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Retirement community residents rejoice for live accordion performance

Residents at Park Terrace Retirement Community in Muskegon have been largely locked down since March
Muskegon Accordion Player
Posted at 4:12 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 10:55:59-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Residents at an independent living retirement community rejoiced Friday as they got to enjoy a live accordion performance from the comfort of their balconies.

Nancy Parr and her husband J.D. drove up from Kansas earlier this week to see her mother Jackie at Park Terrace Retirement Community in Muskegon.

“We come home every summer and so part of the summer is always J.D. playing his accordion," Nancy told FOX 17 Friday afternoon.

For the past 35 years J.D. has spent several of the summer months in West Michigan working as a faculty member at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Because they canceled their summer session this year, J.D. found another option for sharing his musical abilities.

“We decided we needed to come to Michigan. Even though we couldn’t come into her apartment, we needed to see her,” he said.

“I just hope I have the stamina to go around the entire complex.”

At 1:00pm J.D. started Friday's performance with a rendition of "Beer Barrel Polka" for his mother-in-law Jackie.

Jackie quickly got out of her chair to dance and clap along to the tune from her second story balcony.

“We haven’t had anything since March here. We’ve been really locked down and restricted on everything," said Lydia Benkert, activities director for Park Terrace.

“I try to bring music to them at least once a month and its been really difficult.”

J.D. played a few songs for each section of the complex, making sure all of his eager new fans got a chance to witness a few moments of live entertainment.

“It makes the trip here really significant. It's not just a weeks vacation. All of a sudden I'm doing something kinda helpful to the retirement community, and a big favor to my mother in law,” J.D. said.