Doors open at 4:00 and games start at 6:00. New players encouraged to arrive by 5:30. Average payout is over $1300 each night. Minimum buy-in is $10.

UPDATED 10.25.19

Aging Well in the Gorge November 13th 2019

Last week the Center with the support of the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation celebrated the “Wasco County Ageless Awards” recognizing the contributions of older adults over seventy five and their importance in our communities. The four deserving honorees were: Lucille Petersen, Bill Hamilton, Prudence Amick and Terry Stoddard. But I’m sure you know of others who are respected and admired for their contributions whether large or small. They don’t give their time for the recognition, but why not tell them thank-you when you see them next.

It is important to honor individuals over seventy-five because it highlights the value of older adults in our youth oriented society. From conversations I’ve had at the Center, I’ve learned many folks feel they are treated as if they are invisible: ideas ignored, opinions dismissed and skills unappreciated. The attention they do receive may be well intentioned and often appreciated, but can be patronizing, “Let me take those groceries out for you.” By many, older adults are viewed as a burden and not the asset they are or can be.

Sometimes we buy into that belief ourselves becoming less confident and engaged and feeling there isn’t anything we can do. But as Lucille Petersen told me, even with her diminished eyesight she will continue to help in any way she can because “I’m old but I’m not dead!”.

Thank goodness because today it is harder to find individuals to volunteer. People are working longer, traveling more and enjoying their own personal pursuits. And at the same time, many services once funded by the government have been transferred to non-profits - knowing they will need to raise more money and attract more volunteers to operate.

The need is greater than ever, and it is critical for individuals to step forward - no matter their age – for the health of our communities. It was an honor to recognize Lucille, Bill, Prudence and Terry who have stepped forward, and shown they are not invisible by making a difference in people’s lives.

The Dalles Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Mary’s Academy has become an annual tradition but as you can imagine it takes a lot of work and can’t happen without volunteers. Salvation Army is once again organizing the dinner and is looking for volunteers. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved: set up and prep from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm; serving and delivery from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; and clean up from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. It is preferred that you sign up by going to the Salvation Army’s website Or if you would rather, you can call 541-296-6417.

Holiday season is upon us. How can you tell? The holiday bazaars have already started - and there are many more to come. The Center will be hosting its Holiday Bazaar on November 23rd from 9:00 – 3:00. The date may sound familiar because it’s the same day as the St. Peter's 41st Annual Holiday Bazaar at St. Mary’s. Then a week later is the Mosier Holiday Fair on November 30th and December 1st from 10:00 – 4:00 each day. It is a benefit for the Mosier Community School with over 50 artisan vendors in the event's 40th year. Admission is $2 per person plus 1 non-perishable food item, and children under 12 are free.

The name of the musical group that recorded the #1 song “Flowers on the Wall” and named themselves after a brand of facial tissue they noticed in a hotel room was the Statler Brothers. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Barbara Cadwell, Jess Birge, Delores Schrader, Rhonda Spies and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Bobetta Stewart.

There are many expressions we seldom hear any more: “Heavens to mergatroyd”, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” and “Sounds like a broken record”; as well as words: “moxie”, “swell” and my favorite “fiddlesticks”.    

For this week’s “Remember When” question complete the following expression used to describe someone very young. “I have known him since he was knee high to a _____”. Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 mail it with a picture of David Carradine's character in the 1970s TV drama "Kung Fu.".

Well, it’s been another week, keeping one foot in the past and two in the future. Until we meet again, be kind – you don’t know what burden the person is carrying.

Commandment #5 for growing older, “The biggest lie you tell yourself is, "I don't need to write that down. I'll remember it."

Aging in the Gorge November 6th 2019

Monday is Veterans Day and I hope you can take time to honor, in your own way, the Veterans who served our country - whether it is by watching or participating in the Veterans Day parade which starts at 11:00; or attending the community potluck at the Oregon Veterans' Home following the parade hosted by the VFW Post and Auxiliary 2471. Or how about showing your appreciation year-round by deciding to volunteer at the Wasco County Veterans Service Office.

The Veterans Service Office works hard to support our veterans and their surviving spouses by assisting them with veterans claims. This includes disability compensation, non-service connected pensions for war period veterans, aid and attendance, VA health care, education benefits, VA loan information, and more. To answer any questions, Veterans Services Officer Patrick Wilbern will be at the Center from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm on Tuesday, November 12th. Or you can attend his presentation at Flagstone Senior Living on November 13th from 1:30 – 3:00.

But what do you know about Veterans Day? Here are a few facts I found on the U.S. Department of Defense website.

1) There is no apostrophe in Veterans Day.  The holiday is not a day that “belongs” to one veteran or multiple veterans, as an apostrophe would imply. It’s a day for honoring all veterans.

2) Veterans Day is not the same as Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace whether living or not - although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

3) Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War I. World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting ended when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.

But then World War II and the Korean War happened, so on June 1, 1954, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars. 

4) For a while Veterans Day was officially recognized on the fourth Monday of every October. Congress signed the Uniform Holiday Bill in 1968 to ensure that a few federal holidays including Veterans Day would be celebrated on a Monday hoping it would encourage travel and other family activities over a long weekend.

On Oct. 25, 1971, the first Veterans Day under this new bill was held and as you would guess, there was confusion about the change. Within a few years, it became apparent the public wanted to celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th, since it was a matter of historic and patriotic significance. On Sept. 20, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed another law which returned the annual observance to its original date.

Now to last week’s “Remember When” question. The name of the Russian-like spies working to "catch Moose and Squirrel" in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show were Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale working for the dictator Fearless Leader. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Carole Earl, Jess Birge, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Barbara Cadwell.

My high school class showed their unique sense of humor by using the #1 hit song “Flowers on the Wall” as the theme for their spring dance – since many of us were considered “wallflowers”. For this week’s ‘Remember When’ question, what musical group recorded “Flowers on the Wall”; was Johnny Cash’s backing vocals for over eight years; and hosted their own show on The Nashville Network? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a brand of facial tissue the band was named after – and it wasn’t Kleenex!

Well, it’s been another week, trying to stay ahead of the curve. Until we meet again, as my wife said to me, “You know you’re old when you can’t recognize half of the Halloween costumes. (And what or who is Marshmellow?)

“The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another.” George Eliot

Aging Well in the Gorge October 30th 2019

What do you remember about visiting the dentist when you were a child? Fishing for a small toy out of the fish tank if you were good during your visit? Or a long needle painfully inserted in your gum before filling a cavity? 

However you may feel about visiting a dentist, maintaining good oral health is important at any age, because as older adults we still encounter cavities, gum disease and dry mouth. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has published a fact sheet for older adults on these three oral health issues which you can find by googling NIH Older adults and oral health. (And if you’re wondering as I was, craniofacial is a medical term that relates to the bones of the skull and face.)

But you already know the basics to prevent cavities and gum disease because you’ve heard them since you were a child: use a fluoride toothpaste; brush twice daily and floss regularly; and see a dentist for regular check-ups.

But one problem I only recently encountered is dry mouth: the feeling there is not enough saliva in your mouth. In my case it is a side effect of one of my medications, but it can also be caused by dehydration and disease. Since saliva helps keep harmful germs in check, less saliva increases the risk of developing tooth decay. If you think you have dry mouth and it feels uncomfortable, see a dentist or physician to find relief.

A challenge though is Medicare doesn’t pay for dental work - as if your mouth is not a part of your body. You must purchase a separate Dental plan. (Several dentists offer their own insurance plans.) But just as you take care of the rest of your body, it is important to practice good dental hygiene as we grow older.

And as an addendum, I just learned from a friend that before his hip replacement he had to have a dentist sign-off that there were no infections in his gums - and it cost over $800! Another reason to see your dentist regularly.

Here's a shout out to the local Elks. They have moved into the same building as the Eagles but don’t get the idea they are going away – they are still doing good things for the community. For example, they just donated $1500 to The Dalles Meals-on-Wheals which provides home delivered meals as well as serving noon meals at the Center. Because of limited federal funding, Meals-on-Wheels appreciates any donations. And they are always looking for drivers!

On November 5th at 1:00, Kerry Cobb will be discussing Art Masterpieces. In her presentation you will learn about some of the most famous pieces of western art and why they are so iconic and the stories behind their creation - from Michelangelo’s David to Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus to Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

And on Friday November 8th there will be a bus going from the Center to Hood River to tour the Art Gallery at the Columbia Center for The Arts (CCA) and see the live performance of An Evening of Poe - with dinner in between. We’ll leave the Center at 3:15 and return to The Dalles around 9:30. The show and transportation are free (thanks to CCA), so the only cost is your dinner. Call the Center to sign up.

Now that Gorge Happiness Month is almost over, don’t forget the 3 daily habits proven to make us happier and healthier: gratitude, acts of kindness and a moment of silence.

The game show hosted by Allen Ludden where two teams attempt to convey mystery words to each other using only single-word clues was Password. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Barbara Cadwell, Jess Birge, Cheri Brent and Alice Mattox this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Continuing October’s theme of 60’s television shows, this week’s question is about the animated television series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show which aired from 1959 through 1964 and was known for its quality writing and wry humor. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of their main adversaries - the Russian-like spies working to "catch Moose and Squirrel"? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of Fearless Leader.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep my body’s engine light from coming on. Until we meet again, keep living your life with courage, humor and gratitude.
“If only my teeth were as white as my legs.” Unknown

Aging Well in the Gorge October 23rd 2019

I was going to write about maintaining good oral health but there is just too much happening these coming weeks. So I’m going to punt and save that topic for next week.

First, don’t forget the Center is hosting a “60’s Gold Dance” on Friday October 25th from 6:30 – 8:30. Randy Haines will be the DJ playing the great hits from the 60’s. Once again there will be “groovy” decorations to give you that 60’s vibe and The Pines and Freebridge will be providing the beverages making it an over 21 event. This JCW production is sponsored by our friends at Flagstone Senior Living.

Then at the Center on October 29th from 10:00 – 12:00 the Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon will present a two part program “Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia” and “Effective Communication Strategies”.

In the first program you will learn about the impact of Alzheimer's, the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia, stages and risk factors, current research and treatments available for some symptoms, and Alzheimer's Association resources.

The second part of this program explores how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s. Learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

You can explore additional education programs by visiting

And on November 6th the first annual Ageless Awards will be held celebrating the contributions of older adults particularly those 75+. It will be held at the Center from 12:00 to 1:15 starting with a delicious meal provided by The Dalles Meals on Wheels and followed by the awards ceremony. The noon dinner is a suggested donation of $4.00 for anyone 60 and over or $6.00 for everyone else.

Lastly to get you in the Halloween mood, The Gorge Winds Concert Bands will be presenting its October “Spooktacular Concert” on Sunday, Oct. 27th, 7:00 p.m. For us older adults admission is $5.00

Do you understand how Oregon’s property tax system works: difference between maximum assessed value and market value or where your taxes go? The Wasco County Assessment and Taxation Office website has posted several videos to answer many of your questions. In addition, Wasco County Assessor Jill Amery will be speaking at the Center on Monday October 28th at 11:00 to answer any questions.  

Gorge Happiness Month is almost over and here are this week’s suggestions for things to do to help increase your happiness. Oct. 24 – Let someone go in front of you in line; Oct. 25 – Pick up three pieces of trash; Oct. 26 – Pick a good moment from the week and draw it; Oct. 27 – List ten things you like about yourself; Oct. 28 – Post a gratitude on social media #gorgehappiness or tell a random person; Oct 29 – Wave or nod at someone; Oct. 30 – Sit outside and watch wildlife; and Oct. 31 – Go back and finish the ones you haven’t completed.

The name of the Western series broadcast on television from 1952-1970 featuring true stories of the American West and in 1964-1965 was hosted by Ronald Reagan was Death Valley Days. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Diana Weston, Dave Lutgens, Lana Tepfer, Mary Collins, Jim Ayers, Jess Birge, Cheri Brent and Beverly McKinney this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I’ve covered medical dramas, comedies and westerns and now it’s time for game shows. This television game show was hosted by Allen Ludden and aired from 1961 through 1967. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the show where two teams attempt to convey mystery words to each other using only single-word clues? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a first edition of Milton Bradley’s home version of the game show.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to catch my breath without falling. Until we meet again, it’s just as easy to look at the bright side than walking in the dark.

“I’m eighty-eight and getting a little dingy. But I’ve never been eight-eight before.” Unknown

Aging Well in the Gorge October 16th 2019

Remember when it was considered rude to question your doctor? Back then you would ask “Doc what should I do?” and he (when doctors were generally men and women nurses) would tell you and you did it. But the relationship between doctor and patient has changed - for the better.

Today the relationship has progressed where the doctor gives you advice and YOU decide in consultation with your doctor what to do. But this puts more responsibility on you. You are no longer a backseat passenger. You are now helping drive your medical care.

In the video presentation, “4 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Doctor”, neurosurgeon Christer Mj√•set points out in the United States, an estimated thirty percent of all medical spending does not add value to your medical care and is unnecessary.

To avoid unnecessary treatment, he suggests asking your doctor these four questions.

1. "Doctor, is this really necessary?" A basic question - but seldom asked. The problem is that unnecessary procedures burden an already over stressed medical system. A good doctor will sometimes say “no”, but the sensible patient also at times will turn down an opportunity to get diagnosed or treated – which is difficult when you want something to be done.

2. "What are the risks attached to this operation?" There is no medical procedure or operation that is without risks. I remember Dr. Stanley speaking at the Center ten years ago explaining joint replacements and the risks. His advice - don’t do it unless your condition is affecting your quality of life.

3. "Doctor, are there other options?" Alternatives may be just as effective. Recent research has shown in some circumstances there is no difference between the effect of operating on the knee and regular physical therapy.

4. "And what happens if I don't do anything?" Doing nothing is always an option, but you should know the consequences.

By asking these four questions, research has shown that one out of five individuals will change their mind about what to do - and according to Mjaset benefiting an already overstressed health care system while keeping you in the driver’s seat when making decisions about your medical care.

This sounds like a way to get into the Halloween spirit. The Gorge Winds Concert Bands presents its October Spooktacular Concert, Sunday Oct. 27th, 7:00 pm at The Dalles Middle School. And if you dare, wear your Halloween costume! Suggested donations are: Families $20; General Admission $10; Senior Citizens and Children 13 -18 years old $5; and for Children under 12 admission is free.

As we head into the second half of Gorge Happiness Month, here are this week’s suggestions for things to do to help increase your happiness. Oct. 17 – Leave a kind note in an unlikely place; Oct. 18 – Pet a cat or dog; Oct. 19 – Take a nap; Oct. 20 -   Make plans for something to look forward to; Oct. 21 – Have a conversation where you listen more than you talk; Oct 22 – Look at the sky; and Oct. 23 – Walk or drive a different route.

The name of the CBS comedy broadcast from 1962 to 1971 that told the story of a poor backwoods family from the Ozarks who moved to California after striking oil was the “Beverly Hillbillies”. And the family was the Clampetts. I received correct answers from Becky Roberts, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Jerry Phillips, Darcy Long Curtiss, Darlein France, Virginia McLain, Elaine Lee, Lana Tepfer, Mary Collins, Alse Mattos, Lucille Stephens, Cheri Brent and Claudette Potter this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Betsy Ayres.

This week I’m raising the ante with a question I think you’ll find more challenging. Westerns were a popular genre on television, but by the middle of the 1970’s after Bonanza, Gunsmoke and this series were cancelled, it marked the end of the traditional Western era. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the Western series originating on radio in 1930 and broadcast on television from 1952-1970 featuring true stories of the American West and hosted by various actors including Ronald Reagan? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a box of Twenty Mule Team Borax.

Well, it’s been another week, watching the leaves turn. Until we meet again, the older you get the more complicated life seems.
“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your tale can’t cash.” Bo Diddley

Aging Well in the Gorge October 9th 2019

Older adults make countless contributions to our communities, but they are often forgotten in our youth obsessed society. It takes commitment and perseverance to continue working or volunteering to help our neighbors and improve our communities. It’s not easy - but it’s not easy getting older either. Yet we all get older, and we can all contribute.

To recognize the contribution of older adults in Wasco County, the Center, in cooperation with Age+, is soliciting nominations for the first Wasco County Ageless Award. There are three criteria for the nominees: the person has to be seventy five or older; an individual who has made and continues to make a substantial contributions to the lives of others; and an individual who serves as a role model showing that our elders are a significant part of the community fabric.

If there is someone you feel meets the criteria, email their name with a short explanation of their contributions to or

I realized that last week when I said SHIBA volunteers are unbiased, I might have given the impression I thought insurance agents are biased in a negative sense. All the insurance agents I know are capable, knowledgeable and committed to serving their customers. But in some cases, there may be limits to what they can offer.

Whether you see an insurance agent or talk to a SHIBA counselor, you have an opportunity to change your Medicare health plans and prescription drug plan during open enrollment between October 15th and December 7th. Each year Medicare plans can change their cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks.

But how do you know if you should change plans?

You should have received from your current plans information in a document called “Annual Notice of Change” listing any changes that will go into effect in January. Review these statements carefully. If you’re satisfied, you don’t need to do anything. But if you aren’t happy with the changes, you can compare plans by going online to If you feel more comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, contact your insurance agent; or call the Center at 541-296-4788 or the SHIBA coordinator at 541-288-8341 to schedule an appointment with a trained SHIBA volunteer.

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

Did you share a new joke last week as suggested in the Gorge Happiness Calendar? When I asked that question at the Center, this is the joke I heard that I hope you will enjoy. What do you call ninety-nine rabbits stepping backwards? Keep reading and you’ll find the answer – if you don’t know it already

And speaking of Gorge Happiness Month, here are this week’s suggestions to help increase your happiness. 

Oct. 10 – Complete one small irritating task; 
Oct. 11 – Listen to music; 
Oct. 12 – Talk to someone at the farmer’s market; 
Oct. 13 - Reconnect with an old friend; 
Oct. 14 – Stop and count the number of things you can hear right now; 
Oct 15 – Do someone else’s chore; and 
Oct. 16 – Send a thank-you.

The title of the NBC television series that told the story of a young intern working at a large metropolitan hospital was Dr. Kildare starring Richard Chamberlain. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Lana Tepfer, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Kim Birge, Becky Roberts, Julie Carter and Mary Collins this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Continuing the October theme of television shows, this week it’s a question about a comedy series. I don’t know if anyone thought this was going to be a hit, but it became a cultural phenomenon during the 60’s and at the same time disliked by critics. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the CBS comedy broadcast from 1962 to 1971 that told the story of a poor backwoods family from the Ozarks who moved to California after striking oil on their land? And foe extra points what was the name of the family? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with any album by the great bluegrass duo Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

Answer for the joke: a receding hare line!

Well, it’s been another week, trying not to worry about things I can’t control. Until we meet again, you don’t know if it’s your cup of tea unless you take a sip.

Some simple advice from table tennis master Dick Hamilton: “When you get mad, keep your mouth shut!”.

Aging Well in the Gorge October 2nd 2019

From all the Medicare television ads and mailbox stuffers, you probably know that Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15 and runs through December 7th. But where can you get unbiased information to help you navigate through the complicated and often frustrating Medicare system?

To answer your Medicare questions, you can make an appointment with a SHIBA counselor by calling the Center at 541-296-4788 or calling 541-288-8341. SHIBA is a federally funded, nationwide program that trains volunteers to provide free one-on-one Medicare counseling.

You can also attend a free Medicare 101 workshop on October 9th from 9:00 – 11:00 AM at The Dalles Campus of CGCC. To register, you are encouraged to call 541-506-6011 to ensure there are enough materials, but walk-ins are welcome as space allows.

By attending the workshop, you will learn when and how to enroll; what Medicare does and does not cover, the difference between A and B, prescription drug coverage, financial assistance, fraud protection, and much, much more.

Have you thought of trying something new such as one of the four Creative Arts classes scheduled at the Center this month? I know you were told since grade school that you have no artistic ability, but they were wrong. And besides it isn’t all about what you create but the process of creating.

If you are interested, call the Center to sign up for one of the following classes which are free, but space is limited to ten.

Pen and Ink and Drawing Florals. Artist - Abigail Agersea, Wednesdays, October 2nd and 16th from 1:00 – 3:00. Knitting, Crocheting and even spinning your own yarn. Fiber Artist - Ruth Barnes, Fridays, October 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th from 9:00 – 10:30. Poetry, Creative Writing and Haikus. Artist – Kristyn Fix, Tuesdays, October 8th and 15th at 10:00; Glass Art. Artist – Anielle Forsyth, Thursdays, October 10th and 24th at 10:00.

It’s Gorge Happiness Month and here are some ways to increase your happiness this week. Oct. 3 - Go for a short silent walk; Oct. 4 - Tell a new joke; Oct. 5 - Get someone to do the three daily happiness habits; Oct. 6 - Pick a person or a goal to focus on this week; Oct. 7 - Say yes; Oct 8 - Seek out a new free class or event; and Oct. 9 - Tell someone what you like about them.

But what makes me happy is listening and dancing to the “oldies” which you can do at the Center’s next dance “60’s GOLD” on Friday, October 25th from 6:30 – 8:30 with DJ Randy Haines. A “groovy” time is guaranteed.

If you can’t wait until the 25th, the Sceptre Brothers are going to be playing great rock and roll from the 60’s in the Civic Auditorium’s newly remodeled theater on Saturday October 5th as a fundraiser for the Civic. Doors open at 6:00 music starts at 7:00. You can purchase tickets at the door or Klindt’s Booksellers.

You may already know, but The Sceptre Brothers is a four-piece band, which includes The Dalles own Dan Ross on drums, first formed when the band members attended school in LaGrande, Oregon in 1964. After school they went their separate ways but reunited forty-three years later. Check them out at

The name of the mystery series first published in 1927 that revolved around two teenage boys acting as amateur detectives was The Hardy Boys. And the girl’s series was Nance Drew. I received correct answers from Betsy Ayres, Dale and Becky Roberts, Sandy Haechrel, Jess Birge, Michael Carrico, Lana Tepfer, Jerry Phillips, Barbara Cadwell and Glenna McCargar this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I still remember the days when the television networks’ “fall lineup” was a big deal. Looking back at the fall lineup of 1961 there were two new Medical dramas: Ben Casey and an NBC series. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the NBC television series that told the story of young intern working at the fictional large metropolitan "Blair General Hospital"? And for bonus points who was the star?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of the hit single, "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight" which was the show’s theme song.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the fall weather. Until we meet again, you know you are getting old when you google the word “groovy” and the first thing listed is “a powerful language for the Java platform” – whatever that means!

“Don’t hitch your wagon to a falling star” Judge Judy

Aging Well in the Gorge September 25th 2019

Several years ago, to celebrate their 30th Anniversary, One Community Health created Gorge Happiness Month. Since then Gorge Happiness Month has grown – forming its own non-profit with the support of over a hundred businesses, organizations and local governments.

Gorge Happiness Month is based on the idea that even though fifty percent of our happiness is genetic, and ten percent is environmental, we can affect the remaining forty percent by including these three habits into our daily routine.

Gratitude: Find time each day to list three things for which you are thankful: your morning walk with friends, a beautiful sunrise or a surprise visit by your grandchildren. It doesn’t matter whether it is simple or grand. It’s the act of gratitude that counts.

Acts of kindness: This can be as easy as smiling at a cashier, saying thank you to a co-worker, or picking up trash during your walk. And if you don’t already, find a way to volunteer. Meals-on-Wheels is always looking for new drivers.

Moments of Silence: Sit silently for just five minutes each day - which means no distractions: TV, computer, radio, and cell phone. Keep your eyes closed if you want or just look at one thing about three feet in front of you. Observe the thoughts in your head, the sounds you hear around you or other sensations that come and go. If your mind wanders - just notice it and come back to observing and listening.  

During the month of October there are activities scheduled and a calendar of suggested daily actions designed to help you be happier and make our community healthier. For example, on the first day of October why not thank the first person you see; and then on the 2nd compliment a stranger.

No matter your situation, try incorporating into your daily routine the three habits for happiness: Gratitude, Act of Kindness and Moment of Silence and see if you don’t feel happier. You can find the latest at their website by searching gorge happiness month.

In October the Center will be starting a series of creative arts classes thanks to the partnership with the Columbia Center for the Arts. The classes will be led by several regional artists including Kristyn Fix who does Poetry, Creative Writing, and Haikus; Abigail Agersea who is an artist working with pen and ink and drawing florals;
Danielle Forsyth who is a glass artist; and Ruth Barnes a fiber artist working with yarn to knit or crochet. Once I finalize the dates and times, I will share them next week and on the Center’s website.

Now that it is beginning to cool off, it is a great time to start the Zumba Gold class at the Center taught by Marsha Morrison. Zumba Gold introduces easy-to-follow Zumba choreography that focuses on balance, range of motion and coordination. The benefits are many: cardiovascular, muscular conditioning, flexibility and balance! And since the Center is a Silver and Fit member, PacificSource and Moda Medicare Advantage plans will pay for the Zumba Gold classes you attend. There is no membership fee. Just sign in when you come. And if you aren’t enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, the cost is only $3 per class.

The “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” jingle first introduced in the early 60’s advertised Alka Seltzer. And “Oh, what a relief it is” that Julie Carter, Barbara Cadwell, Jim and Betsy Ayres, Cheri Brent, and Laura Comini answered the question correctly as well as Becky Roberts the winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

When I was in grade school, I didn’t enjoy reading except for this mystery series created by American publisher Edward Stratemeyer and ghostwritten by many under the name of Frank W. Dixon. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this mystery series first published in 1927 that revolved around two teenage boys acting as amateur detectives? And for bonus points what was the name of the series for girls also published by Stratemeyer and ghostwritten under the name of Carolyn Keene?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the first edition of The Great Airport Mystery published in 1930.  

Well, it’s been another week, trying to connect the dots that are always moving. Until we meet again, when life gets difficult, relax and take a deep breath - or maybe two.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life, and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Aging Well in the Gorge September 18th 2019

What time is it? No, it’s not Howdy Doody time, but time for the start of the inevitable flu season. And since seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, the Center is again offering flu shots in cooperation with Rite-Aid on Wednesday, September 25th from 10:00 until 2:00. You can call the Center to reserve one of the 5-minute time slots or you can just drop in.

The flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu and avoid becoming one of the over 200,000 Americans who are hospitalized with the flu every year. For the vaccine to be the most effective, the flu vaccines are updated before each flu season to protect you against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. But even in a well-matched year, the flu vaccine is only 60 to 90 percent effective.

Therefore, you should take these additional steps to help protect yourself from the flu and other viruses.

1. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water and use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands if soap and water aren't available. 2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible. 3. Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area. 4. Sneeze into your elbow not your hands. 5. Practice good health habits:  get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet and manage your stress - which are also the basics for good heart and brain health.

If you do start experiencing flu symptoms, seek medical advice quickly to determine if you need treatment with antiviral drugs since they should be administered early.

But how do you know if you have the flu or just a cold? It is hard to tell because colds and flu share many symptoms: fever (but not always), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue; and some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. But the primary difference is that cold symptoms are generally milder than the symptoms of flu.

And no, you can’t get the flu from a flu shot. But after receiving you flu vaccination, you could develop flu-like symptoms: low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches. There are several possible reasons. You may have a cold and not the flu. You may have caught the flu during the two weeks before the flu shot took effect. Or the flu virus you picked up is not one of the influenza viruses used for the vaccine.
The flu vaccine will not totally eliminate the possibility of the flu, but it will lower your risks. And that’s a big deal now that we are older. Some ailments we once thought were just inconvenient can have serious health implications.

Since I am writing about preventive vaccines, don’t forget to get your Shingles vaccine especially now that the newer more effective vaccine is available. And make sure you are up to date with your pneumococcal vaccination since one of the flu-related complications that can cause death is pneumococcal pneumonia.

The name of the sport that was popular in the late 50’s and 60’s (and is experiencing a revival with our own Gorge Roller Girls); consisted of two teams that included jammers, blockers and a pivot for two minute periods called "jams"; and competed on an oval track was Roller Derby. I received correct answers from Carol Earl, Cheri Brent, Lana Tepfer, Jerry Phillips, Barbara Cadwell, Julie Carter (who remembers her mom cheering on the Bay Area Bombers), and several other who told me the correct answer, but I failed to write down their names. And this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Rhonda Spies whose grandmother took her to see Roller Derby live at the Armory in Salem.  

There were many memorable TV jingles introduced in the 50’s and 60’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question, the TV jingle first introduced in the early 60’s that went “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” advertised what product? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of “The Red Rubber Ball” sung by The Cyrkle whose band member Tom Dawes wrote the jingle.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to stay awake at 3:00 pm. Until we meet again,
do you ever feel you can recall more of what happened in your dreams than what happened last week?

“We are on earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you different.” Kurt Vonnegut, writer

Aging Well in the Gorge September 11th 2019

At every stage of life there are challenges. (Thankfully we don’t have to worry about pimples anymore!) But there is always something to laugh about - although it is often hard to find jokes and anecdotes about older adults that don’t reinforce negative stereotypes.

But as I was surfing the Internet looking for a topic for this week’s column, I came across an article by Greg Daugherty on the Next Avenue website where he interviewed Andy Landorf and John Colquhoun the creators of a new comic strip titled “The New 60”. They both had worked for the same advertising agency and started the comic after the agency was bought and started downsizing. In the comic, they poke fun at themselves and the everyday experiences they and their sixty-something friends encounter.

As Landorf explains, “I think in general we’re trying to look at the universality of what it means to be at this stage of life — what’s alike about all of us, as opposed to what’s different.

And Colquhoun adds, “So it’s not all ‘Gee, we’re getting old, our bodies don’t work like they used to.’ We wanted it to be more upbeat about the possibilities, what you can do now that the kids are out of the house and you have some time and you can travel. Or you’re reaching the end of one career and possibly starting another. We had one of our characters looking into a new franchise we invented called Pizza on a Stick.”

Landorf and Colquhoun show you can reinvent yourself at any age by following your passions whether it is growing a fantastic vegetable garden, making walking sticks or creating a comic strip. They believe it is easier today than ever to start your own thing; and if you have a passion you want to explore, go for it.

You can find their comics at or on Facebook; and enjoy a few laughs we can all relate to.

If you interested in changing jobs are looking for a new one, AARP is offering a Flexible Work Online Expo where you can explore the possibilities of flexible work options such as telework, seasonal, part-time and more. The online expo is Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 11:00 – 2:00 pm PST. You can learn more and register by googling “flexible work online expo”.

Before you call, the Center is working with RiteAid to schedule a Flu Shot clinic at the Center. I should know a date by next week.

Last week, I forgot to mention the Mid-Columbia Community Concert Association’s (MCCCA) 2019-2020 season and their first performance by the Alley Cats last Friday. But you can still purchase a season pass for the four remaining concerts. In addition, you can purchase tickets for the always popular “Dancing with The Gorge Stars” which is their fundraiser and not included in the season pass. MCCCA has been around since 1937 and is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization which has brought outstanding, on-stage entertainment to the Mid-Columbia area at affordable prices. For more information and to purchase tickets visit their website at

Tom Graff is back! He has been traveling during the month of August but is now once again singing on Thursdays from 11:00 – 12:00 before the Meals-on-Wheels dinner. Stop by and enjoy some good old country music.

On November 29, 1948 this sport debuted on television and during the late 1950s and 1960s was broadcast on several networks becoming so popular the Bay Bombers sold out arenas from coast to coast. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this sport that consisted of two teams competing on an oval track and each fielding five members that included jammers, blockers and a pivot for two minute periods called "jams"? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a photograph of the Gorge’s own amateur women’s team.

I knew last week’s question would be tough since it was about local lore. But the Mosier swimming hole popular during the 60’s and 70’s was called by many “16 Hole” although Ruth Radcliff remembered it as the “Pocket”. I did receive correct answers from Cheri Brent and Tammy Berthold who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Well, it’s been another week, swinging from limb to limb. Until we meet again,
I know I’m getting older when the hardest part of my swim workout is taking off my swimsuit while standing in the shower!

“It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.” Warren Buffett

Aging in the Gorge September 4th 2019

September 4th 2019

When we were children, play was our vocation: pick-up basketball games, playing Monopoly or charades. We did it purely for the enjoyment and amusement without any other reason. But we grew up, started working or raising a family and play took a back seat.

Now that most of us have retired we would think there would be more time to just play. But we may not have the energy of a ten year old. Let me correct that. We don’t have the energy of a ten-year old – as we are reminded when we spend time with our young grandchildren or great grandchildren.

But we still need to find time to play - doing something just for the fun of it for all the social, physical and mental benefits. It could be Pickle Ball, planting a garden or playing pinochle. (I’ll skip the pickup basketball games. I’m not sure I could even get the ball to the hoop.)

So, the saying “Play - Rest – Repeat” is advice we should consider no matter our age. Because as George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

Every non-profit has those special volunteers who put in the extra time and are always there. I want to take a moment to acknowledge two of the Center’s super volunteers. At the Center’s annual meeting in July, we presented for the first time The Betty Harlan Memorial Volunteer of the Year award named after Betty Harlan who gave so much of her time both professionally and as a volunteer to the Center and particularly The Dalles Meals on Wheels. This year Betty Dahlberg and Martha Williams received the award for recognition of their many, many years running the Center’s Nu-2-U shop which meant being there every weekday from 10:00 – 2:30 during the stores operating hours. That is truly a monumental commitment. Thank-you Betty and Martha!

Thanks for everyone for their donations and returned medical equipment because our cupboard is now full. We have all the popular items to loan: shower seats, transfer benches, commodes, walkers, rollators, and crutches.

One last reminder for those who enjoy good music. Nehemiah Brown will be performing, possibly for his last time, at the Center on Friday September 6th from 11:30 – 1:30 during the Meals-on-Wheels lunch which starts at 12:00. There is no cost thanks to the sponsorship by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center, but you are encouraged to enjoy a delicious lunch for a donation of $4.00 if you are sixty and over or $6.00 for everyone else.

A couple of the many events occurring in the next several weeks are the annual community gathering for the Kiwanis Steak Feed from 5:00 – 7:00 on Thursday September 5th at Sorosis Park. It’s such a tradition, I don’t think I need to say any more.

And Flagstone is having a “Spark of Creativity” event on September 14th at 2:00 PM to help celebrate National Assisted Living Week. This is an opportunity for anyone in the community to share their hidden or not so hidden talents which could be painting, writing, singing or whatever creative endeavor you enjoy. If you have a specific talent to share, call Karees at 541-35-4949.

Those who two weeks ago answered correctly Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello were Cheri Brent, Dale Roberts, Michael Carrico, Barbara Cadwell, Delores Schrader, and Julie Carter winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

And from last week, the bestselling recording during the summer of 1963 was “Fingertips Pt 2” sung by thirteen year old Little Stevie Wonder. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Delores Schrader, and Lana Tepfer this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

This question came from Michael Carrico for all the Gorge natives. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the nickname for the swimming hole in Mosier where young people swam during the 60’s and early 70’s to find a reprieve from the summer heat? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a picture of yourself in a bathing suit back in the day when many of us used baby oil instead of sunscreen and never heard of skin cancer.

Well, it’s been another week, and another doctor poking my body. Until we meet again,
there will be times when you’ll feel down, but just know you will bounce back.

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep stepping.” Chinese Proverb

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