October 25, 2019
Adams Health & Rehab Center
Regency Retirement Village
When I catch my breath and look back on the tour, our one-day jaunt into Alabama will be about as memorable as it gets. We had a long drive the day before through Florida and Georgia, arriving in Alabama late Tuesday night. Leslie is back on tour with me, and we are back into our groove for choreographing the travel, filming, and overall sanity. We first head to Adams Health & Rehab, a USA Healthcare community. You know it’s going to be an interesting experience when you pull into the parking lot and see a fully decked out limo waiting to roll. Then the surreal moments just pile on top of each other. Sheila, Debbie and their dedicated staff rolled out the red carpet, literally and figuratively. First, there’s the massive welcome sign, then there’s a red carpet laid out across the floor of the community, then it dawns on me that virtually all the staff are dressed in formal attire. The community itself was so authentic from a nursing home standpoint – residents of every age, no glamour and glitz, and a staff emanating so much compassion. It is remarkable. The cherry on top was Miss Senior Alabama being there to plant a smacker on my cheek. This is a day to remember.
Of course, we cruise and croon in the limousine. We’ve done the van, we’ve done a trishaw, we’ve done a horse and buggy, we’ve done a plane. Why not a limo? These moments are priceless. Six of us climb into the limo, and for five of those folks, it was their first limo ride. The conversations were fascinating, especially Nellie, a 90+-year-old African American woman who grew up picking cotton – a total piece of history – wow. Thanks to especially Debbie for making the magic come alive. Your team just blew us away.
With my head spinning from the Adams visit, we embark on a two-hour drive north to Regency in Tuscaloosa. What a jaunt that turned out to be! It’s not a good era to be a Husker fan. Before I knew it, Donna Deason had an Alabama Crimson Tide hat stuck on my head, and the Big Red was real. We experienced phenomenal joy and enthusiasm from the staff, and took a remarkable cruise that touched on fun, old girlfriends, racism in the South, and most importantly, on Alabama football. The two Donnas put on a great show, and Francis’s speech touched a chord on many levels. Thanks to Regency for your hospitality, and for embracing Francis wholeheartedly.
Just a remarkable, remarkable day. I have no choice but to close by saying Roll Tide!