Friday, July 31, 2015

August Events

Wednesday, August 5
The Winter’s Tale at Theatre at Monmouth
Tragic, romantic, hilarious, and uplifting, Shakespeare's The Winter’s Tale is an enchanting story about the evil of jealousy and the power of forgiveness. Senior tickets $27.  Carpool from Telstar at 10:30 am; bring a picnic lunch. Contact Kathleen DeVore ( or 357-2005) ASAP if you are planning to go.
Wednesday, August 5; 10:30 am; carpool meets at Telstar High School

Thursday, August 6
Picnic, Blueberries and Poetry
Meet at Walter and Beth Brough’s home at 583 Howe Hill Road, Greenwood. Bring containers for berries, your own sandwich and a salad or dessert to share. Poetry to share is optional. FMI:  Beth Brough ( or 875-2216).
Thursday, August 6 (rain date August 7); 1:00-4:00 pm; 583 Howe Hill Road, Greenwood

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

Sunday, August 2
DaPonte String Quartet in "Hot to Trot"
Part of the Bethel Bandstand series presented by the Mahoosuc Arts Council.  Free and open to the public. FMI: 207-824-3575 or Note that the concert location has been changed to the United Methodist Church.
Sunday, August 2; 4:00 pm; United Methodist Church, 75 Main Street, Bethel

Thursday - Saturday, August 6-8
A Very Potter Musical
Bethel Community Theater’s first-ever production, with a cast and crew of amazingly talented local teens and adults. Free admission on a first come, first served basis. Reserve seats at Potter Musical. This show is Rated PG-13. 
Thursday - Saturday, August 6-8; 7:00 pm; Telstar High School Auditorium

Monday, August 10
Mahoosuc Community Band Summer Concert
Popular and traditional favorites arranged for concert band. Free admission; donations gratefully accepted.
Monday, August 10; 7:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel

Wednesday, August 26
Community Supper
Free community suppers the last Wednesday of the month at the Bethel Alliance Church. 
Wednesday, August 26; 4:30–6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, Bethel

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

Have Extra Garden Produce?

by Nancy Davis

August is upon us, which means those innocent seedlings planted in May are now producing mountains of broccoli, beans and zucchini. If you are interested in donating your excess harvest, it is easy here in Bethel. Amanda Moran at Nabos will take your high-quality surplus produce and put it out for others to take as needed (with a sign inviting those who take food to leave a donation for the Bethel Food Pantry). Dave Bean, at the Food Pantry, also welcomes produce on the second Monday of each month from noon-8:00.

On a somewhat larger level, a newly formed group, under the guidance of Barbara Murphy, gardens together in Rumford, West Paris and Norway and donates the entire harvests to those with limited access to fresh produce. Barbara invites anyone who wishes, to join this eclectic group, but if this is not of interest, you may still contribute to their efforts in a simple way. They are attempting to build their case for feeding the hungry by tracking quantities of food that are being donated. If you donate excess produce in the Bethel area – in any of the above-mentioned processes or even something less formal – keep track of the approximate weight of the donated food and email that figure to Barbara, either as you go along or at the end of the season. And for more information: Barbara Murphy (

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

Update from Edible Bethel

by Nancy Davis

Remember the Brown Bag Lunch discussion on May 5th? Amanda Moran, owner of Nabos on Main Street, and Meryl Kelly, Executive Director of the Local Food Connection, told us about the innovative Edible Bethel program they were starting. The program is now well underway, and several suggestions that came from that WMSC discussion have been put in place.

Amanda reports that “Main Street has been sprinkled with brightly colored watering cans, planters, signage, and soon to come, stickers. Most businesses have been more than welcoming to the garden concept, some even doing their own planting and caretaking. While still relying mainly on word of mouth, the 'pick some, leave some' concept has been blooming on Facebook. Our website has been receiving around 300 hits a month from all over the world. 

Other large successes from this project have been installing a garden bed at the Bethel Apartments to serve residents, harvesting from the Nabos garden monthly for the food pantry, and some of our excess veggies are even getting used by local restaurants including Café DiCocoa and S.S. Milton.

As the season rolls on, we are very much looking forward to showing off our edibles to the Bike Maine group riding through in September (which Meryl is in charge of feeding), and during Harvestfest.”

Be watching in the Fall Course Bulletin: on September 15th there will be a follow-up Brown Bag Lunch discussion to recap the program’s first year – its successes, areas where it might expand, suggested changes, etc. 

Click here for more...

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

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Phone System at Telstar

Telstar High School has a new phone system. To reach the Adult and Continuing Education office call 824-2136; at the recording press 5. The old number is no longer valid. The Adult Ed office is open Monday - Wednesday mornings during the summer.

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

DaPonte String Quartet Cures August Doldrums with “Hot to Trot”

The DaPonte String Quartet ushers in the Dog Days of August with “Hot to Trot” at the United Methodist Church in Bethel on August 2. (This is a change of location.)

The Quartet will perform Mendelssohn's Quartet in D Major Op. 44 No. 1, Stravinsky's Concertino, and Schumann's Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3. “High-spirited” and “jaunty” are the words most often used to describe the three very different works, and all are guaranteed to cure the summer doldrums.

The DaPonte, Maine’s premier string quartet, comprises Myles Jordan, cello; Kirsten Monke, viola; and Lydia Forbes and Ferdinand Liva, violins. The Quartet moved to Maine in 1991 on a rural arts grant from Chamber Music America and the National Endowment for the Arts. They perform over 70 concerts a year from Presque Isle to Ogunquit. They were recently voted “Maine’s Best Music Group” for 2014 by readers of Down East Magazine.

“Hot to Trot” will be performed at 4 pm on Sunday August 2 at the United Methodist Church, 75 Main Street, Bethel. Admission is free and reservations are not required. For further information call 207-824-3575 or visit

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Farewell to Jeanie Waite

You may have heard by now that Jeanie Waite, long time director of SAD 44 Adult and Continuing Education, resigned at the end of June. Jeanie has been WMSC's official support person for most of the time we have existed as a Senior College, the ex officio member of our Board, and a much appreciated facilitator of many WMSC courses, most recently Maine Women Authors and World War I. Jeanie says that now she hopes to have time to be a more active WMSC member. She plans to stay on the Board and to continue to facilitate classes – good news indeed! Lois Ruff will continue to hold down the fort in Adult Ed until a new director is hired.

Last Thursday we sent flowers to Jeanie to thank her for all she's done for us over the years. We're planning a reception for her as soon as we can work out the details, so stay tuned!

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

Soap Making Class Photos

Earlier in June several WMSC members attended a one-day soap making class taught by Pat Stewart. Here are a few photos depicting the melt and pour method they used.

Pouring melted soap into the mold.

Ellen Crocker adding blue color to the mix.

Almost done.
Cutting the hardened soap.

Blue stars with lavender base, lavender scented ovals, dragonfly goat's milk soap, and green pine translucent bars. Photos by Norman Milliard

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Silverlearning Research Project

(Senior colleges have been asked to pass this information on to their members.)

Silverlearning is a research project by Sandra von Doetinchem for the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany, which is carried out in the U.S. and Germany. The study investigates the formal lifelong learning behavior of mature adults age 65 and older who are currently participating in for-credit or non-credit education. Of particular interest to the study are the formal education activities of our oldest adults (age 80+) - a topic that has received little scientific attention thus far.

If you are interested in taking part in this survey go to Silverlearning survey.

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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Aging in Place" Draws Large Audience

by Lorrie Hoeh

Peter Morelli, AARP
On Thursday, May 21, a large and enthusiastic group attended the To Your Health program, “Aging in Place.” Speakers were Peter Morelli, representing AARP and its work on age-friendly communities; Julie Allaire, representing Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel and their age-friendly network; and Joe Perkins, representing At Home Downeast in Washington and Hancock Counties.

Morelli noted that our median age is rising, as 18,250 people per year turn 65 in Maine. Some issues to be addressed include transportation, housing of continuing long-term care, family and caregiver support, and elder abuse. AARP is trying to address these issues without government support, by encouraging volunteer programs in communities. Morelli mentioned Bowdoinham, a member of AARP’s age-friendly communities, noting that their plan can be found on the town’s website.
Julie Allaire, Kennebunk's age-friendly network
Julie Allaire advised that a community start “where you are.” This involves identifying and assessing assets. People need to know what services are available and how to access them locally. She recommends organizing a working group to coordinate a health care network which might include a gerontologist, an attorney, and other health care providers. Assessing local needs is also key.

The last presenter was Joe Perkins from At Home Downeast. He noted that each community is unique, and what works for one may not work for all. To quote Perkins, “If you’ve seen one village, you’ve seen one village.” Joe stressed the importance of volunteers. He pointed out that the Blue Hill Peninsula consists of nine towns comprising 14,000 residents year-round. Perkins said that the Washington Hancock Community Agency, of which At Home Downeast is a subset, does have a paid staff consisting of a program manager, social worker, and volunteer coordinator.

Joe Perkins, At Home Downeast
At Home Downeast has a sliding-scale membership fee of $130 to $1,300 annually. Paying a fee helps to fight the reluctance of some to ask for help. The membership fee entitles one to four rides per month within a 50-mile radius; contract with Eastern Maine Home Care for twice a month visits; help with grocery shopping; prescription delivery; phone check-in or home visit; home safety assessment; all available with a single phone number.

Reaction to this presentation was that the Bethel area has many assets, and with some organization and volunteer work, this could be a truly age-friendly community.

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Remembering Larry Engdahl

We are saddened to announce the death of WMSC member Lawrence "Larry" Engdahl on May 16. A life-long New Englander, Larry loved the mountains, ocean, fishing ponds, gardens and birds, and he loved to chronicle the landscape around him with his sketch book, paints, and camera. He was an active member of the Congo Craftsmen, served on the Bethel Planning Board, and was a member of the Bethel Rotary Club. WMSC's Great Decisions class benefited from Larry's extensive knowledge of business, politics, history, engineering, technology – you name it. He was often a facilitator and always a contributor to our discussions. He will be greatly missed. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church.

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