Mt. Olive Seniors by Dixie Kuykendall

The North Jefferson News

Someone once said “growing old is a habit that a busy person has no time to form.”

That certainly is the case with Mt. Olive Community Center director Amy Brake. Amy has served as director for 32 years, which makes her the longest-tenured director in the county. She also serves on the board of directors of the community center.

Amy and her family moved to Mt. Olive when she was in the fifth grade. She attended Gardendale School and graduated from Mortimer Jordan.

Shortly thereafter, she married Arnold Brake and together, they had four children. Amy says that she liked to garden, sew and do crafts, but all of that seemed to go away with her early days at the center.

“It was a lot more work back then,” she said. “I can remember many days of early morning stoking the furnace in the center.”

When Arnold was diagnosed with cancer, Amy cared for him at their home until the end 20 years ago. Her days now are still spent at the community center. Though she has many duties, “stoking the furnace” is not one of them. All the seniors here will be quick to tell you of Amy’s dedication and hard work.

Senior concerns

A survey by the National Council on the Aging shows that more older Americans are likely to be worried about threats to their own personal well-being than global threats.

The survey showed that almost half of those over age 60 are worried (very or somewhat) about physically caring for themselves or losing their memories. About 30 percent were (very or somewhat) worried about terrorist attacks.

The survey also revealed that older Americans are worried that their children, grandchildren or youth in general will be exposed to drugs (63 percent) or face a lack of employment opportunities (54 percent).

In addition, older Americans in the survey said that “having something meaningful to do” or “having some good friends” were activities that would have the most favorable impacts on their future quality of life.

Two cows grazing in a pasture saw a milk truck pass. On the side of the truck were the words, “Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added.”

One cow sighed and said to the other, “Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?”

We, too, are inadequate without quality, cooperative relationships. People are the supplement that makes our life better. We must remember to speak up and speak out so that we can give voice to what gives quality to our lives. Remember, “I must do something” will always solve more problems than “something must be done.”

Please feel free to contact me with senior issues, questions or concerns by email at or by phone at 631-0049

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