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Plugged in and computer savvy

Tallgrass Creek residents among the more than 250 million Americans who use a computer

Created date

January 29th, 2014
woman using her computer
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How many people in the U.S. actually use a computer? 

About a whopping 250 million Americans click away daily according to the Internet and Broad Band Usage report found (where else?) on the Internet. That breaks down to about 80% of the total population, which, in laymen’s terms, means “almost everyone.” 

Those overwhelming figures include many people who live at Tallgrass Creek, the Erickson Living community in Overland Park, Kans. Lila Martin not only emails, texts, and uses Facebook, but is also proficient on PowerPoint, a popular presentation software program. 

“I took a two-hour course on PowerPoint and learned just enough to be dangerous,” says Lila. “But I kept at it and now feel very comfortable using it. It’s a wonderfully creative way to tell a story.” 

Nature on television

As a member of the Nature Club, Lila shows her impressive 30-minute PowerPoint presentations about Tallgrass Creek’s beautiful landscaping and natural, rolling terrain on the community’s local TV channel. 

One of Lila’s recent televised presentations called “The Beauty of Tallgrass Creek” features the community’s manicured landscape from different angles, as well as an overview of the native grasses and plants on the property, information about their blooming cycles, and where they can be found. 

“People seem to really enjoy seeing what surrounds us outdoors,” says Lila, who moved to the community about six years ago. 

Lila’s presentations also include the Nature Club’s annual trips to Squaw Creek, a nesting and feeding area for eagles, located north of St. Joseph, Mo., as well as a lovely overview of the Kansas City Symphony performing in the Flint Hills, a band of scenic hills located in southeast Kansas. Lila is also known for her beautiful calendars featuring a different Tallgrass Creek scene each month. 

Music and movies

Tallgrass Creek resident Bob Allen uses his computer expertise to add to the community’s popular movie nights. Bob, a self-proclaimed “movie freak,” began organizing the community’s movie nights on Friday and Sunday evenings several years ago and now creates themed music videos shown before the movies each week. 

He uses YouTube to research and compile the music segments and has highlighted such popular entertainers as Frank Sinatra, Glenn Campbell, John Denver, Anne Murray, and the Oak Ridge Boys. 

“People always ask me on Fridays and Sundays, ‘Who’s the music this week?’” says Bob. “It just adds to the fun.”

Bob’s wife Trudy pops popcorn and bakes cookies for the Sunday night movies. The music videos and movies are shown in the community’s clubhouse living room starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays and 7 p.m. on Fridays. 

Bob also assists with other simulcasts video-streamed from churches and community events. He’s the “go to” guy when residents have trouble with their DVD or VCR recorders.  

“I’m not sure how this all came about,” laughs Bob. “I just know if you can’t get a TV to work, I’m the guy to call.” 

Lila is quick to point out that many Tallgrass Creek residents are computer savvy.  

“A lot of us communicate via email,” says Lila. “It’s a great way to get a group together to go do something interesting.”

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