Phone:(703) 503-3384


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

Spring Comes to Tallwood Despite Physical Closure for the Term

April 3, 2020

Editor of the Week: David Gundry

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • For a list of postponed/canceled spring-term classes, click here.
  • For a list of online spring-term classes, click this link.
  • Loudoun campus coffee chat online April 6, 9:40-11:05 at Zoom (meeting ID: 317 678 690). Host: Ray Beery.
  • Reston Coffee Chat online Thursday, April 9, 9:30-10:30. Host: Stan Schretter; if you would like a dose of Reston camaraderie, join us for a coffee chat to catch up with your OLLI colleagues.  Use the following link to join via Zoom: (meeting ID: 206 598 701). You can also use your phone to dial into the chat as follows: 301 715 8592 or 929 205 6099.
  • Virtual Coffee Klatch online Friday, April 10, 10:00-11:30. Grab a cup of coffee and your favorite pastry and login. OLLI plans to host virtual coffees every Friday at 10:00 spring term to discuss topics of interest (no klatch on May 1 when OLLI hosts its annual meeting). The klatch April 10 will share favorite travel adventures. Use the following link to join via Zoom: (meeting ID 650 410 348). You can also dial into the klatch as follows: 301 715 8592 or 929 205 6099.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, April 10; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, April 7, at 6:00.

Editor’s Note: Long-time OLLI instructor Jim Dunphy has asked E-News to let readers know that, shortly after the first of the year, he was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. As a result, he is unable to teach in the spring semester, but hopes to begin teaching again soon. He greatly appreciates all your kind thoughts and wishes. We wish him well.

Back to Top of Page

OLLI President’s Message April 3

By Bill Taylor, President

By now, I hope that most of you have attended a class via ZOOM, and that you found it as enjoyable as I have. While it is of course not the same as attending a class in person, I hope you will agree that it is much better than having no classes at all. This is especially true as we all face an extended period of social isolation. I ask that you reflect on the extraordinary efforts of a small group of individuals who worked tirelessly to make all of this happen over the course of only a couple of weeks. Executive Director Jennifer Disano, and her staff—Susan Todenhoft, Alice Slayton Clark, Shannon Morrow, Karen Nash, Dallas Joder, Mike Emery, Meg Przybylski, Susan Job, Bill Walsh, Nancy Klein, and Nick Wenri—handled the program, budget, and technical support aspects of converting our classes to remote.

Paul Howard and his team of volunteers from the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS)—Mel Mikosinski, Andrew Schoka, Leti Labell, John Krout, Henry Winokur, and Gabe Goldberg (Bill Walsh and Nick Wenri pull double duty as staffers and PATACS volunteers)—provided their technical expertise and were instrumental in setting up training opportunities for staff and members. Al Smuzynski, Lou Coglianese, Brenda Bloch-Young, Garrett Ruhl, and Bob Baker of the Investment Forum, whose experimentation with the webinar version of Zoom also helped enhance OLLI’s understanding of the technology. Through their efforts they have helped OLLI step into a new world where our superb programs might also be accessible from the comfort of our homes. They all deserve our thanks.

Back to Top of Page

Summary of Board of Directors Meeting, March 16

By Marguerite Johnson, Secretary

OLLI President Bill Taylor welcomed Board members and all OLLI members who dialed into the historic first online Board meeting. He thanked Paul Howard, Jennifer Disano, and all others who worked tirelessly to make this meeting possible.

Bill took the opportunity to ask the Board to approve the appointment of Al Smuzynski to replace Jim Dunphy as a member of the Board. Al has been involved with the Investment Forum for a number of years and brings a wealth of experience to the Board. Al has also been a member of the Finance Committee. His appointment was approved unanimously.

This emergency Board meeting was called to address only two issues: the closure of all OLLI campuses for the spring term and how to present a spring program to the membership. Financial concerns were discussed; however, more information was requested from the Treasurer and Finance Committee prior to making any decisions.

Resolution 200316-01—Resolved: Based upon health and safety guidance for older adults to minimize their exposure to COVID19 and guidance from Mason, OLLI Mason will close all campuses from the beginning of the spring term until such time as it is safe to resume in-person classes. In the meantime, we will make our best effort to offer programs by remote transmission.

Photography Club

By Angela Talaber, Photography Club Co-Coordinator

Photo Club Virtual Tour of National Building Museum (Enhanced)

By Angela and Dave Talaber, Photography Club Co-coordinators

For March, the OLLI Photo Club field trip is a virtual tour of the National Building Museum. The following link——will open a YouTube video of a slide presentation given in the OLLI 2018 course, F106 Virtual Museum Tour. Slides advance every 10 seconds. Pressing the space bar will pause and restart the video. Moving the timeline cursor along the bottom of the video will position to different slides.

Thanks to Photo Club member George Bradshaw, the virtual tour of the National Building Museum has been enhanced with a gentle music track, all Mozart. George also placed the link on the Photo Club’s website,, in the block for the March 20, 2020, field trip. Thanks also to our own Hillary Rubin, a National Building Museum docent, and George for pulling our field trip together this week.

The Photo Club hopes that everyone can enjoy the National Building Museum through this enhanced virtual tour.

Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

A Dilemma in Limerick

There once was a wife so meticulous
Her spouse called her standards ridiculous
She scrubbed and she mopped
Until she was sopped
If one speck of dirt was conspicuous.

Her mate, an inveterate slob,
Thought housework an odious job
While she bleached and she polished
‘Til grime was abolished
He slouched on the couch like a blob.

The couple, who lived in Eau Claire,
Debated about what was fair
She felt psychic distress
When the house was a mess
And he honestly just didn’t care

So how will this sad story end?
Will they both be willing to bend?
Will he take on a chore?
Will she not demand more?
Compromise will be a godsend.

Sandy Myles 

Back to Top of Page

Mike Mc Namara Has Haiku Published

By Jan Bohall, Poetry Workshop Co-moderator

OLLI member Mike Mc Namara has not slackened for a moment while sheltering in place—he entered the contest for spring haiku in the D.C. area in The Washington Post, and was published March 30th in John Kelly’s column, Metro section, page 3. Mike co-moderates OLLI’s Poetry Workshop with fine humor and valuable insights. His haiku:

Vaccine’s coming soon
Don’t hold your collective breath
Or maybe you should

—Mike Mc Namara


Gordon Canyock

Gordon Canyock, longtime OLLI member, teacher, and leader, died on March 18. Among his many contributions to OLLI over the years were leading the Great Decisions class, founding the bridge club, and serving a total of nine years on the Board of Directors. At the time of his death he was living in Texas, where he and Judy had recently moved to be close to their son.

An OLLI colleague of several years wrote “During nearly a fifteen-year association with Gordon Canyock at OLLI never had I experienced a person whose commitment and devotion to our program was so complete. Gordon was the ultimate member volunteer who unselfishly served several different terms on the Board of Directors, chaired a variety of work groups, edited the OLLI E-News for many years, possessed an ardent love for the bridge club, and was long involved with the Great Decisions foreign policy program. In Gordon’s over twenty-year association with OLLI, his unwavering dedication, devotion, and contributions to our organization were monumental.”

Co-moderating the Great Decisions foreign policy program was an experience he thoroughly enjoyed and, whenever a topic dealt with Russia, he was in his glory. Gordon, during his army career, served as the military attache at the US Embassy in Moscow. In preparation for that post, he became a fluent speaker of Russian and an ardent student and expert of Russian history, geography, politics, and culture.

Because of his long service to OLLI, his spirit continues to reside here. Although not a founder, his remarkable knowledge and insight of the inner workings of the organization and its many facets were unparalleled and guided us well in our deliberations and ultimate work product.

For further information, click here. Interment will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Gordon’s name may be made to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University using the following link: To plant a memorial tree in memory of John Gordon Canyock, visit the tribute store at

Roger Brown

Roger Hamilton Brown, a longtime Reston-based OLLI member and instructor, died on March 19 at Goodwin House retirement community. After earning a BA (’53) and a PhD (’60) from Harvard University, Dr. Brown taught American History at Dartmouth College (1960-63) and at American University (1965-1998). At OLLI, he taught courses on history and politics, drawing on his knowledge and experience as a professor of history at American University. He was a devoted member of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Reston. 

More information is available at this link. A memorial service was held Sunday, March 29, using Zoom.

Back to Top of Page

Arts & Music at George Mason

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

George Mason University has canceled performances at the Center for the Arts and the Hylton Center until further notice. You can check the Mason website at coronavirus website for updates.

Meetings & Clubs

Please note: Physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled until further notice in accordance with Mason’s guidelines. OLLI is exploring ways to conduct its classes and activities online. Refer to the university’s coronavirus website for official university updates and check the OLLI calendar for revised information. The table below provides information for online meetings/activities.

Mon Apr 6 09:40am Loudoun Coffee Chat–Zoom (Meeting ID: 317 678 690)
Thu Apr 9  9:30am Reston Coffee Chat–Zoom (Meeting ID: 206 598 701)
Tue Apr 10 10:00am Virtual Coffee Chat–Zoom (Meeting ID: 650 410 348)
Fri Apr 17 11:00am Homer, etc.–Zoom (Meeting ID: 993 949 463)

Back to Top of Page

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.

Back to Top of Page