Road tripping with Baileyton, Hanceville seniors

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Seniors from Baileyton and Hanceville pose for a photo outside 50 Taters in Scottsboro Monday. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. – Seniors from Baileyton and the “Rowdy Bunch” from the Hanceville Senior Center joined together for a day trip on the Baileyton Senior Center bus Monday, when the group headed to Scottsboro for a visit to the Unclaimed Baggage Center and had lunch afterward at 50 Taters.

“We try to plan a fun day trip once a month,” said Pat Goens, president of the Baileyton seniors.

Baileyton Mayor Johnny Dyar also accompanied the group.

The drive to Scottsboro was lively with an intense game of “Counting Cows.” Despite the fierce competitiveness, an official winner was not declared. Lake Guntersville was on the way and it was teeming with water fowl. The boats and fisherman out enjoying the holiday sparked wonderful memories and stories from those on the bus of days spent fishing “back in the day.”

The group shopped at Unclaimed Baggage for almost two hours, and while most everyone found a bargain in the book section, almost all agreed that while the selection was great, pricing was higher than thrift stores. Everyone had a good time, regardless. 

The group enjoyed lunch at 50 Taters in Scottsboro, a country-style restaurant filled with vintage antiques. Everyone stopped for pictures and selfies with Elvis, the pink flamingos and classic Ford pickup before loading up for the ride home. 

Jo Ballard, member of the Hanceville Rowdy Bunch, began participating with the senior center about three years ago.

She recalled, “I was so depressed and had gained a lot of weight. I couldn’t drive or work anymore. My husband died 19 years ago and my kids are grown. I was in a bad depression. My doctor scared me and told me I had to get out.” 

Ballard sat and swapped stories with senior center newcomer Sue Macklin, who said she was encouraged by her neighbors to become active with the center. Sue and Jo have become good friends.

“I love it!” That was Macklin’s response to being asked about joining the other seniors. 

Dyar is proud of Baileyton’s senior center saying, “I do everything I can to help our seniors and our children. We have a great group of seniors.”

Goens added, “We try to take a trip at least once a month except for November and December.”

Next month, the Baileyton seniors plan to go to Stone Bridge Farms, then to the Outlet Shops of Grand River before Easter. 

Evon Fowler, manager of the Hanceville Senior Center, reminds those older than 60 that the Hanceville Senior Center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. It serves hot, nutritious meals each day at 11. Daily activities including singing, Bingo, penny auction, games and crafts.

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