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.

UPDATED 9.24.18

Aging Well in the Gorge October 17th 2018

Medicare fraud and abuse is costly for our nation losing billions of dollars each year. But according to Oregon’s Senior Medicare Patrol, you can make a difference by protecting, detecting and reporting.
Protecting your personal information is the first and best line of defense in the fight against healthcare fraud and abuse. Treat your Medicare and Social Security numbers like a credit card number. Never give these numbers to a stranger, even when tempted by a friendly voice on the telephone who wants to help.  Remember, Medicare doesn’t call or visit to sell you anything.
Another suggestion is to use a calendar or create a personal health journal to record doctor visits, tests and procedures. It’s like keeping a diary when you were a youngster, but instead of recording loves lost and found, you are tracking your latest health ups and downs. Oh, how times have changed!
It is also important to save your Medicare Summary Notices and any Explanation of Benefits (If it wasn’t for my wife, I would probably toss them because I find them so difficult to understand). You should review them for any potential errors or fraud - and then compare them to your personal health care journal and prescription drug receipts to make sure they are correct. Look for charges for something you didn’t receive; billing for the same thing twice; or services that were not ordered by your doctor.
If you suspect any errors or fraud, or have questions, call your provider or plan first. Then if you are not satisfied with their response, report your concerns to your local Senior Medicare Patron (SMP) at 1-877-808-2468 or contact the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon: 1-855-ORE-ADRC (673-2372) or
You can learn more about Medicare Fraud at the Center’s next “Lectures for the Curious” on Wednesday, October 24th at 11:00. Sue Ann Arguelles, the local SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) coordinator will be the speaker.
Are you at an age where you feel you are invisible: seldom noticed or valued? Or are you one who makes enough noise you can’t be ignored? For our next “Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” on Friday, October 19th from 11:00 – 12:00 the theme will be “I’m Still Here! - Staying Visible”.

Wow, we have already entered the second half of Gorge Happiness Month. Here are a few more suggestions for things to do during this next week.

18th – Send a thank-you note; 
19th – Attend a new free class or event; 
20th – Bite the middle of a pencil for 3 minutes (your brain thinks you’re smiling – but everyone else will think your nuts!)); 
21st  – Make plans for something happy next weekend; 
22nd  – Go for a walk; 
23rd  – Smile at someone you don’t know; 
24th  – Walk or drive a different route.

The name of the western that was the most watched television show in 1962 and recounted the adventures of a group of settlers as they made their way from St. Joseph Missouri to California was Wagon Train. (I received correct answers from Betsy Ayers, Jess Birge, Louise Wooderson, Dale Roberts, Virginia McClain, Alice Mattox, Diana Weston, Lana Tepfer, Sharon Hull, Jerry Taylor, Jerry Betts and Ruth Radcliffe who told me if you have an antenna, you can watch Wagon Train every day at 4:00 on channel 2.2. But since there were so many entries Sharon Pevera, Sunny T and Carol Stace are this week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each.)

Since last week's question was so popular, I'm going to take it up a notch and see if you can remember the lead character in this classic American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. For this week's "Remember When" question, in the half hour television series Have Gun Will Travel  (which I do remember watching) what was the name of the gentleman gunfighter who travels around the Old West working as a mercenary gunfighter for people who hire him to solve their problems? And for bonus points, who was the actor that played that character?

Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with a knight chess piece.

Well, it’s been another week trying to find the right word before I forget the sentence. Until we meet again, it is never too late to spread your wings and fly.

“Don’t be afraid. Because you’re going to be afraid. But remember when you become afraid, just don’t be afraid.” Joan Jett, musician (You got that?)

Aging Well in the Gorge October 10th 2018

With the advent of the Internet and social media, newspapers are struggling to adapt – some more successfully than others. But this is not the first time.

When I grew up in Indianapolis, there were two daily newspapers - one delivered in the morning and the other in the afternoon. And as was the case in many large cities, one was considered conservative and the other liberal – well, as liberal as Indiana could be. It was the newspaper equivalent to FoxNews and CNN.

But with the increasing popularity of television’s evening news shows, the evening newspaper gradually lost circulation and eventually ceased operations.

Today there are even greater challenges. On October 17th at 11:00, RaeLynn Ricarte and Mark Gibson, the Ying and the Yang of The Dalles Chronicle, will speak about the challenges and opportunities local papers face and answer your questions about how the Chronicle is learning to adapt.

Community based local newspapers will adapt and survive. Where else can you find local news vetted following high journalistic standards – and the obituaries!?

Have you experienced “The Talk” where your children sit you down and talk about what they think your future should be? But how about this for an idea. Before they have a chance, let’s reverse it and sit them down and have “The Talk” explaining what we expect from them as our all-to-caring adult children. In other words, telling them to “Stop bugging me and telling me what I should do!”

The joys and challenges of the parent and adult child relationship will be the focus of our next “Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” on Friday, October 12th from 11:00 – 12:00.  

We all have our struggles and many times as we get older it feels like we have more than our fair share. But without struggle there isn’t growth. Wasn’t that what we were told when we were children? “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.” But in the midst of our struggles and challenges, we can still find happiness.

As I have mentioned, October is Gorge Happiness month, encouraging everyone to incorporate in their daily routine the three habits that can make us happier and healthier: 3 Gratitudes, an Act of Kindness and a Moment of Silence.

And to prime the pump, a specific task is suggested for each day in October including the following for the next seven days: 

11th – Complete one small irritating task; 
12th - Leave a kind note in an unlikely place; 
13th – Take a nap (that’s any easy one!); 
14th – Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a long time; 
15th – Stop and count the number of things you hear right now (with and without your hearing aids); 
16th – Do someone else’s chores; 
17th  – Listen to music.

If you didn’t follow the suggestion from last week to talk to someone at a Farmer’s Market, your last chance is this coming Saturday between 9:00 and 1:00. After the 13th the Farmer’s Market will be shutting down until next June.

The pitcher who cemented his place in baseball history in the 1965 World Series when he pitched two shutouts for the Los Angeles Dodgers to compliment his twenty-six wins during the regular season was not Don Drysdale or Don Larson but Sandy Koufax. (I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Sharon Hull, Jerry Betts and Lee Kaseberg this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

TV westerns were popular in the 50’s and 60’s: Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Rawhide for example. But I don’t remember watching this show back when it aired on NBC from 1957 through 1962 before it moved to the new ABC. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the most watched television show in 1962, starring Ward Bond and Robert Horton and recounted the adventures of a group of settlers as they made their way from St. Joseph Missouri across the Mid-Western plains and the Rocky Mountains to California? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with the 1960 episode directed by the legendary director John Ford.

Well it’s been another week trying to decide should I or shouldn’t I. Until we meet again as Anton Chekhov once pointed out “Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s the day to day living that wears you out”.

“A newspaper is the center of a community, it's one of the tent poles of the community, and that's not going to be replaced by Web sites and blogs.” Michael Connelly

Aging Well in the Gorge October 3rd 2018

There are many excellent facilities and services supporting older adults in the Gorge: assisted living facilities, retirement communities, in-home care and both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.

One of the inpatient rehabilitation services is mPower: a 6-bed accredited inpatient rehabilitation program located within Mid-Columbia Medical Center. They offer comprehensive rehabilitation services for persons who have sustained a variety of illnesses and injuries; and are proud to report that 93% of their participants return home at discharge, and 96% of their participants would recommend mPower Rehabilitation to friends or family.

But they know the best treatment is prevention. For the Center’s “Lectures for the Curious” on Wednesday, October 10th at 11:00, Brandon Johnson from MCMC’s mPower will present “Reducing Fall Risks in your Home”. A common myth is that falling is normal as you get older. But it isn’t, and Brandon will explain steps (no pun intended) you can take to prevent falls. Just because you have fallen and have been able to get up without injury, doesn’t mean that will always be the case.

I am always amazed by what I learn from other “mature” folks about how to navigate this journey called life. “Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” is a safe place where issues we all face can be discussed. For the next “Let’s Talk” on Friday, October 5th at 11:00, the focus will be “Independent, Safe or None of the Above - finding the Balance”.

Spending time with new and old friends with good food and good music makes for a very good day. Meals-on-Wheels offers meals at the Center Monday through Friday; and every Thursday you can enjoy the music of Tom Graff and his friends starting at 11:00. I know, you can always go to McDonalds or KFC for a bite to eat. But where can you enjoy a nutritious meal for a suggested donation of $4 (if you are fortunate to be 60 or over) while listening to some fine music without a cover charge?

And this Friday, October 5th, Nehemiah Brown will be singing from 11:30 – 1:30 and its free – although we hope you do buy dinner. Nehemiah’s known for his buttery smooth voice, singing pop, country and gospel standards from the 50’s and 60’s. And once again his performance is sponsored by our friends at The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center.  

October is Gorge Happiness Month – “31 days of celebrating the three daily habits to make us happier and healthier”: 3 Gratitudes, an Act of Kindness and a Moment of Silence.

For these days in October try the following: 
4th - Pick up Trash; 
5th - Learn a new joke; 
6th - Talk to someone at a Farmer’s Market, 
7th - Pick a person or a goal to focus on this week; 
8th - List your strengths; 
9th - Include someone new; 
10th – Tell someone what you like about them.

The television series that ran on CBS from 1965 to 1969 and told the story of two Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon whose mission was to protect President Grant and the United States was the Wild, Wild West.
(I received correct answers from Jerry Taylor, Sharon Hull and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Ruth Radcliffe which I hope is everyone. Because the previous week, I was once again a day late and a dollar short missing the correct answers from Lana Tepfer and Sharon Hull who both will also receive one free quilt raffle ticket each.)
With the regular baseball season over and the playoffs starting, it is time for a question for all the baseball fans in the peanut gallery.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what pitcher cemented his place in baseball history in the 1965 World Series when he pitched two shutouts for the Los Angeles Dodgers to compliment his twenty-six wins during the regular season?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with pictures of the Cy Young awards he won in 1963, 1965 and 1966.

Well it’s been another week trying to keep the sticky notes stuck in my memory. Until we meet again, you can’t turn back the hands of time, but you can make sure the clock is wound.
"You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them." Satchel Paige who at the age of 59 pitched three innings of one hit baseball for the American League Kansas City Athletics.

Aging Well in the Gorge September 26th 2018

We all want to be happy, don’t we? We tell our children and grandchildren to follow their passion and be happy – until they decide to major in English literature and we ask WHY?

To help us in our pursuit of happiness, One Community Health has designated October as Gorge Happiness Month to promote healthier communities.

Because happiness shouldn’t just be a goal in our lives because – well, it makes us happy. It also makes us healthier. It has been shown that happier people have better overall health and live longer than their less happy peers.

A means to that end is to practice “The Daily 3”: three habits that foster happiness - Three Gratitudes, Acts of Kindness and Moments of Silence.

Three Gratitudes: Find time each day to list three things for which you are thankful. These may be as simple as “I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night!”, or your church family who helps you when needed.

Acts of Kindness: It can be as simple as opening a door for a stranger or saying thank you to a cashier. Or you can be more involved and find a new volunteer opportunity such as driving for Meals-on-Wheels once a week.

Moments of Silence: Sit silently for just five minutes per day. (But you have to stay awake. Your midday nap doesn’t count!) Turn off all your electronic devices and feed the animals so they won’t bother you. Now just sit and observe the thoughts in your head, the sounds you hear around you or other sensations that come and go.

Besides “The Daily 3”, during Gorge Happiness Month there are daily suggestions of a good deed to try which I will start mentioning this week. See if you can accomplish all 31.

Monday (1st) Compliment a Stranger
Tuesday (2nd) Get someone to do “The Daily 3” happiness habits
Wednesday (3rd) Introduce two people

If you are interested in learning more about Gorge Happiness Month, you can visit
“Across the Political Divide” is a facilitated conversation scheduled during Gorge Happiness Month to look at the differences among various political perspectives, how to value them and gain a better understanding so we can live together as friends. It is hosted by the Wasco County GOP but is 100% non-partisan; and all political persuasions are encouraged to attend. It will be held on Monday, October 1st from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at The Dalles/Wasco County Library

And now a couple events at the Center you might be interested in.

“Let’s Talk: Conversations about Things that Matter” on Friday, October 5th at 11:00
The topic will be “Independent, Safe or None of the Above”. How do we find the balance between staying as independent as possible and being safe - before someone decides for us?

“Lectures for the Curious” on Wednesday, October 3rd at 11:00. Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee and her Chief Deputy, David McGaughey will be discussing the election process and how they work to ensure the elections are fair and accurate. And remember, Tuesday, October 16th is the last day to register; and on Wednesday, October 17th ballots will be mailed and will have to be returned by election day, November 6th.

The American politician from Minnesota who sought the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination challenging Lyndon B. Johnson on an anti-Vietnam War platform was Eugene McCarthy. (I received correct answers from Minnesotan Sandy Haechrel, Jeanne Pesicka and Tom Early who is Eugene McCarthy’s second cousin, but more importantly is this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket.)

During one of those casual breakfast table conversations with my wife, this science fiction western television series popped up out of the blue. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the television series that ran on CBS for four seasons from 1965 to 1969 and told the story of two Secret Service agents: the fearless and handsome James West, and Artemus Gordon: a brilliant gadgeteer and master of disguise, whose mission was to protect President Grant and the United States from dangerous threats? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with a replica of the Wanderer, a luxury train equipped with everything from a stable car to a laboratory.

Well it’s been another week trying to remember the days long ago when I use to be “cool”. Until we meet again, make your future as big as your past.

“That's the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn't good enough for me! I demand euphoria!” Calvin and Hobbes

Aging Well in the Gorge September 19th 2018

Falls can be more than an inconvenience when you could just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. And according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one out of three adults aged 65 or older falls each year, adding up to a cost of $30 billion in 2010. 

But most falls are preventable, and there are steps you can take to prevent falls including this list of actions suggested by NIHSeniorHealth. I shortened the descriptions, but you can learn more by going to and search for fall prevention.

1. Make an appointment with your doctor and be prepared to answer the following questions. What medications are you taking? Have you fallen before? Do you feel any dizziness, joint pain, numbness or shortness of breath when you walk? 
2. Keep moving. Try activities that improve your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility such as walking, water workouts, or the Yoga, Strong Women or Tai Chi classes at the Center. And there are exercises where you don’t even have to leave the house such as a) standing on one foot, b) walking heel to toe, c) balance walk, d) back leg raises, and e) side leg raises. 
3. Wear sensible shoes. High heels (Does anyone wear high heels anymore?), floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. And so can walking in your stocking feet. 
4. Remove home hazards: boxes, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways. Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas; and remove loose rugs in your home. Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.
5. Light up your living space. Keep your home brightly lit and place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches. Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
6. Use assistive devices. A cane or walker can help keep you steady, so you can get around without falling. In addition, install hand rails for BOTH sides of stairways, add grab bars for the shower or tub, or install a sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub. 

These are all relatively simple steps you can take to prevent falls and maintain your independence while avoiding the fine young doctors in the emergency room.

The Center is starting an eight-week series called “Lectures for the Curious” on Wednesday, September 26th at 11:00. Billy O’Keefe will be the first presenter discussing the fascinating topic of Astronomy and the Cosmos. Billy who has taught Astronomy classes will be bringing his solar telescope as well as demonstrating how to use apps such as SkyView on your tablet to enhance your understanding of the night skies.

Also on the 26th, Kerry Cobb, Executive Director at the Columbia Center for the Arts, will be back at the Center at 1:00 with a colorful and entertaining 60-minute presentation exploring the nature of seeing through art. Using art as a platform, you’ll discover ways to sharpen your awareness and be more observant of your environment, and learn ways to interact more enjoyably with art.

The eight protesters who were arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago were called the “Chicago Eight”. (I didn’t receive any responses for this week’s question, but from last week I missed Sharon Hull who remembered it was “Around the World in 80 Days” and wins one free quilt raffle ticket.)

One last political question before we are inundated with all the political noise before November 6th. For this week’s “Remember When” question who was the American politician, poet, and long-time Congressman from Minnesota who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the United States Senate from 1959 to 1971 and sought the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination challenging incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson on an anti-Vietnam War platform? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer written on the back of a “Get Clean for Gene” T-shirt.

Well it’s been another week sitting at my desk trying to stay awake in the afternoon. Until we meet again, the goal isn’t to look younger but to be able to continue doing what you enjoy.
“You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.” Bob Hope

Aging Well in the Gorge September 12th 2018

Did you know that 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries describes Medicare as confusing (I’m surprised it isn’t higher!); most adults can’t identify what Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover; 70% of baby boomers say they have a fair or poor understanding of Medicare; and a surprising 62% of those eligible have never shopped for Medicare coverage to fit their needs.

In response, National Medicare Education Week was established from September 15 through the 21st (one month before the start of Medicare Open Enrollment which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) dedicated to helping people better understand Medicare.

Locally, you can learn more about Medicare by attending the free Medicare 101 workshop on September 20th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Room 102, Building 3 on The Dalles Campus of CGCC. To register, you are encouraged to call 503-947-7302 or email But walk-ins are welcome as space allows.

Donna Delikat, an advocate for SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance), will be the presenter. The workshop is offered by SHIBA: a federally funded, nationwide program designed to help beneficiaries of Medicare navigate their way through the complicated and often frustrating Medicare system.

By attending the workshop, you will learn when and how to enroll; what Medicare does and does not cover, the differences between Medicare and Medicaid and between Medicare supplement insurance and Medicare Advantage plans; how to choose the type of coverage that works best for you; and much more.

It is important to remember Medicare health and drug plans make changes each year – such as cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. And Medicare’s open enrollment period is your chance each year to change your Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage to best meet your needs.

But how do you know if you should change plans?

Soon you will be receiving information from your current Medicare plans such as the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). Review these statements carefully to make sure your plans will still meet your needs for next year. If you’re satisfied, you don’t need to do anything. But if you aren’t happy with the changes to your current plan, you can compare plans by going online to If you feel more comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, in a few weeks you can call the Center to schedule an appointment with a trained SHIBA volunteer.

Most importantly, take this time to understand your Medicare options so you can make informed decisions – both for your health and your pocket book.

You don’t always want to be worrying about every possible disaster: earthquake, fire, train derailment, but when one does occur, you want to be prepared. To learn more about preparing for various emergencies join NW Natural and local experts at Get Ready - The Dalles on Saturday, September 15th from 10:00 – 1:00 at the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue. And to make it even more fun, there will be prizes and free lunches.

Here’s a tip I just learned from Tonya Brumley, community affairs manager for this area of NW Natural. To create a record of your possessions in your home, spend a few moments and videotape every room. It could provide fond memories for you children - and one day your insurance agent might really appreciate it.    

In the epic adventure comedy movie based on the classic novel by Jules Verne, the Englishman Phileas Fogg in 1872 bets that he can circle the globe in 80 days. (I received one correct answer from Bob Earls who wins a quilt raffle ticket; and for the week before, Jo Smith also receives a free quilt raffle ticket for her correct answer.)

During the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, eight protesters including Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, were arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot because of their role in anti-Vietnam War protests during the convention. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the popular name given to these protestors? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a black robe once worn by Judge Julius Hoffman.
Well it’s been another week making lemonade out of lemons - which are always nearby. Until we meet again, here is some simple advice from Oswald Avery, “Whenever you fall, pick something up.”

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” George Santayana
Menu for The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels dinners served at noon in Betty’s Diner at the Center.

Aging Well in the Gorge September 5th 2018

I keep telling myself there is a reason I keep mixing up my days and weeks. Right now, I’m writing this column a week ahead of the day its delivered to your mailbox. And the column will be discussing events occurring during that following week. I have to think two weeks ahead and for a guy who usually plans from day to day, that’s not easy. My fear is one day during my annual Medicare Wellness check, I’m going to pause too long when asked what day it is and be whisked away to take some cognitive assessment for you know what! – and fail!!

But you might be in the same boat. (Of course, if you’re retired who cares what day it is. Every day is the weekend!). One of the keys to keeping all your oars in the water is challenging yourself mentally every day – which doesn’t mean taking your high school algebra class again.

For your enjoyment and maybe a little mental frustration, here is a brain teaser whose aim is to stimulate the connections or associations between words stored in the temporal lobes of your brain. The temporal lobes are one of the four main lobes or regions of the cerebral cortex and play an important role in organizing sensory input, auditory perception, language and speech production, as well as memory association and formation. (Don’t you feel smarter already!)

Words that are often heard together (such as salt and pepper) or words that share some meaning (such as nurse and doctor) are connected or associated in the brain. Once you hear one, the other is often activated.

In this brain teaser, you will see pairs of words, and your goal is to find a third word that is connected or associated with both words. For example, the first pair is PIANO and LOCK. The answer is KEY. The word KEY is connected with both the word piano and the word lock: there are KEYS on a piano and you use a KEY to lock doors.

Ready to stimulate connections in your temporal lobes? Enjoy! (Solutions are below.)


If you want to stimulate your mind by enjoying more brain teasers; or by watching videos about the brain and brain health, join us for the Brain Fitness Club returning on Monday, September 17th starting at 1:00.

And right before at noon, “Lunch with TED” meets where we eat lunch while watching and discussing several of the latest TED Talks. TED Talks are short talks (18 minutes or less) on various topics from science to business to global issues produced by TED - a nonprofit devoted to “spreading ideas worth sharing”. Everyone is invited to either one or both classes.

The arranger and conductor for many of Frank Sinatra’s hits; and who made a comeback in the 80’s arranging three albums for Linda Ronstadt is Nelson Riddle. But since I am writing this early before I leave for my trip back east to visit my brother, I will mention everyone who responded next week.)

This epic adventure comedy movie was based on the classic novel by Jules Verne and won five Academy Awards including Best Picture in 1956. For this week’s “Remember When” question, in this movie that takes place in 1872, the Englishman Phileas Fogg bets that he can circle the globe in how many days? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a DVD of the 2004 digitally restored version of the original movie.
Well it’s been another week trying to remember from one room to room. Until we meet again, it’s about that time to start changing from shorts to sweaters.  

“I never really look for anything. What God throws my way comes. I wake up in the morning and whichever way God turns my feet, I go.” Pearl Bailey

Aging Well in the Gorge August 29th 2018

Didn’t August seem like it rushed by like an Indy car racing down the front straightaway? And in just a few days it will be Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer and the official federal holiday established in 1894 to honor the “the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country”. (I didn’t know that in 1887 Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday.) One segment of the labor force that is largely undervalued and unappreciated but essential to the health and well-being of millions of older adults are caregivers.

That includes the professional caregivers who are paid to care for older adults so they can continue to live in their homes or so the adult children can continue working while caring for their parents. There are also the family caregivers, generally unpaid, who often feel obligated to care for their loved ones to make sure they are comfortable and safe - while personally enduring the stress and strain of trying to balance caregiving with everything else in their lives. It is emotionally difficult - often creating a mix of exhaustion, guilt, and resentment that grows stronger the longer the caregiving continues.

Today it is estimated there are 34.2 million caregivers in the United States whose contribution to the U.S. economy is worth roughly $470 billion per year. That is a lot of greenbacks. And yet the need for caregivers is outpacing the supply - and is expected to get worse. You can imagine why. We are living longer and have raised smaller families with our children moving to all parts of the country. Increasingly over the next couple of decades, those of us who will need care, and that will probably be most of us, caring for us will fall upon these caregivers whether they are our spouses, our adult children (if they still live nearby), hired caregivers, or a combination of all three.

But there are efforts underway to find solutions to ease the burden and address the challenges of caregiving such as addressing the cost of in-home care - since many can’t afford it; creating a more flexible work environment so adult children can spend time to care for a loved one, and providing the financial, emotional, and training supports for both professional and family caregivers. Hopefully caregivers and their families will be able to take advantage of some of these changes in the near future.

As we enjoy the Labor Day weekend and celebrate the workers who are the backbone of our nation’s economy, let’s not forget the professional and family caregivers who labor tirelessly to support the health and well-being of millions of older adults.

I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone that if you have unwanted or out of date prescriptions or over the counter medicines (except sharps, medical waste or equipment, combustibles, and inhalers), you can conveniently dispose of them by dropping them off at the drop box inside the police station downtown. The drop off box is a community service of YOUTHTHINK, Mid-Columbia Medical Center and City of The Dalles Police Department to keep prescription drugs and over the counter medications from our children and out of our streams.

The name of the panel game show where two contestants played tic-tac-toe to win cash and prizes was Hollywood Squares. Correct answers were submitted by Kim Birge, Jeannie Pesicka, Lana Tepfer (and I have this déjà vu feeling that I’ve missed someone again!), and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket (and a free ice cream cone) Merle Gearhart. Once again, I missed Sharon Hull and Sam Bilyeu from last week who also win a quilt raffle ticket each.

For this week’s “Remember When” question who was the arranger and conductor for Nat King Cole’s hit “Mona Lisa”, but was probably better known for arranging and conducting the orchestra for Frank Sinatra including their first hit together "I've Got the World on a String"? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the three albums he arranged for Linda Ronstadt in the 1980’s.

‘The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they're too old to do it.” Anne Bancroft
Well, it’s been another week, confused and bewildered. Until we meet again, appreciate the little pleasures we often miss.

Aging Well in the Gorge August 22nd 2018

For the last three weeks, I’ve been writing about the serious topic of parent and adult child relationships. But this week I thought I would follow the advice found in the title of a memoir written by Roz Chast about her relationship with her parents at the end of their lives titled Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

So to lighten things up a bit, since life isn’t just about the challenges we face, I’m going to share some questions and answers from a popular game show which debuted on NBC in 1966. But first let’s shake things up and start with a question about that game show.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the panel game show where two contestants played tic-tac-toe to win cash and prizes and featured comedians and celebrities including Cliff Arquette as Charlie Weaver, Rose Marie, Rich Little, Buddy Hackett, Marty Allen, Florence Henderson, Carol Wayne, Gorge Gobel, Jonathon Winters and Paul Lynde who for years held the center square? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of the comedy team Peter Marshall and Tommy Noonan in the 1962 movie Swingin’ Along.

And now a little humor from a time not too long ago.

Q. Do female frogs croak? A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough they will.
Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be? A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.
Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years. A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.
Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman? A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.
Q. According to Cosmo, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married? A. Rose Marie: No. Wait until morning.
Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older? A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.
Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking? A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.
Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet? A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.
Q. Can boys join the CampFireGirls? A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.
Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do? A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?
Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to? A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.
Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people? A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.
Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.
Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they? A. Charley Weaver: His feet.
Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed? A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

Now the answer to last week’s question. The disc jockey with an exuberant on-air personality and gravelly voice that broadcast from the Mexico-based station, XERB-AM, and heard across the United States was Wolfman Jack. (This week’s correct answers were sent in by Jo Smith, Bud Earl, Lana Tepfer and the winner of a free quilt raffle ticket Jim Heitkemper who bought the 1976 record “Did You Boogie with Your Baby in the Back Row of the Movie Show” by Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids because it featured Wolfman Jack). 
Well it’s been another week trying to deal with what I’m dealt. Until we meet again, don’t forget to appreciate the little things in life.

“Life is a great big canvass and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

Aging Well in the Gorge August 15th 2018

For the last two weeks I have written about the difficult conversations between parents and their adult children. One area that is often the center of these painful conversations is deciding when someone should “retire” from driving. It is difficult and complicated because it is just not a matter of living your life the way you want (no matter the effect on your own health!). It’s also the possibility of injuring someone else because of your own obstinance.

I know the last thing I want to do is stop driving and depend on someone else. But what are the signs I should be looking for in my own driving or someone else’s that should make me think, “Maybe it’s time”?

Some of the signs are does the older driver experience near misses or other drivers honking at them in traffic? Does the driver often move into a wrong lane, become easily lost or confused, or drive at inappropriate speeds? How about new dents or scratches on the car?  And if you are assessing your own skills, be honest!

If you notice any of these warning signs, don’t wait for an accident to happen. Share your observations with the driver, other family members and the driver’s physician. Many situations may just require modifying driving habits: driving shorter distances, staying on familiar roads, and avoiding night driving and heavy traffic. The driver may also benefit from the AARP Smart Driver class offered every month at the Center.

But if the situation is more serious, one can seek assistance from the family physician - to assess any medical conditions that can affect driving; and the Aging and People with Disabilities office in The Dalles (541-298-4101). Oregon’s DMV website features a wealth of information on how to discuss the issue of “retiring” from driving and finding alternative transportation. Go to and click on “Driver Fitness”.

No one wants to talk about “giving up the keys”. But there are clear situations when it must be done – for everyone’s’ safety. And whether you are the parent or adult child, it is always best to start these conversations before there is a problem.

The Wasco County Fair is just down the road and around the corner. And as always, thanks to The Dalles Disposal, Thursday, August 23rd is Free Family Day with the “Senior Picnic in the Park” sponsored by Hearts of Gold Caregivers starting at 11:30. If you don’t want to drive, LINK is once again offering free rides for the first sixteen people who sign up. The bus will depart from the Center at 10:00 and leave the fairgrounds at 1:00 after the Senior Picnic. There are only ten spots left so call the Center to reserve your seat.

Next Wednesday, the 22nd, Kerry Cobb, Executive Director of the Columbia Center for the Arts will be back at the Center for this month’s “Fourth Wednesday’s Creative Arts” presentation:What is Abstract Art and Why Should I Care?” During this ninety-minute presentation, you will learn about the dynamics and thought processes behind abstract art; become familiar with some of the world’s most famous abstract artists; and learn how to appreciate this sometimes strange and wonderful art form.

The British automobile company that manufactured the XK-E model between 1961 and 1975, a combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing, was the Jaguar. (This week’s correct answers were sent in by Jess Birge, Jo Smith, Lana Tepfer, Jim Ayers and this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket - Walter Lutz. And I missed Jerry Phillips last week who remembers IBM meaning the "Itty Bitty Machine" company and for the employees meaning "I've Been Moved".)

Born Robert Weston Smith, the son of the executive vice-president of the Financial World, this legendary “rock & roll” DJ rose to fame in the 60’s working for the Mexico-based station, XERB-AM with its high powered 250,000-watt signal. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was this mysterious disc jockey with an exuberant on-air personality and gravelly voice heard across the United States? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a DVD of the George Lucas film American Graffiti.

Well it’s been another week tying up the loose ends before I trip over them. Until we meet again, don’t waste your time worrying about what you can’t do.

“The driver that you have to sell on safety shouldn't be driving.” Kyle Petty

Aging Well in the Gorge August 8th 2018

Last week I talked about how “never giving up” can be detrimental to your own health and well-being. But this week’s column is from another perspective. If you are the adult child, what do you do if your parent stubbornly refuses to take your advice or help?

In her article “Tips for When Aging Parents Won’t listen” found on the website A Place for Mom, Sally Abrahms shares eight tips to help with those difficult conversations. (Some may not apply to a parent with dementia.)

1st. Remember some things are just a matter of preference and not a significant health or safety issue. Ask yourself how important is it? Really.

2nd. Don’t treat your parents as stubborn children. You may feel the child parent roles have been reversed, but it is not the same. They are adults. And think about it. Do you really understand the physical, social, and emotional challenges they’re facing?

3rd. Try to understand the motivation behind their behavior – which isn’t easy. Is it wanting to maintain their independence; wanting the comfort of what they have always known; or are they confused and afraid?

4th. If you are trying to persuade them to change their behavior, connect it to something they value such as you or the grandkids. Something like “I worry that you might fall.” or “If you cause an accident you could be sued and lose the inheritance you want to leave to the grandkids”.

5th. Think ahead. Connect the behavioral change to a significant event they want to see: a wedding, a graduation or a child’s birth.

And for your own emotional health, consider the last three tips.

6th. Find some place or someone to share your feeling and frustrations.

7th. Accept the situation. Parents have the right to make what you consider bad decisions such as what to eat, and what to wear - if it doesn’t harm others.

8th. Don’t beat yourself up if something does go wrong. Sometimes all you can do is to stand by and be ready to help when needed.

We love our parents and want them to be safe. But we don’t always know best. As we may find out when we reach their age, the number of years you live just may be less important than living the life you want.

The 2018 “Cruise the Gorge” Weekend starts this Friday night with the traditional “Neon Cruise” from 6 pm-8 pm downtown along Second and Third Streets. During those hours the cruise loop will only be open to registered cars and there will be no public parking along the route. But public parking will be available on all side streets; in the First Street parking lots between Washington and Federal; and at the state office building parking lot at 7th and Union. Then on Saturday at Sorosis Park the “Show in the Shade" starts with registration from 9 am to noon, judging from noon to 2 pm and the "Parade of Champions" Awards Ceremony from 3 pm - 4pm. And the activities conclude on Sunday with the "Dufur Classic Car Show” from 9 am-3 pm and "Dallesport Drags” from 8 am-4 pm.

The Selectric typewriter which was introduced with a radical “typeball” about the size of a golf ball and dominated the market in the 60’s and 70’s was manufactured by I.B.M. (This week’s correct answers were sent in by Tiiu Vahtel, Lana Tepfer, Jo Smith and this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket, Barbara Haren, a retired business education teacher who remembers the machine well.)

When I was in high school I remember thinking this British sports car was the coolest car on the road and dreamed of driving one even though I knew I never would. For this week’s “Remember When” question, between 1961 and 1975 what automobile company manufactured the iconic XK-E model – a combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing. Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop off when you stop by in an XK-E to offer me a ride in the “Neon Cruise”.

Well it’s been another week wishing for some Portland drizzle. Until we meet again, don’t forget to keep your lie straight before you tell it.

“The stubbornness I had as a child has been transmitted into perseverance. I can let go but I don't give up. I don't beat myself up about negative things.” Phylicia Rashad

Aging Well in the Gorge August 1st 2018

When do you decide to give it up: to give up the car keys, or the house you have lived in for over forty years, or to give up taking care of yourself and hiring in-home care?

We’ve been told from an early age to “never give up!” and as we get older many of us still carry that sound bite in our heads. We believe if we put out enough effort we can accomplish anything or at least delay the inevitable. But age takes its toll. We can no longer move as quickly, bend down as far, or think as fast. With proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mental stimulation we can often slow the process of aging but until someone discovers the fountain of youth this is our future.

Many people believe that never giving up means never changing - continuing to do what they have always done. They believe that giving up means they can’t handle the challenges aging has brought and they are less of the person they once were. 

But sometimes this stubbornness can be selfish and dangerous. If the result of your “never give up” attitude is you keep driving, putting yourself and others at risk - that isn’t noble, but foolish.

Instead of never changing, “not giving up” can mean changing direction, working to find an alternative that still meets your needs and what you want. But it’s not easy. What do you do when you want to live on your ten acres in the country when your doctor tells you to stop driving? And before your adult children force the issue?

We accepted all the changes while growing up - moving from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. And now as we move through this next level of maturity, there are changes we can’t ignore.

We know change will always happen - and we can adapt and find different options. It may be hard, full of loss and regret, but don’t give up! Find that new path that brings fulfillment during these later years. Maybe the Gambler, Kenny Rogers said it best, “You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.”

This Saturday August 4th through the 5th it’s Shaniko Days! On Saturday, the parade starts at 10am, the Mud Springs Gospel Band starts at 11am, and the Sunshine Exchange Cloggers will do their thing at 1:00 and 2:30pm. There will be ragtime and vintage music in Stagecoach Station; bluegrass music in the late afternoon; and a street dance from 7:00 – 10:00 PM. Plus there will be bake sales, raffles, kiddie train rides and Black Powder Gunfights throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. And most importantly, cooler temperatures.

The costar and comedian famous for his impressions of Burt Lancaster, James Cagney and Kirk Douglas; played the Riddler in the TV series Batman; and who stopped in at the Shamrock while filming Movin On was Frank Gorshin. (Since I now finish my column on Saturdays, I have missed the correct answers from Sharon Hull, Sandy Haechrel, and Jo Smith who will all receive a free quilt raffle ticket. But this week’s correct answers were sent in by Lana Tepfer and this week’s winner, Bob Earls, who remembers Frank Goshin playing a creepy villain in the movie “Ring of Fire” which was filmed in Vernonia in the 60’s.)

This question might be familiar to anyone who was an office worker during the 60’s and 70’s. In the 1960’s Remington was one of the two top typewriter manufactures in the US, but in 1961 the Selectric was introduce with a radical “typeball” about the size of a golf ball that replaced the typebar which would often get entangled causing the keys to get stuck. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what company manufactured the Selectric - the typewriter that dominated the market for two decades? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a refurbished Selectric typewriter which you can find on eBay for $479.
Well it’s been another week constantly checking the temperature. Until we meet again, even though it is as hot as a blast furnace outside, it’s still probably a good idea to keep your clothes on.

“You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up, but you don’t give up.” ―Chuck Yeager

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