Margaret Summers Memoir
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Margaret Summers Memoir SU64. Summers, Margaret b. 1920 Interview and memoir 2 tapes, 160 mins., 32 pp. Summers, Executive Director of the Senior Citizens of Sangamon County, discusses the Senior Citizens Center, its establishment, advertising, funding, and its services and activities. Interview by Judith A. Feurer, 1983 OPEN See collateral file: interviewer's notes, flyers, reports and photocopies of pictures of the Senior Citizens Center and Summers. Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1983, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Preface lhis manuscript is the product of tape recorded interviews conducted by Judith A. Feurer for the Oral History Office during October and NovE!IIber 1983. Linda Jett transcribed the tapes and Olester Rhodes edited the transcript. Margaret Sl.llners reviewed the edited transcript. Mlrgaret L. 8\.mrers was bom in Springfield, Illinois on Novamer 27, 1920. She is currently the Executive Director of Senior Citizens of Sangamn County, Inc. and formarly the Director of Senior8111i and the White Cbttage, since 1966. For the past seventeen years, Margaret L. Smmers has made .rumerous contriwtions to the field of aging including roles such as Planner and Delegate to the 1970 regional and State White House Conference on Aging, the 1971 \\bite House Conference on Aging; Delegate, Illinois \\hi te Hause Conference on Families, 1980; co-organizer of the Association of Illinois Senior Centers, and Convenor of the First and Second statewide Senior Citizens Rallies, 1973, 1974. Margaret L. Sulrmrs discusses the growth of the Senior Citizens Center fran the days of the White Cottage to its present location at 701 W. Mason. She explains how the organization nxwed fran a snail group of people meeting the needs of a few Senior Citizens to a complex multipurpose center that serves rmny needs of Seniors fran all over rural Sangarnon County as well as the city of Springfield. Readers of the oral history JDEmOir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken word, and that the interviewer, narrator and editor sought to preserve the infonnal, conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon State University is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the DlEIIlOir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. The manuscript my be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or part by any means, electronic or mechanical, without pennission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sanga:non State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708. Margaret Summers, October 28, 1983, Springfield, Illinois. Judith A. Feurer, Interviewer. Q: Mlrgaret, can you tell me what your position is with the Senior Center? A: Yes. I am the executive director of Senior Citizens of Sangm10n County, Inc. The incorporation is in that name so that's what it is. The administrative level, board of directors. Q: H<M long have you held that position? A: I have held that position since Dec81i:)er 1, 1966. Q: H<M did you cane to becOOE the executive director? A: we11, I was kind of recruited for this job. I had been home for 20 years. l\1Y degree is in occupational therapy. And I left this area to travel with my lrusband when we were married during the war, and then for him to finish college, which he had not been able to do before \\brld war II. By the time we cane hane then I was pregnant and stayed hane for 20 years raising a family. D.Iring that time I became involved in a nurber of activities Which were related in same way to older people. I thirik that was because of the background in occupational therapy, in that field, even though I wrote my thesis on cerebral palsy and worked only with children. But the activity during the fifties was a lot with nursing banes and trying to get activities going, everything in line with occupational therapy. So having had those twenty years and been involved with IIl8l1y of the volunteer efforts in the community, I was asked to apply for this position, and it was offered. I wasn't looking for a job. I didn't think I was going to work unt i 1 this appealed to me, and I decided I 'd better take it while it was open. It may not be open when I decided I would want to go back to work. Q: So you started Decexi:>er 1, 1966? A: That is correct. Q: Was the Senior Center established at that time? A: No. There was nothing going at that time with the exception of a plan which the United Way had written several years before that and the Older An:ericans Act had been passed in 1965 which allowed the funding. The United Way had had a committee on Services for the Aging for several years in the planning division of the United Way. They had developed this plan. They had presented it to many camunity groups, none of whan I ! l Margaret Sl.mners 2 had an adequate anount of funding to offer or any camination. So that the min thing was the big hangup with the funding. And when the Older Americans Act was passed, while I'm sure I've got ahead of myself, that cannittee, and the United Way, was looking at ways of serving older people but they saw 100stly the need to upgrade the quality of care in nursing banes. So there was a great deal going on in that line, and that's Where I really became involved w1th the elderly as well as being on the King's Daughters' board and a few others where they dealt with older people. But the United Way planning division worked with Church WOmen United for a couple of institutes. Q: \\hat do you rrean by institutes? A: One day sEminar kinds of things using personnel fran nursing banes and volunteers fran the various church and other canmnity groups to provide activities in the nursing home to give them better care to act as volunteers in many lines in the rrursing hanes. And just showing them ways to do so, talking about various things that could be done. Q: So prior to 1966 Springfield and Sanganon County really only had activities for nursing home patients? A: True. Right. Q: And how did you go fran activities fran nursing hanes to a 0111ti-purpose senior center idea? A: The United Way planning division canni ttee on services for the aging someh<M came to the realization--! was not a member of that cannittee--but somehow carne to the realization after the saninars which were so completely zeroing in on nursing homes that not all older people lived in institutions-that sane were in their hanes, and they were the first ones who questioned whether there were services that should be avai!able to people in their banes. The survey checked on what the needs were, and came up with a plan for a rmlt i -.PJ.rpose senior center. \\hen the plan was not funded locally, it was held until the Older Americans Act passed in 1965. The plan was then presented to the State Unit on Aging which at that time was a Section on Services for the Aging in the Community Services Division of the Department of Public Welfare or now Public Aid which in the bureaucratic stratun is just about as l<M as you can get. There were four people with one secretary in each of the state offices--two people in Springfield office, two in the Chicago office. That was the whole State Unit on Aging with one secretary in each of those offices. And it's fran that that the Nl.ole Department on Aging which has approximately 100 erployees at any given time, varies fran 96 to 106, that many employees has been the outgr<Mth of this 1ittle unit in 1965-66. Anyway this plan was presented and they said, "It's exactly what we need. It is the type of thing that we definitely fund but what you need to do is transfer this progran fran this proposal that you have onto our fonns. And then we' 11 fum it." And because of that this was the first project that was funded under the Older Americans Act in the state of Illinois. Simply because the plan was there, the dEmOgraphics were down, the need had been proved, everything was in that proposal. And it was ready to go. Other camunities heard of the availability of the funds and then they scurried around and said, "Oh, gee. How can we capitalize on that? What can we do for our older people to get sane of this rooney for our cmmmity?" But Springfield's ahead of the gane. So we were the first. Q: You sound very proud of that fact too. A: \\ell, yes. Q: Good. A: So having worked as a volunteer in a lot of these different projects for older people, some of the members of that planning division committee were aware that I had an interest in older people and asked if I would apply for the job. That canni ttee then becanE incorporated as the charter board of directors of Senior Citizens of Sangamon County, Inc. So we can really say that the United Way fathered the project all the way. Q: How did you go fran paper to the actual wilding that housed the first Senior center? A: The wilding was available. There's a long history about the wilding. 'lhat it was vacant and was being vacated at that time and so this cawnittee of the United Way which was then incorporated want to the landlord which was Family Services Q!nter as it is now known. At that time it was Olild and Family Services. And asked if they would not danolish the wilding quite as quickly as they had plans to do so because maybe we could use it--they could not foresee any use for the building. So that those arra.nganents had been made before I was really hired. We knew we were going to have that building. And then as far as the developnent of services were concerned, it was what you saw the needs were as we went along. Q: What was the address of the first center? A: The first center was 1315 South 8th Street. It was in a block that housed the United Way, Mental Health was there at that time, and that building had been known as the Lit tie Red School House just prior to our going there. Aid to Retarded Citizens held a school there for the educable mentally retarded. We called it the Senior Citizens center for a while. People were objecting because there were two of us on staff when we opened. We didn't really open until April but that was because the building needed sane ranodel ing and redecorating and a few other things ani it was 1ike opening any new business because there was nothing there before. So you had to do your legal things like opening a business and get it furnished and a lot of things. So we didn't really hold the formal opening unti 1 the mnth of Apri1 . \\hen we started answering the phones we answered "Senior Citizens Center." The other person on the staff who was a combination receptionist-secretary-bookkeeper-program director, everything that I wasn't--we did any jobs that catm along either of us--had a voice very similar to mine and you couldn't tell us apart in the first place. In the second place it often sounded as if--well, people would say, "You have snakes over there. It's so hissy the way you answer the phone." And so that is when the board said, "We'd better do sanething about the rume." And because the b.lilding had been known as the Little Red School House before and we had painted it white, the name the \\hi te Cottage was attached. And the \\hi te Cottage served us for ten years. It served us we 11 for three and then the next seven we were we11 overcr<Mded. \\e needed to get out of there and there was no place to go. We couldn't afford anything. Nobody was building or ruying for us. So it took us a while rut we mde it. Q: What were the services that you first offered to senior citizens? A: we first offered infonnation and referral ... Q: \\hich is? A: Which is a matter of telling people where they can go to get certain kinds of help. Tell people (there were no circuit breakers then available to people in the tax rebate line but telling people that they were eligible for that sort of service if they were.) Giving them an idea of wbo could use food stanps. Trying to give them information on what the various chlbs in town had to offer if they wanted sarething other than what we were doing at the center. Sane of the senior clubs had sane different types of activities. Now of course information and referral is much more highly developed with resource files and so forth. we just poked around the community and tried to detennine what services were available, and tried to infonn people when they asked. If it came to a referral it was a matter--that was one of the beauties of being in that location. we had in the United Way Building the Visiting Nurses Association and in another wilding in that block Mental Health Center. we had a lot of agencies, it was a cooplex of social agencies in other words. If we saw saneone who probably needed something in line of getting same medical attention that a nurse could give or at least we felt help a professional could advise that person to go to a doctor, we could take them by the hand and walk them over to the Visiting Nurses Association and get this kind of help, because IIl8.llY older people still have a problem about Y«>rking with agencies of any kind. But it was a lot worse then because the older person had grown up and really the only social agencies there were were welfare agencies. And the idea of having to go to an agency meant sort of an a<knission of failure. The older people of today survived the depression and a couple of \\brld Wars and a nmi>er of other war 1ike affairs, Korea, Viet Nan and so forth. And they were really thinking that they should be able to rmke it on their own. So that having to go and get help was foreign to their way of operation. They didn't normally do that sort of thing. So we tried to tell them, we had to minnnize the social services aspect of what we were doing. Played it up heavily as an activity kind of area. we of course still have activities but the referral, a lot of people Y«>uldn' t follow through on it because it meant another--or to a social agency. That 1 s where the beauty of walking them over to one of the agencies came in. Infonnation and referral was an initial service. we say we did counseling. Conpared to today' s cOWisel ing with professional counselers, they would laugh at the concept but we did offer it as a service and it was simply a ItBtter of not having the professional ian in it that we have today. Activities, educational programs, tours, crafts, cards, other table ganes, entertainment, the full gamut of activities. And those were the basic services when we opened. Q: How did you let the population know that you existed? A: We started out in Deceni>er, possibly waited until the first of JQllllary, wrote a letter to all of the senior citizen clubs in the city. There were about 25 of then at that time. Sane of the senior clubs are sponsored by churches, sane of other types of organizations, sane are open IIBiilerships, sam are 1imited, sam of then have samthing to do with former employment. For instance Allis-Chalmers, i.e. Fiat Allis, has two retirement groups. One fran the labor group, one fran the managEment group. Sang8lll0 Electric retirees are still meeting even though the carpany has left Springfield long ago. That's what I ~man though by anplo}'l'OOnt of type of retirEment club, oriented retirement club. Others were--just sbmply wrote a letter and said, "We're offering you a free progran because all of these elms are always wanting a free speaker. "Just tell us When you want us." And so I spent a great deal of that, of those roonths fran Decarber 1 to April 24 When they had a formal ribbon cutting the Whole open. working with the volunteers who were doing sane of the rEI'OOdel ing and redecorating and getting the business set up and speaking to these groups. The public, the media also carried the story. One of the stories was on the local television channel, Channel 20, on the \\ednesday between Cllristmas and New Years of that year. At that time the statement was sbmply made, "You're going to have in Springfield this multipurpose senior center. Don't know exactly When. We are waiting for volunteers to care in and do painting and rEIIlOdel ing and so forth." The very next day a gentlenan walked in and said, "I want to paint for you." Actually contact had been made with the carpenters Union and the Painters Union to send volunteers. And so I had to be a little cautious not to antagonize then. I did not know this gentlenan who walked in. Ani I said, "Oh, that's very nice. But it was the union who said they would do it." And he said, "But I have been a nenber of that, had been before I retired, a IIBli>er of that union for 50 years. And I an certain that I will be allowed to paint." And I said, "That's fine but since this is the holiday week and I don't know when I' 11 get ahold of the business agent for the Painters Union. May I call you back after the first of the year and tell you what the answer is?" And he said, "Sure. That's fine." His rume was Andrew Jackson Bird. And so the very next day, Andy--well, I called him Mr. Bird then, Mr. Bird came in in his coveralls with his brushes and paints and a ladder and said, "I am ready to go to work. I did not see why I needed to wait. I called Jim MCGrath. (tape stopped) Q: Okay. Before we stopped the tape you were saying that Mr. Bird cane in with coveralls, paint brushes and a ladder. A: And said, "I didn't see any point in waiting. I called Jhn MCGrath myself last night and he said, 'Go ahead.'" So he started. Since the building had not been painted for quite a Yilile and it had at that tiJne been painted grey-green Which had greyed with age and dirt and so forth in its years, it took several coats of plain White paint to really brighten it. But Andy kept painting and painting and painting and eventually sane help did came fran the Painters Union. But he did a great deal on it. When all this was finished Andy said, "I would like to do a mural for you." While he was painting we heard a great deal about Andy's life. He had run away fran hane as a teenager, lied about his age so that he could get into the British Navy through Canada before the United States was involved in World War I. He went to England, found a bride, Miry Jane, and after the war brought her here and he becam a painter. I don't knew how they got to Springfield, Illinois. I do knew that he worked for Schanbachers for lll8.I1¥, lll8.I1¥ years. He did lots of murals for thEIIl. And he had taken Mary Jane hane at one IX>int when she was hanesick and spent several years in England painting in Great Houses. Then he came back here. He talked about a rmral over the bar in a tavern at Eleventh and Cook. And I do not recall the nare of that nCM. It was still there when we first knew Andy. I don't know whether it's still there or not now. He also talked about another job that he did when Blessed Sacrarent Orurch was being milt in 1928. He bad an assignnent to paint a garden scene in the snall chapel behind lattice work. NCM today with our three dimensional ideas and everything being made as easy as possible, I think that an artist asked to do that would simply paint a garden scene, buy lattice work and nail it on the top. But that was not the way they did in in 1928. He painted the entire scene of the garden, the flowers behind the lattice work with all the prospective and all the shadows and all the everything that the lattice had to give. And he talked about that being the one job he did that led him to drink. Andy had a colorful past. At one point apparently alcohol was a problan for him. He had certainly overcane that carpletely before we knew him. So he just talked about his drinking years am. that was it. But when he finished painting the walls inside the White Cottage he offered to do a mural and he did an outdoor scene with IIDUiltains and streans and a 1ittle IX>Ol and various things in it that people cane in for several years to see and said, "Oh, that section looks exactly like What I saw at the Tetons. well, no, it looks roore like ..." and they'd pick out another point and relate it to sane other IOOUiltain range and so forth. So it was one of those things that appealed to many, many people. When we finally got another building and were going to leave the White Cottage after ten years, one of the things that sane of the active participants regretted the rr.ost was leaving the mural. Andy had died shortly after painting the nnral and it is not even carq>leted. He actually died before he finished it. He became ill that following SI.IJIDer and he did not get out of the hospital in order to complete [it] although you really kind of have to point out on the mural what is incanplete about it. We've often cmmented that Shubert became famous for an unfinished syn:phony and Andy Bird is fanous over this unfinished rmral. But because the wall that he selected for painting the rmral was in a roan which was added onto the original part of the White Oottage or the Red School House or whatever, it did not have plaster walls as the original part had had. It had plaster board. So that we got permission fran our landlord, Fanily Services Center, to try to ranove that port ion and retain the rmral. <kle of our board members with a razor split the seams, sawed the thing out and brought it over here. It is not badly danaged. It is nCM roounted on plywood with a frane arOUI¥1 it and could be IIDVed very easily n<M because it1 s hanging like a picture. It is not part of the structv.re itself. Had any of us known enough about murals it is still considered an authenic mural, if canvass is stretched over the wall and then you shqply peel the canvass off, roll it up and that's the way you can nDVe a rmral. But I didn't realize that could be done. we were not sure that every one of us v«mld be so fond of the rmral and want to keep it that long. So we didn't think about that, and didn' t do it that way. The rmral has been saved anyway. So it is in the present Senior Citizen's center in the new location. Q: You started out talking about how you access to the population. A: I was on television and that's h<M Andy Bird heard about us and that's h<wi ~ got the nural, through Andy Bird. That was basically it, through an article or articles in the newspaper and simply iiwited people to cane. And the first progran was set on Miy 1, 1966. We were going to have a very infonnative health discussion by Peg Reid who was then the executive director of the Visiting Nurses Association and nobody cane. Nobody! Nobody! Q: \\hat did you feel like when no one cane? A: We felt, "Oh, my. After all this, the whole thing is a flop." We were very explicit in those days about What the presentation was. And I guess that sane people felt they didn't want to be educated or they didn't want to go to a senior citizens center. See that's the second part of caning up with the mme of the Vthite Cottage. Sane people didn't want to acknowledge that they were old enough to go there. \\hen you call it that, it's kind of like the enterprising tavern owner who names his establislment "The Office" so that when Daddy wants to run out of the house at night he can say, "Oh, I 'm rwming down to 'The Office. '" And it's the corner bar. Well, okay. So sanehow you can maintain your dignity and fool the people about your age if you're going to the White Cottage, not the Senior Citizens' Center. We had that bit of stigma. There was also a feeling that because we did not have dues, or fees of any kind, which the Older Americans Act Federal Goverrrnent did not allow us to charge--because there was none of this, that it was a welfare progran. And so we had to get the feeling across that it really wasn't-that there were ample opportunities for people to make contributions, that we simply weren't allowed to charge a fee but that it was not designed as a welfare program. You could cane regardless of what kind of incane or assets you had but we didn't know in the beginning that that would be such a serious factor or the idea of not--it just wasn't as accepted that older people went to school or were continuing--continuing education. It wasn't as cauoon in the educational systan in Springfield. We predate Lincoln Land Community College, Sanganon State University and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. So that the only school for higher education in Springfield at the time we opened was Springfield Jr. College which is n<M Springfield College in Illinois. Am that college didn't really make an effort to recruit older students. It was a traditional, right out of high school, first two year type students Who attended there in those days. And so it was the unusual older person who \\UUld think of doing anything in the educational line. So maybe we just had our heads in the cloud and thought people would just fall all over us and cane in no matter what we had to offer for then and that really was not the way it happened. Now when we have an educational progran that we feel should be available to everybody, that really everybody just has to know what's going on. A change in 1\t!dicare or sanething of that sort then we sugar-coat the title or we shnply have a guest came in to the dining roan where people are waiting for their meal and say, "Do you want nDre DDney fran this progran? I can tell you how you can get it." 'l'p.ey do respond to those kinds of things. &It one progra:n that we have Ollj our calendar all the time now is Feelin' Good. \\hat is Feelin' Good? Fe~lin' Good is an exercise progran rut people just don't show up for an exerpise progran so you go where they are sitting in their chairs, get a 1ittle roovem:mt going rigilt there in the dining roan, sare of it even sedentary exercise. But at least you get a little adrenalin rwmingbecause the llllsic is peppy and get a little circulation rooving if they do nothing bUt tap their toes to the onsic inside the shoes even, and may not even 1 i ft the sole and make a noise but there's a lot going on. But if you called it an exercise class, there would be very few participants. So we're still sort of following that sam line of making everything sound like, "Gosh, isn1 t this fun. You1 re missing a big thing by not being here." And hopefully that's the way we've overcam sane of that, just learning how to do it. It was a challenge even though a big disappointment in the beginning when nobody care. \\e had had a whole week of open houses and different groups caning through, lots of people in the week before. But that was strictly "just care in and have a cup of coffee with us and sare cake and see what we're all about, talk to us. 11 Q: I know now that there are Senior Transport vans that bring senior citizens here at this location. A: Yes. Q: But did you have any type of transp:>rtation available then at the \\hi te Cottage? A: No. \\e had none whatsoever. \\e were closer to a Springfield Miss Transit bus stop, right out in front. But we did not have any specialized transportation for older people. Q: And Springfield Mass Transit meant that they had to be able to walk on and off the bus without help? A: Yes. They did. Q: And afford the bus ride. A: And afford the bus ride. And they also had to be able to walk fran their home, stand on the corner--you know this could be three blocks away. And so they had to be physically able to do that. Or be within walking distance of the Cottage itself. y.e had one participant Who walked fran bane which was clear across town, chose to do it that way rather than try to go downtown--or she just didn't like riding buses and preferred to walk, was able to walk, did it that way rather than trying to go downtown, transfer and get on a different bus and cane out where we were. Q: When you first opened up you said you had open houses during the week and then the educational progran had flopped. \\ere you opened five days a week at that tnne? A: Yes we were. Q: Eight in the morning until five in the evening. Margaret Smmers A: 8: 30 in the mrning. \\e didn't have as many staff ID€1li:>ers. Th.el'e wasn't any staggering of hours to open earlier, staying a little later. Q: \\hat did you do after that first progran flopped with notxxly showing up? The next day--was that a working day? A: The next day was a working day. Yes, we were still doing things about getting set up and getting accustaned to it and making the contacts in the cmmmity and so forth. And in the meantime there were all kinds of thank yous to be written because we had had, like any other fonnal opening, flowers sent and all this kind of thing the day that the ribbon was cut. So this had to be done, too. \\e had business type of things to do. AIKi yes, we opened the very next day but we had already planned a full mnth activities. I don't rEmEmber what else we had on then. But it wasn't all a flop. It wasn't a mnth of nobody there. People started caning in. They just didn't want the health type of thing. Q: \\hen they started caning in \\hat did they do? A: Sam of than got into sam of the craft prograns. Sane of them played cards. Sane of them wanted saneone to whan they could talk, just plain visit. There was no nutrition progran then either. \\e had no meals to offer. But a lot of people were brown bagging it. \\e did a tremendous 11Ulber of pot lucks in those days because people who would otherwise had been bane alone eating, not sharing, found the joy of breaking bread together again through the potlucks. And while the first potlucks were lots of canned baked beans and potato chips and that's about it, eventually people discovered that when you did something, took a little more effort, really made sanething good, that there was a lot of praise, a lot of appreciation. And so they got around then to making a real effort to bring in same of their special dishes for the potlucks so that others could enjoy them. Q: You're role at the thne as executive director which meant a lot of business type of things to deal with rut where you sti 11 [were] a two-staff manber so you had to do the visiting also with the people that Cl:ltle in? A: Yes. Yes. That's right. There were just two for--well, the third person was a custodian who had been, was, still a guard at the State Office Building now known as the Stratton Building. And he nnonlighted with us is what it anounted to, cane over after v.urk, swept the place out and set it up the way--we'd leave a note for him and to have it set up for the next day. It was a couple of years before we really added secretary to have a full tbne progran director that didn't also have the secretarial, bookkeeping and other assorted jobs to do. And then we added the extension progran and that was hiring an activity person to go to the highri ses. we were already feeling the pinch of space at the White COttage by 1969. we simply could not accanoodate the group that had been developed in the meant nne, and felt that and transportation, more and roore mentioned as a progran in addition to that. So we had decided to send staff out where large groups of older people lived. And that at that time was the three highrises that Springfield Housing Authority had. None of the others were here at that time. Q: Wlich three were those? A: The first one to be built was the 1\tijor Byrd apartments. The next were Bonansinga and one of the towers at Sankey. Aixl those were the three that were opened, the only three when we started this progran. That progran contimed rut still was limited to those highrises operated by Springfield Housing Authority. \\hen they expanded to five buildirgs then we added another staff person to do the other wildings. That program lasted until the fall of 1982. End of Side One, Tape One A: Ye continued that progre until the fall of 1982 when the Area Agency on Aging deprioritized all activities which in effect then defunded that progran and that was one of the things that, while we picked up several of the things and kept the activities ~ctioning in the Senior Center itself, we couldn't see a way to contime with services to the highrises. ~ never were able to offer than to the semdprivate or semipublic whichever way, the other highrises which were developed by local developers. It was only Housing Authority. But it was a gocx:l way of providing services on an expar:ded basis to a group that didn't have to be transported, really didn't need to be because we went where they 1ived. Q: You had infoimB.tion and referral. You had activities. And you had potlucks. A: \\hich would be in the activity area really. Q: I knew that transportation and rreals are two of the priorities of things that are needed for older Americans. \\hen did you get a meals site? A: The next project before we had ~reals and transportation, the next project that are board applied for, was the Retired Senior Volunteer Progre. And that project was funded in 1972, I'm quite certain. Yes, 1972. They had their tenth year anniversary at their recognition a year ago, so that would be. Q: What's the Retired Senior Volunteer Progran? A: The Retired Senior Volunteer Program is a project to recruit older people, age 60 and older, to do volunteer services in the local community. The recruitment is designed to attract same people that are nonnally i involved in the volunteer efforts of the C<Dl111Ility. Those who have ~en Girl Ccout leaders and PTA presidents and SWlday School superintenden s all their lives are going to continue to volunteer. But for many, t y've been so geared to a job that they haven't got that involved with the volunteer efforts of the community or in retirement they find that t y can't contirru.e because with a 1 imi ted incane; the costs are higher t they are able to bear. The costs of volunteering could include rreals away fran hane, same t fires special clothing required, and transportat on and so forth. Those out of p:>cket expenditures then, if you are ai up through the Retired Senior Volunteer Progrllll, frequently called R$VP, are reimblrsed. They are reimbursable expenditures. And that is the advantage in that. It's a linking service. It's a matter of findinJ the people who have time, expertise and love to give and find the approp:riate position where they can give that service to the camunity. Q: \\hen your board applied for that progrllll, were you able to hire a director or did that become something else that you did in another hat you wore? A: No, we had a director in that progrllll fran the beginning. That progran has had as many as five or six people on the staff at various times. But it's functioning at the same level with only three staff members now. The progrllll has had four different project directors since its opening and has done sane beautiful things in the camunity. One of the first things, I kncm one of the first things that was developed was one of the things that alrmst makes me cry every time I talk about it. I think it's such a beautiful idea and wish that it had worked out to continue. The idea of taking older people Yho reside in the Miry Bryant Home--Miry Bryant Ham is a bane for people of all ages who are blind-recruiting those older people who are nonnally on the receiving end of things and transporting then to serve in the concept of foster grandparents which is a loving, caring, you know I have time to sit and cuddle and hold and talk and so forth, at Hope School. Hope School is a live-in facility w1th the education facility for children Who are multiply handicapped, one handicap of which ID.lst be blindness. They are blind with sane other comi tion. This to me the canbination of the people who are already blind, the older people who are blind, giving to the younger people who are blind when they can relate to that handicap was, I thought, one of the mst exquisite things, and I talked about it every time I could to people all around the COWltry. I just thought it was great. well, that one did not survive and I liil not certain why it isn't being done presently. But I think one of the nicest things now that they are doing is working through the adult education systEm and day care and other things to help Americanize the Vietnamese or Indo-Chinese refugees who are in this community. And it's not exactly that they have to live American standards of 1i fe but helping then to get along here in learning the English language and so forth. The volunteers during the sunner in the special day care for the refugee children has been one of the roost rewarding things that we've done. It's just, you know, it's a great progrmi. The following year, in 1973, we did start the Nutrition Progran. Nutrition Program was available because it was an anendent to the Older Atrericans Act Ytbich added mtrition. Ho\wver, the act that mtended the Older Americans Act was labeled Social Services and Nutrition so that it was not limited but with the Social Servic$s and the emphasis on socialability that Congress placed on that it meant that it was a congregate rreal progrmi. There are sane bane deliveries fran that progrllll for those people who are tm:porarily hane bowld or have supposedly been participants in the progrmi and have becane bane bourd and they sti 11 need to be fed. That's all. They just have to be. But we opened the Nutrition Progrllll on December 1, 1973 in one site which was the First Presbyterian Church. That clmrch was not only a site at that time. The kitchen was used there for all cooking and the offices were in that building. The Nutrition Progran within a year had opened four other sites, te \\bite Cottage being one. I believe Kunler United M:!thodist Omrch was one of the original sites, Grace United Methodist was one of the originals, and New Berlin, Illinois. The sites have now expanded until there are seventeen of than. There are seven in the city of Springfield, six in rural SangllllOn Comty and four in Menard County. That's the only project which we have at this time v.hich does serve M!nard. Transportation had to be part of the Nutrition Progran because people had to get there am that was the requiremmt for being funded for a Nutrition Progran that there v.ere sane vans for transportation. The first tv.o vans were purchased with funds fran capital Township, Capital Township, being contiguous to the borders of the city of Springfield, fran their General Federal Reverue Sharing Funds. Aixl one fran Urmet Needs monies of the United way. And the fourth vehicle was purchased with f\mds fran the Older Almricans Act in the Nutrition Progran itself. \\e started with four vans. The RSVP, Retired Senior Volunteer Progran, opened on the second floor of the Red Cross Buidl ing. The Nutrition Program was at First Presbyterian Olurch. Senior Transport. since it required one desk for a dispatcher and parking space for the van, could be handled at the \\hite Cottage but we were scattered around the city and it was an inconvenience. The staff wasn't as well coordinated as they should have been because we weren't sort of 1iving together and there wasn't, there really wasn't an administrative level in our organization. Because, while I was Executive Director, I basically was executive director of the \\hi te Cottage and did not have the authority of the achninistrative level that I have now or has been set up by the board. So that each project had its own director. \\e all sort of operated on a level which led to sane problans. Anyway the board served as the administrative level and then that had been changed in the Ireantime. At any rate that was one of the reasons that we needed to get a building where we could all be together for convenience for older people as well . Q: Now I understand when you said you outgrew the building seven years before you DX>Ved. The wilding was satisfactory for three and for seven, it had not been satisfactory. A: That's right. It was not only that the other projects were elsewhere. You know we couldn't all get together. Yk simply had to be careful of what we were progrmming. We did not have space to do many of the things that we wanted to do. \\e could not have a pool table. And in the center you see the popularity of the pool tables with the men. Quilting has always been one of our fundraising projects. but we had to set hours in the old building for the quilters to came in. It wasn't the drop in because the cpi1 t frmiEs are always up kind of thing, to put in a few, stitches. It had to be a scheduled thing. And when that was not sc~duled one day a week we had the quilt frane out. The rest of the time the qui 1 t frane was taken off of the horses and the frane was set up agaipst the wall. It took IIDnths to get a qui 1t cpilted because it just wasnr t out there for people to drop in and do it on their own. It had to be! a set time to cane in and quilt. We could never have had a roan like ~ had for the Halloween party today. That roan is bigger than--and it~an accanoodate IIDre than we could acccmrodate in that whole buildingthat one progran roan here with the dining roan. So we needed it for many ot r things, other than just getting all projects together, definitely. : Q: What was your interaction with the participants at the Wlite O:>ttage? A: Tramndous! The IIDSt rewarding part of the whole job! My office was so positioned over there that it was on a direct line. It was a long skinny office slinilar to a hallway. And there was a door at either end of it. And fran the back roan where a lot of the craft work and cards and things that were happening to the middle of the wilding where was the ladies' restroan, that was the direct line. And rather than go arOllllCi through the other door, 100st people walked straight through my office to go to the toilet. That was the way. When we had a potluck, the only way we could handle the traffic flow was in one door and out the other. <ne line, one side of that line, had to be through my office. For years they lined up, filled their plate, sort of had to baCk traCk in the back roan to get to where the drinks were set up on the counter and then cane througil my office and go to the tables in the other roan. One tline \\hen I was away, sanetxxly got the brilliant idea that if they lined up and went originally througil my office into the baCk roan, filled their plates, they would not have to back track because they would be at the other ern of the long table with food, pick up their drinks and go back the way they had been caning in. Sounds 1 ike a beautiful set up, except when you 1 re in the pot1uck line and you1 re lined up to go, it1 s slow. When you are holding a filled plate and a cup already to go, you IOOVe and you keep going. So this rreant that vllile the line had been IOOVing through my office, it now is standing in my office. And this is not a terrible long office and so the next 100nth when I was back on the job, within a few feet, like less than twelve, there were seventeen people standing when I got a long distance phone call. And so imnediately after the lunch men we always had the nenbership meeting, I simply went out and said to them, "I don't know who had that idea. I hope I never hear. I think it' s a beautiful idea tut it didn1 t work and you can' t do that anynDre. 11 So forever after they did back traCk to get their drinks and then wander back on through. But there was a lot less papeiWOrk, a lot less bureaucracy in the whole field of aging. \\e had fewer responsibilities. And there was more thne for direct contact with people plus the fact that my office was there and it was easy to see everybody. Q: \\hat was sane of the direct contact that you would have? A: M>st of it would be just chatting about anything, snall talk. Unless somebody really had a problem and the problem could be with children, neighbors, housing, finances. It was an infonnal type of coWiseling we were doing. Lots of it was listening. once in a vll.ile caning up with a suggestion of ways that things could in:prove. But it was this kind of a thing that led us to realize that we needed to have professional counselors on our staff. So we started with one on a part tirre basis and kept rolling. And we fJON have five, most of vllan are full tline. Any tline we can afford to keep thEm full t llne we will. In addition to that we have a case management portion of the Case Cbordinating Unit which is our newest project. So that really it is the agency has changed in character to the extent that it is a much more service oriented agency, basic services--than it is a place to gather and play cards and shoot pool. Those things still go on. Those things need to go on. See, we kind of have a dual image here. We have a dual purpose. In the prevention aspect we really have to attract people before their problEmS get so bad. And that's where we catch the people in the activities. That's how we get than involved with other people, keep thEm fran sitting bane am being lonesane and deteriorating. So that's why we have this kind of progrn. We like to get people started before they are beyond claiming or reclaiming. We also need to think then of the service aspects for those who haven't started. haven't been able to prevent a deterioration and of course we have in the years between 1966 and 1983 seen a lot of people that have been with us fran the beginning, really show scme of the worse sides of aging, sane of the deterioration that does occur. And of course we've lost a lot of friends along the way and weren't able to be with us any IOOre. We also need to keep sane of the well and not so poor elderly. Maybe not so elderly. We need the young, old, not only the old, old. Because we need those volunteers who are able to produce things in the craft lines, for instance. to keep the gift shop filled with saleable itEmS. We need sane of the IOOre capable people who will be in the dining roan who can carry the trays for sane of the other people who aren't able to carry their oY4l trays. And we just have to have sane around who are here just to keep things rooving. The participants' organization has to have its own leaders. So you do have to have all this kind of mix of the ones who are here to serve others and the ones that are really needing services. And sane of thEm are on both sides. So it works both ways. The young--old, roore affluent old, are the olds who are the heavier contributors and are able to do more in that line. And we certainly need to match all of the grants and to have our own contributions and so forth in order to keep a lot of the general expenses paid in order to match the grants and all the rest of it. Q: How did you get fran the White Cottage to this present address of 701 \\est Mison? A: We took a lot of talking, took a lot of convincing. William Telford was the Mayor of Springfield. He was not there at the time that we opened the \\bite Cottage but he becmte mayor. He took a serious interest in this project. We had very little connection with the City of Springfield at that time, no fonnalized connection at all. But the mayor was interested in older people and in getting a better facility. We had some leaks in the old building as well as being inadequate in size. There were leaks. \\e had had termites. The furnace was an old conversion rurner that didn't always work too well. We had window air conditioner units that weren't the greatest. There were many, many things about the wilding that were not satisfactory, plus the fact, as I said before, we were scattered all over town. The mayor was interested. There was no source of funding. The mayor presented the idea to many of his wealthier friends around the camnmity and said, "Wly don't you give sane 100ney. You know if you'd wild the building for thEm, they'd name it for you," and all this kind of thing. That didn' t click with anybody. The mayor wasn' t able to do that. The very first year that the federal goverrment adopted the concept of Federal Revenue Sharing Funds of collecting extra federal tax dollars and sending than back to the local cmmmities, back to every political entity in the country, this was kind of a windfall for every group. And initially they all sort of thought about extra projects that they could do with this Imney. One of the things was that Miyor Telford and the city council at that time decided this is our chance to build a Senior Center. And we can allocate sane nDney for this. Hopefully lf.1e wi 11 find saoo grounds that are available without having to buy and that's what we're going to do with part of our nDney. Since the year was in 1975, the big kickoff for the National Bicentennial, they considered it one of the city's bicentennial projects. And they detennined that they would use land that belonged to the city park district because that was available without having to buy it, so that there is a three-way agreamnt with our board of directors, the park board and city council that we had fifty years to use this building without paying rent and an option to renew that. The wilding was canpleted in 1976. In March of that year Daily Bread oxwed in. Daily Bread was renting the space that they were using at First Presbyterian Olurch. They wanted to get out of paying rent as soon as possible. Since they had used the pans and the spoons and the dishes and everything at First Presbyterian Orurch they had very little moving. A couple of file cabinets just about did it. Maybe a can of peaches. It -was easy for thEm to nnve. \\hen the contractor said to city council, "The building is canpleted. Here's the key," the mayor wanted the wilding occupied, so the Nutrition Progrm1 nnved in. They started using the kitchen here for cooking for as many sites as they were cooking for at that time. They were serving here. And that was the sum total of it. Wall, their offices were here. But the building was occupied. That meant then that it was open and it was available for volunteers to come in and complete same things that were not included. Such things as shelving the store roans and partitions around sam of the offices all had to be provided over and above the contract that the city had signed with the contractors or with the architects. The architects on this building selected things to leave out when they found that the allocation was not going to be adequate to do everything that wa felt we needed. we were trying to say, "We aren't asking for the nDon. we're asking for something that will last us for ten years. It took us seven years to get out of the old building. I know that nobody' s going to run us out of this one and we need space. We need space. we need space." So the architects very wisely left out sane of the air conditioning because we have zoned roof top air conditioner units. They can be added another time. They did not include the partitions around the wall because it's a thing that a group can do. They didn't put partitions in the offices. They did not have as I said before shelving in any of the storage areas at all. we had already scrounged same scrap lumber stored out in the barn on our fann and we had volunteers to use that to build the shelving in the store roans. And that was why the wilding needed to be opened to those volunteers to cane in do those things and to finish up these extra little things before the rest of us nnved. And on Saturday, May 15, Illinois National Guard rolled in with their trucks and their husky young mmbers to do the rooving for us. And so that 1 s when we got into this building. Q: How did you get the guard? That was a nice touch. A: The National Guard--Dan Walker was the governor of the state at that time and Governor Dan Walker believed finnly that the National Guard of the state of Illinois should drill or do whatever they normally did qnly one of the weekends in the nDnth that they put in on duty. And the Qther weekend they should be doing sane camuni ty service. And if they doq' t happen to need the sandbag down at Beardstown fran a flood or sanething then they could do sanething like this. And the guard still does many of those nice things for nonprofit agencies. Q: So you rooved your executive offices, RSVP, Information and Referral and your Counseling departroont on Mly 15? A: And the activities, educational prograns, outreach, yes. Yes. Q: In 1976? A: 1976, that's right. \\hen we rooved we had to do sanething about rur name. RSVP, Retired Senior Volunteer Progran, is a name that they used for that kind of project all aver the country. So there was no problan. Ytherever they are housed they're going to be RSVP. Daily Bread is the rume that was selected by the first Nutrition Council for the Nutrition Progran of Sangaoon and M:!nard Counties. That is unique rut it doesn't relate to where anything is. Senior Transport, the transportation system, again, the rume can go wherever the project goes. But \\hi te Cottage--you couldn't do that. This building is not white. It does not look like a cottage. The project and the wilding had the same name. And so before we rooved we had a contest. Actually the initial contest to nane the wilding. The name that was selected for the mme of the physical plant that the city was building for us was Seniorama, Seniorm:Ja being a term that indicated "panorama" like "soorgasboard of services," like a "cafeteria" where you take vtlatever you want, you know. Okay, we've got it all here. You can get it here. And we told the rmyor that this was the name that our participants selected. But the rmyor did not choose that rume. The mayor said, "I an the one who is buying the gold letters for the front of the building, the identification. I don't want it to say Seniorm:Ja." "Fine, Mlyor, that's all right. You call the wilding whatever you like." Then we still had to cane up with a rume for the project per se. And so we held another contest. And the sarne names were subni tted and the sane rumes cane up as the winner, by a vote of the participants themselves. Seniorama. Seniorama at that thne was a separate project. We still did not have an adninistrative level of organization that we have now. So I was director of Senioram. only. And that led to sane problems of having the projects in the sane wilding and not having anybody in charge. So we got that taken care of after about fifteen nx>nths of really having sane serious problEfllS. Nevertheless, this rume won and we still have the same Infol'IIBtion and Referral, Counseling Advocacy, OUtreach, crafts, cards, educational programs, all of that under Seniorama. And so that was the nBIIE of the project. Now by usage Seniorana can be the rume of the ruilding, it can be the rume of the whole operation, or it can be the nBIIE of a particular project which really doesn't exist as a project any more because of the deprioritization of 75 percent of the services a year ago in October. There were so rmny things cut out of that particular progran that we couldn't even afford to continue it to have a director. The only actual services it provides under federal fwlding of that is Informational and Referral. Everything else -went out. Oh, we've managed to keep a few things: the hearing screening service, the activities, many of these things we have tried to keep through local funding and have been able to. But the character has changed considerably. But the reason that Seniorana has becane synoiWffiOUS with everything we do is partially is because it's a catchy kind of nsme that people can say easily. The IOOdia has done sane of this and we've tried to explain to than what the difference between Senior Citizens of Sanganon County, Inc. and Senior Citizen's Ulnter and Seniorml!l. But they use Seniorana for all of it because, number one, if you use either of the others you're taking up in the printed roodia a lot more space than if you consolidated altogether ~th one little word Seniorama. Secondly, back to 'Nlat I said about answering the phones before we rumed the other building the Wlite Cottage, it's very hissy sounding to say, "Senior Citizens Ulnter or Senior Citizens of Sanganon County." And those who are in the spoken neclia: radio, and T.V., are very conscious of that sound, and they wi11 avoid it if there's any way to getting out of it. And when they see a notice cOOling about happening over here and it says the Senior Citizens Ulnter, they're going to substitute Seniorarna any time they can because they are so fearful of slurring those words. So it's just natural to use that title. Q: Do you want to call it quits today? A: I don't care. I can go on if you give 100 another thing to talk about. Q: Let's call it quits today. A: All right. Very good. End of Side '1\vo, Tape One Q: Good afternoon, Mlrgaret. A: Good afternoon, Jude. Q: I'd like to start off today with an explanation if you would about the scopes of the project before and after the federal defunding that you went through in 1982. A: Fine. Okay. The services that were included fran practically day one or year one, anyway that failed to survive included counseling, outreach, escort, education. Let's see if I can nane than. There should be about seven of than but samtimes they're consolidated and I know leisure thne activities, oh, health screenings. Health screenings are the major ones. I think there may be one other. I guess transportation was one and that also survived. I know I said Infotmation and Referral but Transporation was shifted to a different grant sanewhere along the 1ines so it survived also. Counseling has also survived because the defunding care under Title II I of the Qlder American Act depriori zation and part of the counseling had been conducted under Title XX of the Social Security Act when the State Department on Aging received word of the depriorization of the Title I II counseling and When sane Title XX funding was freed up fran another area, it was offered to us so we ru.ve been able to maintain the full staff in the counseling department. So in that respect, thanks to gracious concern of same of our state colleagues, we are able to continue that. we do basically no outreach at all at ithis time with the exception of the outreach for the rnitrit ion progrmn in which case all they're supposed to do basically is go out to tell people about the rnitrition progran and that is still funded Wlder the other part of the funding, under Title III C of the Older Americans Act. Q: \\hat kind of outreach were you doh~ before? A: Sane door knocking, really aggressive case finding kinds of things in a particular neighborhood. That has sort of tapered off and roostly it was a llBtter of spreading infonmtion to groups just getting out and trying to get in with groups of older people, the clubs, the retiranent clubs and so forth and get the word out through the group media. Of course we still accept referrals but when a referral comes and somehow sornbody's connected with the system someway. That isn't directly outreach any longer. So that has been discontinned as I say with the exception of rnitrition. However, since the nntrition progran was a part of this project once the outreach has been effective for the nutrition progran if there are other services that are needed, that is passed on, of course. The referrals are made to other projects of the agency. So that is what has survived fran that defunding. Escort, counselors are still doing to a certain extent and volunteers are serving as escorts on occasion through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and actually the drivers do more escort than the original concept of escort. Not the original concept l:ut they had been doing before. They had been driving and an escort had been going along on occasion or the escort driving the individual, providing the transportation, when that kind of thing would be funded; then it was a matter of the drivers helping individuals in and out of places and so forth which is sort of an escort service. It still does not allow a person to go along and really hold hands in the doctor's office and sit with an individual as a true escort does. The educational progr811E that we had are continued with the leisure time activity. They are continued here at the Senior center with local support totally. And any thne their infonnational, educational kinds of programs are made available, it is the activity coordinator who will set up a progra:n. So they have continued. Where the depriorization affected all the leisure thne activities and educational programs are mstly in the highrises. Because we have had an extension team that went into all of the Springfield Housing Authority operated highrises in the city to take the same kinds of services and activities that were offered here to the highrises for the individuals who 1ived there and not 1imited to those individuals. It started when we didn't have roan at the Cottage to acccmmd.ate everyone who wanted programs. And the Housing Authority offered this additional space on an in-kind basis. In other words we didn't have to pay for it. We just went in there and serve their residents by having the activities and the programs there, and the infonnational and educational and counseling services available within those highrises. That portion of it we really could not pick up the total funding. We did try. We were doing well to keep the one time staff person here. And did terminate the two that were doing the high rise prograns and services. Counselors and personnel coordinators will respond to referrals fran residents in the highrises. They are still getting those kinds of services in the highrises but the activities are gone. The other thing was the health screening program. Health 1 screening included a unique and very thorough, very helpful audiametr1c progran. It also included roonthly blood pressure checks with sane ot11er health screening such as diabetics, or infonnation given on other conditions, flu shots and many of these things. Those were defW1ded, deprioritized by an action of the Area Agency on Aging. The rationale was that there were blood pressure rmchines in the drugstores. NCMT that's all well and good for those Who, nunber one, live in the city Who have a drugstore that has one of those IIBChines and, secondly, if you can get to than. It is not very helpful for the people in the rural areas Who may not even have a drugstore in their town, let alone a rm.chine of that kind. And the medically under-served rural areas felt this. The service actually has not been as unavailable as one might think, however, simply because many of the 12 counties in this Area Agency territory Where the defunding carne have their own county health department. Sangamon County does not. The reason that it has been voted dCM111 by Sangm10n County residents about three times and Ill)St recently rejected by the county board is because we have a very active, very effective, very viable city health department. And the rural residents of Sangamon County do not out-vote the city of Springfield voters. So that, being fearful of addi tiona! taxes if they extend and provide those services to the county, it's just--we've never been able to pass it to get those services available to rural areas. \\hen word of this depriorization was passed around the camunity Ccnmissioner Patrick ward who is Oannissioner of Health and Safety for the city said llunediately that he would see that his health officer, James Diekroeger, continued these services to the nutrition sites, the high rises, any group of older people within the city of Springfield. Of course they could not go outside the city because they are funded with city taxes. They had gone outside the city When the Area Agency contracted with than to pay then with federal funds to go beyond their scope. And that is allowed. The county board then picked up that slack by applying for a Health Prevention Bloc Grant. The Sangaroon County board chainnan, Dick Austin, was granted sare of this grant 100ney. He then contracted with the city health department so that the blood pressure checks and the other screenings are still available in the nutrition sites in rural Sangamon County. The bloc grants are not continuing. You have to apply and reapply and reapply and nobody knows how long funds are going to care down the pike for bloc grant kinds of things but that's the way things are with governnent fWlding always. On the audiaretric progran, this started in 1969. The Olicago Hearing Society had a very interesting progran of testing, doing audiaretric screening and of training volunteers to teach lip reading for older people. Lip reading is easier for older people to pick up than is the signing, the sign language, because older peoples' joints might be a little stiff to do that. It is like a foreign l~age in their later years. Because they have been hearing people. Sign language definitely has its place with deaf children particularly if they're born deaf. But older people have really built a lot of lip reading Skills subconsciously simply by being hearing people and it is a matter of showing than what they already know if they will just work on that a little harder, stand directly in front of people and so forth. And there was same special training, of course, to help them distinguish between sane of the sotmds that look alike. This was an important program for a long t iire and then that sort of lost favor and I couldn't accoWtt for it. I don't know. It just seemed that there weren't that many people who at that t i.nE chose to learn lip reading in that rm.nner. However, the progran continued. Because in the early days there was iiiDt a certified audiologist in the city of Springfield that we could use,: we .. ------·--····-----------------~ had originally tapped into the resources of the speech and hearing department of Illinois State University in Noimal. That meant transporting older people for testing other than the audianetric screenings up to NOI'mal and having their testing done up there which becare sort of a hassle. We were very fortWlB.te \\hen a certified audiologist cane to M:morial J.le~ical Center that he had cam fran Dekalb, fran Northern Illinois University, just having canpleted an additional degree up there, having worked with a similar program up there who then contacted Chicago Hearing Society and said, "I know you've done all that good stuff in Dekalb. Is there anything like it in Springfield or can I start sanething like it in Springfield?" And they said, "We've already got sanething going, get ahold of th€fll." And we no longer had to go up north with our people then. Mlch simpler. The way the program works is that we still have volunteers who are trained by the audiologist at Memorial to be audiometric technicians. It is a free test. Because 1\B'oorial is not in the hearing aid dispensing gane, they can then write an inpartial evaluation of hearing, they can write a prescription for a hearing aid, they can rule out a prescription of a hearing aid for anyone who probably would not benefit fran its use. There have been many instances of hearing aids being fitted on people Ml.o have concH tiona that cannot be corrected by appliance. So this is a matter of eliminating all of that. And that program with sane local 100ney fran sam of the business service chlbs has been able to survive at a slightly lower level than before. We are still doing as many screenings as we had done before. We are not able to subsidize the individuals for the further testing at Mmorial as Imch as we had previously. We have also not had the staff to do the leg work in getting saneone to buy a hearing aid for an individual who may not be able to afford it. And that has pretty well been taken care of by a very recent contract between a Sertana Club in Springfield and Memorial that anyone needing, and this is for all ages though, anyone of any age needing a hearing aid if that certified audiologist, one of the certified audiologists over there recmmends a hearing aid that really cannot afford it when the screenings are all done and everybody knows they can1 t , then the Sertana Club wi 11 look at that and possibly buy the hearing aid. So that has been picked up by saneone else. It1 s similar to one of the programs that we had that was deflmded and this wasn't really de:fumed in the same line. This really takes care of everything that was in that depriorization period. OJ you have any questions on that, Jude, before we go on? Okay. Q: No. Go ahead. A: We had one other brief period, eighteen rmnths, Ml.en we had a progran called SCAPI which stands for Senior Citizens Alcholisn Prevention Initiative. The Department of tv.ental Health, and Developnental Di sabi1ities of the State of Illinois in their alcoholism section had a special demonstration progran for eighteen roonths for Yilich we did receive funds. And it Ytlls one of the programs which they hoped they would be able to contirue. They were not able to continue it because this was right at the time when a lot of budgetary cuts v.ere caning dOYn the pike and it wasn't possible to contiime with that progran. However, it received a lot of favora?~Ie play. We had one staff IDEili>er and that was all for that progran~We knew fran the very beghming that it would not be continued or t it would not be contirued beyond the eighteen roonths and, of course, as •t happened it was not. But it was an educational progran to point out ~o I ! people that alcohol isn was a problEm mJOng the elderly as well as it is moong the young. It has not had as nuch publicity based on the fact mostly that the young create problBilS wdth their families and their schools and their jobs and Whatever else. The elderly are more likely to sit at home and drink themselves into a stupor on their own. They aren't driving, they aren't losing jobs over it because they're already retired. But it's a problEm to themselves and to their health, of course. And the reason that it happens so insidiously is because the older person's resistance might be lowered and they may be on more medication. SO it was the cmi>ination that really disturbed us more. \\e weren't trying to rescue "old alcoholics", those ~o had been winos all their lives. In the first place very few of them lived to their later years if they started very young, so there aren't that many. But if they did survive and were still alive we felt like that wasn't what we were doing. We weren't in it for that. we were in it to prevent any others fran falling prey to the condition. And alcohol is a good substitute for a job, a spouse, a routine, all of the things that people lose in their later years. And if you fall into the habit of making that the thing that you're looking at, that you're picking up as a substitute, that's the way it goes. So we had one staff person who wrote a page in the newsletter every month warning people about the problBilB that they may be facing, and spoke to the nutrition sites, spoke to any of the senior clubs or any other clubs that would have him. And the basic rressage was ''Watch it. You know this can happen very easily." There were a Ill.lllber of people fran his various audiences that said they really began to recognize how close they were without thinking about it prior to that time. However, just as we have to sugar coat a lot of the other progrllllS that we offer if they are infol'lllltional, we think they are i.nportant--if they are say an exercise class we call keeping Feelin' Good rather than exercise because people are not likely to came in to an exercise class so we aort of sugar coat it--we also found that to title a presentation by this staff person samethill:r about alcoholisn kept people away. They don't want to acknowledge that as a problem. Therefore, because generic drugs were new on the scene at that point DllilY of the topics had sane title with generic drugs in it. Now Jim could make his presentation--that's Jim Hamer, the one staff person we had in that progran--Jim would make his presentation of this drug by the generic brand costs so nuch and the other one was so DllCh 100re and if you're on these you save this Dl.lch money, make a cost canparison, rut even if you're saving the 100ney, or however you're saving--however you're spending your money on the medicines, why blow it by belting a few martinis on top of them and then they do you no good. They may even do you more haDD than without the cmi>ination and so forth. So this was one way that he got his message across fairly we11. So we have seen things came and go over the years and that's just another one that cBDe and left. Q: That's a good lead now to what if sane things that have cane since the federal defunding. ll> you have any new projects goi:r.g on or changes in projects because of the funding? A: The IIEjor change in progran in the more recent years of course is the caning of the Olse Coordinating Unit. That cane because and with federal funding to a certain extent. Sane of it is state funding but it's because of the state mphasis on the Comuni ty Olre Progran. The Comunity Care Program statewide is a program of in-home services, specifically at this t irne 1 imi ted to chore/housekeeping, hanam.king and adult day care. 'l!hat progran has been in existence basically with state funding for apprm¢imately three years. It was the vendors, the people who were delivering those services, who did the assessments in this three year period of those clients who applied for their services. And they deteimined whether they were eligible, how much time they could have, how much help and so forth. And after a three year period, it seemed that there were same discrepancies smwn without saying anybody was at fault. It simply seemed to indicate that the vendors were trying real hard to take any client that applied that aSked for their services to bring them up to eligibility. And then at the other end of the scale if they seemed to be approaching the point at v.hich they are "over-eligible" or in other words, really could not be served in the hame any longer and should be institutionalized, that they were inclined to hold back sane of those points, not put them on the evaluation, the assessment of that individual, simply so they could continue to serve than in the heme, and not have them in a nursing bane or wherever. Am this was not the purpose of the program. The purpose was to see that the appropriate people were being served. And so the state deteimined that it would be necessary then for a neutral body to do the assessments, to make the case plan for that individual and then contact the vendors saying, "This is the lll.llber of hours and these are the times that this individual needs these kinds of services." And that progran is what has ballooned in the past few nnnths. I think the scope of it is beyond anyone's imagination in the beginning. The other part of that program as we see it here, and this is not universal, is that of coordinating volunteers Who then will be available to fill the gaps in service. There are st i 11 people who need same services but they are not eligible either because they are econanically over-eligible although basically what it means they have to pay for services. Or they don't have quite enough unit to be eligible for sane of these services and yet they need help with the few things they do need. They can't get out, of course. A lot of the referrals are made to the Counseling department. Mlny times what they need to know is that we offer transportation and meals anyway and that might satisfy the needs of that individual. But if they just don't quite qualify same way, then maybe there are volunteers that could help. There are probably needs there that can be satisfied by volunteers that don't fit into the category of chore/housekeeping, homemakers, or adult day care. So this is the new thing on the horizon right now. And at this point, it seems to be the one v.hich is getting all the attention of the state legislators abd the Department on Aging, and a lot of it fran the--a great deal--fran the Area Agencies on Aging. A great deal of funding is going into these prograns. In fact, it was part of the reason I think that same of the depriorization did come about a year ago is in preparation for sane of these things, sane of the rmney being diverted for the other purposes. Q: This Case Coordinating Unit is unique to Illinois or is it natioiJNide? A: It is the way Illinois has developed it. I don' t say that they ~re original in caning up with the idea. They tell us that they have developed it rmre canpletely than many other states have. I don' t know how unique it really is. I I I I I Margaret SliiiiBrs 23 Q: Okay. \\hat are your goals? Maybe not personal goals tut what are the goals that you see for the Senior Citizens of Sangamon Cbunty Incorporated in the future? A: I have said fran the begirming that if we did our job as thoroughly and ccnpletely as we should that we would work ourselves out of a job. That basically one of our goals is to change the attitude about aging, to help people understand that they must prepare for their own aging at ymmger years, that there are many things that need to be considered nuch earlier than most people think about considering them, that there needs to be a change in attitude about aging, our own as well as others. And if we were totally successful, then the world would go back to the days when they took care of their own. Olurches would pitch in, the voluntary sector would have a hand in it, everybody would look out for their neighbor again, and everybody would be happily cared for, and there would be no need for social agencies. well, that's like saying dentists will never pranote flouride because it would work thEm out of a job. And we knCM that dentists in fact do promote flouride and they still are not going broke in such great Iunbers. So chances are we can continue to develop services as nuch as we can to help individuals and maintain their indeperxience and dignity which is one of the goals of everything that we have to help individuals firxi outlets, firxi ways of services for minbnal expense through the agency kinds of activities and services that will let them get along on their own. I would guess those are the basic goals. Now, more specifically how do you do that? You just keep plugging along with the sare things that you're doing. M>re realistic than all of that great idea that's not so obtainable is being in a position to resporxi to the needs of older people as they make requests for services and then being able to--we've always fallen into the trap that so many agencies have rather than being proactive you're reactive. You hear that funding is available for a certain progrm1 and so you will work it into your objectives and it becares your progrmi, and apply for the grant. It all seems to follow when you're doing what the m:mey's available to do. And that certainly is not the best way to go tut it's the most practical way to go in this day and age. we are nuch to dependent upon public funding. we would like to see a return to the voluntary sector. Our contritution level is great. Th.e United Way has been good to us. Our mone)I018king, fundraising among the participants is terrific. we need to get the board motivated. I think there's a big deterioration in the way that the Board of Directors at this time has seemed to lack interest in helping the meni>ers make the rooney or having their own furxiraisers. Now we're certainly working at turning that arourxi because the board instituted through a cmmittee a fWldraiser of a year ago which will be repeated again. And that's a big one. we'd like to have a bigger one than this tut it's suppose to be a biggy and an anrrual sort of thing. One of the goals should be and has been and should be worked on is that of being se1fsufficient, self-supporting and start with sane lofty goals there of making enough money in a fundraiser that you don't have to use it all, that you can put it into sanething like a foundation, an endownent, and solicit funds then for an endownent fund and live off the incane. And that is a long, long tenn project. Q: \\hat are sam of the fundraisers that the mEmbers have had? , II I ' I Margaret SUIIlErs 24 A: The 111€1lbers have had bazaars since the very first year. They have--1 said that plural because it is not only a Christmas/Holiday sort of bazaar--they do have spring bazaars. They have other craft type of sales. we have sold at the county fair every year since our first year. They sell now at Faroous Barr Department store every year because they invite the members to bring same of their craft items out there for a weekend. They've had card parties, they have had car washes, they've had all the traditional things. we had one period where when the newspapers were lucrative, we had newspapers brought in and we burxlled than up and took than to the salvage cmpany. We've had rtmnage sales, white elephant sales; we've had white elephant auctions. we are in the process now and will be receiving fran the printers very shortly a recipe book. This is the second one. we did one earlier. This one is being printed by an honest to goodness recipe canpany. The original one we cranked out on our own little mimeograph and p.u1ched holes in it and put it together with chicken rings. It's another little bit of nostaglia. Chicken rings, the bands, they are plastic bands. You can get than in various colors; they were color coded by size and you put than around the legs of the chicken if you were raising chickens, because you had to keep track of the chicken by which hen they belonged, which brood they belonged in, when they were born, you know, the whole thing, how old they are, all that sort of jazz and you banded the legs of your chickens. By the time we were doing this cook book very few people were using those any more because chicken raising had gone fran the snail fann flock. It was a time When snail fann flocks were dying and I think we bought up the last chicken bands in the city because we went to every fann supply to get everything that they had on hand. And anyway that' s What we used. (laughter) Q: \\e talked about the goals that you think that SCSC Inc wi 11 have. \\hat about the goals for the citizens of SanganDn County themselves who are 60 or older? OJ you hear anything, \\hat do you hear fran the lDEIIi>ers? v.hat do they say that they're going to be doing in the next ten or twenty years of their lives? A: Oh, I wish I had the time to talk to older people like I did in the beginning when in the old wilding they walked right through my office to get to the restroans and all that sort of thing, I knew more about what they were saying and talking about. I could overhear than in the activity roans. In this wilding we are so separate that I just feel out of touch with than. I hear than came in with their problems. But what their goals are and what their hopes are for the next period of their lives I an not sure I sould say. Q: \\hat about your own? A: Oh, I would like to see things shaped up, a little more organized than we've been, my own personal life, not my personal life but I could get my rosiness life a little more organized. I say I don't see enoqgh of older people and I don't and that's what I prefer rut I a:n now going to say that I make myself available to than and I don't want to be the kirxl of director who says, "I don' t have time to talk to you today because I am doing this and this and this." And I don't want it to be that kind of agency. Arxl yet that's what we need here. I know that. \\e need a director ~th a little finner hand. I am going to be 63 years old in a week 8D:l a half and really sort of looking forward to the day when I wi 11 be retiring, that things are in good shape to leave to saneone else. And not that I'm going to back out tarorrCNI rut I would like to get then organized a little bit better but I'm not basically an organized person. I'm not the heavy handed executive that keeps every little duck in marching order and so it may never be. I may leave big messes for everybody and let sanebody else cane in and figure out ho.v to straighten then out. But I think that llllCh of the reputation of this agency and a lot of the feeling that has been ruilt has been because we have been responsive to the needs of older people. '!hat we have not marched along with saying, "You know today is the day that I have to write a grant, that I have to discipline rrw staff, that I have to evaluate a certain group of activities and so forth," and turn down chances to try to help older people. And I think that you know we've been a relaxed type of agency and I think it's been helpful in getting where we have gotten. But there are those who won't see it that way. 'lhat I know. Q: You have spread out in front of you a nunber of photographs that I wanted to make sure that we got those photographs included on the tape because these are the ones that you wanted included in the history. A: All right. We go back to a shot of the front of the Wlite Cottage, a wilding which had been called the Little Red School House until the paint was changed. And until the agency changed. And it becane the White Cottage •.• End of Side One, Tape 'IWo A: The building then was called \\bite Cottage after a period which WB.S already discussed. Sane entrances that covered the front steps were covered and there are a couple of pictures here of sane of the volunteers fran the CbEIIJ)poli tan Club who dug up the brick sidewalk which was in front of the building and also then filled it in with concrete. The bricks had started to t i 1 t and they were dangerous and so forth. There are a couple of shots then of the volunteers fran that club and also fran the whatever union it is that covers cenent, concrete layers. Arxl then there are a couple of shots of the back of the building because we had to make this accessible for wheelchairs and others. Here's one shot of the back of the building which shows the ran:p that was added to the backside as well as the rai1ings arOWld the back porch with fence and so forth. Then we have sane pictures of the interior of the building showing the IDlSic roan with a couch in it and people watching while a couple are dancing. And our men's chorus rehearsing around a piano. Tile mess on a file cabinet, I mean sorry, bookcase which served as a file cabinet to stack the j\lllble of books and files and papers and so forth. The interior was painted as we discussed earlier by Andrew Bird and there's a good shot of Andy up on top on sane piece of equipnent. Not a ladder. I don't know what he's standing on, a chair or sanething, painting the ceiling. And he has his coveralls and his ever present snile. There is a shot of a group at card tables in the lmmge which looked into the llllsic roan. And then there1 s a group \Ulloading the trunk of a car out at New Salen. It was five o'clock in the nnrning. And what they're unlpading is a bag "Nlich was llBde up as a llBilbag, llBde fran scrape fabric. 'l'Qere were so III:U1Y canforters and laprobes being llBde at the Cottage either for sale or for give away that this seemad to be the logo. And when the Lincoln Post Road was dedicated--that is the road that Abraham Lincoln road on horseback when he was postrmster at New Salen--when the path that he rode was dedicated as the Lincoln Post Road, different groups were invited to prepare letters and special envelopes, special stamps, special cancellation and all that sort of thing, to bring bags of thEm and they were put on a stagecoach and taken into the end of the 1ine which was the post office in Springfield, brought in fran New SalEm. And so three of our volnnteers, OlEIIi>ers, were present at that occasion, took the bag out and thr<M it on the stage coach. It certainly was colorful anong the others which were the typical gray carwas postal bags. Tilere is a picture of two of the past presidents of our board looking at a roodel of the new wilding which was being wi1t, the new Senior Citizens' C'A:lnter, mich was under construction at the time. And it is the rendering of that building. Tilose two gentlaren are Alfred Kaun and Trevor Jones. Trevor Jones was the first president of our board of directors and he served for two years. He has kept continuing interest even though he has moved away fran the city of Springfield at this time. Tilere is a photograph of a group of people with Governor Dan Walker and with Irving Dilliard that show in the background a wall hanging. Olr mmiJers had been requested by a group of state goverl'lmnt and I don't know what office it was. Qnnunity Infol1Il8.tion or sanething--who had DDVed into an old wilding where air conditioning had been added by eJq>Osed ducts and sane of the office staff in that office wanted a wall hanging that would cover up the galvanized duct \\Qrk and asked if our mmi>ers would do it. They did. They made a panel that was on burlap, includes the white oak tree which is the state tree, had a cardinal in the branches because that 1 s the state bird, there were many, many violets on the ground because of the state flower with nnnarch butterflies in it. And I suppose that if the school children of the state of Illinois had at that time already voted the white tailed deer as the state animal we would have had to put a deer in there but that hadn't happened at that time it was llBde. At any rate this group is presenting this wall har:ging. Governor Walker was accepting it. Irving Dilliard was at that time the director of the State Department on Aging and the others in the picture are all IIHiiJers of the \\bite Cottage who did work on this wall hanging. All who worked on it, al100st all who v.orked on it, are pictured there. Many of them are still active members. Governor Walker then signed a thank you note to us as he accepted that . The last photograph then showed the ribbon cutting at the new Senior Citizens' C'A:lnter. And I an shaking hands, about to shake with 1\tlyor Willit111 Tel ford who was of course chaiDTI8Il of the City Council at the time of the wilding of this wilding fran the time of the City Cbuncil vote to allow sane of their federal revenue sharing funds to be used .for the construction. Also present were Senator John Davidson and forme~ state representative J. David Jones. The president of the Board at tihat time was Mirilyn Taylor. And that's Mrs. Bradley Taylor. She is in the picture but not very well pictured here. She's kind of behind others. So that's the photographs. Q: We were speaking before and you told me of the last day of the \\hite Cottage. A: Ah, yes. Q: The closing of the cottage and m:wing to the Senior Citizens Center at 701 \\est Mlson. A: Having had ten years in a building, as IIUch as we discussed the need for a new one because the old one didn' t have enough space in it, because these new projects weren't housed there and we were all split up all over the city and I guess as IWch as anything because we had termites and leaky roofs and all that good stuff over there, we thought we needed, we knew we needed, a new wilding. And we were delighted to have a new building. But there was a lot of nostagl ia attached to our bane of beginnings. The Cottage had been a friendly place. It really was DDre like a bane than an institution. And we, as a staff, felt that the last day which we occupied that tuilding would be so difficult for so many to bear that we had better just make absolutely ludicrious to add a little lnnx>r to it. And so we put black crepe on the windows. We had asked for a funeral arrangement of flowers five days prior to that, so all flowers were quite dead. We had eulogies. (tape stopped) Sane of the staff, most of the staff, dressed in black and white and had even "widow's weeds" and the black veils and everything on a couple of than. The worst part of it was that the progrm1 director at that time was like eight and a half IIDnths pregnant and to see her in black including the veil as she was walking into work really got sane double takes fran many, many of the people that saw her caning in, not knowing what the occasion was. We had had a IlXldel of the Wlite Cottage made for our very first annual meeting. Traditionally it was used on the table as a centerpiece at every Annual Meeting and so we put the ODdel and even had covered it with all kinds of black crepe and black wreaths in the wimows of the nxxiel and had quite an affair over the last day of The Cottage. And so that's the way we spent that. It was one of our regular potluck birthday party camination days anyway. And the progrmi really was sanebody' s, well it turned out to be a very fwmy eulogy and a lot of reminiscences. But nobody got that weepy over it. (tape stopped) Q: So one thing that we haven't covered is the mxmnt of cmmmity service that the membership of the Senior Center does. Can you tell me what is ilwolved in the cmmmity service area? A: Yes. Because we had used scrap craft as the basis for IWch of the activity, maqy of the activity programs we had done with a lot with piecing of comforters and laprobes fran scrap fabric. The first request for sane help CmE through an outside organization and I can't rEmEmber what it was. They were trying to get canforters for the beds in the W. W. Fax Children's Center in Dwight. It's a Developmental Center for chi1dren and there were three lrundred beds. We needed three lrundred comforters 8IXl we made thEm all. We also made for each child, out of scrap fabric, a stuffed ball. These were also pieced together kinds of things. We then loaded those on a bus and took the bus tour up there to deliver thEm and actually took the balls to the children. We did not take the comforters. I mean they just took than in the main office l:ut we actually took the bag of the three hwld.red balls and 'M!nt around, put one in each crib and got to see the children then. That was the beginning. We continued to make these canforters and laprobes when the l'OOFarland Zone Center opened; of course, it wasn' t here at the t iire they took these up to the Fox Center in Dwight. They asked then that we do this for the two Children's halls at the Zone Center. So comforters were made then for the beds of the zone center. Now since that time comforters have been made for almost every bed in most of the not-for-profit, live-in facilities in the city of Springfield. Ryerson (which is an alcoholisn drug related rehabilitation facility) Ryerson House, Gateway House is another, which is drug rehabilitation, the Attention Hames, one for girls and one for boys who are predelinquents, Argyle House, Argyle being the facility for the developmentally disabled operated by Aid to Retarded Citizens. And it goes on and on and on. Any of these not-for-profit places. There were also thousands of laprobes distributed m:10ng the nursing homes in the city. When 'M! had the extention progran into the high rises, each of the buildings Illide tray favors for the hospitals on a monthly basis. They were always on a seasonal theme. That has also been pieked up by the inhouse group here at the Senior Center and they are continuing to make tray favors. And of course there are many, many other things that they do, 1ittle things. These are the consistant ones that have gone on forever and ever and ever. And probably will. Q: Thank you very nuch, Mirgaret. A: You're very welcome. It's a real pleasure. (tape stopped) Q: \\e finished rut \E weren't really finished. A: Right. (laughs) Afterthought. Q: Afterthoughts. Youwere tellingme that the greenhouse that's attached here was not an original part of the wilding and I assured. it was. What's the story behind that? A: Okay. The story behind the greenhouse which is on the south side of this wilding is that we were approached by Canrunity Energy Systems which now is for profit but it was originally a not for profit organization in Springfield to see if we were interested in a greenhouse. Now interesting enough as we were planning this building, when we were doing sane brainstonning about what our needs really were so we could present then to the archi teet, we gave the members an opportunity to do a little brainstorming and several of our mmilers mentioned they would like a greenhouse. It didn1 t happened at that time because the funding just wasn't available to go that far. The alcove in the library is about as close as we got. Arxi they sort of did that as a canpranise. And it's a nice wind.owy sort of area. However, when Canrunity Energy SystEmS cmoo to see if we were interested, they discussed the fact that they had a grant fran the Federal Energy Agency that had several carponents to it. First of all, they were to train CErA eligible carpenters, those carpenters who were already members of the carpenters' Union, had carpentering skills, whatever, union or nonunion anyway--they were carpenters. But because the construction ! trades were in a depressed phase, they'd been out of \\Urk, nnanployed long enough to be eligible for CETA. It meant that they were eligible for that. They could then take a course which was offered through Lincoln Land Cmmmi ty College to learn the principles of construct ion that were for solar heating. Following that instruction then, they had to have two kinds of practical application. One was a solar greenhouse that this class 1mst develop, nrust build. And the second was solar collectors on sam public housing. And they chose Johnson Park Area mich belongs to the Springfield Housing Authority so that they could roonitor the heating bills, of course. They approached us with the fact that what they needed for this greenhouse was a public building with high visibility, high traffic, samone who would care for it and use it and appreciate it and preferably a southern e:xpoaure. \\e had every one of those elanents that were required. So we asked the park district because the ground on which the building sits still does belong to Springfield Park District and naturally since it fits right into the theme of developing their park to have the greenhouse there was no problem. \\e asked the City Conncil because the building does belong to the city of Springfield and they would appreciate anything in the way of developing their building that it didn't cost anything for them. And our board of directors said yes, indeed, they \\Uuld be happy to have this new activity made available for the participants. So that's it--they went to \\Urk on it. And that's how we got it. Q: Is it an actively used area? A: Yes, it is. There are a couple of gentlanen who have retired fran the Springfield Park District as a matter of fact and worked in the greenhouse in Washington Park. So they just IIX>Ved over here and they cam in and sort of watch over that. They have the technical knowledge that we needed to operate this and the interest in doing it. It is also a source of funding because the plants are propagated and then sold. Another way it's a source of funding is that if sanebody wants saneone to "babysit" their plants while they go to Florida for the winter, they can bring them over here. But it was a requiranent that they pay enough that the plants can be deWgged. and dediseased, whatever they do to those to be sure that they don't bring sanething into the greenhouse. And Ernie would prefer they also get same nice fresh dirt and so forth. Sametbnes he repots if they're root bound and so forth. So they keep very busy there. Others are oore inclined to be curious about, go in and out and not really work that IWCh out there. It is a nice waxm place to go in the middle of winter when it's kind of chilly outside. It gets pretty cozy out there. It's almost too hot to enjoy in the summertime. Q: Okay. Now I think we're finished this time. A: I think we might be finished this time. Q: Okay. Thank you. End of Side Two, Tape 'lWo
|Title||Summers, Margaret - Interview and Memoir|
Senior Citizens Center, Springfield (Ill.)
Springfield (Ill.)--Aged--Services for
|Description||Summers, Executive Director of the Senior Citizens of Sangamon County, discusses the Senior Citizens Center, its establishment, advertising, funding, and its services and activities.|
|Creator||Summers, Margaret b. 1920|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Feurer, Judith A. [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Title||Margaret Summers Memoir|
|Source||Margaret Summers Memoir.pdf|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L Brookens Library
Margaret Summers Memoir
SU64. Summers, Margaret b. 1920 Interview and memoir 2 tapes, 160 mins., 32 pp.
Summers, Executive Director of the Senior Citizens of Sangamon County, discusses the Senior Citizens Center, its establishment, advertising, funding, and its services and activities.
Interview by Judith A. Feurer, 1983 OPEN See collateral file: interviewer's notes, flyers, reports and photocopies of pictures of the Senior Citizens Center and Summers.
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1983, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
lhis manuscript is the product of tape recorded interviews conducted by
Judith A. Feurer for the Oral History Office during October and NovE!IIber 1983. Linda Jett transcribed the tapes and Olester Rhodes edited the transcript. Margaret Sl.llners reviewed the edited transcript.
Mlrgaret L. 8\.mrers was bom in Springfield, Illinois on Novamer 27, 1920. She is currently the Executive Director of Senior Citizens of
Sangamn County, Inc. and formarly the Director of Senior8111i and the White Cbttage, since 1966.
For the past seventeen years, Margaret L. Smmers has made .rumerous contriwtions to the field of aging including roles such as Planner and
Delegate to the 1970 regional and State White House Conference on Aging, the 1971 \\bite House Conference on Aging; Delegate, Illinois \\hi te Hause Conference on Families, 1980; co-organizer of the Association of Illinois Senior Centers, and Convenor of the First and Second statewide Senior Citizens Rallies, 1973, 1974.
Margaret L. Sulrmrs discusses the growth of the Senior Citizens Center
fran the days of the White Cottage to its present location at 701 W. Mason. She explains how the organization nxwed fran a snail group of people meeting the needs of a few Senior Citizens to a complex multipurpose center that serves rmny needs of Seniors fran all over rural Sangarnon County as well as the city of Springfield.
Readers of the oral history JDEmOir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken word, and that the interviewer, narrator and editor sought to preserve the infonnal, conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon State University is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the DlEIIlOir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
The manuscript my be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be
reproduced in whole or part by any means, electronic or mechanical,
without pennission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sanga:non State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708.
Margaret Summers, October 28, 1983, Springfield, Illinois.
Judith A. Feurer, Interviewer.
Q: Mlrgaret, can you tell me what your position is with the Senior Center?
A: Yes. I am the executive director of Senior Citizens of Sangm10n County, Inc. The incorporation is in that name so that's what it is. The administrative level, board of directors.