Bingo every Thursday and Saturday Nights. Doors open at 4:00 and games start at 6:00. New players encouraged to arrive by 5:30. Minimum buy-in is $10.

The 4th Annual Mid-Columbia Senior Center Holiday Bazaar will be held on Saturday November 18thfrom 9:00 – 3:00 PM. If you are interested in being a vendor, call the Center at 541-296-4788.

Saturday Holiday Breakfast on December 9th from 8:00 - 9:30 sponsored by Dennis Morgan and Dean Dollarhide.



UPDATED 10.20.17

Aging Well January 25th

Has there been something that caused you to reevaluate your life – something that knocked you out of your complacency, your comfort zone? Maybe an unexpected misfortune that slapped you across the back of your head? Or the realization that your knees, stiff and sore, are just a preview of what to expect from the rest of your body? Or the visit with your new physician who asks the simple but profound questions: What do you want? What are your goals? And your world begins to list to one side.

Everything looks different. You ask yourself what is important - and discover what doesn’t really matter. You dream again. And decide what you want to accomplish - knowing it is never too late. And your world starts to right itself.

But it may be uncomfortable discovering what you really want, because now, not tomorrow, but now you have to do something. It may seem overwhelming, impossible, still just a dream. But you summon the will to start, to leave the shore, to take that first step, no matter how small, because you know very few things are created over night. (Well - maybe children, but I’m not going there!)

Every week I meet regular folks, just like you and me – no TV cameras, no up-close interviews - who have changed their lives by taking that first step; who have found a purpose while enjoying the challenge. It could be taking an aerobics class at the Fitness and Court Club, learning to crochet from a friend, taking art classes at the Art Center, enjoying life affirming presentations at Water’s Edge. Or just getting out meeting people and maybe even falling in love again.

It can happen, but it all starts with the first step. It may not be comfortable, it may not be easy, but it can be fun, it can be rewarding and it can give you purpose and confidence to make these latter years the best of your life.

And someone who knows about taking the first step - and the next - is Carolyn Scott Kortge. Carolyn will kick off “Go Red” - three days of awareness about women’s heart health - with a presentation on Thursday February 3rd from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Water’s Edge. Carolyn has written several books focusing on the benefits of walking for the mind and spirit. As described in her book The Spirited Walker “With a focus on walking for wellness, Kortge outlines a compassionate, practical program for navigating your way through life’s physical, emotional and spiritual hard times.” Since seating is limited you should register for the event by calling 541-296-8444.

“Go Red” continues on Friday (4th) with the Heart Expo and Noon Heart Walk from 11am to 3 pm at the Civic Auditorium and concludes on Saturday with the Heart Truth 3k/5k walk/run at The Dalles Marina starting at 10am.

Next Tuesday is the first day of February - just a downhill slide to spring which officially starts on March 20th for those who want to start counting. (I know I should appreciate the special thrills of winter: slippery sidewalks, frozen pipes, expensive heating bills, but couldn’t someone make this season shorter.) Playing on the first is Andre and his Strawberry Mountain Band. And if you can’t wait till February, tonight the Jazz Generations will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure and well as your peace of mind. Donations are appreciated and everyone is invited to join the fun starting at 7:00 PM.


Well I lied. This week’s “Remember When” question is not from the 50’s but the 30’s. Swing was still coming of age when Benny Goodman Band played Carnegie Hall – initially as a publicity stunt - on January 16th 1938. The event was described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music.” This week’s question is “Who was the drummer in the climatic rendition of “Sing, Sing, Sing” and was often at odds with Benny Goodman?” E-mail your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of one of the two original acetate recordings of the concert.

The northwest band, that appeared regularly on ‘Where the Action Is” and whose lead singer ,Mark Lindsay, was born in Eugene, Oregon,’ was Paul Revere and the Raiders. And the winner of a free Third Saturday breakfast in March is reserved and shy Dawn McClure.

Well, it’s another day in the woods - as long as I can find my way out. Until we meet again, get yourself out of bed, put on your shoes, and believe it will happen, because it can.

“It's not where you go, but what you see that makes life a pilgrimage.” Carolyn Scott Kortge

Necessity is the mother of "taking chances" Mark Twain

Aging Well January 25th

Has there been something that caused you to reevaluate your life – something that knocked you out of your complacency, your comfort zone? Maybe an unexpected misfortune that slapped you across the back of your head? Or the realization that your knees, stiff and sore, are just a preview of what to expect from the rest of your body? Or the visit with your new physician who asks the simple but profound questions: What do you want? What are your goals? And your world begins to list to one side.

Everything looks different. You ask yourself what is important - and discover what doesn’t really matter. You dream again. And decide what you want to accomplish - knowing it is never too late. And your world starts to right itself.

But it may be uncomfortable discovering what you really want, because now, not tomorrow, but now you have to do something. It may seem overwhelming, impossible, still just a dream. But you summon the will to start, to leave the shore, to take that first step, no matter how small, because you know very few things are created over night. (Well - maybe children, but I’m not going there!)

Every week I meet regular folks, just like you and me – no TV cameras, no up-close interviews - who have changed their lives by taking that first step; who have found a purpose while enjoying the challenge. It could be taking an aerobics class at the Fitness and Court Club, learning to crochet from a friend, taking art classes at the Art Center, enjoying life affirming presentations at Water’s Edge. Or just getting out meeting people and maybe even falling in love again.

It can happen, but it all starts with the first step. It may not be comfortable, it may not be easy, but it can be fun, it can be rewarding and it can give you purpose and confidence to make these latter years the best of your life.

And someone who knows about taking the first step - and the next - is Carolyn Scott Kortge. Carolyn will kick off “Go Red” - three days of awareness about women’s heart health - with a presentation on Thursday February 3rd from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Water’s Edge. Carolyn has written several books focusing on the benefits of walking for the mind and spirit. As described in her book The Spirited Walker “With a focus on walking for wellness, Kortge outlines a compassionate, practical program for navigating your way through life’s physical, emotional and spiritual hard times.” Since seating is limited you should register for the event by calling 541-296-8444.

“Go Red” continues on Friday (4th) with the Heart Expo and Noon Heart Walk from 11am to 3 pm at the Civic Auditorium and concludes on Saturday with the Heart Truth 3k/5k walk/run at The Dalles Marina starting at 10am.

Next Tuesday is the first day of February - just a downhill slide to spring which officially starts on March 20th for those who want to start counting. (I know I should appreciate the special thrills of winter: slippery sidewalks, frozen pipes, expensive heating bills, but couldn’t someone make this season shorter.) Playing on the first is Andre and his Strawberry Mountain Band. And if you can’t wait till February, tonight the Jazz Generations will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure and well as your peace of mind. Donations are appreciated and everyone is invited to join the fun starting at 7:00 PM.


Well I lied. This week’s “Remember When” question is not from the 50’s but the 30’s. Swing was still coming of age when Benny Goodman Band played Carnegie Hall – initially as a publicity stunt - on January 16th 1938. The event was described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music.” This week’s question is “Who was the drummer in the climatic rendition of “Sing, Sing, Sing” and was often at odds with Benny Goodman?” E-mail your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of one of the two original acetate recordings of the concert.

The northwest band, that appeared regularly on ‘Where the Action Is” and whose lead singer ,Mark Lindsay, was born in Eugene, Oregon,’ was Paul Revere and the Raiders. And the winner of a free Third Saturday breakfast in March is reserved and shy Dawn McClure.

Well, it’s another day in the woods - as long as I can find my way out. Until we meet again, get yourself out of bed, put on your shoes, and believe it will happen, because it can.

“It's not where you go, but what you see that makes life a pilgrimage.” Carolyn Scott Kortge

Necessity is the mother of "taking chances" Mark Twain

Aging Well January 18th

My perspective has changed over time. I shouldn’t be surprised. With sixty years plus of experience, I should see the world differently. But I was surprised at my reaction to a movie I saw this weekend – a movie I had not intended to watch. Apparently I had placed at the top of my Netflix queue, “Shine a Light” the Martin Scorsese’s documentary of the Rolling Stones’ 2008 concert in New Your City. And it arrived in my mailbox on Friday. I was in the mood for something different: a Katherine Hepburn comedy or a Humphrey Bogart mystery, something other than an “up close and personal” documentary of a live performance of these sixty-something aging rockers. And what was scary, it was in high definition.

But I was impressed. Mick Jagger, their lead singer, was bouncing, gyrating, and posing during the whole performance –from one end of the stage to the other - seldom slowing down. And even though Keith Richards’ body looked like a hot dog left in the rotisserie on high, waaaay too long, Mick Jagger’s face had the character and depth of years of performing and living - so much more interesting than the young baby face seen in the film clips from the beginning of his career in the 60’s.

This 2008 Rolling Stones concert with its energy, excitement and talent, reaffirmed my belief that the idea of “old” evolves over time and is ultimately just a state of mind. And I am beginning to understand what Barnard Baruch meant when he said “To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.”

If you want to know what is happening at the Center in a little more detail and with a few more mistakes, I can email you the Center’s weekly newsletter which I try to kick out every Tuesday. Just send me your request to the Center’s email address at mcseniorcenter@gmail.com.

But writing a Center Newsletter as well as this weekly column does create a challenge for this “Winnie the Pooh” brain of mine. I can’t remember if I wrote something for this column or the newsletter. It’s like having two girlfriends and not remembering which story you told to which girl. But with the chance of being redundant - which isn’t always a bad thing - the AARP Tax Aide program is starting up again on February 4th and will be available every Friday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM and every Saturday from 9:00 AM through 1:00 PM through April 9th. (Every year I seem to announce the wrong times, but this year I think I got it right.). It is first come - first serve and it gets pretty busy the first month. But if you can wait, the crowds slow down. And as a reminder, the tax help is for simple tax returns. If you have more complex tax situations, you should see one of the professional accountants in town.

It has been a while, but the Jazz Generations will be back performing their big band sounds on Tuesday the 25th for your listening and dancing pleasure. Hank and Ann have played all across the country and with Bob Fiske, they can still strut their stuff. And tonight John Martin and Friends are playing for those who enjoy their music with a country and western flair. The fur starts flying at 7:00 and everybody is welcome - warm or cold, young or old.

There are only eight openings left in the popular “Steps to Wellness” - a fifteen week class that starts Wednesday February 9th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Center. This class is for anyone who has diabetes or is overweight and “who would like help and support to eat better, exercise, manage their stress and live healthier” There is no cost for the class but there will be loads of fun, healthy food and prizes. It is provided by La Clinica, MCMC and the Next Door, Inc. This class is in English and a class in Spanish will be offered in August. For more information call Eli Bello at 541-296-4610 Ext 1004

The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question was “Shindig” - the “teen scene” musical variety show from 1964 - 1966. And the winner of a free breakfast (starting back up on the third Saturday in March) is none other than that groovy kind of guy- Bob Earls. But several folks mentioned “Where the Action Is” a Dick Clark production that was broadcast from ‘65 through ‘67 on ABC and was set in different locations in Southern California. So this week’s question is “What northwest band, whose lead singer was born in Eugene, Oregon, appeared regularly on ‘Where the Action Is’? This group also recorded the classic party hit “Louie, Louie” although their version was overshadowed by another northwest group “The Kingsmen”.

Enough of the rock and roll memories. I promise next week I’ll find something from the 50’s. Until we meet again, keep shaking those tail feathers - if you have any left.

“The truth is, I’m more interested in the roll than I am the rock.”- Keith Richards, guitarist for the Rolling Stones ( b.1943)

Aging Well January 11th

It was twenty four years ago in January 1987 that the Center celebrated its grand opening - at a time when Dow Jones Industrial average finally closed above 2000; the Simpsons first appeared on television, Nintendo video games were introduced and Fox television started broadcasting with only 10 hours of prime time programming a week.

How times have changed. But the Center has also changed: providing more activities and classes, and working with the many community partners to fulfill the Center’s mission of “promoting healthy aging by sharing and caring”. But as I look back through the photos and news paper clippings saved from those early years, these changes are just building on the strong foundation laid by the determined “United Seniors” who made this Center possible.

And yet many of their dreams remain unfulfilled. It has been the goal of the building expansion campaign to complete their dream for the Center: an elevator to the basement, additional office space to rent, and adequate space for exercise classes. These goals will be realized in the revised plans for the building expansion.

But while everything changes, many things remains the same and the expansion project is facing many of the same challenges the “United Seniors” encountered. The expansion is taking longer than anticipated, funding is difficult to acquire and we have had to scale back the project. But that didn’t deter the folks twenty four years ago and I hope it won’t deter us today. In a year from now what better way to celebrate the Center’s twenty-fifth anniversary than to start the construction of the Center’s expansion project. It can happen.

Reducing your daily stress can improve your brain health as well as your physical and emotional health. To help you manage your stress, MCMC is offering two free classes at Water’s Edge. From the “Introduction to Mindless Meditation” you will learn the history of meditation, the medical benefits and simple relaxation techniques that can help quiet the mind and body. The class is on Wednesdays February 9th and 23rd from 7 - 8 pm. And in the “MIndfulness Breath” class offered on Wednesdays January 26 and February 2 from 7 - 8PM, you will learn “simple breathing techniques that can help lower blood pressure, improve immune function, ease insomnia, improve digestion and speed healing time”. To register for both of these free classes call 541-296-7319.

Tonight’s Tuesday night music will feature a staple of the local music scene: Truman and his Country Gold. His silky smooth voice will give you a chance to dance all your troubles away. And next Tuesday on the 18th, John Martin and Friends will be back again for your dancing and listening pleasure. The music starts at 7:00 PM and donations are always appreciated.

Do you want to exercise while walking along a beautiful trail with a companion who will listen and not interrupt, and will occasionally take a break so you can rest. Then drop in at Home-at-Last and walk one of their many dogs waiting to be placed in a caring home. But just don’t take my word for it, ask Karen Olson. You can call Home-at-Last for more information at 541-296-5189.

The Tuesday Lecture on the 18th starting at 11:00 will feature Jim Burris - a local Veteran’s advocate who has a “take no prisoners” passion for helping veterans receive the support they have earned and deserve. He will offer his uncensored and many times provocative views explaining the resources available to veterans and how to access them.

The bandleader who hosted forty eight consecutive radio and television broadcasts on New Year’s Eve was Guy Lombardo who with the Royal Canadians created the “sweetest sounds this side of heaven”. And the winner is Alex Currie and this time he outsmarted his son.

But this week’s “Remember When” question is for the younger generation and I imagine will stump most of you - although Al Wynn and I mentioned this TV show last month on the Coffeebreak. What American musical variety show aired on ABC from September 1964 to through January 1966? It featured such performers as the Righteous Brothers, Sonny and Cher, Rolling Stones, and Sam Cooke; and although its success was temporary, forced NBC to counter with its own “teen scene” show called Hullabaloo? E-mail your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a ticket stub to the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in New York City on August 15th 1965.

Well that’s another trip down memory lane wearing my favorite rose colored glasses. Until we meet again, keep your eye on the road, hands on the wheel and foot to the gas.

“I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don't.” W. Somerset Maugham


Living Well January 4th

Last week I tried something different. I wrote the column as an annual Christmas letter, similar to the many letters I received this past Christmas from friends and family who shared their latest adventures or misadventures. (I once thought these letters were trite and impersonal but have come to appreciate this once-a -ear chance to hear from many friends whom I seldom see.

But the excitement and anticipation of the long holiday vacation is over and it is back to business as usual - with people to see, things to do and songs to sing. I just hope this year, I can stay in tune.

The Next Chapter lecture series kicks back in gear next Tuesday the 11th at 11:00. The first presentation of the New Year will be an update on the Center’s building expansion plans, now that the latest design has been completed. This new plan features an elevator to the basement plus additional office space and a renovated interior entry way and commons area. We have had tremendous support for the initial expansion plan and this new plan will include many of the same features except for the medical clinic which was to be built in cooperation with MCMC. That part is still possible and could be added at a later date. But this newer and simpler design is more realistic considering these tight economic times as the country slowly grows out of the “Great Recession”.

The music never stops and tonight Andre and the Strawberry Mountain band will be playing old-time, foot-tapping music for your body and soul. And next Tuesday on the 11th Truman will be back performing his Country Gold. As with green bananas, some things just get better with age. The music starts at 7:00 and donations are appreciated.

Those of you who understand what Benjamin Disraeli meant when he said “How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.” Or who experience the same passion as the person who believed “God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. Or those of you who have felt the same discomfort as Charles Dudley Warner when he observed “What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it.” Then you will want to attend this year’s OSU Wasco County Master Gardeners training. The training will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church beginning February 16th and ending on March 30th. Classes will be held on consecutive Wednesdays from 9:00-4:00. The cost for training is $90.00 for tuition and the Sustainable Gardening Handbook, and $15.00 for Wasco County Master Gardener Association dues. Applications are available at the Wasco County Extension Office 400 E. Scenic Drive Suite 2.278 and must be returned no later than January 28th. And keep your ears open for an upcoming workshop on the care and feeding of roses presented by the Master Gardeners on February 12th at the Center.

Here is a New Year’s Eve solution for those who - like me - have trouble staying awake till midnight to watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve count down in Times Square. I discovered that with live video streaming over the Internet on your computer you can imagine yourself dancing and celebrating with all the folks in Times Square, give your spouse a big fat smooch at midnight and still get to sleep by 10:00 PM The Dalles time. What a deal! And who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

You may know Dick Clark has been hosting the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve since 1972 - and since his stroke in 2004 with a little help recently from Ryan Seacrest. But this week’s “Remember When” question goes back even further. Who hosted forty eight consecutive radio and television broadcasts of his New Year’s Eve show - including from 1956 to 1976 on CBS TV - starting with his first radio broadcast heard on December 31, 1928? E-mail your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the sleeve of a phonograph record by the Royal Canadians.

And for the question from two weeks ago, many of you knew the name of the cat-like, present-stealing, joy-sucking green creature created by Ted Geisel - more famously known as Dr. Seuss. And contrary to Jodi Cochenour - who’s first thought was her husband Les since he did dress the part in a Starlight parade of years past - the greedy soul was the “Grinch”. And the winner of a free breakfast, which returns in March, is Ron Sutherland.

Well it’s off to the races for another year. Until we meet again, enjoy the New Year and all the possibilities it brings.

“Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.” Bill Vaughan


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