Monday, June 1, 2020

Remembering Jim McLean

James J. McLean MD, Western Mountains Senior College member and teacher, beloved husband of fellow member RoseMary McLean, and father of WMSC presenter Attorney Martha McLean, died at his home on May 23.
 

Jim began his medical career when he established a private practice in internal medicine in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. He later became both an educator and administrator in full-time hospital-based roles in New York, Pennsylvania, and Saudi Arabia. He served as Director of Internal Medicine, Chief of the Residency programs, and Director of the Hemodialysis programs. Dr. McLean was Board certified in Internal Medicine, a Diplomat, and a Fellow of the American College of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Many of us at WMSC fondly remember Jim’s Medical Grand Rounds lectures and his performances with the Senior College Players.

Scott Hynek speaks of Medical Grand Rounds. “Jim always gave you the sense that he was paying full attention to you, though you knew that his considerable intellect permitted his timesharing your concerns with others. His Senior College presentations of mock Grand Rounds gave the clear sense that the real ones were an exercise of great benefit both to the patient and to those attending. I always came away from these presentations wishing I were more conversant in medical matters. Best $5 that I ever spent.”

Rosabelle Tifft says “My memories of Jim McLean center around his humorous antics in several Senior College Plays where we both served as radio theater narrators. One favorite concerned the Senior College Players 10th Anniversary Play written and directed by Ross Timberlake. The entire cast participated in the “WMSC Radio Theater” - destined to change to a live TV show. Jim and I would become the TV anchors and had comical quips about being on ‘live TV.’ Jim had great fun ad-libbing in that play. His humor was evident in other plays over the years. The cast always looked forward to seeing him ‘in action.’ He will be missed by all of us who knew and loved him.”
 

And fellow actor Jack Kuchta says, “I knew Jim as a Senior Player. When we moved to Maine in 2013, Ross Timberlake conned me into joining Senior Players and cast me in the lead of one of the plays. Jim had a small part as the doctor who declared the victim dead. His character then was to sit on stage while the detective solved the case and arrested the murderer and the cast gasped at his brilliance. During rehearsal, Jim played that role. But the night of the show, he couldn’t resist a little ‘ad-libbing.’ Sitting during the finale, he opened his medical bag and got the little reflex hammer and tested his own reflexes with wild result. (I think he kicked Lorrie.) The audience laughed. That encouraged him to do more. It seems everyone in the cast except me knew that Jim would do something like this. Jim loved to do the unexpected just for a laugh. Whether it was a stunt or an added line, Jim always knew how to make the audience laugh. We will all miss those laughs.”
 

Indeed we will all miss those laughs. Donations in Jim McLean’s honor can be made to the Bethel Food Pantry and mailed to Bethel Area District Exchange P.O. Box 232 Bethel, ME 04217.

Jim McLean with his doctor's bag (and Rosabelle Tifft, Mark Antell and Lorrie Hoeh)


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pairs and Spares Dining Virtually

Wishing you could get together with friends and dine together? We'll do just that on Thursday, May 28, at 6:00 PM on Zoom, an online meeting program. As COVID-19 forced us to adapt to recent changes, we are switching to online dining with meals of our choice. Support a local business with take-out, cook gourmet yourself, or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; it's up to each participant. Reserve a space by Tuesday, May 26.

Contact Kay Rector by e-mailing her at kaymail3333@gmail.com or call 207-824-3333 for more information.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Remembering Peter Gartner

Most of our members are aware of Peter Gartner's passing at the end of March. In January Peter announced to us that he was retiring from Senior College.  We invited our members to contribute to a memory booklet which we presented to him on Valentine's Day.  A copy of this booklet was placed on the WMSC table in the Adult Ed Office for us to view. But most of us did not get to see it before the coronavirus closed the school and cancelled our spring term, and we want to share it with everyone. You can view the electronic version of the booklet here

 

Monday, March 16, 2020

WMSC Spring Term Cancelled

Given the upgrade of the covid-19 virus to the pandemic stage, and recognizing our demographic (the 50-year-old and better membership), the Western Mountains Senior College Board has voted unanimously to cancel classes and events for the Spring Term. All checks will be returned.
 
We will revisit the three single-session events scheduled for May (Canoeing with the Cree, Maine's Supreme Court, and Pairs & Spares) to confirm or cancel those closer to their dates.


The Bethel Area Neighborhood Response to Covid-19 team has provided a list of valuable information for our community on how to deal with this crisis.  To view their flyer of available resources click here.

To Your Health Spring Programs Postponed

“What’s New in Treating Heart Disease,” scheduled to be presented by Dr. Daniel van Buren, board certified cardiologist, on Thursday, March 26, 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church, has been postponed due to the upgrade of the covid-19 virus to pandemic stage. The program has been tentatively rescheduled for Thursday, October 8.

 “Getting the Best Out of Aging: It’s What You Do with What You’ve Got,” a panel program on the challenges of aging scheduled for Thursday, April 16, has been postponed to spring 2021.

 To Your Health is offered as a community service by Western Mountains Senior College in collaboration with the Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44/Continuing Education. For more information, contact Peter Musso at 207-890-7034.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

News from the Age Friendly Community Initiative

The Age-Friendly Community Initiative is sponsoring two events this month, and you are invited!  Both are informal and the start of a series arising from suggestions from the senior community.
 
Wednesday, March 11: “Our Community’s Creative Crafters,” the first in a series called “The Brew,” topic-oriented get-togethers over mid-morning coffee/tea.  Your community neighbors will be demonstrating spinning, rug hooking, quilting, and the community Repants project.  Feel free to bring a project you’re working on.  No charge, but donations welcome.  9:30-11:00 am at the Bethel Historical Society’s Robinson House. 

Tuesday, March 24: “Luck of the Seniors,” an Irish-themed, purely social lunch for older adults.  No charge, but donations welcome. 11:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Newry Grange.
 
 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

March Events

Monday, March 2
Legal Aspects of Protecting Assets
A serious consideration in estate planning is protecting assets so that each spouse is assured of financial stability even if one develops problems that drain the coffers. Martha McLean brings her legal training to describe this complex problem and answer your questions. Registration is required, but if you have not pre-registered for this class you may pay the $5 fee at the door.
Monday, March 2 (snow date March 9); 3:30 pm; Telstar High School Lecture Hall, Bethel.

Thursday, March 5
To Your Health: Tickborne Illness in Maine
Sarah Bly, Epidemiologist, will highlight tickborne illness in Maine and what we can do to prevent exposures. She will also discuss tick biology and ecology, “the how and why these pests do what they do where they do it.” Free and open to the public. FMI: contact Linda McDonough at 207-522-4625.
Thursday, March 5 (snow date March 12); 4:30-6:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, downstairs hall, Bethel.

Thursday, March 26
To Your Health: What’s New in Treating Heart Disease?
Dr. Daniel van Buren returns to further educate the community about heart disease. He will discuss advancements in treating heart disease including new medications and new guidelines for high blood pressure. Rescheduled from February. Free and open to the public. FMI: contact Peter Musso at 207-890-7034.
Thursday, March 26; 4:30-6:00; West Parish Congregational Church, downstairs hall, Bethel.



The following events are nor sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, but may be of interest to our members. 

Wednesday, March 11
Our Community’s Creative Crafters 
This is the first in an Age Friendly Community Initiative series called “The Brew,” topic-oriented get-togethers over mid-morning coffee/tea. Your community neighbors will be demonstrating spinning, rug hooking, quilting, and the community Repants project.  Feel free to bring a project you’re working on.  No charge, but donations welcome.
Wednesday, March 11, 9:30-11:00 am; Bethel Historical Society’s Robinson House.
 
Wednesday, March 11
Big Adventure, Big Challenge, and Zero Single-Use Plastic

In 2018, 4 friends brought together by the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School decided to embark on the biggest expedition of their lives, canoeing from Umiujaq to Kangirsuk, in Quebec. The 46-day expedition began two years prior when Wilderness Educator, Beth Jackson, decided to try to do a big expedition with zero single use plastic. The Canoe Ungava team got just what they were looking for: epic challenge, countless adventures, and successfully reduced expedition waste. Free and open to the public.  FMI: mahoosuc.org
Wednesday, March 11; 7:00-8:30 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel.

Tuesday, March 24
Luck of the Seniors
An Irish-themed, purely social lunch for older adults sponsored by the Age Friendly Community Initiative.  No charge, but donations welcome.
Tuesday, March 24;, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm; Newry Grange, Bear River Road, Newry.

Wednesday, March 25
Community Supper

Come for dinner and conversation with fellow members of our community. Free to all.
Wednesday, March 25; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker's Mills Road, Bethel.


Wednesday, March 25
Forestry for Birds

Do you own more than 10 acres of woods in Western Maine? Are you interested in learning more about who lives there? Then please join us to learn about the habits and habitats of 20 priority woodland birds and other wildlife species of conservation concern. Wildlife Ecologist Sally Stockwell, Director of Conservation at Maine Audubon, will give a slide presentation on the Forestry for Maine Birds program. Christine Parrish, Western Maine Project Coordinator for New England Forestry Foundation, will discuss the endangered lynx and the marten, and financial incentives available to qualifying landowners interested in creating a habitat-friendly woodland. You must RSVP to attend. Contact Barbara, 824-3806 or barbara@mahoosuc.org.
Wednesday, March 25; 5:30-7:00 pm; Valentine Farm, 162 North Road, Bethel.



Monday, November 18, 2019

Show Time! Senior College Players to Perform This Weekend

It’s “Show Time” for the Senior College Players with performances taking place on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, at 7:00 pm at the Gould Academy McLaughlin Auditorium. Be prepared for an evening of comedy and fun. This year’s main course is “The Pie Ladies” by Sherry Piros with cast members Marianne Goff-Dumont, Lorrie Hoeh, Gretchen Motts, Bridget Remington and Rosabelle Tifft.

 "The Pie Ladies" Front row: Lorrie Hoeh, Gretchen Motts, Rosabelle Tifft; Back row: Bridget Remington, Mariann Goff-Dumont

 A double treat from playwright Jim Gordon gives us some interesting twists in “A Christmas Fantasy,” with Tim LeConey, Marianne Goff-Dumont and Melinda Remington; and “Untitled Number Two,” featuring Lorrie Hoeh and Rosabelle Tifft, which reminds us that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Rosabelle Tifft, Lorrie Hoeh in "Untitled Number Two"

Topping off the evening we’ll have a skit from the “Carole Burnette Show” with Jack Kuchta and Bridget Remington who bring “Passion on 10th Avenue” despite intrusions from Gretchen Motts and Melinda Remington.
Jack Kuchta, Bridget Remington in "Passion on 10th Ave."

Performances are open to the public and admission is free. However, donations are accepted to honor Royalty fees. The program is sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College.

The Cast Front row: Lorrie Hoeh, Gretchen Motts, Rosabelle Tifft; Back row: Melinda Remington, Bridget Remington, Tim LeConey, Mariann Goff-Dumont, Jack Kuchta

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Senior College Players in Rehearsal for Performances

"The Pie Ladies and Other Desserts," an evening of comedy and fun, will be performed by the Senior College Players on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, at 700 pm at the Gould Academy McLaughlin Auditorium.  Rehearsals are in high gear and some snapshots are seen below.  Mark  your calendars and join us.


 Lorrie Hoeh in "Fixing It"

"The Pie Ladies"    Foreground: Lorrie Hoeh, Rosabelle Tifft     
Back row: Mariann Goff-Dumont, Bridget Remington, Gretchen Motts

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Senior College Players Gearing Up for Performances

It’s that time again. Time for the Senior College Players annual production. This year’s main course is “The Pie Ladies” by Sherry Piros. When the ladies who bake the pies for the church supper go beyond the standard apple, blueberry and cherry pies, things can go almost anywhere. The cast includes Marianne Goff-Dumont, Lorrie Hoeh, Gretchen Motts, Bridget Remington and Rosabelle Tifft as the pie ladies. They’re visited by Tim LeConey as the local pastor, Melinda Remington as a new arrival in town, and Jack Kuchta as a reporter for the local newspaper. Let’s just say the ladies make a lot more than pie, or perhaps we could say they make some “pie in the sky” dreams.

A double treat from playwright Jim Gordon gives us some interesting twists. “Untitled Number Two” with Lorrie Hoeh and Rosabelle Tifft remind us that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Tim LeConey gets a Christmas surprise from Marianne Goff-Dumont and Melinda Remington in “A Christmas Fantasy.”

Topping off the evening, we take a look at a skit from the “Carol Burnette Show.” Jack Kuchta and Bridget Remington bring “Passion on 10th Avenue” despite intrusions by Gretchen Motts and Melinda Remington.

Ray Leghart is the facilitator for this year’s production. Plan to join us at Gould’s McLaughlin Auditorium on November 22 and 23, 7:00 pm. Senior College Players is a course offered by Western Mountains Senior College. Admission is free but donations are accepted to offset royalty fees.