Investing in entertainment for seniors

Recently, I wrote a very critical letter in this fine publication about the media and their presentation of poor programming choices with little entertainment for seniors. While I do maintain that most shows on TV are garbage network junk, except for the news, some corrections are in order in my comments. Unless people get fed up with “programming for the masses” and turn their sets off, nothing will ever change.

For outdoor entertainment venues for seniors and for those who enjoy good music, like bands and easy listening singers, there were some good concerts at Sinnissippi Park this year. The local park department always strives to bring in the military and concert bands who attract large crowds. These performances are especially appreciated by those who like nice, familiar tunes and do not care for the noise young people want.

I was wrongly basing my comments on the only bit of publicity I saw this year, and that was a bank-sponsored poster in a restaurant window. It listed only rock concerts the bank was pushing.

My questions then are — Isn’t the money older people place in banks and invest worth just as much as the resources of younger people? Why didn’t the sponsor of that poster list all the park concerts? Are they afraid to identify with seniors?

I am so accustomed to seeing only articles, activities and money spent on what younger people want in this community, that I seldom read the area papers anymore. Therefore, I must have missed any good PR about local band concerts in the park. I don’t look at websites, either.

In the past, I have urged the park department to use good music broadcaster WTPB LP 99.3 in this city to help promote their events. The rest of the media should also broaden their coverage and give more space to the wholesome entertainment venues in this city so they are not missed and better attended.

My feelings about all this rang true the day my critical article was printed. The daily sent me their usual advertiser, and on the front page was a story about someone’s rock guitar collection. There is lots more to music than just the stuff that kids and young people like. How about some big band dances? The one we held last year with the Bill Engberg Orchestra with singer Angie Fellows featured a live dance band, not a pile of CDs and lights. The dance floor was filled all afternoon.

It makes me wonder if anyone in these area newsrooms has ever heard of someone named Sinatra or Glenn Miller? Now, that’s great music! We need more of it in Rockford, and if young people heard real music, they’d love it, too.

John Russell Ghrist

From the Sept. 12-18, 2012, issue

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