The Prom Dress

Ceci LaDuca

I was dusting off some photo albums the other day, and came across a faded color pic of me taken almost sixty years ago, posing like a model, trying to look cool and sexy. “Tuff,” they called it back then. Suddenly, I’m back in May 1965. Puerto Rico. Ramey Air Force Base, where my dad was stationed. I’m seventeen and shopping for a dress for my Senior Prom.

There I was, with my whole family, in a charming little dress shop in a charming little town called Isabela, outside the base.       View more

The Case of the Time Traveling Amoeba

Marilyn Myerson

I am an amoeba.

You might think this makes me simple, but the truth is that I am a math whiz – spending my days dividing and multiplying. And no chalkboard or calculator for me – I just do it!

I am never lonely – my family is all around me; indeed, I create new family as often as I like. Life is good. I’m smart and I’m gregarious, and food and water are in plentiful supply.

As for my looks,  I may look like a blob but… View more

 

The End of the Liberal World Order?

Don Menzel

“America,” former Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, in his later years proclaimed, “is the locomotive at the head of mankind, and the rest of the world the caboose.” The new liberal world order fashioned together after WWII was the “rules-based order” led by the United States. The alternative, Acheson believed, is an international jungle with no “rules, no umpire, no prizes for good boys.” Does Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military incursion into Ukraine signal a return to the jungle and an end to the liberal world order? View more

Reading Aloud is Encouraged

Victoria Dym
Joyce Carpenter

Not everyone dresses up to read poetry aloud, but we have to say that we admire the touch of elegance it adds.

Last week we let Nick Graves and Gianna Russo share both their poetry and their writing process with you. This week we have two more poets to share: Victoria Dym and Joyce Carpenter.  We’d tell you more here, but we’d just be cribbing from their own self introductions.  Click the button to get right to the good stuff!

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National Poetry Month – Part 3


The celebration of National Poetry Month wraps up this week with an edition featuring three poems by Margaret Ryan followed by another special Thursday poetry reading issue. We at OLLI Connects wish to  congratulate all the poets who contributed to this month’s series of articles recognizing the exquisite talents of wordsmiths. In the words of Amanda Gorman, “There’s a poem in this place.”

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A Trip to Ukraine

Junia Ancaya

Florida, November 2004

As I drove through central Florida on Hwy 60, the devastation left by Charlie, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne—four recent hurricanes that hit the state this year—was everywhere. Metal poles corkscrewed the ground; county repair trucks crowded the road’s shoulders; men rushed with ladders; and gigantic trees lay tilted toward their broken branches, as if lamenting over them.

The traffic slowed to a stop. On my left, a house, caved-in and demolished by a gigantic centenarian live oak, stood crooked with sunken holes in place of windows. Dense, dirty-gray Spanish moss spread its webs over the building, entangling debris and seemingly floating in the very air.

The desolation caused by the deadly winds carried my thoughts five thousand miles away, as I recalled my recent trip to Ukraine.

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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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Reading Aloud is Allowed

Nick Graves
Gianna Russo

Reading a well-crafted poem to yourself–silently or aloud–can be a powerful experience. Hearing a poet read his or her own work can be even more moving.  They know exactly which words to stress and precisely how long the pauses last.  And, if you’re fortunate and they’re in a good mood, they might share with you what the process of creating a poem feels like for them.

As it happens, we have two poets who will do exactly that today: Nick Graves and Gianna Russo.

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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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Crossing the Andes

Neil Cosentino

We were at 24,000 feet, unpressurized and on oxygen, as we crossed the Peruvian Andes eastbound toward the Amazon basin. I had selected Talara, Peru, to spend the night before the crossing. In the morning I refueled, checked the weather and notices-to-airmen, and filed our flight plan to Iquitos, Peru. Our twin-engine Piper Navajo was running like a Swiss watch, and that was important, for at all points east, beyond the Andes, any aircraft problem would mean very long delays.

We departed, climbing to the northeast, and when we passed 12,500 feet, I turned on the no smoking sign and told the others to go on oxygen. We continued climbing to 24,000, the safe altitude for crossing over the Chiclayo pass, and then descended into the Amazonas to follow the Marañón River to our destination—Iquitos, Peru.
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