TRINITY, Fla. — This week's Everyday Hero uses the power of music to take members of a Bay area senior community back in time.
- Ray Auclair plays piano for residents of senior community
- For residents, it's the music of their lives
- More Everyday Hero stories
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Ray Auclair knows his venue and audience well at Watermark at Trinity Senior Retirement Community.
Auclair was a maintenance technician there and the first thing that caught his eye was a baby grand piano.
"When I applied for the job I seen the piano and I did a double take and said, 'Whoa.' I went and sat down and played it right then," he said.
If his shift started at 8 a.m. he'd be there before 7 a.m.
"I'd come in every morning, an hour early on my own time, and play for them coming back and forth for breakfast," he said. "And I'd get the crowd going in here, and I just kind of built up a rapport with the people and it was really great."
Now retired, Ray comes back a few times a month and plays.
He calls himself a "honky tonker." He has been playing since he was 9 years old and his idols were and still are Roger Williams, Floyd Kramer and Jerry Lee Lewis.
And for residents of the retirement community, he plays the music of their lives.
"They can't hear that music on the radio anymore. I can't hear mine on the radio hardly anymore," Auclair said. "So the only way they can get it is someone will play it for them."
Ray says every visit is special but occasionally even more so and talked about something that sometimes happens when a memory care patient is in the audience.
"They may be sitting really still and I start seeing them perk up because you played something that triggered something in their mind."
Triggered by their own "piano man."