The Art of Aix

Beryl Byles

Paul Cezanne

We like to give new writers a chance. The young kids. The up-and-coming creative talents. Like Beryl Byles. We think she has a lot of potential and that, once she matures, she’ll become one of our favorite contributors.

She recently completed an epic adventure–or series of adventures–that encompassed New York City, a transatlantic cruise, and brief but eventful stays at several European venues, capped off by a birthday in London. Today we’ll share the final episode of that adventure. We hope there will be more to come!

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The Summer of My Dis(content)

Marilyn Myerson

I wring my hands in frustration. They never should’ve sent a 16 year old girl to do a grown woman’s job. “Please, Mrs. Georgiopoulos”, I address the skin-and-bones woman lying mutely in the confines of her narrow hospital bed, her unswerving gaze fixed upward. Is she deciphering secret sketches by Michelangelo in the stained ceiling tiles?

Her recalcitrant silence echoes off the walls, her old lady smell permeates my nostrils. “Do you want tomato juice or orange?” I persist. The hairy mole on her lip flutters its spidery legs as she draws a slow breath. I stare at this creepy-crawly in disgust, thinking no magical potion of citrus is going to make that go away.

“Please”, my whiny tone cannot hide my growing impatience. “Just tell me! If I go back to the office without your menu sheet filled in, I could get fired.” Was that literally true – Who knew? This was my first ever day at my first ever job, dietitian’s aide at the local hospital.

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Let’s Go Get Ice Cream

Jane Applegate Belzer

It is that time of year when thoughts turn to cool, and what is more delicious than a cool scoop of ice cream? Ice cream has been a theme in my life for as long as I can remember. When I was a child we lived just a block away from a dairy store that principally bottled and distributed milk from area farms. But, in the front of that store was a cold case where they kept all kinds of treats. For 2 cents I could have my choice of popsicles: cherry, orange or grape. But, for a nickel I could have a drumstick (a cone with vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts) or an ice cream sandwich.

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Life After Retirement

Peter Terzian

As we learned last week, there’s a lot of adventure happening in the lives of OLLI members right now. Youthful Adventures don’t have to stop when you turn fifty. But being in a place where you can have adventures in your, ahem, Golden Years, takes some planning and preparation. In this week’s issue Peter Terzian takes us through some of the life steps that prepared him for a happy retirement with room for adventure.  We expect to see a lot of heads nodding in agreement as you read his story.

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Donna and Ann’s Excellent Adventure: Lions, Hippos, and Elephants, Oh My!

Ann Sofia
Donna McGrew

Escapades and adventures aren’t only the province of the young. While OLLI Connects readers are reveling in the reminiscences of our “salad days,” some of you continue to forge ahead and create new memories of extraordinary experiences. Whether it be snorkeling in Indonesia, journeying around North Africa, touring Southeast Asia, traipsing across France for weeks on end or taking a six month residence in New York City, our OLLI friends are no strangers to living on the edge. Today’s edition summarizes a recent African safari undertaken by Ann Sofia and Donna McGrew. Ann guides us through a daily journal of events describing this once-in-a-lifetime trek to several African safari parks in Southeast Africa and other adventures in Cape Town and Victoria Falls. Donna provides powerful photos of their encounters with the wildlife and the landscape. So take a walk on the wild side and remember, you are as young as you feel! — Editors

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Staring Into the Abyss of American Democracy

Don Menzel

Politics and Artificial Intelligence seem to constitute 90% of the news we consume this year.  Perhaps rightfully so. Both seem to have the power to drastically change the world as we know it. Whether that power is a threat or a promise is still very much up in the air.

We have nothing for you on Artificial Intelligence this week, but Don Menzel has shared another thought-provoking article on politics in America.

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Business Tycoons and Doctors

Robert Strozier
Bharat Pathakgee

Photo of Pathway Surrounded By Fir TreesOur invitation for tales of youthful indiscretions has brought in not only accounts of adolescent alligator wrestling (Kidding!) but also the often blundering, convoluted path to final career choices that so many of us went through. We have two of these for you today, one by Bob Strozier and one by Bharat Pathakgee. Knowing them now, it’s obvious to us that Bob was destined to be a writer and editor and that Bharat was always meant to be a cardiologist. But when they were in their late teens, their eventual career paths were, well, murky at best. 

Bob’s tale begins in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; Bharat’s begins in India. 

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Boyhood Tales

Bruce Zimmerman
Doug Guido

We are thrilled to have received so many excellent responses to our request for stories about youthful indiscretions. Over the next months your contributions will enable us to print a rolling series of memoirs sure to entertain and bring a smile. And if you are still thinking about submitting something, please turn that thought into action. We can never get enough!

Before jumping into your accounts of edgy moments and risky decisions, we are bringing you two true stories of childhood from the point of view of a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old, who grew up in two different eras. Sit back and reminisce about those carefree days and the choices made and lessons learned before judgment played a role in each decision. And….these stories prove that analysis of pros and cons and decisions to act were definitely at “play” long before adolescence and adulthood. So take a moment to read through Bruce’s and Doug’s tales of boyhood adventures. — Editors

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CUBS WIN!!! CUBS WIN!!!

Diane Henrikson Russell

The moment I stepped off my Southwest Airlines plane at Midway Airport, I could feel the electricity in the air. It was Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Millions of Cubs fans, including me, were holding our collective breaths as we waited for the seventh game of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. We were still nonplussed at finding ourselves in this sweet yet precarious position, thanks to the guiding hand of Coach Joe Maddon (who coincidentally coached the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 World Series). The Cubs had last won the World Series in 1908.

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Youthful Indiscretions and Inadvertent Adventures

Al Carlson & Theresa Sokol

To all appearances, you are now a mature, sensible adult whose current reaction to adventures might parallel Bilbo Baggins’ when he said, “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”

But you weren’t always like that. There’s a twinkle in your eye and just a hint of a sly grin that tells us that you, like Bilbo, have had adventures and have come away the better for them. And we, of course, want to hear about them.

Adventures come in all sorts, and yours don’t have to involve Orcs and dragons. There are adventures you deliberately seek out, such as

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