Dan O’Connor: Carson City Senior Follies bring happy days

So there I was driving down the road Saturday morning heading off for breakfast. That’s when I heard it announced on the radio. Uncle Willie just came out with a new song. I refer to Willie Nelson as my uncle being that we are all part of the one big family of man. Anyhow, what surprised me so much was that Willie may have stolen my favorite theme.

I like to greet friends and neighbors when I’m out on my early morning walk with, “Great day in the morning, neighbor. I woke alive today.” Willy’s new song starts with, “I woke up still not dead today. The internet said I had passed away.”

The previous night I had gone to see the 20th yearly production of the Carson City Senior Follies. At the opening and closing of the show the entire cast, (I counted 28), came on the stage and performed a rousing rendition of “Happy Days.” In between the opening and closing, the show was packed with joy, laughter and frivolity; these things have got to be the spice of life, I would say.

In what has become normal day-to-day life for a lot of older people, it sadly often appears these ingredients are missing. Aches, pains, loneliness and inactivity are conditions that plague many retirees. Doctor’s appointments, listening to their friends complain about their maladies and the general bad news and trouble of the world on TV; these are more than enough to bring anyone down.

So it was such a thrill to see the flip side for a change; happiness, humor, song and dance routines being put on by 70, 80 and 90-year-olds. There was a 90-year-old man who stood on stage and sang a song that everyone liked and applauded.

At the show’s end, the MC praised all the cast and staff for their hard work and dedication. Four months plus of preparations and rehearsals went into their creation. It was a fundraiser for Meals and Wheels, a very worthy and needed service. There was a great turnout for the three performances over the weekend.

The MC explained they all did it for free, for the seniors and to benefit the community. But I know different. They did it for themselves and their friends to act, perform, create and come alive again, to feel the blood flow through their veins and hear the great applause from the crowd.

Well, applaud and cheer they all did with great gusto. What a reward and acknowledgment from the smiling faces of the enthusiastic audience. The community saw 28 stars shine.

It was William Shakespeare himself who said all the world’s a stage and all its men and women merely players. So if your part has lost some of its luster, zest and vigor, then maybe you’re not creating all the action, drama and joy that is the reward for your performance.

So life can be a drudgery, drag and right pain, or life can be a musical comedy with you as the main character. Who do you think decides which should be?

You can make life a serious, solid and ponderous endeavor. Then again you can consider life is for living, laughing, sharing and communicating with others. Sometimes I think we should pass a law mandating that everybody should be happy. Anyone seen frowning or complaining may be fined!

Sorry. I know I’m getting carried away but I still hear the chorus ringing in my head ...

“Monday Tuesday happy days ... Tuesday Wednesday happy days ... these days are ours, happy and free.”

Well, all right, let’s all conclude with a couple of verses of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” From the top now. A one and a two and a ...

Dan O’Connor of Carson City can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com.


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