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Member Mark Dodge Conducts Class on Modern Cosmology and the History of the Universe, Tallwood, January 28

February 8, 2019

Editor of the Week: Paul Van Hemel

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • An Evening with Broadway Legend Baayork Lee, an event in the Professional Touring Artist Series, will be held Saturday evening, February 9, at 8:00, at the Reston Community Center, Hunters Woods (class fee $15). Click here to register.
  • Between-classes brunch at Reston United Christian Parish Church coffee room, Tuesday, February 12, 11:05-11:50.
  • Board of Directors Meeting in TA-1 at Tallwood, Friday, February 15, 10:00. All members welcome.
  • Ice Cream Social (Event 1103) in TA-1 at Tallwood, Friday, February 15, 1:00.
  • Spring-term priority registration: 9:00 February 21 through noon March 1 (spring term begins Monday, March 25).
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published February 15; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, February 12, at 6:00.

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Rosemary McDonald (1928-2019):
An Appreciation

Kosmo Tatalias and Marianne Metz, Arts and Music Program Planning Group Co-Chairs

Since 2009, Rosemary’s “baby” was “Meet the Artists” (MTA); the decade following that year was Rosemary McDonald’s legacy of wonderful OLLI concerts produced in partnership with the Reston Community Center. Rosemary cultivated a talent for finding and recruiting top-notch musicians to perform for OLLI and Reston. For free, mind you! She negotiated, accommodated, and coordin-ated many complicatedand ever-changingschedules. She nurtured several young musicians who were starting their careers, coped well with nerve-racking last-minute cancellations, and soothed a temperamental artist or two. The photo shows Rosemary at the Reston Community Center in Hunters Woods with Beverly Cosham, chair of the center board and a cabaret singer who appeared several times as a performer in the MTA series.

Rosemary left us with yet another stellar array of musicians for Spring 2019, and her final contribution was finding an able successor to keep MTA alive, Marina Chamasyan.

In earlier years, Rosemary served on the OLLI Board of Directors, was the program planner for music, and coordinated courses such as “The Organ: King of Instruments.” A dedicated music lover, she attended concerts throughout the metro area, usually with other OLLI music lovers.

Her diverse interests led to coordinating classes ranging from “Indonesia, the Largest Archipelago” to humanitarian crises in immigration and the Middle East, and “Mr. Putin’s Russia.” Again, her gently persuasive talent was used to convince ambassadors, scholars, and recent immigrants to participate.

Everything she did, she did beautifully.

We were all amazed by Jennifer Disano’s announcement at the opening of Rosemary’s spring 2018 MTA series that OLLI was celebrating the 90th birthday of this ever-young and indefatigable lady!

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Computer Club

3rd Saturday, February 16
Basic Computer Security: For the Realistically Insecure
Power Banks

By Paul Howard, OPCUG Program Chair

The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, February 16, at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for socializing in the Annex. Program activities begin at 1:00 in TA‑1.

Basic Computer Security: For the Realistically Insecure – Presented by Lorrin Garson
Today virtually all computers are attached to the Internet. Such computers are insecure. These computers cannot be made 100% secure, but they can be made sufficiently safe that “bad guys” direct their malevolent efforts elsewhere. The presentation will address how to attain reasonable security.

Lorrin Garson had a long career in technical publishing of chemical information. His presentations to our computer groups are famous for their thorough research and clarity in explaining topics such as cryptography, encryption of personal data, cloud storage, and the origins of personal computers.

Learn in 30: Power Banks – Presented by John Krout
The phrase Power Bank has come to mean any portable battery that has universal serial bus (USB) sockets for charging your phone or tablet. These are immensely useful while shopping, hiking, bicycling, on an airplane, or in any other situation away from convenient power sockets. John will demonstrate several; you may want a battery that is ruggedized or that has multiple USB sockets so you can charge two or three things simultaneously.

A frequent presenter for OPCUG/PATACS meetings, John Krout recently won prizes for his photography from APCUG, a national computer group organization.

See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2019 will be collected at this meeting.

Can’t make 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, Linux, iOS or Android: (Meeting ID: 519 103 813).

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Tallwood Book Club
By Ceda McGrew, Tallwood Book Club CoordinatorThe Tallwood Book Club will meet on Wednesday, February 13, at 1:30 at Tallwood. The book for discussion is Educated, Tara Westover’s memoir about growing up in a survivalist Mormon family in the mountains of Idaho. Though not permitted to attend public school, she taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to be admitted to Brigham Young University, graduated, and went on to Cambridge where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014.All OLLI members are welcome.The book selection for March 13 is We Fed an Island by award winning chef José Andrés.

Thank you.

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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

Embarrassed to Death


I went to someone’s wake last week. It used to be quite rare. 

These days it crowds my calendar like weddings used to do.

You’d think with my accumulated years I’d be at ease,

Experienced how to behave, smooth as an oiled screw


Slides in a polished socket. Not so. 

Oh, I can dress the part—dark suit, appropriate for both

A wedding or a funeral. A smile for one, a twinkly eye;

A funeral’s eye may glisten—a telltale tear that I am loathe


To share: appropriate demeanor.

It’s the reception line I dread:

“Congratulations!” No, that’s for a bride. “I’m happy to be here!”

No, again. For funerals, “I’m sorry for your loss,” I said. 


Could I have said a lamer line? I should have sent some flowers

In lieu of going to the service at the wake. 

I could later blame my absence with some plausible excuse—

Run over by a bus, or horrid illness I could fake!


I think I’ll permanently take to bed

And never leave until I’m dead. 

                               Manuel Pablo

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Rosemary McDonald: Rosemary McDonald of Reston, Virginia, died on February 1, 2019. Having joined OLLI in the fall of 2001, she was an active member and volunteer for many years, including service on the Board of Directors.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, Rosemary received a master’s degree in education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1997. She had a career as an educator and administrator with Fairfax County Public Schools.

There was a funeral mass at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on February 6. More information is available at this link.

Margaret “Ellen” Parke: Ellen Parke, a new member in summer 2018, died unexpectedly on January 22, 2019, in Miami, FL, at the end of a Caribbean cruise. She was a 1971 graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, with a bachelor’s degree in French.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, in Washington, on Tuesday, April 2, at 1:30. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Ellen’s memory may be made to Hollins University or to St. John’s Church. More information is available at this link.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, February 8 through February 18

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 

Navy Band Chamber Ensemble Concert
Fri, Feb 8, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar
Fri, Feb 8, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $44, $37, $26.

Havana Cuba All-Stars: Asere! A Fiesta Cubana
Sat, Feb 9, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $50, $43, $30.

Washington Concert Society: New Years Concert 2019 Rescheduled – Songs of Hope
Sun, Feb 10, 6:30
Harris Theatre
Admission: $20.

Virginia Opera: The Elixir of Love
Sat, Feb 16, 8:00 and Sun, Feb 17, 2:00
A pre-performance discussion featuring “Dr. Opera,” Glenn Winters, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $110, $90, $54.

Mason Student & Faculty Performances

(see for additional student recitals)

Navy Band Double Bass Masterclass
Fri, Feb 8, 4:00
Music Theater Building, room 2018
Admission: Free.
Faculty Artist Series: Dave Porter, tuba
Sat, Feb 9, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.Faculty Artist Series: Kathy Mulcahy, clarinet & June Huang, violin
Sat, Feb 16, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.Faculty Artist Series: Christopher Jewell, bassoon
Sun, Feb 17, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

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At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Gallery Exhibit: 8th Annual Prince William County Public Schools Student Exhibition
Through March 9
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.

Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra
Fri, Feb 8, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $60, $51, $36.

The Mason Cabaret: The Golden Age of Broadway
Fri, Feb 8 and Sat, Feb 9, 8:00
Gregory Family Theatre
Admission: Adults, $30; seniors, $15.

L.A. Theatre Works: Steel Magnolias
Sat, Feb 9, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $44, $37, $26.

Matinee Idylls: Piotr Pakhomkin
Tue, Feb 12, 12:30 lunch, 1:30 concert
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Lunch/Concert/Dessert Reception Package: $47.
Concert/Dessert Reception Package: $27.

Virginia National Ballet: Aladdin
Sat, Feb 16, 2:00 and 6:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: $40.

American Roots Series: Maybe April
Sat, Feb 16, 8:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $25 advance; $30 day of performance.

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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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Athletic Highlights at George Mason 

By Jim Dunphy, Social Committee Chair

This column highlights upcoming Mason athletic events that may be of interest to OLLI members. Of course, usually at least once a week in season, the men’s and women’s basketball teams play at EagleBank Arena, off Braddock Road near Tallwood. (The Roanoke River Road entrance, across from University Mall, is convenient.)

Please make sure you have your Mason affiliate ID to get discounts on athletic events or other Mason activities. Check with the OLLI office for more information about obtaining such an ID card.

Faculty/Staff 50% Off Basketball Ticket Days

All George Mason Faculty/Staff (includes affiliates) are eligible for 50 percent off the single game ticket price for reserved and upper reserved seats for all weeknight home men’s basketball games. Tickets can be purchased at the EagleBank Arena box office with a valid Mason ID. The promotion is good for up to six tickets per ID; tickets as low as $12.50.

Upcoming Games Available:

  • UMass Minutemen, Wednesday, February 13, at 7:00
  • VCU Rams, Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 (may have already been sold out

Mason Homecoming

Join Mason alumni and community at Mason Homecoming, a weeklong celebration, February 18-24. Mason Athletics has several events happening during the weekend:

  • Men’s volleyball match against Penn State on Friday, February 22, at the Mason Recreation and Athletic Complex (RAC) at 7:00
  • Men’s basketball hosts Duquesne on Saturday, February 23, EagleBank Arena at 4:00
  • Women’s basketball against the Dayton Flyers on Sunday, February 24, EagleBank Arena at 2:00
  • Mason Athletics hosts the Atlantic 10 indoor track and field championships at the Mason Field House, Saturday and Sunday, February 23-24.

Mason Men’s Baseball Opener

Mason men’s baseball has their season opener vs. Princeton on Friday, March 1, at 2:30. The stadium is located on the west side of Route 123 near the fieldhouse. Games on Monday-Thursday are free. The prices for weekend games have not been set, but traditionally are $5 or less.

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For further details on any of the above events, visit and

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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).

Sat Feb 9 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Wed Feb 13  1:30pm
Tallwood Book Club–TA-1
Bridge Club–TA-3
Spanish Club–TA-2
Fri Feb 15  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Crafts and Conversation–Annex
Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc.–Annex
Dr. Who Club–TA-3
1103 Ice Cream Social–TA-1
Sat Feb 16 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Personal Computer User Group–TA-1
Wed Feb 20 11:50am
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Fri Feb 22  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Crafts and Conversation–Annex
Theater Lovers’ Group–TA-1
Homer, etc.–Annex
Photography Club–TA-3
Sat Feb 23 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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