Saturday, May 19, 2012


     Keeping true to the original mission established by Turnvater Jahn, A Sound Mind in a Sound Body, we here in Los Angeles understand that this mission covers all ages, not just youth. To go forward with that mission we recently opened the doors and of our beautiful new home for the 2012 Mayfest for Older Americans. Service agencies covering assisted living, money management, and health care joined the Los Angeles city Department of Aging, the California DMV Department for Older Drivers, The Alzheimer's Association and many others in presenting their services to the almost 100 Westchester residents who responded to the invitation.

I got to MC and briefly introduce ourselves to neighbors who had not yet visited us. Turn Lehrer Mesfin Felleke followed with a discussion about why oldsters should exercise - even debunking the 5 great myths about why we shouldn't. My favorite debunked myth was "we're old-what difference does it make?" Mesfin then got us all up and we followed along remembering his instruction to "do this only to the extent of your ability." Some even did as much as they could while remaining seated.

     Panelists that followed included Department of Aging and the DMV. A Factoid: Many accidents involving seniors as well as those close encounters titled "what's the matter with that old (expletive deleted)-can't he/she see where they’re going" could be eliminated by simply fitting your car better. Yes, that's right. Think about it. As we age we change shape for many reasons. That car we bought several years ago was lovely, we had good visibility, no bad blind spots and we could reach the pedals easily. Today, with less butt, bad posture, loss of bone mass, impaired neck movement as well as other obnoxious perks of aging, the car no longer fits. DMV has an ap for that! Many adjustments can be made - sit on a pillow, reposition the seat, move the mirrors. We all learned many things.

     The last speaker was Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles City Councilman from our 11th District,. His personal comments about age and illness were exceptionally meaningful and very poignant.  He even joked about removable teeth. Getting more serious, the panelists were acknowledged and given recognition for their continuing support for our growing older adult community. Mesfin Felleke was honored with a Citation for his contribution in keeping us mobile.

     Then, the Los Angeles Turners - a fixture here in Los Angeles since 1871 - were recognized for our contribution in making Los Angeles a better place in which to live. It was difficult for me to hold back tears as I accepted the document on behalf of members present and past. Thank you - we hope to continue in the meaningful mission established so long ago and more important today than ever before.

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