Windsor House residents show that love is for all seasons

By Ed Runyan


Valentine’s Day may not seem necessary to many people, but consider the evidence writer Katie Morton gave recently on TLC Parentables on why going above and beyond today just might be worth it.

Doing something nice for your spouse or children can put a smile on their face, and “one smile is worth the sort of brain activation that 2,000 chocolate bars might elicit,” she said, quoting a British study.

As for romantic love, it frequently fades over time because “early on in our relationships, we are often our most open, excited to try new things and share new adventures,” says Lisa Firestone in Psychology Today.

“As we fall into routine, we often resist novel experiences,” she says. “Slowing down and taking time to relate is essential to sustaining intimacy.”

Gary Cessna of Brookfield, half of the duo that entertains at nursing homes throughout the Mahoning Valley as Blaire’s Audio Karaoke and DJ, said Wednesday one of the nicest stories he’s heard in recent years came from a couple in their 90s that he met in a Niles nursing home.

The couple had been married 72 years. Every night before bed for 72 years, the man sings the couple’s favorite song to his wife and dances with her, Cessna said.

Cessna and the other half of the duo, Marshall Blair of Hubbard, were hoping to spread a little Valentine’s Day joy to the residents of Windsor House of Champion nursing home Wednesday by playing and singing songs from the residents’ past.

The effort was organized by Robin Powell, activity director, who selected Wilfred and Elizabeth Richards as king and queen for the party and brought them up front to recognize their 63 years of marriage.

There were other couples in attendance such as Robert and Dorothy Hyden, but widow Evelyn Helmick, 92, best demonstrated the spirit of Valentine’s Day by sharing some of her most romantic memories from her youth.

When she was a young girl, her favorite way to have fun and meet young men was to go dancing with a girlfriend at places such as Kuzman’s in Girard and another place in Rootstown. She graduated from Warren G. Harding High School, is Polish and enjoys polkas and other music.

It was an activity she continued to do after getting married to her husband, Joe, when she was 30.

“I love to dance. It was fun. I wish I could still do it,” she said.

As for why the Valentine’s Day celebration was at Windsor House on Wednesday instead of today, Powell had a simple answer: “Tomorrow’s bingo.”

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