With the “Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat” playing on the television in the living room – crowds screaming for Apolo, Bode Miller and the American hockey team – it is hard to focus on the important stuff: writing this column. So if the column feels a little disjointed, disorganized – it’s the quick trips to the television set to watch the latest Olympic excitement.

We are social beings and no one should go a day without personal interaction with someone. But many folks for various reasons are homebound or unable to prepare their own meals. For over ninety folks, Meals-on-Wheels provides a daily home delivered meal and a friendly hello, and for many, this may be their only daily contact. But the number of people receiving home delivered meals is growing while the number of drivers is not. Friends, husbands and wives, working professional of all ages deliver meals, and if you have the time to join these good folks, Meals-on-Wheels needs your help! You will learn first-hand that this valuable and important service is “more than a meal”. For more information you can call them at 541-298-8333.

Once a month, the Tuesday lecture series invites world renowned speakers to discuss various topics of interest. Well not exactly. But just imagine you spent $50, drove 180 miles roundtrip to sit in a large auditorium where the speaker is so far away you have to watch the presentation on a large monitor to your left. You might as well be at the Center, sitting in a comfortable chair, watching the presentation on the Center’s large television screen – except the speaker won’t be here in person. (But if you still feel like you are missing the real experience you can pay us the $50.) This week’s speakers – via the website TED – will discuss the creativity within all of us. Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray and Love” talks about the “impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person ‘being’ a genius, all of us ‘have’ a genius”. Also Amy Tan the author of the “Joy Luck Club” will discuss “out of nothing comes something” or how we create.

The tickets are going fast for “Cats” – the Broadway musical coming to Portland. But the Center still has thirteen tickets to sell. These are great seats: Orchestra Level rows C,D,E,F – so close you can smell the greasepaint. And did I say only $65 including transportation? Stop by the Center to pay for your tickets – you will receive them the day of the show. We will leave at 10:45 for the 1:00 Sunday matinee performance on March 28th.

Even though I don’t know for sure who is playing next Tuesday night, I do know you will be kicking and screaming when we have to turn off the lights. Every Tuesday night we offer music that’s “got a good beat and it’s easy to dance to” even though we’re not in Philadelphia. Tonight the Sugar Daddies will be playing their danceable music for you and your sweetheart. Music starts at 7:00 and doesn’t cost you one thin dime, although donations are appreciated. And on Sunday the 28th from 2:00 – 5:00 it will be the Center’s monthly turn to host the Jammers. Enjoy the talents of our local musicians who play because “it is just what they love to do”.

The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question was “The Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger who just recently died on January 27th. And this week, to celebrate the Vancouver Winter Olympics, a question from fifty years ago. In the 1960 Winter Olympics, thirty teams competed (the Soviet Union winning the most medals) highlighted by the US Hockey team upsetting Canada, USSR and Czechoslovakia to win the gold medal in what has become known as the “forgotten miracle”. Where were the 1960 Olympics held? Email, call 541-296-4788 or drop by the Center.

Well, that’s another hole in the dike. Until we meet again, keep your skates on the ice and your eye on the puck.

“I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.” J. D. Salinger

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