Tulsa Seniors Sing, Paint And Play Pickle Ball

Thursday, January 27th 2011, 4:56 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- If your image of senior citizens is a bunch of folks sitting around watching TV, you may have to think again. The folks at LIFE's Senior Center at Southminster Presbyterian Church keep busy with art, exercise, singing – and pickle ball.

Southminster Presbyterian Church is the site of one of LIFE's Senior Centers. The Fitness for Health Class meets three times a week. Juanita Hoeffer is the leader.

"This is what keeps us active," she said, "a regular place to come to socialize."

There's more than socializing going on. They're doing stuff. She's been leading classes like this for more than 20 years. I told her she might be the poster girl for an active lifestyle.

"Just tell 'em I'm gonna be older than you are," she said.

Rick Wells: "In a month you're going to be how old?"
Juanita Hoeffer: "Ninety."
Rick Wells: "Really?"
Juanita Hoeffer: "Yes, really."

She pretends to be shy about her age, but I know she's very proud of it.

Vocal exercising is going on down the hall. A group called Vintage Voices rehearses once a week, and members perform whenever they can.

Down in a gym, there's a sport called pickle ball going on. It's a little bit of ping pong, racquetball and tennis.

"This is a whole new deal with the wooden racquets and whiffle balls," one man said.

You can walk, you can peddle or shoot hoops. In fact, they have a team called Happy Hoopers who've qualified for the Senior Olympics.

If you're tired, you can go sit down – and paint. It's more my speed.

Bill Fater has been teaching painting at the center for 10 years. Now they're working on a winter scene with a horse and buggy.

Rick Wells: "How do you know when you're done?"
Artist: "We just have to stop."

LIFE has two senior centers, the one at Southminster and another at East Side Christian Church.

Find out more about LIFE's Senior Services.