We ended the month of June at the senior center with a few surprises.

Since our president, Diane West, had so many announcements last week she had not recognized those of us with June birthdays, so that was done on Wednesday the 25th along with the birthday song. Marilyn Montoya and her daughter joined us for lunch.

It had been well over a year since we’d seen Marilyn — she suffered two strokes and has had medical problems.

While she was pleased to be back with us, Marilyn had heard that Billy Troy was our entertainment and that got her back to us.

Also, Ron Wilson who has made a quilt to be part of our donation toward the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging Aug. 20 Walkathon Fundraiser made each of us a patriotic quilted square coaster.

At first some people thought each place had been saved but the surprise was we all got a lovely coaster. Thanks, Ron.

Billy Troy grew up in Nashville and was part of the Grand Ole Opry. He knew and was friends with many famous entertainers and put on a fantastic show.

His music selections were old Country western tunes that we knew well but had not heard in a long time.

His knowledge of the songs and their history added to our enjoyment and of course we enjoyed singing along.

Billy started with a Roger Miller song, then did Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”, Don Schlitz’s “The Gambler” and June Carter’s “Ring of Fire” plus others.

The background he shared made the show most interesting as we might not have been familiar with the writer but certainly remembered the songs and artists that recorded them. Prior to working with the Merry Makers, Billy was Entertainment Director at Ameristar Casino.

Thanks to Ila Hossler, our program coordinator for scheduling great monthly entertainment.

The Saint Gerald Friends on Q senior group had its monthly event that same evening.

The event was a movie night, which was planned and organized by Kathy Goodman. The movie, “The Green Book,” was excellent.

There was a good turnout, members enjoyed hot dogs with condiments, popcorn and candy bars. The planned events for the remainder of the year sound like fun, the list can be found on the church events page of this newspaper.

We started the month of July at the senior center all ready to celebrate. Most of us were wearing red, white and blue and our tables were all decorated complete with Fourth of July napkins.

Since it was the first Wednesday, our nurse was there thanks to our anonymous donor.

Diane Walters reported that we had collected $79.50 for the Stephen Center for the month of July, making our year to date total $376.60.

That same evening was Picnic in the Park. It’s always a fun evening to enjoy the food, music and visit with friends and neighbors. Lots of people were pleased to see Jo Kowal, who recently moved to Fountainview, made it back for the picnic.

It was the first time at the picnic for Marilyn and Larry Dyer and Tom and Carolyn Sullivan. Bev Sadler had been busy making her delicious sloppy Joes which were served along with chili dogs, nachos and various chips.

There were 15 varieties of pies to choose from for dessert along with ice cream, brownies or cookies. I decided on the cherry raspberry pie while Grace Engelmann chose the peach and her niece Marsha Jensen had the triple berry. Larry Dyer enjoyed his strawberry rhubarb, which he said he had not had since he was a kid.

The next day was the Fourth of July, always a fun day in Ralston. Becky Uhe attended the parade with her sister. The Dyers got together with family to enjoy it.

I had a great spot partly in the shade and tried a new parking spot which turned out to be the best yet. There were groups passing out candy, bracelets and coupons.

I got a “Be Kind” bracelet and bumper sticker from the Ralston High School marchers. The next morning I discovered my car doesn’t have a bumper anymore so I put it in the back window.

I had passed on the candy until a cute little boy walking by thought I should have some and put a handful of individually wrapped Life Savers in my lap. They are now in my candy dish on the coffee table.

Fifty seniors from Ralston House enjoyed their Fourth of July cookout. Michelle grilled the hamburgers and everyone brought a side dish to share.

Later they all enjoyed the fantastic fireworks display.

Helen Savich said some of the older ladies chose to watch them from inside the air conditioned senior center while others had a great vantage point from right outside of Ralston House.

Thank you for all your comments and input. You know how to reach me.

— Janet Rentko is a member of the

Ralston Senior Center.

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