Every few months, Programs Assistant Tanya Kutukdjian will book Vrezh to come and play at Park Plaza Senior Apartments in North Hollywood, CA. He is absolutely delightful and JUST what the residents at Park Plaza respond to: he speaks their language, he knows their songs and he is able to – unlike anyone else – whip them into a frenzy of singing and dancing. He came out to do a Holiday Concert at Park Plaza.
TimeSlips Storytelling Event – reported by Tanya Kutukdjian, Programs Assistant:
Our TimeSlips group is continuing to grow and we are seeing great progress. We have new residents joining the group, some eager to share their stories, while others want to take it slow and just listen to others tell their stories. This month’s topic was about a surprise for the holidays.
One resident, Khatun (pictured on the far left), shared how her brother surprised her one Christmas when she was about 16 with a beautiful velvet dress that she had wanted. She said she really loved the dress but was hesitant to buy it because she thought it wouldn’t fit her. When she received the gift from her brother, she was so excited that she thought to herself, “This dress is so beautiful, even if it doesn’t fit me, I will make it work. I am not taking it back to the store!” She is still very fond of the dress, and so proud of its beauty, that she has kept it and she offered to bring it down to the community room to share with the group. These are the kinds of warm memories and feelings that are evoked during Timeslips.
This month’s Resident Spotlight is on Azniv (pictured below in blue). Azniv used to be a regular bingo player at Park Plaza, but then she disappeared for awhile. We did not cross paths for a long time. Occasionally I would catch her calling out my name and waving as I entered the building (she would spot me from her balcony on the second floor). However, no matter how hard I tried, I could not convince her to join us for a game. She said she did not want to be around anyone anymore.
To my delight, she appeared one day while we were having our Timeslips group and as we started to chat, she showed more and more interest in sharing her story. She began with responding to Sarah’s story prompt, which led into giving us much more. She was all smiles as she shared her stories and reconnected with fellow residents.
Shortly after this, I ran into her granddaughter, who told me that Azniv’s husband had passed away a year ago, and she had completely withdrawn since then. I showed her the pictures we had and the wonderful stories Azniv had shared with us, and her granddaughter was so happy to hear the progress her grandmother had made. She said she would continue to encourage her grandmother to attend and participate in our activities.
~ Elizabeth Sampson, Program Director