In 2021, OLLI celebrates its 30th year of classes for seniors. This feature provides fun facts and interesting milestones about our institute each week that E-News is published throughout the first half of this year.
June 18 In 1996 Learning in Retirement Institute (LRI) made a grant to the George Mason University Foundation in honor of Abe Spero, LRI’s late legal counsel and a member of the Mason Board. Note: Chronology says two scholarships in names of K. Brooks and Abe Spero. In 1997, LRI approved a $1,500 scholarship for Mason’s New Century College in honor of Abe Spero, using funds donated to LRI.
By Camille Hodges, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Current Events Program Planning Group Co-Chair
We are happy to welcome Dr. Spencer Crew back to the Mason campus after his leave of absence to work as the Interim Head of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). He is currently looking for 10 OLLI members to participate in his fall 2021 course, “History of the Family.” This will involve being interviewed by students in his upcoming course, which will be in session from September-December. OLLI members who participated in this intergenerational exchange in the past described sharing their family history with Mason students as a personally rewarding experience. The class is currently scheduled to meet virtually on fall Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-11:45. However, you will not be required to meet with students every week.
If you are interested in participating or want more details, please contact Dr. Crew at email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the June 4, 2021, issue. It is repeated here to encourage members to support the relationship between OLLI and Mason by exploiting the opportunity for a rewarding experience.
“He was always smiling and joking,” recalled one OLLI member who knew Chester Myslicki. Chester, a previous long-time OLLI member, passed away recently (see Obituary).
I didn’t know Chester well other than to occasionally see him at Tallwood when he was an active OLLI member and when he participated in the annual OLLI Veterans Day programs. I became a little more familiar with him as I worked with his niece, Andrea Myslicki, to arrange for his Zoom presence as one of the honored guests at last year’s Veterans’ Day program I moderated. The Zoom image showed a truly delightful man who waved and grinned at his Zoom OLLI friends. And he had many!
Chester enjoyed many OLLI classes and even participated in some of Kathy West’s theater programs. “Chester was a mainstay of Readers Theater both in Tallwood and at Loudoun,” said Kathy. “I could always count on Chester to add an accent, costume, or funny gesture to every role he took on. I have many memories of Chester doing a sun-tan commercial and coming in in his bathing trunks, a towel, and sunglasses! He stood up and danced at a Murder Mystery at Church of the Good Shepherd!”
After many years serving overseas in Iran and other countries he retired and made OLLI his new home. He was a swimmer in the Senior Olympics and after competing many years into his mid-nineties he was always winning a gold medal, as he would laugh and point out that no one else was in his age group!
“Readers Theatre and all of his many theatre fans will greatly miss his gentle smile and his antics in all his roles. Oh, how I loved that man,” Kathy said.
Throughout his lifetime—and it was a generous 100 years—Chester conveyed a friendly, positive spirit and an encouraging—often humorous—attitude, enjoyed and appreciated by his many friends in OLLI. His experiences through his years, including service in World War II, proved he was definitely one of “the Greatest Generation.”
The June 2021 Photo of the Month theme was Reflections. We selected Ed Rader's photo "Reflected Tree," 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 Edward Marion, Photography Club Coordinators
Member Peter Ansoff is a vexillologist (one who studies the history and meaning of flags). He is president of the North American Vexillological Association. His knowledge and love of flags was the subject of an article about Flag Day published on the KidsPost page of The Washington Post on June 8; click on this link to read the item.
Recently, The Washington Post published poems on cicadas. The following poem by member Jan Bohall appeared on June 8: In any time and motion study The cicada would surely Come out ahead. While seventeen years May be a long prep time Once back, it gets right to work At leaving a legacy.
The following poem by member Mike Mc Namara appeared on June 9: Cicada swarms Like fire alarms Without the fire — Are just suppressed desire.
Heading for the Fourth Cornice in the Time of Covid
Know that I am rushing, rushing, rushing in my own way
To overcome this slothfulness while I am yet alive
Alas, I am much like the men of Aeneas
Electing to end their travels in the cradle
Of Sicily, escaping the hardships of further strife
Thereby foregoing the glory of the founding of Rome.
(If you think that is glory. And some may not.)
But have I doomed myself to their afterlife
As a running shade if Dante Alighieri has his say
Where the slothful rush bootlessly back
The wrong way on Purgatorio’s fourth cornice
Ceaselessly shouting examples extolling
Those excellent beings who perpetually pursued
The righteous, the valuable, the good, the best.
Now I languish in sloth when I should arise,
I’ll face retribution another day. Betty Smith
Long-time OLLI member Chester Myslicki died May 27 at his home in Tysons Corner. Chester joined OLLI in 1992 shortly after OLLI’s founding, and just last October celebrated his 100th birthday.
Chester was a US Army veteran, serving in the Signal Corps during WWII and later in occupied Japan. He attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate and earned his master’s degree in economics there after his army career. He worked as an economist at the US Commerce Department, the Department of Labor, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. In later years, he went to Iran and Afghanistan with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
For many years, Chester was a fixture at OLLI Veterans Day celebrations where his exemplary military service was honored. There will be a memorial service on Saturday, June 26, at 10:30, at Money and King Funeral Home, 171 W. Maple Avenue, Vienna, VA. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Further information is available at this link.
Although Mason’s Fairfax campus is shut down, online entertainment and events at the Hylton Center continue for us to access and enjoy. Dr. Linda Apple Monson produces a periodic “Notes from the Director.” This email is full of interesting online performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music. If you would like to receive these bulletins, just send an email to Brianna Schoen firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the Center for the Arts has a websiteMason Arts at Home, which has a calendar of online events and access to many past performances. Information can also be found atCFA ticket purchase page,Center for the Arts YouTube Channel,or theHylton ticket purchase page.
Please note: Physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled until further notice in accordance with Mason’s guidelines. OLLI is conducting its classes and activities online. Refer to the university's coronavirus website for official university updates and check the OLLI calendar for revised 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. (bolded below). 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 Jun 19
Tai Chi Club
Personal Computer User Group
Tue Jun 22
Tai Chi Club
Thu Jun 24
Tai Chi Club
Fri Jun 25
Craft and Conversation
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, Tom Appich, Roz Stark, 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: email@example.com. 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.