Aging Well in the Gorge October 6th 2015

We all age differently, some of us better than others, but we all grow older. It is one of the certainties of life – and only in science fiction is it otherwise.

 But the changes that take place can affect many of our everyday activities – especially our ability to drive. In America, and particularly in rural America, the automobile is considered essential. Even though there are alternatives such as LINK, without the ability and means to drive, we are limited in what we can do: going to the grocery store, attending church, dances and fundraisers. But by knowing how the normal aging process affects our ability to drive, we can learn to adapt and be better prepared so we can continue to drive and enjoy the independence driving provides.

You can learn more by attending the recently revised AARP Smart Driver class taught by Dick Frost. The next six hour AARP Smart Driver Class will be held at the Center from 8:45 AM – 12:05 PM on both Monday, October 19th and Tuesday, October 20th. (The class is offered every month on the third Monday and Tuesday.) For the $20.00 investment, or $15.00 for AARP members, you will learn how aging affects your driving abilities, as well as the recent changes in the Oregon state driving laws. You will need to bring your driver’s license, a check made out to AARP, and for AARP members, your membership number.

 After completing this class, you will be better prepared to manage today’s fast paced driving environment; and if that is not reason enough, you may be eligible for an automobile insurance discount. You can sign up at the Center or call (541) 296-4788. Dick looks forward to seeing you there!!

Thanks to the over three hundred folks who attended the BBR Dinner to support The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels and the Center. It was a rousing success! And there are many folks to thank for making it all possible. Once gain a very big thanks to The Springs at Mill Creek who generously sponsored the event so ALL the proceeds from the evening can be used for the operation of Meals-on-Wheels and the Center. Thanks to local bluegrass band Hardshell Harmony for providing the perfect music for a wonderful evening. (And on October 16th they will be playing before the Meals-on-Wheels dinner starting at 11:15.) And thanks to the many donors for the silent auction and raffle, all the wonderful volunteers – a special shout out to Denise Patton, Meals-on-Wheels director, who lead the charge preparing the Baby Back Ribs, and Ashley Lauterbach and Ron Sutherland who organized the effort.

Okay, this is my second mistake in two weeks. I was gently reminded that the hour long Line and Clogging Class, ably lead by Jacquie Hashizume, is back up and running, or should I say clogging, starting at 10:30 – not the other time I have often mentioned.

The topic for the Tuesday Lecture on October 13th will be “Using Technology to Maintain and Improve your Health and Fitness”. I will try to keep it simple while discussing how a growing number of older adults are using Fitbits to encourage themselves to keep moving, Skype and Google Hangout to stay socially connected, and Smartphone apps to monitor their heart rate, and more.

For Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center on October 13th, Martin and Friends will be performing. The doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, all ages are welcome and donations are appreciated.

The baseball player who hit the 9th inning home room known as the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” that sent the New York Giants to the 1951 World Series (where they were defeated by the New York Yankees) was Bobby Thomson. (And the winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Don McAllister.)

For this week’s “Remember When” question I’m sticking with sports but with a Hollywood twist. What swimmer won five Olympic Gold Medals, fifty-two U.S. National Championships, and set more than fifty world records during the 1920’s, but is more famously known for starring in six Tarzan movies in the 1940’s? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail a picture of him with another former competitive swimmer turned actor – Esther Williams.

Well, it’s been another week of cool mornings and warm afternoons. Until we meet again, when something goes wrong it’s always a nice to realize at least this time, it wasn’t me!

“A drunk driver is very dangerous. So is a drunk backseat driver if he’s persuasive.” Demetri Martin