U.S.-China Relations: The Ukrainian Shadow

Don Menzel

The liberal world order fashioned in the aftermath of WWII by Western democracies has brought peace and prosperity for much of the world over the past 75 years. China, more than any other nation, was a significant beneficiary of a stable, rules-driven international order. Indeed, China was transformed nearly overnight from an agrarian peasant society to an industrial giant that raised millions of ordinary Chinese out of poverty and set the stage for China’s aspiration as an emerging world superpower. U.S.-China relations during this period prospered as well, with mutually beneficial trade, cultural, and political cooperation reaching new heights.

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For the Love of Henrikson

Diane Henrikson Russell

Like many girls raised in the 1960s, I dreamed that I would marry and adopt my husband’s last name. I even practiced writing my first name followed by the last name of my latest crush in beautiful cursive handwriting.

It’s not that I didn’t like my name. My parents named me Diane Elizabeth Henrikson. I am the fifth generation of women named Elizabeth on my mom’s side of the family.

I am also proud of my Scandinavian heritage. Bernhardt Henriksen, my Norwegian great-grandfather…   Read more

We have a challenge and an opportunity for you. We want you to tell us a brief story about something you did--or experienced—in the past.  You can tell a true story, or you can make the entire thing up. If your story fools our readers, you'll win a fabulous prize. You will discover further details at the bottom of Diane’s story as well as a link to the official OLLI Connects contest page.

Stefan’s Imprisonment in Ukraine

Junia Ancaya

Triggered by the unprovoked, barbaric Russian invasion of Ukraine and its peoples’ horrendous suffering a few months ago, I began presenting to you, my dear OLLI friends, chronological excerpts from my dad Stefan’s war years—during a similar assault on Poland by the Soviets at the outbreak of WW II. The first story was, “The Soviet Invasion of Zbaraz.”  This the second story: “Stefan’s Imprisonment in Ukraine”.  –Junia

September 1939, Shepetovka (Soviet occupied Ukraine)
Stefan arrived from Tarnopol (Pol.) in a cattle train, forty prisoners in each boxcar, to a massive POW camp in Shepetovka ((today: Shepetivka, in western Ukraine). His sergeant, Jagiello, was with him.

Every soldier had to identify himself at the camp’s registration posts. Stefan produced a fake document stating he was Infantry Private Stefan Orzechowski; Jagiello had written it hastily while on the train. He hoped the Soviets wouldn’t understand Polish or suspect anything shady.

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9/11: My Story — Episode II

Beryl Byles

After two days in the care of Carol and Merlin, Beryl had yet to receive permission to return to Philadelphia. A few more adventures awaited her before she was cleared to embark on a flight home. Episode II concludes with her personal reflections and a warm story describing the purpose of her trip to Brussels.–Editor


Day Three and the Journey Home
The next day, Thursday, Carol needed to complete her planning with three other ministers for a Prayer Service that evening. Merlin also needed to be away and they allowed Joe, Peg and myself to be at their home for what we thought was going to be the morning. The hotline number had been helpful in providing information about departure times, but the delays began to be the norm. Carol came home and suggested that we might like to get out for lunch as a change. As we drove around, I noticed the many flags at half-mast, which felt like a very supportive gesture on the part of our neighbors to the north!

More television that afternoon plus the opportunity to get on email at the home of a neighbor of Carol’s made the time pass quickly. At 6:30 p.m., Carol needed to be at the church for the service.  Read more

   

9/11: My Story — Episode I

Beryl Byles

REUTERS/Sara K. Schwittek/Files

This week marks the 21st anniversary of the September 11th attack, a fitting time to publish a memoir penned by a fellow OLLI member. Beryl Byles was a passenger on a return flight from Brussels on that fateful day. Over the course of this week, OLLI Connects will run her story in two episodes. Today’s issue recounts her arrival in Moncton, New Brunswick and continues with a description of the hospitality she received from our neighbor to the north.  On Thursday we will finish her story with Episode 2, including her journey home after nearly four days delayed in Canada until tourists were cleared to fly over US air space. —Editors

Day One

While we each have our own individual story of where we were and what we were doing on September 11, 2001 and beyond, I want to capture my account of being a “stranded yank” in Canada. This effort represents my need for closure, a way to capture the “extraordinary” so that I can get back into the “ordinary” activities of my life. Hopefully, it also will serve as an invitation for you to share your own individual experience.

I had been airborne for just over an hour on U S Air flight #335 from Brussels at the time of the first attack. Four or so hours later, the pilot informed us that we had experienced higher-than-predicted head winds and, although we certainly had enough fuel to reach our destination of Philadelphia, we would be going into our fuel reserve and he did not like to do that. Therefore, we were going to land in (Moncton, New Brunswick) Canada where the ground crew was prepared to take 45 minutes to add the necessary fuel before we would continue on our way. (I think the 45-minute timeframe was geared to allay the anxieties of the majority of the passengers who were scheduled to make connecting flights in Philadelphia.)  Read more

The IPCC Report on Climate Change

Story by Al Carlson
Video and Abstracts by
Theresa D’Aiuto Sokol

We now know that Climate Change (aka Global Warming) is happening. But who’s keeping track of it? And what have they learned? And who will it affect? And in what ways? And how soon?

Helping you find answers to those questions is what this issue of OLLI Connects is about. We didn’t say “giving you the answers”. We don’t have the answers. And if we did, they sure wouldn’t fit in our standard weekly issue. But we can give you an overview in what we hope is clear English and provide you with links to more information.
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The Hurricane

Mary Bowers

My job as a medical equipment sales representative took me to a new hospital in Port Charlotte, Florida.  It was late August, and the moment I stepped off the plane I was met with the smothering effects of the humid heat and tropical vegetation.  Before I had left home in Atlanta there had been a report of an impending hurricane in Florida, but no one had mentioned it, so I assumed it had moved on to another target, as hurricanes will do.

I planned to take advantage of the trip to southwestern Florida to visit my friend Amelia who had recently lost her husband.  She and he had retired to this area to raise horses, and it had been ages since I had seen her.  We planned to get in a good visit over the weekend before I returned to Atlanta on Sunday evening.   Read more

Hurricane Andrew

Neil Cosentino

On August 24, 1992, my Florida Civil Air Patrol (CAP) hurricane mission started with a midnight telephone call from Florida CAP headquarters. They needed a pilot as soon as possible to fly to Homestead. I took off solo around one a.m. from Vandenberg airport, now Tampa Executive Airport (VDF) and flew near the red lines direct from Tampa to Lantana Airport. Our trusty 310 Squadron Cessna 172 purred all the way – it was good karma – not one rough engine sound. That always seems to happen at night over that pitch black hole called the Everglades.

I arrived just before sunrise and after refueling, getting a cup of fresh coffee and a fast but very simple briefing, I took off at dawn for Homestead.  Read more

Stormy Travel

Jan Vaupel

The weather that affected my life most recently happened on April 7th on my flight out of Tampa in a lightning-and-thunder filled rainstorm.

I am flying American, not my usual standby, Southwest. I love Southwest. I have their credit card and like their offbeat humor. But I change because my Coast Guard son is flying in from Cali and we want to meet up in Richmond at 4:15 p.m., then drive to Gloucester, our final destination.  On Southwest, I would get in at 11:50 p.m., an unseemly hour, so I find an alternate flight on Black Friday.  Perhaps that should have been a sign. It’s American Airlines, one way, for a great price.

I’m in line outside TIA. I’ve just checked my bag when the lady behind me asks, “Did you hear our flight’s been delayed two hours?”

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On Cloud Nine: The Calm Before the Storm

Marilyn Myerson

August ushers in the most active weeks of Florida’s annual hurricane season. Unstable tropical climate conditions triggered by warming seas have spiked record storm frequency and intensity over the last decade. We think it fitting to present a five-week series pertaining to weather and climate while you anxiously track the NOAA hurricane maps. A recent challenge issued to the members of the Imaginative Writing Crew yielded several stories on this topic, a new memoir marks the twentieth anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, and a mixed media report on the latest climate research will wrap things up at the end of the month.

We begin with Marilyn Myerson’s On Cloud Nine: The Calm Before the Storm –Editors 

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