Saturday, July 1, 2017

Bethel Family Health Center Offers Free "Living Well" Class

(from The Bethel Citizen, June 29, 2017)

Bethel Family Health Center is pleased to offer a free Living Well for Better Health class starting Thursday, July 13. Because ongoing health conditions affect so many adults, SeniorsPlus offers this interactive workshop where participants learn tools to better manage their own health conditions. The Living Well workshop has also been shown to reduce hospitalizations by improving participant's ability to take care of their health.

Topics discussed during this six-week course include depression, medication use, nutrition and communication skills. Classes run from noon to 2:30 p.m. every Thursday for six weeks. The class begins on Thursday, July 13 and ends on August 17. All sessions will be held at Bethel Family Health Center.

To register or for more information, please call SeniorsPlus at 800-427-1241. Bethel Family Health Center is located at 32 Railroad Street in Bethel. Living Well for Better Health is FREE and open to the public. Caretakers and spouses are welcome to attend as well!

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

Summer Exercise for Seniors

(from The Bethel Citizen, June 22, 2017)

It is fairly easy to stay active in the summer when the weather is more cooperative, but if you are interested in exercising as a social activity as well as a health benefit, you might be interested in these free opportunities being offered on a weekly basis this summer. These two activities are jointly sponsored by the Bethel Recreation Committee and the Bethel Area Age-Friendly Community Initiative. If you are a resident, 55 years or older, of Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Newry or Woodstock, you are invited to participate in these group activities.


Offered through the generosity of Jeff and Patty Parsons at the Bethel Outdoor Adventures and Campground, Monday mornings from 10 to noon, starting June 26. This is a sport that is featured in the Senior Olympics, so if there are any aficionados out there, come on over and show us how it's done! (Croquet can also be offered if there is interest.) FMI call Eliza Barnes at or 824-3703.


Offered through the generosity of our AFCI member town of Greenwood, Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon, starting June 27 at the Greenwood Town Beach. Swimming is a wonderful all-body exercise, but one should never swim alone. If this is your preferred activity, join Bob for some invigorating exercise when the beach is relatively quiet. FMI contact Bob Oickle at 576-5104 or

And a reminder about other exercise opportunities in our area:

The Telstar High School track is open for use by residents during the summer.

The Bethel Pathway provides a flat, hard-surfaced, 2.5-mile path along the river and across the Gateway property owned by the Mahoosuc Land Trust.

The Mahoosuc Land Trust maintains other trails for public use on its various properties and is now building a handicap-access trail at the Valentine Farm. FMI call 8243806 or visit

Barker Mountain Bikes on Route 2 hosts casual rides (social and scenic) Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Perfect for those new to the sport, getting back into shape, or who want to enjoy some great company. FMI call 824-0100 or email

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

July Events

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

Saturday, July 1

Bethel Art Fair
Artists and vendors on the Bethel Common; exhibits around town at Owen Art Gallery at Gould Academy; Bethel Historical Society; Philbrook Place; Shy, Novice and Closeted Art Show (18 High St.); Nabos; DiCocoa's Marketplace; Maine Mineral and Gem Museum; OpenStudio at Isham Farm (1006 Vernon St.); Mattie Templeton at the Gem Theater (6:00-6:00 pm)
Saturday, July 1; 9:00 am -4:00 pm unless otherwise noted; various locations around Bethel

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from July 4 - 29

Music Without Borders Piano Festival
Free public recitals every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday performed by international students of acclaimed pianist and teacher Tamara Poddubnaya. Opening recital on July 4 begins at 7:00 pm, all others at 7:30. FMI:Music Without Borders 
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, July 4 - 29; 7:30 pm (July 4 opening recital at 7:00 pm); McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy

Tuesday, July 4
Annual Community Picnic and Concert

Free two-hour concert (rain or shine) by the Portland Brass Quintet. FMI: 207-824-2908 or
Tuesday, July 4; 11:30 am - 1:30 pm; Moses Mason House lawn, 14 Broad St., Bethel

Friday, July 7
Maple Leaf Seven

Traditional jazz band (clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and drums) features traditional and contemporary interpretations of "Dixieland" and classic swing music. Tickets ($12/adults, $8/under 18) available online (for a small additional fee), at the door, at the art center's office at 155 Emery St., Berlin NH, or call 603-752-1028.
Friday, July 7; 7:00 pm; St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts, 155 Emery St., Berlin, NH

Saturday, July 8

Oxford County Mineral & Gem Association Mineral and Gem Show
18 mineral, gem, fossil and jewelry dealers, hourly door prizes, Grand Prize one carat Smoky Quartz set in Sterling Silver, donated by Northeast Gems of Fryburg. Over 12 admission $3. FMI: or Dennis Gross (207-665-2759).
Saturday, July 8; 9:00 am - 4:00 pm; Telstar High School, Bethel

Thursday, July 13
Hike to Mt. Jasper

A 3/4-mile hike with features that stretch back centuries. Wear sturdy footwear and bring water. FMI: Mahoosuc Land Trust, 207-824-3806.

Thursday, July 13; 9:00 am; meet at Berlin High School parking lot, Madison St., Berlin, NH

Friday, July 14 & Saturday, July 15

Bethel Library Book Sale
Bethel Library is accepting any donated books from community members. Books may be dropped off at the library or call 824-2520 to get further assistance.
Friday, July 14, noon-5:00 pm & Saturday July 15, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Bethel Library

Saturday, July 15

60th Annual MollyOckett Day
Bethel's biggest festival. Parade at 11:00, fireworks at 9:00. For complete details: MollyOckett Day 2017 
Saturday, July 15; 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Bethel Common

Thursday, July 20
Glassface Mountain Trail Hike

This is a moderately strenuous hike and is Mahoosuc Land Trust's newest trail. The ledges at the top offer sweeping views of the Androscoggin River Valley below. FMI: Barbara Murphy (824-3806)
Thursday, July 20; 9:00 am; meet at Hastings' Landing boat launch, Rumford Center

Wednesday, July 26
Community Supper

Free community supper the last Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.

Wednesday, July 26; 4:30 - 6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walkers Mills Road, Bethel

Sunday, July 30
An Evening with Richard Blanco

Poet & engineer Richard Blanco, Mahoosuc Heart and Soul and The Gem Theater team up for a poetry reading followed by a discussion about community. Free and open to the public, coffee and desserts served.  FMI: or Catherine Ingraham at 207-590-0541.
Sunday, July 30; 6:30-8:30 pm; The Gem Theater, Bethel

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

Remembering Walter Brough

by Tineke Ouwinga

Walter Brough passed away on May 23rd, his and Beth's 58th wedding anniversary.
Walter and Beth Brough

Walter was always good with timing. He would come up with just the right joke, the right quip, at the right time. He was a wonderful, interesting, sensitive, intelligent, humorous Senior Player and friend.

Remember his performances in 'A Little Something for the Ducks' or his role as father-confessor in the Joan of Arc play? Walter was very flexible, always adapting to the situation and filling gaps when needed. He was never judgmental and very supportive of his fellow players.

Walter loved the German language, its poetry and songs. He would make these funny German comments on the side and sing German folk songs with me.

Music was the family's hobby. To hear three generations of Broughs sing together was a real treat. One year all the Broughs came to several houses on Christmas Day to sing carols; what a beautiful, surprising, moving occasion that was!

Several of us were privileged to be in the West Parish Congregational Church choir with Walter and Beth for years. His tenor and Beth's alto kept us on track.

Who can forget the blueberry picking in Walter and Beth's garden combined with songs and poetry? Their flowers and veggies were always admired and appreciated.

What about the watermelon seed spitting contest Walter held during a Senior College gathering?

Walter leaves behind lots of fun memories, which make us smile. We will miss his wit, wisdom and friendship!

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Age-Friendly Community Has a Website

The Age-Friendly Community Initiative has launched their new Website:   Take a look - you will see a lot of familiar faces!  The website is still under construction, but when the resources link is active there will be a link to Western Mountains Senior College.

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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

State Newsletter Features WMSC Brown Bag Lunch/ Wildflower Walk

Western Mountains Senior College's "Searching for the Plants and Flowers of Spring" is featured in this month's Maine Senior College Network's Newsletter.

Each month we post a link to the MSCN Newsletter at the top of the blog (it's the tab just before the blog posts begin).  Check it out - it's interesting to see what's going on at some of the other 16 senior colleges around the state.

If you want to attend the "Searching for the Plants and Flowers of Spring" Brown Bag Lunch/ Wildflower Walk it's not too late - contact Liz Wooley ( The event is this Thursday, May 11 from 12:30-4:00 at the Valentine Conservation Center, 162 North Road, Bethel.

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

Minimizing the Risk of Heart Disease

Ever-popular cardiologist Dr. Daniel van Buren recently spoke to a To Your Health audience on the risk and prevention of heart disease. Some risks (age, race, sex, and family history) are non-modifiable; but others, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and lack of physical activity can be modified.

Dr. van Buren divided prevention of heart disease into two types – primary prevention (lifestyle changes) and secondary prevention (medication prescribed after disease has been diagnosed). This presentation focused on primary prevention.

Inactivity, obesity, and diabetes are among the greatest risks for developing heart disease. The good news is that there IS a magic pill – it's called 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. (Examples of moderate exercise: a brisk walk, snowshoeing, or using a treadmill). Regular exercise coupled with eating a healthy variety of foods in moderation can work wonders in reversing the risk associated with inactivity, obesity and diabetes.

Dr. van Buren left us with a prevention list of seven things to do:
  • Get regular medical checkups.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Check your cholesterol.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Manage stress.

And one thing not to do:
Don't smoke.

Dr. Daniel van Buren with To Your Health committee members Jan Stowell, Ellen Crocker, Rosabelle Tifft and Judy Whitman.

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Senior College Players Looking for Actors

A message from Jack Kuchta:

Several of our Senior College Players members are retiring this year, and we may not have enough actors for a fall production. Both the players and the audiences have a great time and we really want to keep this program going. This is your chance to give acting a try! I am not asking for a firm commitment now, but please send me an email if you think you may be available. And if you know anyone else who might like to join the troupe, please send this on to them.

Thank you,

Jack (

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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Changes to Tech Help Offerings at Telstar

When school resumes after April vacation Tech Help at Telstar will only be offered on Tuesday afternoons.  But be sure to call the Adult Ed office before you come (824-2136 ext. 1340). Spring is a busy time for students and your helper may not be available.

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

On Arthritis

At To Your Health on April 6, Christopher P. FitzMorris, D.O., M.P.A. introduced the causes and symptoms of arthritis to an interested group. There are several types of arthritis, but Dr. FitzMorris concentrated on osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type, resulting mostly from wear and tear or injury. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints, which may be worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for awhile. Anti-inflammatories can help, but for severe arthritic pain, you should see your physician. Injections and drugs can relieve the symptoms.

More debilitating is rheumatoid arthritis, which usually presents between the ages of 30 and 50. Diagnosis and treatment by a physician are required.  While the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are still under investigation, there are drugs which can alter the disease, not just treat the symptoms.

Whatever kind of arthritis you may have, take control of the situation! Discuss self-management strategies with your primary care provider. Research credible sites, such as the Arthritis Foundation (  Manage your weight. Eat a healthy diet. Remain active as much as possible. If you are not active, begin a gentle exercise program, remembering that small increments provide the most benefit.  Use assistive devices (cane or walker) when necessary.  And perhaps most important, form a support team of your medical professional, your friends, and family.  But remember, you are the captain!

To Your Health team members shown with speaker:  Linda McDonough, Judy Whitman, Jan Stowell, Dr. Christopher FitzMorris, Donna Coe and Rosabelle Tifft.

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