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Arlene | A Real Show Stopper - Atria West 86 Resident

Arlene | A Real Showstopper


Posted on May 31, 2016 by Julie Smead


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It’s no surprise others describe Arlene K. as theatrical, independent and cultured; she likes to express herself by creating beaded jewelry and acting and singing in original skits and revues as part of the “Showstoppers” performance group.

The married mother of two worked for years as an elementary school art teacher. Her parenting advice is to give children an awareness of the world and teach them to be individuals. She often urged her students to remember that “good feelings spin into great days.”

Photo by noted portrait photographer Mark Seliger.


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5 Comments

  • helen murphy says:

    sounds very dedicated to me

  • I am an Atria resident who can certainly relate to Arlene. I have always loved music, the theater, and the power of words My mother was the kind of mother I always tried to be, but I have never been as good as she was at remaining calm in a trying situation. My brother and I seem to have inherited more of my father’s genes. He loved to sing and left behind a treasure trove of books–including a copy of Lord Byron and a complete set of Mark Twain. He also had a sense of humor and had so many friends when he died that his funeral attracted hundreds of people to Grandpa’s house where we had been living since the terrible market crash that left our family in dire straits. In those days, however, Mon’s family seemed to practice the Engaged Life philosophy. All of her sisters and their husbands stepped right up to offer assistance. In addition, we lived in a town where most of the businesses were owned by very kind and successful Jewish men. We couldn’t have survived without their help. Mom worked for one of them and the Jewish relief fun saw to it that I got a good pair of shoes every year. My brother caddied at the local golf club and brought any money he made home. My brother and I got into singing when we were in high school. .I also became pretty active in the stage productions.
    High school English classes gave me some appreciation for all the famous poets and helped me become pretty good at writing. However, because everyone knew my Mom could not afford to send me to college, I took a commercial course and became a secretary–a darned good one. When I was recruited to work in the Pentagon during WWII, I got to compose the letters that we sent to those wrote to the military services seeking information about those serving in the military. I can’t remember that my boss, a Lt. Colonel who signed them, ever requested a change in wording.
    When the war was over, I returned to my hometown (Wheeling, W.VA.) and met the love of my life who had auditioned at CBS in Chicago and been sent to work at the brand new radio station in my home town. Our marriage lasted 30 years. We had 5 chlldren, and lost one just before my husband was called back into the service to serve in Vietnam at the same time our older son was flying in and out of Vietnam.

    • Kacey Roby says:

      Hi Margaret,
      Thank you for sharing your story with us! It is so wonderful to hear our residents’ life experiences rich with wisdom and history.
      Best,
      Kacey R., Digital Content Manager
      Atria Senior Living

  • Anita Leacock -Wiltshire says:

    This sounds like a person I would really love to meet.

    • Kacey Roby says:

      Thank you for your comment, Anita. Arlene is a really amazing lady!
      Best,
      Kacey R., Digital Content Manager
      Atria Senior Living