Aging Well in the Gorge September 1st 2015

There were many reasons I looked forward to September: the excitement of returning to school, the beginning of fall and cooler temperatures (which was a big relief if you grew up in the humid Midwest), and the start of football. But I’ve found September to be special for another reason. It’s Senior Center Month!

Nationally, Senior Centers have been operating since the 1940’s but when the Older Americans Act was amended in 1972 there was a big push to build Senior Centers in order to provide community focal points for seniors. In 1979 a national celebration of Senior Centers was established, and in 1985 the first Presidential Proclamation celebrating Senior Center Week was signed by President Ronald Reagan. Then in 2007, the week was stretched into a month to allow more time to promote the important role of Senior Centers.

The Mid-Columbia Senior Center has been operating from its current location since 1987 with its mission to promote healthy aging by providing opportunities for all generations to explore, connect and contribute. Senior Centers may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are interested in exercising, dancing, creating and learning; enjoy sharing stories with friends new and old; or want to volunteer to help and support others, the Center is one place where you can find it all.

And now that it’s September, the Center is gearing up to return to its regular schedule of activities after the lazy, crazy days of summer. Next week, I will go into more detail about the Center’s fall schedule, but most of the classes and activities will return during the week of September 14th – except next week when the first of the fall series of Creative Arts classes will be held at the Center from 1:00 – 2:30 on Tuesday, September 8th. In this class you will make lovely little sachets for your drawers or closet. The class costs $3.00 which includes all supplies, and is limited to eight, so call the Center soon to sign up.

I mustn’t forget to remind everyone of the special September exhibition at The Dalles Art Center featuring the works of “The 3 Nancys”: Nancy Russell, Nancy Bishop and Nancy Rooper. The opening reception, which anyone can attend and there is no charge, will be from 5:00 – 7:00 on Thursday, September 3rd.

The Center is also where you can learn about other activities and classes in the community. One example is “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging. It is an incredibly beneficial class proven to help caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a loved one or friend. The class will meet at the MCCOG Board Room located at 1113 Kelly Avenue from 9:00 – 11:30 every Wednesday for six weeks starting October 1st. Class size is limited and registration is required – call 541-298-4101 ext. 219. The suggested donation is $20 to defray the cost of the book, but is not required to attend the class.

The Center will be closed for the Labor Day weekend and there will not be Bingo this coming Thursday and Saturday Nights. But as always there will be Tuesday night music on September 8th, with Martin and Friends performing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome, and donations are appreciated.

The car associated with James Bond, first seen in Goldfinger, was the Aston Martin; owned by Ford Motor Co. from 1994 until 2007 which is the reason the current lineup of Fords has an Aston Martin like grill design – and probably why I bought a Ford Fiesta, subconsciously thinking I was buying a $110,000 Aston Martin so I could be cool and sophisticated like James Bond. (This week’s winner is Bill Van Nice and last week’s winner, whom I forgot, was Sandy Haechrel.)

The idea for this week’s “Remember When” question comes from my old friend and compatriot John Mabrey who listens to Old Time Radio classics – which you can find on the Internet or Sirius radio. What live radio series broadcast adaptions of stage plays and movies from 1934 – 1955, including the Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, and was sponsored by a brand of soap? And if you think you’re so smart knowing that answer, what was Dorothy’s last name? Email your answers to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a pair of ruby slippers.

Well, it’s been another week, learning more and knowing less. Until we meet again remember the old Chinese proverb “If you don’t know what to say, tell an old Chinese proverb”.

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