Seniors get connected in Palmdale

Lockheed Martin Computer Learning Center.

Lockheed Martin Computer Learning Center.

New SignPALMDALE – There were no empty seats in the computer room at the Legacy Commons Tuesday, as seniors tried their hand at the Internet.

“I’m learning from nothing,” said Lancaster senior John Ellerkamp. “Everybody’s got computers but me and my wife.”

“I just want to learn how to email people,” said Palmdale senior Gwen Clipper. “I have a daughter who lives in Vegas and my son is in UC Davis in Pasadena, so I just want to communicate with them.”

Gwen ClipperEllerkamp, Clipper and the rest of the seniors at the City of Palmdale’s Legacy Commons for Active Seniors are getting up to speed on technology, thanks to some help from Lockheed Martin. A grant from the aeronautics company has enabled the senior center to purchase equipment and to install Internet and wireless capabilities throughout the building.

The City of Palmdale held a press conference Tuesday to announce the grant (which the center received in the last fiscal year), and to unveil the new Lockheed Martin Computer Learning Center.

“In a facility like this there are many needs, and Internet kept coming back as a scenario that we needed to address, but we weren’t able to address it,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “Lockheed Martin is the angel that stepped up to help us in this particular area. They stepped up to the plate with a grant of $10,000.”

Thanks to the grant, Legacy Commons now has wireless capabilities out on the patio, in the billiard room, the auditorium, the nutrition hall, all the classrooms, the front lobby and the front entrance.

Legacy Commons’ Department Supervisor Paula Leszkiewicz said Lockheed Martin will also provide three years of Internet access to computers in the computer room, an additional $2,500 to purchase up-to-date computers for the computer room, and a subscription to, the popular site for genealogy and research.

“This technology will help us to move into a whole different area that we’ve been lacking over the years,” Volunteer Computer Instructor and senior Cortez Bundley said. “More and more seniors are becoming aware of the Internet and they are interested in learning more about it.”