Double Dose of Nostalgia

Franco at the Airport

Franco at the Airport

As I was leaving Pittsburgh, I had to take this picture of the statue of Franco Harris at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. Not every city has a statue such as this. Franco is bending down to catch a deflected pass that resulted in a last second touchdown to beat the hated Oakland Raiders. While I was in attendance at that game, I failed to see the “Immaculate Reception” as I was too busy looking for a penalty flag that might have given the Steelers one last chance to win the game.

By the way, Franco’s likeness is right beside a life-sized statue of some guy named George Washington. I guess that guy also had something to do with Pittsburgh.

Franco’s likeness sure brought back a flood of memories… as did my entire trip back home. In the photo below, the building that is second from the left used to be known as the IBM building. It is where I began my career with “Big Blue” in 1968.

A Portion of Downtown Pittsburgh

A Portion of Downtown Pittsburgh

Floods of memories are good things. I can attest to that based on another of my favorite pastimes. I am a member of a band called “Nostalgia” that entertains at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other senior citizen venues.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

This photo shows some of the group. We have a pianist, a sax player, a harmonica cat, a few guitarists, a drummer, an emcee, a few vocalists, and some designated groupies. We play more songs than we know and are constantly improving with age. As the T-shirts in the photo say, “The older they get, the better they were!”

In the past, we’ve been invited to perform at a church’s annual community Thanksgiving celebration. We’ve also performed at a Senior Prom – no one under fifty-five was permitted.

Prom Night

Prom Night

You’ll notice that the band has a few people under fifty-five. In fact, the young lady in the red dress was one of the founding members of the group… along with the pianist and the sax player. We often have younger artists join us as singers, dancers, tambourine players, and featured performers. Lately we’ve featured a young man who goes by the stage name of Hoolio Sanchez. He may have trouble spelling things in Spanish, but he’s getting pretty good on the guitar and sax.

Nostalgia performs at about ten different senior citizen haunts and plays about three out of every four Friday evenings. While the folks love it when we do songs from the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, they only get to hear us about every six to eight weeks.

We love what we do – we have a great time just rehearsing – and wish we could do more gigs, but we can’t. What we do is try to encourage others to do something similar. Form a band, or put together a group to visit the seniors and play bingo. Do something to give those folks a chance to relive some of the things they loved most about their youth. If you bring tears to their eyes, you know you’ve rekindled a fond memory.

Nostalgia represents Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cumming, Georgia. You don’t need to represent a church or any other establishment. The seniors will love to see anyone who is willing to spend some time with them. Take the time to sit and chat with them; you’ll learn quite a bit about how things once were. And they’ll love having someone to listen to them.

I took a ton of pictures in Pittsburgh that rekindled many memories of my own. I’ll warn you now – I’m a senior citizen. Expect to hear many more stories from my past!

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One Response to Double Dose of Nostalgia

  1. Jan Faires says:

    Thank you for the “publicity” for Nostalgia! You hit the nail on the head when you suggested others form their own groups and go entertain at assisted living centers and nursing homes. That’s a dream of mine, too: that Nostalgia inspries others to “go and do likewise.” The elderly have given so much of their time and energy so that we can enjoy the freedoms and benefits that we enjoy today. They have so much to teach us, if we will but listen. And sharing a little music with them….THEIR music…is such a small thing to do to show our appreciation. Jan Faires, founding member of Nostalgia

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