So long, Pennsylvania Club: A miniature community dissolves after 25 years
When I got an invitation to speak at the Pennsylvania Club luncheon, I was happy to accept. Then I was told I would be the last speaker. Ever.
The club, which started in about 1991, had run its course, and lack of interest in filling leadership positions and participating in club outings had led them to decide to dissolve.
Before my remarks, I was able to meet with a few of the club members. I met Sam Pobiak, who married into the club five years ago — both she and her husband were married for the third time, and both are 87 years old. I met Anne Kohl, who was one of the original members. She joined because she had just moved to Palm Coast and was looking to become part of the community. Dot McKenney was also an original member, and she said she would miss the club, but noted that there are a lot more things to do in Palm Coast now than there used to be in the early 1990s. “I’m going to miss it,” she said, “but what are you going to do?” Then she joked, “Do you want to be our president?”
Sadly, as a native of lowly Connecticut, I’m not eligible.
In her closing remarks, the real club president, Eileen Bentzley, encouraged all to keep up their friendships, and indeed there was a good indication it would happen, as she announced she was going to visit a member in the hopsital.
It was humbling to step into their community just as it was coming to a close. Palm Coast is a different place now, and in many ways it’s a better, more vibrant place. But let’s not forget our senior neighbors who have lost their communities, or other transplants who could use some help finding their place in one.