On a sunny spring afternoon, more than 70 senior citizens over the age of 90 gathered for a time-honored tradition cherished by many — tea time.
“Oh, everyone looks so beautiful,” said Robin Grim, an activities assistant with Springwood Arvada, a retirement facility whose residents recently attended a high tea sponsored by the City of Arvada and the Arvada Festivals Commission.
Women dressed in their finest blouses and dresses adorned with elegant patterns stood in line, admiring each other’s outfits, hats and pearls. Men looked sharp in sweater vests, tweed blazers, suits and ties. As the hour dawned, the crowd happily filed into the Community Recreation Center, 6842 Wadsworth Blvd., to share in the tradition and spend an enjoyable afternoon together.
“It’s something very special to do, and I’m thankful for those who invited us,” said Winnie Jergenson as she sat down to tea with her friend Helen Leet.
“It’s a senior trip for us,” Leet added, giggling. “It gets us out of our senior center and out of our rooms.”
Tables adorned with pristine white tablecloths and a mason jars filled with little grasses, white honeysuckle flowers and a fake purple butterfly filled with seniors. Teapots in red, blue, yellow and green and a selection of teas — from Earl Grey to Lemon Zinger and green teas — were passed around to the tables for residents to begin to drink.
“It’s very nice to give the tea, and I always look forward to it,” said Lorraine Cowan, 93. This is her third time at the annual tea. “The tea itself and the entertainment are enjoyable — it’s a day out.”
Pianist Jeff Waters, who specializes in honky tonk sounds and humor, began to play as guests nibbled on tiny sandwiches, cheese cubes, fruit and cream.
Playing songs like “Ragtime Dance” and “Springtime in the Rockies,” Waters delighted the crowd, encouraging them to sing and dance along to the music. And they did.
“Oh boy!” said Marian Griffin as she watched Waters perform. “He jumps as much as the piano does.”
And as the two-hour tea continued, so did the fun: Guests chatted with each other, friends waved to one another, laughed at jokes and reveled in the memories of their youth.