Tonawanda News


November 15, 2013

ADAMCZYK: The joy of life, and a few too many sweaters

Tonawanda News — Funny, these people do not behave as though they’re on their last lap.

There is a lot unsaid about growing older. The advantages, for example, the way no one expects you to help them move, the way you can choose friends instead of relying on batch processing in classrooms or work assignments, the way loyalty (to people, products, habits or institutions) is expressed or altered. Even if you do not admit it, you acknowledge the clock is ticking, and every hour has impact. 

The opportunity for foolish behavior is tempered by wealth, wisdom and health, but it’s still there.

One hundred or so “Golden Nuggets” of St. Amelia’s Church in the Town of Tonawanda had me over, on a cold afternoon this week, to present a short lecture on local history. And while they seemed to enjoy the show (with pictures, and one patron later told me she had never noticed the assembled group so quiet; it was either attentive or asleep, but they laughed in the right places, so evidently I was a hit) it was I who floated out happiest to be there.

I’m pleased to point out I’m a senior citizen or golden ager or layabout wastrel or whatever the politically correct term is these days (I just hit age 63), and my audience likely was 10 or more years older, on average. After spending time with them I cannot wait to grow older.

Criticism of Catholic ways is in vogue these days, but St. Amelia’s, a massive church-school-landmark-linchpin in a community noted for its tract homes (everything you love or hate about suburban architecture in a community so typical of it, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2011 national convention in Buffalo chartered a bus to take its esteemed delegates here to see the little-changed glory of American housing, preserved, circa 1950) seems to be a smoothly running machine of service. My talk was interrupted twice by school bells, offices for parish services abound and the meeting hall, with a Bingo scoreboard on the wall, is large, warm and complete with kitchen.

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