The desire to entertain is entrenched in Rod Bryant’s blood, his grandparents owned a circus, and he now spends his time singing to folks at the Gracie Dixon Centre.
This week Rod returned to volunteering at the Gracie Dixon Centre, after COVID-19 restrictions had put a halt to entertaining more than three months ago.
Rod started playing at the Gracie Dixon Centre when he was 69 years of age, to fill a void after retiring from the railway and to help keep him active in the community.
“I’ll just keep going, because if I don’t my wife will go crook at me for sitting around the house,” Rod laughed.
“Music is my life.
“My grandparents owned a travelling circus with snake pits and all, so I could have been a clown!
“But I went on to work at the railways, I am a third-generation railway worker, my mother looked after the diners, and I was a guard.
“Entertaining is my life.”
Rod has always had a love for music, and at nearly 74 years of age he said sometimes there was no other place he would rather be than the Gracie Dixon Centre, and most days it’s hard to leave.
“I normally play there up to three times a week, but this week I decided to play every day,” Rod said.
“The participants love their music, I’m only supposed to play for an hour, but I find myself their most of the morning and stay to enjoy a meal with them at lunch, as they won’t let me go home!”
As a music lover Rod said he played a variety of songs, from rock and roll through to country, and he would often take requests from the floor.
“I am the same generation as most of the clients,” Rod said.
“One lady there calls me the spring chicken, as she is 95 years old!
“They are really like family to me, I go in early to set up my gear, and when they come in at 9 am I start playing straight away.
“I find the music doesn’t just keep them active with exercise, as they either dance around or move their hands in the air, but it also keeps the mind active.”
- Earlier news: Zoom family chats help clients at Gracie Dixon