... there's no place like the Senior Center
The Milano Senior Center was busy and buzzing on December17th during the winter holiday season. Multi conversations mingled and rose toward the ceiling as over 60 diners at eight round tables sipped their soup, sliced their beef and savored their dainty, but elegant, eclair.
A wrapped gift at every setting later proved to be a pound of fancy, famous-name chocolates, also called "ooo-yummy" by all present.
T.Berger, H.French, B.Sullivan Donna
The poinsettia centerpieces on the dining tables complimented the elegantly decorated fir tree in the corner. Each branch did its happy part by holding its share of 150 glistening ornaments hung there by Susan Krasco and her staff of one - Mike McDonough. Silver menorahs on the walls were also reminders of an additional festive celebration season.
Millie Ciampa and guest R.Baker, L.Frio, G.Marchand
Jack Beckley, Executive Director, introduced State Representative Mike Festa who spoke briefly about holidays and brotherhood and accepted the invitation to conduct a ticket drawing which produced three lucky winners.
R.and B.Wadland H.Restall, R.DeVeau and guest
Four members of the American Guild of Variety Artists provided a superb show which opened with Dorothy Stratton, Emcee, singing "Feliz Navidad" then sustaining the pleasure of the audience with songs and short, witty stories.
Next, Robin Allison kept the audience in a state of delight with her beautiful voice and her hip-slapper story about a Scotsman, his kilt and his blue ribbon. She also changed the introduction to her closing song, "Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas...and Hanukkah."
The spirit in this room on West Foster Street was at the most hilarious and highest caliber by the time Muriel White in a holiday red pantsuit belted out "Life Is A Cabaret." Her jokes were new and hilariously funny, especially (in my opinion) the one about the husband that suggests his wife iron her see-through nightie - "it's so wrinkled."
P.Johnson, D.Pearl, J.Smith Muriel White, J.Smith
She selected Joe Smith in the second row to get acquainted with, flirt with, joke about and sing together. Their costumes consisted of a feather boa for her and a long black, curly wig for him. Our Joe stole the show with her talent and his charm!
As a change of pace, the audience, which Muriel White held firmly in the palm of her show-biz hand, joined her in singing a rousing "God Bless America."
With all this first-rate, first-class entertainment filling the senior audience to the brim, and then some, Bill St.Laurent sat at his piano and accompanied these professionals for well over an hour. After only brief pre-production instructions from them, he played the different songs and styles to perfection. With his golden globe talent at remaining in the background and producing a star in the spotlight, the show exuded terrific timing and talent.
N. Thomson, Donna D.Stratton,R.Allison,
M. White, B.StLaurent
The excitement and rejuvenation were calmed as another musical mood was nourished by Dorothy Stratton singing "O, Holy Night" as only a beautiful and talented soprano can. It was an ending to a completely pleasant and special afternoon which marked the start of a happy holiday hurrah!
Photos by Ella Letterie and Shirley Rabb
January 2, 2004