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. Average payout is over $1300 each night. Minimum buy-in is $10.

There will be NO Bingo on June 30th because of the local July 4th celebration. But there will be Bingo on July 7th.

Still room on future trips:
Portland Zoo on July 11th $46
UPDATED 6.18.18

Aging Well in the Gorge June 19th 2018


This week is a little of “this” and a little of “that” - sharing some of the events at the Center you might find interesting.

The Center’s durable medical equipment loan closet is probably the Center’s most popular service. You can borrow a variety of medical equipment at no cost - although a $10 donation is appreciated. Right now, the loan closet is full of rollators - which is the fancy word for those four-wheel walkers with a seat. I also call them your “freedom machine” since they allow you to move safely when you are unsteady on your feet or recovering from surgery. So if you need a rollator for any length of time, save your money and call the Center to see if there is a rollator that will work for you.

At the Center, I often get questions asking where one can find free or inexpensive legal advice. As we all know the legal system is complex - and can be costly and unaffordable for many. But for the second year in a row, the Center is hosting the Cascadia Mobile Legal Clinic on June 25th and 26th from 11 to 4 pm. This is a convenient opportunity to receive a free 30-minute consultation on a wide range of legal topics. And if any legal services are provided after the consultation, they are provided to eligible clients for free or on a sliding fee scale (depending on income). If you are interested, call them at 503-444-3449 to guarantee an appointment – although last year, drop-ins were welcome. You can find more information at their website www.cascadialawyers.com.

This next activity sounds really cool. As part of the Center’s Creative Arts series provided by the Columbia Center for the Arts, Jinx Griswold will be teaching a Zentangle class on June 27th from 1:00 – 2:30. The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns which are called tangles. You create tangles with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, S-curves and orbs. As you use the Zentangle Method to create beautiful images, you likely will enjoy increased focus, creativity, self-confidence and an increased sense of well-being – and no mistakes are possible!

If you haven’t renewed your Center membership (or can’t recall if you have), there is still time. An individual membership is $35 per person or $60 per couple and if you are a super-duper person, it is $50 a year. The individual and business memberships are critical to fulfilling the Center’s mission of providing opportunities for all generations to explore, connect and contribute.

Besides financially supporting the Center, as a member you can vote at the Center’s annual membership meeting which will be held in the afternoon on Tuesday July 17th. At the annual meeting, you will receive an update of this last year’s accomplishments, future plans and dreams, and vote for the Center’s board members who are up for reelection. If you aren’t a member yet, I encourage you to become one and attend the Center’s 2018 annual meeting.

The four term New York governor whose marriage to “Happy” Murphy soon after they both were divorced, raised such a political firestorm it cost him the Republican presidential nomination in 1964 was Nelson Rockefeller. (I received correct answers from Lana Tepfer, Sandy Haechrel, Tiiu Vahtel, Dave Lutgens, and Jess Birge; and this week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket are Jim Ayres who saw Nelson Rockfeller in Portland in 1964 - and Sue Ortega whom I missed last week.)

Let’s stick with politics a little longer. Before Bill Clinton played the saxophone wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses on the Arsenio Hall show, Richard Nixon appeared on this popular sketch comedy show two months before the 1968 presidential election and stiffly spoke one of the shows famous catch phrases, “Sock it to me.” For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this show? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the name of the show’s writer who was an ardent Nixon supporter and encouraged Nixon to appear on the show.

Well, it’s been another week, looking for some clarity, but only finding dirty windows. Until we meet again, don’t allow your fears hide all the possibilities.

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden, basketball coach and all-American guard for Purdue University

Aging Well in the Gorge June 12th 2018


Although it might be easier in small towns, these days it is harder to stay involved and connected to our communities as we age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation - which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect is a concern world-wide and can affect older people across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races. And to raise the awareness of elder abuse throughout the world, June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  

Okay, but what actually is elder abuse? It refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes harm to an older person - and can be exhibited in many ways: neglect or isolation; physical abuse; financial abuse and exploitation; and emotional or psychological abuse (including verbal abuse and threats).

Fortunately, there are warning signs.

For neglect a lack of basic hygiene, adequate food, or clean and appropriate clothing; home cluttered and filthy, or without adequate appliances; or a person with dementia left unsupervised.

For financial abuse or exploitation, a lack of conveniences the victim could afford; “voluntarily” giving excessive financial reimbursement/gifts to the caregiver; caregiver has control of elder’s money but is failing to provide for elder’s needs; or the vulnerable adult has signed documents such as a Power of Attorney or a new Will without understanding what it means.

For psychological or emotional abuse look for unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior; caregiver doesn’t let anyone in the home; or the caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling, or uncaring

And for physical abuse look for inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns.

Some older adults are more susceptible to experiencing abuse or neglect than others. They include adults eighty and older and older adults who experence dementia, poor physical health, mental health or substance abuse issues and isolation.

But you can do something about Elder Abuse. Actually, you already have - because if you have read this far you know the signs of abuse. Now the next step is to share this information with your friends, so instances of abuse are better reported to protect older adults.

You can also stay in contact with your older neighbors, as I know many of you have, and listen. If you suspect any abuse, you can report your suspicions to the Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) office in The Dalles at 541-298-4114.

By spreading the word and making sure national and community resources are directed to providing the necessary supports for older adults and reducing the isolation many older adults face, we can help prevent elder abuse from happening. It’s a matter of justice for all.

The Center’s next two trips are coming up. On June 20th there is a trip to the Portland Grotto with a limit of 12 persons and a cost of $30. And then on Wednesday, July 11th a trip to the Oregon Zoo in Portland is scheduled with a limit of 23 and a cost of $46. There is still room, but make sure you are signed up and paid to reserve your seat on the bus.

The name of the historical drama which was the top grossing film of 1963, won four Academy Awards and was renowned for the extramarital affair between its two costars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, was Cleopatra. (I received correct answers from Jim Ayers, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Sandy Haechrel and Don Hansen - this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

Lana Tepfer reminded me how the Taylor/Burton affair was such a big deal back in THOSE days which reminded me of how the public’s perception of a political candidate’s character has also changed.

For this week’s “Remember When” question who was the four term New York governor who during his second term as governor married a New York socialite soon after they both were divorced which raised such a political firestorm it cost him the Republican presidential nomination in 1964? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send a picture of Happy, his second wife, with their first child.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing. Until we meet again, take a chance, and open the door. You never know what’s on the other side.

“Lonely is not a feeling when you are alone. Lonely is a feeling when no one cares.” Unknown


Aging Well in the Gorge June 5th 2018

We all want to live longer and healthier lives. And advances in the health sciences have made that possible. But those advances are not a product of best guesses or anecdotal information. They have been based on evidence-based research.

One institution in Oregon that is highly regarded for its research and expertise in aging is the Oregon Health Sciences University. It has established the Healthy Aging Alliance whose mission according to Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH., director of geriatrics at OHSU " … is to strategically plan research to meet the needs of our seniors, find new ways to make sure the results of our research influence the care of our aging patients, and offer new training opportunities to help Oregon clinicians prepare for this significant change in their patient population. "

But the research needs volunteers. And I’m talking homo sapiens, not mice or the African turquoise killifish - which my son is studying to better understand the effects of aging at the molecular level. (And I have told him to hurry up! I can’t wait too long.)

To better understand how to recruit volunteers for OHSU’s research on aging, Elizabeth Eckstrom and her team will be at the Center on Tuesday June 12th at 1:00. They are looking for five to ten individuals who are 75 years or older to participate in a 30 to 60 minute focus group and share their thoughts and opinions about their participation in health research or their interest in the topic. As a thank-you each participant will receive a $25 gift certificate. If you would like to participate, contact Laura Ferrara at lauraf920@gmail.com or 541-399-1139.

Susan Kirk gave an excellent presentation last week on the Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP): a state government program which loans specialized communications equipment at no cost and with no income guidelines - but you must be an Oregon resident and be able to certify your hearing loss by a hearing specialist. Those who qualify can borrow one of a variety of listening devices such as a caption telephone. So never buy a listening device before calling TDAP! There is information at the Center or you can call TDAP at 1-800-848-4442.

The Center is hosting the Cascadia Mobile Legal Clinic (staffed by attorneys from Martin & Richards, LLP) on June 25th and 26th from 11 to 4 pm. They can provide a variety of legal services including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, probate estates, elder abuse, and civil disputes. All clients receive a free 30-minute consultation, and legal services provided after the consultation, if any, are provided to eligible clients for free or on a sliding fee scale (depending on income). Call 503-444-3449 for an appointment. You can find more information at their website www.cascadialawyers.com.

The AARP Smart Driver course is held at the Center from 8:45 – 12:05 on the third Monday and the following Tuesday of each month. The next class is on June 18th and 19th and costs $20 and $15 for AARP members. In Oregon if you complete the class an insurance discount from your insurance carrier is mandatory. But beware - the discounts will vary. You may want to check with your insurance agent. To sign up, call the Center at 541-296-4788.

The host and star of the American radio and television variety show which ran on CBS from 1946 until 1958 and featured "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program was Arthur Godfrey. (I received only one correct answer, so Dave Lutgens is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

It’s time to revisit a classic movie which was more famous for what happened off screen than on. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the historical drama which was the top grossing film of 1963 and the most expensive film ever made up to that point, won four Academy Awards and was renowned for the extramarital affair between its two costars? And for bonus points who were the costars? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture from Eddie Fisher’s second wedding.

Well, it’s been another week, rushing to answer the phone before nature calls. Until we meet again, find a song to dance to.

“As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment and curiosity over fear.” Tracee Ellis Ross

Aging Well in the Gorge May 29th 2018


Who knew I would have to be a speed reader to enjoy watching television. But with my hearing loss, closed captions have been a lifesaver - so I can actually follow the intricate plot lines of my favorite British mysteries.

But are there times when you wish there were closed captions for your telephone? Well there is, and the service is called CapTel which is short for Captioned Telephone.

The Captioned Telephone service from Oregon CapTel offers the ability for anyone with hearing loss to hear and read captions of everything being said by the other person during a telephone conversation. It is a 24-hour-a-day service offered at no cost to users if their audiologist or hearing aid specialist can certify their hearing loss - but they are responsible for their own long-distance or Internet charges.

How does the system work? Let’s say you are calling your grandson. When you dial his number, and before he answers, the phone call automatically connects to a captioning service. While your grandson talks with you, the CapTel operator is listening and transcribes your grandson’s words into text by using voice recognition technology. You then can read the transcription of your grandson’s conversation on the caption telephone’s CapTel display screen.

I personally tried an iPad with the CapTel software installed and it worked fine. I would recommend anyone with hearing loss to give an iPad or caption phone a try. It was easy to order and once again free if an audiologist or hearing aid specialist can certify your hearing loss.

But when I did use it, I found one drawback: there is a delay between the spoken words and the captions. For me it wasn’t worth the effort to adapt to that inconvenience since my hearing loss isn’t that severe – yet. But I have heard there are landline phones that use Bluetooth technology to connect to your Bluetooth enabled hearing aids, avoiding the need for captions, which I hope to try.

If you receive a phone call, and you have to ask the caller to repeat what they just said, (“Now what do I have to do so the cops won’t come to my house and arrest me?”); and you actually DO want to hear what the caller is saying, you will want attend the Center’s 11:00 Wednesday Lecture on May 30th. Susan Kirk from Oregon Relay will explain the different available options, so you can communicate with friends and family over the telephone. And if I have whet your appetite, you can learn more at https://www.oregoncaptel.com/ or http://www.oregonrelay.com/.

Here’s a new service offered this summer. From June 2nd through October 13th, the LINK, our local public transit provider, will be offering FREE transportation to the Dalles Farmers’ Market thanks to the sponsorship by PacificSource Community Solutions. To reserve a ride, call LINK at 541-296-7595 and tell them where you want to go and when you want to be picked up. For best availability, you will want to schedule your ride at least 24 hours in advance. LINK will pick you up at your door and take you to the Farmer’s Market at The Dalles City Park, and then return to pick you up and take you home or wherever you need to go.

The name of the oil derived from a plant native to Southeast Asia with a dark, musky-earthy aroma, that was associated with the “counterculture” movement of the 60’s is Patchouli Oil. (I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Sue Ortega, Dave Lutgens and Ron Nelson who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And a raffle ticket also goes to Dave Lutgens whose answer I missed last week.)

For this week’s “Remember When” question, let’s go back to the classic television shows from the 50’s and 60’s. Who was the host and star of the American radio and television variety show which ran on CBS from 1946 until 1958; featured "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program to showcase their talents; and the winner was determined by an applause meter. Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture of a past contestant such as Connie Francis, Roy Clark or Jonathan Winters.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the last weeks of spring. Until we meet again, drive carefully, and stay safe during this traditional travel season.

“Blindness separates us from things, but deafness separates us from people.” Helen Keller

Aging Well in the Gorge May 22nd 2018


When I hear about age-friendly communities it is usually concerning the inclusion of older adults, including those at the oldest ages, so they can stay connected and actively participate in community activities; and for older adults who can no longer care for themselves providing appropriate supports.

But that is just the quick and dirty explanation. This Wednesday, May 23rd, you can learn more about age-friendly communities and share how age-friendly you feel The Dalles is in areas such as housing, transportation, public spaces and civic participation. Oregon AARP is facilitating this community conversation which will be held at the Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI) office at 401 E. 3rd Street, The Dalles, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm on the 23rd.

Staff from Oregon AARP will collect your ideas and priorities and will use them to help guide their work in helping communities become more livable and Oregon an age-friendly state – as well as sharing the information with the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services and decision makers across the state.

But even though in the field of aging, the emphasis is on older people, the idea of age friendly communities is about supporting ALL ages. And although we often think our communities don’t have adequate supports and infrastructure for older people, the same can be said for our youth - whether it is a lack of sidewalks for children to walk to school, transportation options, healthy social activities – or a lack of respect.

One coalition trying to address the needs of our youth by building upon their strengths is the Gorge Youth Center. On May 12th I attended the dedication of the site for the future Gorge Youth Center and it was inspiring hearing the passion and vision for how the Youth Center will make a positive difference for our youth and the whole community.

As with the Center whose focus is older adults but serves and supports all ages, the Gorge Youth Center will be similar but focusing on our youth while open to all ages. For example, in the initial design there is an indoor track which will provide a place for older adults to walk during the winter cold and the summer heat.

But the Gorge Youth Center will not be possible without the support of the whole community and particularly, older adults. Older adults are often portrayed as a liability to society. But according to the report “Longevity Economics” developed by the Gerontological Society of America, people aged 50 years or older make nearly 70% of the contributions to charities, churches, and other philanthropic organizations - averaging $100 billion per year.

We as the older generations will have to step up to make this dream a reality - just as we have with the Center’s UpLifting Elevator project, The Library’s Children’s Wing and the restoration of the Civic Auditorium. I hope you take time to learn more about the Gorge Youth Center and how you can financially support this important effort.

And a special challenge to my fellow Boomers. We were the children of what has been appropriately call the “Greatest Generation”. But aren’t we the “Can Do” generation? Maybe we haven’t changed the world – or maybe we have, but we can continue use our “Can Do” attitude to make the Youth Center a reality and The Dalles a healthier community for ALL ages.

The religious leader who hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour before hosting two television programs and was Bishop Fulton Sheen. (I received only one correct answer and that was from Lana Tepfer who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

Once in a while I get whiff of this oil’s aroma that immediately takes me back to the 60’s – and I don’t mean a whiff of what is now legal up and down the west coast. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what is the name of the oil derived from a plant native to tropical Southeast Asian countries; been described as having a dark, musky-earthy aroma; and was associated with the “counterculture” movement of the 60’s? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a muddy ticket from the Woodstock Music Festival.

Well, it’s been another week, sticking notes in odd places. Until we meet again, don’t take life so seriously you don’t leave room for life’s silliness.

“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.” Lois Wyse

Aging Well in the Gorge May 15th 2018


Okay, time for a pop quiz. What annoying situations would you like to stop? Drivers following too closely on the freeway? People leaving the lights on? Your spouse telling you “Stop mumbling!”

For me, robocalls - those unsolicited automated phone calls, would be at the top of my list. At the Center I’ve heard many folks complain about robocalls and that it seems to be getting worse!

Unfortunately, it is. The volume of automated calls has skyrocketed in recent years reaching an estimated 3.4 billion in April which is more than a 25% increase since last year. And it’s not surprising. They are cheap and robocallers can easily dial millions of consumers daily, and once the number is ignored or blocked, they can find new numbers to hide behind.

But there are efforts underway to fight this nuisance. At the federal level, both the House and Senate have either passed or introduced legislation aimed at curbing abuses. And regulators are working with the telecommunications industry to identify ways to authenticate the calls to help us identify the callers.

But it will take time. So, what can you do now to reduce this almost daily nuisance?

1. Keep your phone number to yourself. I made the mistake of going online to investigate refinancing my house mortgage and in the process gave out my phone number. Now I’m receiving phone calls from various lenders all across the country. But it does make me feel wanted.

2. Tell companies to get lost. It not illegal for a business to make marketing calls if you have a business relationship with them. But you can stop those calls by making a specific request to the business - and follow up with the FTC if the business keeps calling you.

5. Get on the Do Not Call Registry. The federal Do Not Call Registry may prevent some legitimate companies from calling. But the scammers don’t follow the rules, so why would they follow the Do No Not Call Registry? But it is worth a try.

3. Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. I used to answer any call that appeared local, but in the recent year an increasing number of them were scam calls, e.g.. “Would you like to purchase a special vacation package from Marriott?  What has happened is robocallers can now fool your telephone service by what is known as “neighborhood spoofing”: using local numbers in the hope that folks like you and me will more likely pick up the call.

6. File a complaint. In 2017 there were 4.5 million complaints to the FTC about robocalls - more than doubled since 2013.

7. Use software that blocks robocalls. Apple iPhones and most Android phones can block specific numbers. And now there are apps you can use to block robocalls such as Nomorobo, RoboKiller or Truecaller, although there may be a small monthly subscription charge.

But until unwanted robocalls end, don’t be offended if I don’t answer. Just leave a voice message and I’ll call you back - when I remember to check my messages.

It’s time to reserve your space for the Theater Play Table Read of one-act plays and skits on May 23rd from 1:00 – 2:30 led by Kerry Cobb. Pick a role and play your part as the you read entertaining one-act plays. No experience necessary—just a desire to have fun. Limited to twelve.

The name of the popular and affordable sports coupe with a long hood and short deck was the Ford Mustang. (I received correct answers from Lana Tepfer and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Jim Ayers.)

It’s time to take a break from pop music, television shows and hot cars and move to old time religion. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what religious leader was appointed Bishop of Rochester in 1966; hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour before hosting two television programs in the 50’s and 60’s; and was called by Time magazine the first televangelist? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a tape of an episode of Life Is Worth Living.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the beautiful days. Until we meet again, when you start digging yourself into a hole - know when to put the shovel down.

“When I walk into a room, I know that everyone in it loves me. I just don’t expect them to realize it yet.” Byron Katie

Aging Well in the Gorge May 15th 2018


Okay, time for a pop quiz. What annoying situations would you like to stop? Drivers following too closely on the freeway? People leaving the lights on? Your spouse telling you “Stop mumbling!”

For me, robocalls - those unsolicited automated phone calls, would be at the top of my list. At the Center I’ve heard many folks complain about robocalls and that it seems to be getting worse!

Unfortunately, it is. The volume of automated calls has skyrocketed in recent years reaching an estimated 3.4 billion in April which is more than a 25% increase since last year. And it’s not surprising. They are cheap and robocallers can easily dial millions of consumers daily, and once the number is ignored or blocked, they can find new numbers to hide behind.

But there are efforts underway to fight this nuisance. At the federal level, both the House and Senate have either passed or introduced legislation aimed at curbing abuses. And regulators are working with the telecommunications industry to identify ways to authenticate the calls to help us identify the callers.

But it will take time. So, what can you do now to reduce this almost daily nuisance?

1. Keep your phone number to yourself. I made the mistake of going online to investigate refinancing my house mortgage and in the process gave out my phone number. Now I’m receiving phone calls from various lenders all across the country. But it does make me feel wanted.

2. Tell companies to get lost. It not illegal for a business to make marketing calls if you have a business relationship with them. But you can stop those calls by making a specific request to the business - and follow up with the FTC if the business keeps calling you.

5. Get on the Do Not Call Registry. The federal Do Not Call Registry may prevent some legitimate companies from calling. But the scammers don’t follow the rules, so why would they follow the Do No Not Call Registry? But it is worth a try.

3. Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. I used to answer any call that appeared local, but in the recent year an increasing number of them were scam calls, e.g.. “Would you like to purchase a special vacation package from Marriott?  What has happened is robocallers can now fool your telephone service by what is known as “neighborhood spoofing”: using local numbers in the hope that folks like you and me will more likely pick up the call.

6. File a complaint. In 2017 there were 4.5 million complaints to the FTC about robocalls - more than doubled since 2013.

7. Use software that blocks robocalls. Apple iPhones and most Android phones can block specific numbers. And now there are apps you can use to block robocalls such as Nomorobo, RoboKiller or Truecaller, although there may be a small monthly subscription charge.

But until unwanted robocalls end, don’t be offended if I don’t answer. Just leave a voice message and I’ll call you back - when I remember to check my messages.

It’s time to reserve your space for the Theater Play Table Read of one-act plays and skits on May 23rd from 1:00 – 2:30 led by Kerry Cobb. Pick a role and play your part as the you read entertaining one-act plays. No experience necessary—just a desire to have fun. Limited to twelve.

The name of the popular and affordable sports coupe with a long hood and short deck was the Ford Mustang. (I received correct answers from Lana Tepfer and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Jim Ayers.)

It’s time to take a break from pop music, television shows and hot cars and move to old time religion. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what religious leader was appointed Bishop of Rochester in 1966; hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour before hosting two television programs in the 50’s and 60’s; and was called by Time magazine the first televangelist? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a tape of an episode of Life Is Worth Living.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the beautiful days. Until we meet again, when you start digging yourself into a hole - know when to put the shovel down.

“When I walk into a room, I know that everyone in it loves me. I just don’t expect them to realize it yet.” Byron Katie

Aging Well in the Gorge May 8th 2018



Americans are living longer and healthier. And to celebrate this good news, the month of May has been designated Older American’s Month. This year’s theme is “Engage at Every Age” because you are never too old (or young) to find a new direction that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But which way do you want to go?

Well, you might go in the direction of a new career - maybe something part-time that allows time for trips and the grandkids. A good starting point is enrolling in a free Purpose Workshop to help you unwrap your unique gifts and talents. The next Blue Zones Project Purpose Workshop is on May 16th at the Riv CafĂ© (401 E. 10th St) from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. You can RSVP at http://go.bluezonesproject.com/tdpurpose5.16.18

Or maybe you want to go in the direction of discovering or rediscovering your creative side: learn how to drum on a barbecue grill; enroll in a watercolor’s class at The Dalles Art Center; or take voice lessons - whatever fits your fancy. Also at the Center on Wednesday, May 23rd you can participate in a Theatre Play Table Reading of one act plays and skits facilitated by Kerry Cobb. No experience is necessary - just a desire to have fun. Call the Center to register because the class is limited to 12.

Or how about going on a quest to explore new and old ideas by taking free online classes such as those offered by Khan Academy or Coursera. Or take a class at CGCC such as the 11-week class, English 202 Shakespeare: The Later Plays starting on June 27th.  As with many classes, you can audit the class and discounts are available for Oregon Seniors. Email Mjablonski@cgcc.edu for more information.

Or follow the footsteps of many others and volunteer: using your years of experience to serve others.

“Engaging at Every Age” by exploring new directions can be fun and rewarding. No matter what direction you choose, pursuing a new interest will help keep you happy, healthy, and connected.

Older people have been the backbone for several local capital improvement projects: The John and Jean Thomas Children's Wing for The Dalles/Wasco County Library, the Center’s Elevator Project and the Civic Auditorium. But one community need that remains is a Youth Center that will “provide a positive, affordable and safe place for youth and those organizations which seek to help young people develop into physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy adults”.

Joe Martin and others have been working faithfully to make this dream a reality. And this coming Saturday, May 12th at 11:00, everyone is invited to celebrate and dedicate the "Future Home of the Gorge Youth Center" - another step towards making The Dalles a friendlier community for all ages.

Last week I didn’t mention the speaker for the May 9th Wednesday Lecture and there’s a reason. There won’t be one. Instead from 10:00 – 12:30 the Oregon Alzheimer’s Association will present a two-part class: The Basics and Effective Communication Strategies.

Then on May 16th at 11:00, I will lead a discussion about what you would want to tell your federal, state and local elected officials about issues affecting older people. And on May 23rd as I mentioned last week, Dr. Reardon will be discussing Total Joint Replacements.

Roger Daltrey, Peter Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon were members of the band Who - known for smashing guitars and recording the 1969 classic rock album Tommy. (I received correct answers from Don McAllister and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Dave Lutgens.)

This week’s “Remember When” question is an easy one, but I hope it brings back memories of that special car from back in the day. What was the name of the affordable sports coupe (advertised list price of $2,368) with a long hood and short deck; and was Ford’s fasting selling car since the Model A? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop if off with a photo of the car when it was introduced at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep my hat from being blown off. Until we meet again, no matter how far down the road you are, sometimes it’s best to turn around.

“Your power to choose your direction of your life allows you to reinvent yourself, to change your future, and to powerfully influence the rest of creation.” —Stephen Covey

Aging Well in the Gorge May 1st 2018


I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t been affected by Cancer – whether themselves or through a friend of relative. But the American Cancer Society is working to change that. You can help by supporting Relay for Life which raises money for the American Cancer Society and brings communities together to remember lost loved ones, and honor survivors of all cancers.

This year the Relay for Life event will be held on Saturday, June 30th at the Hood River County Fairgrounds - and the Mid-Columbia goal is to raise $60,000 before then. (You can find more information online by googling Mid-Columbia Relay for Life.) In the meantime, there will be other fundraisers including an All Relay for Life Parking Lot Sale at the Center on Saturday, May 5th from 8:00 – 3:00.

At the Cherry Festival Breakfast, one of the Center’s beautiful quilts was raffled off. (And thanks again to everyone who made the breakfast possible: the volunteers, Boy Scout Troop #395, The Dalles Chamber of Commerce, and our sponsor Cherry Heights Living). But another quilt is willing and waiting, and you can see it on display at the A’s Sewing Shoppe at 422 E. 2nd, The Dalles. It was quilted by one of the Center’s Quilters, Diana Thomas, during the Cake Mix Quilting class (don’t ask me what that means.) So when you’re downtown, check out the quilt and A’s Sewing Shoppe which has provided dependable sewing machine services and vacuum repair for over 37 years.

And what always occurs on the first Saturday in May? The biggest Wasco County Family Reunion - which we know as The Wasco County Pioneers Annual Meeting. The 96th annual meeting will be held at the Readiness Center with registration beginning at 9:30 and lunch at 11:30. During the annual meeting which starts at 1:00, the 2018 Pioneer Man and Woman will be honored; and Cal McDermid, Fort Dalles Museum director, will be giving an update on the Surgeon’s Quarters and the Anderson House.

How can you increase public support for policies and practices that promote a robust, healthy, age-integrated society? One way identified through extensive research is to change the conversation about aging. For the 11:00 Wednesday Lecture on May 2nd, I will be discussing new ways to talk about aging that reduces stereotypes and increases the inclusion of older people in our communities.

You may have noticed, I haven’t mentioned the speaker for May 9th – because, well, I’m still trying to figure that one out. But a little further down the highway on May 23rd at 11:00, Dr. Reardon, one of MCMC’s Orthopedic Surgeons, will discuss total joint replacements: when to consider and what to expect.

As we live longer, total joint replacements are becoming more common. We see that at the Center where three to four times a week someone borrows a piece of medical equipment to help recover from hip or knee surgery. And for those who may not know, the Center’s loan closet includes walkers, wheelchairs, shower benches, toilet seat risers, canes and more. But the availability varies, so I would suggest calling to see if we have what you need. There is no cost for borrowing the equipment because we understand many folks are on limited incomes. But if you can afford to donate, the suggested donation is $10.00.

The name of the Rod Serling created series where “You're traveling through another dimension” was The Twilight Zone. (I received correct answers from Dave Lutgens, Jesse Birge, Darlene Marick, Susan Ortega, Kathy Schwartz, Lana Tepfer, Ed Anghilante, Don McAllister, Virginia McClain and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Carol Earl.)

Since my mom grew up with the Mills Brothers, Harry James and Frank Sinatra, she couldn’t understand why the musical groups I listened to had such foolish names: The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, the Animals, Mamas and Papas and the band called just - The Band. So for this week’s “Remember When” question, what band, whose name is more appropriate for a basic journalism class, was known for smashing guitars on stage and writing the 1969 classic rock album Tommy?  Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop if off at the Center while singing with youthful rebellion “My Generation”.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to lower the bar to help others over. Until we meet again, don’t let the gravy drown the mashed potatoes. 

“He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much.” Elbert Hubbard

Aging Well in the Gorge April 24th 2018


They’re coming! They’re coming! No, not the Russians, but the new Medicare cards which are starting to be mailed out this month and will continue to be mailed on a rolling basis over the next year. To be prepared, there are several details about the new cards you should know according to the Medicare.gov website.

First, what you probably already know. 1. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. That will help protect your identity. 2. Your new card will not affect your Medicare coverage and benefits. They will stay the same. 3. Only give your new Medicare number to your health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf. (If you ever suspect identity theft, report it to the Office of the Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/report and visit the website https://www.identitytheft.gov/.)

What you may not know. 1. People who are enrolling in Medicare for the first time will be among the first to receive new cards. 2. Your new card will automatically be sent to you. But if your address is not current, you will need to update it by visiting your Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. 3. Once you receive your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new one right away. 4. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, keep your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card. It is still your primary card for Medicare and is the card you will continue to use whenever you need care. However, you should also carry your new Medicare card since you may also be asked to show it.

If you are one who doesn’t like surprises and would like to know when to expect your new card, visit www.Medicare.gov/NewCard and sign up to receive an email when Medicare starts mailing the new cards to Oregon enrollees.

The good news is with all the stories about the fraudulent use of stolen Social Security numbers, the new Medicare cards are another step in protecting you from identity theft.

This Saturday The Dalles will be bustling with “out of this world” activities. And to start the day off right, why not stop by the Center and enjoy an Extraterrestrial Breakfast from 8:00 – 9:30 sponsored by the Center’s neighbor to the north - Cherry Heights Living. The menu includes French toast, scrambled eggs, sausage patty and fruit - as well as the regular beverages. The cost is $6.00 and $3.00 for children twelve and under. And make sure to stay for the coronation of the Cherry Festival Royalty - and the raffle drawing for a beautiful quilt hand stitched by the Center’s amazing quilters.  

The subject of the Center’s 11:00 Wednesday Lecture on April 25th will be the School District 21 Construction Bond that will be on the November ballot. The presentation will give you an opportunity to ask questions about this innovative funding approach to modernize D-21 school facilities. And for the Wednesday Lecture on May 1st, I will be discussing new positive ways to talk about aging that reduces stereotypes and increases the inclusion of older people in our communities.

The name of the actress who played Peter Pan in the first full-length Broadway production seen on color TV was Mary Martin. And the Australian born actor who portrayed Captain Hook was Cyril Ritchard. (I received correct answers from Dave Lutgens, Kim Birge, Lana Tepfer, Jim and Betsy Ayers and the winners of this week’s quilt raffle tickets, Don and Linda McAllister.)

Another classic from the Golden Age of Television was a television series created by Rod Serling that ran from 1959 to 1964 on CBS. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this series where “You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination”? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop off your answer with a copy of the episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street".

Well, it’s been another week, looking both ways before taking a leap of faith. Until we meet again, one advantage of running around in circles, is you get your exercise.” 


“I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough.” Walt Whitman

Aging Well in the Gorge April 17th 2018


It seems as if every national organization or cause has designated a week or day to recognize their efforts. For example, this week is “Spring Astronomy Week”, “National Pet ID Week”; and I just have to mention “Interstate Mullet Toss Weekend” which has become one of the biggest beach parties on the gulf coast; raising money for local youth charities by seeing who can toss a dead mullet (a fish, not a dead guy with an ugly hairstyle) the furthest across the Florida-Alabama state line. Who would have thought!

But I digress. This week is also “National Volunteer Week” – a time to recognize the invaluable role of volunteers, many over 60, who are the fuel for much of the good that is accomplished in our communities. People being engaged, whether volunteering at their church, a service club or non-profit, visiting friends at a care facility, or by keeping an eye on their neighbor - because one of these days, their neighbor may be keeping an eye on them - is what makes our communities strong and vibrant.

But you may feel volunteering is uncomfortable. Like me, you may be afraid of “messing up”, although I’m getting use to that. Or you might be worried about taking on too much responsibility. Or afraid of “volunteer creep” when a one-day a week commitment turns into three and you wonder, “How did that happen. I’m retired!”

But volunteering is a win-win. Besides helping your community, by volunteering you can make new friends; learn new skills; enjoy a new challenge, and of course, have fun!

If you currently aren’t volunteering or would like to volunteer more, I guarantee there is a place that can use your skills and abilities. And for all of you who are already volunteering in either large or small ways, you deserve a big THANK-YOU!  

Besides volunteers, every non-profit I know needs financial support - and Habitat for Humanity is no exception. Tomorrow, April 18th you can enjoy a delicious assortment of pizza, pasta, salad and bread at the annual Habitat Pizza Feed from 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM PDT at Spookys. Tickets are $14.00 for ages 14 and over, $ 9.00 for ages 7 to 13, and $ 4.00 for ages 6 & under. You can purchase tickets at Klindt's Booksellers or the Habitat Restore on West Sixth. Proceeds will support Habitat’s good work building affordable housing in the Mid-Columbia.

These days if anyone asks for my opinion or advice I often respond with “It’s complicated … and I’m confused!” You may feel the same when reading about the D-21 School Construction Bond that will be on the November ballot.  

To help answer your questions and resolve any confusion, there will be a school construction bond presentation at the Center on Wednesday, April 25th at 11:00. I encourage you to learn more, so however you finally decide to vote, it will be based on a clear understanding of the construction bond measure and not any misconceptions.

The name of the basketball player who was a 12-time NBA All-Star; the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season; and was known as the Big “O” was Oscar Robertson. (Those who turned in correct answers by Friday were Don McAllister, Jess Birge, Dave Lutgens, Tiiu Vahtel, Bob Haechrel, Jerry Phillips, Lee Kaseberg and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket: Rhonda Austin.)

On March 7, 1955, during the first "Golden Age of Television", NBC presented Peter Pan live. It was the first full-length Broadway production seen on color TV which attracted a then-record audience of 65-million viewers. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the actress that played Peter Pan? And for bonus points, what Australian actor played Captain Hook? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with a picture of J.R. Ewing and his mother.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to find my part in the next act. Until we meet again, as Ashleigh Brilliant once said, “It’s not easy to find yourself slowing down in a world that’s speeding up.”  

“A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens – citizens in the fullest sense; partners in civilization.” President George H.W. Bush

Menu for The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels dinners served at noon in Betty’s Diner at the Center.

Aging Well in the Gorge April 10th 2018


When I was growing up, my family always played cards when we went camping. The four of us would play Hearts, Pinochle, and the family favorite Euchre - which we still play whenever the McKays get together. (And if you would like to play Euchre, call the Center and we’ll see if we can get a group started.)

But that was before the advent of video games. Now according to an AARP sponsored study, 38% of adults aged 50-plus are gamers and what might seem surprising, 40% of women are gamers - more than the 35% of men. There are a variety of games available from shoot ‘em up adventure and fantasy games to tamer but challenging logic and puzzle games which you can play on your computer or video game console such as an Xbox. Nowadays you can even team up with out-of-town family members or friends to compete against players around the world. Pretty amazing.

But if you aren’t into video games or you want to see and know who you are playing against, you can choose from a variety of non-video games at the Center. They include Mahjong (Fridays at 1:00), Bunco (third Tuesdays at 1:00), Dominoes (Tuesdays at 1:00), and the Center’s most popular game Pinochle (Thursdays at 1:00 and Fridays at 6:00). All these games are open to players of any age and to beginners - which we all were at one time. The cost varies. Most of the games are $1 per person, but Thursday Pinochle is $2 and Friday night Pinochle is $6 of which $5 goes into the pot which is paid back to the winners. Come by and check them out.

You know it really is spring when the grass is tall enough to mow and Bruce and Lori Harris from Today’s Rays stops by the Center to turn on the irrigation system. A big thank-you to Bruce and Lori for their continued support of the Center.

What would it be like to ride a motorcycle from Portland to Panama City, then ride from Bogota, Columbia south to Ushuaia, Argentina (which considers itself the southernmost city in the world) and back north to Buenos Aries? I have no idea - except I know my rear end would be sore! But you can find out at the Center’s next Wednesday lecture on April 18th starting at 11:00 when Ron Carpenter will show videos of his 17,000-mile motorcycle trip through South America. (If you want a glimpse of his trip beforehand, search BlackdogGS on YouTube.)

The name of the television comedy, first aired in 1952, that featured the real-life Nelson family was Ozzie and Harriet with their children David and teen idol Ricky Nelson. (I received correct answers from Alice Mattox, Don McAllister, Lana Tepfer, Sandy Haechrel, Lucile Stephens, Jim Ayers, Sharon Hull and the winners of a quilt raffle ticket: Jeanne Pesicka who served Ricky Nelson when he performed at the Shamrock in 1985 and Darlene Merrick who owns an album autographed by Ricky Nelson. And once again I missed a couple folks, so a quilt raffle ticket goes to both Cheryl Green and Jim Ayers.

Now that the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball championships are over, it’s time to start down the road to the NBA championships. In Indiana, where I grew up, basketball was king (anyone see the movie Hoosiers?), and one of the all-time greatest NBA players attended high school in my hometown of Indianapolis. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who played in the NBA for fourteen years; was a 12-time All-Star; the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season; and was known as the Big “O”. Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with a 1956 Crispus Attucks High School yearbook. (And if you know the answer don’t procrastinate. Now that the Chronicle is mailed, I need to finish my column by the end of Friday.)

Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember what’s next on the to-do list in my head. Until we meet again, as Tom Graff reminded me, “Always make sure you put your socks on the right feet!”.  

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” Henry James

Aging Well in the Gorge April 3rd 2018


We all know walking is one of the best exercises, but why is walking with a group such a good idea when you can walk by yourself at any time you want?

On reason is that “any time” you want often becomes “no time” at all. I’ve been telling myself for the last two years I need to start lifting weights at home. But have I started. Nope! Having others to walk with gets you going when your “going” doesn’t want to go.

Another advantage is you develop closer relationships. When I use to run with my running buddies (before my knees stopped cooperating), there wasn’t anything to do when we ran but talk (and avoid the occasional skunk), so we filled the time sharing stories we wouldn’t think of sharing with anyone else.

So why don’t you join a walking group that fits your speed and schedule? You can call Taylor Smith at 541-705-5346 to join one of the local Blue Zones Project’s Walking Moais’. Or call North Central Public Health District at 541-506-2600 to learn about their “Step It Up” walking groups.

But if you are a cancer survivor or a friend or family member, consider attending the Kick-Off for “Step It Up! Survivors” walking groups which will meet at the Celilo Cancer Center’s Atrium (1800 E. 19th St) on Thursday, April 5th from 12:00-12:30. Sign up to walk, receive a welcome kit and learn how regular physical exercise can reduce cancer-related fatigue. Then on the following Wednesdays, you can join one of the 30-minute Wednesday Walks leaving the Celilo Cancer Center at 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 4:45 p.m. Or you can join the Second Saturday Hikes which will be longer and locations will vary. You can call 541-296-7585 for more information.

The Dalles Art Center will be hosting the opening reception for their April Art Exhibition “People, Places and Critters” featuring the work of Judy White, Adah Iverson, Diana McElheran and Dawn Elle on April 5th from 5:00 – 7:00. Come and be inspired by our local artists.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the national effort to create Dementia Friendly communities. As part of that effort, the Dementia Friendly Gorge Initiative, GOBHI and Aging in the Gorge Alliance are bringing to the Gorge the educational program “The Challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease” on April 11 @ 1:30 PM in the GOBHI Training Room at 401 E 3rd Street, The Dalles. The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. To register contact Kris Boler 541.397.0548 or kboler@gobhi.net.

Last week I mentioned the Center is starting its Wednesday Lecture Series on April 4th when the Mid-Columbia Community Action Program (CAP) will show you how to save energy and money in your home. And you can take home a free energy savings kit!

But I have also scheduled two more lectures – or what may be more aptly described as travelogues of places far, far away. On Wednesday, April 11 at 11:00, Sandy and Bob Haechrel will show slides of their fascinating trip to Vietnam and what has and hasn’t changed since the Vietnam War. And then at 11:00 on April 18th, Ron Carpenter will show his slides and explain what it was like to travel through South America by motorbike.

The name of the 1960’s television series that followed the adventures of four young men trying to make a name for themselves as a rock 'n roll band was the Monkees. (Lucile Stephens’ (which she reminded me her name has only one “l”) was close with her answer, the Beatles - whose movie A Hard Day’s Night was the inspiration for the television series. But I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Walter and Rosemarie Lutz, and the winner of a quilt raffle ticket: Lana Tepfer. And another quilt raffle ticket goes to Alice Mattox who I missed last week.)

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the television comedy, first aired in 1952 and featured the real-life Nelson family at home dealing with everyday problems. Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a recording of the 1958 number one hit, “Poor Little Fool”.

Well, it’s been another week, watching the temperatures rise. Until we meet again, don’t let your first step be your last.

“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am.” Thomas Merton

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