This is a year of celebration. The brilliant idea of a special newspaper for the senior population began thirty years ago! It is still so well known as Seniors Today.
I was in my 27th year of working for the local newspaper and things were beginning to take shape in the beautiful town of Daytona Beach. Each summer, we had the London Symphony Orchestra performing many times at Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach Shores had become a city with its own fire department and city hall… offering quicker response when a need arose. Port Orange was now a city and growth there and throughout the area was fantastic.
After years of racing on the beach, Daytona International Speedway was built on what we called Volusia Avenue. Later, the name of the avenue was changed to Daytona International Speedway Boulevard and extended all the way to DeLand.
At the beginning of September, I had a heart attack, was saved, and decided to retire. The word retire was way too soon for me so I began doing other things… mostly writing. Next thing I knew, I was sharing all kinds of information with the new Seniors Today! It was (and is) printed every two weeks.
I was called to do an interview concerning the new Hospice. It was so special. Most every wonderful door, spa, picture, etc. in the building was a work of art or a healthy donation from an area resident who knew the importance of this new service.
I was used to arriving and talking with only one person when going to an interview. That day, when I arrived, more than a dozen involved persons were gathered around the long table to greet me. Wow! It was a very special half hour. Then we took a tour.
When touring the building, I saw no office on the first floor. I was told each of the residents ‘homes’ were there and easily accessible for visits by the families. Offices were above, on the next floor… with windows where the work force could see and know if something was needed. Each room number plaque was different as well as the room itself. With no specific duplication, each resident had their own special home.
Before I left there, I had seen so much artistic beauty and craftsmanship and met the loving, caring group from Hospice.
During this time, my husband had taken a serious fall from a ladder onto concrete and never really got over it. One day Seniors Today asked me to go interview the original planners and the administrator of Emory L. Bennett Veterans Nursing Home. That was another very special day. I had never before known of ELBM but, while there, I committed it to memory. My husband was a veteran and perhaps someday he would need more care.
Seniors Today wanted me to be a regular writer for the paper, though sending me out to interview someone didn’t happen every day. One day, the owner asked me to do a regular article, unassigned as an interview.
I agreed. Then she said, “What would you like to call it?”
I had no idea and said, “You Name It.”
She said, “That would be fine.”
So another twenty-seven years or more began. Very easy… part-time work.
When husband, John, could no longer be cared for at home, following a broken hip replacement, he was accepted at ELBM. While checking him in, I noticed they still had my front page article, that was done for Seniors Today, at the front desk. (It stayed until the year Obama became president and his picture replaced it).
From November, 2002 to March, 2003, John received excellent care. However, it was his turn to (as some of the vets say) to go upstairs. We still miss him so much.
I continued to go to ELBM as a Saturday volunteer and doing their newsletter. It was a wonderful experience. All that, but I never stopped writing for Seniors Today!
Happy 30th Anniversary to the loving group of caring and sharing people, in-cluding friends, Bonnie and Bonnie at Seniors Today!
Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.