Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune |
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
The Sun

Treasures in our own back yard


When searching for ways to entertain the residents of Freedom Plaza, we need look only as far as our own back yard. There we find a wealth of talent and a spirit of generosity in sharing it.

With a host of exceptional painters and crafters, Freedom Plaza can boast accomplished musicians, excellent actors, talented poets and writers. And providing these residents ways to fulfill their artistic impulses brings satisfaction not only to them but also to others who live here.

Nowhere was this more evident than in the recent stage production, “An Evening with John Foster – Comedy in Poetry and Song.”

Foster, a gifted resident offering an entertaining and enlightening program, presented examples of his cleverly contrived poems of humorous themes explaining various poetic styles. Then taking up his ukulele, he delighted his audience with songs by Tom Lehrer, the composer known for his acerbic satire and irreverent wit.

Many people in Sun City Center know Foster through his stage appearances in local venues. A resident of this community since 1990, he is a longstanding member of the Pelican Players, producing and emceeing that group’s Follies for 12 years.

Some readers may know him as a diligent bridge instructor who has introduced the game to more than 800 area residents over past years. Still others will recognize him through his published poetry collections and poetry classes. As a member of the Florida State Poets Association, he has won awards in more contest categories than any other Florida poet.

Residents of Freedom Plaza, however, know Foster as one of their own. As a narrator for the 2013 Freedom Frolics, he was the off-stage voice of three separate characters, using different vocal effects for each.

Foster’s penchant for language sounds is verified by his diplomas in French from Yale University, Middlebury College and the Sorbonne. Before retirement he was head of the French Department at the Choate School in Connecticut, then head of the Language Division at the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York.

His abundance of abilities is an example of the priceless intellectual treasures found among our residents, all of them enriching the Freedom Plaza lifestyle.

Peggy Burgess is a Freedom Plaza Resident Programs Associate and columnist for The Sun.