December 18, 2014
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Cool poolside songs make for a summer party
Anita E. Baffoni
NO DANCING, PLEASE: With Tony Pisano on the keyboard, Diane Carley sings favorites for the gathering.

Summer isn’t complete without a pool party. And more specifically, summer wouldn’t be summer without the Warwick Neck party hosted by Marianne Collinson for members of the Pilgrim Senior Center.

On Tuesday, about 20 seniors, ages varying from 65 to 96, some wearing their bathing suits and others dressed to the nines, gathered poolside.

With temperatures nearing 90 degrees, many people stayed cool in the shade with a backdrop of hydrangeas, red geraniums and hibiscus flowers. Tony Pisano was on the keyboard while Diane Carley and Phil Brown led the group in singing. Many attendees are members of a singing group within the senior center and served as entertainment for the party.

“Everyone has to sing at least one song,” Carley announced on the microphone. “We are looking for singers, no dancers here.”

The most senior member attending, Jim Collinson, 96, was summoned to sing his favorite song, “Darktown Strutters’ Ball,” which is always a hit at any gathering at the center. Collinson is the father of Marianne and, with the loss of his wife Helen this past February, he sang in her memory.

“This is the first year without you,” Collinson said. “This song is for you.”

The party, open to all who wanted to attend, was advertised a month in advance by flyers. Although Marianne hosted the party and provided food, it was a potluck style party and the bounty of food could have fed everyone twice.

Helen Hewins, 95, has been going to the pool party since it started.

She said regulars at the center look forward to the event because it is a good way to enjoy the summer.

Marianne plans on hosting the party until the passing of her father, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the Destroyer USS Bush. She started the party on behalf of her parents who were married for 73 years.


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