Billboard Bingo

We’re nearing the end of our billboard campaign, and you may not yet have seen any of the displays in the wild. So, at the end of this post, we’ll provide all the information you’ll need to find all six locations.  Our message is serious without being (Harumph!) “serious”.  We want potential OLLI-USF members to know that we are “serious” about learning for the joy of it and “serious” about the strength of the OLLI community, but that we try not to take ourselves too “seriously”.

Our thanks again to the wonderful anonymous donor who funded the project.  And to all the folks who’ve worked on it, especially Lew Alpert, Stephanie Harff, Mark Leaning, Elissa Henderson, and Bruce Shanker.

And now, what you’re looking for and how to find it.  (More…)

OLLI Gets Serious

Have you seen one yet?  One of our sort of serious “Seriously” series of bill boards, that is.  We have two different–one might say very different!–images that rip away the facade of OLLI as a bunch of boring stuff for sedentary seniors.

Our campaign, which runs from February 3 through February 23, puts these designs “into rotation” on electronic billboards in six high traffic locations in our area.  We get ten seconds out of every minute every day at two locations which means–now, let’s see if you can do the math in your head–that we’re visible for  (More…)

Seriously? Seriously!!

You may not have had yesterday marked on your calendar, but it was the kickoff day of a three week campaign to put OLLI-USF in front of thousands of eyes.  Thousands and thousands of eyes!  Quite possibly yours.  Here’s the story.

Early yesterday morning, while you were still sound asleep, we launched a billboard campaign we’re calling “Seriously”.  Yes.  Seriously.   It runs through February 23.  We have two stereotype shattering designs, one of which opens this article.  You’ll find the other at the end.

These two designs will rotate (with other people’s ads) on up to six electronic billboards in our area.  Take a look at the chart below for their specific dates and locations.  If you see one or more of them,  (More…)

Community of Readers & Writers

[Most of our posts allow you to just sit back, read and enjoy.  This one highlights one of our newest SIGs and invites your active participation.]

Liesse Chable

In the New York Times online, you can find the rules for a past amateur essay contest. The challenge – to tell a short, powerful, true story. You may be used to calling this type of story a memoir, but the shorter version is often referred to now as a personal narrative essay, something with a beginning, middle and end.

For our group’s training purposes, I selected three different examples that I thought would generate challenging feedback. You can read them  (More…)

Teaching and Learning in Retirement

Don Menzel

[See the special message at the end of this article]

I retired at age 64+, moved to Tampa, bought a new fishing/leisure boat, went to fishing school three times (was a slow learner), and worked on publishing articles and books in my field, primarily ethics in government. Meanwhile, Kay began teaching in the USF OLLI program for seniors. Two years later she convinced the program coordinator to invite me to deliver a few lectures to seniors. That kicked off ten years and 27 classes of learning with seniors. Wow! What an experience.

Seniors who want to learn about new subjects or engage in stimulating exchanges are a delight, with one exception:   (More…)


Morrey Grimes

At a meeting today, I was asked about chapbooks and also about self-publishing. I have reconciled with my mistress, Valentina, and we are again on the same page (no pun intended), speaking the same language,

Valentina is my PC. I have personalized my PC, and provided it (her) with a gender. I like the mercurial energy of women better than the static energy of men.  Valentina is my muse and inspiration, but also my critic.

Let me tell you about Valentina:  she is smarter than I am, but I will be the first to admit that that is not too difficult of a place to be. She does not correct my mistakes, but only points them out for me to correct. Not only is she in a perpetual state of learning, but she also is constantly is teaching me something. She keeps me entertained and  (More…)

The Sin That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Robert Strozier

When I was a boy growing up in Hyde Park, a community on the South Side of Chicago, our family belonged to the Trinity Episcopal Church.  Father Anderson, the rector, was handsome, generous-hearted and kindly, and I wanted more than anything to win his approval. His wife, Elizabeth, was warm and gracious too. My own parents were okay, but they were—you know—parents.

Father Anderson “believed” in me and hoped I’d become a priest one day. He seemed to like my sense of humor too, not that his standards were too high—his favorite comedian was George Gobel of “Well, I’ll be a dirty bird!” fame.

I was both a choirboy and an acolyte, depending on the occasion, and I’m sure I looked positively angelic in my black cassock and white surplice. But I knew I was a pious phony and unworthy to   (More…)

James Museum

Shelly Belzer

A boyhood love of cowboy movies isn’t unusual, but Tom James, now chairman emeritus of Raymond James Financial, turned his love into a lifetime of art collecting and then founded a museum to house part of the collection that he and his wife, Mary, have amassed.  The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg opened in April 2018, holding 400 paintings and sculptures, a bit more than 10 percent of the James collection. (Most of the rest of the collection fills the Raymond James corporate headquarters.)  Word about the museum got around, and one day in August the OLLI Shutterbugs went to see for themselves.  (More…)

Santa Fe and New Mexico

I’m a transplant to Santa Fe.  I grew up in Miami, graduated from FSU in Tallahassee, lived in San Francisco, Bern, Switzerland and Los Angeles.  Finally I settled here in 1994 at the age of 35.  No regrets whatsoever.  I chose to live in Santa Fe after compiling a list of pre-requisites that included:  small-size city, diverse population, vibrant arts scene, and proximity to nature.

The oldest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2010.  It was located first in what was known as New Spain, then Mexico, and finally in New Mexico (a US territory that became a state in 1912).  (More...)

Wait Until Dark

Peter Terzian

Some people love the theater, because it gives them a chance to be on stage—to be the star.  I love it, too.  But I have no interest in being out there in front of the audience.  My place in theater is behind the scenes, creating the world that the stars perform in.

I’ve been doing lighting, sound and projection for theater since I was on the stage crew in high school,  then as a school technology teacher and at Busch Gardens for Howl-O-Scream.

I came across the James McCabe Theater and the Valrico Village Players probably 10 years ago.  It’s just a couple minutes away from  (More…)