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Senior fair features fun, food, info

May 07, 1997

By TERRY TALBERT

Staff Writer

Senior citizens had a chance to gather information about subjects ranging from health to retirement communities Wednesday during the 1997 Senior Fair at the Ramada Inn & Convention Center in Hagerstown.

A project of the Washington County Commission on Aging, the fair had 83 commercial, governmental and nonprofit exhibits featuring services, benefits and products for older people.

Vendors ranged from retirement communities to travel agencies. The Washington County Hospital had health screening and information booths. There was food and live entertainment.

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Rachel Shoemaker, 64, of Hagerstown, was at the fair with friend Dorothy Kline, 77, who lives outside Williamsport.

Kline said she first came to the fair two years ago at the urging of a friend. "I hadn't been out for four years," she said. "My neighbor brought me to get me out of the house."

Kline said surgeons replaced one of her heart valves with a cow's valve in late October, but she hasn't let that keep her from staying active. Shoemaker said Kline talked her into coming.

Shoemaker, who worked at McCrory's in Valley Mall before the store closed, said she found the fair a welcome diversion, and a chance to learn.

"I'm not used to not working," she said. "This is really wonderful. I enjoyed getting very valuable information from some of the vendors."

She said she has arthritis, and got information on that painful disorder at the fair. She also found out from a cemetery that she could request her burial plaque be kept off her grave site until after her death. Seeing it there had depressed her, she said.

Ida Harper, 71, was at the fair with friend Delores Perrott, 67. Both live in Hagerstown.

"All senior citizens should come here," said Perrott, who got information on cooking lessons for diabetics, and information on how she might be able to get glasses for free.

Harper was there for the first time. "I love it. There's so much to learn, and the food's good," she said. She said she found out at the health screening that she has high blood pressure and would follow up with her doctor.

Merton Brodmann, 70, said he learned to better understand his sister's joint replacement surgery at a booth that displayed artificial joints.

"It's very enjoyable," he said. "We enjoy coming to see the different people, and take advantage of the information you can get here."

Wyand G. Rohrer, 83, and his wife Martha, of Keedysville, have been attending the senior fair for several years. "It's most interesting. We meet a lot of people," he said.

"We meet a lot of good friends that we'd never see anyplace else," Martha Rohrer said.

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