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.

Nehemiah Brown, Friday July 6th 7:00 - 9:00
$4 per person with free Root Beer Floats served at 6:30

Bingo on July 7th with a $2 Hamburger Special.


Still room on future trips:
Portland Zoo on July 11th $46
UPDATED 7.2.18

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 www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, 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 www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, 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

Aging Well in the Gorge July 25th 2018


How is it my wife and I can watch a British mystery and six months later watch the same show and still can’t remember who’s the villain until the last five minutes. It’s a little disconcerting - but it does give us a chance to enjoy the same show more than once!

The same can be said about brainteasers such as the ones I shared several years ago from a post by Holly Green on the Forbes Magazine website. For me these brainteasers are a test to see how well I can stretch my mind, but also to see if I can still remember the answers. Unfortunately, I usually fail at both.

But let’s see how well you do by either solving the brainteasers or remembering the answers from several years ago.

1. A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh? 2. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet? 3. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly? 4. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world? 5. A man stands on one side of a river, his dog on the other. The man calls his dog, who immediately crosses the river without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How did the dog do it?

Now these next five I found more difficult - at least that’s what my brain told me.

5. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name? 6. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now? 8. Two boxers are in a match scheduled for 12 rounds. One of the boxers gets knocked out after only six rounds, yet no man throws a punch. How is this possible? 9. What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven? 10. What makes this number unique — 8,549,176,320?

How did you do? Whether you answered the questions correctly or not is not as important as stimulating your brain by just trying to answer them. But remember, brain stimulation is just one component of good brain health. The other five are: physical exercise, social engagement, good nutrition, stress management, and a good night’s sleep.

The name of the hit song that told the story of a shy girl wearing a new kind of swim suit was “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini”. I received correct answers from Kim Birge, Lana Tepfer and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Dan Ross who will be performing at his 50th LaGrande High School Reunion in August with the same rock-n-roll band he played in while attending LHS.

If you have lived in the Dalles for more than 30 years, you probably remember the Shamrock - described by Claude Akins on the Tonight Show as a Chinese Restaurant with an Irish name where you could listen to live country music. Akins was in The Dalles filming an episode of the 1974-1976 TV series Movin’ On and one of his costars also ate at the Shamrock. (Jeanne Pesicka has an autographed coaster to prove it.) For this weeks “Remember When” question, who was this costar and comedian famous for his impressions of Burt Lancaster, James Cagney and Kirk Douglas. Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of the Riddler from the TV series Batman.
Well it’s been another week trying to think ahead but getting further behind. Until we meet again, keep the lid on and the kettle warm.

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Dumbledore from Harry Potter

Aging Well in the Gorge July 18th 2018


Once the temperature reaches the inevitable 100 degrees, it’s a good time to be reminded about how to stay safe in the heat. And since it’s not like you haven’t heard it all before, this year here is a short test to see what you still remember.

#1. The heat should be taken seriously because: A.) It is the number one weather related killer causing more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes, lightening, and floods combined. B.) The heat can be obnoxious with no sense of humor.

#2 According to Medline Plus, several reasons older adults are at greater risk for heat related illness are: A.) They do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature. B.) They are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that changes normal body responses to heat. C.) They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration. D.) Older adults are naturally grouchy, and the heat just makes it worse.

#3 The warning signs for heat stroke (when the body's temperature rises rapidly and loses its ability to sweat) include: A. Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F). B.) Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating). C.) Rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness and nausea. D.) Altered mental state or behavior. E.) An irresistible desire to jump into a bathtub of ice.

#4. According to the American Red Cross, ways to stay cool are: A.) If you do need to go outside during extreme heat conditions, early morning or later evening are the best times. B.) Avoid sun exposure between 11 am - 5 pm. C.) Wear light-weight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothes that cover your skin. D.) Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. E.) Slow down - additional activity can put extra strain on the heart. F.) Try ice packs, cool showers or sponge baths. G.) Wear the latest summer fashions so even if you don’t feel cool, you can look cool.

#5. Things to consider when trying to stay hydrated are: A.) Drink plenty of fluids regardless of your level of activity even if you are not thirsty. B.) Drink enough to have to urinate every four hours. C.) The color of your urine is an indicator of whether you are hydrated. D.) A bottle of Chardonnay in not the best choice to stay hydrated.
#6 To avoid heat related illness stay connected by: A.) Being aware of local heat advisories, B.) Having someone check in on you. C. Playing bingo in the Center’s airconditioned dining room on Thursday and Saturday nights.
(As you probably figured out, all the answers are correct except the last one for each question.)
During these hot summer days, it is important to remember to do what we know we should do: stay cool, hydrated and informed to avoid any heat related illnesses. Because as Dinah Shore once sang, “Baby, it’s HOT outside” – or something close to that.
The names of the rock and roll star and his bride who he first met when she was only 14 years old - and were married seven years later on May 1st, 1967 were Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu. I received correct answers from Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Lucile – with one L - Stephens, Virginia McClain (who just finished reading Elvis and Me by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley) and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Louise Wooderson.

There are many songs that bring back memories of summers past: “Can't Wait for Summer” - Steve Lawrence, “The Theme from ‘A Summer Place’" - Percy Faith and His Orchestra, “Palisades Park” - Freddy Cannon, and “California Girls” - The Beach Boys. But a song which reached number one on August 8th, 1960, told the story of a shy girl wearing for the first time a type of swim suit described by its inventor as a "two-piece bathing suit which reveals everything about a girl except for her mother's maiden name."

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this hit song - the first for Brian Hyland?  Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of Ursula Andress, appearing in the 1962 James Bond film, Dr. No.
Well it’s been another week reminiscing about past summers of fun. Until we meet again, keep the torch lit, but the water bucket nearby.
"The trick to accomplishing anything is to avoid the obstacles that are not in your way." Robert Brault

Aging Well in the Gorge July 11th 2018


Last week I felt I was playing the game “What day is it?” The official fireworks were on a Saturday - in June, (although moving the fireworks to Saturday may seem blasphemous, I did enjoy sleeping in on Sunday morning since the fireworks ended an hour and a half past my regular bedtime); the July 4th edition of the Chronicle arrived in the mail on Tuesday, and the Center’s Saturday Bingo celebrated our independence on July 7th.  But thankfully, the July 4th parade was on the fourth.

Holidays such as the Fourth often gives us a reason to spend time with friends and family. But what if one of them lost their spouse - someone they had depended on for so many years. And now they feel disconnected, isolated and alone. And making matters worse, needing to ask for help from others when they never had to before. It can be a real struggle - often causing a vicious cycle of loneliness and depression leading to isolation and grief.

We want to help in these situations, but what can we say that doesn’t make a person feel more isolated. In the Next Avenue blog post, “What Not to Say to an Isolated Older Adult”, Michelle Seitzer shares some ideas she has learned from talking to various experts.

First don’t say, “Oh, that was so long ago…” Each person’s grief is expressed differently and the time it takes to heal varies. It is not something you just “get over”. Instead give the person time knowing that it may take as long as a lifetime.

Don’t’ say “Let me know how I can help” - unless you really mean it. Instead, do those unexpected little things that show you care: bring them dinner or their favorite dessert. Little gestures can make a real difference.

Don’t say: “You must be doing better since …” They may have started a new job but getting more involved doesn’t erase the risk of the pain of isolation. They still must go back to their house alone. Instead be there when needed and stay in touch. Even when a person feels lonely or isolated, a phone call can be a lifesaver. 

Don’t say: “You should go out and enjoy yourself more often…” You can be more socially active and still feel isolated and lonely. Instead suggest something more personal such as creative activities and new traditions. Or maybe the next Blue Zones Purpose Workshop where a person can rediscover the talents and interests they had once relegated to their “another day” file.

For people who feel isolated, getting past the “used to” or “can’t do” is difficult without us making it worse. When you want to help, maybe the best thing is just to be there and listen.

Because there is room for only twelve, I want to give you enough time to sign up for the next class in the Center’s series of Fourth Wednesday art classes provided by the Columbia Art Center. The class is on July 25th from 1:00 – 2:30 and it will give you a chance to try something new, improv theatre: a form of theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene, or story are made up spontaneously. No experience is necessary – just a desire to have fun.

The doctor who on December 3rd, 1967 at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant was Surgeon Dr. Christiaan Barnard. (I received correct answers from Sharon Hull, Lana Tepfer, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Virginia McClain.)

While serving in the US Army in Germany, this rock and roll star met his future wife when she was only 14 years old - and seven years later on May 1st, 1967 they were married in Las Vegas. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what were the names of the bride and groom in the most highly publicized wedding of 1967? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a stale slice of the six level, $10,000 cake served at the wedding.

Well, it’s been another week, looking for a cool breeze – not a windstorm. Until we meet again, take time to know what you really want.

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Abraham Lincoln

Aging Well in the Gorge July 4th 2018


I hope you are enjoying the 4th of July holiday. I’ll be home celebrating a day off by working in the yard and taking care of other chores my wife has planned for me.
But it is also a time to celebrate this great country we live in. And as older Americans, the benefits we enjoy because of the courageous efforts of many individuals and organizations to pass critically important federal legislation often against great odds: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, funding for senior housing, public transportation, and the Older Americans Act which supports meal sites, in-home care, and abuse prevention. These are programs and services that could not have been started by ourselves individually but became possible through collective effort by many.

But we often forget the work of these Americans that by working together made these programs and policies possible. Today more than ever, we live in a society where the emphasis is on the individual and what you can do for yourself to improve your health and well-being. You hear the messages constantly: stop smoking; eat healthy and save for retirement.

All of that is necessary - but not sufficient. When the only message is about individual lifestyle choices to improve your health and well-being, it ignores societal factors and impedes support for policy interventions at the state and federal level that affect our social and economic conditions which ultimately affects our health and wellbeing. We shouldn’t think either/or, individual choices or collective action. The health of older adults depends on both.

Undoubtedly in the future, there will be changes in many government programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to maintain their financial viability - as has happened in the past. But we must be vigilant to make sure the fundamental values of those programs are protected, and the cost of medical and long-term care is not shifted to the individual who cannot afford the constantly increasing medical costs.

America’s population is aging which offers tremendous benefits and challenges. As Americans we need to work at both the individual and societal levels to ensure a healthy future for ourselves and for future older generations. We should not tolerate the veiled idea that society just can’t afford old people.
Thanks to the sponsorship by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center, Nehemiah Brown will be back on July 6th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM for his only evening performance at the Center this year. The cost is $4 which includes a delicious Root Beer float served between 6:30 and 7:00. All ages are welcome.
If you’re looking for something cool to do on those hot summer evenings, whether you’re 81 or 18, look no further than Thursday and Saturday Night bingo. We’re not one of those large bingo halls run by professionals in the name of a non-profit, but a small operation run by all volunteers with good payouts averaging a total of over $1400 every night. All the remaining revenue from Thursday Night Bingo supports Meals-on-Wheels and from Saturday Night Bingo the remaining revenue supports the Center.
And if The Dalles can celebrate the 4th on the Saturday before, then the Center can celebrate the 4th on the Saturday after. During Bingo on Saturday, July 7th, you can purchase a special $2.00 meal of hamburger or cheeseburger with baked beans and potato salad.
The observation tower built in 1962 for the Century 21 Exposition, considered a Seattle icon, is the Space Needle. And for the bonus question, President Kennedy was not able to attend the exposition’s closing ceremony because he was dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis. (I received correct answers from Sharon Hull, Virginia “Lucky” McClain, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Carolee Lyddon.)

I imagine this will be a more difficult question, but let’s give it a shot. In the last 50 years medical advancements have accelerated dramatically. For example, approximately 3500 heart transplants are performed every year in the world with post-operation survival periods averaging 15 years. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the doctor that on December 3rd, 1967 performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the long days. Until we meet again, don’t be afraid of veering off the beaten path.  

“With freedom comes responsibility.” Eleanor Roosevelt


Aging Well in the Gorge May 26th 2018

Do you consider yourself in good shape? I don’t mean becoming another Charles Atlas, but having the ability to do the things you enjoy doing without feeling limited. For example, I may no longer be able to run a five-minute mile, (Why would I want to go through that pain again!), but I would like to be able to get under the sink to fix the leaking drain pipe. Well, actually, I don’t really want to that either. But I would like to be in good enough shape to have the stamina to walk 10,000 steps a day.

In an article on Grandparents.com’s website. written by Sara Schwartz, fitness expert Joel Harper explains there are five elements to being in good shape: muscle strength, heart strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. To help assess your fitness level and what elements you may want to work on, he has devised the following set of activities. (Warning! You will have to get down on the floor.) They only a take a few minutes and require no equipment.

See how many you can complete. And it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying anything too demanding.

1.Stand up. Rise from a chair without using your hands; a test of balance, coordination and muscle strength.
2. Take a walk. Walk briskly for three blocks; a test of cardiovascular ability.
3. Pulse your arms. Hold your arms straight out to the side, palms up, at shoulder height and pulse them 1 inch upwards 25 times. Do three more sets of 25 pulses but change the direction your palms are facing — facing down, facing forward and facing backward. This is a test of muscle strength.
4. Stay on your toes. Balance on your toes for 30 seconds without touching your heels to the ground; a test of balance.
5. Balance on one foot. Stand on your left foot and clap your hands 30 times, then switch feet and repeat; a test of balance.
6. Rise up, hands-free. Lie on your back on the floor and get up to a standing position without using your hands; a test of muscle strength and coordination.
7. Do yard work. Rake leaves or shovel snow for 20 minutes; a test of cardio and muscle strength.
8. Hold a plank. Hold yourself in upper push-up position (otherwise known as “plank position”) for 30 seconds; a test of muscle strength.
9. Bounce those knees. Get down on the floor on all fours with your palms on the floor directly below your shoulders and your knees on the floor directly below your hips. Keeping your upper body stationary, lift your knees so they are hovering off the ground, and bounce them upward 1 inch and back down to the hovering start position for 45 seconds without stopping. This is a test of cardio and muscle strength.


So how did you do? What elements do you need to work on? Endurance? Balance? Muscle strength? Heart strength? Flexibility? All of the above?

Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities in the area to get in shape including the movement classes at the Center. But remember, staying fit is not an end in itself. It is the means to living the life you want to live.

The name of the popular sketch comedy show on which Richard Nixon appeared and recited the shows famous catch phrase, “Sock it to me.” was Laugh-In. (I received correct answers from Don McAllister, Kim Birge, Jeannie Pesicka, Jim Ayers, Sandy Haechrel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Sharon Hull.)

In 1962 from April 21 to October 21, the Century 21 Exposition (the official name) was held with the motto “Living in the Space Age”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what observation tower was built for the exposition and is considered an icon of the host city? And for bonus points, President Kennedy was supposed to attend the closing ceremony, but didn’t because of a "heavy cold” when in fact he was dealing with what international crisis? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a model replica of a Boeing 727 jetliner.

Well, it’s been another week, looking for any good idea. Until we meet again, every morning when you get dressed, don’t forget to put on a smile – and zip up your zipper!

““Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu 

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

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