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OLLI Holiday Party, Country Club of Fairfax, December 4

December 20, 2019

Editor of the Week: Paul Van Hemel

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • OLLI offices are closed between December 16 and January 3 for holiday break.
  • Winter term begins January 27.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, January 3; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, December 31, at 6:00.

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Inside OLLI Mason

On Being a Board Member
By Michelle Blandburg, Member of the Board of Directors“Michelle, I think you should run for the Board of Directors!” Honestly, I thought Board member Martha Scanlon was kidding. I had only been an OLLI member for a year or two, and was still learning my way around, so I wisely declined her invitation. However, my curiosity was piqued about what the Board did and how it operated. I began attending its meetings on a regular basis.When Martha asked again the next year, I thought “Why not?” To my surprise, I was elected. My time on the Board (I am now in my second term) has been a true learning experience. In addition to serving as treasurer for two years, I had the opportunity to chair the Nominating Committee and encourage other OLLI members to seek a seat on the Board. Being a Board member has also allowed me to make many great friends among the membership and the staff.I strongly encourage any OLLI member to consider running for the Board. OLLI members have such rich and fascinating backgrounds. That diversity could benefit OLLI’s leadership as we move into the future. After all, it’s your OLLI; you can help make it what you want it to be.

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of articles by current Board members to give readers some insight into what is involved in serving on the Board.

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Photo of the Month

The December 2019 Photo of the Month theme was Knolling, a way of photographing similar objects arranged neatly. Knolling is defined as “the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organization.” We selected John Olsen’s photo “I Like Adventures, and I’m Going to Find Some,” 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 Angela Talaber, Photography Club Coordinator

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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

Mid-century Tree Trips

A lot of it felt like a Frost poem,
although I couldn’t have
told you that back then.

We got in the car, my mother
and I, and my father drove
down Route 58 toward Cape Cod
for about an hour to Carver, just
after the two-lane road enchantingly
split into two sides lined by
evergreens, right, left, and center.

If we were lucky, it snowed as we
roamed through the woods
owned by a man my father knew,
looking for the perfect tree,
the soft crunch of pristine snow
under our feet and the blacks
and dark greens of trees against
the white all around us.

When we found our tree—
quickly when it was very cold,
more slowly when it wasn’t—
always huge and beautiful,
my father cut it down with his saw.
Then we carefully pulled it back
to the car, struggled to rope
it safely on the roof.

Paid the dollar, sometimes a dollar
And a quarter, and headed home.

This huge beautiful perfect tree,
every year we found one.

Betty Smith

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Obituary: Vernette Molloy

Former OLLI member Vernette Molloy, of Bluffton, South Carolina, died on November 30, 2019. Before moving to South Carolina, she was active in OLLI religious study classes. A friend noted that “Vernette sought to discern the transcendent purposes of life and always looked for ways to help those in need. She loved animals, especially her dogs. Vernette enriched the lives of those she encountered on her life’s journey and now rests with the angels.”There will be visitations at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Rd., Fairfax, VA, today (December 20) from 2:00 to 4:00 and 5:00 to 8:00. A graveside service will be held at Fairfax Memorial Park on Saturday, December 21, at 1:00. A ceremony to celebrate her life will be held in Bluffton, SC after the holidays. Further information is available at this link.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, December 20 through January 6

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either Center for the Arts Concert Hall (CFA) or Hylton Center, 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 Center ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: The Nutcracker
Sat, Dec 21 and Sun, Dec 22, 4:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $54 – $94.

The Washington Chorus: Kids, Families and Friends Christmas
Mon, Dec 23, 1:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $34.

Mason Student and Faculty Performances

(see for additional student recitals)

No performances scheduled

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At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Gallery Exhibition: John Grunwell
Dec 10 to Jan 18
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.
Admission: Free.

Prince William Little Theatre: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Fri, Dec 20, 8:00
Sat, Dec 21, 2:00 and 7:00
Sun, Dec 22, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $20 Adults; $17 seniors; $13 children.

Manassas Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Fri, Dec 20 to Sun, Dec 22, 7:30
Sat, Dec 21 to Mon, Dec 23, 3:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $80, $70, $60, $50, $40.

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For further details on any of the above events, 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 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).

Mon Dec 16-Fri Jan 3 Holiday Break
Sat Jan 4 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-2
Mon Jan 6 9:30am What’s in the Daily News?–TA-1
Tue Jan 7 9:30am Annex Art–Annex
Wed Jan 8 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tallwood Book Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Thu Jan 9 10:00am Special Events Program Planning Group–Annex
Fri Jan 10 9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Homer, etc.–Annex
Sat Jan 11 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3

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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: Paul Van Hemel
Associate Editor: David Gundry
Weekly Editor Team: David Gundry, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel

Proofreaders: Rebecca Jann, Susan Van Hemel, Linda Randall, Tom Appich, Roz Stark,
Jane Hassell
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: 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.
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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