor bucked.
Local and state officials got $232,000 in grant money to build a senior center in Owens to replace it. The county bought the five acres on Alabama 99 for $50,000.
"I miss the old place, but this one is nice," Gordon said. "I can't go as much because it's hard for me to get into the van, but I come to the special events."
Tuesday's open house drew Gordon and a multitude that came to eat lunch, listen to bluegrass and fellowship.
"This is what can happen when elected officials work together," said Limestone County District 4 Commissioner Bill Daws.
Commission Chairman David Seibert said the commission wants to "cover the county" with such centers if it can get more grants.
The center not only will serve as a place for seniors to socialize but also will have electrical generators to serve the community during natural disasters such as ice storms. The community also can rent the facility.
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