Phone:(703) 503-3384


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/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman Associate Editor: Weekly Editorial Team: Pat Bangs, John Nash, Paul Van Hemel, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere

Proofreaders: John West, Gordon Canyock, Susan Van Hemel Backup Chief Editor: Sheri Siesseger 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 – 6:00 pm Tuesday for that week’s issue (6:00 pm 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 “” without the quotes.

OLLI E-News July 3, 2015
Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
First Class of F804 Radiation and Public Health, June 25,
Taught By Dr. Evan Douple, New OLLI Member and Former
Director of National Academies Board on Radiation Effects Research


July 3, 2015

Editor of the Week: Pat Bangs
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Reminder: OLLI is closed July 3 and July 4.

If you are interested in participating in a Mason study about cerebral blood flow  in older adults, study coordinator Amanda Harwood will be in the Tallwood Annex from 11:30-1:40, Tuesday, July 7 to provide a five-minute presentation and short question/answer session. The research will be conducted by Mason’s Cognitive Genetics Research Group and Cerebral Hemodynamics Lab. For further information or to participate, email Amanda directly:

Volunteer, It’s Your OLLI! OLLI member volunteers are the creative source for all the courses, clubs, special events, social activities, publications, and classroom services. Volunteering creates a more vibrant learning community and connects you to other OLLI members. It’s a great way to make new friends and is personally satisfying and rewarding. Volunteer jobs vary in time commitment, skills needed and frequency. Check out OLLI’s current volunteer opportunities.

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Attention All Theater Lovers!

By Norma Jean Reck, OLLI Board Member

Nancy Scheeler and I are developing an email list of those OLLI members who are interested in attending the theater. Occasionally, we will choose a play, date, and time, then email list members the info. Those interested will email their intent to attend the performance with other interested OLLI members (and their guests). Meeting points, transportation, dinner or lunch options, etc. will be addressed. No need to miss another play you want to see. Send an email titled "Yes, I want to do theater" along with your name and email address to Norma at or Nancy at A fun, informal way to do theater!

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Join us for a Jolly OLLIday with Mary. 
Bring Your Grandchildren to See Mary Poppins

Tuesday, July 28, 12:00–3:30, TA-1
Between Term Event 1005BT

Grab those grandkids and bring them to OLLI for a fun afternoon! They can see where you go to classes, and they’ll enjoy popcorn, candy, drinks and the revitalized 40th anniversary release of the classic film, Mary Poppins. We’ll have a brief introduction, a short movie featurette and a special quiz to test those little minds. No grandkids nearby? Then bring a friend or just come by yourself for a heartwarming movie and a lively occasion. There may even be a visit from a very special guest! (A $5 per person donation to Friends of OLLI will be requested at this event to cover snacks and beverages.)  HURRY – space is limited.  PLEASE NOTE:  This movie runs 2 hours, 20 minutes, so please be sure you and your grandchildren can sit that long.

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Meet New Board Member Norma Jean Reck—“Our Members are Our Most Valuable Asset”

By Betty Murphy,
OLLI E-News Staff Writer

As a resident of Fairfax since 1966, Norma Jean Reck has seen significant change in the area and OLLI has been part of her life since its origins 25 years ago. She has often served as class liaison, and as a member of the Outreach Committee and the Cooking Group. In May, 2014, she organized OLLI’s first Fashion Show, which raised funds for the Friends of OLLI.
She brings extensive experience and organizational skills to her new position. She has served as president of the Welcome Club of Northern Virginia, where she focused on increasing membership, improving programs and financial accounting.
She has experience on other boards which includes serving on the board of the English Speaking Union; as a member of the first volunteer board for the Newseum, and on the board of the Ski Club of Washington, DC.
Norma Jean grew up in Pennsylvania and earned both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Penn State University. She holds a master’s in business management from Central Michigan University.
Norma Jean taught grades 7-12 for many years in Fairfax County. After retiring, she became a consultant in publications and communications, working for corporations and non-profits. She is listed in Who’s Who and is also a member of the National Press Club which honored her with a service award.
In her new role, Norma Jean would like to see OLLI continue to maintain its position as “the premiere organization in our area for anyone interested in pursuing educational activities in a social setting.” Since we cannot do this by standing still, Norma Jean will encourage OLLI to “keep moving forward.” This means maintaining and growing our membership; striving to improve our course offerings as well as adjunct activities; and introducing innovative presentation formats. Norma Jean has suggested additional special interest groups: one for theater lovers and another for fashionistas. She has been developing a class on community theater and an email list for those interested in attending plays and other cultural events. Norma Jean would support an OLLI branding initiative. Her experience has shown that such effort “can be a most valuable way to set priorities and to grow an organization around its core values.”
Norma Jean stays “happily busy” by pursuing her interests in traveling, reading, the theater, ballet, and anything having to do with people. These interests feed right back into Norma Jean’s past, present and future contributions to OLLI.


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The Show Must Go On!  How OLLI Staffers Saved the Day…

By Martha E. Powers, 
OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 23, a night that will live in infamy. Severe storms. Power outages. Dozens of trees and utility poles felled, especially in Fairfax.
The next morning - bedlam. Braddock and Ox Road closed. Thousands of cars diverted to secondary roads in Burke and Fairfax. Ten-minute commutes turned into nightmares.
In the midst of all this, 100 OLLI members – and one very popular local meteorologist – were desperately trying to get to the 9:40 a.m. event at the Lord of Life Church in Fairfax. Just one problem: Lord of Life in Fairfax was the victim of a power outage.
But no problem. OLLI Executive Director Jennifer Disano and Susan Totenhoft, OLLI administrator, were on the job.At 4 a.m. They called the church and realized that it had no power. So they arranged Plan B: Church of the Good Shepherd, very nearby in Burke.
And before the class start time, Jennifer herself was at the driveway of Church A, directing OLLI members to go to Church B.For folks like me who had lost power and been unable to receive emails about the change of venue, Jennifer went the extra mile. (And this is hardly the first time.)
Catastrophe averted. While waiting for the star of the day to appear, Stephanie Trachtenberg, the program’s coordinator, regaled the crowd with a sing-along fest of songs about the weather: “Singin’ in the Rain,” “You Are My Sunshine,” and many more.
When he finally arrived after being stuck in traffic, WJLA meteorologist Brian van de Graaff shared with the full house a riveting exposé of a weatherman’s life. Kudos to Stephanie Trachtenberg for coordinating another terrific event for OLLI, and to Jennifer and her staff for being sure that it happened – no matter what.

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Flying Objects Sighted at OLLI Loudoun Event!

By Martha E. Powers.
OLLI E-News Staff Writer

On Thursday, June 25, OLLI members and residents of Leesburg’s Lansdowne Woods retirement community enjoyed a “drone petting zoo.” Several different sizes and types of drones were displayed for close inspection by Christopher Vo, who has presented drone events twice before for OLLI in Fairfax. Vo then presented “Drones: Our New Toys, Tools and Robot Companions” and the audience peppered Vo with technical questions about both the potential and dangers of drones.
An outdoor drone demonstration for the audience of 100 followed the lecture. Vo demonstrated the dazzling aerial acrobatics and GPS homing ability of his latest drone (his 46th, in fact). A fellow member of the DC Area Drone User Group, Fernando Hernandez of Burke, flew his camera-carrying drone which took aerial photos of the crowd on the ground.
Christopher Vo recently earned a PhD from George Mason University and is now chief of technology with Sentien Robotics, a Fredericksburg-based company specializing in ground and aerial robotics. This special event was a joint OLLI and Lansdowne Woods (formerly Leisure World) effort, arranged by Beth Davis and Jennifer Disano. The auditorium at Lansdowne Woods provides a wonderful venue for OLLI’s special events in Loudoun County, and a chance to expand our audience and membership in that location.

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Ask Uncle Olli

By Uncle Olli, Driver Safety Consultant 

Uncle Olli has lived in Northern Virginia most of his lifetime, and has encountered most every every traffic situation that might raise a question, however trivial it might seem. Ask Uncle Olli at He is embarrassed by nothing!

I’m Confused. Sometimes the white lane markings (travel on both sides moving in same direction) are solid, sometimes have long dashes, sometimes have short dashes. Decode for me, please.

Thank you for asking a question I won't goof up. Solid lines should not be crossed. You usually find these as you reach an intersection, or where you must stay in your own lane, as with a lane shift. The long dashes are where lane changing is permissible, like between lanes of a three-lane road. The short dashes mean that a lane will disappear shortly.  Perhaps a turn lane ends or three lanes are merging into two. Thanks to good graphic design, we can imbed information into the roadway to avoid putting up signs that will whisk by before you finish reading them.


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Poet's Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

You Bless me with Your Loving Touch
Jack Arthur Underhill
Blessings come from all sources
Not just from priests and cardinals
But from you and me
Who have the spark of the divine.
You bless me with your loving touch
And your kind words
You bless me with your smile and nod
And when you really listen to my story
You bless me with your love
And with your caring
You bless me with your patience
And tolerance of my imperfections
You bless me with your kindness
And your gentleness.
You bless me with your laughter
And good humor.
You bless me with your thoughtful gifts
Given freely with imagination and caring
And with my special needs in mind.
You bless me by being you
And allowing me to be me.
By blessing me so are you blessed.


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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next ten days

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For 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 page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.
At the Hylton Center

Prince William Little Theatre: The Who's Tommy
Fri, July 10 and Sat, July 11, 8:00
Sun, July 12, 2:00
Fri, July 17 and Sat, July 18, 8:00
Sun, July 19, 2:00
Fri, July 24 and Sat, July 25, 8:00
Sun, July 26, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adult, $25; senior, $20.

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For further details on any of the above events, please 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 to check anytime 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).
Mon Jul 6 10:00am
10:00 am
What’s in the Daily News–TA-1
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Murder Mystery Club-Cottage
Tue Jul 7 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Fri Jul 10  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
iPad User Group–UCP
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Photography Club–TA-1
Sat Jul 11 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Jul 13 10:00am
What’s in the Daily News–TA-1
Bridge Club–TA-3
Book Club–TA-2
Murder Mystery Club-Cottage
Language, Literature and Theater Program
Reston Program Planning Group–Home of Stan Schretter
Tue Jul 14 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Jul 15  1:45pm A/V Committee–TA-1
Fri Jul 17  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1

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