We live in an age of digital music with iTunes and MP3 players leading the way. Even CD's are almost obsolete. But one group of people still relies on their cassette tapes and are having a hard time finding a way to play them.
Residents at Benedictine Manor assisted living have everything from classic waltz and swing to old family sing-a-longs on tape. The problem is, cassette players just aren't around anymore. Of all the thing donated to Benedictine, cassette players are the most coveted.
Residents can't upgrade their collection to CD or digital partly because their favorites aren't easy to find. "The music they're listening to, we're not going to find going to iTunes," says Benedictine Wellness Director Jenny Knudson, "they just don't have the old-time waltz music that our residents are used to listening to and that's what you find on the cassette players as well as on cassette tapes."
For some residents it's not the old music that is most important. 97-year-old Ethel Lerum has more than 250 tapes. Along with music and sermons, there are also irreplaceable tapes of her father playing the fiddle. "There's a lot of good stuff there I've recorded from many years ago from when we first got tapes and really anxious to, it's hard to sit and look at all those tapes and I can't play them," says Lerum, "I miss them."
Benedictine Manor is looking for smaller cassette players. The residents' rooms are not that large, so something that can fit in a corner or drawer works best.
If you would like to donate:
2902 East Ave. South
La Crosse, WI 54601
Benedictine is also looking for volunteers who can help the residents operate the players. You can call Benedictine Manor at (608) 788-9870.