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Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.

The OLLI advertisement on the GMU marquee is being displayed now.
Here’s the Winter term ad you will see. (See related story below).

Dec 4, 2015

Editor of the Week: John Nash
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

* The Literature, Language, and Theatre (LLT) program planning group is holding a January meeting and all interested members are invited to attend. Hold the date: Jan 11, from 10-12, in TA-2. If questions, please contact Bill Taylor,

* The OLLI Book Club will meet on Wednesday, Dec 9 at 10:00 at Tallwood. The book for discussion is I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections by award winning author, journalist, playwright, and screenwriter Nora Ephron. Published in 2010, this is a series of essays containing her late-in-life musings and the last book she wrote before her death in 2012 at age 71.

The book for January is John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men. All OLLI members are welcome to attend. If questions, please contact Ceda McGrew,

* Don’t forget: We’re in the middle of the winter term registration which runs from Dec 1 to Dec 10. Sign up for those classes that really interest you and enjoy the winter!

* And remember, if you’ve signed up for a class you’re unable to attend, please contact the office at and “drop” the class. Often, there is a waiting list for OLLI classes.

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Board Meeting Summary

By Irene Osterman, Board Secretary

The Board met at Tallwood on Friday, Nov 20. Glenn Kamber announced that Michelle Blandburg has agreed to chair the Nominating Committee for candidates to run for the Board in 2016.
The Board passed four resolutions:


  1. Approval of the 2016 budget.
  2. A revision to the Board Handbook to accurately describe the Member Services Committee and its five subcommittees.
  3. Setting the April 2016 Board meeting as the time to designate the amount for the previously approved Friends of OLLI (FOLLI) gift to Mason’s Early Identification Program for students who will be the first in their family to attend college.
  4. Approval of $600 for printing the next OLLI Ink.

OLLI Veterans’ Day Event a HUGE Success!

By John Nash, OLLI E-News editor

Wow! What a terrific event was presented to honor our veterans on Veterans’ Day. More than 60 OLLI members and guests met in TA-1 on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 11, to enjoy an event that culminated in showing the documentary film, Honor Flight: One Last Mission.

For several months, Martha Powers, OLLI board member, has been organizing the event. Martha, whose parents were Marine Corps officers in WWII, said, “Hey! It’s Veterans Day! OLLI ought to do something to honor our veterans” and in true “Martha-form” began working on the event.

The program began with the Presentation of the Colors by the Fairfax County Police Ceremonial Honor Guard, with the national anthem sung by PFC
Kirk Coligan. Then OLLI member Michael McNamara, Colonel, Infantry, US Army (retired), read a poem he had written “in recognition of the veterans in our presence.” (The complete poem, “In Arlington,” can be read in the Poetry Corner of this issue.) After his reading, Mike recognized OLLI members who served in each branch of the military services — including two veterans of World War II.

“I was so delighted that my Reader’s Theater acting buddy, 95-year-old Army veteran Chester Myslicki, was there. And I was happily surprised to find Navy veteran Adrian Pelzner in our audience,” said Martha, who asked each WWII vet to speak briefly.

The main event was a screening of the documentary film, “Honor Flight: One Last Mission,” about a group of citizens in Wisconsin who raised funds to send the town’s WWII veterans to Washington, DC, to see the World War II Memorial created in their honor. The Honor Flight concept continues today, bringing veterans from across the country to our area to see the memorials that recognize and honor their service.

At the conclusion of the film, three OLLI members who are Honor Flight volunteers at Dulles – Toni and John Acton, and John Nash – explained the Honor Flight program and how they participate in welcoming veterans from all over the country.

“This is such a special program,” said Toni who, along with her husband John, has volunteered for several years with the Chicago Honor Flight coming into Dulles. She described the process and schedule that comes together each year to bring veterans through Dulles and Reagan airports and to the city. OLLI member and Honor Flight volunteer John Nash offered additional insights and stories about their experiences in welcoming Honor Flight veterans to our area.

OLLI invitations resulted in media coverage for the event. The Herndon public access channel interviewed several OLLI members and recorded the event. Bonnie Hobbs, a feature writer for the Connection newspapers, covered the entire event, including interviews with Army veterans Jim Dunphy and Bob Coffin about their military experiences. Bonnie’s reporting on the event resulted in an outstanding article as well as the front page photograph in the Nov 19-25 Fairfax Connection. You can read the article and see the pictures by going to

Even as the day’s special events concluded, future plans were taking shape. “Would you like to come on an OLLI bus trip that greets Honor Flight veterans and then follows them to the World War II memorial?” Martha asked the audience. Many agreed that this would be a very special OLLI event that should become a reality.

As for Veterans Day at OLLI next year? “We’ll again do something special,” Martha said. “I promise.”
(photographs by John Nash, except Connection cover)

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Mason’s Mercatus Center Announces Exciting Events for 2016

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate/Registrar

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has lined up two exciting new interviews for 2016 as part of its acclaimed “Conversations with Tyler” lecture series. NBA All-Star, author and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and founder and ecitor-in-chief of the award winning website, FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver will kick off the new year with discussions on social activism and data journalism/ elections methodologies, respectively. Detailed information about these events and how to register can be found on the Mercatus Center website:

“Conversations with Tyler,” hosted by the Center’s Dr. Tyler Cowen, is a series of interviews with leading economists, entrepreneurs, authors, and innovators who offer insights and ideas to help solve some of the most difficult problems the world faces today. The series was launched in early 2015 with interviews with the cofounder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies Peter Thiel; Columbia University Professor of Health Policy and Management Jeffrey Sachs; Harvard economist Dani Rodrik; and University of Chicago Business School economist Liugi Zingales. Videos and transcripts of past interviews can also be found by clicking the link above.

Mason Marquee Ad Promotes OLLI

By John Nash, E-News Editor

When driving down Braddock Road near George Mason University, glance up at the Mason marquee and see if you can catch the new OLLI advertisement. (See the top of the E-News for the ad.)

The OLLI ads run right before registration, according to Beth Davis, OLLI program associate who manages the ads. “We are very fortunate that Mason gives us the free display space,” Beth said. The ad usually runs for two or three weeks during registration for each OLLI term. The winter term’s ad can be seen on a rotating basis from Nov 27 to Dec 10. Registration for the winter term is Dec 1-10.

Developing the OLLI advertisements for the marquee is somewhat challenging. Each small light on the marquee represents only one pixel in a digital photograph so the amount of detail that can be successfully displayed is limited. Before each term, Beth works with John Nash to develop several draft ads that are circulated for review among staff and selected members. “We try to keep the ads simple and readable while conveying an important message about OLLI,” Beth said. “We also try to feature OLLI members in the ads to show the personality of the organization.” In addition to reminding viewers of the winter term registration, the ad celebrates OLLI’s 25 years in operation.

As you travel down Braddock Road, look for the OLLI ad on the Mason marquee. And tell your friends to watch for it, too. It can be a great recruiting tool for new members as well as a reminder for OLLI members to register for the winter term classes!

Welcome Shannon Morrow – the Newest Member of the OLLI Staff!

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate/Registrar

Shannon Morrow has joined the OLLI staff as a part-time site assistant, serving all three campuses as a “jack of all trades.” She brings to OLLI many administrative and technological talents, as well as an extensive background in international education.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Shannon has lived and worked overseas most of her adult years. Her first job was in Seoul, South Korea, where she taught elementary students at the Seoul International School and where she was able to explore her family roots, history, and culture. Several years later, she found herself teaching in Moscow where, fate would have it, she met her future husband Michael, a junior officer at the U.S. Embassy.

Married in 1993, the newlyweds began the wayfaring life of diplomats, moving from Washington to Warsaw, Botswana to Thailand. Along the way, Shannon acquired a Master’s Degree in international teaching and a couple of wonderful sons.

Shannon moved back to Fairfax in 2010, and has resumed a “normal lifestyle” until the next posting calls. In the meantime, she enjoys watching hockey (part of her Canadian DNA); reading historical fiction, crimes and mysteries; and cooking when she has “time to really do it right!” But her “true loves,” as she says, are her boys: husband Michael; sons Sean, a freshman at the University of Arizona, and Brett, a freshman at Woodson high school; and her yellow Labrador, Buddy.

Welcome, Shannon, to the OLLI family!

Craft and Conversation Group Tackles UFOs

By Nancy Scarborough, E-News Staff Writer

Did you know that on some Fridays there are UFOs in our own OLLI cottage? No, they are not flying objects, but “UnFinished Objects,” according to Craft and Conversation founder Doris Bloch. She enjoys getting “time to finish her UFOs and/or start new projects” as part of this group.

One morning recently, seven participants chatted as they ate brownies and created their latest craft projects. In the works were a needlepoint glass case (Caroline Finberg), knitted baby car seat blanket and cross stitched Christmas stocking with embroidery and charms (Pam Cooper-Smuzynski), holiday booties (Susan Osborn), a Noah’s Ark sampler (Alana Lukes), a counted cross stitch Iris (Sigrid Carlson), a knitted scarf (Doris Bloch) and a needlepoint pillow (Ute Hill). Pam was also wearing a kimono cardigan that she had knitted.

“I enjoy the company, seeing other’s projects, and the encouragement I get to keep chugging along,” wrote Sandy Galletta on a recent member survey. Alana Lukes agreed: “I love the group for getting to know OLLI individuals better through the one-on-one contact. It is nice to know someone to sit with or at least say hi to, especially in the very large classes.”

Doris, now coordinator of the group with Pam, started the group over three years ago as a place where people who “have something in common can help each other.” The members can talk through a crafting “block” and also exchange resource help. “I like to think I get things finished faster,” she said.
The group welcomes newcomers. Information about meeting times and places can be found on the OLLI Ongoing Events calendar.
Names of those pictured: Clockwise from bottom left: Susan Osborn, Doris Bloch, Alana Lukes, Caroline Finberg, Ute Hill, Pam Cooper-Smuzynski, and Sigrid Carlson. Members not pictured include Susan Van Hemel, Sandy Galletta, Wendy Campbell and Kathleen Miller. Photo by Nancy Scarborough.

Adios, Amigos! (for the time being)

By Stephanie Trachenberg, E-News Staff Writer

The OLLI Intermediate Spanish Conversation 2 Class celebrated the end of fall term at Margarita Grill in Burke. Mexican food was encouraged though a couple of hamburgers showed up! The popular class is taught by the dynamic Senora Ligia Glass, seen in the photo wearing a white hat (what else?).

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Computer Club
By Paul Howard, Program/Publicity Coordinator, OLLI PC User GroupTHE COMPUTER CLUB (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, Dec 12 at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for soft drinks and socializing in the social room. Presentations will begin at 1:00.“Is This Thing On? Navigating the Digital World” by Abby Stokes.
The digital divide widens with the rapid pace of new innovations and gadgets. What is out there and how it might benefit you can be lost in all the tech talk. Should you buy a tablet or a computer? Stick with your PC or move onto an Apple? How do you maximize your searches and why on earth do people want to share on Facebook? Abby helps “digital immigrants” (those baby boomers and beyond not born with a keyboard and mouse in hand) understand what everyone is talking about and how to decide what might work best for them.
Abby Stokes has taken on the role of the Johnny Appleseed of Technology, crisscrossing the country to help digital immigrants conquer their fear of technology. Abby has single-handedly helped a quarter million digitally-challenged people cross the digital divide and get online. She’s visited more than 20 states, 120 public libraries, over 100 senior centers/computer clubs and has hosted webinars across the country. Abby will be signing her book in the annex before the meeting and at the break. Available for sale – $18 – cash/check/credit card.Learn 30: Mobile Apps For Organizing Information – presented by Stan Schretter
There are lots of mobile apps that claim to be great organizers of information. Do any really do it well? Stan Schretter will illustrate some of issues facing mobile users and why it still may be necessary to augment even the best mobile apps with the PC version to get the best results.Stan Schretter is an OLLI member and has been avidly exploring technology since attaching ham radio antennas to his parents’ house roof at age 13.See full details on these meetings by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2016 will be collected at this meeting.

Can’t make one of the meeting in person? Dues Paid club members may attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 12:45. Send a message to if you plan to attend in this way. Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

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Photo of the Month

The November Photo of the Month theme was open (i.e., unspecified). We selected Rita Gustin’s photo Steamy Walk which may also be viewed at this page. Rita exhibited this photo in September at the Association of Personal Computer User Groups Las Vegas digital photo contest for 2015, receiving an award of third place in the “People” category. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the club’s photo website.

By Dan Feighery, Photography Club Coordinator

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Poet’s Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

The following poem was written and read by Mike McNamara at the special OLLI Veterans’ Day event on Wednesday, Nov 11.

In Arlington

Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori—Horace

In Arlington, across the rolling green
That somehow speaks of drums in old tattoo,
The granite hosts in ordered march are seen
In final and perpetual review.

No protests here, no placards on parade,
Within the ranks and columns of these dead.
No chanted slogans, only silent shade
And quiet affirmations, left unsaid.

These hosts file past with honors old yet new.
No marches play, but drums and drummers mute
Keep cadence for this timeless, hushed review:
And Honor, standing, takes their last salute.

Michael J. Mc Namara,
Colonel, Infantry USA (Ret.)


Diane Irene Walsh
OLLI extends its most sincere condolences to the family of Bill Walsh. Bill’s wife, Diane, passed away on Nov 12 after a long illness and was laid to rest at Fairfax Memorial Park on Nov 18. Bill is an OLLI staff member in charge of the audiovisual systems. “Why won’t this work; go get Bill!” is an often heard comment at an OLLI presentation, indicating his value and our appreciation for his services. We extend our sympathies during his time of sadness.

Kathryn Breen
OLLI member Kathryn Breen passed away the week of Nov 23. Many of us will remember her as the OLLI staff representative at the Loudoun campus from 2009-2014. A celebration of her life was held Nov 28 at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon. OLLI extends its condolences to her family.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next ten days
By 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 venues’ box office. For more information see the CFA ticket page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and Fairfax Ballet: A Fairfax Nutcracker
Sat, Dec 5, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $58, $46, $34.

Danú: A Christmas Gathering: Féile Na Nollag
Sun, Dec 6, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: Benny McCarthy, original member of Danú
Concert Hall
Admission: $54, $46, $32.

American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops
Sat, Dec 12, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: Bryan Kidd, arranger-in-residence
Concert Hall
Admission: $54, $46, $32.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Wed, Dec 16 and Thu, Dec 17, 7:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $175, $122, $88, $68, $48, $28.

Mason Student and Faculty Performances
(see for additional student recitals)
Lab Ensemble Concert
Fri, Dec 4, 12:30
Concert Hall/Grand Tier III
Admission: Free.Mason Improv Show
Fri, Dec 4, 8:00
TheatreSpaceMason Opera: La vie de La Bohème
Fri, Dec 4 and Sat, Dec 5, 8:00
Sun, Dec 6, 2:00
“Jewel Box” 90 minute presentation performed with no intermission
Gregory Theater (Hylton Center)
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $8.Piano Studio Recital
Mon, Dec 7, 7:00
deLaski – Choral Room A323
Admission: Free.Baroque Ensemble Concert
Mon, Dec 7, 8:00
deLaski – Room 3001
Admission: Free.Mason Dance Company: Dance Innovations
Mon, Dec 7 and Thur, Dec 10, 8:00
Sun, Dec 13, 4:00
Three unique programs
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10.Lina Quijano Maya, Graduate Piano Lecture Recital
Wed, Dec 9, 8:00
deLaski – Room 3001
Admission: Free.Spring Chamber Ensembles
Fri, Dec 11, 8:00
de Laski – Room 3001
Admission: Free.Andrew Miller, Doctoral Piano Recital
Sat, Dec 12, 8:00
de Laski – Room 3001
Admission: Free.Mason Symphony Orchestra Featuring the University Singers and Chorale
Sun, Dec 13, 7:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $15.

At the Hylton Center

Art Feast by Associate Artists at the Workhouse
Nov 16 – Jan 31
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 – 6:00, Thu, 10:00 – 8:00 and two hours before performances. Gallery Reception: Thu, Nov 19 from 6:00 to 8:00. RSVP to
Admission: Free.

Lee Greenwood: A Lee Greenwood Christmas
Fri, Dec 4, 8:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $55, $47, $33.

Manassas Chorale: The Spirit of Christmas
Sat, Dec 5, 5:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $20, $18.

Angela Knight Ministries and Azalea Charities: All Aboard for Christmas!
Sun, Dec 6, 2:00 and 7:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $25.

American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops
Fri, Dec 11, 8:00
Pre-Performance Discussion: Bryan Kidd, arranger-in residence
Concert Hall
Admission: $54, $46, $32.

Asaph Dance Ensemble: Clara’s Christmas
Sun, Dec 13, 3:30 and 7:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: Adults, $30; seniors, $20.

Manassas Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Thur, Dec 17 through Sat Dec 19, 7:30
Sun, Dec 19 through Wed, Dec 23, 3:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $25 – $65.

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).

Sat Dec 5 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Dec 7 10:00am What’s in the Daily News Cont’d–TA-1
Tue Dec 8 9:30am
Cottage Art–Cottage
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Spanish Club–TA-2
Wed Dec 9 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Book Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Dec 11 9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Theater Lovers Group–TA-2
Homer, etc–Annex
Cooking Club–Cottage
Religious Studies Club–TA-2
Sat Dec 12 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Computer Club–TA-1
Mon Dec 14 10:00am What’s in the Daily News cont’d–TA-1
Tue Dec 15 9:30am
Cottage Art–Cottage
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Hendon
Wed Dec 16 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Paul Howard A/V Committee–TA-1
Fri Dec 18 9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Homer, etc–Annex
Photography Club–TA-1

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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: Sheri Siesseger
Weekly Editorial Team: John Nash, Paul Van Hemel, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere
Proofreaders: Gordon Canyock, Jerry Moore, Marilyn O’Brien, Susan Van Hemel
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:
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 “” without the quotes.

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