Aging Well August 14th

After sixteen days and nights following the 30th Olympiad in London, you can appreciate the dedication, sacrifice, and perseverance it takes to succeed. And while the competitive spirit isn’t always a clear path to health and wellbeing, for many folks it doesn’t fade away and instead offers new challenges, purpose and vitality as they grow older.

That is the case for the eight international table tennis competitors who competed in the “2010 World Over 80’s Table Tennis Championships”. They are portrayed in the new documentary “Ping Pong: Never Too Old for Gold” directed by Hugh and Anson Hartford and released in Great Britain two weeks before the Olympics. With warmth and humor, the documentary “explores the hope, regret and immediacy of growing old”. An example is the following exchange between an interviewer and Dorothy Delow, one of the oldest competitors at the age of 97. When the interviewer asked “Why are you participating in this competition, you’re so old!” Dorothy incredulously replied, “Oh, I’m not that old!” You can view the film’s trailer on the Center’s website or google “Ping Pong- Never Too Old for Gold”. And from an email I just received from Anson Hartford, the film, unfortunately, won’t be released in the United States until next spring.

But in the meantime, anyone interested in playing table tennis? It requires quick thinking, good hand eye coordination and some aerobic fitness (but I don’t have to run around a tennis court on my uncooperative knees). And does anyone have a good used ping pong table that the Center could borrow or keep? If you answered yes to any of the above, give me a call and we can schedule a regular practice time. And one of these days, if we are blessed to reach our 80’s, maybe we will have a chance to fly to London and “Go for the Gold”. Anything’s possible!

And if table tennis isn’t your cup of sweat, but you have a particular interest or hobby you would like to share with others, the Center could be the answer. Last year, the Center started several new activities because of the personal interest of several folks: Corliss Marsh’s beginning Mahjong Class on Fridays from 1:00 – 3:00, Richard (the tech wizard of Dufur) Lyon’s class on how to get the most out of your iPad from 1:00 – 2:00 on the first Wednesdays; and Edna Miller’s “Digging Up Bones” an introduction to Genealogy starting at 1:00 on the second and fourth Tuesdays – all of which will be meeting in September. If you are interested in sharing your talents or interests, contact me at the Center and we will see what we can put together.

Saturday the 18th is the third Saturday of the Month and you know what that means at the Center? Breakfast in the AM from 8:00 – 9:30; Old Fashioned Bingo in the PM from 3:00 – 4:00 (before Saturday Night Bingo at 6:00) and for me, a nap in between. The August Breakfast is sponsored by my friends at the Wasco County Republican Central Committee (who will eventually see the errors of their ways, but I know they are hoping the same for me!) The menu will include Biscuits and Gravy or Hash Browns and Scrambled Eggs, Sausage and Fruit plus your favorite beverage.

Tonight, Martin and Friends will be passing musical notes for your dancing and listening enjoyment. And next Tuesday on the 21st, Truman will be playing his Country Gold. Music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are accepted with a smile.
It wasn’t Bruce Jenner or Bob Richards, but Bob Mathias, the 17 year old who won the Decathlon in the 1948 Olympics. (The winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Don McAllister.) This week’s “Remember When” question is from the “Are You Smarter than a 60 year Old?” quiz forwarded to me by Diana Weston. After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, “Who was that masked man?” Invariably, someone would answer, “I don’t know, but he left this behind”. What did he leave behind? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a recording of the William Tell Overture.

Well, it has been another week, separating the sense from the nonsense. Until we meet again, (and without anyone knowing), try something you have never done before.

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?” Winnie the Pooh

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