A Visit to General Lafayette

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It was February, around President’s Day, cool and windy, not too warm.  In honor of Washington’s birthday,  the Revolutionary War seemed like a good period to explore.  Off we drove on the weekly men’s outing to visit General Lafayette’s statue in the town of Layfayette. There were six of us: Leah, our driver, a former student intern from AgeSong Institute and recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz in history and sociology; Shinon, a current student intern with a background in acting and singing; Don, a former orthodontist at Cal Berkeley who enjoys dancing, Bob, a former chemical engineer, and Jay, a former industrial engineer from Bombay. I joined as the on-site reporter.

To prepare us for our journey, Leah asked if anyone in the van ever heard of General Lafayette.  “He was French,” someone volunteered. “The French were very supportive of the American Revolution,” our driver informed us. “He was a French marquis who joined the American Revolution. He wore a red, white, and blue uniform, both symbolic of him as an American hero and also the colors of the City of Paris and the French Revolution.”

When we arrived at our destination, the weather was cold and breezy, so we nodded to General Lafayette and hurried into the Squirrel Cafe. It was a glorious coffee stop. Two of our companions ordered steaming hot chocolate, topped by mini marshmallows, quickly melting into the warm liquid. Don created a new kind of sauce for his coffee cake by pouring coffee onto it – makes sense to me – why hadn’t someone thought of that combination sooner?

On our way back to the van, we stopped off to visit General Lafayette.  Turns out he (maybe a replica of the original statue) was designed by the same artist who sent over the Statue of Liberty from France to New York. We naturally paired off, each care partner giving special attention to the gentleman sitting next to her or him, and receiving special attention back. It was a glorious outing.  Our driver received a special thanks from Don.

AgeSong at Lakeside Park, one of six assisted living and independent communities, is located near Oakland’s scenic Lake Merritt and across from the charming European-style Lakeside Park. This unique elder care community is dedicated to supporting seniors who require forgetfulness care (what others call memory care, dementia care or Alzheimer’s disease care) and other high acuity needs. The community’s approach is meaning based — using a wide variety of techniques to support people who truly are off in their own reality. AgeSong at Lakeside Park will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary Thursday, April 26th, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

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