FLU SHOTS at the Center

Offered by Rite Aid

Wednesday September 25th 10:00 – 2:00

Call to make an appointment (541-296-4788) or drop in

BINGO EVERY THURSDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS

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

UPDATED 9.10.19

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 https://www.thenew60comic.com/ 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 http://midcolumbiacommunityconcerts.org.

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





Aging Well in the Gorge August 28th 2019


As you read this, my wife and I are in Montreal for a family reunion/vacation. My idea of a vacation is doing nothing, hanging out at coffee shops drinking Chai Tea Lattes and shooting the breeze (Do people say that anymore? Shooting the breeze.) But my sister, who has lived most of her life in the Washington DC area (although we grew up in Indianapolis and she and her husband have moved back to Indy), wanted to go someplace more exciting! So we’ll be visiting Montreal and Quebec City which my wife and I don’t mind because Montreal will be the closest we’ll ever get to Paris. My sister is learning French so she can better appreciate the culture since Montreal is the second largest primarily French speaking city in the world. I have difficulty pronouncing English words so I’m skipping that effort. Except I have learned one phrase that might come in handy, “Où sont les toilettes?” which translates to “Where is the toilet?”

So I’ve decided to punt this week and use that age old trick of repeating part of a previous column from 2014 where I shared the insights I had learned over the years as Director of the Center. Some are original but most I have gather from others, James Dean and Adeline Knorr for example, and I hope you will find some of them useful as we share this journey of life.

1. What is good for your heart is good for your brain.
2. Learn something new without worrying how good you'll be.
3. First steps to improve your memory: focus and pay attention.
4. Most things don’t really matter, but a few really do.
5. The goal is not to get faster, but to keep from slowing down.
6. Getting older beats the alternative, but it is hard work.
7. Accept what you can't control - and then adapt.
8. Live in the now.
9. Know what you want and let others know – particularly your adult children.
10. “Dream as if you will live forever and live as if you will die tomorrow.” James Dean
11. Age is in your attitude.
12. “Avoid the five S’s: Sugar, Salt, Seconds, Soda and Shortening.” Adeline Knorr
13. Add color to your meals i.e. eat vegetables!
14. Isolation kills. Stay connected.
15. Keep moving - at least 30 minutes a day.
16. Breathe from your belly.
17. See the world with virgin eyes and you'll find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
18. Relationships are more important than things (although I do have an unhealthy relationship with my iPhone).
 19. Grey hair is cool.
 20. And as the late Carl Kramer once said, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out and before you know it, you are 100 years old.

Looking back, now that I’m 71 compared to when I was a young whipper snapper at 66, I wouldn’t change anything on the list. But there are two more insights I would add: “Denial is not a good strategy” and “Play – Rest – Repeat” which I will discuss in future columns. But what is exciting is knowing there is still more to discover about living healthy with courage, compassion and purpose.

Nehemiah Brown will be back one more time singing at the Center during the Meals-on-Wheels lunch on September 6th starting at 11:30. Unfortunately this may be his last performance since he and Carol will be moving to Arizona.

The names of the two stars of the first five beach party movies produced in the 1960’s were Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Since I am enjoying the coffee shops and shooting the breeze in Montreal, I’ll mention everyone with correct answers next week.

Now that we’re near the end of another summer, I thought I’d see if you remember this bestselling recording of the summer of ‘63. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who at the age of 13 recorded live the summer hit “Fingertips Pt 2” and went on to be one of the best-selling musicians of all time? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop the answer off at the Center with a Hohner Chromonica 280/64 Harmonica.

Well, it’s been another week, filed away in the file drawer. Until we meet again, enjoy a beautiful Labor Day remembering all those who labored to make this country what it is today.

“For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Aging in the Gorge August 14th 2019


At Nicole Pashek’s excellent presentation on “Normal Memory Loss and Aging” information was shared that you might find helpful. So bear with me as I spend one more week talking about brain health.

Because of the brain's ability to change and adapt which is known as neuroplasticity, there are actions you can take to maintain your brain health and memory. Seven of them are described in a handout Nicole distributed called “Tips for Maintaining and Improving Your Memory”. See how many of these seven tips you are currently practicing.

1. Socialize. Participation in social and community activities improves mood and memory function by giving you a chance to think on your feet and build supportive relationships.

2. Get moving! You’ve heard it before “What is good for your heart is good for your brain”. Physical activities and exercise such as brisk walking helps boost and maintain brain function. Try starting your own walking group and then you can cover these first two tips at the same time.

3. Train your brain. Using mnemonic strategies to remember names improves learning and memory. (Mnemonics are tricks and techniques for remembering information that is difficult to recall. For example, the mnemonic “Will A Jolly Man Make A Jolly Visitor? is used to remember the first eight U.S. presidents – which are?)  And I would add, learn something new every day whether by watching the National Geographic television station, taking classes at CGCC (and some classes are discounted for older people) to attending presentations at the Center, the Library, the Discovery Center and the Art Center – or just by trying to operate your new smartphone.

4. Don’t buy into negative ageist stereotypes! Studies have shown that having a positive belief about aging can improve memory performance in older people.

5. It’s difficult to gain knowledge if you can’t see or hear well. For example, if you have difficulty hearing it is hard to socialize (see tip number one). I’ve found hearing aids won’t give me 20/20 hearing but they sure help. And take time to clean them regularly because they don’t help when they’re clogged.   

6. Keep a sense of control and confidence in your memory. A little memory loss is normal. I’ve had memory loss since high school. “Mom, I forgot when you said I was supposed to be home after the party. It wasn’t 2:00 am? But there are memory aids (I use plenty of notes) to help maintain confidence in your memory.

7. Avoid distractions that divert your attention. If information doesn’t get encoded in your brain, it’s not going to be remembered. Distractions can be as simple as a loud noise to something more complex as trying to do several things at once or listening to those conversations in your head.

To maintain your general health as well as your brain health, Nicole also suggested you take advantage of your annual Medicare Wellness exam which is available once every twelve months. There is not a co-pay; and if you often felt rushed at your regular doctor appointments your wellness exam is for sixty minutes. This gives you an opportunity to share your concerns and discuss what you can do to improve your health. As the say, “An ounce of prevention is … well, you know the rest.

The two seater introduced by Ford in 1955 in response to the Corvette was the Ford Thunderbird. I received correct answers from Jess Birge, Rhonda Spies, Cheri Brent, Tiiu Vahtel, Jerry Phillips, Sandy Haechrel and Lee Kaseberg, - this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And once again, I missed someone last week and this time it was Dave Sturgeon.

Clothing styles are always changing, hemlines going up and then down, (remember the kneeling test to see if a girl’s skirt was too short); tight pants to baggy to something in between. Some styles last a while and others are just a blip in the fashion world as was this style of jacket. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the hip-length tailored jacket with a mandarin collar warn by the Prime Minister of India and was popular in the mid-60’s? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with one of the 200 jackets of this style owned by Sammy Davis, Jr.

Well, it’s been another week, complaining when the wind blows and then again when it doesn’t. Until we meet again, enjoy every day because you can’t take anything for granted.

 “When all else fails, there’s always delusion.” Conan O’Brien

Aging Well in the Gorge August 7th 2019


As I am writing this on Sunday, we have avoided the triple digit weather but as sure as the Klickitats turn brown in June, those days are coming. But most of us can’t tolerate the heat as well as when we were growing up – staying cool without air conditioners by using fans, dehumidifiers (my family’s favorite method in Indiana) swimming holes and ice packs. We managed and we still can if we take the necessary precautions.

Even in the Gorge where your shirt doesn’t stick to your back during the summers (if you are from back east you know what I mean), dehydration is still a major health concern. The Oregon Department of Human Services cautions, “Not getting enough fluids each day can take a tremendous toll on every aspect of bodily functions, including possible changes in memory, vision, and kidney and heart function.” This is especially true for older people because the percentage of a person’s weight in water changes significantly as we age and consequently, any decrease in fluid consumption can cause proportionately more dehydration.

To prevent dehydration, you should drink at least six cups of liquids regularly throughout the day and avoid caffeinated drinks which act as diuretics. Instead, try drinking flavored carbonated water, decaffeinated ice teas or just add a slice of lemon to a glass of ice cold water.

It doesn’t take a U of O graduate to know to stay cool, but not everyone has air conditioning or good insulation in their homes. And with a prolonged heat wave homes can get dangerously warm. This summer take care of yourself and take time to check on your neighbors to make sure they can handle the heat.

But if you need a refreshing interlude, imagine cruising along the Willamette River on the Portland Spirit enjoying delicious Northwest cuisine and amazing views of Portland. It has been one of the Center’s most popular trips and this year it will be on Wednesday, August 14th. The cost is $85 which includes the lunch cruise and transportation. Reserve your seat now by calling the Center at 541-298-4788.

The Dalles will be busy this weekend with the “Neon Cruise” downtown on Friday night, “Show in the Shade” at Sorosis Park on Saturday and then on Sunday the “Classic Drags” at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport and the “Dufur Classic Car Show”. And if you enjoy Northwest Country music, Friday night the Brewers Grade Band (named after Brewery Grade) will be performing at the Rib Kickin’ Boot Stompin’ Benefit for Breast Health for Strong Families at the corner of 2nd and Washington.

I need to give a “Staying Sharp” award to Donna Guth. The answer to the puzzle from two weeks ago where one letter is removed at a time was snowing, sowing, owing, wing, win, in, I. But Donna Guth found another correct answer. By dropping the o in sowing, you end up with snowing, sowing, swing, wing, win, in, I. Good job using those “grey cells”.

The airline founded in 1930 and in its heyday carried the most transatlantic passengers of any airline but in 2001 ceased operations was Trans World Airlines or TWA. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent with the help of Charles Hooser, Jerry Phillips, Jess Birge, Carol Earl, and Delores Schrader this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I thought I was missing someone - and it was Rhonda Spies.

During the 1950’s the number of registered automobiles exploded from 25 million in 1950 to 67 million in 1958 creating the environment for such social innovations as the drive through and drive-in restaurant, the drive-in movie theater (where many of us enjoyed more than just the movie); and a high school student’s favorite weekend pursuit “cruising the gut”.

During that decade one of the automotive advancements was the Chevrolet Corvette which was a two-door, two-passenger sports car first introduced in 1953. In response Ford introduced a two seater in 1955 but it wasn’t marketed as a sports car but as a “personal luxury vehicle”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this Ford model?  Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop the answer off with the keys to this model preferably one from 1957.

Well, it’s been another week, wondering if the wind will ever stop. Until we meet again, as I am often reminded, nothing is without risk.

“I’m a peripheral visionary. I can see into the future but way off to the side.” Steven Wright

Aging Well in the Gorge July 31st 2019


As we grow older, we really can’t imagine what it will be like. Okay, maybe we can: working in the garden or the shop at our own home; traveling across the country visiting grandkids; or just relaxing with not a cloud in the sky or a worry to fret about. But the older we get the better we know that may not be exactly how it turns out. There will be plenty of good times and great experiences, but there will be potholes and detours along the way. As my 97 year old relative who is recovering from his second broken hip said, “This is not what I expected”.

To prepare for the unexpected, Robert Mauterstock posted on the Forbes website “Three Important Questions You Must Ask Your Aging Parents”. But considering that many of you are the aging parents, I suggest asking yourself these questions or initiating the discussion with your adult children. I know they may want to avoid thinking about your future. But let’s face it, denial is not a good strategy.

The first question is: “If one of you becomes disabled or requires long term care, where do you plan to live?” If the answer is your home, how accessible is it? Are there stairs? Are the doors wide enough for a wheelchair or walker if needed?

The second question is: “If one of you needs continuing care, who will provide it?
Who is going to take care of the one in need of care? The other spouse, one of the adult children? Does everyone understand what it means to be a caregiver particularly 24/7? And if outside help is needed what are the costs?

Which leads to the third and last question. “If one of you needs long term care, how do you expect to pay for that care? Long term care insurance? But there are conditions and limitations, and most people don’t carry that kind of insurance. Medicare? Contrary to what many people believe, Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care. So, most likely long term care will have to be paid by personal resources until those resources are spent down to when the person qualifies for Medicaid.

We don’t know what to expect but the unexpected. And discussing these questions with your spouse, adult children, or loved ones now instead of later will give you a clearer understanding of what your options are so you will be better prepared to meet your future long term care needs.

Now time for a pop quiz from last week’s lesson. This is a self-graded test, but If you pass, you can be confident that you haven’t totally lost it! #1. Here are the answers from last week, but what were the three questions? Snowing, sowing, owing, wing, win, in, I. The numbers are ordered alphabetically based on their English spelling. 40 dollars. #2 When will Nicole Pashek be speaking at the Center on “Normal Memory Loss and Aging”? #3 What were the three words I wanted to remember during my health assessment?

Last week’s question was a tough one, but the name of the fortified diet drink introduced in the early 1960’s that I was thinking of was not Tang (which Julie Carter and Mike Carrico answered and I remember my family drinking because it was what the astronauts drank), but Metracal. I only received two correct answers (if I didn’t miss anyone) from Lana Tepfer and Elaine Lee this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Carol Earl.

During the 50’s and 60’s there were fewer airlines and flying was twice as expensive. But in 1978 the Airline Deregulation Act passed which changed the commercial flying landscape and not all airlines were able to survive. For this week’s “Remember When” question what airline was founded in 1930 and in its heyday carried the most transatlantic passengers of any airline, but in 2001 ceased operations ten years after its rival Pan American World Airways filed for bankruptcy? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a picture of Howard Hughes who acquired control in 1939 after which the airline became known as the “airline of the stars”.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to steer my way through the rapids to clear water. Until we meet again, don’t let feeling tired always keep you from doing what you want to do.

“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.” Kitty O’Neill Collins


Aging Well in the Gorge July 24th 2019


If you’re like me, you worry about memory loss: can’t remember a friend’s name; where you parked the car or why is my banana in the freezer? But memory loss can have more serious consequences: forgetting to turn off the stove or taking your medications.

So how do you know if your memory loss is normal or an indication of future difficulties? One method is a simple memory test such as I was given during my in-home health assessment provided by my Medicare Advantage Plan.

During the health assessment, I was asked to repeat three words: dog, couch, pizza. And since I’m concerned about my memory, I knew I had better remember those three words because I would be asked to repeat them later. But I was prepared!

I knew from the Center’s Brain Fitness Club a good technique to remember several words is to visualize them together. So, I created a mental picture of a “DOG, lying on a COUCH eating PIZZA”. (It also pictured quite a mess and my wife really wasn’t happy!)

I was then asked several more questions testing my memory: what day is it? what time does a picture of a clock without the numerals represent? I answered them both correctly as I kept mentally focused on a picture of a “DOG on COUCH eating PIZZA”.

There were more general health related questions and I seemed to remember being told what vaccines the “DOG on the COUCH eating PIZZA” needed and something about an Advanced Directive that all “DOGS on COUCHES eating PIZZA” should have.

As expected at the end of my interview I was asked to repeat those three words and I calmly answered, “WIFE chasing me around LIVING ROOM with a BROOM!”. No, that’s the wrong picture. It’s “DOG on a COUCH eating PIZZA”.

The good news is I passed the memory test. But unfortunately, if you asked me to repeat anything else I was told - I wouldn’t have a clue.

If you are concerned about your own memory (and who isn’t), you will want to attend Nicole Pashek’s presentation about “Normal Memory Loss and Aging” on Wednesday, August 7th at 11:00 at the Center. Write it down!

Until then here are three riddles to work your brain’s neurons and synapses. (Answers will be in next week’s column or you can find them on the Center’s website: www.midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com.)

#1. One snowy morning, Jane awoke to find that her bedroom window was misty with condensation. She drew the word "SNOWING" on it with her finger. Then she crossed out the letter N, turning it into another English word: "SOWING." She continued this way, removing one letter at a time, until there was just one letter remaining, which is itself a word. What words did Jane make, and in what order?

#2. The Number Row. The numbers one through 10, below, are listed in the following order: 8 5 4 9 1 7 6 10 3 2. What is the rule that causes them to be in this order? (Hint - don’t think mathematically.)

#3. Counting Bills. I had a wad of money in my pocket. I gave half away and of what remained, I spent half. Then, I lost five dollars. That left me with just five bucks. How much money did I start with?

The Danny Thomas Show ran on CBS from 1957 through 1964, but it first aired on ABC in 1953 as Make Room for Daddy. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Alice Mattox, Cheri Brent, Beverly McKinney, Mike Carrico, Jess Birge, Betsy Ayres and Debra Sorrels this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I enjoy scanning the advertisements in magazines from the 50’s and 60’s and reminiscing about some of the products that have faded away. Jean Hockman and I were doing just that when looking through a Life magazine, Jean came across an advertisement for a popular diet product - before the days of Slimfast.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this brand of diet drink introduced in the early 1960’s that originally came as a powder fortified with vitamins and minerals which was to be mixed with water? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with the November 20th, 1964 edition of Life magazine.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping my cool. Until we meet again, if you are going to walk on the moon you have to get there first.

“I am never upset for the reason I think.” Helen Schueman


Aging Well in the Gorge July 17th 2019


Does anyone have a crystal ball I could borrow? Because wouldn’t it be nice to know what our future looks like so we could be better prepared – but on the other hand maybe not? Well, I’ll leave that discussion for another day.

But we don’t know what unexpected events may come our way; what’s going to slap us across the face. We’d like to consider what we would do if we won the Power Ball jackpot (And when you do, the Center, Meals-on-Wheels and other non-profits are always looking for donations!) rather than what we would do if there was a train derailment or a threatening forest fire. So, we don’t prepare believing it won’t happen to us until the unexpected happens and it does.

Let’s take a minute then to think about this situation. If there was an emergency and you had to leave your home immediately with all your important documents, what documents would you take?

Here is a list of documents from an article Donnamae Grannemann emailed me titled “Key Documents You Need to Take with You in an Emergency” that the author suggests putting together in an easily accessible Go-To-File.

1.) Important contacts such as family members, doctors, dentist, lawyer, insurance broker and other key resources.

2.) Cash because if the power goes down and the ATM’s and other machines no longer work you won’t have time to find all your extra cash you have hidden around the house.

3.) Identification records such as original documents of your birth certificate, passport and Social Security card. (I am assuming you are always caring your driver’s license, bank and credit cards, and health insurance identification cards.)

4.) A video of your residence and possessions which you can easily record using your cell phone camera.

5.) Copies of your insurance policies, especially for home and auto insurance, to contact your insurer if you need to start a claim.

6.) Recent financial statements such as your most recent statements from your credit card companies, banks, brokerage firm, retirement accounts, car loan and company in case you also need to contact them.

7.) Tax returns - at least the last three years.

8.) Legal documents such as your car registration and car title; your property deed and mortgage papers; as well as your will, power of attorney, and other legal documents.

And let me add one more item that wasn’t mentioned in the article, but I would be up a deep creek if I lost them – my passwords! How many times have I forgotten my Apple or Google password and had to go to my little black book to find it? As we do more of our business online, knowing our passwords is essential.

Having these important documents in a Go-To-File is not only helpful in emergencies, it is just a good idea for any unexpected situation. If you and your spouse or loved ones know where to find the information, it can save you and your family from additional stress that you don’t need during difficult times. If you want to learn more, you can find the complete article on the Center’s website at www.midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com.

The baseball coach who led the New York Yankees to nine World Series during the 1950’s and returned to coach the expansion team New York Mets in 1962 (who won only forty games and lost 120 games that first season) was Casey Stengel. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Jim Ayres, Mike Carrico, Jess Birge, Tiiu Vahtel, Jack Lorts, Doug Bloomdahl and Rhonda Austin who wins a free quilt raffle ticket for her persistence.

Let’s dial the time machine back to the 1950‘s again, but this time looking at the fast growing medium: television. From 1957 through 1964, the Danny Thomas Show was usually one of the top ten shows on television. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the original title for the show when it first aired in 1954? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer on the back of a picture of Angela Cartwright who played Danny’s adopted daughter.

Well, it’s been another week, dodging arrows that keep coming.  Until we meet again, you discover at a certain age modesty is no longer something you can afford so you might as well wrap it up and mail it to your 18-year-old granddaughter who could probably use it.

“Life literally abounds in comedy if you just look around you.” Mel Brooks


Aging Well in the Gorge July 10th 2019


Are you living with several chronic conditions - conditions that won’t go away and you have just learned to live with? A 2017 study by Rand Health showed that over 82% of adults 65 and older have more than one chronic condition that range from an irritant to life threatening.

But living with a serious chronic condition for years is a struggle and each person finds their own way to cope. Such was the case for Carole Anderson who turned to writing and painting to support her healing for over thirteen years after being diagnosed with Lymphoma.

To share her story of the healing power of art, Carole, Corliss Marsh and Scott Stephenson, the new director of The Dalles Art Center, have created a fascinating ongoing and evolving exhibition this month at the Art Center called “In Process: My Handmade Life”. The exhibition features writings and paintings from Carole’s book My Handmade Life which she hopes will provide encouragement and comfort for others living with cancer or another serious chronic condition. The opening reception was last week, but at the Art Center on July 11th from 5:30-7:30 pm, you can hear Carole read excerpts from her book as well as view many of her paintings.

This exhibit is both an opportunity for Carole to share her story of living life with a chronic illness which she describes as a patchwork quilt; and an opportunity to build community. And this is where you can participate. Using the idea of a quilt, you are invited to add your own personal thoughts and feelings to a community quilt that will hold the individual experiences within a community.
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To create this community quilt, you are invited to “sew-ins” on every Thursday in July from 1:00 – 4:00 led by local quilt maker, Corliss Marsh. Everything will be provided to create your own quilt block that will be added to the quilt. And if you want to keep your thoughts private, you can write them on a sheet of paper that will be used as the batting for the quilt. Upon completion at the end of July, the community quilt will be permanently displayed at the Art Center.

I hope you will find time to hear Carole’s story and participate in this inspiring community-building exhibition that is a work in process. Visit Facebook (The Dalles Art Center) and Instagram (@thedallesartcenter) for more information.

The Center is offering trips during the summer and the Center’s next trip will be on Thursday, July 18th to the Old Aurora Colony Museum. You will have a chance to explore the five-building museum complex including: the Ox Barn, Steinbach Cabin, Kraus House, Will Family Summer Kitchen and Tie Shed. The cost is $45 which covers the transportation and admission. If you want to take the Guided Tour that will be an additional $5.00. For lunch there will be a stop at the Filbert’s Farmhouse Kitchen where you can order off the menu. Call the Center to sign up.

The name the 1963 hit song whose lyrics were so unintelligible they were thought to be obscene and consequently banned in several places was “Louie, Louie” by the Kingsmen. And the other band that recorded “Louie, Louie” in the same studio (411 S.W. 13th Avenue in Portland) and around a week later was Paul Revere and the Raiders. I received correct answers from Carol Earl, Jess Birge, Cheri Brent, Mike Carrico, Mark Bartel, and Jim Heitkemper this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And I missed Carol Earl from last week.

Baseball was a big part of many boys lives back in the day: throwing a baseball back and forth with your dad or listening to the baseball world series during school. So how about a question about “America’s Pastime”?

The New York Yankees were dominant in the 50’s playing in nine World Series and winning seven of them. For this week’s “Remember When” question who was their coach that said after being fired by the Yankees in 1960 “I'll never make the mistake of being seventy again”? And for bonus points, when he returned to major league coaching in 1962 which expansion team did he coach? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a 1963 Topps baseball card of "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the beautiful days in the Gorge.  Until we meet again, keep writing your own life story.

“God invented mankind because he loved silly stories.” Ralph Steadman, illustrator

Aging Well in The Gorge July 3rd 2019


Laughter can be a life saver as we age. As the teacher and writer Bel Kaufman wrote, “Laughter keeps you healthy. You can survive by seeing the humor in everything. Thumb your nose at sadness; turn the tables on tragedy. You can’t laugh and be angry, you can’t laugh and feel sad, you can’t laugh and feel envious.”

I always enjoy a good laugh particularly at my expense, But some of the humor about aging portrays older adults as incapable and out of touch: at home after lunch snoring in an over-stuffed chair, still trying to learn Windows XP, or constantly forgetting their car keys. But we know these perceptions aren’t true. (Okay it was embarrassing when I was on the Coffeebreak last week and I couldn’t remember the Center’s phone number. But give me a break. I don’t often call the Center!)

But if the underlying assumptions of these jokes are accepted, they reinforce the negative perception of older adults - and the awe-inspiring stories of super seniors are just the exceptions that prove the rule.

Worse though is these stereotypical beliefs about older adults can affect how we perceive ourselves and affecting our confidence, so some mistake we wouldn’t even thought about years ago, becomes another indication of our declining abilities.

Sadly, this self-doubt can limit us. We may choose to stop volunteering afraid of making mistakes or stop walking afraid of falling or avoid new experiences because we are afraid of looking foolish.

As we age, we all know there are many challenges, but we needn’t underestimate ourselves but see ourselves as capable, so when there is an obstacle or even an opportunity, we can face it with confidence

As the actor Alan Alda said “Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. “

So periodically I will share a joke I feel projects a positive view of aging. Here is one which demonstrates the cunning of older adults.

One day a police car pulled up to Granny’s home and Grampy got out. The deputy explained that this elderly gentleman had said he was lost in the park.

“Why sad Igor,” said Granny. “You’ve been going there for more than 30 years! How on earth could you say you got lost?”

Leaning close to Granny so the police officer couldn’t hear, he whispers, “Wasn’t exactly lost. I was just too tired to walk home.”

One of the Center’s most popular programs is the medical equipment loan closet. On the average, the Center receives four requests a day, but recently we have not been able to fill many of the requests because the Center’s cupboards are practically bare (except for walkers which we always seem to have). If you have any borrowed medical equipment you no longer are using just drop it off at the Center. And if you have any medical equipment you no longer need, we would certainly appreciate the donation.

Before I enter the home stretch, a quick reminder. The Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be open July 4th but closed on July 5th and there will not be Bingo on the 4th or 6th.

Tommy James and the Shondells sang about their baby doing the “Hanky Panky” which was the title of their 1966 number one hit song. I received correct answers from Mark Bartel, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Jerry Phillips, Rhonda Spies, Cheri Brent, and someone I’ve forgotten but who once I remember will be the winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I was pretty naïve growing up and it wasn’t until my adult years while listening to an oldie-but-goldie by the Starlight Vocal Band I realized “Oh, that’s what ‘afternoon delight’ means!” There have been many controversial songs including this 1963 hit whose lyrics were so unintelligible they were thought to be obscene and was banned by several localities including my home state of Indiana.

For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of that ever-popular party song produced by Ken Chase, a Portland radio personality on KISN radio? And for bonus points what two Portland bands recorded the song? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer on the back of a photo of the plaque placed by the City of Portland at 411 SW 13th Avenue.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep life in perspective.  Until we meet again, stay safe and enjoy a wonderful Independence Day.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles Schulz

Aging Well in the Gorge June 26th 2019


July 4th is a time to celebrate our nation’s independence and this year it falls on a Thursday. And maybe because I like to sleep in after watching the Fort Dalles Fourth Fireworks display which starts at 10:00 - and ends way past my bedtime. Or because it is nice to celebrate the Fourth with friends during the Meals-on-Wheels noon dinner and their own July 4th celebration, Meals-on-Wheels and the Center will be open on Thursday July 4th but closed July 5th through the 7th. That also means there will not be Thursday or Saturday night bingo to give our dedicated volunteers a night off.

If you appreciate the activities planned for the Fort Dalles Fourth celebration, they are still looking for donations for veteran banners that will be displayed downtown through Labor Day. According to their Facebook posts you can drop off your donation at the Optimist Printers or donate at the Fort Dalles Fourth GoFund Me page. Any size donation is accepted and for every $149 contributed, a retired banner will fly another season.

I was able to sit in on one of Patrick Wilbern’s presentations at the Center on Veteran’s Benefits and the recent changes. I was impressed by his knowledge and his commitment to supporting Veterans and will make sure he is invited back this coming fall.

I learned that because the Veterans’ benefits system is so complex and ever-changing, there are often unintentional errors that an advocate such as Patrick can help correct so you receive the benefits you deserve. If you have questions, call the Wasco County Veterans’ Services Office at 541-506-2502 and make an appointment with either Patrick or Russell Jones. And on Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 – 12:00 you can just walk in to talk to Patrick - but it is first come first served.  

If it’s the first Tuesday of the month, it’s time for Kerry Cobb’s monthly art presentation. Kerry has retired from her position as director of the Columbia Arts Center which gives her time to travel including her recent trip to Spain. There she had the chance to experience the works of the Major Artists of Spain which will be the topic of her presentation on Tuesday, July 2 @ 1pm. As Kerry points out, Spain has a rich history of influential artists who each created their own unique Spanish style. During her presentation you will have a chance to explore the works of artists who played a major role in the history of western painting, including Picasso, Velazquez, Goya, Miro, El Greco, and Dali.

The title of the song written for a 1955 movie with the same title; won an Academy Award for best original song; and the recorded version by the Four Aces reached number one in 1955 was “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”; and not the song “Three Coins in a Fountain” which I didn’t realize also had the same title as the 1954 movie, was recorded by the Four Aces and won an Academy Award for best original song. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Cheri Brent, Jerry Phillips, Delores Schrader (who has the Four Aces CD), Don & Daryln Hansen, Ron Nelson and Carol Earl who remembered both songs and is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Mark Bartel and Cheri Brent.

I often hear folks bemoaning the quality of popular music these days and that it just doesn’t compare to the music we listened to when we were younger. I can’t speak for those who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s but looking back at some of the popular songs during the 60’s, they’re a little embarrassing. Remember the Troggs singing “Wild thing you make my heart sing”? But that wasn’t the only hit song that was “cringe worthy”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, Tommy James and the Shondells in their number one song from 1966 sang about their baby doing what? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with the recording of “That Boy John’” by the Raindrops.

Well, it’s been another week, thinking any moment the Gorge winds could send me flying through the air with the greatest of ease.  Until we meet again, take pleasure in the small everyday experiences. 

“I used to think getting old was about vanity – but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.” Joyce Carol Oates

Aging Well in the Gorge June 19th 2019


If you no longer can drive, or don’t want to drive anymore, how can you get to the store, to your all-too-frequent doctors’ appointments or to activities at the Center? In other words, how can you stay connected?

One answer is the LINK, The Dalles public transportation provider, which has been providing rides since 1997. But it has been a challenge to find the “next right answer” to improve the public transportation services in The Dalles, but recently there have been several changes to better serve the general public. You can learn more about the transportation options in The Dalles at the 1:00 presentation by Jessica Metta at the Center on June 25th. And most importantly you will be able to ask questions and share what you feel is working well and what you wish to see differently.

Until then here is a quick review of the services the LINK provides in The Dalles area.

Deviated Fixed Route: The LINK is operating a Deviated Fixed Route service on an hour loop to key destinations in The Dalles on Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Rides are still just $1.50 each.

Dial-a-Ride: This has been the LINK’s bread and butter service. This dial-a-ride, door-to-door service operates Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Trips are $1.50 each way and need to be scheduled at least twenty-four hours in advance.

Shopping Bus: The LINK also offers a regular trip to grocery stores and shopping centers in The Dalles on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Cost is $3.00 for unlimited stops with no shopping bag limit. The LINK drivers will help load and unload your bags (bags must be under 25 pounds).

For more information including schedules and routes, you can call the LINK at 541-296-7595, visit the LINK’s website at www.mcedd.org/linktransit, stop by The Dalles Transit Center at 802 Chenowith Loop or pick up a brochure at the Center.  

But LINK isn’t the only public transportation provider in the area. If you live in Sherman County, you probably already know about Sherman County’s Community Transit which provides dial-a-ride services throughout Sherman County with weekly trips to The Dalles and regular trips to Portland and points east for seniors, individuals with disabilities and others as space allows. The fare is $5.00 round-trip per rider. For schedule/route information you can call (541) 565-3553 or visit their website at www.co.sherman.or.us/departments/sherman-transit.

And for our friends in southern Wasco County, (The late Lenore Walters once told me in no uncertain terms, as she probably told many others, it is “southern” Wasco County not south. South is not an adjective!) there is the TSCC bus service which relies on volunteer drivers to take you to wherever you need to go.

The Blue Zones Cooking Demos are returning to the Center on the last Tuesdays
of the month from 5:30 – 7:00 starting June 26th. Break out of your cooking doldrums and join the fun learning how to prepare healthy and TASTY! recipes from OSU’s “Food Hero” website where you can also find meal ideas, and cooking tips and tools.

A quick reminder: READY-SET-RETIRE is scheduled for June 26th, 4:00 – 7:00 at the Center. In this free workshop from AARP Oregon and the Small Business Development Center, you’ll learn about tuning up your finances before retirement, Social Security and Medicare, OregonSaves - an easy way to save for retirement, and how to turn your expertise into a business opportunity by becoming an Encore Entrepreneur.

The name of the song written for the 1967 film, The Graduate and sung by Simon and Garfunkel was “Mrs. Robinson”.  I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Jess Birge, Jerry Phillips, Betsy Ayers, Ron Nelson and “Hey, Hey, Hey” Janet Figg this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Let’s stick with another popular song from a movie soundtrack but from the 50’s which I’m guessing will be a little more challenging. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the song written for a 1957 movie of the same title; won an Academy Award for best original song; and that the Four Aces’ version reached number one for three weeks in 1955? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with the splendid Italian version recorded by Neil Sedaka, "L'Amore E' Una Cosa Meravigliosa".

Well, it’s been another week, kicking down the gravel road and feeling groovy.  Until we meet again, don’t let the bus pass you by.

“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out." Warren Buffett

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