Old People Are Cool!

16 Aug

A while ago I wrote a post about how my husband and I went dancing at the local senior center. You can read it here.

Well, now I am getting to spend some time with a bunch of old people and realizing, again, just how much fun they are. Last time we went dancing I was taught the simpler parts of the two-step by a gentleman in his late eighties.

Guess what?

He wore me out!

Some of the cool things about him?

He had been a train engineer!

He was fired 3 times by new managers, then hired back almost immediately to be introduced to the newer manager who had taken the place of the guy who had fired him. All 3 times!

In his younger days he attended a dance hall that had been converted out of an old air craft hanger. There were hundreds of couples there every night. He really lit up when he remembered dancing with one of the girls he knew back then. Said they were so good they cleared the floor. Everyone just stood back and watched them go.

He had spent the last decade caring for his wife who had a stroke that long ago. He finally got up the nerve to go to the senior center dance 6 months after she passed.


Another gentleman I met recently has some equally cool stories.

He had been in the Army Core of Engineers. Not trains, building stuff! He was part of the military that landed first, set up infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc), and then kept things going while everyone around them was fighting!

He had been a bull rider in the rodeo! Says bulls were one thing, but those broncos scared the tar out of him.

He spent over a decade caring for a debilitated wife, getting one real afternoon off a month. That was when one of her daughters came half-way across the state to sit with her mother for an afternoon while he did wild and crazy things like grocery shopping and pay bills.

We’ve told him about how much the senior center dances are. He’s all kinds of excited about dancing and a live band.


Then there’s the retired doctor I met a few weeks back.

He’d been in practice when it was still normal for a country doctor to make house calls.

He and his wife got bored one day, quit their jobs, and took a motorcycle trip from Washington state all the way down to Mexico and back. Sleeping on beaches all along the way.

He’d been raised on a dairy farm, but the moment he learned about the comforts of town life, he moved and never looked back. Said if he ever again picked up a pitch fork it would be too soon.

Come to think of it, he also cared for his wife after she became ill.

(Wow! When these men promised ‘in sickness and in health’ they really meant it!)


These men have been around the world a couple times each! They spent time in foreign countries, learning cultures, languages, and different ways of getting things done. Most of them have had more than one career, and are trained in all kinds of things. They are just waiting to have someone listen long enough for them to get one of their many stories told (and boy do they have some doosies!).


Stories aren’t just in books and movies. Everyone has a tale to tell. You can hear those stories for the simple price of a senior center dance, or a couple cups of coffee.

Before long you will realize that the old saying is very true.

Truth is stranger than fiction.

*            *            *



4 Responses to “Old People Are Cool!”

  1. missdefianze August 16, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    Oh how I wish there was a senior center around here after reading this post! I have heard some stories myself and boy oh boy they grip your soul and you cant stop listening. I hope that when im as old as them I too will have brilliant soul gripping stories to tell!


    • rosedandrea August 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

      Lots of good stories to tell is one of my goals for old age as well. 🙂
      I am enjoying these Friday night dances. Those guys can sure cut a rug. Tonight I only got to sit out two dances! My feet are killing me, but I wouldn’t have said no if you’d paid me. 😀


  2. lucindasutherland August 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    I loved reading this. I want to hear more about those fascinating people! More! More!


    • rosedandrea August 16, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      There will probably be more pretty soon. I just found out tonight that the retired train engineer had also been in the service. I think he said he’d been in the National Guard for a while, then signed up with one of the larger branches.

      Lonnie and a few old gentlemen got to talking during the snack break about the places they’d been and all the trouble they’d raised. It was kind of strange watching the rest of the long table go quiet as everyone started listening in. lol


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