Local baby boomers had the chance to expand their world Saturday during the second Edmonds Creative Age Festival (CAFE) at the Edmonds Senior Center.
Focused on topics ranging from health to travel to hobbies to personal growth, the event aimed at retirement-age adults featured a keynote address by Dr. Gloria Burgess, more than 25 workshops from a diverse mix of expert and celebrity speakers and moderators, a live theater performance, and a hosted evening soiree with food, drink and live jazz by the Richard Cole Group.
CAFE was founded last year by Trish Feaster, Dick Van Hollebeke and Jerry Fireman, and the first festival was a hit with both attendees and the community. This year’s event brought back some favorite speakers and topics, but kept the program fresh by adding new ones to the mix.
Among these was an engaging presentation by Edmonds’ hard cider producer Steve Kaiser, who went from creating his first batch of cider four years ago to selling his “Core Hero” products in our local QFC and PCC grocery stores. His presentation included the history of hard cider — who knew that it was THE most popular drink in colonial America, and that Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman, planted cider apples, not eating apples?. Kaiser also explained the different varieties of apples that make the best cider, and detailed instructions on how to make your own hard cider from apples collected from back yard trees.
The second half of Kaiser’s presentation got right down to business, with a tasting of four ciders paired with cheeses supplied by Edmonds’ Cheesemonger’s Table. The samples were generous, and by the end of the session folks were really getting in the groove. His presentation capped off with awarding a 3-foot cider apple tree taken from his own orchard to one lucky attendee.
The pre-lunch session offered a live theater production by the Silver Kite Intergenerational Theater of “Paper,” an original theater and story-telling performance based on the real-life stories of its cast members. It starred five men and women, ages 17 to 72, who shared personal stories and memories related to the use of paper in their everyday lives. From receiving a diploma to getting fired from a job to attending a first concert to bringing home report cards from school, the stories were sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes transformative, but always deeply personal.
The post-lunch sessions included author and performer Dr. Gloria Burgess leading a workshop on “Life Without Limits,” that featured a two-pronged exercise. Attendees were asked first to reach into past experiences and identify the peak moment, that time they recall as the apex of their life, when they were happiest, most fulfilled and felt best about themselves and the world around them. The second part was to use this as a springboard to imagine what will be next, and how they can envision their future to bring that same level of joy and fulfillment.
“If you can dream it, you can be it,” Burgess concluded. “There is always a reason to keep on going and live your life without limits. Always dream forward!”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel