By Linda Looney-Bond
Nancy Allgood, 72, is working on a sculpture of her son Larry Eaton, who passed away last November at the age of 53.
"He was an attorney and a quadriplegic," Allgood said of her son. "He broke his neck at age 17 and had been in a wheelchair for 36 years," she said.
Allgood is one of a handful of seniors who are participating in a sculpting class at the Frank Bailey Senior Center, located at 6213 Riverdale Road in Riverdale.
The retired Clayton County Department of Family and Children Services caseworker, who lives in Fayetteville, said the sculpting class is what drew her to the senior center, which is operated by the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department.
"It is the most satisfying thing I've done in a long time," Allgood said. "It's thrilling to be able to create out of clay."
She glanced at photos of her late son Friday while molding the bust of his likeness. "It's to honor him, and it's very therapeutic for me," said Allgood.
The five-week sculpture class is one of many classes offered at the senior center, including water aerobics, yoga, arthritis aquatics and line dancing. Some classes are free and others require a fee. The fee for the sculpture class is $89.
Several members of the sculpture class are creating busts in the likeness of President Barack Obama. Lynda Moore, who teaches the class joked, "We couldn't get Mr. Obama to show up for us to capture his image in clay, so I told everybody to please make copies of the Obama pictures they've been gathering."
Samuel Benford, 85, of Riverdale worked on an Obama sculpture Friday. The retired store owner has been active at the center for two years.
"I tell a lot of people, 'Don't become a couch potato.' I have to be active," he said.
Seniors age 55 and older may become members of the Frank Bailey Senior Center. The membership fee for Clayton County residents is $1 per year. The fee for seniors who do not live in Clayton County is $10 per year.
For more information, contact the center at (678) 479-5505.