- November 20, 2009:
Doug and Florence
80 and Flo, 78...
Dancing for the fun...
and health of it.
Smalls have been clogging
for nearly 20 years.
is the poetry of the foot."
~ John Dryden
no wonder that Doug and Florence (Flo) Small are so healthy,
vibrant and virtually pain-free. Doug is 80 and Flo is 78,
and both have extremely busy schedules that include mostly
fitness in one form or other.
sharing 57 years together as husband and wiferaising
a family of seven childrenanother common interest and
passion they share is dancing. Although they enjoy various
forms of dance, such as Square, Pattern and Line, Clogging
seems to be their favourite.
has been around for hundreds of years and was usually done
to fiddle music. It has common roots with tap dancing. It
was termed clogging due to the heavy wooden shoes
once worn. Shoes are now commonly Oxfords with steel plates
or taps on the toes and heels of the soles. Traditional Clogging
is a flat foot shuffle involving fast footwork with little
body motion, unlike Step and Tap where there is much jumping
were skeptical until they saw a demonstration of this new
dance at the Young at Hearts Club in their home town of Richer,
Manitoba, 20 years ago. Once they tried it, they havent
stopped since. Doug even teaches it at Paradise Village, a
55+ retirement community between Richer and St. Anne on Hwy.
#1 East. They have several members in their clogging group
and they call themselves the Paradise Cloggers. They formerly
were the Dawson Trail Cloggers.
are many benefits to dancingphysically, mentally and
sociallyand it can be great for those in their later
years. There are some low-impact dances, such as clogging,
that are easy on the joints, but still good for the cardiovascular
system. It is a form of exercise giving your heart an aerobic
workout. Not only does it reduce stress, it increases energy,
strength (especially in your legs and hips), muscle tone and
shows dancing was the only physical activity, out of 11 studied
in Great Britain, that may reduce the risk of Alzheimers
and other forms of dementia. The physical aspect of dancing
increases blood flow to the brain, the social aspect lessens
stress, depression and loneliness, and the coordination and
thinking required to memorize the routines and to dance with
a partner or in a group provides the mental workout necessary
for brain health.
she has no joint pain at all. And Doug is just as fortunate,
and happy to keep his legs in shape for golf. He uses his
large front lawn as a driving range to keep his swing in shape,
in 1987 as an Engineer for Canadian National Railway (CN),
the largest railway in Canada, spanning coast-to-coast and
even down to the Gulf of Mexico in the U.S. A few years later,
he went to work for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada,
various transportation accidents. He retired, again, nine
and Flo are from Thunder Bay, Ontario, but they moved to Saskatoon,
SK, when Doug got transferred. While there, Doug recalls a
time when a movie called, Alien Thunder was being
filmed in the early 70s in Saskatoon, Battleford and
Duck Lake, SK. It was a Canadian western film starring Donald
Sutherland. Chief Dan George also appeared in it. The movie
was based on a true story that followed a Canadian Mountie
who wanted to give an Aboriginal a fair trial for the murder
of a fellow officer before he winds up being executed. For
one of the movie sets, a town was built with a quarter mile
of railway track. All they needed was a vintage steam train
to complete the set. Now, where could they find one? How about
the Prairie Dog Central Steam Train in Manitoba? And, so the
train was shipped on a flat car to Saskatchewan for filming.
Doug was a master mechanic for CN there, and helped with the
Prairie Dog. Later, the train travelled to other communities,
including Prince Albert, and Doug got to drive it back to
Saskatoon with Flo.
years after moving to Saskatchewan, they came to Manitoba
and settled in Richer.
Flo had managed to travel and participate in other activities
before Doug retired, but after is when they really started
to enjoy life to the fullest.
all the way to Halifax once. It was a 29-day trip and they
stopped several times along the way to dance at various places,
finally reaching Halifax, Nova Scotia, to attend the 9th Canadian
National Square & Round Dance Convention on July 21, 22,
& 23, 1994. The slogan for the event was Dance By
the Shore in '94". CBC recorded some of the dancing for
a television segment, but it wasnt until they had already
returned home when they learned it had aired in Halifax, and
that they appeared on the program. They never did get to see
lives are as full as can be these days. Here is their current
Monday - Clogging;
Tuesday morning - Aquasizing;
Tuesday evening - Square Dancing;
Wednesday afternoon - Line Dancing;
Thursday morning - Aquasizing;
Fridays - Clogging.
Pattern Danced on Thursdays, as well, up until spring, 2009,
and had also done Tai Chi in the past.
on the board for the Richer Young at Hearts Club and he and
Flo attend every monthly Dinner and Dance there for only $15
each... and they dance every dance. People come from all over,
even from as far as the U.S. border.
as they both are, they are avid readers and they enjoy casino
visits from time-to-time for a little gambling.
isnt baking for parent-teacher meetings or helping out
at the Richer Fellowship Church, she might sit down and enjoy
a television show. Its not surprising that Wheel of
Fortune and Jeopardy are some of her favourites - exercising
her mind, not only her body. She enjoys walking and plans
to start again like she had done before with her friend, Irenefive
days a week, covering four miles each day.
to be the Richer columnist for The Carillon newspaper, which
is based out of Steinbach, keeping the other communities up-to-date
on local activities. She also used to volunteer at a seniors
home in St. Anne. And she is crafty too. She built some very
cute and comical bird feeders and even an 18-hole Purple Martin
house. She is quite mechanically inclined, as well, according
to her son, David.
a prostate cancer survivor. Ever since he had to travel to
Grand Forks, North Dakota, for radiation treatments nine years
ago, he has faithfully attended every annual reunion with
fellow patients he met there and became friends with, and
their spouses. They gather at different locations, but he
especially enjoys the reunions at the Deer Lodge Centre on
Portage Avenue, in Winnipeg.
Flo are proud of their five sons and two daughters. They are
also blessed with many grand, and great grandchildren to ensure
that when the family does get a chance to get together, its
more than a houseful.
was passed down from both of Doug's and Flos families.
There was a strong singing influence from Flos side
and Dougs father played the saxophone on his off-time
of being a surgeon. Flo influenced her own children with her
singing. She would always sing around the home. Her daughters,
Cheryl and Bonnie, and a granddaughter, Becky, are fine singers.
Becky had won the Thompson Idol competition a couple years
back. And their grandson, Chris, is showing promise with his
vocals, as well. He was the lead singer with the Gillam High
School Band, even for several months after he graduated. He
has also taken up the fiddle and guitar.
and they will describe Doug and Flo as being youthful. They
probably inherited some longevity genes, but its more
likely their lifestyle that keeps them young.
more in the Nov. 20/09
issue of Senior Scope)
Every year thousands of Canadians give to those in need through
various charity organizations. When asked if we would like
to support a good cause those of us who are in
a position to do so often will. Requests for donations come
in many forms including, mail, phone, Internet, and door to
door canvassing. But how do you know if the charity is legit
and not just the latest scam?
are some of the typical warning signs to be aware of:
pressure or threatening telemarketers/canvassers who want
you to contribute immediately
- Unsolicited emails or phone calls thanking you for making
a pledge you dont remember and asking you to make
- Canvassers without credentials or proper ID
not certain about the legitimacy of a charity the following
advice should be applied:
you receive a phone call or a visit from a canvasser ask
for a pamphlet you can look over. Inquire as to how much
of your donation will be used directly for the charity and
how much goes towards administrative costs. Legitimate charities
are willing to provide this information.
- Remember on an incoming call a person could be misrepresenting
a legitimate charity.
- Never give out personal/financial information over the
phone or at the door. You can always mail a cheque if you
choose to donate.
- Call the charity to see if they currently have representatives
canvassing your neighborhood.
- Ask if the charity is registered and contact Canada Revenue
Agency at 1-800-267-2384 to confirm.
beginning of the year decide in advance which charities you
would like to donate to and take the necessary steps to ensure
theyre credible. If you are approached later on you
can kindly state that you have already given for the year
and feel good about your act of kindness.
Commercial Crime Section
more in the Nov. 20 09
issue of Senior Scope)
to the recipients of Creative Retirement Manitobas 2009
Ageless Heroes Awards
Recipients of the Ageless Heroes Awards are Bessie-Marie
Hill of Winnipeg for Love of Learning and Ida
Shaw of Winnipeg for Bridging the Generations.
were among 12 nominees honoured at the Creative Retirement
Manitoba annual fall luncheon, Oct. 20 at Canad Inn Polo Park.
Hill, nominated by Frederica Borys, a retired teacher,
has used her love of history and passion for travel to enrich
the lives of students, tourists and many local citizens. A
co-coordinator and host for Elderhostel, Footprints
across the Prairies, she researched the history, geography
and special features of the prairie provinces, taking thirty
cross-Canada trips by Via Rail and six trips to Churchill,
Manitoba. She volunteered for the Manitoba Society of Seniors,
leading numerous tours, with commentaries full of historical
facts and intriguing trivia. She has arranged and narrated
trips for the Retired Women Teachers Association. BessieMarie
spends countless hours researching rural destinations for
the trips. She is like a walking Manitoba encyclopedia
who makes history come alive. She arranged speakers
for a weekly program at Stony Mountain Justice Group. Topics
include Aboriginal issues, social issues, poverty and Life
on the Outside. As one supporter remarked, Bessie Marie
demonstrates the spirit of life long learning.
Shaw, nominated by Nancy Dyck, has been a volunteer at
R.B. Russell Vocational High School for the last ten years.
She arrives faithfully at the school each Monday and Tuesday
(despite, rain, hail, snow or bus delays), assisting in the
counsellors office, completing paperwork and listening
to waiting students with compassion and kindness.
She attends all Open Houses, concerts and graduations where
she welcomes and directs guests. She is also famous for her
baking, which she spends hours at home to bring in to treat
staff and students. Ida is a powerful role model to the students
because of her consistent dedication. Ida Shaw walks into
a room and changes her environment and lifts the hearts of
all who come into contact with her, with a smile and a gift
from the heart. Ida is a person committed to activities which
reach out and earn the admiration of younger persons.
awards, sponsored by Manitoba Blue Cross, recognize individuals
who have made contributions to their community through their
passion for learning and ability to bridge generations.
more in the Nov. 20 09
issue of Senior Scope)
ON AGING RECOGNITION AWARD WINNERS DEMONSTRATE
INDEPENDENCE, HEALTH, QUALITY OF LIFE: IRVIN-ROSS
of this year's Manitoba Council on Aging Recognition Awards
are leaders in making meaningful contributions to improve
the quality of life for older Manitobans, Healthy Living Minister
Kerri Irvin-Ross, minister responsible for seniors, said today
at a Seniors and Elders Month event recognizing award recipients.
awards winners know there is no greater calling than to serve
Manitobans and there is no greater satisfaction than to have
done it well," said Irvin-Ross. "Today I am honoured
to provide well-earned recognition to those who have made
Manitoba a more age-friendly province."
is a wonderful celebration of seniors and their contribution
to the well-being of communities throughout Manitoba,"
said Jean-Yves Rochon, chair of the Manitoba Council on Aging,
during the presentation of the awards.
The 2009 recipients are:
Amann of Austin, for her active involvement with the Austin
and Area Leisure Club as a participant, coach, key fundraiser
and a board member;
- Shirley Johnston of Winnipeg, who served as the first president
of St. Boniface Hospital Retirees Association;
- Josie Lucidi of Winnipeg, a founding member and vice-president
of the board of directors of both the Villa Cabrini and Villa
Nova seniors residences;
- Ellen Rawlings of Glenboro, an active volunteer with
organizations such as the Glenboro Personal Care Home, Meals
on Wheels and the Glenboro
- Joyce Rose of Stonewall, a founding member of the
South Interlake Seniors Resource Council;
- Flora Zaharia of Winnipeg, a highly regarded member
of the Aboriginal community and a respected elder;
- Patricia Corbin of Stonewall, who currently serves
as chair of the South Interlake Seniors Council board; and
- Jane Kilpatrick of Winnipeg, who has served on the
board of directors for Age and Opportunity since 1999 and
as board chair from 2006 to 2009.
Kerri Irvin-Ross, Sophie Kolt, Jean-Yves Rochon
2009 Murray Smith Award went to Sophie Kolt of Winnipeg,
an active member of Partners Seeking Solutions with Seniors
since its inception in 2001. The award was established in
honour of the late Murray Smith, former chair of the Manitoba
Council on Aging. Smith was a prominent educator and an active
volunteer and advocate for seniors. The award is presented
to an individual who demonstrates exceptional skills in the
areas of advocacy, volunteerism and policy influence.
In addition to the award winners, honourable mention certificates
were presented to Jake Froese, Bert Johnson, Henry Sawatzky,
Gordon Young, Sadie Leepart, Millie McLuckie, Theresa Nault,
Vernice Sheppard and Virginia Tate.
has developed the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative to support
seniors in leading active, socially engaged and independent
lives that contribute to healthy aging. The provincial initiative
works together with communities to enhance many initiatives
and services that benefit seniors and support the health,
independence and well-being of all Manitoba seniors.
Council on Aging was established in 1980 as an advisory body
to the minister responsible for seniors. The awards were established
in 1996 to recognize extraordinary individuals for their exemplary
efforts on behalf of seniors and to pay tribute to the seniors
who continue to contribute to their communities.
more in the Nov. 20 09
issue of Senior Scope)
William J. Thomas
Way Too Active Senior
I know the rules: in order to stay young you must keep active.
But folks, Im here to tell you there most certainly
are limits to the activity level of seniors.
Roundtree, a senior citizen from Abilene Texas with a keen
mind, good motor skills and the dream of a much younger man.
Okay, the dream of a young
offender to be precise.
classify 92-year-old Hunter as an overactive or
hyperactive or even hopelessly active senior. However at the
moment, Hunters suddenly not all that active now that
hes confined to a five-by-ten prison cell.
senior citizens on fixed incomes, Hunter never seemed to have
enough money at the end of the month. He needed an additional
source of income over and above his pension. A Walmart greeter?
The oldest kid ever to flip burgers at McDonalds? No, Hunter
had a more direct route to money which led him straight through
the front door of First American Bank in downtown Abilene.
a fine fall day, Hunter Roundtree parked his 1996 Buick sedan
in front of the bank and marched inside fully intending to
walk back out with a pile of cash minus all that annoying
paperwork that comes with taking out a loan.
to plan, he passed a large manila envelope to the bank teller
inscribed with the word ROBBERY in big red letters.
stunned to receive this envelope by a man old enough to be
okay, a disciple, the teller gasped: What do you mean?
up or youll get hurt, replied Hunter in his best
John Wayne voice.
point, although the line of people behind Hunter is backed
up to the door, nobody is suspicious of a robbery in progress
because if youve ever been behind a 90-year old at the
bank, you know youre not moving until all the photos
of the grandkids have been passed around.
realizing it was a stick-up and the man with his pants belted
just below his armpits was the robber, the teller responded
like any bank employee would who had successfully completed
the In The Event Of A Robbery Training Program.
kidding, she said.
Hunter to make some sort of threatening gesture probably involving
the pointy end of a cane. With this the woman very slowly
peeled off $1,999 in cash which she stashed in the envelope
marked ROBBERY. Surveillance cameras would later
show she did all this with a completely straight face.
took off, okay, shuffled out of the bank with his loot allowing
plenty of time for one employee to call police and another
to jot down his license plate number.
later Abilene police spotted the getaway car on the outskirts
of town and a chase ensued during which Hunters car
was clocked at 90 miles per hour. Yes, its not just
your great, great grandfathers Buick any more!
for Hunter, outrunning police driving 90 miles an hour is
like golf for other seniors. You want to score your age, eh?
Buick was finally forced to a stop, he strongly denied any
involvement in the robbery of the bank and vigorously protested
police found $1,999 in a manila envelope marked ROBBERY
under the car seat and Hunters shirt pocket yielded
a Walmart receipt for one red magic marker and a manila envelope.
Roundtree will be released from Texas State prison at 104
years of age. Relax, because by then his drivers license
will have expired.
experts keep telling you to stay active, theyre urging
you to walk, read and travel instead of rob, loot and pillage.
other hand, youre probably still strapped for cash at
the end of each month while the only debt Hunter Roundtree
owes is the one hes paying to society.
William Thomas is the author of nine books of humour including
Margaret and Me about his wee Irish mother. www.williamthomas.ca
more in the Nov. 20/09
issue of Senior Scope)
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