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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Every Thursday, the community’s seniors gather at Sherborn’s Pilgrim Church to enjoy lunch with the Sherborn Council on Aging’s Senior Café. Accompanying a delicious spread each week is some kind of program. Sometimes it’s an entertainer. Other times, it’s related to health or travel. And once a month, the seniors simply use the time to chat amongst themselves.
On April 14, though, they welcomed The Happy Strummers, a ukulele group based in Dover.
Motioning to the instructor, Daniel Metraux, who stood in line to get lunch, participant Trudy Walsh said, “I read an article about three and a half years ago that he teaches ukulele in Weston to seniors.”
“They interviewed this 90-year-old lady and said, ‘Why are you playing ukulele?’ and she said, ‘My dear, at age 90, I don’t see too well, but I sure as heck have fun in this class.’ So, we tracked him down and some of us went to Weston to hear,” continued Trudy, recalling that she insisted Daniel teach in Dover despite his initial excuse that it was too far away.
Now years later, the group has 30 participants, and they play locally for others to enjoy.
“We always welcome new people. We do folk songs, Beatles songs, Johnny Cash… We sing and accompany the chords,” Trudy said. “Daniel had said that if you’re a perfectionist and you want to learn how to pluck along and accompany a song, go to music school. Here, we’re just having fun.”
The ukulele players ate quickly at lunch and at 12:30 p.m., the performers found their places at the front of the room. As they adjusted their bandstands and secured the ukulele straps around their torsos, Trudy announced that the seniors would be performing a sing-along instead of a traditional concert.
With music booklets provided for them, the lunch-goers sang along to the ukulele players’ Irish and American tunes.
“It’s a wonderful place for our seniors, and it’s a great social time for people,” said Kathy Horigan-Dye, who has been organizing the Senior Café for the last couple of years.
The Senior Café has been a beloved program in Sherborn for the past 20 years and will offer garden parties in the summer, too.
With special guests just as fantastic as The Happy Strummers regularly visiting, the senior community looks forward to seeing what special offerings the Senior Café will bring next.