Category Archives: Uncategorized


GV FAiries

 If I believed in fairies, which I don’t, I wouldn’t have looked for them around the trees in my neighbor’s yard.  But that is where I found them early this morning on my walk. It’s before eight a.m. and I am startled by a view that stops me in my tracks: hundreds of sparkles of light around the trees; rays of dancing, frolicking pinpoints that could only be described as fairy lights.

GV Fairies 3

They are tumbling down shafts of water droplets between leaves and branches between and around the trees, cascading onto the ground in discreet balls of brilliance.

Geraldine V Fairies Nov 2018

It could only be fairies as nothing matches the sheer awe and joy the sight gives me. Laughing, I take out my cell phone and snap picture after picture. A gift has been bestowed upon me, touching some fundamental childhood self that always wanted to find a fairy. And now I have, hundreds and hundreds of them displayed before me in living proof that dreams can come true.

Geraldine Velasquez (OLLI Member, OLLI Instructor, OLLI Writers Group)


It’s So Nice to Meet You Leona!

OLLI Member Tim Hoyt has found plenty of new interests during retirement and from his involvement with NC State’s lifelong learning program, first Encore and now OLLI. One of those is the Readers Theater Special Interest Group of which Tim is a founding member and coordinator. Here is a piece he has written to represent a conversation that could easily have taken place between two OLLI members……………….

2 women

Maxey:  It’s so nice to meet you, Leona.  I’m glad you’re taking the FDR Class.  I really admire the president and Eleanor.

Leona:  I’m glad to meet you, too, Maxey. The teacher is excellent.  Is this the only class you’re taking?

Maxey: Nope.  I’m taking two others. And I’m also involved in a SIG.

Leona:  Really, Maxey.  A Cig?  I gave that up years ago.

Maxey:  No, not that kind.  I’m talking about an OLLI Special Interest Group.

Leona:  So, what do you do in your…SIG?

Maxey:  We act.

Leona:  You act?  Like how?  Naughty?  Nice?  Up?

Maxey:  Cute, Leona.  No, Nothing like that.  Well sometimes…  But it depends on what script we’re reading.

Leona:  Oh, that kind of actor. Like you put on plays?

Maxey: Sort of.  We do old radio shows.  In December we’re performing Archie Andrews Goes Christmas Shopping.

Leona:  With Archie and Jughead and Betty and Veronica?  They were in the funny papers when we were kids!  I loved those silly characters.

Maxey  Those are the ones!  They drove their parents crazy, just like we did.

Leona:  Isn’t it hard to memorize all those lines?

Maxey:  Nope.   It’s called Readers Theater.  We read our scripts and wow ‘um with our voices.  Like actors did back in the old days of radio.

OLLI Actual Readers Theater


Leona:  I miss those days…

Maxey:  So do I.  We call ourselves The Speak Easy Players.  We all liked listening to the radio back when we were kids. None of us ever thought we’d be acting!

Leona:  That sounds like such fun.  What else do you do?

Maxey:  We performed The Thin Man, Case of the Goofy Groom, a few weeks ago.  Remember detectives Nick and Nora Charles?  And their dog, Asta?

Leona:  I do!  My dad loved that show.  So did I.  I can still hear that little dog barking.  And their voices!  So, what else do you do in this SIG?

Maxey:  We like to perform for each other.  We do monologues, and we do short scenes with a partner.  And after rehearsal, we go out to dinner together.

Leona:  Maxey, that sounds wonderful.  Are there any other SIGS?

Maxey:  Sure.  There’s Questions Across the Spectrum where we do discussions around TED talks.  And there are SIGS for writers.  And a SIG for canoeing.  And a…

Leona:   The doors just opened.

Maxey:  Well, thank you, Leona.  That’s a nice metaphor for what we’re talking about.

Leona:  No, Maxey, the doors to the classroom just opened.

Maxey:  Dang.  We better get in there.  Do you want to get a seat up front?

coffee cup

Leona:  Yes.  And will you tell me more about these SIG things over coffee after class?

Maxey:  I would be delighted.





Tim Hoyt, OLLI Member, OLLI Writers Group, founding member of Questions Across the Spectrum and Readers Theater SIGs, OLLI Hospitality Committee.




OLLI Instructor Profile – Chuck Korte


Chuck Korte

Chuck Korte deserves to be called OLLI’s founding father, even though he was too young to join at the time.

It happened like this. Back in 1989, Chuck — with a Harvard Ph.D. in Social Psychology — was a Professor of Multi-disciplinary Studies at NC State. In doing research on the transition to retirement, he learned that some U.S. universities sponsored programs for learning in retirement, and he determined that NC State would be a good location for this. He got together with Sondra Kirsch, then the interim Associate Vice Chancellor of University Extension, to develop a strategy for exploring the feasibility of new programming oriented to the needs and interests — particularly educational — of older adults.

They held informal discussions with several groups and individuals. NC State’s Association of Retired Faculty and Frank Emory, an experienced extension staff member, played key roles. Advice was also sought from upper-level administrators. That fall Chuck chaired an ad hoc steering committee appointed by Vice Chancellor Art White. Members included active and retired faculty, extension staff, and community leaders. The General Administration of the University of North Carolina approved the establishment at NC State of a center for older adult education and enrichment.

The Center for Creative Retirement at UNC-Asheville awarded NC State a grant for the first Raleigh Seminar, coordinated by Howard Miller. The following spring, Chancellor Brown of UNC-Asheville attended a meeting of NC State’s steering committee to share his experience and support NC State’s efforts. Chancellor Monteith of NC State also attended and offered support.

Encore Logo

A program committee, chaired by NC State faculty members Ray Noggle and later Conrad Glass, was formed to plan the first Encore programs. Sondra Kirsch became the first director, succeeded a year later by Denis Jackson, the McKimmon Center director. NC State Chancellor Bruce Poulton suggested the name The Encore Center for Lifelong Enrichment. Chuck chaired the first Encore Advisory Council in 1990, and the first brochure was produced that fall. A reception for community leaders was held in the McKimmon Center to tell them about Encore and encourage them to spread the word. Volunteer instructors were recruited and registrations started coming in. Today there are more than 1,500 members.

Encore’s name was changed to OLLI in 2014 to reflect its connection to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Network, some 100 programs supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation. Today Chuck is Ex Officio on the OLLI Advisory Council and a member of the Program Development Committee. He also serves as research coordinator. And in February he [is teaching or taught, depending on when this is posted] “Heaven for OLLI Members: Chautauqua!” about the historic institution in western New York State, a pioneer in adult education.


So what about Chuck’s personal life? He grew up in Gettysburg, Pa., where his father was the chaplain at Gettysburg College. His first ambition was to be an engineer but he also hoped to teach; he excelled at math and physics in high school. The school sent him to Norway for a year as an American Field Service exchange student.  He majored in Psychology at Miami University in Ohio, and then earned his doctorate at Harvard. He joined the faculty at Vassar, and had a sabbatical at the Free University of Amsterdam as a visiting scholar, doing research in Environmental Social Psychology — the effects of the environment on social behavior.  He helped nine students study behaviors in a crisis, such as the widely publicized murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens while her neighbors did nothing.

St Andrews University

Then Chuck joined the faculty of St. Andrews in Scotland, which Prince William and many other royals attended (and where golf was invented). “It was the best job I ever had,” he said. “I was so pampered, and the students were wonderful. Lectures were minimal, only nine a year because they were on a tutorial system like Oxford’s. I was happy as a lark. But the economy was poor, the weather was bad, and I was far from my family.” That family included his wife, Peggy, who’d been his first date at Miami University’s

“Church Night,” and with whom he now enjoys international travel. So he came home when Penn State gave him a one-year appointment. He was teaching there in 1979 when NC State made him an offer. “It’s a big research university so it was easy to say yes,” he said.

When NC State awarded him a sabbatical, he spent it at the University of Cambridge in England while he was researching Social Gerontology — a perfect fit for his work to help establish OLLI.


~ Barbara Haddad Ryan


Library Events at NC State


Did you know that the Libraries at NC State have great offerings open to the public and free  of charge? Here are a few that might be of interest to OLLI members – click on the title to be taken to the web page.  For the full frequently updated list, visit

Global Film Series – Makala

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

6:30pm to 8:15pm

Auditorium at the D. H. Hill Library

French documentary filmmaker Emmanuel Gras won the 2017 Cannes Critics’ Week grand prize with Makala. It tells the story of a young man who lives with his wife and his child near Kolwezi in the southern region of Dominican Republic of the Congo. He struggles to make living by chopping trees and carrying them with his wobbly bicycle to the market where he can sell them. Faculty introduction by Dr. James Kiwanuka-Tondo. In partnership with NC State’s Office of Global Engagement.

JB Hunt Library


Student Short Film Showcase

Thursday, February 21, 2019

7:00pm to 8:00pm

Auditorium at the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library

An annual audience favorite! Talented NC State student filmmakers screen their best short films, video productions, and animations, ranging from comical, to emotionally touching, to experimental — all under four minutes long. Students will be on hand to discuss their work. In collaboration with the Department of Communications and Art+Design at NC State.

musical stave

State of Sound Stories: Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

7:00pm to 8:00pm

Auditorium at the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library

M.C. Taylor has been writing soulful songs for Durham’s Hiss Golden Messenger for over a decade. But the Merge Records artist, who draws influence from such diverse voices as Pauli Murray and Wendell Berry, Linda Thompson and Bill Withers, started his artistic path in the early 90s and is one that included experimental hardcore music, alt country, and advanced folklore degrees. Join us for a conversation with him about making a life with sound, words, family, and community.

Computer Animation Show – SIGGRAPH Reel

Thursday, March 7, 2019

7:00pm to 8:00pm

Auditorium at the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library

The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival started as an annual showcase of advances in computer graphics; and since then has come to celebrate the rise of computer graphics as a medium for storytelling, not just in animation, but also in visual effects for movies and games. This exclusive screening of selections from the Festival is co-presented by the NC State University Libraries and the Department of Art + Design.

Global Film Series – Capernaum

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

6:30pm to 9:00pm

Witherspoon Theatre, 2810 Cates Ave, Raleigh, NC 27606
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum (“Chaos”) tells the story of Zain (Zain al Rafeea), a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life. In partnership with the Office of Global Engagement, Middle East Studies, and the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies.

on air

State of Sound Stories: Jules Conlon, General Manager of WKNC

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Fishbowl Forum at the D. H. Hill Library

Jules Conlon is the 2018-2019 General Manager of 88.1 FM, WKNC, NC State’s student-run radio station. WKNC creates a community of broadcast enthusiasts from the ever-changing population of NC State, and, year after year, delivers quality programming, cutting edge music, and community engagement. Join us for a conversation with Jules about WKNC, broadcasting, and being an integral and influential part of the world of music without playing instruments or writing songs.

Jules Conlon is a senior at NC State studying biology and the general manager of the university’s student-run radio station, WKNC 88.1 FM Raleigh. She got her start in the music industry in 2014, when she created the music blog Noise Polluter, which featured album reviews and interviews and eventually contributions from other writers nationwide. She got involved at WKNC during her first semester of college and has continued involvement there for the past four years, working her way up from an assistant music director. Jules has also held an internship with Merge Records and been involved with Hopscotch Music Festival and Moogfest.

big data

Using Big Data to Recover Black Women’s Lived Experiences – Research Computing Seminar Series

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

7:00pm to 8:00pm

Auditorium at the D. H. Hill Library

Throughout history, Black women’s lived experiences have often been invisible and erased. Therefore, it is important to combat the erasure of Black women and move toward a correction and claiming of their space within the digitized record. This presentation by visiting scholar Dr. Ruby Mendenhall of University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will discuss a study that employs latent dirichlet allocation (LDA) algorithms and comparative text mining to search 800,000 periodicals in JSTOR (Journal Storage) and HathiTrust from 1746 to 2014 to identify the types of conversations that emerge about Black women’s shared experience over time and the resulting knowledge that developed. This presentation will also discuss the potential for seamless creativity and the need to demystify advance computing tools across the social sciences and humanities.

This program is presented by the NC State University Libraries and is supported by the Eastman University Engagement Fund.


Lynn Dix, OLLI Member and Chair of Membership Development and Marketing Committee

The Fire

house on fire

On March 16, 2017, there was a massive fire in downtown Raleigh.  An entire city block was incinerated, as well as great damage to 9 other neighboring buildings.  Many people were displaced from their homes.  Fortunately, only one person was injured, and not seriously.

All this takes me back to May 1, 1957.  I was 10 years old, my brother was 7.  My mother was out of town at a conference and my dad was at work, when the fire alarm rang.  Dad, being a volunteer fireman, responded to find that the fire was at our house.  Burning tires on the railroad tracks below our house had ignited the roof of the house outside my bedroom window.  By the time the fire was out, my bedroom, as well as most of the back of the house, was completely destroyed.  I was in school and did not see the fire, only the aftermath.


My family was homeless for more than a week.  We stayed with grandparents, cousins, and friends, but not together.  I had lost everything, all my toys, clothes, and books, including 6 library books (which the library forgave).  Also lost was the family piano. I practiced at friends’ houses. My teacher at school held a drive in the classroom, and many classmates donated clothes, toys, and books for me.

We eventually found a place to call home while our house was rebuilt.  We were all together again and stayed there until Columbus Day, October 12.  Then we moved back into the upstairs portion of the house, with a makeshift kitchen on the back porch.  We had no heat.  We moved into the downstairs portion of the house on December 24, and celebrated by putting up the Charismas tree.  How my parents managed to maintain such normalcy is beyond me.  I finished 5th grade and started 6th grade in the midst of all this.

lady and tramp

One special act of kindness from that time has stayed with me to this day.  A few days before the fire, Mom and I had gone to a department store with our best friends.  While the moms shopped, my friend Linda and I discovered stuffed Lady dogs from Lady and the Tramp and fell in love with them.  Our moms bought them for us.  Mine was lost in the fire.  One morning, while staying with Linda, while we were homeless, she presented me with her beloved Lady dog.  I told her to keep it, but I remember that kindness to this day.

Carol Gosselin – OLLI Member

Pure New York Maple Syrup

Many Maples Farm LK

Pure New York Maple Syrup, how it’s done today. My nephew’s father-in-law Pete Walrod and his son Sam have a sugar bush at their farm, Georgetown NY. They tap about 8000 maples and run the sap by pipe lines to their sugaring house for processing into syrup. In a good year the sap will have about a 2 percent sugar content. It takes a barrel of sap to make a gallon of syrup. It’s done by reverse osmosis and boiling. Thousands of gallons of sap will be processed starting in December and lasting through March or April. 1/2 a gallon came home with us. A delicious treat for our pancakes.

Larry Kingsley, OLLI Member, published author and member of OLLI Writer’s Group


StaffEquipment 2Equipment 1Bottles on table


Traveling in England with a 17th Century Guide

petrifying well 2 (2)

My husband and I made a tour of northern England with Celia Fiennes as our guide. Celia made her journey in 1697 which is recorded in “Through England on a Sidesaddle in the Times of William and Mary.”

Through England Book

The genesis of our trip was a manuscript on Celia Fiennes’ account of her journeys were in 17th century spelling and grammar. I was so intrigued that I “translated” her tour into contemporary English. Then even more intrigued, I searched online for photos of places to which she had been.  The upshot is I created a hard-bound, illustrated and easy- to-read version of her trips. So, what next? Let’s go!

Celia’s reasons for her journeys resonate well today as she says in her introduction, “both ladies, much more gentlemen” should “spend some of their time in journeys to visit their native land and be curious to inform themselves…of the pleasant prospects, good buildings, different produces and manufacturers of each place…”  Other of her trips were to Cornwall and various places in southeast England, including Bath.

The part of her 1696 and 1697 journeys which my husband and I traced took us to the Peak District, the Lake District, Nottingham, York, and Newcastle and more. It was most satisfying to see places that are still there and have her commentary on what we were seeing.

For example, outside of York is Knaresborough which boasts being one of the first roadside attractions, the Petrifying Well. Due to the mineral content of the water, an object can take on a stony exterior.

Peak Cavern (1)

In the Peak District we visited the Peak Cavern, famed for (if nothing else) being the largest cave opening in Britain and into the 1950s, home to rope makers, and, by legend, bandits. It, too, was a tourist attraction in the 17th century. Daniel Defoe makes mention of it in his book of travels.

At Chatsworth, we admired the park and gardens which Celia enjoyed and were as much delighted as she was, by a metal tree that looks like a willow tree and is a fountain.

Celia was a spa enthusiast, so we had to go to Harrogate and sip the rotten-egg smelling water.

York was a delight as she “took” us through York Minister, with its windows “so large and so lofty.”  We went to Burton Agnes Hall and entered under the very gate house which she had.

YM Windows

For North Carolina local interest, we followed her to Durham, seeing the cathedral and cloister which she describes as “good,” certainly good enough for filming a scene in a Harry Potter movie.

It was especially gratifying to talk to guides at various places who knew of Celia’s trip and were delighted with our enthusiasm. Our trip was accomplished by trains, taxis and local buses which certainly added to the adventure.

I am awaiting delivery of a book, “Horseback Journeys of Celia Fiennes – 1000 miles across England” by Elizabeth Barrett. I was thrilled to find a fellow traveler doing her 20th century pilgrimage.

Celia Fiennes

As an aside, actor Ralph Fiennes is a family descendant.  Broughton, the family seat, remains in the family and is open to the public.

Pam Martin (OLLI Member)