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

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Message from the Program Committee

During the Winter Term we offered a course on "Digital Devices" which covered Microsoft Word and Google Docs (word processing). Interest has been expressed in having another course which looks at other digital topics such as Smart Phones, email, and the full Google Suite (free word processing, spreadsheets, photos, and more). If you have other topics you would like to explore please let Steve Smith know your thoughts ASAP (

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

WMSC Summer News

The WMSC Summer News 2016 was recently sent out by email to all members. If you haven't received it perhaps it was sent to your Spam (or Junk) folder. If it's not there contact Kathleen DeVore ( and we'll send it again. In the event that other WMSC classes or events are added to this summer's offerings we'll announce them on the blog, so be sure to check in.

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

Monday, May 30, 2016

June Events

Wednesday, June 1
Spring Potluck Supper 
Join your Senior College friends for an evening of good food and conversation. Bring any kind of dish to share. Guests welcome. We need volunteers to set up at 4:30 and to clean up at 7:00. Contact Marvin Ouwinga ( if you can help.
Wednesday, June 1; 5:30-7:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church

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

Saturday, June 4
Bethel Library Plant Sale
Affordable perennials donated by local gardeners to benefit the Bethel Library. To donate plants or FMI call the library at 824-2520, Susan Day at 824-2741 or Susan Parker at 824-4767. Sale takes place rain or shine.
Saturday, June 4; 9:00-10:00 am; lawn next to Bethel Library, 5 Broad St., Bethel

Saturday, June 4
Trail Work Day at Rumford Whitecap
Sponsored by Mahoosuc Land Trust. Wear appropriate work clothing and footwear. Bring water, snacks, lunch, bug and sun protection and small tools such as clippers, loppers, shovels, rakes. Refreshments served at the end of the day. FMI: or 207-824-3806.
Saturday, June 4; 9:00 am - 3:00 pm; meet at the parking area on the East Andover Road in Rumford

Sunday, June 12
U.S. Air Force Traveling Band, Langley Winds
Langley Winds is a pioneering woodwind and percussion ensemble offering innovative programming covering a wide array of musical styles. Free admission. Presented by the Mahoosuc Arts Council. 
Sunday, June 12; 3:00 pm; Telstar High School

Saturday, June 25
Bethel Rotary Yard Sale and Auction
Annual yard sale and auction to benefit the local community. Yard sale begins at 8:00 am. Auction preview at 5:30 pm, followed by the auction at 6:30. FMI: (207) 653-9297.
Saturday, June 25; 8:00 am - 10:00 pm; Telstar High School

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

End-of-Year Potluck Supper

Don't forget the spring potluck supper on Wednesday, June 1 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church. Bring whatever dish you would like to share, and a guest too if you'd like - social evenings are a great way to introduce a friend to the college. 

We need volunteers to set up at 4:30 and to clean up at 7:00. Contact Marvin Ouwinga ( if you can help.

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

Drop-In Tech Help Concludes

WMSC sends a big thank you to Telstar High School student Kayla, who spent Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in the Adult Ed office helping area residents with their tech questions. Kayla's sessions have now come to an end – at least for this year. I know those of us who met with her greatly appreciate her generosity and patience. Thank you, Kayla!

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