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Mike Owen and Charlie Morris enjoy a pancake supper at the Golden Age Center.
Mike Owen and Charlie Morris enjoy a pancake supper at the Golden Age Center.

Mardi Gras at the Golden Age Center features music, food and fun

Sat, Feb 25th 2023 07:00 am

Story and photos by Alice Gerard

Mardi Gras on the evening of Feb. 21 at the Grand Island Golden Age Center in the Nike Base featured a traditional pancake supper and music with Charlie Morris of Niagara Falls, who played piano, steel drum and harmonica as a one-man band.

People attending Mardi Gras at the Golden Age Center said they enjoyed the experience of getting together and of listening to the music.

Michelle Chasse said, “I like the color and the festiveness.”

Julie Andolina added, “I like getting together with my friends and I like looking forward to Easter.”

Sally Dinino commented, “I like seeing different outfits and the beads. I like the Mardi Gras colors people are wearing.”

Carrie Mesmer, recreation leader at the Golden Age Center, said about the musical performance, “Charlie is good. He came in one day and played the piano. Then we found out that he plays the steel drum.”

The piano at the Golden Age Center is available by reservation to anyone who wants to play it.

Morris, who is originally from Trinidad, said he enjoys sharing his culture through music. He explained that Mardi Gras is a “big thing” in Trinidad.

Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island country located off the northern edge of the South American mainland, lying just 6.8 miles off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and 81 miles south of Grenada.

Morris, who is now retired, said he has performed with band leader Paul Serette in a variety of locations throughout Western New York over 30 years. One of the places he performed was at the former Showboat Restaurant on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo, which was in business in the early 1970s. In November 2022, he performed in Niagara Falls with the band.

Morris said he enjoyed performing at the Golden Age Center: “I like it when the people feel the music, and I like to see them dance. It makes me feel good to see them enjoying themselves.

“Yes, I will be back.”

Julie Andolina, Michelle Chasse and Sally Dinino enjoy celebrating Mardi Gras together at the Golden Age Center.

Charlie Morris, a one-man band, plays the harmonica.

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