Last Thursday’s Mill Street Loft program at the Vassar-Warner home — a mobile-making project with spring as its theme — reinforced for me why I’ve liked working with the residents here. In addition to being so open and appreciative, they share lots of laughs. Their humor is all the more remarkable for its appearance amidst frailty, cognitive decline, and physical ailments. Does the art making help these seniors transcend their challenges, or does it mostly attract those who already have that propensity? I suspect it’s some of both.

Perhaps I should do more research with Rose, who’ll turn 100 in three years. When Donna, Vassar-Warner’s activities supervisor, asked how she anticipated celebrating her centennial birthday, she replied with a grin: “By standing on my head.” Rose, btw, completed stage one of her mobile before anyone else.

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(l-r): Mike, Rose, and Joan admire Rose’s mobile efforts.

Judy would definitely have something to say. If she wasn’t a stand-up comedian in her younger days, she was surely one in a previous lifetime. As she was choosing 4 pieces of clip art to trace for her mobile, I asked if she wanted to use any clouds. “Clowns?” she replied. “I thought you said ‘clowns.’” We both agreed that between her and me, we didn’t need any more.

Or we could do a focus group. Remember the names that were given to last week’s collages, Sunny Garden, Flower in the City, Rose’s Rose, Shiny Sparkle, Two Flowers in My Garden? Mike’s fellow students titled his mobile, whose meticulously cut shapes had yet to be assembled for display, Wait and Wonder.

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This mobile received one big, unanimous “Ahhhhhh, that’s soooooo sweeeeeet!”

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