For three years the City of Dickson Senior Center has offered a class in scrapbooking for those with an artistic bend, a nudging need for nostalgia and a passion for piecing together life’s pictures and puzzles for storytelling.

“I volunteered to start the class, and I’ve enjoyed the journey,” said instructor Barbara Brazzell, adding that last year the center’s scrapbook class members won prizes in all three scrapbooking categories at the Dickson County Fair.

The class members have been busy putting together enter their entries for this year’s Fair which will take place Sept. 2-7.

“We try to help each other out,” Brazzell said. “The class averages around 10 members but we have had as many as 15.”

Brazzell said she has done a lot of reading and research on the form.

“We look at videos and information online to spark new ideas, see things from a fresh perspective, and stay creative and committed,” she said. “This year’s scrapbooking entries must fall into the time frame from September 2018 through August 2019, as far as putting them together.”

Brazzell said she loves seeing the final product and noted that many of those who participate in scrapbooking are also involved in the senior center’s photo/camera club.

“It gives a whole new meaning to pictures when you’re making a book,” she said. “You may be telling a story or presenting a theme or different perspectives. Through it all, we teach each other and we help each other.”

The scrapbooking class meets at 1 p.m. every Thursday at the Senior Center located at 206 W. Walnut Street in Dickson.

Vic Calderon, 68, recalls that when he retired his wife bought him two scrapbooks which clearly piqued his interest and planted the seeds for a new passion.

Many of his scrapbooks feature themes that relate to his years in the Navy, and he has also created scrapbooks with a Disney theme.

In addition to his service in the military, the native of central California has also paid tribute to his time working as a chef in Pebble Beach, Calif., by creating scrapbooks and even a cookbook.

He has put together a scrapbook for his son featuring the preschool years through graduation. He’s also done wedding scrapbooks, baby scrapbooks, a scrapbook about international foods and has even created a scrapbook for the entire creative journey of Star Trek.

“I made one scrapbook out of all of my Navy certificates,” he said, adding that he likes to do scrapbooks that capture the essence and passion of hobbies that he son and his wife are engaged in.

He estimates that he created around 60 scrapbooks.

“I should do one on the places where I’ve lived,” he said, citing Salinas, Calif., Jacksonville, Fla., New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Middle Tennessee.

Last year he won first place with his scrapbook that was about Dickson County.

“I really enjoy coming here,” Calderon said. “I learn a lot from these ladies. We all share stories of what’s in our scrapbooks. Each is unique and a treasure.”

Sue Wagner said she put together a scrapbook for her granddaughter’s birthday in January.

“I like the dye cuts used when I’m doing the different pages because it creates different patterns,” she said. “And Barbara is great because she has an eye for things and is always helpful.”

Nancy Persinger has been with the group for a year and said she enjoys the art form.

“It gets me out of the house, and it reminds me of the beautiful nature God’s creation that we see and celebrate,” she said. “I like X’s that the dye cut create like butterflies.”

Persinger lives in Hickman County, but she was born in Illinois and has lived in Texas, as well as having worked with the Master Gardeners Club in Cheatham County

Debbie Toundas has lived in Dickson for the last three years after moving from Ohio.

Her passion for scrapbooking highlights another passion for taking cruises, where she often gets to see Pelicans in flight — they are her favorite kind of birds.

Scrapping member Martha Kinel, 65, who heads the center’s Camera Club, said that sorting pictures is the biggest challenge she faces.

“I have something to do with my pictures,” she said. “Taking pictures are made to develop pictures so that you put it out in something tangible, to show what you do. Scrapbooking is an extension of the pictures.”

She said her favorite spot for taking pictures and finding stories to tell is the Duck River and the back roads that lead to and follow its dance across the county.

“There are tons of different birds along the river,” she said. “It is absolutely awesome what’s out here in this area.”

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