To the Editor:
Every time I pass by the National Guard building, I think back to the time I spent to "try a year" with them. I was the training NCO for a year. I had a ball when the company went to camp out by Salina at a closed down Air Force base. I can't remember the name for sure. It was something like Smoky Hill Air Force Base. I start thinking about that nice big building and it comes to mind, what a waste. It would be perfect for a senior citizen center.
I suppose I compared it with the facilities in Lamar and started wishing. In Lamar, they have a nice-sized building with adequate parking space. Inside there were a couple of pool tables, some electronic bowling devices, an exercise room and a great kitchen with great cooks. They had card games, bridge tournaments and other activities. They asked for a donation of $3.
If you brought a non-senior to eat, they charged them $5. If you were from out of the county, you were charged $5. To a veteran or active-duty person, the meal was free; and if it was their first time, they were introduced to the crowd.
Birthdays of the month were announced and everyone sang "Happy Birthday." The birthday people were privileged to go first in the food line. I noticed that there was an odd-acting character that had a birthday every month or so. There was a bus to bring the ones who couldn't provide their own transportation. There were volunteers to deliver to the shut-ins. Most of the people I met there had a smile. I could tell that they were happy to come to the center to get food and to visit or play a game. The place was rented to a group that needed a place just like the senior citizen center. I noticed that there is never anyone around when I go by the National Guard building. I was told it was used to teach building trades. I figured the smaller building there would be adequate for that. I would give $1,000 and throw in a rowing exercise machine if the National Guard building gets to be used for a Senior Citizen Center of Bourbon County.