When Pierce was young, her family had a quartet that performed publicly, and music has never left her heart. At age 80, she organized the Merry Souls Dulcimer Group, and until recently, she led the musicians as they played and sang for residents at nursing homes, students at elementary schools and attendees at various heritage festivals and charitable events. The group still meets weekly at her home for a jam session.
In an unrelated act of kindness, Pierce and her husband Harold, along with her sister, used to make pies and deliver them to the older people in the community. Now that she is one of those "older people," it might stand to reason that she would just sit back and reap the rewards that age brings.
Not Dot Pierce.
She's organized a monthly seniors' luncheon at her church, Tanner Williams United Methodist. It's for all community seniors, men and women, she said. They get together on the 4th Thursday for a pot-luck lunch and a visit, a time for food, fun and fellowship.
And on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, the community widows meet for breakfast at 9 a.m. at the corner store/restaurant at Tanner Williams and Wilmer Roads. There's no specific program or agenda for their meetings. "We just like to have somebody to talk to," Pierce said.
Pierce even does her bit for the Tanner Williams UMC Annual Christmas in the Country Bazaar and Gumbo Dinner. This past year, she fashioned Christmas ornaments from tea lights to sell at the UMW fundraiser.
And on the December Saturday of the bazaar, she did one of the things she does best: She found a comfortable seat at a table near the wassail and greeted guests as they entered the dining hall for their gumbo and dessert. And if they were up for a conversation, she had nearly 90 years of experience to discuss and all the time in the world to listen.