Aging Well in the Gorge ~ April 19th, 2023

When you get behind the wheel in your car, do you know how far back you should adjust your seat? Or what angle you should position the steering wheel? Or what you should consider when adjusting the mirrors? I don’t. I just do what feels comfortable without considering what might be the safest.

Although the AARP Smart Driver Program improves our driver safety by addressing cognitive abilities and skills, we can also improve our safety by ensuring our cars are properly adjusted.

As older drivers, we are more likely to wear our seatbelts and less likely to speed or drink and drive, but we are also more likely to be killed or seriously injured when a crash occurs because we’re generally less able to withstand the impact of an accident.

CarFit, a free educational program created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association, helps address these safety concerns by showing us how to adjust the “fit” within our cars.

During a CarFit event, you and your car will go through a 12-point checklist with trained technicians. In addition to demonstrating proper seat belt position, technicians will be checking your steering wheel tilt and head restraint; the distance from your chest to the steering wheel; line of sight above the steering wheel; mirror adjustment including blind spot checks and a quick check of all lights, horn, windshield wipers, etc.

And if your car has any of those new safety features we never would have imagined when we were kids such as lane change warnings and automatic braking, they will also be checked and explained. After the final vehicle walk-around and tire check, you will receive a Resource Bag with educational material and a copy of the 12-point checklist.

The CarFit event will take place on Saturday, April 29th from 12:00 – 3:30 in the Mid-Columbia Senior Center parking lot. Spots are limited, so to guarantee a twenty-minute CarFit checkup, call the Center to pre-register. Or if you like to wait till the last moment, stop by and see if they can fit you in.

Also, volunteers are needed as technicians and support help. To register to be a CarFit volunteer, call the Center at (541) 296-4788. And for further information, you can email Dick Frost at

We can have this CarFit event in the Gorge thanks to the efforts of Mosier resident Dick Frost, a long-time Smart Driver instructor and the CarFit State Coordinator.


Brain Tease: When trying to solve this one, remember we often make the mistake of assuming what isn’t. “A donkey is tied to a rope 6 feet long and there is a bale of hay 8 feet away. How can the donkey get to the hay if he does not bite or undo the rope?”

The name of the hair gel introduced in 1965 and marketed as a setting lotion for rollers to give you that perfect ‘Do” was Dippity-do. I received correct answers from Nancy Higgins, Rhonda Spies, Donna Mollet, Virginia Nelson, Kim Birge, Melissa Hayes, Marlene Clymer, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Pat Evenson-Brady who found you can buy a vintage partially used jar of Dippity-do on e-Bay for only $48.88! But why? And last week I missed Bruce Johnson, Anna O’Donnell, and once again Nancy Higgins.

Because of their tight harmonies, this singing duo influenced many top recording artists including the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, and Simon & Garfunkel. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this country pop duo considered by many as the greatest duo of all time, and who recorded the 1958 #1 hit single that included the lyrics “Well, what are we gonna tell your mama?/ What are we gonna tell your pa?/ What are we gonna tell our friends/ When they say ‘Ooh la la’”? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a photo of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant who wrote many of the duo’s hits.

Well, it has been another week, enjoying the blossoming colors of spring. Until we meet again, there are times to live loud and times to be still. The hard part is knowing when.

“Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.” Anonymous

Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through Friday unless otherwise noted.

Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Hood River Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center (541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333)

For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068); Skamania County Senior Services (509-427-3990).

Answer: The other end of the rope is not tied to anything!

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