November 2021 Newsletter

The first in a series on the clubs of the park…

The Silveridge Singles


Dale Dauten

“If you’re single and most of your friends are married, you end up getting excluded from a lot of events. Nobody plans it that way; it just happens.”

That’s from Jim Hyde, commenting on why he first decided to check out the singles group at Silveridge. He remembers nearly everything about his first time, recalling, “It was December 12, 1997. We started with pizza at K-mart and then we played cards.” From what I heard from Jim and the leaders of the club, a trip to K-mart might have been the worse meeting destination in club history, but it turned unforgettable for Jim. We’ll explain in a minute. First though, let me introduce the group I got to visit with in late October.

In the photo below, that’s current club President Jill Belcher on the left, then longtime President Lou Hyde, and to her left is Jim Hyde, whom we quoted above, and current VP, Jeff Phillips.

You may have noted that Jim and Lou share a last name and that’s because they’re married, which explains why Jim has such a clear recollection of his first meeting with the Singles – it’s where the two met. The chemistry was immediate. Jim recalled sitting across from Lou for the evening’s card game: “I kept looking at her — her big smile and expressive eyes.” It was mutual: not long after that first meeting at the Singles, Lou saw Jim out walking around the park and she says, “I saw him walk past my house and I hurried and put on my shoes and went out walking.”

Despite that romantic story, the point of the club is not matchmaking; indeed, Jim and Lou are one of only two marriages that have come about among club members. As current club VP Jeff Phillips told us, “Jim and Lou are definitely the exception. The goal of the club isn’t to pair up, it’s to provide a safe social situation.” The Hydes are an exception in another way, too – they are still members although married. That’s because Lou was one of the club’s founders, back in 1995, and helped lead the club until handing the Presidency to Jill in 2018. “We were grandfathered in,” she explained.


Given that she was around since the first meeting, Lou was able to provide a firsthand account of the club’s early days:

“It started with Evelyn Tischer, who went by “E.T.” She was a retired schoolteacher, never married and she had fiery red hair and she lived up to that hair. I had moved into the park in 1995 and was single and E.T. called me up and told me the group was starting and said, ‘I want you to come.’ It wasn’t an invitation; she just told me. And when I left that day, I was President.”

Back then the Silveridge Singles called themselves the Silveridge Ramblers and they alternated meetings between Friday and Saturday before eventually settling on Fridays. One of their regular activities became serving coffee and donuts to the residents and Activities Director Sue Arneson says of that work, “It was a big service and they were gracious volunteers.”

For most of the club’s history, Lou has been President. She said, “There were three years when someone else took over, but I kept being brought back. Then, in 2018, I talked Jill into taking over.”


Current President Jill Belcher pulled out the club’s invitation, which reads, “If you are single for whatever the reason and would like to meet and make some new friends, come and join us for some fun on Friday evenings.” Just what happens on which Friday evening takes some planning given that Sue Arneson and her team keep the calendar buzzing. Pointing at this season’s list of Singles’ events, Jim commented, “That a complex piece of paper.”

Jill provided us with a list of upcoming activities. (That list is reproduced at the end of the article in the online edition of this newsletter.) Besides dinners at various restaurants and card games, highlights include a light-rail trip to the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Phoenix, a Desert Belle Steamboat Cruise at Saguaro Lake and a visit to Barleen’s Arizona Opry. The club also has monthly business meetings which Jeff describes as “eating lunch for half an hour, a business meeting for six minutes, then cake.”For the moment, it’s hard to know how many members are now active – probably about fifty. As Jill explained, “Last year, with the pandemic, we did virtually nothing. So we’re ready to get things rolling.”

(Photo: current President Jill Belcher & VP Jeff Phillips)

If you’re ready to join in, the next gathering is November 5th and you’ll find this sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in Room 4 (where the Singles play cards and have their business meetings)…

And here’s the schedule for this season…

 And we close with a few photos passed along by Jeff, taken from activities, pre-pandemic…

Silveridge Connect

Message from Sue

Welcome Back Friends! How exciting to see your faces again; to hear your voices and see you giving welcoming hugs to your Silveridge family! Some of you have not seen each other for two years. With the border finally open, our Canadian and American families are united once again.

One of the many things we have learned in these Covid times is that loneliness is a disease and we need to stay connected to one another. How we all missed that physical contact!

Many of you have kept in touch through our own Silveridge Connect. Kudos to all of you that have posted inspirational, positive, funny and informative material. However, social media does not take the place of our physical presence. There is a feeling of “realness”; a connection that is not found in front of a computer. Sometimes we need to “disconnect in order to connect. How often have we told our children (now grand-kids not to bring their phones to the dinner table? Dinner time was always a family event when our children would open up about school and what happened during their day.

As we gather together again, let’s consider other ways of connecting to one another. Here are a few ideas to ponder:

*Invite a new couple or individual in the park to sit at your table at one of our events. Take the time to get to know them and ask questions; such as “How did you find out about Silveridge?” Tell me about your family. Where is your home state? Relationships are built when you show a genuine interest on other peoples lives.

*Exercise together. Ask a neighbor if they would like to take a walk. How about joining a sport such as hiking or golf? Have some fun with others while you are staying fit!

*Connect with nature . Being outside in nature helps us see that we’re all connected to the beauty of the earth. Go for a bike ride. Take photos of the majestic trees and enjoy the Arizona sunsets.

*Plan a game night or day. Recently groups have spontaneously connected to play some cards or have a couple rounds of Pickleball. Don’t forget about Bingo on Wed nights. What fun to visit with neighbors and win money!

*Pass along a good book. Just finished a good book from our library? Leave it on your neighbor’s steps with a note to foster discussion; like ”What did you think of the surprise ending?”

*Write a letter. When is the last time you wrote a letter? Some of my cherished memories are love letters my husband wrote to me (before we were married! ) Letters from family and special Christmas letters are sentimental treasures.

*Volunteer. The best way to get to know others is to give your time and talent to others.

You will get to know others in your volunteer group while serving others.

We appreciate all our volunteers!

It’s a new day; a new beginning where we can grow new friends and build lasting friendships. There many new people in the park and it is up to us to connect with the future generation of Silveridge to let them know that we “the friendliest park in the West!”



Seniors & Technology

A recent article at pointed out how embracing technology can help seniors have a happier and more fulfilling retirement. Yes, this includes you and me and all of us here at Silveridge. Advancements in technology have brought us marvelous smartphones like the Apple iPhone, and Android system phones from a bevy of manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Google, and others. These devices not only keep us in closer contact with family & friends but enable us to enjoy photos of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren wherever they are.

Additional benefits may include texting, emails, enjoying Facebook, always having the latest news from back home or anywhere, entertainment like YouTube, apps like Google Maps that easily guide the user to destinations near or far. The smart phone that seniors have is also a miniature computer with awesome capabilities. And, smart phone technology is only one slice of the technology pie.

Wearables like smartwatches help seniors live a healthier life by monitoring their heart rate, and while sleeping can measure quality of sleep & blood oxygen levels, and offer suggestions for improvement your wellness.

Easy to install technology like wireless cameras—now less expensive than ever—can help keep you safe. Self-programming robotic vacuum cleaners can clean your carpets and floors while you sleep.

The technology in newer cars is amazing! “Infotainment” systems on your car’s center screen are playing an ever increasingly important role from facilitating hands-free phone calls to navigation to music and podcasts. I know some seniors simply ignore modern technology and bumble by without it. Others do try their best to learn what they need to learn to get by.

It’s interesting that those seniors who learn what they need to know to use their technology-laden device(s) often know a couple of things that many others may not know. But one thing seems certain—we all need a little help from our friends. Among those friends at Silveridge is the Silveridge Computer & Technology Club (SCTC). When we band together and share our knowledge, everyone wins.

Changing gears, few of us at Silveridge on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020 will forget the notice that appeared in our PO boxes. Concerning the Coronavirus, The decision has been made to cancel all activity events effective today. Silveridge Management.

SCTC was set to celebrate his 25th anniversary shortly and it never happened. In fact, the club still has over $500 in prizes that were to have been awarded to lucky winners.

The good news is that SCTC will start up once again this season, and information regarding starting up SCTC will appear a month from now in the December 1 issue of Silveridge Sun, and also in the December Silveridge Newsletter from Sue Arnesen’s office.

Before going on, I do need to share one bit of sad news with previous season’s members of the Silveridge Computer & Technology Club. Michael Folker, husband of SCTC President Carol Folker, passed away October 13 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. His death was from the coronavirus exacerbated by his already compromised health.

Mike Folker was a key teacher and leader in SCTC. Quoting his obituary, “For over 20 years, Michael generously taught basic computer skills, Photoshop, and Microsoft Word to seniors in the computer club at Silveridge in Mesa, Arizona. He had the patience of Job!”

Mike also served several terms as club president and was on the SCTC Board of Directors for over a decade. He will truly be missed.

President Carol Folker and I have been in touch this past summer making plans for restarting SCTC. With the passing of Michael, she has asked me to assume this responsibility until such time when she feels able to take the reins again.

I am happy to accept it and will appreciate support and help from previous SCTC members and other interested residents at Silveridge this coming season.

DuWayne “Dewey” Kloos
VP, Silveridge Computer & Technology Club