“Unleash the Power of Age” is the theme for Older American’s Month - celebrated every year in May to honor the remarkable work of older adults in our communities. Imagine what it would be like without older adults investing their wealth of life experience, knowledge and skills; improving the lives of others as church members, volunteers for non-profits and members of public commissions and boards. Projects would not be completed, less money would be raised and important decisions would be left undecided. And our communities would definitely not be as strong or healthy as they are today.
There are more ways to pick your pocket than the door-to-door scams and high pressure schemes I mentioned last week. And some are pretty convincing. I heard a recent example from Annie Lane who showed me the USPS envelope she received containing a letter and a Postal Money Order for $985.55 (which looked authentic to me). The letter told her to cash the Money Order immediately and keep $200 as a payment for being a Mystery Shopper (which she doesn’t remember ever applying for!). She was then told to secretly evaluate the customer service at a local Western Union store – and here’s the catch - by purchasing a Western Union Money Order with the remaining balance and sending the money order to a given name and address. Annie knew something was fishy: no letterhead, faulty grammar. The Post Office confirmed her suspicions by pointing out that the Money Order lacked a serial number. If she had cashed the Postal Money Order, she probably would have had to eventually pay back the $985.
There were several clues, but it is not that hard to convince yourself the offer is real. (Like I said, the Postal Money Order looked authentic.) If you ever receive such a give-away offer, talk to a friend first and then if appropriate, report it to the Oregon Department of Justice. Remember, “If it is too good to be true, it ….” – well, I think you know the rest.
If you want to be notified of scams, fraud and other consumer threats operating in Oregon, you can join the Oregon Scam Alert Network. It keeps you updated by email or tweets about important consumer information to protect yourself and share with friends. You can join the Scam Alert Network at http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/Pages/scam_alert.aspx
As the weather warms up and the days get longer, there is a powerful urge for many folks to go out and get down and dirty. If you are one of those folks - who are already pulling weeds, planting seeds, and cleaning out flower beds, you will want to read Master Gardener Mary Miller’s May/June issue of Garden Highlights. To start receiving this remarkable little electronic newsletter, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you don’t have access to a computer or email, stop by many of the local gardening stores - or come by the Center to pick up a copy.
Meals-on-Wheels and the Area Agency on Aging are inviting all of you who are “young at heart” to a Senior Prom on Friday May 31st from 5:30 – 8:00 PM at the Center. There will be beverages, food and music provided by the Sugar Daddies. You don’t have to dance, or wear a formal outfit, or awkwardly ask someone to go with you, but your ID will be checked at the door.
And before the cat stalks and the birds scatter, playing tonight at the Center is “Truman”. And on the 28th The Dufur Boys” from Dufur are back to make you sit up and take notice. Music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
“A-Tisket, A-Tasket” was sung by the Queen of Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald (And the winner is William VanNice.) For this week’s “Remember When” let’s move to another genre of American music – country. What was the name of the piano player born in 1933; inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003; was one of the architects of the "Nashville soundtoured with Elvis Presley (and played piano on Elvis’s first national hit “Heartbreak Hotel”); and recorded several hits including “Last Date”? (And there is not a Lewis in his name!) E-mail your answer to email@example.com, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of the Million Dollar Band that often performed on Hee-Haw in the 1980’s.
Well, it has been another week trying to make my life legible. Until we meet again, as I was reminded before yoga class by Debra Lutje "It's never too late to have a happy childhood”.