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Art for the Ages celebrate artistic talents at The Commons
A quartet of residents of The Commons at Union Ranch gives a Tai Chi demonstration during Thursdays annual talent show. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Angie Boucher tap-danced her way to the audience’s heart. Verna Rollet sang about Grandpa’s “Good Old Days.” Bud Lawlor showed a wooden model of the USS Constitution and told about the one-and-a-half years it took him to complete this project. Sarah Gleockler sang “The Crawdad Song” and played the violin. Wayne read a narrative poem.

These are just a few of the performers who livened up the afternoon Thursday at The Commons at Union Ranch in Manteca. “Art for the Ages,” which is the theme this year of National Assisted Living Week for which observance the week-long celebration is being held every day until Saturday at The Commons, is aimed at “bringing together residents, staff, family and the community to celebrate the talents and creativity assisted living residents have developed through hard work and love of art,” reads the flyer announcing this observance.

Thursday was the day set aside to spotlight the annual Residents and Family Talent Show. Sharing the stage were equally talented members of the staff. They included The Commons General Manager Angie Boucher who did a lively tap dance on a piece of Home Depot plywood that was her makeshift stage, Activity Director Kim Boccia who led both the beginner and advanced bell groups, and staff Verna Rollet who was also part of the ukulele group who performed “Day Is Done” and other numbers.

Resident Avery and family member Nancy Berger did a lively line dance to the music, “Old Bones.” Not to be outdone, residents Dotty Avery, Liz Courtway, and Vivian Slater along with activity director Boccia showed their controlled physical dexterity by giving a Tai Chi demonstration.

Eleven-year-old Sarah Gleockler performed as a family member. She contributed two songs and two violin numbers in honor of her late great-grandfather, Joe Brooks, who was a resident at The Commons.

“She sang (the song ‘I Miss You’) for her great-grandpa who was my dad,” said Sarah’s grandmother, Sheila Brooks of Manteca, who dutifully videotaped her granddaughter’s performances.

Boccia said the Beginner and Advanced bell groups have performed a number of times for Sister Ann Venita’s senior luncheon events at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Manteca. Beginner Bell performers Mavis Navin, Vivian Shaffer, Dottie Yrigoyen, Fay Debow with Julia LaFrano and Dotti Avery assisting played “Love Me Tender,” “Peace Like a River,” and “Red River Valley.” Advanced Bell ringers Vernon Minor, Julia LaFrano, Odessa Fasano, BonitaRieman, Virginia Archer, Bud Lawlor, and Dotty Avery performed “Iris Eyes,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and other numbers to the delight of the audience.

Today’s entertainment will be an “artful food demonstration with Chef Dan Morrow” starting at 2:30 p.m. and will include a happy hour. The week-long Art for the Ages celebration will wind down Saturday, Sept. 15, at 11 am. when everybody, including members of the community, is invited to the musical program revisiting the popular television show in the 1970s and ‘80s, “Name That Tune.”

Those who plan to attend must RSVP by calling (209) 463-9100. Or, for more information, send an e-mail to

Previous Art for the Ages offerings this week included National Grandparents Day with free bingo on Sunday, watercolor painting class with Margo Flannigan on Tuesday, Draper’s & Damon’s Fashion Show on Tuesday, and International Tea Tasting with Shamila Chand on Wednesday.

The annual National Asissted Living Week events celebrate the many talents of the residents which include music, painting, knitting, carving, model building and cooking which are among the many things they do to express their creative juices.

The Commons at Union Ranch, located just south of Woodbridge at Del Webb, is an independent, assisted living, and memory care community. For more information, visit