Mt. Juliet Senior Center fills need for friends, family

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 23, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Bill Feathers said when his father retired, he just sat by himself in his room. 

That is, until his daughter, who lived on a large farm in Tennessee, invited her dad to come south to live. After the elder Feathers relocated to be closer to family, he lived another 12 years.

 “It’s like a family here,” Feathers said, referring to the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center, of which he is a member. “If they didn’t have a place like this, there would be a lot of depressed people. You have to get up, walk, get out, come to the center and meet people.”

Feathers, a country music singer and guitar player, had a band up north for 40 years and played in cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Eight years ago, he and his wife, Clara, moved to Lebanon from Erie, Penn. He saw a picture in the Lebanon newspaper of a group sitting in a circle jamming at the Mt. Juliet Senior Center. He called the center, and they urged him to bring his guitar.

“I’ve been hooked ever since,” Feathers said. “I’ve been teaching guitar here for about four years now. I teach beginners and advanced…that’s what I love doing. It makes me proud to hear them play.” 

Feathers himself plays for various center functions, including birthday bashes and covered-dish events. 

“Everyone here lives for jam session,” he said about the every-Thursday event from 1-3 p.m. “There’s always a nice crowd, and all these entertainers come from all over. Some of them have played with the big boys. I’ll be sitting there and I find out the guy playing has performed with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. It’s really neat.

“Here you have all kinds of activities. And you meet people your own age – it’s priceless. You have to have senior centers because there are a lot of people who sit around and think their life is over. People look forward to coming here – and they are looking forward to a new facility that will accommodate everybody.”

Feathers and his wife have three daughters and nine grandchildren. 

“I’m from a family of 15 brothers and sisters, and believe it or not, I’m the only musician who plays anything,” Feathers said.

To learn more about the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center, including its many activities and events, plus the ongoing $2.5 million campaign for a new senior center, visit mjseniorcenter.org or call 615-758-9114.

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