October 6, 2019
Mary Wade and Wesley Heights
Connecticut beckons us on a perfect New England fall day when we have a full set of activities planned. A few weeks ago, Beth Bemis from Wesley Heights had asked if I could stop by to say hello. I came by for a quick visit without the van, thinking it would just be a quick handshake. It was overwhelming to see the welcome they had for me, (what a cake!). We reenacted a cruise and croon within their community, which was fun to pull off with chairs and a little creativity. While asking a few questions of the participants I met a resident who had kissed Frank Sinatra. Thanks, Beth, for the memorable visit.
Mary Wade, one of our favorite iN2L communities, was our next stop. David Hunter, their CEO is a longtime friend and soulmate of mine. He’s been the big man on campus at Mary Wade for over three decades. He is vibrant, engaged and seems just as passionate about his residents as he was when he started. They had the party waiting for us, and they delivered. Mary Wade had carefully chosen their residents to go cruising and crooning for two runs, with David joining for the first run. He is a New Haven Connecticut historian and knows all the nooks and crannies of the city (including Yale University). But the residents stole the show in both runs. This will be an editing challenge as taping flushing sounds, porn theatres and legalizing marijuana all came up in the conversations with residents of this iconic community – yikes! Let’s see how we turn this around and come up with a clip the Mary Wade board will approve.
David and Kara had invited some local folks to hear Francis give a talk about Cameroon. The magic of his people (and of our story) always comes alive when I hear the big man speak.