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Celebrating music, birthdays, holidays, visitors at Annapolis Senior Activity Center. Members of the Annapolis Red Hat Queens, a social group for women, gather around the Christmas tree during the Annapolis Senior Activity Center’s holiday party.
Celebrating music, birthdays, holidays, visitors at Annapolis Senior Activity Center. Members of the Annapolis Red Hat Queens, a social group for women, gather around the Christmas tree during the Annapolis Senior Activity Center’s holiday party. (Valia Bradshaw)

Annapolis Senior Activity Center members love to party. The seniors began staking out their tables for the buffet long before the 11:30 a.m. start time of the holiday party on Dec. 18. Members of the Lewis “Mooney” Day and Friends band were no slouches either. They began playing as the seniors began assembling and kept going until about 2:30 p.m. when the last stragglers left.

To get the full effect of the party, seniors had to stay for the whole thing. Before the party started and throughout the Mission BBQ buffet meal, the band played background music.

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Once the meal was over, the band switched to dancing music. Day told the seniors that after they finished eating, they could “get up and shake it off,” and that’s what they did. They also helped Day sing the “ride, Sally, ride,” refrain of the song, “Mustang Sally.” Day as vocalist and Griff Griffin as saxophonist mingled among the seniors, serenading one here and there.

After the first wave of seniors left, the band switched music again – this time to Christmas music such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Christmas Song.” The song, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” was used to transition back to other songs such as “My Girl.”

The party wasn’t just about music. It was also about birthdays and meeting some folks from outside the Annapolis Senior Activity Center. Joelle Ridgeway, director of Senior Center Operations, Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, welcomed the seniors to the party.

Shaneka Henson, a Maryland state delegate representing District 30A, helped serve the seniors who weren’t able to stand in line for the buffet.

The party “started right” by recognizing the birthday of Beatrice “Bea” Smith, who turned 99 on Dec. 21. Toward the end of the party Alma Cropper, Delores Hawkins, Dorothy Jennet Jones, and Otis Fowlkes were also recognized for having birthdays in December.

- Martha Thorn

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