The happiest season of the year was Christmas for the Chicago-based Henrikson family. I was the only kid among my friends who could say that I actually saw Santa Claus deliver presents.
Santa made regular appearances decades earlier to another generation of Henrikson and Dixon kids. My dad, Art Henrikson, wrote about these Christmas Eve visits to his Scandinavian grandparents’ home in the 1920’s as follows: “Each year someone would have to go to the store and leave through the front door…minutes later, conversation would lower. I’d hear a tinkle of bells and then a knock on the back door…there was Santa!” In the 1930’s, his younger cousin, Vince Bates, saw Santa at Big Grandma and Big Grandpa’s house a couple of days after Christmas and was amazed: “Of course, he had gifts for all of us, and of course he knew all of us by name, including me!” (More…)
When my wife, Jane, and I went on a cruise to the Greek Isles in 2016, a folkloric troupe from Crete came aboard ship and performed the elegant, vigorous dances of their island in traditional costume. We were right back there — similar dances, similar costumes — on Saturday night, November 10, when the OLLI Shutterbugs visited the Opa! Tampa Greek Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Hyde Park Village. (More…)
OLLI Connects is about OLLI members sharing their experiences. But it’s hard to share an experience that hasn’t happened to you yet. So, we’re inviting you to a Christmas adventure with a smidgen of time travel thrown in: The Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum.
From now through December 23 you can, well, “stroll” through a Christmas world much like the one Cindy Knox depicted in our last blog post. We can’t promise that you’ll run into the Ghost of Christmas Past, but you will see: (More…)
I have read several sobering articles about the decline in reading for pleasure, not only in America, but also across the world. There are numerous reasons given for this decline, including the rise of electronics and more hours spent in front of the TV. However, I’m not an academic, a statistician or any type of reading specialist. I’m just a person who loves reading for pleasure – and for our purposes here, we will define pleasure as “enjoyment.” The choice of reading that gives you pleasure or enjoyment may be poetry or cookbooks or mysteries or romance novels, or even, as in the case of Mr. Pickwick’s fellow Pickwick Club members, the report titled “Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds, with some Observations on the Theory of Tittlebats.” (More…)
Games! Glorious Games! Is this the sentiment of an earnest nine-year-old or a precocious four-year-old? Probably, but many adults also fondly recall those days gone by when the family eagerly gathered around the dining room table on a stormy summer night or a blustery winter one and enjoyed a riveting game of Monopoly, Parcheesi or, in a nod to the younger set, Chutes and Ladders or Candyland. (More…)
New Orleans is a city dear to my heart, a party where everyone is invited. The people are warm, the food is world class, and the music will soothe your soul. I am privileged to visit regularly, because my husband’s family lives there. They live in the suburbs now, but it’s never hard to persuade them to go into the city.
Food is always a good place to start. Our favorite haunt is Mandina’s in an old pink house on Canal Street. (More…)
The late Arthur C. Clarke, noted science fiction author, said: “We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 – and half the things he knows at 40 hadn’t been discovered when he was 20?”
The latter portion of this quote is very appropriate for the computer industry. For example, let’s look back just ten years. What can you do today with a computer that you couldn’t do ten years ago? (More…)
(Regular readers of OLLI Connects will be familiar with our usual format. Since we don’t want you to get bored, we’re bending our usual formatting rules for this article. Read on. –Editor)
Inside Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s head is a master plan for renewing downtown Tampa from the Hillsborough River out. First came Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, then the Riverwalk. The third jewel in this triple crown is the $35 million restoration of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 25 acres on the west bank of the river, with a boathouse, community center and green-monster sculpture. (More…)
You’ve probably seen them. Puffy groups of words that illustrate articles, especially those that you read on the internet. Yes, they have a name – Word Clouds.
Why are they seemingly so prolific? Word clouds are great visual tools because they help to communicate ideas in a very direct way by putting the focus on the most important words in a story. As an added bonus, there are free programs that easily let you create amazing word clouds in minutes! (More…)
Unbearable Florida heat and humidity, wives off on their own adventures, more than a slight danger of boredom—how are a couple of golden agers to spend their summer vacation?
Tim McMurrich and I have been friends for 45 years (although we lost contact with each other for 30 of those) ever since we were part of a stellar softball outfield in the ‘70s. We hatched our plan to tour Civil War Battlefields over cocktails during the Christmas holidays (not surprisingly our spouses began planning alternate summer plans the same evening). So, began an 8-day Odyssey (More…)