The Board of Directors met on July 15. This Board is off to a great start working to help OLLI continue to have terrific programming even as COVID concerns remain.
Dr. Michele Romano is heading up a Health and Safety Advisory Group that will advise the Board on proper COVID precautions. Using reliable information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and others, she will suggest changes to OLLI procedures as necessary. Currently, OLLI has a mask-optional policy that aligns with CDC guidelines for Fairfax County, which is in the medium risk category. Members are encouraged to continue to wear masks and/or attend classes by Zoom if that makes them more comfortable. Members still need to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes. Updates to OLLI policy will be announced in the E‑News.
OLLI is exploring various fund-raising options to help support our programming. Please contact OLLI President Lillian Brooks or Executive Director Jennifer Disano if you have fund-raising expertise that can help us.
Zachary Teich is the new Chair of our Strategic Planning Committee.
Debby Mossburg’s Outreach Committee has been very active in developing tools to recruit and retain new members.
Our Special Events program planners are looking into expanding our offerings for members who are ready to get together in person. Marilyn Harriman and Luci Martel will head up a group that will plan excursions and diversions. Rita Way will make sure activities are COVID compliant.
By Michele Romano, Board Member and Healthcare Advisory Work Group Chair
If you’ve been listening to the news, you know that Omicron BA.5 is the dominant COVID variant in the U.S. right now and is really catching fire. It is highly transmissible.
However, the good news is that the vast majority of people who test positive are either asymptomatic or have typical cold symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, sinus congestion and headache, cough, body aches). This is very different from the original COVID of early 2020. Even though the present vaccines do not contain the Omicron variant, they still offer a great deal of protection. So far very few people are getting seriously ill (requiring hospitalization) or dying from BA.5. Even though the Center for Disease Control (CDC) places Fairfax and Loudoun at medium risk (masks optional), OLLI members should continue to wear masks on our campuses if they are at high risk or just feel more comfortable doing so. Please see ‘Health and Safety Protocols for OLLI Mason’ online.
I will be giving an extensive COVID‑19 Update via Zoom on Monday, Sept. 12 at 1:00 before fall term starts. Please come and bring your questions; the Zoom link will appear in the Sept. 12 OLLI daily schedule email. COVID data is moving at warp speed right now, so I suspect a lot will change by then.
By John Olsen and Edward Marion
Photography Club Co-Coordinators
"As I started walking through the acres of water lilies and lotus blossoms, I had no idea of what magic lay ahead. I admired the pretty flowers blooming in countless shallow pools of water while dragonflies flitted among the blooms. The dirt paths were muddy in places after the recent rains and evoked memories of childhood long forgotten. The bright sunshine and the heat of the day drove me to a shady place under a tree. I savored the moments looking at the plants in the water and listening to birds singing nearby. I felt the mud under my shoes and felt euphoric as I wandered closer to the pools of water. I felt like a child again exploring an unknown landscape. Care and worries faded away. This was heaven."
These are impressions from Christine, one of our Photography Club members, from our July field trip. If you enjoy photography and exploring parks, museums, and neighborhoods, please consider joining the OLLI Photo Club on our field trips. Our trips are on the third Friday of the month in the morning and usually last between two to three hours, followed by congenial conversation over lunch in a local restaurant.
On the fourth Friday of the month, we share our favorite photos from the trip. Our members represent all levels of photography and a wide variety of camera gear, whether cell phone camera, point and shoot, or DSLR with a variety of lenses. We all enjoy the fun of photography, sharing our experiences and learning from one another.
We are also engaged in volunteer projects, such as providing photography to the Mason drama department and photographing the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics each September.
We welcome new members! (Photo by Ed Marion)
The July 2022 Photo of the Month theme was monochrome. We selected Robert Kelberg's photo "The Pier" which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the club's photo website.
-- By John Olsen and Ed Marion, Photography Club Coordinators
What a Day!
My son, his son, and me, along for the ride, to
a baseball game we would never win.
It’s Little League Day at the Nationals’ Ball Park.
Thousands of eight-to-twelve-year-olds
Revved up for cotton candy, peanuts and…
a baseball thrown or hit from the playing field.
Getting a baseball will consume the next two-and-a-half to three hours. A simple process.
At the start of each half inning (top of the third, bottom of the eighth), ten or so boys rush down their respective aisles toward the field begging whatever player is warming up for the ball he’s using. Visiting players usually don’t throw their ball into a crowd unless they see a fan wearing their jersey.
It’s the bottom of the sixth. Grandson gets a head start to a prime spot at the railing. He waits and waits. An eternity for a nine-year-old. The Nat’s left fielder warms up with a teammate, then turns to chuck the ball to the boys in Grandson’s aisle.
Now the story takes a turn. The ball is in the air. Grandson thinks the player has made eye contact with him intending the ball for him. Thirteen other boys don’t see it that way. Grandson misses the tossed ball; it hits the concrete; a scrum ensues. A boy of small stature wiggles to the bottom and fetches it. Grandson can’t believe it. Running back to Dad he says, “That was my ball; he wanted me to have it.” Son gives Grandson a little hug, a few soft words and allows the disappointing cloud, with a tint of anger, to form and pass.
Grandson cools, finishes his cotton candy, and waits.
I imagine some 30 years from now, he will have channeled his passion for baseballs thrown from the playing field toward his own son and will have waiting soft words and a hug to help him through some “major” setback.
The best part?
I got to watch it all unfold.
For tickets for either Center for the Arts Concert Hall (CFA) or HyltonCenter, 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.
Current vaccination policy for the Center for the Arts and Hylton Performing Arts Center is summarized as follows:
As of May 1, 2022 proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result is no longer required for events at the Center for the Arts, Harris Theatre, TheaterSpace, Hylton Performing Arts Center, and deLaski Performing Arts Building. Face coverings are recommended for indoor events at all venues.
Please note: Although some physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled, some may be meeting in person or, in a hybrid mode, both in person and online. OLLI events and activities meeting online bear the identification "Z" in their course or event number. Refer to the university's coronavirus website for official university updates; also, check the OLLI calendar and daily schedule email for event information.
The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office. 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. The OLLI office has sent (or will send) emails with links and meeting passwords to club members; you may also log in at the member portal and click on ZOOM CLASS LINKS.
Sat Jul 23
Tai Chi Club
Mon Jul 25
Mah Jongg Club
Tue Jul 26
Loudoun Non-Fiction Book Club
Tai Chi Club
Wed Jul 27
Memoir and More Writing Group
Theater Lovers’ Group
Ethnic Eats Club
Thu Jul 28
Tai Chi Club
Fri Jul 29
Health Advisory Work Group
Craft and Conversation
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Chief Editor: Paul Van Hemel
Associate Editor: David Gundry
Weekly Editor Team: David Gundry, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Paul Van Hemel Proofreaders: Rebecca Jann, Susan Van Hemel, Linda Randall, Tom Appich, Jane Hassell
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Search E-News: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News at ENews Archives. To search the content within issues, use Search or enter your search term(s) in Google followed by “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes. An Amazon Smile Link appears here. When you shop using the Smile link designating OLLI as your charitable choice, we'll receive a 0.5 % donation, based on the value of your purchase.