This past year we avoided hurricanes and earthquakes but weathered falling off cliffs and worried about our senior benefits. We miss loved ones we’ve lost and the places we used to play when we were young. But somehow morning comes with new hope and a child’s laughter.
Hopefully the holiday season was a good one for all of us. May the new year bring us good health, joy and involvement in many more OLLI classes.
Students from CSULB’s design department enlisted the advice and expertise of Betty Hutchens and Robert Bartholomew in evaluating their project to create a shopping cart that would enable older folks to shop with more ease. Thank you, Betty and Robert, for the hours you spent helping us to shop effortlessly.
Congratulations to Roz and Bob Hertz on their Golden Anniversary. On January 19, they hosted 60 guests at the Grand in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary and their daughter’s 10th. A double Gala.
The FALLS AND BALANCE class was a great success. Everyone gained more agility and better balance to cope with falling and being able to stand up again. Star students were Scott and Mary Mighell, who after (practice) falling, stood up very quickly without any problems.
Thanks to Carl Curtis, a dedicated OLLI member. Our classroom podium needed major repair and Carl immediately offered to pay to bring it back up to speed and to the latest model. Generous once again.
Instead of teaching during our winter session, Denis McCourt, our ACTING instructor, got a paid gig in a theatre in Hollywood! Congratulations and do return to OLLI soon!
Several students in the CURRENT EVENTS class traveled to different parts of the world. The exotic destinations were the Silk Road of China, Cuba, and Tibet, and yours truly did a troika to New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Inspired by class discussions, clearly many of the students wanted to witness current events first hand!
Bragging rights go to Renee Simon whose son recently played at Lincoln Center. We are also delighted that Karin Covey, our quintessential volunteer, has gotten a new car after that horrible crash last year.
Congratulations to all our volunteers who devote their time and talent to make OLLI one of the most successful senior learning institutions in the nation.
Our OLLI Poetry Workshop members closed the Fall Session with a debut presentation of their work here on campus. In a virtuoso reading on Saturday afternoon, December 1, fourteen talented poets from Linda Carr’s MEMORY INTO POETRY class read their poems while the printed texts appeared on the overhead screen. Some participants have been with Dr. Carr for all of the six years that she has offered the course, and their work showed the polish and insight that they have developed.
Betty Hutchens, an original member, introduced the event with her own poem. Maria Gonzales and Julie Heckman read their carefully crafted sonnets; Vicki O’Toole wrote with Robert Frost in mind; Ann Casady created moving memories of childhood, and John Hinrich added whimsy with his.
Carol Willner and Bernice Hogan crafted details of family members that brought loved ones alive again; Carol Feeney and Joanne Yockey read a clever poetic riff of responses building on each other’s ideas; and Susan Cooper’s work showed the process of building a poem from her journal-writing. Carol Kanode gave heart-felt scenes of growing up, and Maria Armstrong wrote of her unique Sicilian childhood in Brooklyn.
The members of MEMORY INTO POETRY have become a family, a weekly celebration, over the years, and as we set out the coffee and pointsettias for this first-ever poetry reading, the room sparkled with originality, creativity, friendship, and mutual admiration.