Moses Cooper, Jr. is known around the Senior Star at West Park Place as a wizard, with his wand, a stylus and his book of spells replaced by an iPad. Moses, a retired TARTA bus driver of 32 years, now is a teacher of technology. The 86-year-old holds free classes at Senior Star, a senior living community, teaching his peers how to use digital devices to better communicate with their families and grandchildren.
It’s a remarkable skill that has been attracting some serious attention media for the dapper resident. Cooper is fascinated by technology and wants to share his love with others. Some nights he’ll stay up until sunrise, just checking out updates and new programs. Technology has come a long way since he first became infatuated, but just as technology isn’t slowing down, neither is Cooper.
How did you become a technology expert?
I used to raise cattle. I saw this one steer [that] I thought one of my customers might want, and he did, so I bought it. He offered to pay me for it weekly [in installments] to take care of it. I said, “No, just wait to the end of the month, I’ll let you know what the expense is.” And he said, “Okay, I’ll take a check out in the computer.” This was back in the ’60s, you didn’t hear talk like that then. I [went over to his house] and that thing blew my mind. I said, “What does this thing cost and where do you buy them?” I went home and ordered whatever was available at that time. I was on a high for nine years. I would stay on it sometimes 12 hours straight, just pecking.
Where did you get a computer back then?
At that time, a computer was a new thing. You could only buy a computer at only a few places back then in Toledo. It cost $164 and had the name Commodore. No internet, none of that stuff. This was around, best as I can recollect, 1968. Every spare minute I had, I was on it. I’ve had one ever since. I upgrade about every two years.
So how did you begin to teach others how to use it?
When I got here (to Senior Star), I saw that a lot of people had iPads. I spent a lot of time with one in my room, so I said, “Hey, why don’t we get together as a group and everybody can bring something to the table.” We decided we’d meet on Tuesday nights for one hour. I’m 86, and I’m a baby, ’cause most of them are in their 90s. Using an iPad in their 90s? That fascinated me.
What are the classes like?
We study one thing [at a time]. I know it might sound odd [to have a class] “How to turn an iPad on,” but it goes according to what we need to learn including: how to save documents; how to make a call on Facetime; how to get on the internet; how to send mail; and how to download programs from the app store. Each week, we just take on one of these subjects. And then, every few weeks, we just go back and review. Because people in their 90s, their memories are not too good. But it’s been going well.
How many are in the group?
We’ve got about seven. I personally went around and asked every
person I saw with an iPad.
Are your students picking it up pretty quickly?
I’ve got three women— Nancy, Mary Jo and Arlene— those three women are pretty sharp. They’re always asking questions, they’re kind of like me, hungry for the knowledge. The rest of them, they’re totally out in left field, but we’re patient with them.
If you’re interested in attending Moses
Cooper’s classes, contact Senior Star at
419-531-9211. Senior Star at West Park Place is located at 3501 Executive Pkwy. seniorstar.com