Seniors discuss importance of Tuesday's election

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Retirees and people living on fixed incomes are paying very close attention to all the campaign rhetoric. How they live may be determined by who wins the road to the White House.

Nearly 200 senior citizens were at the Lyman Senior Center Thursday for a dedication ceremony. And they all had something to say about the state of the union, and Tuesday's election.

These are supposed to be the twilight years of their lives. But for the Belles and Buoys, retirement means toe tapping good times. Nell Knott is part of the senior citizen dance troupe.

"You can't meet better people than square dancers," said Knott.

When they're not promenading around the dance floor, these square dancers face the same struggles other seniors face.

"It's hard. For people on a limited income, it's very difficult," Knott said.

A financial crisis, and healthcare uncertainties have seniors' heads spinning faster than dance skirts. Tom Moss is one of the square dancers. He said retirement wasn't tough the first two years, "But it's been tough since the last year, especially the last year has made things kind of tight."

Jeanell Barnes said that for awhile, dealing with the economy wasn't as hard as she thought it would be. But lately, things have changed.

"Like I've been telling them, if I had known it was kind of hard like this to be a senior, I would have just stayed young," she laughed.

Throughout the Lyman Senior Center were older neighbors whose eyes showed the joy and the pain of life in America in 2008. Maxine Gilson is from the Woolmarket area.

"What am I seeing? I'm seeing a lot of struggling going on right now," she said.

These retirees know that what happens on Tuesday will likely have a profound impact on their lives.

"The only thing we can do is just pray that everything will get better for all of us," said Gilson.