Clipped From The Marion Star
Towers' residents carry on with tradition Even after death of friend, decorating committee finishes float in her honor By BRENOA J. D0NEGAN For The Marion Star MARION Decorating a float for the annual Marion Popcorn Festival Parade has been a labor of love for several years for residents at Marion Towers. This year, however, it was with heavy hearts that they continued on to complete their entry, said Peg Dyer. Virginia Lister, Towers night supervisor, friend to all who lived there and "a mover and shaker to include everyone as much as possible in Towers activities died Monday afternoon at Marion General Hospital. For several years, she had been involved in developing the theme and designing many of the intricate designs for the float. "She (Lister) gathered materials from foam to cardboard year round for our float," said Jane Weddington. "She was good about designing things for us. That was a shock to lose her like that. We'll sure miss her. Living up here you become like family. You really miss them when they're gone." Dyer said in past years, Lister had made a guitar out of popcorn when the theme related to Elvis and a tri-cyle out of cardboard then decorated with popcorn. "She was always there ready to give a helping hand and had really good ideas," Dyer said. "When we began decorating the float Tuesday night she was in the back of our minds. We weren't really in the mood for this. We wanted to put a sign on the side of the float in Ginny's memory but didn't know how to say it. We dedicated it to her at least in our minds and hearts." Betty Rigby said once the theme was announced by the parade committee an open meeting was held to select ideas for the float. "It was a collective idea to go western," she said. "We only wished they would announce the theme earlier." DYER 4 .' M . . ' t. .. -J. V, J. . , U , ' ir ill Ml. h,u 1 Trrmm-SSSX?-! . ..- .-j - J ti7" is st ' i The Marion StarBill Sinden Peg Dyer, left, Jane Weddington, Vera Honaker and Betty Rigby place red fringe Tuesday around the trailer that held the Marion Towers float for the Marion Popcorn Festival parade Thursday. WEDDINGTON RIGBY "We had to borrow from family and friends to acquire the boots, clothing and other items we needed for the float," Weddington added. Money for the float for the senior citizen complex comes from their activity fund and activities sponsored at the center throughout the year. "We're all on fixed income and retirement so we don't have the resources of some of the bigger float units," Dyer said. The float was a takeoff from the television show "Gunsmoke" and had ' a western bar complete with barstools and Miss Kitty all spruced up and waving to the crowds. Others on the float were dressed in blue jeans, cowboy boots and hats and most sported a somewhat dirty face after a hard day's work. While the bulk of the work was accomplished by Dyer, Weddington, Rigby, Vera Honaker, Towers director Cathy Abrams and her husband, Mark, and Jane Millisor, assistant at the Towers, it took the hands and patience of many residents to string the many strands of popcorn used for the float. "We have a ball working on this," Rigby said. "We all work together on it. We're just like one big family." "Mark (Abrams) really goes all out," Dyer added. "It was his truck that we used to pull the float. He had to have a particular hitch to pull it." And with the fun of working together, the overshadowing thoughts of losing one of their own, those who rode the float were pleased with the end result. "We were disappointed we didn't win, but enjoyed being with it to the end then riding it in the parade," Rigby said. "I loved to see the crowd," Dyer added. "The best part is when we get to the end and our bunch (Towers residents) is sitting out there and cheered us on. The yard was full." Prior to the parade, Towers residents voted for a king and queen to reign over Popcorn-related activities at the Towers. Perry and Jo Hart were named as king and queen by their peers and Evelyn Kinsler was runner-up. The death of one of their own still prevailed in the hearts and minds of Towers residents as the Popcorn Festival festivities took place not only downtown but at the Towers as well. "Ginny always hummed when she walked down the halls and had a smile for everyone," Dyer said. "She will be totally missed by the band. She loved it. She loved living here." Head of the Class is a weekly Sunday profile that appears in the Senior Class section. If you know a senior that should be written about, call Brenda Donegan at 740-375-5150 or Tom Lowry at 740-375-5120.