Members of Active Life made a trip into Atlanta on Thursday to tour the state capitol building and to meet with local representatives. Active Life Director Dan Wooten, along with 56 of the center’s members and the crew from the LaGrange Government Television Station (LGTV), made their visit to coincide with the celebration of Senior Week at the state capital.
For many of the members, this was their first trip to the state capitol but for others it wasn’t. Ralph Turner remembered his first trip to the capital.
“I came here when I was 16, I came with my school, Southwest DeKalb,” Turner said. “I remember the gold dome, the statues and the pictures, but a lot has changed in 60 years.”
“I have been here with my sorority for Delta Day,” Annie Greene said. “We would attend workshops, but I haven’t been here for a while.”
Thursday seemed a popular day also for school trips, with children, in a variety of sizes, trying to keep up with their classmates and chaperons. Between the students and the many senior groups, the capital became a difficult maze for anyone to navigate.
The Active Life group finally made their way to the steps in the main hallway of the building where they patiently waited to be posed for their picture with the governor. Rep. Randy Nix, R-LaGrange and Rep. Carl Von Epps, D-LaGrange were there waiting to greet the group.
Elease Partridge Bohannon immediately recognized Von Epps and went over to say hello. Turner also joined the group. Nix and Von Epps chatted with Bohannon and Turner, posed for a picture, and then moved on to speak with some of the other members of the group.
While waiting to have his picture taken with the group, Von Epps commented on the up-coming fiscal cuts that were being promised for March 1st.
“Big day for budget consideration, we have to determine how these cuts are going to affect us,” Von Epps said. “First, we have to see what the feds are doing, and then we have to be reactive.”
Rep. John Pezold, R-Columbus, was also able to join the group and had a chance to comment on being one of the newly elected representatives in the house.
“I am enjoying myself, it is a learning experience. You learn a lot about yourself when the going gets tough,” Pezold said. “When I need it, I do get great council from Randy and Carl.”
When it was the Active Life group’s turn to have their picture taken with the governor, everyone was ushered onto the center stairway. When everyone was in position, Governor Nathan Deal joined the representatives, Wooten and the group for the official picture.
The group then made their way up two floors to be escorted into a viewing area to have an opportunity to observe the proceedings that was taking place on the floor of the capital.
Nix was recognized and asked Von Epps and Pezold to join him at the podium. Nix announced the presence of the the Active Life group, asked them to stand and then led everyone in a round of applause for them.
The group then walked over to the government building that was just adjacent to the capitol, and gathered in a conference room where they were scheduled to meet and talk with their representatives. Deborah Miller, administrative assistant for Nix, had made the arrangements for the group’s schedule for the day. Miller joined the group in the conference room.
“I just want to welcome you all here at the capitol and let you know how happy we are that you were able to join us today,” Miller said.
Miller also explained that due to the representatives’ schedules running longer than expected, they might not have the opportunity to meet with the group before the next group was to use the conference room. That was exactly what happened, so the Active Life group went on to their scheduled lunch in the upstairs cafeteria.
Although a bit disappointed that the representatives didn’t have an opportunity to meet with everyone in the conference room, Bohannon was satisfied with the day.
“I went on this trip last year and had a good time, so I wanted to come back,” Bohannon said. “Anything to do with history I really enjoy, I enjoy being on these senior trips.”
Wooten was also satisfied with the day.
“Senior Week at the capitol is a good time to make this trip, we come every year,” Wooten said. “It’s a way that our participants get an opportunity to meet with their representatives where they would feel more comfortable.”
The Active Life center schedules different events each month that adults who are 55 years of age, or older, may register for. Information on any of their events and programs 3
may be found in The Active Life monthly bulletin, by checking their website at www. theactivelife.com, or by calling them at 706-883-1681. The Active Life center is an agency of the United Way of West Georgia.