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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/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 24, 2015
Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
Ranger Mike Townsend Presents Canyonlands National Park in OLLI’s Popular Series, F306: Park Rangers in Their Element; July 16

July 24, 2015

Editor of the Week: Paul Van Hemel
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

We will not publish E-News weekly again until the fall term begins. Instead, our schedule during the break is: August 21 and September 4, 18 and 25.

OLLI office and facilities are closed for summer break August 1August 14.

Listen to the OLLI commercial that was on the Diane Rehm show on June 16th.

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A Fresh New Look

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

Last year our team created a new, fun, and colorful “swish” design for the new OLLI member portal and for a few new OLLI promotional items, i.e., the OLLI bookmark, the OLLI luggage tags. Response to the “swish” design was so well received that we’ve decided to expand this concept across all OLLI materials. Watch for this fun and enlivened look on many outgoing OLLI materials including your fall catalog, fall flyers, and the OLLI business card.

In fact, be sure to pick up a few new OLLI business cards from the office and spread the word about OLLI! Remember, word of mouth is the best way to gain new OLLI members. So, reach out and share your love of OLLI with friends and neighbors. And, enjoy this fresh new look!

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Pointers to Make Your Fall-Term Registration Easier

Alice Slayton Clark, Registrar

Fall term is just around the corner and a plethora of exciting new classes, special events and fun clubs awaits you! The course catalog will be available online the first week of August with hard copies dispatched and in your mailbox by August 10. Fall registration runs August 17-26. Visit and click on Register/Member Portal to sign up for fall term.
In order to make your registration as easy as possible, OLLI staff offer the following pointers.
  1. Fall Registration "Hands-On" HELP
  • Tallwood: Aug 17-21 &  Aug 24-26, 9–12 each day; Social Annex
  • Reston: Tuesday Aug 18, 9–12; United Christian Parish Church
  • Loudoun: Monday, Aug 24, 9–12; Signal Hill suite 130, room 104
  1. Need to Renew? Remember, you cannot sign up for, or even see, any available classes online until you process your membership payment.
  2. Classes will be assigned and confirmation notices emailed on
    September 3.
  3. Remember to prioritize each class choice either on the registration sheet or online. Online, click “prioritize/finalize” on the left menu bar after you have entered your classes in the member portal just to make sure you have assigned priority rankings.
  4. No Computer? Out of Town? Please submit your paper registration form with a check (preferred) or credit-card number for payment. If you have signed up for a class with a fee, please include a check (preferred) or credit-card information with the office before you leave town so staff can process payments and complete rosters in your absence.  The office will shred checks and payment information for any classes you do not get into.
  5. New this term and beyond, OLLI is asking members to register for clubs in which you would like to participate so we can maintain an online roster and emergency contact information for club leaders. Remember to fill out this information on the fall registration form. You need to be a paid member to join a club. Club participation will not count against your class/event priority choices.
  6. Catalog Location Listings Subject to Change. Be assured that OLLI staff works hard to finalize locations for classes as early as possible to avoid confusion. On occasion, especially when classes have higher than expected demand, we find we must move classes in order to maximize member accommodation. Please be sure to read your class confirmation emails thoroughly as they will advise you of any changes in class locations. And please keep a watchful eye on the OLLI website, calendar, and email announcements for alerts in the event that classes must be canceled or moved at the last minute.
We hope that with these few tips you will find the fall registration process as satisfying and easy as possible. Happy fall term!

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Thanks to Paul Howard: A Great Chair of the Audiovisual Support Committee

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

Since 2007, Paul Howard has served as OLLI volunteer extraordinaire! During his time at OLLI, he has given in innumerable ways, serving on the Board of Directors, chairing the Audiovisual Support Committee (Swifties; a group he created), and sponsoring the OLLI Personal Computer User Group (OPCUG) with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS).

Bill Walsh, OLLI AV Tech Assistant, says, “When he got me on board in September 2007, he was already hard at work trying to make the OLLI experience better for everyone by improving the audio and video equipment in the classrooms. Becoming an OLLI Board member, he was able to create interest
and cashflowin getting the classroom and offsite AV needs done. He has done it all, from specifying and acquiring individual mics for teachers to the life-size teleconference setup. He has done the miscellaneous stuff also. He has been around campus wearing his toolbelt and sweatband, fixing fencing and chairs, running wires, setting up shelves for equipment, etc. So often he had his fingers into everything such that we would check in first with him about everything.”

For the past two years, Paul has helped to acquaint me with the nuances of technology challenges and safety concerns that abound at OLLI. His assistance with implementing and maintaining the video conferencing technology since its inception, as well as support for equipping new venues this year, have been invaluable. Paul’s constant attention to detail with regard to tech improvements and safety awareness has served the organization well; we are grateful.

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Summary, Board of Directors Meeting, July 17

By Irene Osterman, Secretary, Board of Directors

The Board met last Friday, July 17. Awards were presented to Ernestine Meyer and Irene Osterman for their work on the new registration system. Building on work done last year, three major areas of focus this year will be: further enhancing our relationship with Mason, building and sustaining our volunteers and developing plans for our facilities beyond the next 5-10 years. Bill Taylor was appointed chair of the Governance Committee. Wendy Campbell has resigned as chair of the Member Services Committee and has been replaced by Martha Powers. The Board approved a resolution to raise funds for a 25th anniversary gift to Mason.

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Meet Emmett Fenlon, New Member of the Board of Directors

By Gordon Canyock, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Emmett Fenlon may be newly elected to the OLLI Board of Directors, but he is not new to the Board, having served a three year term from 2007-10 and been elected vice president 2008-09 and president 2009-10.
Originally from Syracuse, NY, he graduated from Georgetown University Law School and joined a major law firm back in Syracuse. He accepted a job with the federal government and moved to Fairfax in 1977 with his wife of 41 years, Peggy. They have two daughters. One is a veterinarian and the other a special education teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools. 
Since retirement he and Peggy have enjoyed traveling in the United States, including Alaska, and in Europe, as well as taking advantage of local cultural opportunities, including subscribing to a community theater.
Emmett really enjoyed his career at the Federal Aviation Administration, where he served as a senior attorney and subject matter expert, but had no idea what he might do in retirement. He didn't play golf, which appeared to be a favorite activity among retirees, but heard about OLLI (then LRI) and joined in 1999, taking one vacation day per week during the spring and fall terms to attend classes.
He retired in 2005, and became a full time OLLI participant, joining the History/Current Events Program Planning Group, becoming co-chair in 2007. He plans and coordinates the series of National Park Service courses offered every term at Fairfax and twice a year at Reston.
Emmett has found a "real home" in OLLI. The courses are an enlightening, enriching experience, and he has made many friends. A friendly but reserved, unassuming man, he finds the diversity of views, opinions, and individual experiences at OLLI to be fascinating. He has found that OLLI and its members have been a positive and beneficial addition to his retirement life, and he wants to continue to make a contribution in response. This led to his running for the Board again. Emmett considers his service to OLLI time well spent, a "giving back" in appreciation for what he has gained from our organization.

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OLLI-Mason Program to Be Featured at Upcoming Conference

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

Beth Davis and I will be traveling next week to the LLI Southern Regional conference in Alabama. We have been asked to present a talk on one of our OLLIs most successful programs of 2015. We decided to highlight Mr. Putin's Russia and, to supplement our presentation, we interviewed Rosemary McDonald and Steven Canner about their process of putting the class together. You can access their discussion and information on the program at the link below; enjoy! 

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Liberace Lands in Loudoun at Landsdowne

By Martha Powers, Member, Board of Directors

Come join us for a tribute to Liberace, "Mr. Showmanship."
Wednesday, August 19, 1:00–2:30
Place: The lovely country club auditorium at Lansdowne Woods
Presenter:  Martha Powers

He singlehandedly took classical music into the living rooms of America and made it more fun and palatable for everyone. As he so aptly put it: “I don’t give concerts, I put on a show.” In this 1-1/2 hour presentation, you’ll get to:
  • Learn about Liberace’s childhood and career,
  • View photos of his amazing costumes, cars, and pianos at the now-defunct Liberace Museum in Las Vegas,
  • Watch plenty of clips from his TV show, and
  • Share memories about this amazing and charismatic musician.
BONUS: A life-sized cardboard Liberace will be attending this event, in case you’d like to have your photo taken with him!
(Please note: we will most emphatically not be viewing any of the recently produced HBO movie, “Behind the Candelabra,” which dealt with the seamier aspects of Liberace’s personal life.)

Martha Powers is a big fan of OLLI and enjoys giving presentations. She has always admired Liberace and other “popularizers” who helped make classical music less daunting to the general public.

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Alice Slayton Clark: Profile

By Anne Drissel, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Alice Slayton Clark is OLLI Mason’s registrar and communications associate, helping spread the news about OLLI to George Mason and area-wide local media. Nearly two years ago, OLLI Executive Director Jennifer Disano invited her to carve out a part-time role for herself from the overburdened “administrator/registrar” position. Alice quickly established her niche, taking over tasks associated with matching the growing number of OLLI members with the broad array of classes and writing OLLI communications materials.

Alice also has become involved with helping plan a few between-term 
events. She is especially proud of the recent OLLI Arts Open House, a collaboration with the Fairfax County Creative Aging Festival, where the OLLI community shared an amazing range of talents. She cheerfully lends her organizing skills to help solve the inevitable “all hands on deck” challenges sometimes faced by the OLLI team. Alice confesses that her logistics skills were developed and honed on the home front. She’s a “soccer mom” for her 16 year old daughter, with “choosing college tours” next on the agenda. She worked with teachers and administrators to successfully develop a plan and secure funding for an outdoor wetlands model classroom at her 14-year-old son's Frost Middle School. She’s also now in training as a master gardener.

Alice talks passionately about the joys of studying and experiencing the historical and cultural wonders of the world—interests she shares with many OLLI members. She specialized in Spanish and government at Oberlin College and completed a master's degree in foreign policy at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She also studied in Spain and Mexico, and worked one summer at the Institute for Peace in Costa Rica. Her career was formed as a foreign policy aide on Capitol Hill and as an international trade lobbyist. Her husband’s work has taken the family to live in Austria and Germany, an experience they all treasure.

But right now with her OLLI work, keeping up with her busy family, and her own community interests, Alice has a full plate and loves every morsel of it!

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OLLI Instructor Profiles

By Susan Van Hemel, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Fall-term registration is coming up in a few weeks and we’re sure you would like to know something about the instructors who teach courses you are considering. If you find the instructor profiles in the catalog a bit terse, remember that we have more complete profiles of well over 130 instructors on the OLLI website. There are even pictures of many instructors. To see the profiles, go to the OLLI website and click on Instructor Profiles under Quick Links, or follow this link: directly to the profiles page.

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He’s a poet, don’tcha know it?

By Martha Powers, Member, Board of Directors

Another oppressive, steamy summer day… OLLI members slithered into TA-3 in hopes of relief from the heat. They were not disappointed. Mike Mc Namara, co-leader (with Jan Bohall) of OLLI’s longstanding Poetry Workshop, regaled his listeners with “A Program of Homegrown Light Verse.” There were no lemons or tomatoes, but there was laughterand plenty of itaccompanying ingenious haiku, free verse, Burma Shave signs, and that dependable Irish staple, potatoesNO, wait! Limericks. The subjects of Mike’s humorous verbiage included baseball, cats, family, women, and much more. His audience left with smiles on their faces, and a greater appreciation for how words can say more than… well… words can say. If laughter is the best medicine, OLLI member extraordinaire Mike Mc Namara is OLLI’s Surgeon General.

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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!

This red-turn arrow is being treated as a red light with drivers making right turns after a brief stop. My understanding is that a red arrow is different and that you may not turn on a red arrow. If I'm correct, who do I write to about a sign being posted so that everyone knows the rule? (This is also a pedestrian cross-walk and I can just see the accident waiting to happen.)
Thank you,
Karen Gentemann, PhD

From the VA Drivers' Manual: You may turn right while the traffic signal displays a red light. Before turning, you must come to a complete stop. Look both ways and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic. Be sure to check for less visible vehicles such as motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds. You may not turn right on red if signs are posted at the intersection that read “No Turn on Red,” or if a red arrow pointing to the right is displayed

You are right: you may not do a right turn on red with a red arrow. You may request a new traffic sign at the myVDOT page for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (, where you are asked "How can we help you?" One of the need selections is "I need new signs or traffic devices installed." Uncle OLLI has not tried this avenue and so cannot verify the alacrity with which your request might be met.

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Poet's Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

For Giving
I felt the joy a springtime morning brings,
the day you sang your heart to me, alone.
You offered me a song that I still sing,
its melody, the dearest gift I own.
When nights were young—affection raw and bare—
hot pleasures blazed between our souls like fire.
We danced on glowing embers without care
and fanned the flames that sprang from pure desire.
Last night, we peeled through books of photographs,
we had to smile at how we looked back then.
Between the pages, notes that made us laugh,
a message written sometime way back when—
that love is forgiving, makes life worth the living—is true,
and sure enough, it has steadily carried us through.
                                                            Mark Becker

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Obituary: Frank Mertes

Our deepest sympathy goes to the family of OLLI member Frank Mertes, who died July 19, 2015, from pancreatic cancer, just three months after being diagnosed.
Frank’s interest in learning never ceased, and he joined OLLI in September 2013, where he enjoyed a wide variety of classes. An active member of the OLLI Investment Forum, he participated in the April panel discussion on investment advisors, just a few days after being diagnosed. He continued to attend forum sessions for several weeks.
An avid bridge player, he participated in the bridge club. He was also devoted to photography, capturing images during his wide travels. He made an OLLI Trip Tales presentation on his trip to Croatia and Slovenia.  
Service will be held Friday, July 24, 12 noon, at Church of the Holy Comforter, 543 Beulah Road, NE, Vienna, VA. Click the following link to read a more detailed obituary:

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, July 24 through August 3

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 Fairfax Campus Venues

Bangamela 2015
A two-day Bengali-American cultural festival.
Sat, Jul 25 and Sun, Jul 26, 12:00 each day
Concert Hall
Admission: $100 (for both days).
Bolivian Independence Day: Children's Festival
Sun, Aug 2, 4:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Adult, $15; child, $10.

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances
(see for additional student recitals)

No performances scheduled.

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At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Prince William Little Theatre: The Who's Tommy
Fri, Jul 24 and Sat, Jul 25, 8:00
Sun, Jul 26, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adult, $25; senior, $20.

Rehnuma Ki Beti (The Pioneer's Daughter)
Continuing through Aug 16
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
Asma Chaudhary presents her recent explorations in mixed media and sculpture pertaining to South Asian culture, traditions, and handicrafts.
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 - 6:00, Thu, 10:00 - 8:00 and two hours before performances.
Admission: Free.

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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 period until our next issue 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 27 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
What’s in the Daily News–TA-1
Tue Jul 28  9:30am
Cottage Art–Cottage
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Jul 29 10:30am Investment Forum–TA-3
Fri  Jul 31 10:00am
Member Services Committee–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Sat Aug 15 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Computer Club–TA-1
Mon Aug 17 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
What’s in the Daily News–TA-1
Tue Aug 18  9:30am Cottage Art–Cottage
Wed Aug 19 12:45pm Paul Howard A/V Committee–TA-1
Fri Aug 21  9:00am
10:00 am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage

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