Friendships at the Y often begin with shared experiences and common values. For Gus Magoulas and Ralph Caveliere, walking in each other’s shoes only begins to describe the close friendship the two men have formed since meeting at the Downtown Augusta Family YMCA.
Gus, 86, and Ralph, 76, met each other more than 10 years ago. Gus came to the Y in 1993 after his doctor encouraged him to start a weekly workout 86, and Ralph, 76, met each other more than 10 years ago. Gus came to the Y in 1993 after his doctor encouraged him to start a weekly workout routine after having triple bypass surgery. Ten years later, Ralph joined the Y after the same surgery. Both are widowers. Most importantly, they also share a youthful attitude and a love for the Y that keeps their friendship strong.
“It’s not really age that bonds us together,” Ralph said. “It’s that we have the same interests and similar life experiences.”
Gus, Ralph, and the rest of their senior workout buddies at the Y don’t see age as a number. The two men have built a friendship through the Y by focusing on staying healthy. The group drinks coffee and discusses how things are going with people they know, current events, and even sports.
The senior members keep tabs on each other to ensure that everyone is doing okay. If a member has missed a few days of class, or they hear someone isn’t feeling well, a classmate will call and check on them.
Gus and Ralph agree that what they like most about the Y is the family atmosphere and Christian values. They agree that relationships make life more enjoyable and easier to navigate when you know someone cares and will help when you need it, especially as you age.
Unfortunate circumstances brought Gus and Ralph to the Family Y, but a more fortunate friendship blossomed from their struggles. You never know when you’ll bump into your new best friend at the Y.