Written by Juanita Fox
In the weeks leading up to Thursday, June 15, Dining Services and Mountain View staff spent countless hours planning a menu, decorations and logistics, learning dance moves, finding antique cars and planning a party to delight participants from 17-97!
The result? An outdoor, 1950s sock-hop inspired intergenerational lunch and car show, complete with music and dancing. The menu included mini cheeseburgers, hotdogs, fresh cut fries and root beer floats served at tables decorated with balloons and 45 vinyl records. Teens working in Dining Services dressed in 1950s styles and performed dances like La Bamba, the Mashed Potato, The Twist and Locomotion, to the delight of Mountain View residents. Every Mountain View resident participated, to the joy and delight of staff who planned the event.
Denise Hoak, director of personal care services, and Ashley Baker, east kitchen dining services manager, led the intergenerational event planning. Hoak says, “We like to create interesting events. It’s good when we are all playing together. Normal, everyday living should be an event.”
Baker agrees, “This event, among others that we’ve done, embodies everything we want to do to break out of the ordinary here at Garden Spot Village, where life is full and purposeful and where fun exciting things happen.”
Blake Hurst who works in Dining Services through the summer and after school was one of the teen dancers who volunteered his time to learn the dance moves after work. When he learned about the idea, he says his response was, “This sounds super-fun and I would love to do it.”
Carley Troop, also from Dining Services, volunteered to learn the dance moves too. She says, “I’ve always liked the 1950s. I used to dance when I was younger, so this sounded like fun.”
Jackie Hardy enjoyed the event. She says, “I think it’s neat. The 1950s were my time. I got married in 1958.” Smiling, she remembers, “We had a 1956 Chevy Convertible.”
A member of Gerda Buch’s family restores old cars and she says, “I’ve been in lots of old cars.” Of the entertainment, she says, “We need the fun time… the entertainment. [We should do this] more often.”
Paul Weaver’s 1934 Dodge pickup and Larry Welsch’s 1951 Chevy truck were two of the ten vehicles parked in the grass next to the pavilion, for the car show. Bev and Lin Kemper, New Holland, friends of Weaver and Welsch, also brought their 1964½ Ford Mustang. After the lunch, the car show was open to the larger Garden Spot Village community.
Baker hopes to host the event annually and increase the number of cars at the show next year. Her staff’s energy and excitement for the event inspires her to find new ways to create opportunities for intergenerational engagement and purpose in community.