Remembering the Palis–Agers

In the fall of 2007 a small group of older Palisadians, spearheaded by Herb and Jeannette Kellogg, began to meet to discuss ways of supporting each other as they aged. In January, 2008, the group sent out a questionnaire to everyone in the community aged 75 or older asking about problems they might be having and help they might need. Thirty–two (out of 58) questionnaires were returned and most of the responders said that they would be willing to attend a meeting to discuss the issue.

On Thursday, March 13, 2008, all Palisadians aged 75 or older were invited to a meeting at 3:00 pm in the annex of the Palisades Presbyterian Church. This was the first meeting of the group (titled “The Palis–Agers” by Jack Hoffmeister), which continued to hold monthly meetings in the church annex until February 2020, when the pandemic shut everything down.

Over the years those of us who attended Palis–Agers’ meetings came to know each other well and to value the intimacy of meeting in a small group once a month. The dozen or so people who came to each meeting sat in a cozy corner, drank coffee and cookies and talked about their problems and their lives. The group assembled a list of reliable and reasonably priced service providers, including helpers for odd jobs like snow plowing and shoveling and located people to help with transportation. They hosted a series of speakers: among them Ed Kalotkin on elder health, David Englander on senior law, the hypnotist Jeffrey Rose, a hula dancer and representatives of the Rockland County Office of Aging who informed the group about its programs.

Out of the 25 people who attended the meetings between 2008 and 2020, twelve have died, five have moved away, one has developed Alzheimer’s, one no longer drives and one at 98 is too frail to go to meetings. Those of us who are still here and (relatively) healthy keep in touch. We remember our missing friends and are grateful for the help and companionship the Palis–Agers provided during its existence.