"It's kind of a win, win situation," said Sue Frank, Gulfport Senior Center Supervisor. Frank was referring to the combination of the "Then and Now" expo and the open house that were held at the Senior Center on Wednesday.
Frank said that the joint event drew a diverse crowd of both locals and newbies. In fact, some of the participants had never even been inside the Senior Center until Wednesday's event.
With the two happenings taking place under one roof, an inevitable ripple effect was the intended goal. If all goes according to plan, the participants and guests of the event will spread the word to others who will tell their neighbors and so on and so forth.
Although open house events had taken place at the Senior Center before, the idea of hosting the expo at the same time and place was a new venture.
From "then" until "now," Culler said that Gulfport has progressed in a big way. "It's just really improved," said Culler, who has been in Gulfport since 1984. "We have the theater, we have an excellent library and we have the downtown area that people come from all over to visit."
A photographic timeline was on display, showcasing the growth of Gulfport over the decades. The photographs were part of a "Gulfport, Then and Now" Millenium Project, shot by Charles J. Alaimo.
Participants, locals and guests reviewed the photos with smiles and nostalgia.
After the turn out at Wednesday's joint event, it might be safe to say, "we'll see you next year."