Playing for Senior Coastsiders

By Tim Stephenson

Raymond and Helen playing with Fiddlestickes

About once a month Leslie and I have been joining some friends Raymond and Helen playing for seniors in Half Moon Bay. This last week we played just after lunch for the folks in the memory care area at Senior Coastsiders. That's Helen and Raymond in the picture above playing a song with fiddlesticks. Yes, fiddlesticks are a real thing. They're not just a game, or phrase to be used as a substitute for the f-bomb. Although, if you're looking for one of those, let us know. We have a good one.

Senior Coastsiders provides both assisted living, and a place for seniors to get support, through volunteers and community partnerships. They provide programs and services for seniors 55 and over and adults with disabilities. They also serve as a resource for the local community for information on aging. According to the website, in 2013 they served 17,500 hot meals at the Senior Center lunch program and Meals on Wheels home delivery. I think that's pretty cool.

It's always great to play for the seniors. It provides a nice lunch break for me, and the seniors and staff seem to really appreciate it.

We play almost exclusively traditional Celtic music, and always seem to get a few requests for songs that are out of our genre. Or something in our genre like Danny Boy, that we may know, but well, lets just say it's off limits. Raymond seems to know everything so he can usually fulfill a few requests. 

One woman we talked to played violin when she was young. She explained that when she played she had to keep her fingernails short, and wondered if that was still true. We assured her that it was, to which she replied, "I never liked that about violin." Talking to her afterwards I found out she was 101 years old. I can only hope to do as well as she has.

We're looking forward to our next visit, and always love playing with Raymond and Helen.