Aging Well in the Gorge July 15th 2017

You don’t get things done by complaining or by wishing upon a star. You have to put on your boots and get to work. And over the last year, there have been several examples of community organizations who like the “little engine that could”, never gave up: Wonderworks, the children’s museum that was featured on the front page of Sunday’s paper, The Dalles/Wasco County Library’s new children’s space, and the Civic Auditorium which received $745,000 from the Oregon state lottery for their theater.

Another community success was celebrated last Tuesday when The Dalles Chamber Ambassadors held a ribbon cutting for the opening of the Center’s new addition. It was a chance to recognize all the individuals, local businesses and foundations that made the new addition possible. And although every successful fundraising campaign needs hundreds of small donors, there is usually one major donor who makes the project possible. 

For the Center that person was Roberta Heisler. She donated $50,000 earlier in the fundraising campaign, and then after it was decided to hire a general contractor even when we didn’t have all the necessary funding, she walked in and gave the Center another $25,000 which took us over our fundraising goal.

But also in every project, someone has to have the drive to keep pushing the project forward even when everyone else is wondering whether it will ever happen. For the Center’s UpLifting Elevator Project, Joan Silver was the engine that drove the UpLifting Elevator train: writing all the grants and keeping everyone on task.

Joan is an example of the older adults throughout this community who decide to use their “retirement” years to make a difference – not for financial gain or for personal recognition. And you know who they are. They are found in your service clubs, churches and other organizations – folks who are giving back to build a healthy community for everyone.

But unfortunately, Joan can’t move mountains – or elevator inspectors. So you aren’t able to ride the elevator yet. It still needs to go through the elevator company’s inspection process and then the final inspection by the State of Oregon. We will announce in August when the elevator will be operating. But until then, you are now able to use the enclosed stairs instead of walking outside and around to the downstairs’ back doors.

Last Tuesday was a busy day at the Center. Besides the ribbon cutting, in the afternoon the Center held its annual membership meeting – which included a delicious dinner catered by Cherry Heights Living. At the meeting, the membership approved changes in the bylaws to allow up to eleven board members from the current seven. If you are interested in serving on the Center’s board, call the Center for an application. But one caution, it is a working board!

Every second and fourth Tuesday at the Center, we push back the tables and the band sets up, so you can dance, dance, dance from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. And as I mentioned last week, on Tuesday, August 1st, Truman will be back in town for one night playing his Country Gold. And no matter if your hair is silver, blonde or a nice beaver orange, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
In the 1960’s animated commercial, a rabbit was always trying to trick a group of children out of their bowl of cereal, but was always caught and told “Silly rabbit, TRIX are for kids”.  (This week I received answers from Sharon Hull, Kim Birge, Tiiu Vahtel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Darlein France.)
This week’s “Remember When” question is once again about advertising slogans from the 50’s and 60’s. What was the name of the liquid detergent soap that in 1968 was advertised as being strong enough to remove the “ring around the collar”? Email your answers to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a kitchen utensil used to whip eggs.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep all the eggs in one basket. Until we meet again, as Marcia Lacock reminded me, stay cool, calm and collected.
“[A] youthful old age is the rich and mellow autumn of life… the mind is ripe in wisdom… the intellect is still active and vigorous… spiritual character has reached its full terrestrial maturity of virtue.” W.J. Hunter, “How to Keep Young,” Health Magazine, October 1899.

Comment your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.