Aging Well in the Gorge June 23rd 2015

Do you remember those days when you could stay up all night hanging out with friends or studying for the big final or making out with your girlfriend in your grandmother’s ’63 Buick Skylark Convertible? I don’t know about you, but for me those days are long gone. But this week I could use some of that youthful stamina because I am running out time to write this column. So to get to the point, here are a few comings and goings for this week.
There was an overflow crowd of families, friends and well-wishers last Friday for the first Wahtonka Community School Graduation. It was exciting to watch the class of 2015 receive their diplomas and take the next step on their life journey. The following Ralph Waldo Emerson quote was read that evening to inspire the young graduates. But I thought the quote is also meaningful to us “older” folkss as we look back at our lives while also preparing for the new and often unanticipated adventures and challenges ahead.
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”  
If you are traveling this summer, by trains, planes or automobiles, you may want the company of a good audio book to take along with you. Thanks to a generous donation, the Center has a large variety of books on CD that you can pop into your car’s CD player to enjoy your favorite thriller or mystery. A list of the donated CD’s are on the Center’s website, and you can just stop by the Center to check one out.
The Center’s annual rummage sale has been condensed from the usual three day sale to one, so you can find all kinds of bargains on Saturday June 27th from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. We’re going to set up on Friday so you can still drop off any good used items (preferably nothing that has been through two yard sales already) by Friday morning.
I need to give a big thank-you to the MCMC volunteers who spent Friday morning working on long delayed projects around the Center: painting railings, trimming trees, and removing flower beds. I didn’t think a group of volunteers could accomplish so much in one morning. They definitely showed their commitment to the community!
Next Tuesday is the fifth Tuesday which means The Dufur Boys will be playing for the Center’s Tuesday Night Music and Dance. The doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and over by 9:00. As always, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.   
Dr. Frank C Baxter, as Dr. Research, was the host of the eight Bell Laboratory science specials – considered to be some of the best known and remembered educational films ever made. (The winner of three quilt raffle tickets is Bob Earls – who I forgot to mention for answering last week’s question.)
With the Grand Opening of the wonderful North Wasco County Aquatic Center, including an eight lane 50 meter pool, water slide and a free Splash Park, this week’s “Remember When” question has to be about swimming in The Dalles.
Ted Walker came to The Dalles as a swimming instructor and started The Dalles Swim Team in 1955. He was instrumental in the construction of The Dalles Natatorium, which in 1993 was renamed in his honor. But I also heard at the Grand Opening that before the pool was built, Ted Walker’s swim team practiced in the Columbia River. What was the name of the place where they practiced? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of one of the early swim teams. Also if you have any Ted Walker swimming stories send them to me. I would like to learn more about the person who did so much for swimming in The Dalles.
Well, it’s been another week, trying not to fall asleep at the wheel. Until we meet again, stay cool but keep your clothes on.

“Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you are mostly just making things up as you go along.” Steven Colbert

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