Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Springfield OLLI winter/spring semester programs announced

As the Springfield OLLI group begins its 14th year, this local educational group is pleased that its membership has steadily increased as people have become familiar with the engaging style of the speakers and the topics offered. Members have commented that “the excellent programs get better and better!”


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Winter/Spring 2017 semester begins Tuesday, Jan. 31, with a program on the mineral beryl, which was plentiful in Acworth, NH and is a very important material in the top 20 technological advances of the 20th century.

The programs are held Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and last about an hour and a half. The meeting location is the Nolin Murray Center on Pleasant Street, next to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Springfield. Sponsored by the University of Vermont, OLLI is run by local volunteer members and is geared mainly toward seniors who are 50 years of age and over who enjoy learning for the fun of it.

Memberships are $45 each semester and include entrance to all nine programs in the semester as well as admittance to the seven other Osher Institute programs throughout Vermont, such as in Brattleboro, Rutland and St. Johnsbury. Non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend individual programs for an $8 program fee. To facilitate registration, please send memberships to UVM OLLI Registration Office, 460 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401. Checks should be made payable to The University of Vermont. Indicate that it’s for the Springfield OLLI. Memberships and individual day program fees may also be paid at the program.

The latest brochures have been printed and distributed throughout the area at public locations such as local libraries, town halls, community and senior centers, and chamber of commerce offices. Requests for a brochure can be made by calling (802) 885-3094. The program listing can be viewed and downloaded from the internet at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli.

The following is the program listing for the Winter/Spring 2017 semester:

“The Secret Life of NH Beryl,” is Jan. 31. The speaker is Jim Pecora, mining historian and author, who will discuss beryllium, the most precious and dangerous metal on earth. A large concentration of New Hampshire’s state mineral existed in Acworth, and Pecora will discuss the mineral’s rich history.

“Discovering New England Stone Walls,” is Feb. 14. The speaker is Kevin Gardner, author and stonemason. Discover how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time, and their significance to the famous New England landscape. “Slow Psychiatry: Rethinking the Role of Psychiatric Drugs,” is Feb. 28. The speaker is Sandra Steingard, M.D., chief medical officer of the Howard Center in Burlington.The presentation examines alternative ways of treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder rather than using drugs to target these specific conditions.

“The Vermont Way: A Republican Governor Leads America’s Most Liberal State,” is March 21. The speaker is Jim Douglas, former Governor of Vermont. Vermont is a deep-blue state, yet the voters have frequently elected Republican governors. Douglas served four terms and found ways to work across the aisle, hear his perspective from decades in public service. “A History of Rock & Roll: Part 2,” is March 28. The speaker is Bill Cotte, professor of performing & fine arts at Lyndon State College. Professor Cotte will pick up where he left off last session introducing the new sounds of the black artists in the 1950s, then the following craze of Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

“Foodscaping,” is April 11. The spaker is Garden Consultant Charlie Nardozzi. Explore the many ways and places you can integrate edibles into your yard and learn about the beauty of edibles.

“Vermont Gypsies and Pirates: Who They Really Were,” is April 25. The speaker is Judy Dow, educator and basket maker. Dow discusses how the Vermont Eugenics Survey impacted the lives of thousands of French Canadian/Native People living in Vermont over many generations. Labeling traveling basket makers as “gypsies” and people living in house boats as “pirates” caused old traditions, language and history to move underground or even totally disappear.

“Spies, Lies and Alibis: Spying During the American Revolution,” is May 2. The speaker is Damien Cregeau, independent historian. Cregeau uses a PowerPoint presentation to bring to light the various spy rings and independent spies in and around New York City, who worked for General George Washington and the patriot cause, including the famous Culper spy ring led by Major Benjamin Tallmadge.

:Vermont Airplane Crashes,” is May 9. The speaker is Brian Lindner, historian, researcher and author. This heavily illustrated program will explore the history of the more unusual side of aviation in Vermont. Learn about famous as well as forgotten crashes, including some Springfield area crashes such as the 1947 bomber crash on Hawks Mountain, which remains as Vermont’s worst air disaster. Contrary to what one might think, attendees will also hear of the humor that can be found in some of these stories, some from the investigators themselves.    

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1st Annual Donald L. Gurney Field Day, May 14, 2016



Video by Chip Howard
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