Saturday, July 20, 2019
Seniors Take on ‘Top Gun,’ ‘My Fair Lady’ for Upcoming Calendar
Do I look fired up? Denise takes on the role of trigger-happy Louise in “Thelma and Louise.”
Thursday, October 25, 2018


Tom Wynn stopped in his tracks, momentarily taken aback as My Fair Lady passed in front of him. Then he let out an appreciative whistle as Barbara Espedal, the woman wearing the Edwardian ascot white and black gown, twirled around.

The Senior Connection came alive with a steady  stream of Hollywood characters this past week as Indiana Jones skulked across the dining room and The Godfather showed his solemn face.

And it wasn’t even Halloween.

Floyd Padilla shares a moment with Marilyn Monroe, otherwise known as Diane Clark.

Eighteen members donned costumes representing movie characters from “Cleopatra,”  “Top Gun,” “Speed,” “Sun Valley Serenade” and other movies. Then they positioned themselves between a camera and a green screen backdrop.

Their mission: To become “Mr. January” and “Miss December” and everything in between for a Senior Connection calendar due out next month.

“I wasn’t keen on dressing up as a woman. But it’s a way to make some money for The Senor Connection so I’m in favor of that,” said Taul Paul Seranur, who dressed as Tony Curtis in “Some Like It Hot.”

The calendar shoot was instigated by Penny Weiss after a friend sent her a senior calendar that a senior center in Germany had done.

Judy Wampler sings “It’s Howdy Doody Time!” as Katie Phillips and Penny Weiss struggle to get her netting just right.

“It had seniors dolled up as James Bond, even one depicting the scene in ‘Dirty Dancing’ where Patrick Swayze holds his dancing partner over his head. And they got this 91-year-old to hold an 88-year-old over his head. It was so cool, so hysterical,” said Weiss.

Weiss came up with a list of movie characters. Then she lined up the men and women she thought epitomized those characters best.

Former City Council representative Don Keirn paraded out in a dress shirt, ala Tom Cruise dancing to “Old Time Rock and Roll” in  the famous underwear scene from “Risky Business.”

Tewa Evans donned the tight braided side curls of Princess Leia in “Star Wars.”

Katie Phillips and Penny Weiss fuss over Tewa Evans as they ready her to portray Princess Leia.

And Al and Bertie Heath portrayed the sweep-her-off-her-feet kiss of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind.”

“They’ve been married 67 years so that was a real hoot,” said Weiss.

Taul Paul Seranur and Mike Bernardi rolled their eyes as Brittany Pieschl applied lipstick to their lips in the process of turning them into Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, who dressed in drag to escape gangsters by joining an all-women’s band in “Some Like It Hot.”

Diane Clark, who portrayed Marilyn Monroe, said she’d been watching the blond bombshell’s movies, as well as a couple documentaries about her, to get into character. As evidence, she broke out in the  sensuous “Happy Birthday” song Marilyn sang for President Kennedy

Britanny Pieschl, of Lacquered and Lashed nail and lash salon in Bellevue, paints up Diane Clark, aka Marilyn Monroe.

“She was the ultimate as far as I’m concerned,” said Clark. “So pretty and innocent. She was rather shy, but she kind of woke up in front of the camera.”

Judy Wampler donned a curly red wig and Denise Thomas a hair dryer shaped like a Colt revolver to play “Thelma and Louise,” the classic movie about two women who go on the run after one shoots a man who tries to assault them.

“I actually did a ‘Thelma and Louise’ trip with my cousin to a family reunion five years ago, traveling from here to Sacramento in a Mustang convertible,” Thomas recalled. “We picked up my son in Reno and told him he had to sit in the back seat and be Brad Pitt. And we had the best time, honking at all the truck drivers and singing to George Strait on the radio.”

Wampler waited patiently as Weiss tried to pull a net over her hair so she could don a long red curly wig befitting of Thelma.

“Oh, just staple it,” she said. “I always wanted to be a redhead. And to be Thelma and Louise--I remember driving around in a Ford Mustang with my roommate and joking about it. I loved the scene where they shoot the tanker truck and it explodes—a woman with a gun!”

Floyd Padilla, who works with autistic students and shoots portraits and weddings, spent a minute or two shooting each portrait against a green screen backdrop so that appropriate backdrops could be added later.

“I hope the photographer is good with touching up photos,” said Diane Clark, as she took her place as Marilyn Monroe.

“Think about Brad Pitt,” Padilla said as he took the “Thelma and Louise” shot, eliciting big smiles from  Judy Wampler and Denise Thomas.

“This is so much fun. Just hanging out with the seniors,” he said. “You had Don Keirn, who was such a good sport wearing a button-up shirt and nothing else. And I’ve loved hearing their stories—one told me, for instance, about how they had a hundred-year-old house in New York and everything around it had been torn down—it’s amazing to think how they built things to last then.”

Even before the day’s shoot was over, many were talking about how they hoped the calendar shoot  would become an annual thing.

“We could come back next year as ‘The Avengers,’ ” said Wampler.

Tom Wynn ventured that he would like to come back as KFC’s Colonel Sanders next year, given his long white beard.

 “Of course, I’m the epitome of every woman’s dream this time,” he said, referring to his role as Indiana Jones.

“Who are you?” one calendar girl asked.

“I’m Tom Wynn!” he answered.

“The fun we’re having today is exceeding everyone’s expectations,” said Teresa Beahen Lipman, the  Connection’s executive director. “We’re laughing a lot, and the men and women who were picked to portray the characters have been perfect.”

The calendar will be unveiled at The Connection’s annual Fashions and Wine Night at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at The Connection. It’ll also be for sale at the Festival of Trees gala evening at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at The Mint and at The Connection in Hailey.

I’m all for Fundraisers,” said Wampler. “Particularly, when they’re FUN-raisers!”


“The Godfather”--Bob Adinolfi, 80 years of age

“Gone With the Wind”—Al and Bertie Heath, 90 and 86

“Risky Business”—Don Keirn, 88

“My Fair Lady”—Barb Espedal, 74

“Cleopatra”—D.A. Outzs, 96

“Thelma and Louise”—Judy Wampler and Denise Thomas, 76 and 75

“Indiana Jones”—Tom Wynn, 66

“Some Like It Hot,” Diane Clark, Mike Bernardi and Taul Paul Seranur, 67, 69 and 72

“Star Wars”—Tewa Evans, 80

“Speed”—Sue Barney and John Olsen, 69 and 74

“Top Gun”—Bill Brand and Tommy Farr, 93 and 98

“Sun Valley Serenade”—Dawn Peterson, 61.


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