Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pairs and Spares Dining Out at the Jolly Drayman Pub

Don't forget - our next dinner event is on Thursday, May 16, 6:00 pm at the Jolly Drayman Pub on Mayville Road, Bethel. This is a members-only event, but as always, members may bring a guest.  For more information or to reserve a spot, call, text, or email Kay Rector 207-824-3333 / The menu can be seen at:

Listen to Your Elders: A Community Conversation About Aging in the Bethel Area

Wednesday, May 15
4:00-7:00 pm
Crescent Park School

 Click for complete details  and to view flyer

Monday, April 29, 2019

Brown Bag Lunch: “Honor of the Brave" Flag Rescheduled to May 14

Please join us on Tuesday, May 14 to hear Donna Sheerin Gillis tell the remarkable story of the Honor of the Brave flag. When Donna conceived a healing quilt dedicated to American service veterans, she did not realize the healing abilities of her flag. She incorporated large pockets around the border for 21 of the wars and interventions in which the United States became engaged. The deep pockets hold notebooks where names, dates, and locations can be entered. The overall design is based on the American Flag but this enormous version has 167 pockets of all sizes to hold cards, dog tags, medals, and photos. 

The quilt is a vehicle to heal and educate; a place for anger; for love and for acknowledgement. The quilt is a powerful tribute and Donna hopes it adds a bit of healing to a world devastated by too much sorrow. 

Bring your lunch and join the discussion on May 14 from 12:15–1:30 pm in the Exhibit Room of the Bethel Historical Society. Brown Bag Lunch discussions are sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College and are free and open to the public. FMI or to save your spot contact Liz Wooley (

Listen to Your Elders

Are you an older adult in the Bethel Area? Or maybe you have a loved one or friend who is committed to our community and wants to remain here as long as possible. And it’s likely you’re one of many community members who participated in the Heart & Soul Program and voiced your love of your community: the small-town feel, the way neighbors pull together, the richness of life in this beautiful environment. Let’s carry all these sentiments a bit further!

The Bethel Area Non-profit Collaborative and the Age-Friendly Community Initiative invite you to “Listen to your Elders” on Wednesday, May 15th, 4:00-7:00 at the Crescent Park School. We want all voices at the table. We’ll celebrate our community and put our heads together to continue developing a community livable for all ages. We know that there are many players hard at work to create such a community, and we know their effectiveness will be increased if citizens support their efforts to collaborate. Help us celebrate all that is already happening and the creation of new opportunities.

Join your fellow community members in this important conversation! We’ve arranged for free childcare with Mahoosuc Kids Association at the school. You must RSVP so the staff can prepare adequately; to do so and FMI: You may request a free AFCI ride if you call before May 10: 824-4444 for people over 60 from Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Hanover, Newry or Woodstock. Others may request a ride at 357-3189 or

A free supper will be provided, and we also welcome additional potluck items. It is not required, but if you wish, feel free to bring a ready to serve dish to share (no oven or kitchen available). There will be a short sign-in process before we begin, so - especially if you are bringing children and/or a supper dish - please plan to arrive a little early. Put it on your calendar: Wednesday, May 15, 4:00-7:00 at the Crescent Park School. FMI: Catherine Ingraham, 590-0541.

May Events

Tuesday, May 14 
Brown Bag Lunch: Honor of the Brave Flag
Donna Sheerin Gillis discusses the "Honor of the Brave" flag, which she created as a healing quilt dedicated to American service veterans. The large pockets around the border of the quilt hold notebooks where folks can enter names, dates, and locations relating to 21 of the conflicts in which our country became engaged. FMI and RSVP to Liz Wooley (
Tuesday, May 14; 12:15-1:30 pm; Bethel Historical Society, 10 Broad Street, Bethel, Upstairs Exhibit Room.

Thursday, May 16
Pairs and Spares Dining Out
Our next event is dinner at the Jolly Drayman Pub on Mayville Road, Bethel. FMI or to reserve a spot, call, text, or email Kay Rector 207-824-3333 / The menu can be seen at:
Thursday, May 16; 6:00 pm; Jolly Drayman, 150 Mayville Road, Bethel.
Wednesday, May 22
Down Home Maine: Step Falls Wildflower Walk
Lynne Zimmerman will lead a leisurely, easy, one-mile, round trip hike along beautiful Step Falls to identify wildflowers and enjoy the waterfalls. Be sure to bring appropriate footwear, water, bug repellent, and a camera.
Wednesday, May 22; 1:30-3:00; Meet at trailhead before Grafton Notch on Route 26.

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

Sunday, May 5
Benefit for Jim McLaughlin

Concert and Silent Auction featuring leading local musicians and art from Table Rock Art Center to benefit Jim McLaughlin, local musician and Gould Academy music teacher, who is undergoing treatment for cancer. Donations at the door.  FMI:
Tom Davis or Amy Halsted
Sunday, May 5; 3:30 Auction preview, 4:30 Concert; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel.

Tuesday, May 14
Telstar Middle & High School Spring Concert
Middle and high school chorus and band students perform in their annual spring concert. Middle school chorus and band directed by Duncan McFarland, high school by Jennifer Bennett.
Tuesday, May 14; 7:00-9:00 pm; Telstar High School Auditorium, Bethel.

Wednesday, May 15
Community Conversation: Listen to your Elders
Mark your calendar and come help us discuss the opportunities and challenges with aging in the Greater Bethel community. Brought to you by the Bethel Area Non-profit Collaborative (BANC) and the Age-Friendly Community Initiative (AFCI). Free dinner, childcare and AFCI transportation.
Wednesday, May 15; 4:00-7:00 pm; Crescent Park School, Bethel. 

Wednesday, May 29
Community Supper
Come and join the people of the community for a delicious meal. No charge, all are welcome.
Wednesday, May 29; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker’s Mills Road, Bethel.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Stress of Aging: Growing Old Is Not for Sissies!

by Mary Haberman 

On April 4th, at the West Parish Congregational Church, a panel of experts presented a program on STRESS as it affects the older population. The event was sponsored by the To Your Health committee of Western Mountain Senior College, The Bethel Health Center, and MSAD#44 Continuing Education. The panel included Brie Weisman, OTR/L; Jane Chandler, R.N., BSN; Karen Reilly, Sc.D.; Rev. Dr.Tim LeConey; and Wendy Youmans, LCSW. Ellen Cocker, M.Ed. served as moderator.

Karen Reilly and Tim LeConey
The speakers detailed the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges that are a normal part of aging. We learned how important it is to our health to recognize and find ways to deal with stress. The loss of a loved one, moving away from the community, financial worries, loss of independence, fear of death.....these are common stressors. We cannot do all we once did. We may feel an estrangement from ourselves because we are no longer the same person. How to manage? How to find purpose? Joy?
Wendy Youmans

Among the footnotes provided by the panel: Be sure our Doctors know about all of our medications. Poor posture increases your risk of falling. Oldsters have more cavities than youngsters! Maine not only has a high percentage of elders, it has increased cases of depression.

Jane Chandler and Ellen Crockett

 The second half of the program was given over to the audience. Many had suggestions and some themes kept coming up. Love of music for one. Enjoyment of the outdoors, gardening, taking classes, having a pet were others.
Brie Weisman

Resources mentioned were AARP, the Age Friendly Community Initiative (200 rides were provided last year by the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program), the University of Maine system, and the many overlapping organizations in the area.

Here’s the bottom line. Stay physically and mentally active. Search out whatever brings you joy. Lastly, make connections because that will give you a purpose for being and doing. And it can help RELIEVE STRESS!

Audience members Ruth and Jim Bebko
Moderator Ellen Crocker

Photos by Iris Roberts

Sunday, March 31, 2019

April Events

Thursday, April 4
To Your Health: The Stress of Aging – Growing Old Is Not for Sissies
To Your Health turns the spotlight on the
physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual challenges of aging. How do we face them and still retain a sense of well-being and serenity? A panel will look at each of these challenges and invite the audience to share their wisdom. Sponsored by WMSC in collaboration with the Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44/Continuing Education, the program is free and open to the public. FMI: Peter Musso (207-890-7034).
Thursday, April 4; 4:30-6:30 pm; West Parish Congregational Church. (Snow date April 11)

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

Tuesdays, April 2 through May 7
Living Well for Better Health
This free six-session series helps people with chronic conditions to improve overall wellness. Area residents and family members or caregivers are invited to attend. If you live with aches and pains, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, weight issues or depression, this series may be for you.  To register, or to learn more, please call Maija Dyke with Healthy Living for ME at 207-513-3744.
Sponsored by the Bethel Family Health Center and SeniorsPlus. Make the most of this FREE opportunity to improve your health and plan for your future!
Tuesdays, April 2 - May 7; 9:30-noon; Bethel Family Health Center.

Thursday, April 11
The World Is Our Classroom

Author Cindy Ross and her husband discovered what experiential education can do when they and their two young children traveled 3,100 miles on the backs of llamas through the American and Canadian Rockies. Inspired by this experience, they went on to create a new way of supplementing their children’s education. The family traveled the world, moving about on foot and bicycle, living simply and intimately. But just as important, and more accessible for many parents, were the opportunities for learning closer to home. By sharing her story, along with honest insights from her children about the importance of their unusual education, Cindy aims to empower parents to believe they can be their children’s best and most important educators.
Thursday, April 11; 7:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy.

Tuesday, April 23
Reading and Reception with Poet Richard Blanco
Richard Blanco, poet for Barack Obama's second inauguration, will introduce his newest collection of poems, How to Love a Country, at a reading and reception at Gould Academy on April 23.
How to Love a Country explores the complexities and contradictions that both divide and unite us. Blanco delves into topics as varied as Florida’s Pulse Nightclub massacre, a young Chinese immigrant’s arrival at Angel Island in 1938, and, in “Until We Could,” his own long wait before finally being allowed to marry his longtime partner. The event is free and open to the public, and is part of the regular Richard Blanco Visiting Writers Program and Retreat, a collaboration between Blanco and Gould Academy. This event is being co-sponsored by the Bethel Library.
Tuesday, April 23; 7:00 pm; Bingham Auditorium, Gould Academy.

Wednesday, April 24
Community Supper
Come and join the people of the community for a delicious meal. No charge, all are welcome.
Wednesday, April 24; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker’s Mills Road, Bethel.

Thursday - Sunday, April 25-28
The Game's Afoot
Telstar High School Drama presents The Game's Afoot.
Thursday - Saturday, April 25- 27 at 7:00 pm; Sunday, April 28, 2:00 pm; Telstar High School Auditorium.

Monday, April 29
Mahoosuc Community Band Concert
Under the direction of Patricia Boyle-Wight, the Mahoosuc Community Band presents its spring performance of traditional and popular music arranged for concert band. Refreshments after the concert. Admission is free; donations gratefully accepted.
Monday, April 29; 7:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel. 

Save the Date: Wednesday, May 15
Community Conversation: Listen to your Elders

Mark your calendar and come help us discuss the opportunities and challenges with aging in the Greater Bethel community.  Brought to you by the Bethel Area Non-profit Collaborative (BANC) and the Age-Friendly Community Initiative (AFCI). Free dinner, childcare and AFCI transportation.

Wednesday, May 15; 4:00-7:00 pm; Crescent Park School, Bethel.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Photos from the Mardi Gras Potluck

Thanks to Peter Musso, Bonnie Pooley and Kathleen DeVore for taking these photos at last week's Potluck supper.
Jan Stowell brought the masks and beads.
Bonnie Pooley registering for spring classes.
... and good food!
Good company ...
Jan Stowell, Marvin Ouwinga, Norman Milliard and Marilyn Sahlberg.
 Diane McMahon
Kathleen DeVore, Marilyn Sahlberg, Jan Stowell and Marvin Ouwinga
Lee and Steve Smith

Photos from "It's a Pasta Party!"

Enjoy these photos from Cathi Dicocco's To Your Health presentation on making pasta.  As you can see, she put us to work! Thank you for the photos, Peter Musso.

Cathi and crew

Rolling the pasta
Putting the dough through the pasta machine

Getting thinner...

Nicely stretched!

The recipe. (Cathi says she rarely measures anything!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

WMSC's Spring Course Bulletin Is Out!

All WMSC members should have received their Spring 2019 Course Bulletin by email. If you haven't, something has gone wrong. Check your junk/spam folder to see if it's there. If not, contact board chair Nurrie Caviness and let her know ( Anyone who would like can download the course bulletin and registration form here. Forms are also available in the Telstar Adult Education Office.

Have you always wanted to learn to play bridge? Join the Bridge for Beginners class (beginners only, please). Want to know more about our visiting birds? The Early Nesting and Returning Spring Birds Workshop may be just your cup of tea. Or, for a different peek into Maine’s past, consider signing up for Vintage Postcard Collecting. Click Spring Courses for our complete lineup.

WMSC sponsors several programs that are free and open to the public. To Your Health presents “It’s a Pasta Party!” and “The Stress of Aging – Growing Old Is Not for Sissies.” Down Home Maine offers three events, “Nesting Eagles”, “Manufacturing History of Locke’s Mills” and “Step Falls Wildflower Walk.” Brown Bag Lunch hosts Donna Sheerin Gillis who will discuss her "The Honor of the Brave" flag project. And Martha McLean will give a talk on MaineCare and Estate Planning. For details on all of these click on Public Events.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Atrial Fibrillation Revisited

On Thursday, February 7, Dr. Daniel van Buren spoke to a To Your Health audience on Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and the most recent developments in treatment. 

Individuals with AF have a problem with the heart's electrical system. Very simply, disorganized electrical activity in the upper chambers causes the lower chambers to beat erratically. Blood is not pumped properly, which results in the formation of clots, hence the greatly increased risk of stroke.

Because of the increased risk of stroke, medication that inhibits clot formation is usually prescribed. Traditionally, that drug has been Warfarin, but Warfarin requires a great deal of tweaking and monitoring, which has led to under treatment. Newer drugs are now available that have proven to be at least as effective as Warfarin, at least as safe, and do not require constant monitoring, and the price is coming down. The downside with any blood thinner is the risk of bleeding, but in the case of preventing stroke the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Peter Musso thanks Dr. van Buren for his presentation.
A really encouraging new development is the Watchman Device. Most clots form in the left atrial appendage. The Watchman Device is inserted over the opening to the appendage to prevent blood from entering and clots from forming. Dr. van Buren says it’s almost too good to be true; except for the need for and the cost of a procedure, so far there are no negatives.

The next To Your Health presentation, “It’s a Pasta Party!”, will be held on Thursday, March 7 from 4:30 – 6:00 at the West Parish Congregational Church. It is free and open to the public.