Local seniors celebrate Thanksgiving in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Local seniors celebrate Thanksgiving in Beaver Creek

CVR Seniors Thanksgiving DT 11-22-10

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – There’s something fundamentally healthy about 100 people who have been alive a long time, and lived while they were at it, popping up from their chairs in a posh Beaver Creek hotel to dance the chicken dance.

Seniors from centers in Eagle, Minturn and El Jebel got together Monday for their annual holiday luncheon at Beaver Creek’s Park Hyatt. The Park Hyatt has been hosting the event for around 10 years, although no one was sure about the time. The unanimous consensus was that it’s fun, and it may have been longer because time flies when you’re having fun.

“There’s some luck that goes with getting older, and that’s worth celebrating,” said Michael Gallagher, who was attending his first seniors holiday luncheon since he was a county commissioner, which was just a couple months ago, wasn’t it?

“It’s an honor to host the three seniors groups,” Park Hyatt General Manager Robert Purdy told the crowd.

Purdy has been with the Hyatt for exactly a week, but this is a return engagement to the valley. He met his wife here in the 1980s and they’re now the proud parents of 16-year-old triplet girls.

Once or twice a year, people from the three centers get together to laugh, dance, eat and enjoy one another’s company.

“This is one of the only times during the year that we’re able to get all three groups together,” said Pat Nolan, with Eagle County’s senior services.

Tony Gulizia and Allan Finney played. Gulizia drove five hours through Sunday night’s/Monday morning’s storm to get there. They opened with “Sunny Side of the Street,” and it just got sunnier from there.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday and at the Seniors Thanksgiving Luncheon, Beaver Creek’s Park Hyatt served traditional American food: roast beef and the traditional stuff that went with it.

Former county commissioners Johnnette Phillips, Dave Mott and Gallagher decided they had a quorum and voted unanimously in favor of enjoying Thanksgiving, naps and all.

Jokes were told about the Mayflower, and how some of them were there to meet it.

Q: How did the Mayflower show it loved America?

A: It hugged the shore.

Q: What do hippies put on their mashed potatoes?

A: Groovy

Q: What holiday do people play jokes on each other?

A: Pranks-giving

Others cracked wise that if you look closely, you’d find their names on the Mayflower Compact, and that it wasn’t a makeup case or an economy car.

As for the chicken dance, it’s like life: You don’t need to know how the chicken dance goes; you just let the music move you around and occasionally flap your arms like a chicken.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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