Aging Well in the Gorge May 31st

Senior Living May 31st 2016
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow older. You grow older because you stop laughing.” Michael Pritchard
At the Center we often talk about the importance of humor and laughter. Dr. Steve Allen, Jr., son of the talk show host and comedian, said “Laughing, especially at yourself is the most powerful stress-releaser we have.” It not only reduces the body’s negative reaction to stress, it helps prevent such stress from occurring in the first place.
Humor is particularly helpful as we age, because it acknowledges the incongruities and absurdities of life and reminds us that we are all in this together. We all deal with the struggles and challenges of aging and yet here we are still alive and kicking – or at least moving. As Bob Newhart said, “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.”  
The best laugh is always on ourselves. Elsa Maxwell, 75, declared, “Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.” Or as Robert Fulton puts it “It is a matter of laughing with ourselves, not at ourselves.” Can you remember the funniest thing that has ever happened to you? And what makes you smile or laugh?
A sense of humor is very personal. You can be offended while others find a joke amusing. I have watched several standup comedians on Netflix, and for some I couldn’t make it past the first ten minutes because it was such poor taste and too embarrassing – especially watching it with my wife. Yet the audience thought it was hilarious. Am I getting old?  
But here is one of Elt Fadness’s “Ole and Lena” stories – for us who still remember drive-ins.
Ole and Lena were at the drive-in movie. Ole says, “Say Lena, you wanna get in the back seat?” Lena says, “Naw, Ole, I’d just as soon stay up here with you.”
Have you ever left a store and can’t remember where you parked your car? Many boomers have resorted to strapping bicycles or kayaks on their car roofs so their cars would be easy to spot. (And you were envious thinking they were just enjoying the great outdoors!) But since not all of us can afford a mountain bike or kayak, the Center will soon be selling large colorful plastic balls to attach to the end of your car’s antenna. Never again will you have waste time remembering where your car is – it will just be under the bright red plastic ball. But we will only be selling a few. We don’t want you to walk out of Fred Meyer and see a whole field of plastic balls and still not know which car is yours.
At the Center’s Tuesday Lecture at 11:00 on June 7th, Tria Bullard from Google will demonstrate how to use Google Apps on your computer – so you can connect with friends and family, organize your photos and files, and even make calls for free. You’ll explore Gmail, Google Docs, and Hangouts. And if you don’t have a Gmail account, Tria will walk you through the process of getting one. The class is open to anyone with basic computer skills.
Every Tuesday night at the Center there is live music for your dancing and listening enjoyment, and on June 7th, Andre, KC and Tom will be playing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and, donations are always appreciated.
The actor-singer who sang “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the Indy 500 from 1972 until 2014 was Jim Nabors. (The winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Jim Ayers – and Ruth Radcliff who I forgot to mention last week.) 
This week’s “Remember When” question is about the musical icon Bob Dylan who turned 75 last week. It doesn’t seem that long ago in the summer of 1965 when I was vacationing with my family in Los Angeles and on the radio heard this singer called Bob Dylan which I, from Middle America, had never heard of. But in September of that year he recorded his first hit song that was over six minutes long and reached #2? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a small clump of green moss.
Well, it’s been another week trying to keep my hat from blowing off. Until we meet again, as Lord Byron once said, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”

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