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January 3, 2020

Editor of the Week: John Nash

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • Special Events Program Planning Group meets Thursday, January 9, 10:00, in the Annex.
  • Board of Directors meets Friday, January 17, 10:00, in TA‑1. All members are welcome.
  • Winter term begins January 27.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, January 17; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, January 14, 6:00.

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Filling Your Bucket List

 By John Nash, E-News editor

You may recall the recent movie where two old guys, facing life-threatening diseases, decided to do all those things they had wanted to do but never done. They called it their Bucket List. Toward the end, they became closer friends and pleased with themselves for accomplishing their goals.

We all have a Bucket List of things we want to do, some things lingering for many years. Here is what some OLLI members have in their Bucket List for this year and a little further out.

Angie and Dave Talaber will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in Paris by going to Christmas markets. They will relive their enjoyment of Europe and Christmas markets when they lived in Germany 30 years ago. Angie, coordinator of the OLLI Photo Club, also wants to return to St. Martin’s to add to her photos of the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and then turn them into a good portfolio. Dave has a harder task with his vow to read Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism.

George Bradshaw, OLLI photographer extraordinaire, has an exalted undertaking in his Bucket List. After being impressed with the National Museum of African-American History and Culture on an OLLI Photo Club field trip in November, he plans to use his photographic skills to document each of the galleries in the museum, capturing the themes each gallery expresses.

John and Toni Acton are planning to complete one of their top Bucket List items in January – a visit to their last remaining continent. Having been to six continents in their travels over the past 20 years, they are going on a two-week trip to the Antarctic. How cool is that?

Paul and Susan Van Hemel hope to take another Road Scholar trip this year. With a focus usually on art, history, and culture, they have previously taken two enjoyable and educational such trips: to Charleston, SC, and to New Orleans, LA. Road Scholar offers a variety of trips and usually with a very delightful group of attendees.

Michelle Blandburg has a Bucket List that won’t quit…but why are we not surprised: this woman is always in motion! On her list are: singing lessons, a glassblowing class, ballroom dancing instructions, the Burlesque University for Showgirls in Las Vegas (wow!), riding a mule/donkey through the Grand Canyon, race car driving classes (she does that already!), hot air ballooning, parasailing, and parachute jumping. A long-range goal is to attend her grandson’s college graduation – in 2039! Travel plans include Sedona, AZ; New Orleans, LA; Clarksdale, MS; Alaska; and Japan.

John Nash, OLLI E-News editor, vows to get into Adobe Lightroom this year (OLLI class), go on a camping/canoe trip in Big Bend National Park, take his son (or his son take him) to the battlefields of Normandy, do a parachute jump, and maybe shift lifestyles to a retirement community.

So what’s in your Bucket List? Start checking those items off in 2020!

Now’s the Time to Submit Entries to OLLI Ink 2020!


By Caroline McNeil, OLLI Ink editor

OLLI writers—beginners and experienced—here’s a way to take advantage of this quiet time between terms. Send in your entries for the 2020 edition of OLLI Ink!

Now moving into its tenth year, OLLI Ink publishes poetry and prose, including fiction, personal essays, and memoirs. Contributors to this annual publication come from a wide spectrum of OLLI members, including–-but not limited to–-those enrolled in writing workshops. OLLI Ink is distributed each spring at the annual picnic and in all three OLLI locations.

The OLLI Ink format allows for entries as short as a Haiku and as long as a short story, essay, or memoir. Its publishing guidelines set a maximum of 2,500 words for prose and 30 lines for poetry submissions.  

Please send your entries—and/or any questions—to Caroline McNeil, who can be reached at or 703-231-4730.

Computer Club

3rd Saturday, January 18
Configure Your Cell Phone to Avoid RoboCalls
Routine Computer Maintenance

By Paul Howard, OPCUG Program Chair

The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, January 18, at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for socializing. Program activities begin at 1:00 in TA‑1.
Configure Your Cell Phone to Avoid RoboCalls – Presented by John Krout: This presentation will show you how to configure your Android phone or iPhone to prevent the phone from ringing for any call other than one from a person in your phone’s contacts list. This is a way of avoiding robocalls (“cold” calls that phish for your social security number and other identifying information, with the hope of stealing your bank account, IRS refund, or your identity). If you have no idea what is meant by robocalls, come on in and you will literally hear some that John found in his voicemails.John is a frequent contributor to PATACS Posts newsletter, and occasionally provides presentations on technical issues at OPCUG/PATACS meetings.Learn in 30:  Routine Computer Maintenance – Presented by Lorrin Garson: Is routine maintenance necessary? How often should it be done? Should backup be part of regular maintenance? What about software updates? Do you need anti-malware software, and does it need recurring attention? How full is your disk drive and does that matter? Is your computer running hot and so what? What about those dust bunnies, ventilation, and cable discipline? Do you need to lubricate the bearings in your hard drive? Should you replace your old computer if it still works?

Lorrin was a presenter at the initial OPCUG meeting in January 2009. His sessions are famous for their thorough research and clarity of presentation.

See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2020 will be collected at this meeting.

Can’t make the meeting in person? Dues-paid club members may attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 12:45. Send a message to if you plan to attend in this way. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: (Meeting ID: 519 103 813).

Tallwood Book Club January Meeting

By Ceda McGrew, Tallwood Book Club Coordinator


The Tallwood Book Club will meet at 10:00, Wednesday, January 8 in TA‑2. The book for discussion is Sing, Unburied, Sing by award-winning American author Jesmyn Ward. Set in rural Mississippi, it is the story of coming of age in an impoverished, multigenerational family dealing with incarceration, drug addiction, and ghosts from the past. All OLLI members are welcome.

The book for discussion on February 13 is Fascism by Madeleine Albright.

Inside OLLI Mason

On Being a Board Member

By Rosemary Lubinski, Board of Directors Member

I am really new to the OLLI Board of Directors, having been elected this past spring. When asked to run, I said “Sure,” as I thought it was good to have people volunteer throughout the organization. I never expected to be elected, however, and the experience has been more interesting and fulfilling than I expected. The Board is truly committed to planning stimulating educational and social programming. It is especially dedicated to keeping OLLI a vibrant community for current and future members. In addition, the Board members regularly head committees and volunteer throughout the organization. I have been involved in the Outreach Committee that works on attracting new membership.

If you have creative ideas or special skills that will advance OLLI, come to a Board meeting and your ideas will be considered. Or even better, run for Board membership or join a committee. OLLI is built on the contributions of each of its members: Spread the word to friends and colleagues, join a committee, teach a class, run for board membership, learn, and have fun. OLLI is you!

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of articles by current Board members to give readers some insight into what is involved in serving on the Board.


Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

Miles from Nowhere

In a fountain of dreams
Imagine sleeping under the stars
Inhaling the fragrance of jasmine
In a village by the river

Cattle returning home
At dusk, ‘cow dust time’
Shimmering orange haze
In a village by the river

Smell of the monsoon rain
On parched skin
On sunbaked dust
In a village by the river

Howling of jackals in the night
Croaking of bull frogs
In a village by the river
Miles from nowhere

Chitra Mohla

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, January 3 through January 20

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either Center for the Arts Concert Hall (CFA) or Hylton Center, call 1-888-945-2468, buy tickets online through the event calendar (see links below), or visit the venue’s box office. For more information, see the CFA ticket page or the Hylton Center ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues

International Saxophone Symposium
Fri, Jan 10 and Sat, Jan 11 beginning at 8:00am
Concert Hall
Admission: Free.

US Navy Concert Band Concert
Fri, Jan 10, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Free.

U.S. Navy Band Commodores Concert
Sat, Jan 11, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Free.

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band
Sun, Jan 12, 2:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Free.

Shen Yun
Thu, Jan 16, Sat, Jan 18, and Sun, Jan 19, 2:00
Friday, Jan 17 and Sat, Jan 18, 7:30
Concert Hall
Admission: $85 to $205.

Mason Student and Faculty Performances

(see for additional student recitals)

No performances scheduled

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At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Gallery Exhibition: John Grunwell
Now until Jan 18
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.
Admission: Free.

Dance etc: 39th Annual Winter Concert
Sat, Jan 11, 7:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $24.

Cornerstone Music, Art, and Learning Winter Recital
Sun, Jan 12, 12:00 and 2:30
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Free.

For further details on any of the above events, see the CFA event calendar and the Hylton Center event calendar.

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Meetings & Clubs

The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office, with direct web links added when available. The list is accurate as of mid-week but for the most up-to-date information, please view the latest forecast of coming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc. (bolded below).

Sat Jan 4 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-2
Mon Jan 6  9:30am What’s in the Daily News?–TA-1
Tue Jan 7  9:30am Annex Art–Annex
Wed Jan 8 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tallwood Book Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Thu Jan 9 10:00am Special Events Program Planning Group–Annex
Fri Jan 10  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Homer, etc.–Annex
Sat Jan 11 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Jan 13  9:30am What’s in the Daily News?–TA-1
Tue Jan 14  9:30am
Annex Art–Annex
Spanish Club–TA-2
Wed Jan 15 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–Annex
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Thu Jan 16 10:00am Fairfax Coffee Klatch–Annex
Fri Jan 17  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1
Homer, etc.–Annex
Sat Jan 18 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-2
Personal Computer Club–TA-1

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About OLLI E-News

OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.

Editorial Staff
Chief Editor: Paul Van Hemel
Associate Editor: David Gundry
Weekly Editor Team: David Gundry, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel 

Proofreaders: Rebecca Jann, Susan Van Hemel, Linda Randall, Tom Appich, Roz Stark,
Jane Hassell
Backup Chief Editor: Alice Slayton Clark

Submissions: Members are encouraged to submit letters to the editor, letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (on etiquette matters), OLLI-related news items, articles, and photos. Submit material to:
Deadline: Tuesday, 6:00, for that week’s issue (Monday, 6:00, for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words.
Note: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News on the DocStore. To search the content of issues, use Search Our Site or put your search term in Google followed by “” without the quotes.

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