It may have been raining cats and dogs on Wednesday, but nothing could dampen the spirits of all the South Pasadena seniors gathered at the War Memorial Building for the annual Thanksgiving celebration. The South Pasadena Police Officers’ Association sponsored the event which was organized by the Senior Center director Melissa Snyder and staff.
Snyder welcomed the crowd and introduced and thanked South Pasadena Mayor, Jon Primuth, Former Senior Center Director Liliana Torres, Community Services Commissioners, Lela Bissner and volunteer Jim Perea, Community Services Director, Sheila Pautsch, Senator Portantino representative, Erica Nam, and South Pasadena Police Chief Brian Solinsky and the South Pasadena Police Officers’ Association.
The War Memorial Building was decorated with fall leaves, pumpkins, and vases filled with an assortment of whole nuts. The table decor, and the nuts in particular, sparked childhood memories for Senior Center regulars, Kathrin Richards and Cynthia Lopez. Richards explained that her mother would collect these kinds of nuts and that she and her siblings would then sit and crack them with nutcrackers and eat them – for hours. Lopez echoed that she did the same and both said it took them right back to those childhood moments. “Having nuts in the house like that,” said Lopez, “people just enjoyed it. And it’s a healthy snack. In the summertime, it would be my Dad bringing home a watermelon and what a thrill that was! Simple little things like that. We were happy children.” Lopez went on to say that this was her first time back to the senior center luncheons since the lockdown. “I’m very impressed – this is nice. The food is good. I love the music and the company and the staff.”
Liliana Torres’ surprise visit delighted many of the long-time members of the Senior Center like Lucy King. Torres served as director for 33 years and retired three years ago. King said this was only her second luncheon back, having come out to the Halloween luncheon. “The music is wonderful, isn’t it?” King said effusively, “it’s wonderful to see a lot of people here and it’s great to see Liliana.”
South Pasadena Police Chief Brian Solinsky told the crowd, “Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It is truly a pleasure for us to be here today – it’s our way of giving back to each of you. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the support you give us all year round.”
A traditional turkey lunch was served and everyone especially seemed to appreciate the pumpkin pie! Fantastic oldies but goodies music was provided by the trio of Bob Lipson, David Young, and Matt Crawford.