Remarks at Friendship Festival From Kendal’s Ambassador of Friendship – 8 April 2017

By Allan Carroll

Today is all about friendship: Friendship between people of different religions, different races, different nations and different economic conditions.   My self-appointed task today is to talk about friendship between people of different ages.   I along with a number of other people in Oberlin in the age range of roughly 70 to 100 years live the Kendal at Oberlin Retirement Community. In this age range most of the people there could be either your grandfathers or perhaps even your great grandmothers.

We at Kendal are all trying our best to live our lives to the fullest no matter what our precise physical and mental condition happens to be. That means being involved in the community outside of Kendal. As you no doubt noticed a lot of grey-haired folks show up at College concerts, lectures, and even in some of your classes. We all enjoy those activities and particularly enjoy getting to know students, because all of us were students a while back, many attending Oberlin College or Conservatory.

The possibility of Friendship with Kendal folks opens a whole new window of Friendship opportunities. For one thing, people at Kendal have and many continue to travel a lot. As illustration, let me tell you a little about my friend Dwight Call, OC class of 1968.   Following graduation Dwight began a series of careers with the YMCA. First visiting Japan for a year and then travelling to Cameron, Australia and various parts of Africa. Then a fill –in summer job turned into 18 years of service to YMCA’s on five Sioux Reservations.

Then a pause for a PhD at Drew University and a job in NYC. Then out into the world again that included 16 years as the Director of International Students and supervision of study programs abroad at Georgia University.  This work included travels to Morocco, Switzerland, Japan and many others. He has maintained contacts with almost all the people that he met during those years. As a result after starting life in Kendal three and a half years ago, he continues to travel the world having gone to New Zealand, Nepal (during the big earthquake) Thailand, Japan, Morocco, Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain and the U.K. Dwight is an exception, but a majority of people Kendal have travelled extensively, and have stories and advice to share. Get to know them!

Many of us have enjoyed contributing to this year’s Friendship Festival. All those small pots, plates and plaques were made by Joyce Parker and about 15 of her best friends at Kendal. You who win at the raffle will get first choice at selecting one of these beautiful items for you own. Other gifts made by dear wife Polly are the hand made and painted Friendship cards, and there is an opportunity to design and make your own. As long as they last, you are entitled to one each, but on the condition that you promise to write a note inside it, and mail it to someone outside of Oberlin, and better yet out of the United States with a mention of our Friendship Festival. If you show Polly or me that you written in your card, we will supply a postage stamp and mail it.

It has been great being with all of you friends of many different ages this year, and look forward to seeing many of you next year.