ARLINGTON — The dreary weather outdoors made the car show and petting zoo portions of their event untenable, but the staff of the Regency Care Center in Arlington carried on with the rest of their Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 13, and still drew hundreds of guests, even in the midst of the steady drizzle that forced their activities indoors.
Regency Care Center Administrator Mike Shaw was particularly invested in the day’s chili cook-off, to which he and his fellow Southern transplant, nurse Carol Cortez, submitted their own chili recipes, in the midst of close to half a dozen other cauldrons of chili from other staff members.
“We have to respect each other’s chili,” Shaw laughed, sporting his own Southern accent. “She moved up here from Texas, after all.”
The pie contest boasted even more entries, as Regency Care Center residents and guests alike filled out their judging sheets after each bite of sweet potato, lemon merengue, pumpkin, lavender pear, buttermilk, blueberry yogurt and other varieties of pie, adding up to 10 pies in all.
“One of them was even made by one of our regular volunteers, June Martin,” said Denise Abrahamson, of the Regency Care Center “fun committee,” as she sliced pieces of pie. “She lets us fish up by her house.”
Senior taste-testers Roberta Barnes and Ron Coulter agreed that their first time judging a food contest was treating them to a “pretty good” selection overall.
“It’s all edible,” Coulter joked.
The crowded dining room of Regency Care Center even provided its diners with musical accompaniment, in the form of “The Combinations” and the band comprised of Regency Care Center restorative aide physical therapist Randy Hall and cook Jose Ruiz, aptly named “Randy & Jose.”
“We started up in 2008, and we both write songs,” Hall said.
“He’s a better songwriter than me,” Ruiz said. “I still get nervous about singing in public.”
“Even though our outdoor stuff got rained out, we drew plenty of people who wanted to show how much they cared about their loved ones,” Hall said.
“Family is the most important thing,” Ruiz said.