Aging Well February 22nd

Do you ever have an idea, a thought – nothing earth shattering – something you want to share but you just can’t find the words. Well, that often happens to me when a good idea – at least I think it is – just hasn’t had time to jell, to solidify into something worth reading. And in the background I can hear the sound of the second hand getting closer and closer, ticking louder and louder. But that is life. Sometimes it comes easy, and other times it is like pulling weeds – those really tough ones with the long roots. So until the kitchen timer buzzes, here are a few “happenings” at the Center and in the community.

You probably have an understanding of how the Federal government works – or doesn’t depending upon your perspective. Or even state government. But what do you know about county government? Did you know that because everyone in Oregon lives in a county, counties are often used as the local means of providing state and federal services? And did you know that Wasco County government in its efforts to be more transparent has posted on their website, the agenda and board packets for each Board of Commissioner’s meeting? And a list of all land use actions being prepared by the county planning department? Well, if you are like most folks, including myself, probably not. You can learn more about Wasco County government and how to access county information, on Tuesday March 1st at 11:00 when Rod Runyon and possibly other members of the Wasco County Board of Commissioners will be speaking at the Center. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the closest and most accessible level of government.

Folks will be swinging and jiving tonight to the sweet sounds of the Jazz Generations. And for next Tuesday night, the Strawberry Mountain Band will get your mojo going. It all starts at 7:00 when couples starts swaying to the music like a gentle earthquake rolling through the hills. And it is all good. Shirts and shoes are required but the cover charge is optional, although donations are always appreciated.

You may have read the cover story in the Sunday Chronicle about the SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) – a fantastic literacy program that provides opportunities for children to read one-on-one with an adult volunteer. It is one of those community driven programs that can have a tremendous effect on children by instilling the love of reading. And you can help support this program while enjoying a fine afternoon by attending “A Taste for Literacy” at the Sunshine Mill from 2:00 – 5:00 PM on Sunday February 27th There will be wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres (those fancy finger foods with too many vowels), wine, and live music. Tickets are $20.00 available at Klindt’s Booksellers or at the door.

The answer to last week’s question was Paladin – the sophisticated gunslinger for hire from San Francisco and lead character in the TV series “Have Gun – Will Travel”. There were fourteen correct answers including Don McAllister the winner of a free breakfast and who mentioned that Paladin means “champion of a cause”. In addition, I had the misfortune of hearing two unnamed Paladin aficionados – on separate occasions, so I had to endure it twice – break out into spontaneous vocal renditions of the title song “The Ballad of Paladin”. It wasn’t pretty.

This week’s “Remember When” question is about another TV western. You may remember the announcer uttering those memorable words on Saturday morning “Out of the blue of the Western sky comes . . . Sky King!” the opening for the popular TV series from the 50’s about the adventures of Arizona rancher and pilot Sky King. But do you remember the name of Sky Kings’ trusted niece? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on a note left on the front seat of a a twin-engine Cessna 310B. You can just leave it in the Centers parking lot – I’ll pick it up in the morning.

Well another week has passed of ducking and dodging – which isn’t getting any easier. Until we meet again, to borrow from the words of Oscar Wilde, even though there may be times when you feel you are lying in the gutter, keep looking up at the stars.

There are many in this old world of ours who hold that things break about even for all of us. I have observed for example that we all get the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summertime and the poor get it in the winter. ~Bat Masterson

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