10/03/07 — County seniors get their day at the fair

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County seniors get their day at the fair

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 3, 2007 1:51 PM

Senior citizens cut loose at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Tuesday afternoon.

They turned out for the salute to senior citizens event, "Spotlighting Seniors." It was sponsored by the Wayne County Extension and Community Association.

Four contestants competed for the honor of being the top senior in the county. They were Lynda Carroll representing Stoney Creek Club, Chester Hawkes representing Eastern Wayne Club, Rachel Rawls representing Fine Points Club and Jimmie Head representing Northern Lights Club.

The stage was set for an afternoon of pure fun with pumpkins and gourds mixed with bales of hay and green plants.

Head won the contest with his rendition of "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain" and "Salty Dog." Dressed in a red shirt over khaki pants, Head plucked the guitar while singing.

He had a third song ready to sing but ran out of time. Contestants were limited to only four minutes each.

Head said he has loved music all his life. He and his three daughters have sung gospel music for the past 35 years at various events.

"I'm glad I won," Head said. "But I didn't come out here to win. I came out here because somebody talked me into it. I'd have been happy if any of the others had won."

Coming in a close second was Mrs. Carroll, 69. She came on stage in a long black gown with a sheer black jacket over it and belted out "I Believe." She sang acappella and her face showed the emotion with every note.

"I have been working on this song for church," Mrs. Carroll said. "I don't sing with a tape, and there's no piano out here, so the only way to do it was the way I did."

She said she chose "I Believe" because it's one of her favorite songs.

Mrs. Rawls placed third. She changed the pace of the contest with a comical reading about checking into the Holiday Inn when she gets older.

She said a nursing home costs an average of $188 a day. Whereas she could check into the Holiday Inn at about $49.23 a day. With that comes maid, laundry and security service.

"It takes months to get into a nursing home," Mrs. Rawls said. "The Holiday Inn will take your reservation today."

So when she gets to that point in her life, Mrs. Rawls is going to check into the Holiday Inn. "And you can send all my e-mails to the Holiday Inn," she said.

She chose to do the reading because "I can't sing and dance. That was about the only thing left to do.

"I was real nervous and my mouth got a little dry. I was afraid I was going to have a senior moment and forget what I was going to say."

Hawkes, 74, placed fourth with his performance of "He's My Rock, My Sword and My Shield," a gospel song.

Dressed in white pants, a mauve shirt and white shoes, he did a little dance on the stage and played an air guitar and an air violin while not singing.

"I love singing for the Lord," Hawkes said. "I sing at church and at the men's prayer breakfast every Tuesday at Wilbur's Barbecue."

Putting the show together was Anne Smith, 73. She said the ECA has been sponsoring the show for more than 20 years.

"It's heart-wrenching," she said. "When these seniors get here, they enjoy every minute of it."

Contestants were judged on their community service work and on their talent. "I admire them all because each one of them does a lot in their community," Mrs. Smith said. "And I enjoy their talent."