Thursday, November 16, 2017

Off The Clock (Mike)

As you probably know from reading all of my posts for the past few months, we hosted a Happy Hour at the City Tap House in Logan Square. I was expecting to see a lot of people from Best Day, and new people interested in our group. I did, but not quite in the way I expected.
As it turns out, Best Day was sharing the restaurant with two different groups with their own Happy Hour meet-ups. That meant that some of the new people coming over to check out our group...were from one of the other groups! I even met one guy who wasn't with any group; he was just hanging out at the bar. When I told him about Best Day, he was reminded of his father back in Brazil and the stories he'd wanted to share. I made sure to give him the link to our site before he left.

I also got to see my old friends at the event, like Jana, Mary, Cara and the fearless founder herself, Benita. Cara and I didn't know each other that well, but I recognized her face as soon as I saw her, and that made her happy. I still had photocopies of Jana and Mary's stories from the last time they were at Best Day, so I took them with me as soon as Jana said she'd be coming. I even got to introduce the newest facilitator Kara to all the people working behind the scenes, and she and Benita got on very well.

I was very excited to meet the various board members and volunteers of Best Day. There was Euney who ran the newsletter, Charlton from the Board of Members, and Diane the Professional Engagement Director of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, to name a few. But one of the best parts was meeting Melissa, who came with her father...our own Mike M. Tsuei!

We weren't talking for more than a minute before Mike and Melissa invited me to sit with them. And when Kara came in, they invited her too. It's rare for our older buds to be able to make late-night events like these, so I took full advantage of Mike and Melissa's welcoming friendliness. Every so often when I was telling the new people about what Best Day meant to its member, I would direct them to Mike's table, sit them down, and let our older bud do the rest. Diane spent the rest of the night talking to him, and Benita said he was the prefect Best Day representative. All in all, a successful night and hopefully the prelude to many more people meeting our older buds.

Please enjoy another example of Mike reaching out to non-seniors, from a pen-pal letter he wrote back in June.

Michael T 
Dear Friend
Dear Friend,
Hi Titon. How are you? I love your letter – it is very interesting. I am much older than you! In fact, 60 years older.
While I was a young man, I am very much enjoyed working in the gym. Back then, no one even called it “pumping iron.” We just found the heavy objects to lift them up in the air and try to build up our body muscle.
Now, I am retired. I was a heart doctor for my profession. Now, I am just enjoying my day, going to the Philadelphia Senior Citizen Center, learning all the different subjects they have to offer to me.
My favorite food is nuts and honey.
I wish you all the luck in school.
Thank you for writing to us. 

Your friend,
Michael T

P.S. I was not kidding about taking Senior Selfie-style photos with anyone who wanted to.
And if you're looking for the Veterans Day story, then scroll down. It's right below.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri