Senior center calendars bring whimsy to the new year

Most of my favorite columns are ones that were just plain, downright fun to write about.

This was one of those ideas that must have just fallen off the back of the truck. I have no idea how I came to learn about the very creative 2015 calendar that the residents of Parkwood Heights senior living community had created, but meeting the people behind it and sharing their story was delightful.

It was originally published on Dec. 11, 2014.

Local calendar has fun with famous movie scenes

In real life, John Krawlec doesn’t look much like Jack Nicholson. But give him two-day-old stubble, have him poke his head through a shredded door with a crazed look on his face, and you can just hear him calling, “Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!”

The photo, mimicking Nicholson’s famous scene from The Shining, is one of a dozen knock-off images from famous Hollywood movies included in a 2015 “Hollywood Walk of Fame” calendar created by the residents of Parkwood Heights senior living community in Macedon.

Each month features a different movie scene, re-created in hilarious detail by the men and women of Parkwood Heights.

In one, for example, Faye and John Ford re-enact the famous bow scene from Titanic, framed by a setting sun. In another, Tom Simpson converses with the Caddyshack woodchuck. Jane Bradley and her little dog “Buddy” make an adorable Dorothy and Toto.

The idea for the calendar was first proposed last summer by Parkwood Heights owner Mark Welker, but it was Kandy Liguori who really pulled the project together. Kandy’s official title is “Life Enrichment Director,” but she’s more like a cruise director, responsible for keeping the residents busy with entertaining special events and creative projects like these.

Sometimes it takes a little convincing, however.

“I held an open meeting for anybody who wanted to come for the next project,” Kandy said. “They didn’t know what it was going to be before they showed up.” As she explained the idea to them, “They all looked at each other like I was crazy.”

Kandy already had some movies in mind, but they didn’t all pass muster. “I really wanted (Faye and John) to do Dirty Dancing, where he lifted her up, but they wouldn’t do that.”

By the end of the meeting, though, the group had agreed on which movies they wanted to tackle and started the 2-month-long process of pulling together props and costumes.

By late August, everything was ready for the first of two photo shoots. The residents worked with Christy’s Photo Creations in Lyons, who donated her services and spent countless hours retouching the photos.

The residents also agreed that calendar sales would benefit the Town of Macedon Ambulance Service. “Macedon Ambulance is so good to us here,” Kandy said. “Every month they do a senior health series, and free blood pressures. They come and pick us up off the floor when we can’t get up. They’re just wonderful to us.”

The calendar project was a community effort. The two dozen residents who contributed represent all of Parkwood Heights’ residential areas: patio homes, villas and apartments. The fun-loving group unofficially calls themselves the “Parkwood Heights Players,” and the calendar is not their first creative endeavor. Last year, they filmed a music video spoof of the popular song “What Does the Fox Say?” by Ylvis, complete with choreography and costumes.

While there are no specific plans yet for the group’s next project, most certainly something will be in the works by early next year. That is, if the Parkwood Heights residents have anything to say about it.

“These guys are game for anything,” Kandy said. “We’re family.”

Here are all the photos from that fabulously creative calendar:


What happened next …

Sales of the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” calendar raised more than $500 that year to benefit Macedon Town Ambulance. Flush from the success and fun they had doing the first calendar, the Parkwood Heights residents went on to create at least two more.

The following year, in “A Salute to the Saturday Evening Post,” they recreated a dozen of Norman Rockwell’s best-known illustrations:

In 2020, the subject was nursery rhymes:

I hope you had as much fun reading this column as I did writing it. If you’re enjoying this new Afterthoughts blog and these blasts from the past, please drop me an email at missyblog@gmail.com and let me know.

I’m also considering using this space to investigate new east-side stories that deserve attention. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!

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