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In celebration of Women’s History month, Barbara Berg, accomplished author and speaker, spoke to the members of the Senior Center about feminism in America. The author of Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future provided an informative and dynamic discussion about the history and future of Women’s Rights in the United States. Thanks for a great talk, Barbara!
Last week, members of the Senior Center celebrated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with song, poetry and recollections. A standout feature was the performance of a short play called “The Lieutenant’s Bus Ride” by Al Rosteig. Bravo to Al, Spencer and Elio (above, R-L) for their great portrayal of a moment in history very few of us knew about. We’ve reprinted the text below for your enjoyment.
The Lieutenant’s Busride
Submitted by Al Rosteing. A dramatic interpretation of an event which took place on July 6, 1944.
Did you know that several years before Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, there was another Black individual who refused to give up a front seat. This is based on a true history event: it involves a white United States Army Private and a Black United States Army Lieutenant.
(Lieutenant Boards bus, takes a seat directly in back fo the driver.)
Lieutenant: Good morning, Driver.
Driver (barely intelligible): G’ morning.
Several minutes pass….
Lieutenant: Will we be moving soon, Driver?
Driver: We won’t be moving at all.
Lieutenant (innocently): Whaddou mean?
Driver: We ain’t movin’ till you go to the back of the bus where you belong.
Lieutenant: But, Driver, the bus is empty. I’m your only passenger.
Driver: Army regulations say you gotta go to the back of the bus, boy. Don’t matter how many passengers.
Lieutenant: Driver, as a Lieutenant, I order you to get this bus movin’.
Driver: This bus ain’t movin’, boy. Here comes an MP. You can tell him what you gotta tell him.
Military Policeman boards bus.
MP: Is there a problem here gentlemen? Why ain’t this bus movin’?
Driver: This boy here won’t go to the back of the bus like he’s ‘sposed to.
Lieutenant: The bus is empty!
MP: You know the rules, Lieutenant. Black soldiers ride in the back of the bus at all times. You gonna move? Last chance.
Lieutenant (voice rising slightly) Hell, no. The bus is empty. The rules are stupid.
MP: Sorry Lieutenant. Under the circumstances I find it necessary to place you under arrest. Sorry, but I hafta cuffa ya.
The handcuffed Lieutenant is taken to the Army Base Brig, where he is formally charged with violating U.S. Army regulations. He is released on his own recognizance pending Court Martial, where the charges are subsequently dismissed. Several years later (after an honorable discharged) Jack Roosevelt Robinson, known as Jackie, becomes the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. He is voted the 1947 Rookie of the Year and after a distinguished career becomes a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1948 President Truman orders the desegregation of the US Armed Forces.
Members of the Isaacs drama group, The Franklin Players transformed the senior center into a winter wonderland last week with their fabulous holiday show. The performance featured classic seasonal tunes, plus a sampling of international holiday hits from around the world. The players sang, acted and danced for a full house, and even included a few Isaacs staff members in the fun! Bravo!
If you’d like to show off your talent for performing, check our calendar for meetings of the drama group, the line dancing class, or our weekly Sing-along! Happy Holidays to all!
Stanley Isaacs’ weekly Thursday discussion group, titled “THE GROUP” marked one year of meeting last week, having been born in November 2009. For the occasion, Emily (senior center social worker and the group’s regular facilitator) baked a cake and served it along with coffee. The Group took the chance to reflect on how the first year had been, remembering some of the favorite topics so far:
–Reminiscing about the Good Ole Days: a chance to talk about favorite games and pastimes from childhood
–“Where were you when…?”: listening to news bulletins of major events in history and reflecting on them
–Celebrating Senior Center Month: what’s your favorite memory from the Stanley Isaacs Senior Center?
–Labor of Love: What’s the best job you’ve ever had? The worst? The most meaningful?
The Group has also been very lucky to have guest facilitators Sarah Savino and Anita Leifer, who have filled in when Emily has been away.
It’s been a wonderful year and we’re all looking forward to our second year. We meet every Thursday afternoon (check calendar for exact time), and new members are always welcome. Feel free to stop by to find out what we’re all about, and if you have an idea for a topic, let Emily know!
(Special thanks to Al for the pictures!)
Members of the the Stanley M. Isaacs Senior Center showed their support for Alzheimer’s Awareness when they pounded the pavement at the 22nd Annual Memory Walk, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association of New York.
NORC Social Worker Alexis Ribadeneyra and Senior Center Director Sarah Savino led a team of six Isaacs members on the two-mile walk through Riverside Park on Sunday, October 24, 2010. The group had a wonderful time helping out a worthy cause and getting a great workout.
You can get involved in more opportunities to socialize and make a difference by joining the Stanley M. Isaacs Senior Center. If you are over 60 years of age and reside in one of the five boroughs, call us at 212 360 7620 and make an appointment to come in and register! We’d be glad to have you!
Join us on Friday, August 27th for Stanley Isaacs’ Flea Market! EVERYTHING MUST GO! So stop by between 1:30 and 4:00 for some great deals!
If you are interested in selling some of your own items, the cost for hosting a table is $10. You may reserve your table by coming to the ticket sales desk in the main hallway from 10:00 – 11:00 this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 8 tables are still available! ( Tables may be split between two people.)
Members of the Isaacs’ Senior Center danced the night away at the annual Spring Fling, held on May 19th. The dinner/dance, made possible by a generous donation from Goldman Sachs, had a great turnout- over 120 seniors stopped in to show off their dance moves! A delicious meal was provided by Zesty’s Pizzeria, and great tunes were played by deejay & musician David Nathan Scott. It was truly a night to remember!
AARP designated April 19-23 “Complete Streets Week,” an effort which coordinates volunteers to go all over the city conducting a survey about the safety of our streets and sidewalks for pedestrians. Organized by the Social Action Committee Emily Axel led a group of three senior center members, Elizabeth Jenkins, Jackie Hardey, and Edwin Verdejo to survey the intersection of York Avenue and 92nd Street. Close attention was paid to the condition of the sidewalks, driver behavior, crosswalk accessibility, and state of the bus stop. The group found that in general, this area was appropriate for pedestrians, including individuals who use canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. The group would recommend that a bus shelter be installed at the M31/M86 bus stop, also noting that the sidewalks in that area are quite narrow due to the flower beds installed around the trees.
These results are being forwarded to AARP for them to add to the results from other surveys all over the city, to be compiled into a final report.
An article about the effort:
To learn more about the Social Action Committee or to get involved, please come to our next meeting on Thursday, April 22 at 10am or contact Emily Axel, LMSW at (212) 360-7620 x114.