HITCHCOCK – This is the third year Jenny and Larry Simmons have attended Senior Day at the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo, and they’re ready for bingo.
The couple registered two weeks ago at their senior center and have been looking forward to spending time and catching up with friends.
“We’re glad to be alive!” Larry Simmons said, laughing.
The entertainment pavilion was packed Monday with people claiming raffle prizes and enjoying a free barbecue lunch.
Cynthia Moncaux won a stuffed animal in a raffle shortly after lunch.
She likes Senior Day because of the camaraderie.
“I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while,” she said. “Some of them don’t get out but maybe once a year.”
Lottie Lehman and Joan Milutin have been friends for more than 20 years yet haven’t seen each other in a couple of months.
Neither can drive, so visiting each other can be difficult.
The two hugged, laughed and reminisced about their trip to Italy nine years ago.
“I don’t want to go back to Italy unless I’m with a lover,” Milutin said, smiling.
Lehman remembers what it was like years ago when Senior Day began.
“We had half of the people than what we have now,” she said.
Milutin looks forward to the entertainment every year.
“The band is awesome,” she said. “There’s so many generations up there it staggers the imagination.”
While most of the people under the pavilion are older than 62, volunteers spanning from fifth-graders to seniors in high school crowded a table in the front, waiting to pass out door prizes to lucky winners.
Peyton Quigley is one of those volunteers. This is her second year helping on Senior Day.
“I really like doing it,” she said. “I really like getting to talk to everyone because they have pretty cool stories.”
Quigley also has cool stories of her own. Last year, one of the seniors pulled her onto the dance floor for the dance contest.
“I told him ‘I can’t dance, I can’t dance,’ and he goes ‘It’s OK, neither can I. Just come dance,’” she said.
At 17, this is her last year to volunteer. Her 13-year-old brother, however, will start volunteering this year at Special Kids day.
“He want’s to do Senior Day next year,” she said.