Nods here and there around the cozy dining room, a quick consensus.
A new study from the University of California, San Diego, concludes that the elderly really are wiser than younger people. In part, that's because older brains produce less dopamine, so seniors are less impulsive and emotional.
Their brains have slowed down: Unlike their children and grandchildren, they're more likely to think things through. They're better problem-solvers. In short, they have wisdom.
This would not be news at the Almond Avenue Residence Club, whose administrator, Brenda Holcomb, said, "These people give great advice."
It's also not news to Sandy Holman, 47, author of the forthcoming self-published book Honor Your Elders, which encourages young people to learn from older generations.
"I don't think the wisdom of the elders is a cliché at all," said Holman, an educational consultant who lives in Davis, Calif., and directs the Culture Co-op there. "It's a dying tradition. We're busy. We're swamped. But we also don't make it a priority. There's a lot of things we could learn and don't because we don't make a point of honoring their wisdom."
Her grandfather Rufus Holman, who died at 89 in 1997, possessed what she calls "simple country wisdom," an assortment of advice that in many ways boils down to the golden rule.
Older people know what the golden rule is, too.
"He used to say, 'Life is what you make it.' It's simple, but as I live, I realize how deep that is," said Holman.
Recent neurological research shows that people 55 and older quickly bounce back from negative moods, but younger people tend to dwell on depression and anger. Maybe it's brain chemistry, or maybe it's because their grandfathers never told them that life is what they make it.
At the Almond Avenue Residence Club, this group of seniors - from different walks of life and various parts of the country - understands the value of resilience and the importance of discretion.
Guarducci, 43, the activity director, admits she'd probably blab the bad news to the bride. But older heads are cooler heads.
"I'm not sure what I'd do," said Gladys Morris, 100, a retired bookkeeper. "But we have to think before we speak."
See? The simplest wisdom - so straightforward it almost sounds cliched - is often the best.