Do you notice how time seems to zoom by like you’re being passed by a teenager driving a new sports car? And the start of 2011 seems like only yesterday, although a little blurry? But it was a not-too-long-ago twenty-five years on January 4th 1987 that two hundred folks turned out for the official opening of the brand spanking new Mid-Columbia Senior Center. Don Bailey, chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, and City Councilman Merritt Probstfield, representing the City, welcomed the celebrants with their opening remarks. (The City of The Dalles played a major role by donating the land that initially had been considered for a new fire station, and by directing City Planner Jack Leasch to oversee the application for federal funds to build the Center.)
Others dignitaries who spoke included Lyle Grisham, the interim manager for the Center, Beverly Rooper, the local Area Agency on Aging director, and Bill Hulse representing Wasco County. Marge Anderson, director of the Center while it was at the Civic Auditorium, and LoRita Smith, the Center’s program director, cut the ribbon to officially open the Center to the public. And it was reported that the highlight was when Betty Harlan, the kitchen manager at that time for Meals-on-Wheels, got everyone to stamp their feet and yell “We did it!”
And it was quite an accomplishment. The Center’s dedication – on that “unusually balmy Sunday” twenty five years ago – was a proud moment for the many community organizations and individuals who had spent over seven years discussing and planning and fundraising to make this dream possible. And now as the Center commences another twenty five years offering more opportunities to explore, connect and contribute, the Center is preparing to be a resource and gathering place for a new generation – so all older adults can live healthy and meaningful lives.
For the Center’s 11:00 AM Tuesday Lecture on January 10th, I will be presenting a 60 minute program produced by the National Council on Aging called “Steps to Avoiding Scams”. This program provides a basic understanding of the types of scams targeting older adults, so you can protect yourself from becoming a victim. And as we know from this holiday season, there are always a few people who are willing to take advantage of the unsuspecting.
Tonight at the Center, the entertaining, energizing and encredible (that is incredible with an “e” for excellent!) Strawberry Mountain Band” will be getting you off to a rocking good start on this first Tuesday of the New Year. And next Tuesday on the 10th, John Martin and Friends will be back performing for your listening and dancing pleasure. Music starts at 7:00, ends by 9:00 and everyone is welcome. And to feed the band and keep the lights on, donations are always appreciated.
The 1942 film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire about an entertainer who opens up a lodge in Connecticut for only eight nights a year is “Holiday Inn”. (And the winner of the coin toss is Joann Scott who wins her choice of five quilt raffle tickets or a $10 Saturday Night Bingo packet.)
This week “Remember When” goes back in time to a little local history not twenty five years, but thirty six years ago in the Mid-Columbia (before it was called the Gorge). As I was cleaning out my office – which I do occasionally when I can no longer see the floor – I found a faded edition of the August, 1975 Senior Highlights. It was produced and distributed by the Mid-Columbia Community Action Council (commonly referred to as CAP) and included the “Goin-ons, Doins and Happenings” in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties, bus schedules, poetry, recipes and discussion of senior issues. So this week’s question is “Who was the editor of the Senior Highlights? (I think I can remember one of the editors.) If you know, email your answer to the firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or bring it to the Center with a copy of the very first Senior Highlights. (And Slusher, you can’t enter!)
Well, it’s been another week wondering where time flies off to and hides. Until we meet again, keep your light on and the doors locked.
“Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.” Mary Schmich