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Behind the Scene

By Carmen Jiménez Friedman

It is Sunday, almost two o’clock, and people are hurrying to Catalina Hall to see the movie and, hopefully, get a seat in the first row to avoid having to crane their necks. Chuck Ullman is already on the job getting the projector ready. This is truly a Behind the Scene activity that he enjoys doing because the Sunday afternoon movies are beloved by many people.

During the years that Chuck and Betty Ullman have been living at UVTO, Chuck has been extremely active, putting his many talents to work for the enjoyment of the residents. Over the years he has participated in a number of Committees, such as Budget and Finance and the Safety Committee, but he has found that he is really a “hands-on” man and is happiest and most satisfied by putting his imagination and dexterity to use building scenery for the Drama Club. Who can forget the make believe jail cell door for one of our parties? He has also become a “Foley Artist”, the person who simulates ambient noises that bring scenes of a play to life. He comes up with endless ways of producing sounds like a ringing door bell, a dog barking, broken dishes, anything to lend reality to the show. Chuck chuckles when he sees the surprise on the audience’s faces when they hear horses trotting in the distance!

For those of you who enjoy playing golf on our putting greens, Chuck built the wooden enclosure where the clubs and golf balls are stored. Good – no golf balls for the elderly to stumble over! Come the Jewish holidays, Chuck helps prepare for the celebrations. Thanks to Chuck, a meaningful Memorial Day display on the stage was set up. A new class of Neurodrumming is offered, and Chuck and Betty literally try their hands on getting into the swing of drumming. An old victrola found in a dump now graces the Ullman’s den polished and ready to bring back long forgotten songs. Chuck’s mechanical know-how brought it back to work! Eight to ten people, including Chuck, regularly use the Shop in the Maintenance Building wishing they could have their own space to practice their craft. Who knows WHAT they could come up with for the benefit our community?

Whenever Jayne Austin, the Activities Director needs some special help, Chuck is ready to volunteer. Volunteering is one of Chuck’s many joys. Chuck, always with a twinkle in his eyes, speaks several languages, loves music, photography and building model ships which hark back to his Navy days. He and Betty, a sculptor and painter, are an unusually creative couple who enjoy and complement each other in vital ways.

Isn’t it a privilege to live in the company of people like Chuck and Betty Ullman? Engage them in conversation, and you will have a fantastic time. Our thanks for volunteering your talents to enrich our retirement years at University Village.