Typing in the pool room
Whenever my computer gives me problems, I sometimes go to the local library. But since it has a daily computer limit of 60 minutes, I often go to another place where time seems to be put on the back burner (in more ways than one) — the Ballou Park Senior Center in Danville.
There, the computer room is actually part of the “pool room,” and by that I don’t mean swimming, since humidity to the point of “liquidity” is no friend to electronics.
The kind of “pool” of which I speak is the kind which Professor Harold Hill stated was the beginning of the road to perdition in the Broadway Musical, “The Music Man.” I think his judgement of the game was a little harsh, because if these senior practitioners of billiards are on the road to perdition, then they are the most gentlemanly men on that path whom I’ve run across. (This wording makes it sound like I’m going that way too.)
Only a partition separates the computers from the men playing pool. When the cue ball strikes, it strikes with such force and volume as to make the computer user (one not accustomed) almost jump like a deer during deer-hunting season.
The men become quite loud in their play. Each takes his turn in poking fun at the pool prowess of another, with none left out from being a “poker” or a “pokee” (nothing to do with the goofy Facebook terminology). It is all done in good-natured fun, and I’ve yet to hear a curse, which would probably be the case if I were listening to the same game being played by the young men of today.
Speaking of “young men,” that’s what these men sound like! In their love of life and the fellowship of each other, they are like a rejuvenating antioxidant, adding days, months, even years to each other’s lives.
A young lady teaching a computer class had to ask them to “hold it down” one day so she could do her job. Without a gripe, their decibel level dropped immediately.
When one of the ladies in the office gives these “seasoned” billiards-playing men the “five-minute warning” at 4:55, I hear “Yes ma’am,” just as I heard at Granite Quarry School years ago.
Sometimes while typing, I hear singing from the choir of seniors downstairs. Female voices predominate, just as at church, but in that senior center predominance, longevity may also be a factor.
Years ago, my late wife Diane and I gave a musical program of song and piano at a senior center in Salisbury to which my mother belonged. After the finishing of each song, my young daughter Rachel shouted out, “What’s next dad?”
One time, we performed for a Sunday morning service at the Yadkin House, where my mother spent her last years. I remember the upright piano upon which were stacked all of the hymnals of the denominations of Rowan County. That group of seniors in the recreation room that morning comprised their own “Yadkin House Denomination.”
Since I don’t have a printer at home, I also stop by the senior center to make a hard copy of my columns, just in case the internet totally crashes forever someday.
If a previous printer user has pushed “print” with nothing being produced, that request is often granted later when another person tries to print something.
One day, upon pressing “print,” 20 pages of Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” mysteriously came forth from the printer. When I pushed again, 30 pages on the “prostate” steadily rolled out (a seemingly bigger mystery than the first).
Everyone seems to be having a good time at the senior center, with the possible exception of the man who tried to print off that “book” about the prostate.
So there I was, faced with a decision. Would I read the 20 pages of “The Prophet” or the 30 pages regarding the prostate’s health, what could go wrong with it, etc.
I decided to read “The Prophet” and let the doctor “read” my prostate (which, fortunately, can now be achieved with the taking of a little blood).
For the third consecutive year, the Community Care Clinic has received a grant to cover dental supplies for an entire... read more