Aging Well May 10th

Isn’t there something you would really like to be good at, but aren’t? For me, it would be the ability to speak extemporaneously while being clear and concise – like former Mayor Rob VanCleave who – no matter the occasion – always seemed to be able to say the right thing in the right way. Instead, I always have to prepare precise notes so when I speak I can get from point A to point D without skipping B and C.

For example on the KODL Coffeebreak with Al Wynn, while answering questions about the Center, I will often start an internal dialog with myself. Am I making sense? What did I just say? Now I’m even confused. Al, help me! And I would finally conclude with words stumbling out of my mouth like a drunken cowboy leaving a bar on Sunday morning. Not very pretty.

I think of my lack of articulation as I experiment with a voice recognition program I just downloaded to my iPhone. With the program you dictate your thoughts and it transcribes them word for word with amazing accuracy. How cool – and convenient. But there is one small problem. To use the program effectively I will have to learn how to think coherently – on the spot and without notes.

It won’t be easy. And several years ago I would have thought, just forget it. But haven’t I been urging you to try something new even though it isn’t easy? And shouldn’t I be practicing what I preach? So every day I am going to practice dictating my thoughts until something intelligent comes out. Wish me luck. I will need it.

Meals-on-Wheels is looking for more volunteer drivers. The demand for home delivered meals has increased over the last year to where more home delivered meals are served than meals at the Center. At the same time several drivers who delivered meals on multiple days of the week for many, many years have retired or no longer can drive. With this combination, Meals on Wheels is short handed particularly on Mondays. It doesn’t take a lot of time – about an hour, once a week or once a month. And they treat you real fine with cookies and coffee; and hugs and laughs. For more information call Meals-on-Wheels at 541-298 – 8333 and ask for Ashley.

The Center’s Tuesday Lectures are for curious minds – because you never know what you will learn. And Tuesday the 17th will be no exception when Dan Durow, the Community Development Director for the City of The Dalles will be the speaker. He has been closely involved in many of the positive changes that have occurred in The Dalles from the Riverfront Trail to the current east entrance to the downtown with the Sunshine Mill redevelopment and the roundabout. He will share with you the city’s vision for the next ten years and answer any of your questions. It should be a lively and fascinating discussion starting at 11:00 and everyone is invited.

(To turn things around and challenge your brain, try reading the following announcement for Tuesday Night music.) YadseuT Thgin cisum ta eht retneC sevig uoy a ecnahc ot netsil ot doog cisum dna ecitcarp rouy owt pets dna yrtnuoc ztlaw. thginoT nitraM dna sdneirF era gniyalp dna txen yadseuT eht ht71 namurT lliw eb gnignis dna gnikcip. ffo-ekaT si ta 00:7. ydobyrevE si emoclew dna snoitanod era syawla detaicerppa.

The Kingston Trio sang the song about the man who “never returned” while riding Boston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority – and hence the name of the song “M.T.A.” or informally known as “Charlie on the M.T.A.”. (And this week’s winner of a free Saturday breakfast was Ben Neumeyer.) And to oblige Sandy Goforth, this week’s “Remember When” question is back to the early days of television, and maybe a difficult one. Who was the TV comedian considered by many as TV’s first comic genius famous for his off-beat humor and cigar; played characters such as Chef Miklos Molnar, Percy Dovetonsils and Magician Matzoh Heppelwhite and died prematurely in an automobile accident in 1962? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail you answer with a copy of a Muriel Cigar commercial starring Edie Adams.

Well, it’s been another week running into detours and discovering new understandings I never expected. Until we meet again, always try to do the right thing, but as a consolation – bad decisions do make great stories.

Optimist: someone who isn’t sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play. ~Robert Brault

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