A Day at the Races

Shelly Belzer

When the OLLI Shutterbugs SIG gathered for a photo outing at Tampa Bay Downs on a bright December day, we dug into our memories for what this reminded us of.

Rich Edwards talked about growing up within sound of Roosevelt Raceway, the former harness racing track in Westbury, Long Island. He would fall asleep to the voice of the announcer calling the races. The track, he related, began as Roosevelt Field, famous for  Charles Lindbergh’s takeoff on his nonstop flight to Paris in 1927. In the end it became Westbury Plaza, a shopping mall. (More…)

Tree Frog

Sara Zimmerman

A frog jumps on my head and becomes slightly tangled in my hair this morning at 3:30 a.m. while I am sleeping. When I first feel it in my hair, I think I am dreaming of my Burmese cat, Spike, who was in my life for 16 years and woke me up when he had some kind of emergency during the night, or when he thought I should know something important that he knew and I didn’t.

But when the frog leaps from my head to the floor and the soft but distinct thud wakes me up, I turn on the light, see what is huddled there on the floor next to the bed, and try to decide what to do.  Should I ignore it and go back to sleep?  What if it jumps on my head again?  I wonder – that’s cat behavior, but isn’t that unusual behavior for a frog?  What was it trying to tell me?  (More…)

But My Favorite Class was . . .

We’d love to have you contribute an article to OLLI Connects.  But maybe the idea of writing a whole article takes you out of your comfort zone.  Or just isn’t your idea of a good time.

But if you’ve taken more than a handful of OLLI classes, you probably have a favorite.  One that was more than just fun, more than just interesting.  One that had a real impact on you.  Maybe it was the subject.  Maybe it was the instructor.  Maybe you were just ready for an intellectual “growth spurt” at the time.   We’d like you to     (More…)

Tweet, Tweet. What is Twitter and Why Use It?

Diane White

Tweets are everywhere. Originally a small chirping sound that a bird makes to get attention or communicate with other birds of a feather, human tweets are now seemingly everywhere. Like them or not – you may want to understand more about them. What compels people to tweet – to make those small chirp-like comments and send them to anyone in the world? Want to join in? I’ll tell you how to get started and give you some fun Twitter trivia facts to amaze your friends, family and trivial pursuit team!  (More…)

Gallery Updated

North Carolina Arboretum

We’ve added some stunning new photographs to our Gallery page, and we invite you to come in and enjoy them.

Like the articles you read here in OLLI Connects, the photographs come from OLLI members, just like you, and we urge you to submit your images for publication.  (More…)

Angkor Wat via Viet Nam

Catherine Mitchell

I hadn’t planned to go to Vietnam.  What I really wanted to see was Angkor Wat in Cambodia. And I wanted to get there before I was too old to climb all those steps.

However, the company I usually travel with, both because it features groups of from 14 to 16 maximum and doesn’t charge single supplements, didn’t have such a trip. Most of their trips included Thailand, but I had visited Thailand twice already, once very recently.  But, there was a trip to Vietnam with an add-on to Cambodia.  So off I went.  (More…)

Arrival

Raymond Paltoo

The sky was an unbelievable blue with only a lonely, white, drifting cloud to disrupt its absolute rule in the heavens. The sea was a reflection of the blue sky, except near the shore, where the water became a translucent emerald-green.

From the rough planking of the dock Sham watched the ship, which had brought him and more than a few hundred others over the depths of the dark ocean, gently rocking as the small waves washed her hull on their way to the shore. His senses told him that he had never seen anything so lovely and yet so alien as the waters of the Caribbean. Simultaneously, he was conscious only of misery and loss.  (More…)

Therapy Dog

Penny Noriega

Have you ever felt better after petting a cat or a dog?  There is scientific evidence that petting a friendly animal can make you feel better.  Scientists believe that the major source of people’s positive reactions to pets comes from oxytocin, a hormone whose many functions include stimulating social bonding, relaxation, trust, and easing stress.  The conclusion is that pets, especially dogs, seem to be good for our health.

I know that after a long tiring day, there is nothing better than   (More…)

Yes, Diane! There is a Santa Claus!

Diane Russell

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…)

Opa! Greek Festival

Shelly Belzer

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…)