Aging Well in the Gorge April 29th 2020


Governor Brown announced a “Framework for Opening Oregon” but there are still details to work out with all the stakeholders, so any idea when we will get back to the new normal is anyone’s guess and probably wrong. For some of you, this has been a time to catchup and do things you haven’t thought about or had the time to do; reread books you enjoyed ten years ago, watch Bringing up Baby with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant - again, or learn to bake a pizza napoletana as they do in Naples, Italy where pizza was born.

Then for many of you, you have been inside long enough and about ready to go bananas! (Do people still use that expression – or am I showing my age?)

But they say for every cloud there is a silver lining, and one benefit I have found is that many events are being held virtually so I am able to attend when otherwise I wouldn’t. An example was the Ageless Awards held in Portland last Thursday sponsored by the non-profit Age+ that recognized individuals over 75 who have contributed to their communities and are a role model for all of us. (You may recall that with the help of Age+ the Center sponsored the Wasco County Ageless Awards last year recognizing Lucille Petersen, Terry Stoddard, Bill Hamilton and Prudence Amick.)

The Ageless Awards was quite an inspiration: hearing the accomplishments and what motivated the three recipients of the award. One of the recipients you may recognize: Bev Clarno, who served in the Oregon House of Representatives (Speaker of the House from 1995 – 1997) and in the Oregon Senate; and at the age of 83 was appointed by Kate Brown in 2019 to serve as Secretary State. She described herself as not the oldest but the most experienced person to ever have filled that position.

During her acceptance, she made two points that spoke to me. She said that at the age of 83 she still wants to stay engaged because it makes her feel worthy. And she believes adults over 75 can do more than they allow themselves to do. Good advice. We may not reach the heights she has reached, but we can still do more than we think we can, helping others and caring for ourselves.

Time for another dose of humor. While researching next week’s column about talking to yourself (well, that’s not exactly right, but you’ll find out), I read about Franklin P. Jones, a Philadelphia reporter and humorist. He was known nationally during the 1940s and 50s for his column "Put it this Way" in the Saturday Evening Post (do you still remember the magazine?) which set a record as the magazine’s longest continuously published feature.

Here are a few of his many quips.

“Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
“A fanatic is one who sticks to his guns whether they're loaded or not.”
“The easiest way to solve a problem is to pick an easy one.”
“Nothing makes you more tolerant of a neighbor's noisy party than being there.”
“Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”

The influential singer thought by many as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music was "You Send Me" Sam Cooke. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Carol Salusso, Kim Birge, Patty Burnet, Dave Lutgens, Carol Earl (who I missed last week), Lana Tepfer and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket: Julie Davis.

In grade school I remember playing my favorite games during recess: four square, dodge ball, and touch football. Diane Weston remembers playing another game during recess. See if it’s one you remember. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the game where kids divided into two teams, one on each side of a building and before throwing a ball over the building would yell out the name of this game so the other side would know the ball was coming? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of Diane’s one room schoolhouse in North Park, Colorado.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying meeting people while out walking. Until we meet again, do something fun.

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” Harry S Truman

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