Aging Well in the Gorge October 18th 2016

Last month I mentioned the Aging in the Gorge Alliance (AGA) – a recently formed grass roots association whose goal is to create local communities that promote and foster the well-being of elders through education and advocacy.

One of their first initiatives is the “Community Reads” project. They raised enough local funds to purchase and distribute for free to discussion groups and libraries in the Gorge, four hundred copies of the book Age of Dignity – Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America written by Ai-jen Poo.

In the book, Ai-jen Poo states that more than fourteen percent of Americans are now over sixty-five; and by 2030 that ratio will be one in five. The fastest growing age group is those eighty-five and over which are over 5 million people now, and expected to more than double in the next twenty years.

How do we respond as a community and as a nation to this coming demographic earthquake? Who is going to provide the care? How do we ensure the caregivers, both paid and unpaid, are respected and supported? How do we care for our elders, which are many of us, so they live long and meaningful lives?

In the coming months there will be several conversations about aging, elders and caregiving starting with the World Café Community Conversation on Saturday, October 22nd from 1:30 – 4:30 at the Columbia Gorge College in Hood River on the Heights. If you plan to attend, they ask that you RSVP by going to the website:

You are also invited to attend one of the smaller Age of Dignity discussion groups held in The Dalles at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center on November 16th from 10:00 – 12:00; and The Dalles/Wasco County Library on November 22nd from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. If you don’t have the book Age of Dignity, you can pick one up at the Center to read and then share with others; or stop by the library where they still may have a few copies left.

Thanks to The Springs at Mill Creek and everyone who attended the Baby Back Rib Dinner. If you weren’t able to make it, you missed some literally finger-licking good ribs prepared by the Meals-on-Wheels crew, and some lively bluegrass music performed by Hardshell Harmony (with The Dalles City Councilor, Tim McGlothlin, filling in at his old spot playing the stand-up bass).

There will be a new quilt hanging in the Center’s lobby. The Center quilters sold over $200 worth of raffle tickets – but unfortunately there can only be one winner. And that lucky person was Jean Spee. Congratulations!

In just over a month, we will be entering the holiday craft fair season starting with the granddaddy of them all – the St. Peter’s 38th Annual Holiday Bazaar on November 19th. On the same day, right across 10th street, the Center will host its 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar – and there’s still room for a few more vendors. It you are interested, call the Center at 541-296-4788.

Last week I forgot to mention that the Simcoe Boys will be playing tonight at the Center. And before I forget again, next week for the Center’s Tuesday Night music, Country Road will be strutting their stuff from 7:00 – 9:00. Doors open at 6:00 and donations are appreciated.

Continuing the countdown: #3 of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”: “Grey hair earns respect.” And for some reason, I find much more attractive these days.

The comedian that impersonated John F. Kennedy on the 1963 album The First Family was Vaughn Meader. (This week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Tina Castanares.)

Spies and espionage were a common theme on television in the 60’s. This spy-fi British television series was created in 1961 and was the first British series to be aired on prime time in the U.S. when it aired in 1965. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this show that starred the ever-graceful and gentlemanly John Steed and his partner – the intelligent, quick-witted Emma Peel? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or deliver it to the Center while wearing a bowler hat made of steel.

Well, it’s been another week, chasing windmills. Until we meet again, as my Aunt Mo once told me, “When you are over a hundred years old, people start asking you the dumbest questions.”

“A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.” Groucho Marx

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