BINGO EVERY THURSDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS including May 23rd and 25th. 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.

CENTER CLOSED FOR MEMORIAL DAY May 27th

UPDATED 5.21.19


Aging Well in the Gorge May 22nd 2019



When you have lived as long as we have, you have certainly encountered various social, emotional and physical challenges: a few detours here and there, flat tires and engine adjustments. And you have probably learned that you can run this human vehicle of yours into the ground and hope it lasts (as I did when I was much younger); or you can discover how to take care of the vehicle through preventive maintenance and careful driving.

Okay, enough of the metaphor. I think you get the point. With more information and supportive friends, we can make healthier choices and live longer and better.  

One class that has shown to improve health outcomes among older adults is W.I.S.E. -
Wellness Initiative for Senior Education. W.I.S.E. celebrates this exciting stage of our lives and all the benefits that come with it. It covers a variety of topics including safe medication use, communicating effectively with healthcare providers and strategies for healthy living; as well as discussing risk factors and behaviors older adults should avoid such as how alcohol, prescription medications and over-the-counter medications affect older adults differently.

The next W.I.S.E. class will be held at Flagstone Senior Living at 2:00 starting Tuesday, June 4th and continuing every Tuesday for six weeks. There will be refreshments and free giveaways for participating in the program! For more information, call Elizabeth Harper, Capeco-AAA Case Manager, at 541-506-3517 or Karees Reilly, Flagstone Director of Marketing, at 541-298-5656. Join the fun, bring a friend and learn how to take control of your health and the healthcare you receive!

One of the rites of summer is stopping by The Dalles Farmer’s Market. It will be starting on Saturday, June 1st from 9 am to 1 pm at its usual location in The Dalles City Park. The Dalles Farmers’ Market provides an opportunity for the public to purchase fresh food from local producers and small businesses; as well as educating the public on how locally produced food choices impacts themselves and their community. For more information, you can contact the Farmer’s Market at  thedallesfarmersmarket@gmail.com or 541-965-3658.

Also, the Gorge Grown Food Network’s Mobile Farmer’s Market is now stopping in The Dalles. You can find it in the Center’s parking lot on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. Stop by to see what fresh, locally grown produce is available.

For the bingo players in the audience, there will be Bingo both Thursday and Saturday nights. Doors open at 4:00, games start at 6:00 and all ages 12 and over are welcome (although anyone under 18 needs to be accompanied by their guardian.) The minimum buy-in is $10 and an average of over $1300 is paid out in cash prizes each night. Thursday night bingo supports the Meals-on-Wheels program and Saturday night supports the Center. And thanks to the incredible volunteers, practically every cent that is not paid out goes to support Meals-on-Wheels or the Center.

This coming Monday, May 27th is Memorial Day: a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. In recognition of Memorial Day, the Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be closed.

Alfred E. Neuman was the cartoon cover boy for MAD magazine: the humor comic/magazine that satirized American life. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Sam Bilyeu, Ron Nelson, CeeCee Anderson, Jerry Phillips, Jess Birge, Janet Tschanz and Ridge Olmstead this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

During the 1960’s several Broadway musicals reflected the idealism of the times and one was this popular musical which after JFK’s death became associated with his administration. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the musical based on the T. H. White novel The Once and Future King that ran on Broadway from 1960 to 1963 and starred Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return it with the original cast album which was America's top-selling album for 60 weeks.

Well, it’s been another week being reminded that everything takes just a little bit longer. Until we meet again, drive safely during the Memorial Day weekend because as Paul Newman once said, “It’s useless to put on your brakes when you are upside down.”

“Never stand up straight. That’s what World War II taught me. Number one, you might be picked for detail. Number two, the Germans have a better shot at you. Even now, I’m in a perpetual crouch so that nobody picks me for extra duties.” Mel Brooks

Aging Well in the Gorge May 15th 2019


When I first saw my new health care provider and said, with a certain amount of pride, “I don’t take any medications”, I seem to recall a certain surprise in her eye – and imagining her thinking to herself, “That’s going to change!”. Well, ten years later and after various tests and diagnoses, I’m taking three prescriptions which isn’t bad compared to many folks, but more than I ever thought I would be taking.

But even with only three medications, it can be a challenge to manage them. To help, there will be a presentation at the Center on Tuesday, May 21st at 1:00 on “Managing Your Medications” by MCMC’s Visiting Health Services. Until then, here are a few quick suggestions.  

Use a pill box. I wasn’t going to use a pill box because they were just for “old” people. But after twice forgetting if I took my morning medications, I decided maybe I am at that stage. And the pill box works - if I remember. So, the next several suggestions are about ways to remember when to take you medications.

Incorporate your medications into your daily routine such as your morning breakfast or when you brush your teeth. Give yourself reminders such as placing a sticky note calendar in a convenient location and mark the days off in a brightly colored marker each time you take your pills. Or set an alarm on your alarm clock, smartphone or even your smartwatch to remind yourself when it’s time to take your medications.

Poorly managing your medications can have significant health consequences. Stay in communication with your health care provider especially when initiating a new medication. And don’t forget. Your pharmacist can be a tremendous help - if you ask.

We all know when we receive a phone call that smells like a scam to “Just Hang Up!” And that if you’re aware of a scam, or worse fallen victim to one, to contact the Oregon Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or online at www.oregonconsumer.gov.

But I received an email from the Oregon Attorney General’s office last week warning consumers to avoid returning unknown phone calls. It goes on to say that consumers have reported waves of "One Ring" or "Wangiri" scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night.  These calls are likely trying to prompt you to call the number back, often resulting in per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. With the advances in technology, it’s easier for scammers to make massive amounts of calls cheaply and easily while at the same time masking their identity. The best advice if you receive a call from a phone number you don't recognize is “Don’t Call Back”. If it is important, they will leave a voice message.

The “crew-cut” comedian with a quiet homespun style of humor who was the star of his own weekly comedy variety television show in the 1950’s was George Gobel. And Lana Tepfer even remembered one of his often-quoted remarks to Johnny Carson which many of us can relate to. "Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a black tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"

I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Ron Nelson, Lana Tepfer, Carol Earl and Rhonda Spies winner of a free quilt raffle ticket - and I missed Jerry Phillips from last week.

I was going to ask about a 1960’s Broadway musical but current events have forced me to postpone that question to next week. Last week, President Trump nicknamed one of the Democratic presidential candidates after the freckled faced, gap-toothed comic book character Alfred E. Neuman which created quite a generational stir because younger folks never heard of him. For this week’s “Remember When” question, Alfred E. Neuman is best known for being the cartoon cover boy for what humor comic/magazine that satirized American life? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write your answer on the back of the first issue from August 1952.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping my eyes open for new opportunities. Until we meet again, getting older means no longer hoping you won’t have to see a doctor but hoping you won’t see three in the same month.

“It’s possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.” Lee Segall


Aging Well in the Gorge May 8ths 2019


In simpler times if you wanted to learn about a particular subject you bought a book, or how to operate a new gadget you read the instruction manual. Today you can still find a book on the War of 1812, but for that new high-tech gadget, you either won’t find a manual or the instructions will be too complicated to understand.

For example, have you tried to read the drivers manual for a new car? It’s like a four-hundred page Russian novel with a very boring plot. There is a chapter just to explain the “media” options: how to plug in your smart phone, find directions on your 9-inch touch screen from a woman with your choice of accents, play your favorite playlist of songs and how to dry blow your hair while driving. Its amazing - if I could understand it. And don’t think it is because we’re older. I don’t think anyone can figure it out.

But instead of muddling your way through the instruction book, you can go online and “google” it. But that’s tough if you are a technological Neanderthal who doesn’t even know the question to “google”.

But there are other options. One advance has been free webinars and online classes such as Khan Academy, Coursera, and Apple University. Or on YouTube you can search for how-to videos about practically any subject - from how to tie your shoes to how to blow your nose.

One site I just discovered is AARP’s Learn@50+ which hosts AARP's no-cost, online educational programs including job search skills, family caregiving and new technology such as Impostors: Keeping Yourself Safe from Scammers; Today and the Future: The Benefits of Vehicle Safety Technology; and Retirement Planning: Top Tips to Get or Stay on Track.

I always prefer taking a class in person, but online classes have advantages. You can go at your own speed, you can stop, rewind and repeat if you missed the point, and if can’t hear the speaker, you can turn up the volume.

There is so much more to know - but there are more ways to know it. Start today and find something new you want to learn.

A beginners Line Dancing class taught by Rosa Martin is now being offered at the Center. And Rosa wanted me to emphasize that they are starting simple, so this is a great time for beginners to join. The class is downstairs from 3:30 – 5:00 on Wednesdays and Fridays. So why not? As the saying goes, “Dance first. Think later.”
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A couple quick reminders. First, Dr. Proctor will be discussing Hearing Loss on Monday, May 13th at 11:00 at the Center. And second – I forgot! I will try to recall it in the next couple of hours before I finish this column. I just need to RELAX, and I am sure it will come to me.

The name of Johnny Carson’s most popular character on the Tonight Show was the "mystic from the East": Carnac The Magnificent. (And here is Ed McMahon's reportedly favorite Carnac punchline. Answer "Sis boom bah." Question "Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes.") I received correct answers from Jess Birge, Cheri Brent and both Diane Weston and Lana Tepfer, who for some reason I also missed last week but are this week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each.

This humorist, actor and comedian is best known as the star of his own weekly comedy variety television series broadcast from 1954 to 1959 on NBC and 1959 to 1960 on CBS. For this week’s “Remember When” question who was this “crew-cut” comedian with a quiet homespun style of humor? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer on the sole of a “lonesome” pair of brown shoes.

I did remember it! The second quick reminder. If you or someone you know are looking for help or assistance such as who to contact if you suspect elderly abuse or options for in-home care, call the local ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Connection) at 541-506-3512. You won’t reach a call center in Portland but a local number where you can talk to Tammy who will do her best to answer your questions.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the cool mornings and sunny days. Until we meet again, when you look through all the clutter sometimes you find things you never knew you lost.

 “Yes, speak softly and carry a big stick. But don’t mumble. And don’t swing the stick.” Mark Bricklin, journalist


Aging Well in the Gorge May 1st 2019


How do you know if you have hearing loss? I have found a very simple method. Ask your spouse! They will tell you - and often you don’t even have to ask. But for a more professional answer, Dr. Matthew Proctor will be discussing hearing loss at the Center on Monday, May 13th at 11:00 am.

If you have hearing loss you are not alone. The Hearing Loss Association estimates twenty percent of Americans experience some hearing loss with those between sixty and sixty-nine having the greatest amount.

Hearing loss is a serious chronic condition with significant health risks effecting a person’s emotional, social and cognitive well-being. But I don’t think people who can hear well understand. I didn’t until I experienced sudden hearing loss in one ear and discovered I needed a hearing aid for my other ear. I’ve found social situations particularly difficult; and experienced how easy it is to disengage because you can hear everyone, but you can’t understand a dag gone word anyone is saying.

If you want to learn more about hearing loss, Dr. Proctor will explain the effects of hearing loss and your options, as well as answer any questions.

Kerry Cobb’s next art presentation is a slide show of the Japanese Gardens of North America on Tuesday, May 7 at 1pm. Japanese-style gardens have been a part of North American culture for over 150 years, providing distinct pleasure with their artful landscapes set within tranquil, beautifully controlled environments. In this colorful presentation of exquisite photographs, Kerry will explore with you some of the most distinctive and exotic Japanese gardens in North America and learn how they took root and flourished.

It’s May and the memory of February snow is being shoved aside by thoughts of summer heat. But I shouldn’t jump the gun, and instead remind you of several traditional first Saturday in May events.

The Wasco County Pioneers 97th annual reunion and luncheon is on May 4th at the Readiness Center. For me it always feels like a big Wasco County family reunion seeing friends and acquaintances that I may not have seen since last year. Registration begins at 9:30 and costs $12.50 for an individual and $15.00 for a family. At the same time, you can purchase lunch for $15.00. As usual The Dalles Picture Boards will be displayed thanks to Gary Conley, Russ McDonald and their crew. The annual meeting begins at 1:00 PM when the Pioneer Man and Women will be honored; and the guest speaker will be John Brookhouse who will be speaking about the city of Celilo.

The 32nd Annual Community Clean Up will take place Saturday, May 4 from 9 to 3 PM in The Dalles. This year the event location has changed to the southwest corner of West 6th and Webber Streets where you can dispose of yard debris and large items such as furniture.

And although it hasn’t been a tradition for nearly as long, at the Center on May 4th from 8:00 – 3:00 PM is the Relay for Life’s annual Parking Lot Sale. There will be goodies of all kinds including clothes, toys, books, and more!

The answer to last week’s question was “Davy, Davy Crocket, King of the Wild Frontier”. I received correct answers (and several nice vocal renditions) from Cheri Brent, who I missed last week, Sue Ortega, Lee Kaseberg, Mary Hass, Laura Comini, Alice Mattox, Morris (I didn’t catch the first name), Lucile Stephens, Jess Birge, Jerry Phillips, Dale Roberts; and Bill Marick and Don Hansen who neither one is willing to give up their coon skin caps but are still winners of a quilt raffle ticket each.

Johnny Carson was the gold standard of late-night talk show hosts. When I attended Purdue University in the late sixties and didn’t have an early morning class, I often stayed up late to watch his Tonight Show monologue and his staple of recurring characters such as Art Fern or Aunt Blabby. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of his most popular character: a "mystic from the East", first introduced in 1964, who could "divine" unknown answers to unseen questions? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a large feathered turban and a cape.

Well, it’s been another week, accepting the mysteries of life. Until we meet again, I’d listen to my body more if it wasn’t always lying.

“Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.” Erma Bombeck

Aging Well in the Gorge April 24th 2019


The Northwest Cherry Festival is just days away thanks to the hard work of the Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce team. As part of the festivities, the Center is hosting a 50’s Dance sponsored by Flagstone Senior Living on Friday, April 26th. Doors open at 6:00 and the music starts at 6:30 with Randy Haines spinning hits from the 50’s including from his favorite vocalist Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra. The Pines and Freebridge will be providing the beverages. Tickets are $5.00 and will be sold at the door.

Then on Saturday at the Center between 8:00 – 9:30, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, fruit and a beverage for only $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children twelve and under. The crowning of our special guests, the Cherry Festival Royalty, will take place at 8:30. And before everyone leaves for the parade, the drawing for a beautiful handmade quilt will be a 9:00.  It’s all fun down the “Cherry Brick Road”.

Nehemiah Brown will be back for the first of his 2019 performances thanks to the support of The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center. He will be performing on Friday, May 3rd between 11:30 and 1:30 - before and after the Meals-on-Wheels’ noon dinner. With a buttery smooth voice, Nehemiah sings pop, country, and gospel standards from the 50’s and 60’s. There is no cost, but you are welcome to enjoy lunch for a suggested donation of $4.00 for anyone 60 and over or $6.00 for anyone under 60.

Once again, a big thank-you to Bruce and Lori Harris of Today’s Rays for checking and turning on the Center’s irrigation system. Besides the sugar ants making their appearance on my kitchen counter, I always know it’s finally spring when Bruce shows up.

And a quick plug for volunteer drivers. The Meals-on-Wheels program is looking for volunteers to join their loyal cadre of drivers. Every driver can share stories of how they have personally connected with the folks on their route. Besides receiving one nutritious meal a day, the daily connection can make a critical difference in a person’s life.

Also, GOBHI (Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc.) is looking for volunteer drivers for their Non-Emergency Medical Transportation program to better connect eligible community members in need of rides to healthcare providers. Volunteers receive training and support and will be reimbursed at the Federal Rate for travel which I believe is now fifty-eight cents per mile. If you enjoy driving, have a dependable car and like working with folks, call GOBHI at 541-298-2001 or email cross@gobhi.org.

The name of a coin-operated music playing device was a Jukebox. I received correct answers from Betty Weston, Jim Ayers, Ron Nelson, Lana Tepfer, Marvin Elsberry, who remembers dropping a dime in 613 to play “Surrender” by the King, and Alice Mattox, the winner of a quilt raffle ticket, who remembers table top jukeboxes at Johnny’s Café. But I must also mention Betsy Ayers’ answer, Nickelodeon, which she remembers from Teresa Brewer’s #1 hit in 1950 “Put Another Nickel in the Nickelodeon” because “All I want is having you and music, music, music”.

When we can no longer remember where we parked the car - or whether we even drove it, we will probably still be able to spontaneously belt out the Mickey Mouse Club theme song. But there was another song from a 1950’s television mini-series in the same “we will never forget” category that many of us also remember - especially the boys in the audience.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, this popular 1955 ballad was about a frontiersman who was (now this is where you can start singing – but not too loud. Your younger friends may think you have lost it!) "Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee/Greenest state in the land of the free/Raised in the woods till he knew ev’ry tree/Kilt him a be ‘are when he was only three/ … king of the wild frontier.” Who was the king of the wild frontier? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer inside a coonskin cap.

Well, it’s been another week, doing what I can with what I have. Until we meet again, every day is a gift – although sometimes hidden, wrapped in a crumpled month-old newspaper.

“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.” Cynthia Heimel Writer/Humorist

Aging Well in the Gorge April 17th 2019

When you get behind the wheel in your car, do you really know how far back you should adjust your seat? Or what angle you should position the steering wheel? Or what you should consider when adjusting the mirrors? I don’t. I just make the adjustments based on how it feels, not what might be the safest if I were in an accident.

According to the CarFit organization, older drivers are often the safest drivers: more likely to wear their seatbelts, and less likely to speed or drink and drive. However, older drivers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when a crash does occur due to the greater fragility of their aging bodies.

During a CarFit event you and your car will go through a 12-point checklist, such as checking your steering wheel tilt and head restraint, distance from your chest to the steering wheel, line of sight above steering wheel, position of gas pedal and brake pedal and operation of your car’s controls.

The CarFit event is this Saturday, April 20th from 10:00 – 2:00. To guarantee a twenty-minute CarFit checkup, call the Center to register; or if you are one of those “I don’t know what I’m going to be doing until I’m doing it” type of person, just show up and they will try to work you in. (I just wish CarFit had a 13th checkpoint: how to avoid the pain in my “buttocks” after driving for two hours. That I would really appreciate!)

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan you might want to see if your plan covers Silver&Fit fitness centers. The Center now belongs to the Silver&Fit fitness network and offers three Silver&Fit classes: Chair Yoga, Strength Yoga and Zumba Gold. Silver&Fit will pay for one class a day and up to twelve in a month. And your first time for each class is FREE.  

The Aging in the Gorge Alliance ts promoting their second community-wide book reading as part of the Dementia Friendly in the Gorge Initiative. The book is Gerda Saunder’s Memory’s Last Breath where she eloquently describes her experiences as her memory worsens. Copies have been distributed to The Dalles/Wasco County library. The Center’s Strong Women’s class will be hosting a discussion group on May 7th at 3:00 PM in the Center’s Deschutes Room to discuss the book and to learn more about how individuals and community organizations can support individuals with dementia, so they are respected and included. You can learn how to become a dementia friend at http:dementiafriendsusa.org or call 541-387-6404 or email brittany.willson@providence.org.

I you want to find out what is happening at the Center, check the Center’s website at www.midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com. It is generally up-to-date and 95% correct. (You have to find the 5% that isn’t because I couldn’t. It’s remarkable how often you can’t find your own mistakes.)

The Cleveland disc jockey who in the 1950’s coined the term “ Rock and Roll” to describe the new type of music that was gaining popularity was not Wolfman Jack, Casey Kasem or Dick Clark, which were all good guesses, but Alan Freed who may not be as well-known because his career collapsed after he was caught up in the payola scandal; and later died from alcoholism in 1965 at the age of 43. And the musical group that starred in Rock Around the Clock was Bill Haley and the Comets. I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Cheri Brent and Lana Tepfer but only two knew of Alan Freed: Betsy Ayers and Renee Briggs who will each receive a free quilt raffle ticket. And by the wa, the drawing will be held during the Center’s Cherry Festival Breakfast on Saturday, April 27th.

Before iPods, Walkmans and transistor radios, you could go to the nearest teen hangout, order a milkshake and put a dime in a device to play the latest hit record for you and your friends. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was this coin-operated music playing device called? And was there any special song you remember playing? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a picture of a 1952 Seeburg M100C which was seen in the closing credits for the television comedy series Happy Days.

Well, it’s been another week, looking under the couch for the balls I’ve dropped. Until we meet again, experience the satisfaction of mastering something new no matter how small.  

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” Ann Landers

Aging Well in the Gorge April 10th 2019

Are you interested in receiving periodic volunteer assistance from neighbors in your community? Or are you interested in lending a hand to friends and community members around you? In The Dalles and the surrounding area, the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation is launching a pilot program known as Circles of Care.

Circles of Care matches seniors with trained local volunteers who are available to lend a hand assisting with everyday tasks such as transportation, meals, errands, light cleaning, technology support, friendly check-ins, minor yard and household maintenance and much more!

Circles of Care is a way for older adults to feel supported by local volunteers with various tasks that may have become more challenging to complete. And it gives both older adults and volunteers the opportunity to engage in meaningful connections while bridging generational gaps and strengthening our communities.

In The Dalles we have some of the best independent and assisted living communities. But most of us desire to live in our own homes for as long as we can. It is familiar and less expensive.

But with the increasing number of older adults requiring long term care and the costs growing, alternative models to support older adults in their homes need to be developed. Circles of Care is one such model.

The founder of Circles of Care, Keren Wilson, has an incredible resume. She has over 30 years of experience in long-term care and supportive housing. During the 1980’s she was the principal architect of the Oregon model of assisted living and has founded three assisted living companies. Currently, Keren is President of the Jessie F Richardson Foundation, a charitable organization working on housing and service issues for very low income and hard-to-serve elders.

You can meet her and learn more about the benefits of this innovative program and how to get involved when she speaks about Circles of Care on April 17th at 1:00 PM at the Center.

You probably read about it in the Chronicle several weeks ago but here is a quick reminder about “Bone Soup” - Home at Last’s fundraiser sponsored by Valvoline Instant Oil Change. It is on Saturday, April 13th, from 6-10 pm at the Civic Auditorium and will include a gourmet soup dinner, music, and great auction items. Tickets are $25 advance or $30 at the door. You can purchase tickets by visiting the Home-at-Last website, calling 541-296-5189, or visiting Klindt’s Booksellers or the shelter at 200 River Road. This fundraising event will help Home at Last continue to care for the homeless animals of Wasco and surrounding counties. And could this also be the time to consider adopting a new furry companion?

Last week I mentioned the benefits of walking. Every morning driving to work I see folks out for their “morning constitutional”. The Center would like to start a walking group with a little twist: using Walking Poles - which has been growing in popularity. They provide stability and exercise your upper body if done properly. If you are interested in walking with poles call the Center and we will see what we can get started.

One of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club and who went on to become a successful American actress and singer was Annette Funicello. (I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Betsy Ayers, Lana Tepfer, Jess Birge, Diana Weston, Jerry Phillips and Jim Heitkemper, winner of a free quilt raffle ticket, and who was born on the same day, month and year as Annette but I don’t believe ever dated her – as far as I know. And last week I was bad - missing both Cheri Brent and Betsy Ayers.

In the 1950’s the term Rock and Roll was coined by a Cleveland disc jockey who during the height of his popularity in 1956 and 1957 was featured in four movies: Don’t Knock the Rock with Little Richard; Rock, Rock, Rock! with Chuck Berry, Mr. Rock and Roll and Rock Around the Clock. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was this disc jockey’s name? And if that question is too difficult, what musical group starred in Rock Around the Clock? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a 1952 ticket to the Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland believed to be the nation’s first-ever rock and roll concert.

Well, it’s been another week, forgetting what I forgot. Until we meet again, keep up the good fight.

“Never forget. We are alive within mysteries.” Wendell Berry, Writer/Farmer


Aging Well in the Gorge April 3rd 2019


No pain - no gain - NO WAY! At our age, the maxim “No Pain - No Gain” should be tossed like an old mini-skirt or flowered bellbottoms: something that was appealing years ago but just doesn’t work today. Signs of pain when we exercise could be a warning of something serious or at least a sign to slow down.

Today instead of forcing ourselves to push through the pain, the challenge is to push through the indifference or apathy when it comes to exercising. I know. For the last several months I have been “thinking” I need to return to that 15-minute exercise program that my PT recommended 2 years ago; and to get back in the pool swimming laps. But I can always find some excuse to postpone it to another day.

One of the simplest activities you can start is walking. Most everyone can do it - even if you need a walker; it doesn’t cost much except for a good pair of shoes; and you can do it with friends which always makes it more enjoyable.

But if you experience any pain, check it out. Chest, shoulder or mid-back or arm pain plus shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or cold sweats are potential signs of a serious cardiovascular problem and you should seek medical attention ASAP. And to avoid pain in your feet, knees or lower back consider complementing your walking by enrolling in one of the strength and flexibility classes offered at Water’s Edge, The Gorge Athletic Club in The Dalles, or at the Center which offers Chair Yoga, Strength Yoga and Strong Women classes.

So start walking and enjoy the fresh air and the cool and sunny days. Just avoid the pain!

CarFit is a free educational program developed in collaboration between AARP, AAA and the American Occupational Therapy Association. Older drivers go through a 12-point checklist with their car to identify ways they can better “fit” in their cars to reduce their risk of injury during a crash. You won’t find the class offered many places in Oregon, but it’s available in The Dalles because of the efforts of Dick Frost the local AARP Smart Driver Instructor. The CarFit event will be held on April 20th from 11:00 – 2:00 in the Center’s parking lot. Dick is also looking for volunteers to help. The volunteer training is April 6th from 11:00 to 3:00 at the Center. For both the CarFit event and the training call the Center at 541-296-4788 to register.

It’s more than three weeks away but pin this on your calendar. The Center has scheduled a 50’s Dance Party on Friday April 26th during the Northwest Cherry Festival with Randy Haines spinning the playlist, 50’s decorations and your favorite beverages supplied by The Pines and Freebridge. The cost is $5.00 per person and the doors open at 6:00.

But we will make sure you don’t stay out too late so you can come back Saturday morning for the Center’s Cherry Festival breakfast with the crowning of the Cherry Festival Royalty and the quilt raffle drawing – all just a part of the Northwest Cherry Festival presented by the fabulous folks at The Dalles Chamber of Commerce. 

The name of the style of telephone first introduced in 1959 and because of its compact design and light up dial was often found in the bedroom was a Princess Phone. I received correct answers from Lana Tepfer, Diana Weston, Laura Comini, Dennis Morgan, Sandy Haechrel and Tiiu Vahtel the winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Since the Center’s April dance is highlighting the 50’s, this month’s questions will focus on that decade starting with a question about The Mickey Mouse Club televised on ABC for four seasons from 1955 to 1959.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was one of the most popular Mouseketeers of the original Mickey Mouse Club (and I thought the cutest, although Dennis Morgan was keen on Darlene with her pigtails) and who went on to become a successful American actress and singer? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a DVD of the first “Beach Party” movie starring Frankie Avalon.

Well, it’s been another week, having fun while trying to make a difference. Until we meet again, don’t try to clean up the garden all in one day.

“I've been looking over the list of spring chores I made up last fall, and darned if they aren't fall chores, after all.” Robert Breault


Aging Well in the Gorge March 27th 2019


One of the lessons learned from the Blue Zones research that identified and studied five communities in the world where people live “longer, better” is the importance of belonging to a social group. In Okinawa such a group made up of 5 to 8 people is called a Moai - meaning "meeting for a common purpose". The Dalles Blue Zones project is encouraging several types of moais that provide emotional and social support but also encourage healthy behaviors such as walking moais or potluck moais that foster healthy eating.

At the Center you might say we have several moais which you are welcome to join: the Needle Nutz (needlework and knitting) have been meeting for years on Wednesdays at 10:00; the Quilters have been meeting for even longer on Mondays from 10:00 to 3:00 and Strong Women on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00.

You may already belong to a moai: your bible study class or a coffee klatch. But even if you don’t consider yourself a “social” person, find a group that shares an interest of yours. You’ll find new friends and it will be good for your health.

Several folks have called the Center looking for assistance and the first place I suggest they call is the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) - a service provided by CAPECO, the Area Agency on Aging serving this area. Call The Dalles office at 541-506-3512 and Tammy will be glad to help you.

It’s hard to believe it’s going to be April before I chat with you again. But it is – so I want to mention two presentations next week at the Center you may find interesting.

Tuesday April 2nd at 1:00 is the next in the Center’s first Tuesday “Art Appreciation” series. This month Kerry Cobb will be leading you on a photo tour of the wonders of Oregon from the iconic landmarks of the coast past the mountaintops of the Cascades to the eastern Oregon desert.

Then on Wednesday April 3rd at 1:00, Carola Stepper, founder of the Cascade Acupuncture Center, will present “Introduction to Acupuncture and Self Acupressure for Common Health Concerns”. This is an excellent class to learn the benefits of Acupuncture from a seasoned practitioner.

If you have the energy (which sometimes is a big IF), there are plenty of events to enjoy in the area - just check the Chronicles’ “What’s Happening” or “Entertainment” sections. For example, if you read this early enough, The Dalles-Wasco County Library is hosting a Patsy Cline and Hank Williams Tribute Performance on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 PM and it’s FREE.

Also, FREE and at the library on Friday, April 5th at 7:00 PM will be Fire Entertainer of the Year, Eli March, who will be demonstrating his fire juggling skills in the library mezzanine. No just kidding - although that would add a little more excitement wondering if any books would be scorched. He will actually be performing in the Library’s upper parking lot.

And then Community Concerts is presenting “The Comedy Ventriloquism of Lynn Trefzger” on April 8th at 7 PM at TDHS - which from the poster looks like family-friendly-fun contrary to many comedians these days.

The name of the first commercial communications satellite launched in 1962 which was also the name of the number one hit song in December of that year was “Telstar”. I received correct answers from Mike Carrico, Jerry Phillips, Cheri Brent and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Bill Marick who showed me his 1963 Ventures album The Ventures play Telstar and the Lonely Bull.

This is the last week for looking back at the technology that has changed over the last fifty years. And one technology demonstrating the dramatic change has been telephones. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what is the name of the style of telephone first introduced in 1959; was primarily marketed to women - as demonstrated by its name; and because of its compact design and light up dial was often found in the bedroom? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a copy of the Bell Telephone logo used from 1921 through 1939.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to find the bottom line without getting stuck. Until we meet again, wisdom is knowing when to stop as well as when to start.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” W.C. Fields

Aging Well in the Gorge March 20th 2019

Do you ever feel you’re a day late and a dollar short? Today I do because last week was Brain Awareness week - and I missed it. But in the spirit of “better late than never” I want to share some memory tips from the AARP program “Staying Sharp”.  

First and most important, PAY ATTENTION. Often when we forgot something, we just weren’t paying attention. For example, I couldn’t remember where I laid the car keys because when I came home, I was too focused on how fast I could get to the bathroom!

Second. Avoid multi-tasking. It is a myth that your brain can focus on two tasks at the same time. What your brain actually does is quickly switch back and forth between the two tasks. But as we age, our brains can’t switch as fast and at the same time are more easily distracted.

Third. Write it down. I am often frustrated when I have an earth-shattering idea that will bring peace and harmony to the world - or at least make my life a little better - and I forget it! I’ve adapted and you’ll see plenty of sticky notes around my house.

Fourth. Establish a routine. Do you use a pill box? I never wanted to because I thought it was an indisputable sign I was getting “old”. But after several times not remembering whether I took my pills, (which is not a good thing) a pill box has become an essential part of my morning routine.

Fifth. And relax. Don’t stress out when you forget where you parked the car. You always find it, right? During my younger days there were many times when I couldn’t think of a word using “whatsimacallit” or “thingamajig” instead. But did I worry that it was an indication of early dementia? No! And today with all the instant electronic notifications and distractions, I’m sure young people have many of their own “senior” moments.

If you want to learn more, you can join the Center’s Brain Fitness Club which meets every Monday at 1:00. For the next several weeks, we’ll be learning more about the brain by developing the curriculum for a brain fitness class starting sometime in April.

I’ve mentioned before that if you have Medicare questions you can call SHIBA Medicare counseling at 541-288-8341 or the Center at 541-296-4788 to schedule a free appointment.

But if your questions aren’t urgent, you can attend one of the free Medicare 101 classes at CGCC on Tuesday, April 9. To register for the 9:00 – 1:00 class at the Hood River campus call 541-308-8202; and to register for the 1:00 – 3:00 class at The Dalles campus call 541-506-6011.

Until then here is a “Medicare Minute” to store in your long-term memory for future use.

If you find your Medicare supplement premiums keep going up, one option is to change to a cheaper policy. But in most states that means going through underwriting which often makes it difficult to change because of pre-existing conditions.  

But Medicare beneficiaries in Oregon are fortunate. During the thirty days following your birthday, you can change from one Medicare supplement to another of equal benefits with no underwriting. You can find which companies have lower rates by consulting the 2019 Oregon Guide to Medicare Insurance Plans which you can pick up at the Center or by calling 541-298-8341.

When television stations signed off, the picture design following the national anthem was called a Test Pattern. I received correct answers from Sandy and Bob Haechrel, Cheri Brent, Jerry Phillips, Lana Tepfer and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, who I didn’t miss this time, Mike Carrico.

In July of 1962 the first commercial communications satellite was launched and within a year successfully relayed through space the first telephone call, telegraph image and the first live transatlantic television feed. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this communication satellite? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a 45 record of the song that was named after the satellite which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of 1962.

Well, it’s been another week, knowing it’s all good. Until we meet again, keep reaching for the stars – even though takes a little more effort.

“There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” Douglas Adams

Aging Well in the Gorge - March 13th 2019


You’ve probably seen the ads urging you to call “Company Rip-off” at some 800-number promising to reduce your home mortgage payments. If you’re like me, you just ignore them because you know there is no such thing as a “free lunch”.

But here is an exception – if you qualify. On Thursday, March 14th at 11:00 at the Center, Dave Peters from the Housing Resource Center in The Dalles will explain the Principal Reduction and Lien Extinguishment (PR/LE) program. It is designed for homeowners who are on a fixed income and struggling to make their mortgage payment.

There are requirements: your house payment must be at least 25% of your income before enrolling in the program and less than 36% after the loan is recast. But the program will pay up to $50,000 to reduce the unpaid principal balance of the mortgage so that the loan may be re-amortized resulting in a sustainable lower monthly payment. The benefit is provided in the form of a no-interest, five-year forgivable loan for which a lien will be recorded against the property.  The amount due goes down 20% each year until after 5 years when the amount due is zero.

Now that may sound confusing. So if you have questions, Dave can help and determine if you qualify. If you can’t attend Dave’s presentation, you can call him at 541-296-5462.

If you ever wanted to learn how to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or pies this is your chance. Pie Pizazz is a cake decorating class offered by Texas Pastry Artist Stasha Garcia. It will be held at the Center from 1:00 – 4:00 on the third Saturday for the next six months starting Saturday, March 16th. The cost is $25 for each session with a $5 initial registration fee. Space is limited. Call Stasha at 830-456-7424 to register or drop by the Center to pick up the necessary information. And when you finish the class, make sure you leave a decorated cupcake at the Center’s front desk with a note “For Scott”.

“Free Caption Telephone Devices for the Hearing Impaired” is the next “Lecture for the Curious” at the Center on Wednesday, March 20th at 1:00 pm. Susan Kirk, CapTel Training Specialist, will explain Oregon CapTel, a FREE service that gives people who are hard of hearing the ability to communicate using captioned telephones.

Who would have thought last Wednesday we would again have to postpone Lucille Torgerson’s “As I Was Saying” presentation because of snow! It’s March, right?  But we’re not waiting another month. Her presentation with Widge Johnson where she’ll share her experiences writing her life story will be this Friday, the 15th at 11:00 AM.

Now that the snow is receding back north, my “back” wants to thank several folks for helping clear the Center’s parking lot of snow: Nick Nelson and his Snow Clearing Service for his quick response - twice; Al Wynn for stopping by on his Kubota tractor; and Gene and Nichole from Wasco County.

The name of the 15,000-pound computer that was introduced on TV in the 1950's and tallied presidential election's results before our very eyes was UNIVAC. This week’s winners of a free quilt raffle ticket each are Sandy Haechrel who once worked for UNIVAC in St. Paul, Minnesota as a technical editor, and Jerry Phillips who remembers the UNIVAC seen on CBS in 1952 was a dummy console built in the TV studio complete with blinking Christmas lights because the actual UNIVAC-5 was too large to move. 

Back in the prehistoric days of black and white television shows, if you stayed up too late you could catch the television station sign off with the national anthem followed by a picture design which was used by engineers to adjust the picture quality. For this week’s “Remember When” question what were these designs commonly called? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a picture of the Indian head that was shown on the most popular design.  

Well, it’s been another week, looking for more sunny skies. Until we meet again, there is always an answer. The challenge is finding it in your own life time.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Roald Dahl, writer

Aging Well in the Gorge March 6th 2019


Have you heard the phrase “Walk Like a Penguin”? And I’m not talking about the supervillain in the Batman movies.

It’s a way to think about walking safely in snow and ice. For the last several weeks, I’ve been meaning to share this concept, but I kept thinking it’s too late. It’s not going to snow again.  Ah, the optimistic fool I am.

But to make sure it doesn’t snow again during what’s left of this winter, I’m going to finally share with you how to walk like a penguin to avoid falls and slips during these icy conditions.

I first saw “Walk Like A Penguin” signs outside The Dalles Fitness and Court Club (which will soon be another name left to the old timers to remember such as Treaty Oak, Valley Vista or Camlu). I had guessed it meant to step carefully but I recently discovered a more detailed description, so I don’t have to watch a National Geographic special about penguins.

To walk like a penguin, it is suggested you do the following: point your feet out slightly; bend your knees and keep them loose; extend your arms out to your side and hands out of your pockets; and take short steps or waddle.

In addition, since we haven’t evolved webbed feet yet, wear shoes or boots with traction. Assume all wet and dark areas on pavement are icy - especially around snow banks where the melt off freezes over-night. And if it’s still too treacherous, wow your friends and “Slide Like A Penguin” on your belly across the snow.

Whether it’s icy or not, this is a good time to remind yourself that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. So, don’t rush and stay focused - until next winter when you’ll know to “Walk Like A Penguin”!

“Lectures for the Curious” start this month at the Center. There is one lecture each week in March beginning Wednesday, March 6th at 1:00 with Lucille Torgerson and Widge Johnson presenting “As I Was Saying”- tips on how to write your life story.

Then on Tuesday, March 12th 1:00 PM, “From Pioneer Drugstore to Community Icon: The Waldron Brother's Drugstore” describes the fascinating history of the Waldron Brother’s Drugstore (also known as the Gitchell Building). Speaker: Eric Gleason - local resident and professional archaeologist.

On Wednesday, March 20th 1:00 PM, “Free Telephone Devices for the Hearing Impaired”. Learn more about Oregon CapTel’s Captioned Telephones and smartphones offered through Sprint which give people who are hard of hearing the ability to communicate on the telephone - and these services are FREE! Speaker: Susan Kirk - CapTel Training Specialist

Tuesday, March 26th 1:00 PM “Benefits of Using MCMC’s MyChart”. Learn how to access the many advantages of MCMC’s MyChart: scheduling appointments, checking test results, paying bills, or searching for medical information. Speaker: Karen Jones - MCMC Health Information Manager.

If you have thrown the Chronicle in the recycling bin and forgot when Eric Gleason is going to speak at the Center, the easiest place to find the information is on the Center’s website. It’s not fancy but is generally up to date and 95% accurate (They’ll always be a few mistakes to show I’m not an infallible robot). Go to www.midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com or just google Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

The irreverent World War II novel by Joseph Heller first published in 1961 whose title became a way to describe a “no-win” situation was Catch-22.  I received correct answers from Jerry Phillips, Sandy Haechrel, Lana Tepfer, Bob Earls, Carol Earl, Darlene Marick, Bobette Stewart, Dan Ericksen, and Sally Forster this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And from last week I missed Laurel Slatt, Kathy Viemeister and Sandy Haechrel.

Lana Tepfer answered my plea and emailed me this challenging question – the first of this month’s questions about early technology. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the 15,000-pound computer that was introduced on TV in the 1950's and tallied presidential election's results before our very eyes? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a box of 5,000 vacuum tubes.

Well, it’s been another week, wishing for at least one good idea. Until we meet again, keep your chin up and your hands warm.

“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it and make it the life you want to live.” —Mae Jemison

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