BIG CYPRESS — The day was more about camaraderie than competition as seniors gathered for the second annual tribalwide seniors’ field day April 21 in Big Cypress. Recreation director Cathy Cypress designed the day to be one of socializing, fun and a little movement.
Laughter was the most common sound heard during the competitions and on the sidelines at the Junior Cypress rodeo grounds and in the show barn. Thirty seniors from Big Cypress, Brighton, Immokalee and Hollywood tested their skills at the skillet toss, Frisbee toss, horseshoes, lawn bullseye throw, basketball, bowling, putt putt golf and cornhole.
“We’re having a good day, but I didn’t get points in most of the events,” Louise Osceola said. “It’s just a fun day getting together and talking to people.”
Earth Day was also celebrated with the planting of a pink flowering Tabebuia, or trumpet tree, which was put in the ground next to the Tabebuia planted at last year’s field day.
“Every day is Earth Day,” said Big Cypress Board Rep. Joe Frank. “Please take care of the Earth for our children and grandchildren. The world is getting real crowded out there so please take the time
to stand up for Mother Earth.”
The competition began on the field with the outdoor games. Friends cheered each other on at each station, which added to the festive atmosphere of the day. Men and women competed in the skillet toss. As David Cypress demonstrated his ability, fitness specialist Neil Prager asked him how he learned to throw the skillet so well.
“I don’t know, but I’ve been ducking them for some time,” Cypress said with a grin.
Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr. and Big Cypress Councilman Cicero Osceola had a good-natured basketball free throw competition before the indoor games began.
“This is about promoting health, getting together for fellowship. Breaking bread with each other is one of the most important things,” Chairman Osceola said. “It’s also about how to take care of the Earth. It isn’t like the old days when we dumped oil by the oak tree roots after we made the fry bread.”
Competition brought out the beast in some of the seniors; some of whom, despite their normal aches and pains, pushed on.
“My back is hurting, but I want to try the bowling,” Virginia Tommie said.
During lunch after the games ended, a group of Hollywood ladies joked about the skillet toss.
“Now I know what to do with my frying pan at home,” Loretta Micco said.
“We don’t cook with them,” added Nancy Willie.
“We don’t do frying pans, we do drive through,” quipped Wanda Bowers.
After lunch, raffle items, awards and medals were distributed.