Waterloo LMC’s ‘Thirsty Thursday’ group tops 100 for gatherings since pandemic began | Local News

WATERLOO — At the height of the pandemic, the lack of social interaction was one of the toughest challenges.

However, people didn’t necessarily need a luxury cruise or a trip to Disney World to overcome it. They got creative and found simple ways to stay connected and positive with their friends and family.

Eight residents of the Landmark Commons 55-plus community found solace by setting up chairs and tables in the hallway outside their apartments to enjoy snacks, conversations and their choice of evening drinks in a low-stress environment away from the depressing realities of everyday life. in a pandemic.






LMC group ‘Thirsty Thursday’, clockwise from left, includes: Kathy Martin, Joe Brandt, Sheryl Brandt, Linda Ludwig, Ginny Svoboda, Sharron Haskin, Butch Mixdorf and Dave Martin.


ANDY MILONE, MAIL STAFF EDITOR


The roommates, known in local circles as the “Thirsty Thursday” group, celebrated their 101st meeting last week.

They first came together in April 2020, when the gang was on the ground to mark six feet apart between them.

Despite the pandemic hopefully becoming a distant memory, this is a group that has continued its tradition of gathering together to enjoy good laughs and entertaining stories not far from where they sleep.

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The time slot from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday is sacred to them. It’s forbidden for anything else, so don’t try to call them or set up another date that takes them away from the comfort of their second-floor hallway.

“We were neighbors,” Joe Brandt said. “But after dating all this time, we’ve become close friends.”

Each session brings new revelations. Often you’ll hear someone say, “That’s something I didn’t know.

“We have a lot of history among us,” Linda Ludwig said, “Whether it’s where you grew up or where you lived, we find things to tell like our children or grandchildren.”


The talks

In November, UNI called for the demolition of two historic buildings allegedly due to $1.6 million in deferred maintenance. One was the former home of its late president Homer Seerley.

The spark for the weekly get-togethers came from a TV report on how people have survived the challenges of the pandemic.

“We could do it” was the sentiment among the instigators. Better said: they chose to do something, rather than “rot in their recliners”.

“That’s how we keep our sanity,” Sharron Haskin said. “You can share whatever you want here.”

They have become the talk of the building, and in some cases, people are getting somewhat jealous that they don’t live in this area of ​​the senior community.

“It’s because the fun is here,” Sheryl Brandt explained. Not all bands would “click” the way they do, Ginny Svoboda pointed out. “But we all come from different places and we’ve found we have a lot in common.”

One of the apartments is empty on their floor, which means anyone moving in may find they’ve hit the jackpot.

Over the days, the band have collected various keepsakes to commemorate their time together, none more special than glasses engraved with the words “LMC Thirsty Thursday”.

Sometimes, now that they can spend more time outside of Landmark Commons, they find themselves breaking away from home and going out to a special place like a steakhouse to celebrate a birthday or anniversary.

“Like any group of people, we’ll complain about this and we’ll complain about that, but at the end of the day, we’re just happy to still be around and having a good time,” Joe Brandt said. .

Sara H. Byrd