(MENA) Ken and Diane Mathis moved to Mena twelve years ago and wanted to meet new friends. They moved here from Texas City, Texas in 2007. At the time, Diane was 64 and Ken was 65 at the time.
Ken had rode through the area on his motorcycle on his way to Missouri and spent the night in Mena and had experienced issues with starting his bike and went to a local area business to have work done on his motorcycle, in which they got it running. So, Ken continued on his journey to Missouri.
The people were always friendly and personable and loved how pretty the area was and is now proud citizens of the community.
But, after retiring in Texas, they pondered about moving to Mena and wanted to join a group of like-minded people and quickly discovered that there wasn’t such a group. So, after careful consideration, the couple decided to start one themselves.
The group called Sociable Seniors was started at The Lime Tree Restaurant and now, twelve years later, they will be celebrating the groups anniversary at where it all got started.
The group has no specific purpose, no politics or religious views that are discussed, amongst the 30 to 50 people that attend monthly.
The gathering usually has some sort of a trivia question that is asked with prizes each week. The question usually keeps the participants on their toes or sometimes on the edge of their seat.
Guest speakers have been a huge part of the meetings through the years with such dignitaries as Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer, Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison and many others that have been speakers. They try to keep a relevant theme that will be helpful for seniors group.
They want people to have fun and enjoy camaraderie between each of the attendees, and not have pressure about anything during the get togethers.
They try to spread their meeting locations to the various restaurants and other area locales, to showcase the great food that can be found within the area to its members.
Sometimes musicians will perform during those get-togethers, ranging from Harlan Powell (in the movie “Oh Brother, Where Are Thou”), Brett Lang – accordion player, Lonnie Lance (one of the best string instrument players in the area) and others.
The Mathis’ try to do it for fun and so far, it has worked. The group does not allow its speakers to try and sell the gatherers anything; nor does it ever ask for donations.
Sociable Seniors is for people from 50 + (older or younger) and has seen various guests come from Minnesota, Rhode Island, Texas and other states. Even visitors from Germany and South Africa have visited the group.
People that attend the meetings, don’t want to see it end either, and that is the goal for the Sociable Seniors group to continue for a longtime.
The 12th Anniversary meeting will take place at The Lime Tree Restaurant on Wednesday, August 7th, beginning at Noon. The public is invited to attend.
For more information, contact Ken or Diane at (479)243-0191.