– Don’t forget: today, May 4, the annual business meeting will be held at 10:00 followed by the OLLI picnic at 11:00. Board candidates will speak at the business meeting.
– The summer catalog is in the mail. The list of classes also may be viewed on the OLLI website by clicking here. Priority registration is May 15-23.
– Due to major maintenance and tree trimming, the Tallwood facility will be closed to staff and members from May 21–25. Make-up classes will be held as scheduled at other venues in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Reston. You may mail any summer‑term registrations to OLLI during this time.
– The next issue of OLLI E-News will be May 11.Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, May 8, by 6:00.
Recognizing the accuracy, convenience and efficiency of electronic balloting, the bylaws allow for electronic transmission and members are encouraged to use this method of voting. You will receive a link by email on May 4, 2018, by noon to cast your ballot. The subject line will read: 2018 OLLI Ballot for Board of Directors. The link will remain active until you have cast your ballot or until noon on Friday, May 18. If you do not receive an email on May 4 contact the OLLI office.
The above information will be mailed to those without email, included in the OLLI E-News, and provided as a handout in classrooms to comply with the bylaws. Any OLLI member who requests a paper ballot will receive one by mail with an addressed envelope marked BALLOT ENCLOSED. Please notify the OLLI office to request a mailed ballot. Use this ballot to vote for up to six candidates; you can mail the ballot to OLLI or drop it in a ballot box at Tallwood, Reston or Loudoun. Since you do not sign the ballot or return envelope, your vote remains completely anonymous. To be counted, all ballots must be received by noon on May 18, 2018. Do not lose your ballot: No member having lost, damaged or destroyed his/her mailed ballot may receive a second ballot. Making more than six choices will invalidate your ballot. Similarly, more than one ballot per envelope, any ballot not in the furnished BALLOT ENCLOSED envelope, or not received by May 18 will be invalid.
If you have questions about the election process, contact Terri Feldmayer, Nominating Committee Chair.
By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate
Celebrating the magic of volunteerism, Fairfax County held its 26th annual volunteer service awards last Friday to honor groups and individuals who have had a lasting impact in Northern Virginia in 2017. One of OLLI’s outstanding philanthropic groups, OLLI Players, was honored at the event as a nominee for the adult volunteer group category.
The OLLI Players dedicated hundreds of hours in 2017 to produce 20 performances free of charge at senior residences, churches and community centers throughout Fairfax. Their shows brought entertainment to hundreds of older adults, many of whom are unable to travel to theater events because of mobility, logistical and/or financial constraints.
Executive Director Jennifer Disano said, “for the past 12 years, the OLLI Players have charmed senior audiences far and wide, helping provide a healthy diversion to the challenges of getting older. Not only do they put a fabulous face to OLLI Mason, they help us achieve our goal and George Mason University’s mission of forging bonds with the community through service.”
In recognition of their talents and commitment to service, the Fairfax County Division of Adult and Aging Services has asked OLLI Players this year to create skits to help warn county residents of the dangers of “scamming” and similar fraudulent activities especially directed toward senior citizens. The skits will be taped and played on local cable channels and also will be performed for senior centers and residences.
Kudos to the OLLI Players for spreading joy, wellness, and now personal safety information to Northern Virginia retirees. (Photo by Alice Slayton Clark.)
A Day in the Life of a News Anchor
By Grace Torres, Mason Intern
It’s not often there’s a chance to hear firsthand accounts of a news anchorman but on Friday, April 27, at the Church of the Good Shepherd, OLLI members heard Northern Virginia’s reporter and anchor for News4 Today, David Culver, give a glimpse of his life as a news anchorman. From early on, Culver says, “telling stories is something I have always wanted to do.” After spending a few summers at NBC in Washington, Culver interned at News4 and wrote a blog for NBCWashington.com while studying abroad. Later, he interned for the investigative unit of NBC News in Washington and joined News4 in December 2012.
During his presentation, Culver discussed his passion for journalism and “story-telling.” Although he enjoys anchoring, he said his true passion is working in the field to tell stories and give people a “voice.” His opportunities at News4 include his family’s first post-revolutionary visit to Cuba and traveling to Florida to cover devastating events such as Hurricane Irma and the Parkland shooting.
In the news world, Culver finds that story-telling is no easy feat, given that a segment is limited to only 90 seconds. From gathering pre-produced clips to covering real-life events as they unfold, Culver is constantly on the move to produce captivating stories to keep the audience engaged and informed. Culver shared multiple clips of him reporting, and demonstrated the tactics he uses to convey his story, one of those techniques being “NATS,” the natural sounds that happen within the environment and “help the story feel more comfortable.” Culver ended his presentation with questions from the audience.
In a memorable part of his presentation, Culver recognized a familiar face sitting in the front row and stopped to give OLLI member Jo-Ann Plavchan (pictured) a hug: she was his elementary school physical education teacher! She received hearty applause from the audience. (Photo by Lou Mazzatenta)
By Rita Way, Class Member and OLLI Board Secretary
More than 50 OLLI members turned out for a special event on the topic of eye care for adults over 50 presented on April 25 by Richard S. Katz, O.D. (Doctor of Optometry) and coordinated by Stephanie Trachtenberg.
Dr. Katz addressed various eye issues that can affect all of us as we get older. He provided strategies on how to cope with and determine the best course of action for various eye diseases. After a very comprehensive lecture with slides, Dr. Katz took questions from the members. Dr. Katz is an optometrist at MyEyeDr., in Burke, Virginia, where he has practiced since 1984.
By Norma Jean Reck, Theater Lovers’ Group Coordinator
Amanda Herman, artistic director of the City of Fairfax Theatre Company (CFTC), generously emailed OLLI‘s Theater Lovers’ Group a 2-for-1 ticket offer to see Orson the Magnificent this past weekend at the Old Town Hall in Fairfax City. Several OLLI members attended the opening night performance on Friday, April 27, which included free champagne, delicious cookies, and a festive, celebratory atmosphere.
Lars Klores, a local actor and magician who wrote, directed, and performed in Orson the Magnificent, based his 70-minute show, part magic and part biography, on the life, writings, work, and magic of Orson Welles.
Although most of us probably remember Welles as a legendary actor–think Citizen Kane–his lifelong passion was magic. In a question and answer session following the show, Klores suggested that the presentation of the films that Welles directed reflected his abiding interest in, and practice of, magic.
You can catch a performance of Orson the Magnificent this coming weekend, May 4, 5, and 6 at 8:00 in Old Town Hall at the corner of Main Street and University Drive. Free on–street and garage parking are available.
For more information on CFTC and the $15 tickets, go to fairfaxcitytheatre.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
By Nancy Scheeler and Luci Martel, Reston Book Club Coordinators
The Reston Book Club will have its last meeting of the spring term on Thursday, May 10 at 2:15 at the United Christian Parish Church in Reston. The book selection is Lincoln in the Bardo, an experimental novel by George Saunders. The novel takes place during and after the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son William “Willie” Wallace Lincoln and deals with the president’s grief at his loss. The bulk of the novel, which takes place over the course of a single evening, is set in the bardo—an intermediate space between life and rebirth.
Lincoln in the Bardo has received critical acclaim and won the 2017 Man Booker prize. Time magazine listed it as one of its top ten novels of 2017.
By Norma Jean Reck, Theater Lovers’ Group Coordinator
It all started when we discovered the body of a dead man lying in a pool of blood under the table near over-turned chairs in the beautiful wood–paneled bar of the Mt. Hope Estate. The two detectives present assembled all the guests straightaway and told us that the victim had died of a stab wound to the heart. It was murder. The detectives asked our help in solving this dastardly deed and gave us the clues they had found upon examining the body: a blond hair, a ring, an empty knife sheath, a powdery smell, and scratches on his back. Our task was to find the murder weapon and ferret out the murderer. We knew how he had died, who the suspects were–the deceased’s fellow villagers. What we didn’t know was the motive for the killing. Who would want to kill him and why?
During our four–course lunch, each course being properly announced and described in detail, then elegantly served, we methodically questioned each of the suspects as to their whereabouts, relationships, history with the deceased, etc. We searched the crooks and crannies of the many rooms in the lovely mansion for the knife that belonged to the sheath. Meanwhile, two of the likely suspects stopped by our table to serenade OLLI‘s Edie Strout with a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday, as, indeed, Edie was celebrating her birthday.
After a glass of the locally–made blackberry merlot, we reassembled in the room with the antique wooden church pews to seek justice for the murdered man. After much deliberation and manywild accusations, the murderer was exposed and put under arrest after a bit of a struggle. The murderer? Boros, the Tarzan-like culprit who swung from tree-to-tree, never walking, in the steamy Kenyan jungle. His excuse? The cad had threatened his family … or so he said.
Three and a half hours later, after having left Mt. Hope Estate and Winery with its cool mountain breezes near Manheim, Pennsylvania, we arrived back at the Shillelagh’s offices in Vienna, Virginia, where Edie’s family met her to cap her birthday celebration with a dinner at a friend’s restaurant. It was a memorable April 11th. (Cast photo with the author by Edie Strout.)
The Tallwood Book Club will meet on Wednesday, May 9 at 1:30 at Tallwood. The book for discussion is A Gentleman in Moscow by American novelist Amor Towles. It tells the story of an unrepentant Russian aristocrat, Count Alexander Rostov, who in 1922 was sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to permanent house arrest (over 35 years) in the servants’ quarters of the elegant Hotel Metropol located across from the Kremlin.
The selection for June 13 is Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shutterfly.
It has to do
with the foam at first,
the sprinkled sweetness
on top and the frothy
suggestion of something
deeper to come,
deeper and truer,
bitter, smooth, creamy,
that lasts to the bottom
of porcelain cups;
and yes, it’s the comfort
of warmth held in hand
at a table for one,
off to the side; it’s the relish
of being alone and with
everyone else. Carolyn McNeil
Performances, May 4 through May 14By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff WriterFor tickets for either Center for the Arts (CFA) or Hylton, 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 pageor the Hyltonticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: 60th Anniversary Celebration
Sat, May 12, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: Conductor Christopher Zimmerman and special guests.
Admission: $65, $53, $39.
Mason Student & Faculty Performances (see music.gmu.edu for additional student recitals)
Fri, May 4 and Sat, May 5, 8:00
Admission: Adults $15; seniors $10.Mason Wind Symphony & Ohio State Band Concert
Fri, May 4, 8:00
Admission: Adults $12; seniors $8.Chamber Concert (Various)
Fri, May 4, 8:00
Sat, May 5, 6:00
Admission: Free.School of Music Scholarship Benefit Concert
Sun, May 6, 7:00
Admission: Adults $20; seniors $15.
Mason Tuba Euphonium Ensemble Concert
Sun, May 6, 2:00
Fairfax Old Town Hall
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 to check any time for the latest information, please view the latest forecast of upcoming 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, kickoff coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat May 5
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Wed May 9
Tallwood Book Club–TA-1
Thu May 10
Reston Book Club UCP
Craft and Conversation–Annex
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Sat May 12
Tue May 15
Loudoun Program Planning–Rm 208
Wed May 16
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3 A/V Committee–TA-1
Fri May 18
Craft and Conversation–Annex
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Dr. Who Club–TA-3
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Chief Editor: Paul Van Hemel
Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor: David Gundry
Weekly Editor Team: Jean Boltz, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel Proofreaders: Rebecca Jann, Susan Van Hemel, Shirley Springfloat, Linda Randall,
Gerry Ann Strube
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline – 6:00 Tuesday for that week’s issue (6:00 Monday 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 “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes.