The Port St. Joe Senior Center was more crowded than normal on Friday afternoon, said Eddie Fields, director of the Gulf County Senior Citizens Association, as he looked around at the bright springtime decorations and the new faces.
The crowd at the Senior Center’s Easter celebration was a welcome surprise, he said – especially given that the party had been such a last minute plan.
The food had all been provided by Clay Parker and his wife Carrie Parker, who had decided to host the meal only two days prior.
“This was a way on this Easter we could give to others,”Carrie Parker said. “I was coming back from my office, and I was thinking, ‘what can we call (the senior center) and do? What can we manage?'”
“So I (called and) said ‘we’re going to do this. Can you get the people together?'”
Clay Parker, who was out running errands in Panama City at the time, said his wife called him and asked him to pick up the extra required materials.
“I called Clay, and I said ‘now, Clay, I signed us up for something. Don’t be mad,'” Carrie laughed. “I knew he wouldn’t be mad.”
Robert Farmer, who works at the GCSCA, had driven down members of the Wewahitchka center earlier that day to join in on the fun.
The group of twenty or so seniors feasted on the Parkers’ baked ham, green beans, potato salad, deviled eggs and peach cobbler. Clay Parker said they had been cooking since the night before to put the meal together.
“I went shopping and started cooking last night,” he said. “We finished up this morning and came right here.”
A blend of country music and oldies played over the Senior Citizens Center’s speakers as guests talked and played cards late into the afternoon.