Aging Well June 25th 2013

Do you ever miss the “good ole days” when the Lone Ranger could dispense justice without fanfare or press conferences – and the local citizens had to ask “Who was that mask man? And when he could tell his trusted companion Tonto “I’ll shoot if I have too, but I will shoot to wound not to kill. If a man must die it is up to the law to decide that” and the viewing audience wouldn’t smirk.
Those times were not perfect. Beneath the wholesome exterior portrayed on television, there were vigilante hangings, unequal opportunities for women, (remember when girls could only play half-court basketball?), rivers on fire, organized crime alive and influential; and tobacco companies were still testifying that cigarettes didn’t kill.
I wouldn’t want to go back to those days, (although if I was eight again and knew what I know now – it would be tempting). But in our current cynical and distrustful times, there is something wishful and innocent, like a fresh breeze from a land faraway, about the beliefs the Lone Ranger held as a role model for the young children of the time – including myself. And I wonder do these values have any relevance today?
So just for a moment, let’s go back to a time sixty years ago and remember the ideals of the Lone Ranger.
“I believe: that to have a friend, a man must be one; that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world; that God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself; in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right; that a man should make the most of what equipment he has; that ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always; that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number; that sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken; that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever; in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.”
Last reminder. The Center’s annual summer rummage sale is this Thursday (June 27th) and Friday from 9:00 – 4:00; and ending on Saturday with the traditional bag sale from 9:00 until noon. As the saying goes “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
The one-of-a-kind Quilt, stitched together with fifteen historic cloth pictures, will be raffled off at the Cowboy Breakfast on July 20th – less than a month away. So time is running out to purchase your winning ticket. Raffle tickets are available at the Center for $1.00 apiece.
I’ve heard from Tim, the manager of The Dalles ReStore, that they are busier than ever this summer selling quality new or slightly used building materials and furniture at a fraction of retail prices.And to accommodate all the activity, they are open from 9:00- 6:00 during the summer months. But with longer hours Tim is also looking for more volunteers. If you want to help (all the income goes to support local Habitat projects) give him a call at 541-296-4486. Or better yet drop in at 1001 W 6th.
And before the commercial break ends and the show returns, playing tonight at the Center is “For the Good Times”. And on Tuesday, July 2nd starting at 7:00 PM the Strawberry Mountain Band will keep you busy till the sun fades into the evening skies. All ages are welcome and donations are always appreciated.
Tonto called the Lone Ranger Kemo Sahbee (also spelled Kemo Sabe or Kemosabe) meaning “trusted friend” or “trusted scout”. (And the winner this week is Betty Richmond.) But this week’s “Remember When” question is about another series that transitioned from radio to television. It portrayed a middle class family living in the Midwest and starred Robert Young (on both radio and television) as the father and a General Insurance agent. What was the name of this comedy that aired on television from 1954 until 1960? Mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a copy of a “Good Driver Agreement” from the Robert Young Good Driver Club.
Well, it has been another week trying to keep the “body busy and the mind delighted”. Until we meet again, consider this Swedish proverb: “Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.” 

Aging Well June 18th 2013

Automobiles have changed over the years – from push button transmissions, metal dash boards, and cigarette lighters to computerized engines, backup cameras and remote car keys (so you can lock your car from your living room – and accidently set off the car alarm as you fumble with your car keys!)
And so have traffic rules, driving conditions, and although I hate to admit it – so have we. But by taking a AARP Driver Safety course you’ll learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques, and how to manage and accommodate common age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time.
In addition, you’ll learn how to minimize the effects of dangerous blind spots; how to maintain the proper following distance behind another car; the safest ways to change lanes and make turns at busy intersections; ways to monitor your own and others’ driving skills and capabilities; the effects of medications on driving; and the importance of eliminating distractions, such as eating, smoking, and cell-phone use. No wonder many insurance companies will reduce your insurance rates if you successfully complete the class.
Dennis Davis teaches the AARP Driver Safety Class at the Center from 9:00 – 12:00 on the third Monday and Tuesday of every month. The cost is $14.00 and $12.00 for AARP members and you can sign up by calling the Center.
After completing the course, you will have a greater knowledge of how to avoid collisions and injuries to yourself and others. And maybe, just maybe, it will help you convince your kids not to take your car keys – at least not yet!
During the summer several of the Center’s activities enjoy a break including the Young-at-Heart Serenaders, Strong Women, Tuesday Lectures and Creative Arts. But there are plenty of other opportunities during the summer months to keep you active. Here are a few highlights.
If you are interested in local history The Dalles School District Archive Museum at the Wahtonka Campus is open every Saturday from 10:00 – 3:00 PM during the summer (whether you went to school in The Dalles or not, it is a fascinating collection of school memorabilia.) The Rorick House at 300 W. 13th Street is now open on Saturdays and Sundays through August with several Summer History Programs including Carolyn Wood discussing the restoration and preservations of the Historic Columbia River Highway at 1:30 on Saturday June 22nd. And you can “take a walk on the rural side” and visit the Sherman County Historical Museum in Moro including the 30thAnniversary Celebration on Saturday June 22nd.
If you are interested in art and music you can enjoy the work of local based artists at The Dalles Art Center; bring your picnic dinner and lawn chair to the Fort Dalles Fourth Sunday at the Fort Music Concerts; and at The Dalles/Wasco County Library on June 19th starting at 7:00 PM ,you can listen to 87 year old author Ralph Salisbury  who just published his memoir “So Far, So Good” – and award winning poet Ingrid Wendt
For more information about these and many more summer treats, you can go online to The Dalles Chamber of Commerce Community Calendar.
And before the bow bends and the arrow flies, playing tonight at the Center is “Truman” And on Tuesday, June 25th “For the Good Times” will play till your heart’s content or your knees are sore. Music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
The R&B group that formed in 1953 and successfully recorded several old standards including the My Prayer” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is the Platters. (And the winner this week is Ed Anghilante.)
But let’s move away from music to an icon of American culture. “The Lone Ranger” will be coming back to the movie theaters on July 3rd. But  Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels starred in the popular ABC series from 1949  – 1957 about the ex-Texas Ranger who left behind silver bullets, wore a mask made from his dead brothers’ vest and rode his trusty steed, Silver. And who along with his Indian companion Tonto, fought injustice in the Old West. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what did Tonto call the Lone Ranger? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of the William Tell Overture.
Well, it has been another week trying to lick the frosting off the cake without gaining any weight. Until we meet again, as George Carlin once said, “I’m in favor of personal growth as long as it doesn’t include malignant tumors”.

 “Life is understood looking backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Soren Kierkegaard                                             

Aging Well June 11th 2013

How many push-ups can you do? Or are you like me: the bigger challenge is just getting back up off the floor with some kind of grace and dignity!  
Many of you are already active and can testify that you don’t have to relive your junior high P.E. class to enjoy the benefits of exercise and movement. It can be as simple as walking around the block or throwing away the TV remote – or even the TV. It can include water aerobics, gardening, dancing, or movement classes at the Center. By staying active thirty minutes a day you can improve or maintain your strength, balance, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.
But try to avoid the excuses. Even with physical limitations, doing something is always better than doing nothing. If it becomes boring, mix it up and be creative. And even though you haven’t lost any weight or that extra inch around the waste, keep moving. It is still good for you.
There are also plenty of inexpensive ways to keep moving: a few plants here and a walking stick there or classes at the Center. And if you just don’t have the get up and go – to get out and move, reward yourself. Buy yourself a large chocolate milkshake. (Just kidding!)
Exercise with friends. The social connections will make it fun, more interesting and a little peer pressure can be the motivation that keeps you going. And start small. You’re not getting any younger. Just because you were able to do it twenty years ago, doesn’t mean you can expect to start off at that same level today.
But the point is that it is never too late to start being more active. But start small, make it fun and be creative. At our age we may no longer be the youthful hare of Aesop’s Fables. But we can still follow the tortoise’s example where slow and steady wins the race.
Physical health is June’s theme in your Passport to Happiness Calendar. And this month’s event will again take place at the Center from 3:00 – 4:30 on Wednesday June 19th. Don’t forget to bring your passport! And I promise there will be no push-ups or sit-ups. But maybe a few jumping jacks? 
It is already approaching June 15th – the third Saturday of the month which means SATURDAY BREAKFAST at the Center – this month sponsored by Ron Sutherland in honor of the 1947 The Dalles High School State Football Championship Team.  The menu includes Texas style French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, fruit and your choice of a morning beverage. Breakfast is served from 8:00 – 9:30 and the cost is only $5.00.  And before you move on, does anyone remember who the 1947 TDHS football coach was?
The Center’s annual summer rummage sale starts Thursday June 27th at 9:00 AM and runs through Saturday the 30th. We are now accepting used items you may have around the house or garage that need a new home. Give the Center a call or leave the items outside the basement door.
To sweep a few cobwebs from your noggin, try this little activity. For two weeks switch your watch to your other wrist and see how long it takes you to learn the new arrangement. (And count how many stares you get as you glance from one wrist to the other to find the time.)  
But if that doesn’t work for you, see if you can read the Center’s music announcement. rofeB eht neercsnus sehsaw ffo, gniyalp thginot ta eht retneC si “nitraM dna sdneirF”. dnA no yadseuT, enuJ ht81, “namurT” lliw eb gnimrofrep. cisuM strats ta 00:7, enoyreve si emoclew dna snoitanod era detaicerppa.
The name of the second-best-selling band in the United States: a four person English rock band formed in 1968 that recorded the Classic Rock radio staple “Stairway to Heaven” is Led Zeppelin. (And the winner is Anne Hutson.) But one last music question. There were plenty of R&B or Doo Wop groups in the 50’s. But what was the name of the group that formed in 1953 and hit upon a successful formula of updating old standards, such as My Prayer“, “Twilight Time“, and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes scoring four number one hits between 1955 and 1958? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or have it delivered by the Great Pretender.

Well, it has been another week trying to finish off the ice cream cone before it melts. Until we meet again, it is never too late to wish upon a star. 

Aging Well June 4th 2013

Several weeks ago I highlighted the public transportation options available in the Mid-Columbia area. (For a reminder you can go to But even the best system can’t meet every transportation need. That is when friends, neighbors and the community are asked to step up to fill the gaps.
An example is Don and Gae Wimberly who recently spoke at the Center about Relay for Life – scheduled for June 22nd at the Wahtonka campus track. Afterwards during lunch, they had a chance encounter with a person recently diagnosis with cancer who was searching for a ride to Portland for his cancer treatment.  
The good news – Don found a person willing to drive the individual to Portland. But knowing there were probably many more folks needing rides to their cancer treatments, Don also contacted Gretchen at the American Cancer Society office in Portland who – through the American Cancer Society’s “Road to Recovery” Program – is willing to coordinate local volunteers who have the time to provide rides with the individuals who need rides. If you have the time to drive a patient to their cancer treatment or if you can’t find a ride, give Gretchen a call at 1-800-227-2345 or go on line at As they say on their website, “Road to Recovery is the very essence of the American Cancer Society mission – people helping people overcome cancer. Won’t you help a patient get on the road to recovery?”
It would take too much space to include every new phone scam, but I’ll mention this one because a friend has just recently been receiving the following recorded calls. According to the Oregon Department of Justice, older Oregonians are receiving pre-recorded messages from medical alert imposters claiming to be from Life Alert, a home medical alert system company familiar to many older adults. The recordings sound like a real person claiming “someone has purchased a Life Alert system for you,” or that “you qualify for a free Life Alert.”

If you receive a recorded call like this, simply hang up the phone and DO NOT press a button to talk to a sales person. And once again, never give personal information or credit card numbers over the phone unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with. If you think you have fallen victim to this “medical alert” scam or any others, contact the Oregon Department of Justice online at or call 1-877-877-9392. And I will post all the scam alerts that come across my desk on the Center’s web page at
Have you noticed how rapidly technology is changing? You now have constant access to the world using your smartphone, can vacuum your floors with a flying saucer shaped robot; and you can buy a bracelet that monitors how far you walk and how well you sleep. On Tuesday at 11:00, Tim McLoughlin will discuss how this rapidly changing technology is shaping education including the classroom use of tablets, video conferencing, Google Earth and 3-D printers.
Mel Omeg caught a mistake in my last column. The “Pocketful of Feelings” workshop IS free and from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. BUT it is at The Dalles Wahtonka High School Auditorium, is open to the whole community and no registration is required. This special one-of-a-kind training will give you ways to help your grandchildren better understand their emotions and feelings.
And before the colors fade and the threads run bare, playing tonight at the Center is “The Strawberry Mountain Band” And on Tuesday, June 11th, “Martin and Friends” will be performing. Music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
The three young men who and helped launch the pop-folk boom in 1958 were the Kingston Trio. (And theis week’s winner is Alex Currie.) And for this week’s “Remember When” question, it is time revisit one of the great hard rock bands of the 60’s and 70’s. What is the name of the four person English rock band formed in London in 1968 by Jimmy Page; is considered one of the most innovative and influential rock groups ever and the second-best-selling band in the United States; and disbanded in 1980 after the death of their drummer John Bonham? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with the stairway bought by “a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold”.

Well, it has been another week trying to face the music without losing the beat. Until we meet again, enjoy the present because as Dan Williams reminded me “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been. And the youngest you’ll ever be.”