LOL Poetry

Victoria Dym has two gifts for you in this Poetry Month Special Edition of OLLI Connects: a new poem and an opportunity for an enjoyable night out.

We all know that poetry can be emotionally powerful, eliciting feelings of love, loss, despair, and wonder. We often forget that it can also be a hoot. Just ask normally-Mr.-Serious A.E. Housman.

Let’s talk about her opportunity to have some fun with poetry first.

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OLLI-USF Outdoors Eco Tour April 29, 2023

Diane White

From a tiny Ghost shrimp to baby birds and Petunia the dolphin, the OLLI Outdoors SIG went on the “floating classroom” Eco Tour with Tampa Bay Watch. The science-based tour was packed in a diversity of species to study up close.

Our crew on the private chartered boat tour was biologist Dakoeta, intern Rebecca, and Captain Mo. Our missions were to record marine life in area 6, identify dolphins, and visit the birds nesting on Bird Island. Arriving at our first stop, Dakoaeta and Rebecca cast a fisheries trawl net and carefully went through the haul, identifying species from the spot marked as area 6. One of our members …  Read more

 

Sant’ Yago

Ray Ann Favata

If you live in Tampa Bay, you know about Krewes. But most of us see them only from a distance–bead throwing distance–during a parade. Long-time OLLI-USF member, Ray Ann Favata, has recently had a more personal Krewe experience. — Editors
 
On a recent Saturday night [January 7], something wonderful and surreal happened to my family. My son, Ramon, from the house of Favata, the grandson of one of the founders of the Krewe of the Knights of Sant’ Yago, Joseph, from the house of Granda, and the son of Charter Member John Favata, became the 50th King of the Krewe of the Knights of Sant’ Yago. My granddaughter, Demmi, from the House of Parrino, became his Queen. We were all part of this four-generation event.
 
I kept telling myself that this was a really big deal for a special group of people from a small place called Ybor in a little town on the Hillsborough River called Tampa.

My Day at Circle B Bar Reserve

Mary Satterwhite

Recently I went with a few friends to hike and take photographs at Circle B Bar Reserve near Lakeland.  It was a LONG drive there but well worth it.  It is a very large park of more than 2,000 acres. We hiked four and a half miles and saw not even a quarter of the park.  We took Marsh Rabbit Run (where we were stopped by a large alligator blocking the trail) and Alligator Alley which was my favorite. The large trees shading Alligator Alley are lovely.     View more

You may be wondering why you received an OLLI Connects email for a story that isn’t yet available over this weekend.  We have to chalk that up to an unfortunate misclick during the editing process for an upcoming piece.  Please disregard that notice–for now– and enjoy this week’s two offerings focused on the splendid photos produced by the hiking and nature SIG members.  And, check back with us in early June for the “Flying Tigers.”–Editor 

National Poetry Month – Part 2

OLLI Connects continues its annual celebration of National Poetry Month with a selection of poems by four different writers. Thematically linked through images of flight and trees, this edition is entitled “The Aviator, The Fledgling and The Crow.” Please click on the button below to enjoy the poems of Pindie Stephen, Linda Dunk, Morrey Grymes and M.A. Sinnhuber. 
               
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National Poetry Month Selections

Cath Mason, Evelyn Romano, Kathy Winarski

For National Poetry Month, Tampa  made a call to the city—send us your Tampa poems!  The overwhelming response included more than 60 submissions celebrating pirates, the Lightning, Bucs and Rays, the old brick streets, the sights and smells of Ybor and the natural beauty of Tampa Bay. Among the winners were two OLLI poets, Cath Mason and Evelyn Romano, whose winning odes to Tampa are featured in today’s edition of OLLI Connects.

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Dubious Military Distinctions

Neil Cosentino

In the category of Dubious Military Distinctions, I like to think I hold the world’s record for the shortest flight in a KC-135A/B between two different airports. (The KC-135 is an aircraft that refuels other planes in midair.) My “world record” flight took place in 1968 between St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE) and MacDill Air Force Base (KMCF) in Tampa, Florida.

The day started at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York where I was told to deliver a KC-135A/B to PEMCO, an Inspection and Repair As Necessary (IRAN) facility located at St. Petersburg – Clearwater International airport.

Like most pilots, I like landing at different airports, especially if I can land a military aircraft at a civilian airport, so it was a good mission. (More…)

Once Upon a Time in Tampa

Neil Cosentino

Rescuing the historic Deutscher-Americaner Club

I have some German heritage on my mother’s side, so I decided to rescue the Deutscher-Americaner Club. It was then a derelict building located in Ybor City on Nebraska Avenue, a block north of Palm Avenue and El Centro Asturiano, the Spanish social club.

The campaign started many years ago on the day I drove past the boarded-up building. My concern was that it could be set on fire someday by the homeless people who, from time to time, broke in and lived inside the building. I enjoy telling this story about Tampa, because of the interesting how-to takeaways.  (More…)

Gasparilla: Is It Just Like Mardi Gras?

Beryl. B. Byles

When I retired to Tampa, I was introduced to several local experiences. One of the most notable was Gasparilla, a series of several events throughout the year, but mostly the annual invasion and parade on the last Saturday of January.

Since many locals consider Gasparilla to be “just like Mardi Gras,” I realized that most people just did not know the difference.  So, I volunteered to teach an audience of fellow seniors who were curious. I was eager to share my lifelong experience and new research on the similarities and differences.   (More…)

Symbols of Mankind

Judy K. Patterson

In 1992 I was a member of the Friends of the Hillsborough Library.  My first project was to see that all the art in the libraries of Hillsborough County was repaired, reframed, and in good shape.  My second project was to get the Board to buy art for the new libraries from the Gasparilla Festival of Arts Show in Tampa in March.  The Friends had ten thousand dollars sitting in a CD for emergencies.  I finally convinced them that the money could be earned and replaced, but the new libraries needed art.  We had a few holdouts but, eventually, we all agreed to buy art each year.  It gives me great pleasure to see new art in the local libraries that I visit.

Looking around for a new project, I heard about the Ybor Library on Nebraska and its damaged mosaic on the front of the building done by Joe Testa-Secca, an artist and art teacher at University of Tampa.  (More…)

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