Sunday, August 21, 2016

Remembering Ruth Barrett

by Barbra Barrett

Our dear friend, Ruth Barrett passed away peacefully on Monday, August 15. Ruth moved to Bethel in 2003 from New London, NH to be close to her family. Her life was enriched by the circle of friends that she made through the Western Mountains Senior College, her memoirs group and her bridge group.

Her family is planning a memorial service for Saturday, August 27th at 1:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel. Because of Ruth's love of gardening and flowers, the family requests that Ruth's friends each bring a few blossoms from your gardens or from the wildlands nearby to fill the vases in the sanctuary. Ruth would love the wild and spontaneous bouquet this will create. After the service the family invites you to attend a gathering of friends and family at the Mill Hill Inn to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, they have requested that donations be made to Western Mountains Senior College in her memory. If you have any questions you may contact Ruth's daughter-in-law Barbra Barrett (

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

New Approach to the Brown Bag Lunch Discussions Series

by Nancy Davis

We will be continuing the Brown Bag Lunch series in the fall, with two already-scheduled sessions at the Bethel Inn. This is an opportunity to discuss a topic of general interest in an informal small group setting. The second of the two sessions has been developed, but the October session will begin a new approach. In the future, we will not be determining topics months ahead; instead, we hope that people will come forward with a willingness to facilitate the discussion and an interesting idea to be pursued. Topics may center around current issues, fun activities, or regular classes that take place during that term - or even a class coming up in a future term. Maybe you have an even different idea! You don’t need to do the logistics; Nancy Davis will take care of that. Please contact her with an idea you’d be willing to pursue. To jog your memory, here are some topics from the past: American Society: Distrust and Fear; How Do Your Remember the 60’s? World War II Stories; Gardening to Benefit the Community.

Tuesday, 10/18, 12:15-1:30, Bethel Inn Library: Have a new idea you might like to flesh out? Contact Nancy

Wednesday, 11/16, 12:15-1:30, Bethel Inn Library: What hope is there for our American society? How can we be agents of change in the civil discourse that surrounds our political environment? This will not be a political discussion – hence, the post-election date; rather, it will focus on the over-arching political nature of our society (and perhaps others world-wide).

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Jackie van Leuven

by Ellen Crocker

Our friend and colleague Jackie van Leuven passed away on July 22 at the age of 82. She was a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, with a degree in fashion design. Her last position before she retired was with Levi Strauss, where she designed custom-fit jeans for women.

Jackie was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 9. Because of her vigilance in managing this disease she outlived her estimated life expectancy by 40 years. And despite her health challenges, she lived life to the fullest.

In 1998 she moved to Bethel, where her life-long friend Marlene Engdahl had also retired. She was active in Senior College, in the Congregational Church, and in her neighborhood, where she visited and brought food to needy neighbors.

Jackie loved to travel and took numerous trips with her daughter Juliana and with a cousin. And in 2007 she joined a Senior College trip to Greece along with Ellen Crocker. She was an ongoing participant in the drawing and painting class with Suzanne Taylor. Suzanne writes, “Jackie was a faithful member of the Art Class since the beginning. Although she was already a professional artist, she remained modest about her accomplishments. In spite of her physical difficulties as time went on, she never gave up, and she was an inspiration to us all.”

Jackie is survived by her three children and three grand-children, a sister. a brother-in-law and son-in-law. A celebration of Jackie’s life was held at West Parish Congregational Church on August 6.

We will all miss her cheerful demeanor and her welcoming smile.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Message from the Andover Art Group

The Andover Art Group is busy preparing for the 3rd annual Andover Area Art Show, to be held on August 5 and 6 in conjunction with the Andover Old Home Day celebration. Our goal is to hang or display a wide variety of art and to include any and all pieces submitted, as long as they are original works by Andover area artists, or art that represents life in Andover and the surrounding area. All works should be ready to display.

If you have pieces of ORIGINAL art, including but not exclusive to paintings, drawings, sculpture, metal working, wood burning, and carvings, we would love to add your pieces to the show. In order not to infringe upon the existing annual Old Home Day photography show, we will not be accepting photographs.

To add a new dimension to the exhibit, this year the group has also extended invitations to the Pennacook art group, the Teaberry Arts Council and Andover School art teacher, Heather O’Leary. To other art groups in the area: we warmly invite you to be our guests and submit qualifying pieces. We would love to include you.

Call Pam Berry (392-1052), Eleanor Dufault (824-0215), Denise Hurd (392-2981), Wendy Hutchins (392-2211), Carole Rickards (562-8627), or Chris Wing (364-3653)for more information and/or to register your work for the show.

Dates to drop off your work are Sunday, July, 31, 3pm-6pm and Monday, August 1, 8am to noon, but please call or see one of us beforehand so we know how many people are interested and how many pieces to expect. Depending on the response, we may need to limit the number and/or size of pieces submitted in order to show an example of everyone’s work.

To read the entire press release click Andover Art Show.

Andover Art Group at last year's show: Pam Berry, Wendy Hutchins, Denise Hurd, Eleanor Dufault.

12 Main St, Andover, location of show.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

August Events

The following events are not sponsored by WMSC, but may be of interest to our members.

Monday, August 1
End of Summer Concert
The Mahoosuc Community Band presents a program of popular and traditional music for concert band. Refreshments after concertAdmission free; donations gratefully accepted.
Monday, August 1; 7:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel

Friday & Saturday, August 5 & 6
Andover Art Show
Art Show sponsored by the Andover Art Group featuring works by area artists. Held in conjunction with Andover Old Home Days.
Friday, August 5; 5:00-8:00 pm; Saturday, August 6; 8:00 am - 3:00 pm; 12 Main St., Andover

Sunday, August 7
A River Runs Through It
Join the Mahoosuc Land Trust in celebrating the Ellis River Valley to Rumford Whitecap connection. Blueberry ice cream and wandering along the river loop trail make for a perfect summer afternoon. Short walk in from the road, so please wear appropriate footwear. FMI: Mahoosuc Land Trust

Sunday, August 7; 3:00-4:30 pm; East Andover Road, Rumford (look for MLT signs)

Friday - Sunday, August 12-14
Town of Greenwood Bicentennial
Celebrate Greenwood's 200th birthday with a parade, food, music, dancing, games for the kids, wagon rides, fireworks, and much more. FMI and complete schedule of events: Greenwood Bicentennial
Friday - Sunday, August 12-14; various times and venues throughout Greenwood

Wednesday, August 31
Community Supper
Free community supper the last Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.
August 31; 4:30 - 6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walkers Mills Road, Bethel

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Friday, July 15, 2016

Remembering Betsy Kilkenny

by Kathleen DeVore, Norman Milliard and RoseMary McLean

Betsy Kilkenny, facilitator of last winter's Kings and Queens of England course, passed away suddenly on July 6. Betsy's home was in Doylestown, PA, but she was an avid skier and spent her winters at Sunday River. She came to WMSC a year ago when she joined the Canterbury Tales class. After one of those sessions she mentioned to the Program Committee that she might have a class to offer - The Kings and Queens of England. And what a class that was! Her detailed knowledge of the royal families made them come alive and seem like old friends.

Norman Milliard recently commented that Betsy's Kings and Queens class was so wonderful because she had such enthusiasm for teaching a subject she obviously enjoyed. She knew the subject matter thoroughly and presented it in such an infectious manner that it drew everyone in. Each class never seemed long enough to get in all the material that she wanted to share. It was almost as if she had lived in that era and had been reborn in the future.

Betsy was in turn a flight attendant, mother, and high school social studies teacher. Her love of travel and adventure, combined with her unbridled energy prompted her to explore the world, making many new friends along the way. Among her pursuits were skiing, the cello, scuba diving and dog rescue.

Betsy was a member of Sunday River's Prime Time Ski Club. The club is putting together a memory book for Betsy's family, and they have invited members of the Kings and Queens class to participate. If you have recollections, stories, poems, sketches, photos, etc. that you wish be included in this memory book send them to Suzie DuBois (16 Ledgefield Circle, South Portland, Maine 04106, 207-712-6661, The deadline is Monday, August 1.

Betsy had planned to teach another course for us next winter. It is our great loss that this will not happen.

Share Your Life Stories In A Friendly and Nurturing Online Environment!

The Maine Senior College Network launches its grand adventure into online classes with Senior Story Share, a 10-week program that will run every two weeks from September 12 to November 2. The group will be lead by facilitator Elizabeth Peavey, who will provide taped lectures, writing instruction, weekly assignments, and written feedback. Enrollees will be broken into several small online groups and take turns reading and commenting on each other's work. The goal is for each participant to create five stories or essays that can then be collected and given out to friends and family members around the holidays.

The class will use an application called Zoom, similar to email and Skype, to communicate with each other. Anne Cardale from the Maine Senior College Network assures us that not much computer expertise is required.  She plans to connect with participants before the class begins to make sure they have everything up and running.

Space is limited and is offered on a first-come, first serve basis. The fee is $40 for members of a Maine Senior College, $50 for non-members. For full details see the Senior Story Share article in the MSCN July Newsletter.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Tribute to Elise Caswell

by Kathleen DeVore and Diane McMahon

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Elise Caswell, poet, artist, and WMSC member. Elise was a regular member of the Drawing and Painting class, where her fun-loving spirit and creative energy captivated us all. Elise facilitated two writing classes for WMSC, “Wild Writes” and “Cut and Paste Poetry,” both of which were well received. She was a passionate lover of Earth and Mother Nature, as evidenced in her life and poetry. Last summer a dozen or so of us attended Elise's first (and only) poetry reading in Bethel, where we were deeply moved by the beauty, sensitivity and depth of her words.

Elise had just dropped off her "Parliament of Owls" series of paintings for the Shy, Novice and Closeted Art Show when she died suddenly. To honor Elise's life and creative force, Janet Willie is dedicating this year's show to her. You can visit the show on Saturday, July 2 from 9:00 – 4:00 at 18 High Street, Bethel.

A celebration of her life is being planned by her husband, Steve, and their sons Will and Sam. We will announce details when they become available.

Elise was truly a free spirit, and we will miss her terribly.

Landscape Drawing and Painting Class Begins July 8

Suzanne Taylor is offering a plein air landscape drawing and painting class on four Fridays in July (July 8, 15, 22 and 29) from 10:00 - noon, rain or shine. All levels of experience are welcome. Some materials will be provided, but bring any supplies you prefer to use. The first session meets at Davis Park; locations for the others will be chosen by those in the class.  Fee of $5 per session, payable at each class attended. If you plan to attend, please contact Suzanne at 824-2272 by July 6.

Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood (1885) by John Singer Sargent.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

July Events

The following events are not sponsored by WMSC, but may be of interest to our members.

Friday, July 1 - Tuesday, July 29
Music Without Borders Piano Festival
Pianist and master teacher Tamara Poddubnaya and her students present free public piano recitals every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening. FMI:
Friday, July 1 - Tuesday, July 29; 7:30 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy

Friday, July 1
Florence and the Uffizi
Kick off the Bethel Art Fair with a social-hour wine tasting followed by a film screening of Florence and the Uffizi. Seating is limited; purchase tickets ($12) at
Friday, July 1; 5:00 pm wine tasting, film at 6:00; The Gem Theater, Bethel

Saturday, July 2
Bethel Art Fair
Bethel Art Fair on the Bethel Common with more than 50 artists and artisans, food and entertainment. FMI:. 12th Annual Shy, Novice and Closeted Art Show at 18 High Street, Bethel (behind Key Bank). Bethel Plein Air Painters open house at the Isham Farm, 1006 Vernon St., Albany Township.
Saturday, July 2; 9:00 - 5:00 pm; Bethel Common and locations around Bethel 

Monday, July 4
Fourth of July Community Picnic & Concert
Outdoor concert by the Portland Brass Quintet. Bring your lunch and enjoy a free two-hour concert.
Monday, July 4; 11:30 am - 1:30 pm; Bethel Historical Society lawn, Broad Street, Bethel 

Saturday & Sunday, July 9 & 10 
Western Maine Gem, Mineral, and Jewelry Show
Annual show features gems, minerals, crystals, books, magazines, fossils, jewelry, door prizes, museum-quality displays and gem raffle.
Saturday & Sunday, July 9 & 10; 9:00 am - 4:00 pm; Telstar High School

Saturday, July 16
Mollyockett Day
Bethel's summer homecoming for over 50 years. Parade, fireworks, food, family, friends, fun.  FMI: 800-442-5826
Saturday, July 16; 8:15 am - 9:00 pm; various locations around Bethel

Wednesday, July 27
Community Supper
Free community supper the last Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.
Wednesday, July 27; 4:30 - 6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walkers Mills Road, Bethel

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at