Aging Well in the Gorge March 11th 2020


Over the last month the Center has received several calls from individuals who have received spam calls. So, I guess it’s time for the semi-annual reminder on how to avoid scams – even for those of us who think “How could a person be that stupid?” But with the scams becoming increasing sophisticated, any of us could be “that stupid”.  

You already know the basics: don’t ever wire money or send cash or gift cards as a form of payment; don’t give your Social Security number to someone who makes an unsolicited call to you; and NO, your Social Security number cannot be suspended, revoked, frozen or blocked. (The Social Security Administration (SSA) may call you if you’ve working with the agency on some issue or claim. But just to make sure it’s truly the SSA calling you back, hang up and call SSA’s main number at (800) 772-1213).

Also, many of us are learning not to answer calls from unknown numbers. On my phone I try to keep my contact list up-to-date, so I know who’s calling. But I still feel guilty whenever I ignore a call from an unknown number especially if it’s a local number - but half the time it is just an unwanted solicitation. If they really want to talk to you, they’ll leave a message. I just have to remember to check my voice messages!

What I didn’t know were these two suggestions by AARP.

Don’t return one-ring calls from unknown numbers. These may be scams to get you to call hotlines in African and Caribbean countries that have U.S.-style three-digit area codes, and you could incur hefty connection and per-minute fees.

Don’t follow instructions on a prerecorded message, such as “Press 1” or “Press Yes” to speak to a live operator (it will probably lead to a phishing expedition); or press any key to get taken off a call list (it will probably lead to more robocalls).

If you have any questions call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline: 877-908-3360 available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. This free resource, available to everyone, can provide the information you need to protect yourself and your family.

On Thursday March 12th at 11:00 Stephanie Becker from MCMC will be discussing “Coping with the Blues” - how to pick yourself up when you’re down in the dumps. Learn how to maintain your health and well-being during difficult times while making the most of the rest of your life.

How are you going to spend St. Patrick’s Day? Drinking a bottle of Guinness by yourself? Why not have some fun by attending the 23rd annual “St. Pat’s at St. Pete’s” St. Patrick’s Day concert at 7 PM at the St. Peter’s Landmark on Tuesday, March 17th.  Victor Johnson, the River City Dudes, and others will join Cascade Singers community choir, the ensemble, and “Almost-All-Irish-Almost-All-Brass Band” for Irish classical songs, novelty numbers, traditional favorites and sing-alongs.  Admission is a free-will offering to benefit St. Peter’s Landmark.

The Arctic Circle restaurant was located where Montira’s Thai Cuisine is now, and Momma Jane’s replaced Pat’s Pancake House. But before Pat’s Pancake House, Gary Conley remembers Jumbo Drive-in and Ed Smart’s Secondhand store (I hope I got the right). Does anyone else remember them?

I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Virginia Johnson, John Huteson (who asked if anyone remembers the Hoot Owl Café), Tiiu Vahtel, Ron Nelson, Cherie Monette, who along with her husband worked at the Arctic Circle, and is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

The 50’s and 60’s were a time of cold war tensions. But it particularly came close to home when Fidel Castro led a revolt to overthrow Batista’s dictatorial regime in Cuba. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name for the failed landing operation in April 1961 on the coast of Cuba by Cuban exiles opposed to the increasingly communist government of Fidel Castro? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a tape of Ed Sullivan’s interview of Fidel Castro shown January 11th, 1959 on his variety show.

Well, it’s been another week, still waiting for my once a year good idea. Until we meet again, my wife told me there comes a time in every marriage when 70% of the conversations is someone yelling from the other room “WHAT?”.

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