in 2021 we are
August 6, 2021
Celebrating Aging Through the Performing Arts


Happy August with slightly cooler weather and the Tokyo Olympics in full swing. It’s amazing to see people of all ages and nations around the world compete and “Go for the Gold” with a passion for excellent performances with gracious and humble attitudes. The Senior Variety Show and all its performers and venues (annual show, bi-weekly newsletter, and singing telegrams) mimic the Olympics in always humble and caring “gold medal performances” that entertain the world while also nurturing funds for senior projects and needs. And, boy “we have a great amount of fun”!!!

The three introductory pictures highlight “senior gold medal performances”. The 1st picture is a senior group from different Kiwanis clubs mentoring and celebrating the Special Olympics with the Cyclone Country Aktion Club and Cy at a recent meeting in Brookside Park! Picture 3 is a SVS Musical Telegram grand slam performance delivered for the 7th birthday of Integrated Health Services at Youth and Shelter Services! The 2nd picture is a gold medal performance and tribute to Alice Thompson and Jim Okey delivered by Betty Boccella in honor of their performances in every annual Senior Variety Show (25 years).

So 25 years of the Senior Variety Show (silver anniversary in 2019) but it’s time to “Go for the Gold in 2022.” The dates are set for August 19 & 20, 2022 and City Auditorium booked! Mark your calendars, brush off those instruments, start crooning and dancing, and get FIRED UP as we head to gold and another 25 years of great shows!! In the meantime, ENJOY the newsletters, musical telegrams, summer and LIFE!

Hint for this week's featured Senior Showcase video performance:
Rollerskating! Dancing! A Gold Medal performance!

Who is the featured roller skater / dancer and where was this taken?

Make your best guess and hit the hot linked SVS You Tube Channel below to see this week’s Senior Showcase Video and answer (it’s already posted!!)

Answer: Janet Schmidt, 2011 National Roller Skating Dance Championships
 “Keeping Up With Folks”
Let’s read how some folks have been spending their time these past months 

Linda Fauquet: “The August Senior Variety Show has always meant lots of fun times rehearsing with ensembles and soloists, and I have really missed accompanying all of you folks. Let's hope we can resume the show next year.  Thanks for the monthly newsletter--especially last month's that included Richard Wood singing "September Song". He has also shared his vocal talents during our church services as a soloist and a choir member. This summer, I have been "busy" subbing as an organist, playing for the Golden K Singers, occasionally accompanying the church choir, and being a member of a hand bell choir. Having friends gather (socially distanced?) on my porch, receiving phone calls from my west coast daughters, and maintaining good health keep me smiling and grateful for all of my many blessings!  See you all in the 2022 Variety Show on August 19 & 20, 2022!!!
Carol and Bob Deppe: “The 8th floor gang at Green Hills (Oaks apartment building), always has a jig-saw puzzle going on the table in the hall. The puzzles can be as small as 250 pieces but often are 1000 pieces. We have finished one with 1500 pieces and our most ambitious work had 2000. Often, someone heading for the laundry will get side -tracked and spend 30 or so minutes finding the right piece in the puzzle.

“How many of you have been “puzzled by puzzles” (jigsaw, crossword, etc.) this past year?”
You can send your quarantine projects and ideas to us at and we will share. Building community one project at a time.
Spotlight article: “Alice Thompson"

Question: Where are you from originally? I was born and raised near Kalona, Iowa where our family still has an annual retreat (including 2021). I have been in Ames since 1949.
Question: How were you involved musically in your early years? I’ve been singing for as long as I remember and we all grew up with singing. Everyone in the family sang but we never sang together publicly as a family. I started playing the ukulele at age 10 while my brothers played many band instruments.
Question: You are a great and versatile singer! Did you play many instruments? I self-taught myself the following stringed instruments: ukulele, baritone ukulele, dulcimer, 4 string guitar, banjo, mandolin, and autoharp.
Question: Can you share your Heartland Songbirds story?   I have been a member of the Heartland Senior Services Songbirds since 1982 when I helped found the group. I served as director for 31 years (1982-2012). I had never formally studied music, so I bought myself a good music dictionary. We had 3 choir directors themselves in the Songbirds who helped me immensely with great patience and care. I always welcome help and support!
 Question: Have you performed with other groups? I had the privilege of singing with the Iowa State Singers, including 3 symphonies in 1969-71. I have also sung with many church choirs. “And every one of them had “great directors”!
Question: You have performed in every Senior Variety Show (25 years)!  Do you remember the 1st show in 1995? I directed and sang with the Heartland Songbirds. We got 10 minutes to sing (not 3 minutes like today) as they needed to fill time. Heartland Senior Services started the show and we were in!!
Question: What types of performances have you done in the Senior Variety Show?  I have sung solos, duets, and with groups! And “No Dancing”!
Question: Do you have any favorite Senior Variety Show moments or memories? I have many treasured memories! Every person, performance, year, and memory is special!!
Any other guidance and words of wisdom to share? Whether 3, 33, 60, or 97 years old: keep singing and playing as long as your can! Enjoy it all and share with others!!
Thank you, Alice Thompson, for the Senior Variety Show and other musical and arts contributions, and for caring and your impact in the lives of many!!!


Also take a look at and embrace the information on the flyer below. Share it with many others and partake at your favorite event. Enjoy SVS “Musical Telegrams”!!! Give us a call soon!
Newsletter humor by Steve Bellin:

A man was riding his horse down a bridle path when a dog walking down the same path stopped and said, "Hello."
Surprised, the man said, "I didn't know dogs could talk!"
The horse said, "Neither did I."
 *Sound like a “Mr. Ed” joke to me! Right Wilbur?* (Who remembers these two?)*


  “ MUSICAL TELEGRAMS”!! Call and sign up!!