Living Democracy

Senior Center more vibrant than ever

Sign saying meals for the elderlyDriving on Highway 43 heading south will take you to a multitude of destinations. One such destination is Linden, Alabama.  Upon entering city limits, 43 becomes Main Street. One of the first sights is the church directly on the left side of the road.  The modern brick provides an updated look.

If you take a left at the church, you will see building with three sides covered in original glass panes, standing stout and resolute like a soldier at attention.

Welcome to Linden’s Senior Center.  The Center, funded by grants, provides hot meals and more for those who visit.  The Center staff will also carry meals out to those who can’t be at lunch.  

This wasn’t originally planned to be a senior center.  This building once served the community as the school lunchroom for the elementary, junior and high school.

However, former mayor Kathryn Friday said after school enrollment dropped in the 1970s, it no longer made sense to operate three lunchrooms. She explained that the building sat empty without a purpose until the program to provide a gathering spot and meals for senior citizens took hold.

Visitors who come in today will be greeted by the smell of hot food.  Debbie Cannon explained that the Senior Center provides much more than meals though.  She said, “It is my second home.  We all are a big family up here.”

Before the food is served, an exercise workout helps seniors build up an appetite. The workout came to an end when a woman came from behind the serving counter to lead a blessing, including a “blessing for the friendships we have.”

This is Linden’s Senior Center.

You will find the same people here day after day.  If you are fortunate enough to walk in upon a birthday celebration, expect cake and ice cream and warm smiles to greet you.  While the building that houses the Center is old, its occupants are young in spirit.

Georgia Dukes, who has been coming to center for the past 21 years, gives a single word answer when asked what makes the Center special to senior citizens in Linden: “Fellowship.”

Last Updated: May 25, 2016