Follow Me to the Senior Center – Cool — Not Cool

By Carl and Jo Ann Hauser
Some time back in the dark ages, you know, the late 50s, there was an odd group of musicians called the Beatniks. They frequently used the expression, “Cool, Man.” Then it got shortened to just “Cool.” The Beatniks weren’t cool for very long, but it became cool to say, “Cool.” To say “Cool” stayed cool until the early 70s. Then it was no longer cool to say, “Cool.” (Got it?)

Being cool in college in the 60s was a full time job. Like, if you were the only guy sitting at a table full of girls, that would be cool. Not cool was a table full of guys with no women in sight. Sneaking into a bar at seventeen, trying to get a beer was cool. Although, at seventeen I looked more like I was twelve, so once the bar tender spotted me he started laughing and pointed to the door! That was not cool. Once I had actually become drinking age, I had a friend who was on the football team, an offensive lineman. (You know, 6’5’’, 280 pounds) I thought it would be cool to go bar hopping with him. After the first couple of bars I figured out his hobby was picking fights with three or four guys at a time. That was not cool, especially since I was about 5’8” and 130 pounds! (Lover, not a fighter) I moved on to a new set of friends. With these guys I discovered I had a talent for chugging beer. Cool, right? (Mom would be proud) So, I began hustling frat jocks for free beer. After chugging three or four beers I would politely excuse myself, and walk slowly with dignity to the rest room, where even though I drank one at a time, they would all come up at once. (Not cool)

Now recently, like the last six or seven years, I’ve noticed it became cool to say, “Cool,” again. As part of the generation that coined the phrase, I feel it’s my duty to explain what the expression really means. For example, on Easter Sunday I was a greeter at one of the entrances to our church. For all that hard work, they gave us an Easter egg full of chocolate. That was cool. So I placed the egg on my seat next to my wife, and went back to finish greeting. When I returned to my seat, my wife was grinning like the Cheshire Cat . . . my egg was empty! That’s what we would call not cool.

In March Jo Ann and I went to Hawaii for our 30th anniversary. That was cool. The eight hour plane ride there was not. Apparently the airlines like to put small children and old people in the back of the plane. There were two sets of children within five feet of us. The ones in front played their video games, kept dropping toys for me to pick up, slept, and stayed in their seats. They were cool. The twins sitting three rows behind us shrieked about every three minutes when they did not get their way. They and their parents were not cool. Non-stop shrieking for eight hours ~ definitely not cool! After arriving at our hotel we decided to have our first meal at The Tropics Bar, which overlooked the ocean. The Tropics also happens to be where they have shot a few scenes for Hawaii 5-O. That was very cool . . . at least until I got the bill. $20 for a hamburger ~ seriously! Over the next four days we paid $18 for a Reuben sandwich, $12 for a stack of pancakes, and $40 for one steak! Definitely not cool! Jo Ann got her picture taken with the Hawaiian boy streaking along the beach, wearing nothing but a loin cloth. His job was lighting the torches along the beach. She thought that was cool; I said, “Not cool!” (Hula girls ~ cool!) Overall, with the beautiful beaches, friendly locals, Friday night fireworks display, Hawaii was very cool.

If you ever have a chance to visit Hawaii, Pearl Harbor and the World War II Memorial on top of the Arizona is a must see. Not that it is spectacular in itself, but it is a reminder of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. About one hundred yards away sits the battleship Missouri. These two ships are the A and the Z, the beginning and the end, of World War II. This Memorial Day take a few moments to remember our fallen heroes.
Let’s review what we’ve learned. 1) Veterans are cool. 2) It’s not cool to say you are cool. 3) My wife says I’m cool, so it must be so. 4) When you are in college, you’re probably never really cool. (Pretty much an idiot!) 5) My Kansas Jayhawks losing in the last seconds to Michigan, not cool. 6) Chicken, eating chicken, and being chicken ~ all not cool. Now when you are a Senior, cool looks a little different. 1) Taking naps is cool. 2) You don’t care if your socks match. 3) Using the same towel for a month doesn’t bother you. And 4) you are okay with eating chili five days a week. All cool!

The Senior Center is cool. Our Director Kathy Swope is cool. In fact, our entire staff is cool. Our cool van driver Susan Lilly just retired. She worked for the Center for seven years, and was a beloved and valued employee. You might catch her spending some of her leisure time playing bridge with us on Tuesdays. We have the coolest lunch deal in town. Call 682-3022 by 9:30 AM for a lunch reservation. We suggest a two-dollar donation. Also call in to reserve a place to ride the van down to Alamo on Mondays or Tuesdays for shopping and lunch out. The van can also pick you up for lunch at our Center on Wednesdays and Fridays. Join your friends for bridge on Tuesdays (lessons) or Thursdays (old pros?) at 12:20. Check out Farkle Fridays. Roadrunner food bank is the first Wednesday of every month (very cool!). Join Gayle for exercising on Tuesday mornings, and come again on Friday morning to exercise with friends. The Senior Center is currently planning a trip to Laughlin NV for gambling, shows, and fun in mid-May; contact the Center if you are interested. Marty Ware creates and maintains mtnseniors.com, which highlights special events with pictures. Enjoy her website! Come join us at the Senior Center; the cool table is number two! God bless you all!