It hasn’t been too long since my wife and I moved into the Del Webb Community north of Atlanta, but I’ve already noticed something interesting. People are really passionate about their activities.
I attended several club meetings where I got to see some of that passion firsthand. The club members’ zest for their chosen activities shocked me! Some were skilled enough to be professionals, but in most cases, they did it for their own personal enjoyment—not for profit.
Here are a few of the club meetings I attended over two weeks:
Ralph, the instructor, is a professional photographer and resident. Before the meeting, the members gathered around Ralph, who showed them his self-published coffee table book of this trip to Iceland. The book contained wonderful photos that made me say: Wow!
Twelve members were present. Ralph had given them an assignment the previous week to photograph a subject: the old log cabin close to the community. They then had to tweak the image with the editing software they’d been learning. Ralph used a slide projector to show the images and carefully explained how they were edited. Suggestions for improvement flew around the room. Once again, their passion for photography struck me. These members really get into it!
2. Coin Collecting
Next, I attended a Coin Collectors meeting. A former stock broker-turned-community-resident showed us a list of coins he just auctioned off. The list totaled $90,000 in value. $90,000! These were his duplicates. He then supplied several interesting tips. These included: how to get an appraisal, how to donate your collection to a charity rather than selling, an update on the coin market including, what to avoid cleaning coins with, and more. One member had some inherited gold coins, and the members happily gave suggestions on how to value them.
At the end of the meeting, I chatted with some members about our other collections. I shared a few details about my collection of 19th century Exposition Medals with the group.
Another gentleman told us about his collection of antique movie posters. Interestingly enough, his collection was actually displayed in a show back in Wisconsin. These members really get into it!
My wife and I started the beginner line dancing class. We arrived early and watched the intermediate class finish up their classes. Laughter and excitement filled the room. Their energy was practically palpable! Later on, I spoke with a member of this ballroom dancing club. When I told him we were learning the waltz, he wanted to know what song we danced to. Of course, I couldn’t recall the name of it. The gentleman kindly suggested suggested three waltz songs, and his singing jogged my memory. These members really get into it!
4. Creative Writing
Three days ago, I attended the writers’ group. Before the meeting, I met fellow resident William Cassill, who recently released his first book, “Free to Fly.” It’s a true story of the remarkable friendship between a mallard duck and a snow goose. Full disclosure: I read this book, and it was beautifully written. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
The meeting included about nine residents, all of whom were published authors or aspiring writers. One resident, who owns a book store, showed us several books she had published. She even provided information on publishing companies and the costs associated with publishing! Another member passed around three of her short stories for peer review. The group hopes to launch a web site to display their writing and books. Since I have some experience in that field, I shared some ideas with them.
A member suggested the group look into the the online course “Start Writing Fiction. The members—myself included—agreed to start this course and share our first short story with the class next meeting. The Writers’ Group meets every Thursday from 9:30am until 11am. I was surprised they meet every week, but given their passion, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise at all. After all—these members really get into it!
These are only 4 out of nearly 100 clubs at The Village at Deaton Creek. Obviously, you’d have to clone yourself several times over in order to participate in all 100 clubs! Still, the thought of having a plethora of clubs at my fingertips excites me. Like the members I met, I want to really get into my passions, too!
Robert FowlerContributing Writer
Robert Fowler is a retired blogger who lives with his wife, Mary Ann at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert was previously the President of Retirement Media Inc. He has visited numerous 55+ Active Adult Communities over the years, sharing his experiences along the way with readers. View more posts