Aug. 8, 2019 ProMusica Concert at Franklin Park
This evening a group of us attended the ProMusica concert in their free summer series at Franklin Park. This is a magical setting on the lawn among the flowers as the lights come on in the conservatory behind the stage. Tonight’s program featured the string section in several selections including Vivaldi’s concerto for four violins and a Grieg composition for a cello solo. The weather cooperated beautifully and the lights in the glass conservatory behind the orchestra were gorgeous.
Aug. 1, 2019 LeMop update – “Gone Fishin'”
It’s been awhile since we’ve brought you up-to-date on LeMop, the Forum’s favorite pet, Marilyn & Mac Campbell’s faithful dog. Under that straw hat you’ll find a happy fisherman hauling in a variety of colorful fish. The blue and green ones must be extremely rare! Watch out for the bumble bee on his bonnet and don’t get tangled in his fishing pole.
July 31, 2019 Judy Swayne’s Retirement
After twenty-four years of being the “go to” person for Forum residents, Judy Swayne retired today and we had a farewell party to wish her much happiness in her new life. Becky was Mistress of Ceremonies sharing a tribute to Judy and leading her fans in waving our fans to let her know. The Dining Staff had beautiful and delicious tables of fruit, cupcakes and punch and created a tower centerpiece of Judy’s favorite beverage – Diet Doctor Pepper. Our chorus sang a song of appreciation for Judy to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine and invited us all to join in. Jennie and Maria, Resident Council President and Vice-President represented residents and staff in presenting her a gift book, “Stories of Why We Appreciate Judy,” and a garden angel for her collection of angels. We wish her well and will miss her. Yes, we wore purple, Judy’s favorite color, to celebrate her joining our retirement!
July 30, 2019 Recipe Contest Tasting
This afternoon we had an unusual fun activity. Five Star, our parent corporation, is conducting a recipe contest to select twelve resident recipes for their 2020 calendar. We had over 100 recipes submitted and our dining staff picked eight to convert to large group proportions and have a tasting for residents to pick a winner based on creativity and taste to submit for the national contest. We tasted and voted on Chicken Chalupa, Chicken Souffle’, Crab Zucchini Casserole, Custard Pie, Philly Fruit Dip, Chocolate Pudding Cake, Red Chocolate Cake or Swedish Nut Cake. And the winner is . . . . . (stay tuned)
July 29, 2019 Concert Under the Portico: Worthington Civic Band
This evening we welcomed back the Worthington Civic Band which joins us each year for a concert under our front portico. This band was formed in 1973 and is sponsored by the Worthington Department of Parks and Recreation. Their diverse membership includes musicians with a variety of backgrounds from 25 to 85 years of age. Their director is Robert Gibson, a trumpet player who has been a member of this band since 1998. Early in his musical career he was a member of the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and later with the 122nd Ohio Army National Guard Band. He had a 32 year career as a teacher, retiring from the Dublin City Schools. We had a large audience for a great concert beginning with the National Anthem and ending with John Philip Sousa’s wonderful Stars and Stripes Forever.r.
July 26, 2019 Food Vendor Display & Sampling Picnic Lunch
Thanks to our dining staff, today’s lunch was extra special. Chris and Linda invited five local vendors to set up displays of new food products and recipes in the lobby and living room and allowed us to make a lunch of their samples. Way to much to try them all but what fun! Wes Campbell offered Corned Beef Hash or Honey Butter Chicken Waffles for breakfast; FC Burgers or Spinach Wraps filled with a Roast Turkey, Apple, and Honey Dijon for lunch; Beef Stroganoff or Chicken & Sausage Gumbo for dinner: and a variety of desserts, Key Lime Mini Cakes, Sweet Northern Corn Bread, or French Cheesecake.
Nick MacDonald of Sanfillipo Produce might have won an award for “Prettiest Display” with a colorful exhibit of fresh fruits and vegetables – melon/chevre skewers, tomato caprese salad, olive tapenade, and a mushroom/feta flatbread that was a crowd favorite.
Vendor Bob Glick prepared Potato Gnocci with Cheese Sauce, Chicken Potstickers and Chinese egg rolls with an Asian dipping sauce, Mini Crab cakes, Tortellini Salad, Tomato Basil Meatballs, Polish sausage and Sauerkraut, and Smithfield carved ham.
Mackenzie Callahan’s display was highlighted by their Strawberry Float Cake and Pretzilla Bites cut like Buckeyes and offered with Cheese and Buckeye dip, but they also displayed universal favorites like carrot cake and New York Cheesecake.
Jim Gerber shared Cowboy corn bites and boneless wing breast chunks with a mild Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce. He offered Angus Beef pot roast, Genoa salami, and Pepperjack cheese with mini slider buns or French batard. His desserts included a variety of mini pastries, mini fillo cups filled with chocolate mousse and topped with a red raspberry as well as chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies.And can you believe we had a lovely day to take our filled plates to the patio to enjoy our sample lunch and talk about the treats we’ll be looking for in our upcoming meals. Note clever centerpieces of annual flowers in bundt pan planters around our umbrella poles. Forum staffers are cleaver creative thinkers indeed.
July 25, 2019 Concert: Guitarist and Folk Singer Bill Cohen
One of our favorite vocalists, folksinger Bill Cohen, returned this evening with a program of John Denver songs. After retiring as state house reporter for National Public Radio, Bill Cohen picked up his guitar and returned full time to the music and activism of the 1960’s when he was a student at Northwestern University. Bill is the perfect singer for a tribute to John Denver, he projects the same sweet empathy that made Denver so popular. We enjoyed every note!
July 18, 2019 Concert: Trombones Plus with Ali Ryerson
We had an overflow crowd this evening in our lobby and living room as the first of our summer concerts under the portico was forced by temperatures in the 90s and pop-up showers to move into the lobby and living room. Tonight Trombones Plus was joined by internationally known flautist Ali Ryerson. This jazz ensemble features six trombones, plus piano, bass and drums. It was formed in the 1970s by a group of former OSU Marching Band members and although the group has changed over the years this continues to be a source of new members as others retire or move from central Ohio. We love their Big Band sound.
July 11, 2019 Fused Glass Pendants: Artist Brenda Mason
Many of us have admired the fused glass pendants that resident Norma Butcher wears. She made them herself and learned how from artist Brenda Mason who graduated from Ohio State and teaches a variety of art classes at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center and the Gahanna bead studio. Today Brenda came to teach a workshop for our residents. She provided all supplies for each participant to create three pieces, took them home to fuse in her kiln, attach bales for a necklace pendant, or backing for a pin, or magnet and will return the finished products next week. They looked great when we finished and we’re anxious to see how they turn out when the glass is fused.
July 10, 2019 Farm Heritage Day
Today, in honor of our July theme “Farm to Fork,” our dining staff and a couple of local farmers illustrated the theme. In the lobby we had a farm market selling fresh sweet corn, blueberries, jams and honey. Under our portico we were entertained by dulcimer player Ray Brooks as we sipped lemonade and tried to forget it was 90 degrees. The lawn between independent living and Ambassador Suites hosted a variety of small farm animals. The chickens and turkey were behaving nicely but the ducks were making a muddy mess dipping their beaks in their water dish and then digging in the grass for grubs. The sheep were busy serving as lawn mowers but the goats were alertly watching the people watching them. The pig was so happy rooting in the mulch he never knew we were around, and the poor bunnies in their heavy fur coats never made a move.
Our dining staff prepared a special menu featuring all fresh locally grown products. It began with Tomato Basil Soup and a Watermelon Salad. We had a choice of Ohio Beef Short Ribs, Herb Roasted Free Range Chicken or Pan-fried Corn Meal Crusted Lake Erie Walleye accompanied by a choice of a Sauteed Garden Vegetable Blend, Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lemon Thyme Butter, or Shagbark Farms Organic Grits with Cheddar Cheese. We topped it off with Vanilla Ice Cream covered in fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. What’s not to like about farm to table?
July 8, 2019 Trip to Velvet Ice Cream Company at Utica
It was a beautiful day for a ride in the country! Tami drove our bus for a trip to Utica for lunch at the Velvet Ice Cream restaurant and a tour of their factory. The Forum serves Velvet ice cream so we already knew it is delicious. This 105 year old family business was started by immigrant Joseph Dager in 1914 and two of his great- granddaughters are President and Vice-Present today with their father Chairman of the Board. The company’s headquarters is the site of a historic 1817 grist mill on the southern edge of Utica. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1987 and now houses the factory, restaurant, gift shop and surrounding picnic grounds. We met our guide outside and she described the mill and its history before we walked up to the manufacturing floor and and enjoyed a tasting of their famous moosetracks ice cream while we watched a video of the manufacturing process. Fun day!
July 4, 2019 Happy 4th of July – Patriotic Buffet Lunch
Happy 4th of July and welcome to our colorful and tasty patriotic buffet lunch. Melons are in season and we enjoyed a delicious fruit tray with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries. Our choice of entrees included grilled shrimp with rice and peas, barbecue kielbasa, and southern-fried chicken with sides of corn-on-the-cob, baked or green beans. And we topped it off with pound cake smothered in cherry and blueberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream! Delicious!
July 2, 2019 Mark Gaskill: A Patriotic Parade of Songs
No, you’re not seeing double. Gahanna singer, songwriter Mark Gaskill is equally at home accompanying himself on keyboard or guitar to American music rooted in strands of rock, pop, country, folk and bluegrass. Tonight he focused on patriotic songs from the Hit Parade, 1938 to 1959, sharing stories about their origins and most popular performers. Besides his solo programs in retirement communities and other events, Mark sings in the bass section of the Columbus Symphony Chorus. Tonight there were many songs we knew and he invited us to join in.
July 1, 2019 The Glorious 4th!
Yes, the Fourth of July is coming up this week and look who’s the first one ready. LeMop has his sunglasses which we hope means he has word it’ll be a sunny day – flags to wave – and his picnic lunch already packed. Look at that watermelon! Hope we all get some.
June 27, 2019 Johnny Steiner Concert
This evening we were delighted to welcome back Forum favorite, vocalist Johnny Steiner – performer, conductor, teacher, composer. Johnny has recently added to his conducting resume becoming the Artistic and Music Director for Vaud-Villities and director of four adult choirs and two children’s choirs at the Church of the Messiah in Westerville. He has made six digital recordings and maintains a roster of twenty-five students weekly at Johnny Steiner Voice Studio. Tonight Johnnie’s theme was “Young at Heart,” a theme Forum residents heartily endorse and we joined in on many of joyful songs we recognized.
June 24, 2019 Dinner out: Barcelona
Yes, we were disappointed to have a torrential rain that kept us inside rather than out on Barcelona’s beautiful patio, but the food was great, a good waiter, and lots of fun visiting. Some our favorite food choices at this authentic Spanish restaurant included Gazpacho, Caesar Salad with Anchovies, Vieiras (Scallops), Gambas (Shrimp), Pollo (Chicken) and most of us included a decadent chocolate cake or raspberry cheesecake desserts. Hey, dinner out is a special occasion!
June 20, 2019 Concert: Four Winds
Tonight the showers forced our annual concert on the patio into our lobby, but the blend of soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones from these skilled musicians is a real treat. They know and appreciate the music of “our era” and gave us a delightful program from the songs of the Big Bands we loved to Glenn Miller to New Orleans Jazz.
June 18, 2019 New Resident Reception
This afternoon was our bi-monthly New Resident Reception – this time to welcome four new residents, Evie Guebert, Freida Franke, Reuben and Clara Mellum. Above you see Evie explaining why her grandkids told all their friends “Grandma and Grandpa are getting married.” (see New Residents for brief bios and pictures including Evie’s explanation). Over punch and cookies we visited with our new neighbors, finding out where they’ve moved from, what they did in their prior lives, how many children and grandchildren they have. We’re constantly surprised to find we have already have connections with our new neighbors.
June 15, 2019 Father’s Day Buffet & Murphy’s Law
We celebrated Father’s Day today, many of fathers with their son’s or daughter’s families. We had our usual lavish buffet, this time with barbeque sliders – beef, pork or chicken – accompanied by big bowls of fresh fruit and cole slaw, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, macaroni, and a choice of iced cream novelties for dessert. DELICIOUS!
Afterwards we were entertained by Murphy’s Law, a talented local folk music group that traces its origins to a group of boys growing up in Grandview. Today it includes two guitars, a bass and a vocalist – although the guys join in singing many of the songs, too.
June 14, 2019 Farewell to Barb Holliday
Although we’ve been distressed this week by the resignation of our popular Lifestyle 360 Activities Coordinator, Barb Holliday, we bid her farewell this afternoon with our best wishes. A HUGE card with a brief note from each resident and a picture album of memorable Barb moments were given to Barb. A brief tribute by a group or an individual resident highlighted six “hats” Barb wears working at the Forum: Programs and Activities, Welcome Committee for New Residents, Gift Shop Supervisor, Bingo Caller, Fitness Exercise Leader, and Chorus Supervisor. We’ll miss her dearly but wish her success and happiness.
June 12, 2019 Tour of Kilwins Ice Cream Parlor
Today several of us visited Kilwins ice cream parlor in the Bridge Park at Dublin. Kilwins prides itself on being an Old-fashioned, family-owned confectionery chain originating in 1947 in upper Michigan selling chocolates, ice cream, handmade sweets. Fudge is made the old-fashioned way in big copper kettles and they make their own Caramel Corn, Caramel Apples and hand-dipped confections. Choose from 32 flavors of their “Original Recipe Ice Cream” and enjoy your favorite flavor in a made-in-store Waffle Cone. All that handmade is pricey but delicious. Our tour guide was excellent and generous with samples.
June 10, 2019 John Gillam, Community Art Studio
New Activity! Today Columbus artist John Gillam was here to introduce his Community Art Studio. John earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in New York City. He has spent most of his professional career working with senors in independent and assisted living communities developing their creative abilities in a variety of art media, focusing on beginners and challenging those with art experience – watercolors, clay, pastels, drawing, painting, collages and more. Today it was painting with chalk and we liked the results even though it was harder than it looked. John will be back once a month.
June 6, 2019 Concert: Cecily Ensemble
We were delighted to have the Cecily quintet return to the Forum this evening with their unique early musical instruments. Named to honor St. Cecilia, Roman Catholic martyr and patron saint of musicians, the Cecily Ensemble, includes, Vickie Starbuck, Kathy Pinkham, Sherry Trick, Barbara Ford, and Jane Warburton. Their instruments include several sizes and styles of recorders and a krummhorn, an early double-reed woodwind instrument used during the Renaissance period. Their stringed instruments include an antique violin as well as a rebec, the violin’s precursor and a viola de gamba. Their program selections have a haunting quality of sounding a bit familiar but somehow different.
June 6, 2019 Chair Ballet: Ballet Met
In keeping with our June theme of keeping strong, today a representative of Ballet Met was with us for the first of four Thursday sessions about keeping our bodies physically strong. She taught us a routine of stretching exercises (adapted to a sitting position) that ballet dancers use to keep their bodies flexible and their movements smooth and flowing.
June 6, 2019 Lunch: Freedom A La Cart
No person should be bought or sold for sex. Not here in Central Ohio. Not anywhere. And yet 1000 persons are being captured into human trafficing in Ohio every day. Today a number of residents took advantage of an opportunity to support Freedom-a-la-Cart by purchasing lunch (delicious!) from this unique box-lunch and catering company dedicated to teaching victims of sex-trafficing employment skills. By offering a safe place and teaching food preparation skills, Freedom a la Cart offers a pathway to build a new life of freedom and self-sufficiency. Practical job skills and a strong work ethic are vital for reaching sustainable employment in the Columbus area.
June 6, 2019 Susie Helmirth: Victims to Survivors
After Lunch Susie Helmirth from Victims to Survivors presented a program that surprised many of us about the numbers of local victims of human trafficing from local teenagers to migrants and the homeless. She shared information about a variety of organizations from church volunteers to government bureaus that are worthy of our support in freeing these victims.
June 3, 2019 Concert: Matsiko International Children’s choir
Today we were treated to our annual visit from the Matsiko International Children’s Choir. Matsiko is a Ugandan word for “hope”. Hope embodies both the children and the songs that they sing. The International Children’s Network began it’s choir program in 2008 with the first US tour of the Matsiko World Orphan Choir. This year’s choir includes children from Liberia, India, Nepal, and Peru who spend a year touring across the US and craft items for sale from those countries. Proceeds generated by the choir tour and merchandise sales support ICN’s worldwide life-changing educational sponsorship that affords orphaned children a chance at a university degree. These enthusiastic children present an energetic musical program that leaves us cheering. Then we had a chance to purchase authentic crafts such as jewelry, purses, dolls, CDs, or sponsor a child’s schooling for a year. They are truly inspiring kids and we love having them.
May 28, 2019 Dinner out at Tucci’s of Dublin
This evening a group of us traveled to the heart of Historic Dublin for dinner at Tucci’s, an intimate, yet friendly, dining experience. Tucci’s sign focuses on wine, steak and fish and prides itself on offering the finest and freshest local ingredients in a culturally diverse menu. With the Memorial golf tournament this week it wasn’t s surprising to find several of the golfers having dinner at Tucci’s, including at the adjacent table, Irish golfer, Rory McIlroy, whose nine top-10 finishes this season lead the PGA tour. The most popular entree with our group was Tucci’s classic lasagna with a delicious side salad, and most of us brought home leftovers for another day..
May 27, 2019 Memorial Day Picnic Buffet
Today was our annual Memorial Day Picnic Buffet and the weather cooperated beautifully. We had our choice of potato salad, coleslaw, or mixed fresh fruit or all three! Ball park franks, bacon cheeseburgers or herb roasted chicken. Baked beans, stir fry mixed vegetables or our first corn on the cob of the season. And for dessert – pecan, pumpkin, or Boston Cream pie, carrot or red velvet cake. Some chose to picnic in the dining room and others on the patio. Our dining staff outdid themselves and we couldn’t resist trying a bit of everything!
May 23, 2019 Your Neighbor’s Beautiful Flowers
It’s definitely time for a walk around the Forum grounds to enjoy your neighbor’s beautiful flowers. Look what you can enjoy just by taking a detour outside from elevator one to elevator two – Dorothy’s vivid blue clemetis, Gilda’s hanging basket of pink fuchsia, Maria ‘s goose and geranium, and her porch’s red, white and blue petunias.
May 22, 2019 Granville Inn Lunch + Denison & Granville Tour
Today a group of us made the scenic half-hour trip to the quaint college town of Granville for lunch at the Granville Inn. This Jacobethan style inn and golf course were built in 1924 on the site of the former Granville Female College by John Stuphen Jones, a wealthy railroad and southeastern Ohio coal magnate. He died three years later and the inn was inherited by his daughter Sallie whose first love was raising and showing championship horses. By the 1970s she was bankrupt and the inn was sold. In 2013 it was purchased and elegantly restored by Denison University, and last year won a Diner’s Choice Award. Several of us had the original recipe Lazarus Chintz Room Chicken Salad we remember fondly.
Afterwards Jennie, who grew up at Granville, gave us a brief tour while Don maneuvered our bus around the hilly Denison University campus, a liberal arts college founded in 1831, and the picturesque village of Granville settled by New Englanders in 1805.
May 17, 2019 Happy Hour on the Patio
The weather was perfect and our dining staff was on it, setting up our first Happy Hour of the season on our patio in the ravine. Add a group of friends and suddenly all is right with the world and life at the Forum can get no better than this. Let’s do it again tomorrow!
May 16, 2019 Geology 101 with Al Belasco
This afternoon we had a program with retired geologist Al Belasco who had his own well drilling company throughout central Ohio. He’s been here before in a very different role playing with Ben Gelber’s band. Today he shared his extensive rock collection from all across the United States from fossils to crystals, some millions of years old.
May 11, 2019 Mother’s Day Tea – BYOTC
Yes, we know Mother’s Day is officially tomorrow, but most of us will be celebrating then with our families. Today we invited our daughters, sons and daughters-in-law to join us in a very special Mother’s Day tea. Yesterday a group of flower arranging fairies (resident volunteers) gathered to make Teapot and Teacup bouquets for each table. Kay McKee displayed a lovely teacup collection she inherited from her grandmother.
Many of us have a treasured tea cup or two, so each of us was invited to Bring Your Own Teacup and explain to our table mates why it is special to us. The Essential Pieces Barbershop Quartet from the Columbus Sweet Adelines was here to entertain us with some songs celebrating all mothers. Lovely!
May 7, 2019 Upper Arlington Sandwich Stroll
The Upper Arlington Sandwich Stroll has become a Forum tradition. The Stroll is all about fun. Walking the paved paths, through the gardens of Sunny 95 Park, grabbing your reusable lunch bag, collecting your food, meeting with vendors, making friends and trying activities to add more fun to keeping fit. The walk led to the Amelita Mirolo Barn for live music and dancing with the “Turbo Accordions”, picnicking, socializing and games. Fortunate the weather cooperated with perfect temperature for a picnic.
April 28, 2019 Family Pizza Night with the Scalafini’s
We invited our families to come for pizza this Sunday evening and be entertained by vocalists Gary and Linda Scalafani accompanied by Gary’s acoustic guitar. This husband and wife couple have been writing, performing, and recording music for over thirty years. Originally from the New York City/New Jersey, they now live in Columbus and perform for church groups, senior centers and senior living communities throughout central Ohio. It was a beautiful spring evening in the 50s – too cool for the patio but cheerful with checkered tablecloths in the dining room.
April 24, 2019 Redbuds and Crabapples in the Ravine
The blooming flowers have been spectacular this spring. Looking through our dining room windows across the recently refinished teak furniture on our patio, the ravine is framed by the beauty of the redbud and crabapple trees in full bloom.
April 18, 2019 Worthington Christian 7th Grade Choir
Today we were treated to a delightful concert by the Worthington Christian 7th Grade Choir. This middle school has an excellent music program. The 8th grade choir was here last fall and both have exceptionally cute and musically talented kids.
April 17, 2019
Today our bus took a group on a trip to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, a trip we’ve been looking forward to ever since it opened last fall.There are more than 20 million living veterans throughout the United States, from our Greatest Generation to our recent heroes coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq. There are institutions that focus on specific conflicts or branches of service, but this is the first to honor the veteran’s experience, a place for all to join in celebrating and honoring the sacrifice of all veterans, past and present. It is an intimate experience told in personal letters, photos and artifacts. It’s stunning architecture and landscaping has drawn national compliments and its intimate exhibits allowed us to step into the footprints of soldiers.
April 11, 2019 Bryan Everett: Demonstration of Acrylic Painting
Some of you will remember last October during our Art Appreciation Tour and Exhibit that Bryan Everett, a member of our Forum maintenance staff, shared an exhibit of his abstract acrylic art paintings. They were fascinating and our theme this month was an incentive to ask Bryan if he would demonstrate how he makes these paintings. It was even more fascinating to watch the artist at work!
April 4, 2019 Daffodils are Blooming in the Ravine
Yes, spring is late this year but the daffodils are finally, finally blooming in the ravine outside of our dining room. How bright and cheerful they look out from our dining room on a sunny day. Spring is here – ta da, ta da!!
March 29, 2019 Doll Museum Tour + Lunch at Whitney House
This morning our bus took us to Worthington for a delightful visit to the Doll Museum at the Worthington Historical Society with curator Sue Whitaker. This outstanding collection of 19th and early 20th century dolls has been featured on WOSU. The smallest doll is 1” tall, and the most unusual are made from rubber, wood, wax and even a wishbone.The collection includes Parian bisques whose heads resemble Grecian parian marble; French fashion models with real hair wigs and elaborate costumes; Milliner’s models sent to America to show the latest fashions; French bebes reflecting childhood fashions and toys; a wide variety of American dolls, Portrait dolls such as Empress Eugenie. A special display case holds the Japanese emperor, empress and their court presented to the City of Worthington by its sister city Sayama, Japan.
Afterwards we had delicious lunches at the Whitney House in Worthington whose owner claims the menu was “inspired by the glory days of Sunday dinners when the entire family–along with a cadre of friends and neighbors– piled into the dining room to sit, catch up and enjoy a delicious meal together.” This means made from scratch with locally sourced foods. Popular entrees with our group were the ‘adult’ grilled cheese with house-made tomato soup, the Ohio burger and the waldo fried bolgna sandwich both of which came with the Whitney special fries, and the chicken Cobb salad. Most of us left with full tummies and boxed leftovers.
March 28, 2019 Gretchen & Lea Anne Play Music
Gretchen Kumlien and Lea Anne Kangas are new to the Forum, but this delightful musical duo introduced us to a variety of instruments and styles this evening. Their selections ranged from the Renaissance through English, Swedish, and Appalachian folk and dance music to 1940s Cole Porter. These talented Clintonville musicians moved seamlessly from combinations of guitars, banjo, tambura (Bulgarian mandolin), soprano and alto recorders, and vocals. A delightful musical evening and we hope they come back.
March 28, 2019 Easter Decorations
By now you know that Barb decorates the Forum for every special occasion. With Easter coming up soon the place is overflowing with bunnies. Who’s your favorite? Mine is a tie between the bunny on the tricycle in the library with her baby clinging to her tail or the bunny on the mantel in the living room, lying on his tummy with his ears poking through his straw hat.
March 22, 2019 Trunk Show at Talbots
This afternoon our bus took a group of us to Talbot’s in Lane Avenue Shopping Center for their spring trunk show. This mini fashion show assembled by Talbot’s fashion experts gave us a preview of what’s new in styles and colors for 2019. It was a great opportunity to get ideas about combining pieces to create a compete outfit with various accessories. We can all use a spring lift about now and we had time to shop afterwards.
March 18, 2019 Dinner Out: Hunan Lion
This evening a group of us had a lovely dinner at Hunan Lion. This nearby Chinese restaurant has something for every taste with won ton soup, egg rolls, and entrees based on beef chicken, pork or shrimp with vegetable or cashews was popular. Our round table provided an excellent opportunity for the whole group to visit and we were seated in front of the aquarium which provided interesting entertainment. Nice evening out.
March 17, 2019 St. Patrick’s Day
Today we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish brunch menu from our dining staff. Lots of good things from Bangers & Mash to Irish Coffee cupcakes, but everyone was raving about the marinated roasted salmon – yummy! We can all be Irish for a day, so we wore something green and enjoyed a program by the Columbus Celtic Dancers and a group of Irish songs by our own Forum Singers. It brings luck to celebrate the Irish!
March 14, 2019 Rick Moon & Doug Fentiman Concert
This evening we were delighted to welcome back Forum favorites Rick Moon and Doug Fentiman for their 161st performance together. Rick has performed professionally in both leading baritone and tenor opera roles in over 100 cities throughout the United States and Italy. Doug is an accomplished pianist who has successfully performed as a soloist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director for productions throughout the northeastern United States. His versatility tonight from Schubert to Joplin was masterful. Together they make beautiful music from Broadway musicals to operettas, hymns and 20th Century love songs.
March 5, 2019 Mardi Gras Celebration
To some today is Carnival or Fat Tuesday, but most of the US has accepted the New Orleans French Catholic tradition of celebrating Mardi Gras. This includes feasting before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, outrageous costumes, parties and parades. Suddenly our lobby turned festive with Mardi Gras decorations and we all received the traditional purple, green and gold bead necklaces – purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.
We invited our families to join us in celebrating with a very special buffet dinner by our dining staff: delicious crab and corn chowder, a colorful tossed salad with pickled vegetables, dirty rice and red beans, jambalaya, shrimp scampi, and pecan pie and key lime parfaits for dessert.
Afterwards we were entertained by the Rt. 161 Happy Wanderers Band. They’re new to the Forum. They have three versatile musicians who at various times played accordion, clarinet, keyboard, guitar, percussion and took turns vocalizing. And then there was their dancer extraordinary – on stilts in colorful Mardi Gras costume!
Feb. 28, 2019 Sing Along with Bill Cohen
Tonight we had a concert that really nourished our social and emotional health. Bill Cohen was singing songs of the heart and history – the musical history of the 30s to 60s. Some of us remember Bill as the state house reporter for Ohio Public Radio for many years. In retirement, he is doing what he loves – making music with his guitar and his voice. Tonight he took us down memory lane with songs that invited us to sing along – songs from our childhood, our teens, our romantic memories. Lovely evening!
Feb. 26, 2019 Dinner Out: The Barn at Rocky Fork
Our monthly dinner out this evening took us to Gahanna to The Barn at Rocky Fork. This Cameron Mitchell restaurant is a destination steakhouse with its own butcher shop and smokehouse, proud of the quality and variety of its steaks, but their menu also includes pork, poultry and seafood. The decor is best described as rustic luxury and we were seated on the patio winterized with ceiling heaters and pull-down canvas window-walls overlooking the wooded creek. Judy and Norma’s petite filet with potato pancakes and spinach was most popular with our group and Nell’s crab-stuffed shrimp was perhaps the prettiest. Many of us began with lobster bisque and ended with Creme Brule, but we all had a good time.
Feb. 21, 2019 Delightful Sounds Concert: The 3 Bs
This evening we were entertained by Delightful Sounds musicians Priscilla Hewerston and James Mason, a talented brother/sister act on keyboard and guitar. Tonight they were featuring Bach, Beethoven and Brahms – and a few composer friends. Retired teacher Priscilla interspersed some interesting details about music from the classical period. Nice evening, and we look forward to having them with us again.
Feb. 20, 2019 Men’s Breakfast + Lincoln at Gettysburg
Following the men’s breakfast this morning we had a special program for all residents in honor of President’s Day. Historian Dale Blanshan gave us an illustrated presentation on the devastating Battle or Gettysburg and the atmosphere surrounding Lincoln’s brief but eloquent address dedicating the Gettysburg cemetery where thousands of the fallen soldiers from both sides are buried. He certainly looked the part. Dale lives in Minnesota and is a historian, musician, and story teller who has done over 3000 historical or musical programs including Mississippi river boat cruises.
Feb. 18, 2019 Family Bingo Night for Ronald McDonald House
Our family activity this month is a Bingo Night to support the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus. What a blessing it is for families who live out of town and have children whose illness or injuries have brought them to Columbus Nationwide Children’s Hospital for treatment. For every $20 we raise to support the Ronald McDonald House, a family can spend the night. What a fun way to support a good cause.
Feb. 15, 2019 Tour Central Ohio Fire Museum
This afternoon a group of us, including our own retired firefighter Bob Berkemer, went downtown to tour the Central Ohio Fire Museum in the old 1908 Engine House No. 18. The Central Ohio Fire Museum & Learning Center pays tribute to our firefighters, past and present, and the rich legacy they have left us.One of our tour guides, a recently retired fireman, met us by sliding down the brass pole in response to his partner’s ring of the bell. The oldest firehose wagon was a handdrawn one made by the Seagrave Co., Columbus manufacturers of fire equipment. We were most fascinated by the oldest equipment used by volunteers such as the two-horse steam powered firewagon.
We ended up in the learning center in the former horse stalls for a demonstration of fire safety in the kitchen. We concluded our visit seeing the first heartmobile in the country which began operating in 1969 with physicians from the Ohio State University Hospital and paramedics from the Columbus Fire Department. Today multiple EMS squads are operated by the Columbus Department throughout the city.
Feb. 15, 2019 Soul Food Lunch
In honor of Black History month today we had our annual Soul Food Lunch. We look forward to this every year for the lavish buffet of goodies prepared by our dining staff. The menu included fried chicken, barbequed ribs, fried catfish, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, carrots, cornbread, biscuits, cole slaw, potato salad, tossed salad and mixed fruit. A beautiful dessert table contained a wide variety of delicious treats from decadent brownies, to lemon meringue or cherry pie, red velvet cake, or lemon bars. Delicious food is definitely good for your soul!
Feb. 14, 2019 Valentine’s Day!
Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and there are different stories about how it all started but we all agree it’s a day of romance – especially with chocolate! Our dining room was extra festive with balloons floating through the air.
After dinner this evening our own Forum Singers gave us a concert of sentimental love songs. We ended with a delightful sing-along with our own Shirley Wiser at the piano! It was festive with balloon bouquets and we ended the evening with punch and chocolates. What’s not to like about a holiday with chocolate!
Feb. 12, 2019 Heart Healthy Foods with Kim Pierpoint
This afternoon in honor of heart month, Kim Pierpoint, our Forum dietitian, shared with us the American Heart Association guidelines for eating less saturated fats, less sodium and more fiber. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US so we’re anxious to learn all we can about eating foods that keep our hearts as healthy as possible. What a treat to end with a heart healthy parfait of low fat Greek yogurt, low fat granola, slivers of almonds, shavings of dark chocolate and topped with a chocolate covered strawberry!
Feb. 1, 2019 Senior Olympics with Physical Therapists
This afternoon our Forum physical therapists set up stations for us to measure our strength, flexibility, dexterity, and balance in our very own ‘Senior Olympics.’ We’ve all heard, “Use it or lose it,” and that is certainly true of our muscles. So today we did a dumbell curl test, grip strength test, peg board dexterity test, soda can flip test, speed curling, back stretch test, and chair toe touch test. It was a fun way to see what areas we need to work on to keep in shape.
Feb. 1, 2019 Staff Brave Record Setting Winter
It’s been a week to set records with two days of Polar Vortex bringing wind chills of twenty below and then this morning we wake up to four inches of new snow. Schools closed and even the post office canceled deliveries. Yet Annetta was cooking eggs at breakfast, Robin and Judy were answering calls in the front office, the housekeeping and maintenance staff were already busy at work and our landscapers were cleaning our driveway and sidewalks. We have so much to be thankful for when we can stay inside and enjoy the peaceful beauty of our snowy ravine (with the window reflecting the dining room lights) and even LeMop bundled up with a wool cap that ties over his ears.
Jan. 29, 2019 Dinner Out: Anna’s Greek Cuisine
This evening a group of us braved the cold to go out to our favorite Greek restaurant, Anna’s Greek Cuisine. Anna grew up on the Greek island of Evola helping her mother make appetizers as a child, gradually learning all of her mother’s recipes. When she first arrived in Columbus the family operated a gyro restaurant near the OSU campus. When she opened her own restaurant on Sawmill Road she specialized in many of her mother’s recipes. We had a variety, but the lamb chops and mousaka were popular and most of us saved room for a tasty sweet like baklava. Delicious!!!
Jan. 26, 2018 Columbus International Children’s Choir
This evening we were treated to a concert by the high school ensemble from the Columbus International Children’s Choir. Columbus Music and Art Academy sponsors the choir which was founded in 2003 by Tatiana Kats, the executive director of the academy and artistic director of the choir The choir includes children from 4 to 18 grouped by grade level in Creative Notes (PreK -2), Rainbow of Voices (2-5), Swallow (4-8), and Vocalize (8-12). They have performed in the Obama White House, twice won won international children’s choir competitions, performed twice at Carnegie Hall, at the Vatican and China’s Great Wall. . These young musicians are extraordinary.
We wonder what opportunities will be open to them in the future and whether we might hear then staring in opera, musical theater or who knows what. They featured some vocal and piano soloists and duets as well as the entire choir, and the back of their shirts said it all – “Without choir life would be flat.”
Jan. 22, 2019 Chair Volleyball
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to increase your physical activity? Barb is leading chair volleyball just before lunch. It’s played with a beach ball and a low net – and players sitting on chairs. What a win-win opportunity to have a lot of fun. They were laughing so hard today they collected a crowd to see what was going on. Ask Flo about doing some wonderful physical stretching! The next time we want two rows of players on each side so we can spike the ball.
Jan.. 21, 2019 USO Family Night Show – Caravan
Just prior to the onset of America’s involvement in World War II in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to unite several service associations into one organization to lift the morale of our military and nourish support on the home front. This union became the United Service Organizations or, the USO. Entertainers like Bob Hope became famous for their USO Shows wherever the troops were fighting. This month’s family program tonight featured a USO Camp style show by Caravan, a husband and wife duo from Hollywood, California.
Jan. 17, 2019 Concert: Republican Glee Club
This evening we were treated to a concert by the Republican Glee Club. The Columbus Republican Glee Club was organized as a men’s glee club in 1872 as part of the campaign to re-elect Ulysses S. Grant for a second term as president. Today Columbus is the national headquarters for Republican Glee Clubs. They still participate in political and patriotic events but also present programs in community organizations such as senior living communities. This was their first performance at the Forum and were delighted J.W. is a member of this group and was able to sing with them tonight. There programs was a variety of songs from patriotic to musicals, and they all donned cowboy hats for a medley from Oklahoma.
Jan. 16, 2019 The Mosaics
Today a very impressive group of high school juniors and seniors were here to talk one on one with some of our residents about their life experiences. For at least thirty years Mosaic has offered Franklin County high schools a voluntary program for students to strengthen their understanding of English and History and their skills in interviewing and writing. It helps personalize events they have read about in history books and to widen their perspective before making decisions about careers and families. Following our interviews they will discuss as a group their impressions of how older persons who are not their relatives had similar or different experiences from their own. Each of them will write a paper to be shared with the others. For us it was rewarding to share the opinions of some very bright teenagers. It gives you hope for the future!
Jan. 12, 2019 Winter Arrived in Ohio
Yes, it’s a month late but we have our first measurable snow of 2018-19. After a green Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and everything in between, it’s beautiful to look out on our pristine white ravine. As long as we do not need to go out and drive or walk on sloppy and sleek roads and sidewalks, it is just plain beautiful! And how thoughtful that it came on Saturday when most of our staff did not have to fight a slushy commute. But what happened to LeMop? The last we heard he was partying somewhere in the Caribbean. Wonder how he knew?
Jan. 10, 2019 Shirley Brooks-Jones: A 9/11 Story
This afternoon Shirley Brooks-Jones shared her 9/11 story with us. Shirley is a Columbus resident who was administrative assistant to the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Ohio State. On the morning of September 11, 2001 she was returning from Europe on one of 39 planes that were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland airport when US airports were all closed. For three days passengers on her plane were welcomed into the homes of residents of the nearby fishing village of Lewisporte. Residents refused to let the passengers pay, but on the remainder of their flight home Shirley passed around a list to contribute to a scholarship fund for Lewisporte students. That fund ultimately raised $2 million dollars and has supported 228 students. The story was featured in a Broadway musical “Come From Away.” The picture shows Shirley wearing the Order of Newfoundland she was awarded by the Newfoundland government. A very moving story that reveals the goodness of people.
Jan. 3, 2019 Folk Music Concert: Bob Ford
This evening we were entertained by folklore specialist Bob Ford. “The Man from Little Darby Creek” has been described by one reviewer as having “heartwarming songs and hilarious stories.” Accompanying himself on the guitar, his familiar selections from from from the 40s and 50s had us humming or singing along to the Irving Berliin and Cole Porter songs we loved as teens and young adults.
Dec. 31, 2018 New Year’s Eve Happy Hour with Nicole Johnson
This evening we said farewell to 2018 with a festive happy hour and dinner. The dining staff prepared elegant hors d’oeuvres which were accompanied by champagne, and a menu highlighted by turf and surf – prime rib and scallops – ending with a creme brulee cheesecake. Mmmmmm delicious! Vocalist Nicole Johnson entertained us with a program of romantic memories. She is a Forum favorite who has performed with various bands throughout Ohio and as a singer/vocalist/dancer with Columbus Vaud-Villities. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Dec. 27, 2018 Concert: Cecily Ensemble
This evening we were entertained by a musical group new to the Forum, the Cecily Ensemble. Named for St. Cecilia, a second century Christian martyr who is the patroness of musicians, this early music group plays unusual instruments. Barbara Ford, Vickie Starbuck, and Kathy Pinkham play a variety of Renaissance and Baroque recorders and Crumhorns, Jan Warburton plays the Viola da gamba. Their Christmas program alternated a delightful variety of Renaissance and Traditional carols. Our residents were fascinated by the Crumhorn, a double-reeded instrument shaped like a cane with a sound faintly resembling a bagpipe. Fun evening!
Dec. 21, 2018 Forum Singers: Holiday Concert PLUS
Today was our last Forum celebration before Christmas, just our own independent living resident family. What makes a memorable family celebration? Good music, tasty treats, and pictures to share? OK, we have it covered. We began with our brand new resident choir accompanied by resident Shirley Wiser. Beginning with Joy to the World, they sang a number of our favorite carols they have already performed in KB2 and Health Care. They concluded by inviting everyone to join a sing along of holiday carols – with Barb leading “Up on the House Top” with motions. Then everyone was invited to decorate their own Christmas cookie, baked by our kitchen staff, and move to the MPR where resident Jennie McCormick shared a pictorial review of our 2018 programs and activities. What could be a better new tradition than that?
Dec. 18, 2018 Johnny Steiner Holiday Concert
In another Forum holiday tradition, this evening we were delighted to welcome back Forum favorite, Johnny Steiner – performer, conductor, teacher, composer. Johnny is the Artistic and Music Director for Vaud-Villities as well as director of four adult choirs and two children’s choirs at the Church of the Messiah in Westerville. He has made six digital recordings and maintains a roster of twenty-five students weekly at Johnny Steiner Voice Studio. His holiday show with us is a bit sentimental as he always includes seasonal favorites that bring back wonderful memories.
Dec. 14, 2018 Employee Recognition and Luncheon
Today we celebrated a very special Forum tradition when employees received bonus checks funded by resident donations and organized by the Resident Council. The dining staff prepares a very special buffet luncheon and residents and staff eat and visit together about their plans for the holidays. We are so appreciative of what our program director, housekeeping and maintenance staff, health care workers and administrators do for us 365 days a year that we try to stuff it all into one big celebration, knowing that whatever we do will never be thanks enough.Our lunch began with chilled shrimp, cole slaw, potato and fruit salad. We progressed to a carving station with roast beef and ham, with sides of mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, collard greens, or macaroni and cheese, then added barbeque or Asian wings, chips or vegetarian subs. Of course we topped it off with beautiful and delicious sweets for dessert.
Dec. 13, 2018 Concert: Rick Moon and Doug Fentiman
We were delighted to welcome back Forum favorites Rick Moon and Doug Fentiman this evening with their 2018 holiday favorites. Rick has performed professionally in both leading baritone and tenor opera roles in over 100 cities throughout the United States and Italy. Doug is an accomplished pianist who has successfully performed as a soloist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director for productions throughout the northeastern United States. Together they make beautiful music and tonight’s holiday program was special.
Dec. 11, 2018 Holiday Lights Tour at Alum Creek Park
This evening our bus took a group of us up to Delaware County for a tour of the annual Holiday Lights at Alum Creek State Park. Now “Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights,” all light displays have been converted to LED bulbs for a brighter and more brilliant display. This three mile drive-through display contains 155 exhibits with 300,000 individual lights. If you haven’t seen this for several years, it is definitely worth seeing again. We were lucky enough to have Butch Bando himself climb on our bus to narrate a private tour. Delightful!
Dec. 11, 2018 Centennial High School Choir and Orchestra
This afternoon we welcomed the Centennial High School string orchestra and Acappella choir. This school is our neighbor at the corner of Kenny and Bethel Roads but we don’t know the students well. We should, because this high school’s student body includes 60% who chose it in the Columbus High School lottery and they are a diverse group who represent 35 nationalities. They wore delightful holiday sweaters and featured music of the holiday season. This was a concert not to be missed. No wonder their music program wins state awards!
Dec. 8, 2018 Keynotes 9.2
This evening, in another annual Forum tradition, Keynotes 9.2 entertained us with some delightful Christmas carols and at the end invited us to sing along. Keynotes 9.2 is a local choral group that originated with a couple of church choirs. Their original nine members made a commitment to entertaining seniors during the holiday season and the 9.2 signifies that the current singers are the second generation of this group. We enjoyed them and than them very much for a lovely evening.
Dec. 8, 2018 Le Mop: The most Stylish Pet at the Forum
Have you been following Le Mop? He’s definitely the most stylish pet at the Forum. He moved in last winter with Mac and Marilyn and has been faithfully guarding the door to their apartment ever since. Marilyn rewards him with an new outfit for every occasion.
Fetch Anyone? Ready for Happy Hour
Take Me Out to the Ballgame Yankee Doodle Dandy
Got my Jack- o’ lantern O – H! I – O!
Trick or Treat Thanksgiving Turkey
Ho – Ho – Ho! Happy New Year!
Dec. 1, 2018 Frosty Family Holiday
Our December family celebration hosted by Frosty the Snowman was a huge success. We began with a buffet lunch line and elegant frosted cookie dessert display. Families overflowed the dining room into the multipurpose room and living room. The Forum Emporium was also overflowing with decorative wreaths and trees, winter scarves and sweaters, and lots of potential presents for children to shop for their parents. There were crafts for children to make snowmen or countdown clocks till Christmas Day. Of course, Santa was here in the living room with Frosty to hear children’s Christmas lists. We ended the fun in the lobby with the Clinton Songsters. Amazing what cute great-grandchildren our residents have!
Nov. 30, 2018 It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
‘Twas the night before December, and all through the Forum – Decorations were up for a Frosty Holiday celebration. Our lobby twinkled with miniture lights, beckoning into our dining room where Santa was perched high in our window, watching all who are naughtly and nice.
The fireplace mantle is festive, and its twin in the living room says ” I am too!”
Back in the lobby the nutcrackers stand guard, and out on the patio, our angel shines through the night.
Our magnificant tree in the living room gleams in its baubles of gold, but its little sister by elevator two beckons kids with dozens of teddy bears.
Santa and his reindeer rest outside the gift shop after delivering a sleigh full of presents, and by elevator one our nativity scene honors the baby Jesus.
Listen to the trumpets blow ‘Happy Holidays’ to everyone as you pass by this way.
Nov. 29, 2018 Resident ‘Antique Road Show’
This evening was fun. A number of residents brought antique treasures to share their stories with everyone in a fascinating exhibit in the multipurpose room. From family heirlooms to wedding gifts to personal collections, we had them all – Tiffany style lamps, butter churns and coffee grinders, cut glass bowls and china cups, a pewter teapot, a silver egg boiler, a couple of quilts -one from leftover pieces of childhood dresses made by her mother, the other a retirement gift from art blocks made by her students. We had African trade beads, a rag doll in her own miniature chair, a cabinet maker’s sample desk that became a child’s toy, brass ornaments from a parents mission in India, a music box from a trip to Europe, a treasured painting from an artist uncle. The things we treasure enough to keep in our retirement living speak volumes about who we are.
Nov. 20, 2018 Concert: AAUW Chorus
This evening we had a delightful concert by the AAUW choral group. The American Association of University Women is a national organization open to all women college graduates, founded in 1881 to promote equity and education for women and girls. The AAUW Choral Group, founded in 1949, is affiliated with the Columbus Branch of the national organization. Lori Hagerman has been the Director since 2009. The group presents programs throughout the community – programs that generally include oldies, standards and songs from Broadway musicals. Tonight their soloist, Jessica, paid tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s 100th anniversary with selections from West Side Story. Great program!
Nov. 16, 2018 Hyper-Friday
Hyper-Friday is a pep rally to end all pep rallies. If you aren’t already an OSU football fan, today was the perfect time to become one. As we gathered our staff “cheerleaders” and ‘Brutus’ led cheers and fight songs, and a rousing version of “Hang on Sloopy.” Did you catch Becky with the tuba? The balloon lady was here making and passing out balloon Brutus. Alumni members of the OSU marching band and cheer leading squad arrived by OSU buses to lead us in a HUGE pep rally. Our lobby provides room for the alumni cheerleaders to build their pyramids and alumni drum major Shelley Graf to toss her baton high. The band played from the dining room and our many OSU alumni residents joined in singing ‘Carmen Ohio.’ This was a fun day for all.
Nov. 12, 2018 Veteran’s Day Celebration
Because Veteran’s Day fell on Sunday this year, we celebrated today, recognizing Forum residents who have served in the military – all in World War II or Korea. Forum Director, Becky Concerse served as Mistress of Ceremonies. The Honor Guard from the Ohio State University Air Force ROTC presented the colors and pianist Andy Launer play the anthems of each service division – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard. Air Force cadets then presented each veteran a memento of their service and saluted them for their service. Activities Director Barb Holliday shared a handmade quilt flag the Forum received for the 80 boxes and $400 Forum residents contributed last week to be sent to troops currently serving overseas.
Oct. 31, 2018 Happy Halloween Everyone!
Happy Halloween! Our menu tonight was by its own admission “frightfully delicious.” Can’t speak for everything but that was certainly true for “Dem Rattlin Bones” and “Bewitched Baked Beans.” Our hostess and some of the waitresses got into the spirit of the occasion with ghoulish makeup. Hard to believe that Chapelle and Tanesha are actually beautiful young women on a normal day. Such Halloween fun isn’t just for kids who are out trick or treating in the rain tonight. We finished off the evening with historian Jeri Diehl-Cusack giving us a program on ghosts in the White House.
Oct. 29, 2018 Concert: Ben Gelber’s Friday Night Live Music
It was Monday night but we were delighted welcome Ben Gelber’s Friday Night Live Music group. Yes, the same Ben Gelber who is best known as the TV channel 4 meteorologist is the keyboard player. Ben played piano as a child and as a college student. He founded this group as a tribute to his mother who died of cancer and his father who was diagnosed with dementia. He realized that music could reach older people in a way that words could not. This group primarily plays Hebrew music Ben remembers from his childhood. This was especially poignant tonight as we remembered the tragic synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh this weekend.
Oct. 27, 2018 Trick or Treat
Chef Barb (Activities Director) cooked up quite a party. Yes, it was our traditional Halloween party for Forum staff children and resident great-grandchildren under ten. It was quite a year for cartoon characters from Spiderrman to Luke Skywalker and characters from Frozen, scary animals from dragons to tigers, butterflies, princesses, a unicorn – but most of all, lots of cute kids. Some of our residents got into the costume fun with a witch’s hat or a crazy face mask. It was great fun with candy and cookies for all!
Oct. 22, 2018 Worthington Music Club Concert
We had a diversified and fascinating concert this evening by members of the Worthington Music Club. It began with a quartet of two recorders, a Baroque Violin and Viola da Gamba with “Greensleves” and a delightful set of 15th century English dances. A piano and vocal duet sang a couple of melodic hymns. A piano solo offered a rousing Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue. And the program concluded with a vocal ensemble singing “Look to the Rainbow” and “I’ll Fly Away.” So nice to have a group who enjoys music so much they share it with others.
Oct. 19, 2018 Art Appreciation day – Tour & Exhibit
We always look forward to our annual art tour and exhibit because we’re fortunate to have several outstanding artists at the Forum and its fun seeing their work. Watercolor painters Jim Lacksonen and Llora LeFevre have so many paintings, they opened their apartments for us to see their personal art gallery walls. In the living room we exhibited an interesting diversity of art forms – resident Betty Binder’s oil paintings, Ruth Hales’ needlepoint, Charlene Grabner’s needlework and jewelry, Nancy Kramer’s embroidered sampler, Ron Starbuck’s photography, Jim Marquand’s son’s woodcarvings, Director Becky Converse’s oil landscape and maintenance man Brian Everetts’ acrylic abstracts. Such talent among us! Our Happy Hour this evening featured artistic and delicious hors d’oeuvres from our dining staff almost too beautiful to eat. Jazz pianist Wade Jones provided musical background. A lovely day!
Oct. 18, 2018 Concert: Pianist Fred Cass & Vocalist Jeff Gear
This evening we had performers new to the Forum, pianist Fred Cass and opera student Jeff Gear from Otterbein University. Mr. Kass is the founder of MartinKass Media, a consortium of artists who believe that music is important for brain health, happiness, and knowledge. Fred Kass has been performing and composing for over fifty years – forming his own dance band at the age of thirteen and playing organ for church in college. Today he specializes in music for senior citizens to retain memories and induce calm for meditation.
Oct. 15, 2018 Worthington Christian 8th Grade Choir
Today we were treated to a concert by the Worthington Christian 8th Grade Choir. These kids and their director are GOOD! Their enthusiasm just brightens our day by including them in our schedule. They do this annually as a community service. When Barb was introducing them she asked when they considered someone old, and immediately had a shout “Thirty!” Brought quite a laugh from our group. but we loved them anyway. Note the classy Worthington Warrior t-shirts they just got last week.
Oct. 10, 2018 Paint Marbling Pumpkins
Today, in honor of Halloween and our theme for the month, several of us tried a new art project. Barb and her daughter have been experimenting with samples of items that can be made with paint marbling – an effect that you obtain my creating pools of paint on top of a container of water and dipping an item through the paint pools to produce it’s own abstract effect. Jim really concentrated on the dipping part and Barb admires her finished pumpkin. Fun for all.
Oct. 9, 2018 Oktoberfest Family Night
Tonight Ken and Mary, accordion players extraordinaire, set the stage for a lively musical Oktoberfest celebration. Our dining staff set up a delicious buffet in the lobby: tossed salad, mixed fresh fruit, cucumber and tomato salad, hot potato salad, sausage and sauerkraut, mixed vegetables, chicken Parmesan, fresh trout, and cherry or apple strudel for desert. Yummmmmm! Many of us invited our families and the dining room, the lobby, and the living room overflowed with family groups.. Of course we had a few kids ‘dancing’ but did you catch Kay and Joyce? Not bad when an ‘almost centenarian’ can do a mean polka! Oktoberfest = wonderful evening.
Oct. 6, 2018 OSU Band Scull Session
The Scull Session at St. John Arena by the Ohio State University Marching Band prior to each home game is a pep rally like no other. Today an enthusiastic group of Forum residents, properly attired in OSU gear, enjoyed the show. Originally the final dress rehearsal for the pre-game and half-time performances, the Scull Session has now become much more. It now includes a visit by the team on their way to the Stadium locker room with brief remarks by Coach Meyer and a selected team member. The band marches in to their traditional ramp entrance, runs through their pre-game and half-time shows (in concert form). It always includes favorites like ‘Fight the Team Across the Field’ and ‘Hang on Sloopy.’ Today it also featured the Indiana University Band and Worthington High School as guests. No problem hearing that!
Sept. 28, 2018 Happy Hour with Wilma Snyder
Pianist Wilma Snyder is new to the Forum and we were delighted to have her here. She knows the music of ‘our era’ and played many of our favorites. She doesn’t advertise her talents but focuses primarily on senior living communities. We’ll look forward to having her back.
Sept. 28, 2018 Trip to Topiary Park
The weather was perfect, our group was enthusiastic, and our volunteer leader Jeri was terrific. It was a delightful visit to the Topiary Park, a free seven-acre public park on the grounds of the former Ohio School for the Deaf. It is both a work of art and a work of nature. It interprets George Seurat’s famous painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of Grande Jatte” with topiary figures. The bronze frames that support the yews are the work of sculptor James Mason who began the work in 1988. There are 54 human figures, 8 boats on the lake, 3 dogs, 1 monkey and 1 cat. We began our visit with a slide presentation in the gatehouse on the park’s history and then a walk though this unique garden that invites visitors to join the yew topiary figures enjoying a leisurely afternoon in the park. Delightful!
Sept. 20, 2018 Concert: Folk Singer, Bill Cohen
Tonight we had a concert guaranteed to be good for our social and emotional health. Bill Cohen focused on “The Joys and Oys of Growing Old.” Some of us remember Bill as the state house reporter for Ohio Public Radio for many years. In retirement, Bill is doing what he loves – making music. Tonight he took us down memory lane with “Those Were the Days” and “I’ll be Seeing You in all of the Old Familiar Places.” There were silly childhood songs like “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” interspersed with witty quotes on growing older. His version of “Danny Boy” brought a tear to more than one eye. And we ended on a note of appreciation for our time and place, “What A Wonderful World” and “This Land Was Made for You and Me.”
Sept. 19, 2018 Blacklick Woods Tram Ride and Picnic
Today we headed to the Reynoldsburg area with a picnic lunch by our dining staff to tour Blacklick Woods Metro Park. We began by enjoying our lunch and the beautiful day at one of the picnic areas. Then we boarded the tram with Beth, one of the park naturalists, for an open-air ride that brought us close to the trees, butterflies, and blooming wildflowers. This 643 acre park is a typical mixture of woods, fields, prairie, and seasonal ponds. We saw lots of blooming goldenrod and boneset, a few asters and milkweed, and a few butterflies, but all of the coyotes and deer must have been taking naps. Lovely day.
Sept. 13, 2018 Concert: Rick Moon & Doug Fentiman
A large crowd gathered in the living room this evening to welcome back Forum favorites Rick Moon and Doug Fentiman. Rick has performed professionally in both leading baritone and tenor opera roles in over 100 cities throughout the United States and Italy. Douglas is an accomplished pianist who has successfully performed as a soloist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director for productions throughout the northeastern United States. Together they make beautiful music from Broadway musicals to operettas, hymns and 20th Century love songs. This evening was their 145th concert together and it was delightful!
Sept. 13, 2018 Healthy Eating
The focus of this afternoon’s program was healthy eating, a key prelude to physical health as we age. Our dietitian, Kim Pierpoint, with the assistance of dining services showed us some of the power foods and recipes that offer a healthy food choice – and best of all we all got to eat the result!
Sept. 12, 2018 Dinner at Lindey’s
Several of us enjoyed a great dinner out last night at Lindey’s in German Village. Lindey’s has been a Columbus favorite for years and surely did not disappoint our group list night. Several of us began with a cup of lobster bisque, and popular entrees were the pork chop, crab cake or scallops – each with its carefully matched vegetable sides. Creme brule was hands down the favorite dessert with those of us who couldn’t resist. We had such a long table we had to take one side at a time. Thanks, Don.
Sept. 9, 2018 Pizza Party with Gary & Linda Sclafani
Well, it’s raining again and our pizza party moved from the patio to the dining room but it didn’t spoil our fun one bit. We had our choice of cheese, pepperoni, or vegetarian pizza and then stopped by the beverage station before making our way into the dining room where to join a large crowd of friends and families. A young entrepreneur had ice cream bars for dessert from his bicycle wagon. And we settled down to enjoy vocalists Gary and Linda Sclafani accompanied by Gary’s acoustic guitar. This husband and wife couple have been writing, performing, and recording music for over thirty years. Originally from the New York City/New Jersey area, they now live in Columbus and perform for church groups, senior centers and senior living communities throughout central Ohio. What a delightful Sunday evening!
Sept. 7, 2018 Pep Rally with Buckeye Blend
This barbershop quartet has a special angle. Can you guess what it is? Yes, they’ve entertained OSU presidents, coaches, and spirited fans — including our Forum audience today. Keith Shuck, John Dudrow, Dave Kindinger, and Larry Wolfe are carrying on the group’s musical tradition. For more than 20 years they’ve been bringing the Ohio State University spirit through musical harmony. We can’t think of a better way to get in the spirit for tomorrow’s game. We hoped to be under the portico but showers this evening sent us into the lobby with an overflow crowd.
Sept. 3, 2018 Labor Day Picnic Buffet
It surely still feels like summer with a temperature of 94 this afternoon and enough humidity to feel like 101! But it’s Labor Day and our last picnic buffet of the 2018 season. We began with salads – potato, tomato with feta, and watermelon with berries. Then came our hot dishes – baked beans, super good corn-on-the cob, hot dogs, pulled chicken barbeque, and hamburgers with all the sliced cheese, tomato, and onion trimmings. And we topped it off with Snickers ice cream bars. Made you want to go through twice! But we all stayed in our air conditioned dining room rather than brave our hot patio.
August 30, 2018 Gary Emmitt Sings
This evening we were treated to singer Gary Emmitt’s debut performance at the Forum. Gary is a self taught musician who has been singing since high school. Working in construction and sales, Gary still found time to sing for fun, performing as a soloist with church choirs and Vaudevillities where he was inspired by Johnny Steiner. He has a varied repertoire from Broadway to country but some of our favorites this evening included Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me,” Camelot’s “If Ever I Would Leave You,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs,” and Michael Boule’s “All of Me (also recorded by Sinatra). Gary has a great voice and we predict a very successful second career and hope he puts us on his schedule again.
August 24, 2018 Highbanks Metro Park: Picnic and Tram Ride
Today a busload of us headed for Highbanks Metro Park with picnic lunches packed by our dining staff. This 1200 acre park north of Worthington runs from Rt. 23 to the Olentangy River with a variety of environments from woods to prairie to river bank. Highbanks is named for the 100-foot-high shale bluff rising from the east side of the river. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines, some containing large concretions left by the glaciers. There were lots of blooming wildflowers attracting butterflies – Queen Anne’s lace, thistles, ironweed, milkweed, golden rod in bud. Our naturalist Jen pointed out hawks and buzzards and told us about the pair of eagles that have a nest high on the giant sycamore overhanging the river. After our tram ride and picnic lunch, we stopped at the nature center where we walked on the shale river bed (covered by glass), admired the model of the huge hollow sycamore 132 ft. high and 28 ft. in circumference that Norma and Marie proved allowed two to stand comfortably. We watched birds at the feeders and a box turtle in an aquarium having lunch. Perfect weather and a great day communing with nature.
August 23, 2018 Move It or Lose It
We had a fascinating program today from architectural historians Nancy Recche and Jeff Darbee. They have had a historic preservation consulting business in Columbus since the 1980s and shared their experiences with a number of historic renovation projects such as the Ohio Capitol, LeVeque Tower, and Central High School (now COSI). They also showed pictures and discussed the challenges in moving a couple of historic 19th century homes that were going to be demolished unless they could be moved – one in Columbus and the other in Granville.
August 14, 2018 Birthday Luncheon
Yes, it happens every month, but today’s birthday lunch group was having such a good time we just had to take a picture to share with everyone. When you get to our age birthdays aren’t something to take for granted – they’re something to celebrate! Everyone who has a birthday that month in invited to a special luncheon – with champagne for toasting, a special entree and dessert, and a rose to take home. Plus we have all that good visiting, finding out who’s the oldest, etc., and having the entire dining room singing “Happy Birthday.”
August 13, 2018 Dinner Out: Olive Garden
This evening a group of us went out to dinner at the Olive Garden. This popular Italian restaurant chain has an extensive menu with all of the Italian standards – salads, pastas, seafood, chicken, beef, special recipes, desserts, beverages and wines. We all enjoyed their endless salad bowl and bread sticks and our most popular entrees were eggplant parmesan and shrimp scampi.
August 11, 2018 ProMusica Concert, Franklin Park Conservatory
It poured rain at noon but the weather was perfect this evening as several of us traveled to the Franklin Park Conservatory for the annual ProMusica concert on the lawn. This magnificent setting in front of the John F. Wolfe Palm House glows at dusk as lights from green to blue, yellow and red light the glass palm house. French Horn player Sepahanie Blaha was the featured soloist for the Mozart horn concerto No. 3. The orchestra, conducted by David Danzmeyer, serenaded the audience with a trio of movie favorites including the theme from the Pink Panther and ended with a rousing edition of Beethoven’s 8th symphony.
August 10, 2018 Jim Davis: ‘My Experience on Jeopardy’
All the Forum Jeopardy fans had the opportunity this afternoon to hear a fascinating program by Jim Davis, a 2008 two-day Jeopardy champion who won over $60,000. Jim has a bachelor’s degree in music from Capital University and a Master’s in music education from Ohio State. He has had a variety of teaching and speaking experiences, but his Jeopardy experience proves he knows a lot more than just music. He shared his experiences behind the camera on Jeopardy – how one becomes a contestant, how you prepare to compete and hit the buzzer, what happens behind the scenes, and the fact that Alex Trebek is really nice guy. Great program!
August 9, 2018 Glacial Ridge Metro Park
It was a beautiful day for a Metro Park tram ride and today we visited one of the newest. Glacial Ridge got its name from its location on the moraine of ancient glaciers in the central Ohio area 12,000 to 17,000 years ago which deposited rocks and carved out ponds. We rode the tram with a naturalist to learn about this unique 1,037 acre park. Much of it is prairie that provides natural environment for deer and a variety of colorful birds from yellow finches to orange Baltimore Orioles. It also has woods and extensive wetlands that are home to a variety of water fowl, turtles, and small animals like minks.
August 7, 2018 Toni’s Flower Garden
We’re definitely into the ‘lazy, hazy days of summer’ and many of our residents are enjoying their flowers. Most of us are confined to potted plants and window boxes on the railings of our porches or balconies. But some first floor residents have lovely gardens for all of us to enjoy. If we gave an award for the “Most Luxurious Flower Display,” Toni Rausch (with a little help from her neighbor Jim Marquand) would win hands down. How handy that she lives just a little to the left of our portico entry – an easy stroll for any of us to walk by and enjoy. Make all of her weeding and deadheading worthwhile and let her know you stopped by to look and enjoy.
August 6, 2018 ‘Seeds of Caring:” Lunches for the Homeless
Seeds of Caring is a program for parents and children that encourages them to volunteer to help their community. Today they came to the Forum to work with residents in preparing lunches for a homeless shelter. The first job was to use markers and crayons to decorate the bags with a few words and pictures of inspiration. Then everyone joined in making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and finally we formed an assembly line to fill the bags with a double sandwich, an orange, a bag of chips and a dessert bar. About 150 lunch bags were packed in boxes to be delivered to the homeless shelter. What a fun way to make a difference in people’s lives.
August 2, 2018 ‘So To Speack,’ Dispatch Columnist Joe Blundo
General features columnist, Joe Blundo who writes ‘So to Speak’ three times a weekfor the Columbus Dispatch, was here this evening talking about “Six Things I’ve learned about column writing in Twenty-one Years.” The scope of Joe’s column ranges across many interesting people and places in Central Ohio. Recent columns include the volunteers who run a thrift store to support the cancer society, playing an instrument with the Columbus symphony, a family’s unique house pet pig that grew to 180 pounds, a swimming teacher with a teaching style to eliminate fear, and his reflections on the Beatles song by that title when he turned 64 this spring. One of the things he’s learned is that Central Ohio is a funny place.