Barbara Wilson (left) holds a fall wreath presented to her for her many years of service to the seniors of Johnson County. Submitted photo.

By Minnie Miller
The September storytelling at the Senior Center featured Barbara Wilson. She told the history of the Johnson County Senior Center, which was founded in 1980. The center has played a major role in serving citizens 60 or older for the last 39 years.
Wilson was the first director of the center and served in that role for 20 years. Others who were vital in establishing the center include Paul McEwen, Louise Chappell, Bonnie Gentry, Hill May, and R. D. Campbell. They secured the old high school gymnasium as a location for the center and a grant from the Area Agency on Aging to renovate and hire a director. The renovation was completed, and the center opened on September 1, 1980.
The center did not have originally have a van, so the FTHRA provided transportation and a borrowed school bus. With a staff of three and a host of volunteers, many services were provided. These include daily nutritional meals, day trips, long travel trips, ceramic and art classes, pool time, exercising, quilting, grocery shopping, and traveling to doctor appointments.

Special holiday meals were sponsored by Farmers State Bank and Johnson County Bank. Before Wilson retired and was replaced by Joyce Kidd, she made sure that a van was purchased for the center, so it had its own transportation.

Kathy Motsinger is currently the center director. The Johnson County Senior Center is definitely a success story. It has continued to grow over the years, has 1,294 members, owns 3 vans, and has recently added MyRide TN Johnson County. Anyone 60 or older is welcome at the Senior Center, where you will always find friends and interesting activities.

Storytelling is during lunch the last Monday of each month. Senior center volunteer Minnie Miller is in charge of storytelling. She says everyone has a story to tell. Some are historical or factual, some are life stories, and some are just for fun.

Anyone interested in telling a story at the center should contact Miller at 727-6993. October’s story will be “Haunted Places in and Around Johnson County,” told by Miller and followed with an open mic session where others will tell their haunted or ghostly stories.