Sunday, September 16, 2018

Remembering Tineke Ouwinga

by Mary Haberman

Western Mountains Senior College members are saddened to learn of Tineke Ouwinga's passing. Tineke was a key player in more than a few Bethel organizations. These included Gould Academy, The Bethel Historical Society, West Parish Congregational Church, and Music Without Borders. She set a standard for community service, leadership, and friendship.

But we suspect that Tineke’s favorite role involved playing some outlandish character for Senior Players. Audiences loved her wigs, costumes, twinkle and bravado. She was a fun addition for two years of Readers Theatre.

Tineke may have missed her true calling, but all of Bethel has benefited from her amazing range of activities and interests. She will be a hard act to follow. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.

Senior Players Rehearse on Thursday Afternoons

If rehearsing on Wednesday afternoon has kept you from joining the Senior Players, you are now in luck!  Rehearsals for the November plays will now be held every Thursday, September 20 - November 15, from 2:00-5:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.  If you'd like to join, or are just thinking about it, contact Jack Kuchta ( or 207 364-3137). The players always have a wonderful time, as does the audience, so give it a try!

Monday, September 3, 2018

September Events

Tuesday, September 4 
Migrating Monarchs
Every September hundreds of Monarch butterflies past through our state on a journey of more than 3000 miles to the Sierra Madre Mountains near Mexico City. The migration is one of the greatest feats in the natural world, a journey that spans over four generations to complete. Join Naturalist Paul Motts for a chance to learn of the many challenges which face this light-winged butterfly on its never-ending journey for survival.
Tuesday, September 4; 7:00 pm, McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy.

Wednesday, September 5
Annual Meeting and Potluck Supper
 Join your WMSC friends for our annual business meeting and potluck supper. We will elect new members to the WMSC Board, hear about the year ahead from the Board Chair, Irene Kuchta, and enjoy stories of summer adventures from our friends over dinner.Registration/ membership renewal forms will be available.
Wednesday, September 5; 5:30-7:30 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel.

Friday, September 7
Fall Registration Begins
We begin processing registrations at 11:00 am. Be sure we have your forms and payment by then for the best change of getting the classes you want.
Friday, September 7; 11:00 am; Adult Education office, Telstar High School, Bethel.

Thursday, September 20
Pairs and Spares Dinner Out
Enjoy a fall sunset on the Millbrook Tavern Terrace (indoor) overlooking the golf course of the Bethel Inn Resort while sharing dinner with friends. We will order off the menu, with additional selections from the Mexican Night menu ( Guests are welcome! FMI, carpooling arrangements, or to make a reservation, contact Kay Rector ( or 824-3333).

Thursday, September 20; 6:00 pm; Millbrook Tavern, Bethel Inn, Bethel.

The following events are not sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, but may be of interest to our members.

Saturday, September 15
Old Speck Hike 
Experienced hikers Bob McQueeny and Glenn Saller will lead a guided hike up the 4th highest peak in Maine.  This all-day hike is a 7.6 mile round-trip effort with 2730 feet elevation gain and is for experienced hikers. Up and back will likely be at least a 7 hour effort, leaving time for lunch and enjoying the spectacular view at the summit. Due to concerns about returning before dusk, the group will turn around no later than 1:00 pm even if the peak is not reached.  Come prepared with sturdy footwear and adequate clothing layers (including rain gear warmth for the top); plenty of water (72 ounces); lunch; hiking poles; sun and insect protection; headlamp or flashlight; toilet paper and small shovel. A map and/or GPS will also be useful. FMI:
Saturday, September 15; 7:45 am; meet at the trailhead on Route 26 11.7 miles from intersection of Routes 2 and 26.

Wednesday, September 19
A Day in the Life of our Native American Ancestors
At the dawn of Maine's history, more than a dozen Native American tribes occupied the land west of the Kennebec River. Today, they're all gone and Maine's remaining four tribes are all in eastern Maine. Find out why when Bethel native Peter Stowell reconstructs their whereabouts and explains how they got caught between warring European forces. This is the final presentation of the Mahoosuc Land Trust's "Day in the Life" speaker series.  FMI:

Wednesday, September 19; 7:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel.

Saturday & Sunday, September 22 & 23
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend
Join the fun at Valentine Farm Conservation Center and get outside to enjoy Maine's spectacular fall season. We have lots of family-friendly activities planned. For complete details visit 

Saturday, September 22, 2:00 pm; Sunday, September 23, 3:00 pm; Valentine Farm Conservation Center, 62 North Road, Bethel. (map)

Wednesday, September 26
Community Supper
Come and join the people of the community for a delicious meal. No charge, all are welcome.
Wednesday, September 26; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker’s Mills 
Road, Bethel.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

WMSC Fall Course Bulletin Is Out!

If you are a Western Mountains Senior College member you should have received your Fall Course Bulletin. If not, please let us know.  Perhaps we have an incorrect email or U.S. mail address for you. In the meantime, you can find Fall Course Listings, Public Events, and Membership/Registration Form downloads at the top of this blog.  In addition, there will printed copies of the course bulletin in the Telstar Adult Ed office.  But be sure to call first (207/ 824-2136 ext. 1340) to make sure someone will be in the office. 

We will begin processing registrations at 11:00 on Friday, September 7.  Mail your registration to the address on the form, drop off in the Adult Ed office, or bring to the WMSC Potluck/Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 5.

A Request for Help from the Senior Players

For several years the Senior Players, a fall class offering of Western Mountain Senior College, has offered free performances to the people of the Bethel area. The Players are not professionals, as anyone who has been to a performance can tell you. We do it because it’s fun for the audience and fun for us. But this year due to health issues and other commitments, several of our past cast members will not be available. We need players!

Players don’t need to memorize their lines, we all carry our scripts. You can find a description of the class in the Courses Fall 2018 tab above. The Senior College is primarily for those over 50, but if you’re close, we can get you in. Even if you don’t want to act, we will need other help with lighting and scene changes.

If you have an interest in bringing laughter to Bethel or know someone who does, come to WMSC's Annual Meeting and Potluck supper at the First Parish Congregational Church in Bethel, 5:30 PM on September 5th, or call Jack Kuchta at 364-3137.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thanks from the Bethel House

Karen Mills sends out a big thank you to all those who responded to her request for donations of puzzles and craft materials to use at the Bethel House. The response has been overwhelming! They now have as much as they can use, as storage at the Bethel House is tight. Your donations are greatly appreciated by the residents - we certainly do have a great group of senior college members.  Thank you all, and Karen says she is sure you will hear from her again!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Down Home Maine Looking for Suggestions for Presenters

By Brendon Bass

Recently the Western Mountains Senior College Program Committee spent some time generating suggestions for future Down Home Maine presenters. But we would also like help from our membership. If you know someone locally or not far away (it could be you) who has knowledge or experience in an interesting field, who would make an enjoyable presentation on a volunteer basis, and whom you would like to add to our list, please contact Brendon Bass (824-8580) with your suggested presenter and his/her phone number or email address. Thanks in advance!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Senior College Players Performance This Week

Seated: Pat McCartney, Bill Schuellein, Lorrie Hoeh, and Tim LeConey; Standing:  Eunice Ruby, Barb Dion, Jim McLean, Tineke Ouwinga, Mariann Goff and Rosabelle Tifft; photo by Bob McCartney

Senior College Players are in dress rehearsals this week as they gear up for their performance on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at 7 pm at the Gould Academy Trustees Auditorium.

Be prepared for an evening of fun and laughter as the Players delight you with six one-act comedies. Jack Kuchta, facilitator, said this year’s plays illustrate how we gain maturity as we age. "Wisdom and sensibility is a natural product of growing older. Thus, this year’s performance is entitled, ‘Antiques are old, and I’m Mature’."

Three comedies by AnnetteTrigham take place at the Chatterton Country Club, a 55+ retirement community. They include: “It’s Your Move,” with Jim McLean and Bill Schuellein; “With Friends like You,” featuring Pat McCartney and Barb Dion; and “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em,” with Lorrie Hoeh, Rosabelle Tifft, Eunice Ruby and Marianne Goff. Tineke Ouwinga, the office administrator, tries to keep order.

Three remaining comedies include: “Kindness of Strangers,” by Jim Gordon, featuring Lorrie Hoeh; “Coconut Crème Pie,” by John Clifford, with Tim LeConey and Barb Dion; and “Dinner Plans,” by Vicki Bartholomew, featuring Pat McCartney, Mariann Goff, Barb Dion, Lorrie Hoeh, and Eunice Ruby.

Summaries of these plays were in the past two blogs: Oct 31 and Nov 6

Western Mountains Senior College offers Senior College Players as a course, open to anyone age 50 and over. Now in its eleventh year, many players are veteran thespians who have been with the troupe for several years and are able to assist in production. Admission to the performance is free. However, donations will be appreciated to offset royalties. Refreshments will be available at intermission. Make plans to join us for a fun-filled evening.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Senior College Players Gearing up for Performance

Senior College Players are looking ahead to an evening of fun and laughter as they present their performance on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18, at 7:00 pm at the Gould Academy Trustees Auditorium.

The three additional comedies to be presented in their six-comedy series include the following:

“Kindness of Strangers,” by Jim Gordon, is a comedy monologue, which finds a con man’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity turned into a nightmare when a little old lady, played by Lorrie Hoeh, gives him a lesson in ”Chinese Water Torture.”

“Kindness of Strangers” features Lorrie Hoeh   photo Bob McCartney

“Coconut Crème Pie,” by John Clifford, finds Tim LeConey on his first day delivering pies for his son-in-law’s business. Everything goes wrong, wrong address and a dropped pie, until a customer, played by Barb Dion, comes to his aid.

“Coconut Crème Pie” with Barb Dion and Tim LeConey   photo Bob McCartney

“Dinner Plans,” by Vicki Bartholomew, features retired sisters Pat McCartney as Marilyn, and Mariann Goff as Betty. They get together for coffee and recipe exchange with three friends, Barb Dion as Cora, Lorrie Hoeh as Peggy, and Eunice Ruby as Alice. They discover to their amazement and chagrin that they have all been cooking for the same lovely man. The resolution to this dilemma is clever and charming.

   “Dinner Plans” with Mariann Goff, Pat McCartney, Eunice Ruby, Barb Dion and Lorrie Hoeh   photo Bob McCartney

Watch next week’s blog for more information on the Players’ performance.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Senior College Players Present Six Comedies

by Rosabelle Tifft

Western Mountains Senior College "Senior Players" of Bethel are gearing up for an evening of fun and surprises as they present their fall performance at 7:00 pm on Friday, November 17, and Saturday, November 18, at the Gould Academy Trustees Auditorium, Church Street, Bethel. This year’s performance, facilitated by Jack Kuchta, is entitled, "Antiques Are Old, I’m Mature," and that’s where the fun begins.

Three comedies take place at the Chatterton Country Club, a 55+ retirement community, by Annette Trigham. The intertwining stories explore the crazy cast of characters and themes that make senior communal living so - -entertaining!

“It’s Your Move,” the first comedy finds Jim McLean, as Joe, and Bill Schuellein, as Bob, friends and next door neighbors for 23 years, sharing their weekly game of checkers. It’s all guy talk until Bob reveals a secret about Joe’s wife.

“It’s Your Move,” with Jim McLean and Bob Schuellein  photo Bob McCartney

“With Friends Like You,” features Pat McCartney as Margaret and Barb Dion as Arlene at a weekly “stretch-ercize” class. They show us what happens when adults play post office in a close-knit community.

“With Friends Like You” with Pat McCartney and Barb Dion  photo Bob McCartney

“If You Can’t Beat ‘Em,” the third comedy in this series, finds Judy Crayton, played by Lorrie Hoeh, determined to form her own group because she has been kicked out of her book club. She will call her group the Chatterton Civilian Rules Administration Police (C.C.R.A.P.), because she is tired of people who get away with breaking the association covenants. She has invited three of her misfit neighbors, Rosabelle Tifft, as Mavis, Eunice Ruby as Gretchen, and Marianne Goff as Winny, to join her in an anonymous letter-writing campaign to bust the villains.

“If You Can’t Beat ‘Em” with Mariann Goff, Eunice Ruby, Rosabelle Tifft and Lorrie Hoeh  photo Bob McCartney

Watch next week’s blog for more information on the Western Mountain Senior College's "Senior Players" performance.