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.
July 30, 2018 Concert: Worthington Civic Band
This evening we gambled with the weather and won – cloudy but no rain. The Worthington Civic Band returned for their annual concert under our portico. This group was formed in 1973 under the sponsorship of the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department. Their director is Robert Gibson, a trumpet player who began his musical career with the U.S. Marine Band. For the past sixteen years he has been band director with the Dublin Schools. Current band members range in age from 24 to 85 and their program was equally diverse moving easily from Fiddler on the Roof to Glenn Miller to John Philip Sousa to George M. Cohen and more. They have traveled to Europe several times as well as to Hawaii and Australia. We’re just grateful that this excellent musical group includes us on their summer schedule.
July 27, 2018 Jim Lacksonen: Edible Wild plants
Any one who has been on a metro park tram ride with Forum resident Jim Lacksonen knows that he’s the expert on everything natural from birds to insects to trees. Today he gave us a slide program on edible plants – not tomatoes and sweet corn, but edible wild plants. About a dozen of them picked along Zimmerman Rd. behind our building were displayed on the table. Very interesting Jim, but I think we’ll stick with what our dining staff prepares.
July 26, 2018 Pie on the Patio
The weather was perfect tonight and Barb and the dining staff had set up a buffet of pies, lemon meringue or peanut butter and chocolate, to offer dessert on the patio after dinner. How lovely! Everyone hung around to visit and enjoy the summer evening.
July 19, 2010 Knightsbridge II Renovation Open House
For the past year we’ve been hearing about the marvelous renovations being made in Knightsbridge II, our sister building across the street for assisted living and memory care. Only a few of us who had spouses in memory care and those who voted in the elections last fall and this spring saw the disruption of the process. Today we and the general pubic were invited to a Grand Re-Opening of both KB II and the Health Care Center in Knightsbridge I (go to Sept. 26, 2017 for pictures from the VIP tour for residents). Festivities began with a ribbon cutting in the new fenced courtyard by Jim Marquand representing the families of residents. Director Becky Converse presented Jim with a broom in remembrance of his wife Lil, an Alzheimer’s patient for two years who loved to sweep leaves off the walks of the small old patio.
The Bridge to Rediscovery area for dementia residents has various stations such as a baby crib, vanity table and sewing machine to help them recall events from their lives.
A model room in Bridge to Rediscovery is cheerful and has a private bathroom, but there is also a spa bathing area available for use with personal assistants.
For the Open House a variety of entertainment options throughout the buildings offered guests a pianist, guitarist, harpist, violinist, a photo booth, massages, an artist drawing caricatures, and the balloon ladies creating animals. It was also an opportunity to admire the new decor and furniture such as tables in lounge areas and the new artificial fireplace in the main lobby.
Of course the many more residents in assisted living have a variety of enhanced options because of the renovations. This includes the decor in their dining room, a well equipped physical therapy room, beauty salon, gift shop, and an actual movie theatre complete with lounge chairs with cup holders in the arms.
And we must not forget to mention all the gourmet flood stations throughout the buildings. The dining staff really outdid themselves with elegant hors d’oeuvres highlighted by ice scultptures, a seafood buffet, carving stations offering roast beef or turkey, wine and craft beer, and elegant desserts.
And to top it off we had limousine service with a glass of champagne(!) to transport residents between independent living, assisted living, and the health care center. Maybe the months of construction mess was worth it after all.
July 18, 2018 Trip to Amish Country
The weather was perfect for a ride in the country and the corn was so high we expected Curly to ride by singing “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'” The farms were tidy and green. We began our day in Amiish country with lunch at Der Dutchman in Walnut Creek. Way too much food but a couple of us had room for their fresh peach pie which looked delicious.
After lunch we visited the Coblentz Chocolate Factory which had all the standard chocolate caramels, chocolate creams, chocolate peanut clusters, chocolate truffles. . . and a few specialties like the chocolate horse and buggy or a horse’s head on a lollipop stick. Then we visited the Walnut Creek Cheese Company which has over 50 varieties of cheese including the Walnut Creek Smoked Cheddar, which is smoked right there in the store. But they have much more including baked goods, 75 varieties of deli meats, pickled vegetables, jams, jellies and spreads, cooking utensils, and a super market’s worth of fresh garden vegetables.
July 13, 2018 “Big Little Band” with Ali Ryerson
We planned to have a concert under the portico this afternoon but with temperature in the 90s moved into the lobby to hear the “Big Little Band featuring special guest artist, Ali Ryerson. Ali is an international touring and recording jazz flutist who has appeared in many venues from Carnegie Hall to the Forum at Knightsbridge! We loved our old jazz favorites from ragtime to blues. Thanks for cool jazz on a hot afternoon!
July 10, 2018 Dinner out: Tucci’s of Dublin
This evening a nice group of us went out to dinner at Tucci’s of Dublin. Unfortunately the rain kept us from enjoying their beautiful patio, but they gave us a lovely private dining room with walls of wine storage and conversation was easy. Tucci’s prides themselves on their extensive wine cellar, their steaks, and their seafood offerings. We enjoyed all of them with scallops, shrimp, salmon, steak or beef shortribs being most popular. HUGE scallops!
July 9, 2018 Dr. Douglas Scharre: Memory Loss
Do you find yourself forgetting things and wondering whether this is just old age with full brain files of information or signs of approaching dementia? Today Professor Douglas Scharre, Director of the OSU Wexner Medical Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders was here to share some of the latest research regarding memory loss. He gave excellent examples of normal memory lapses and memory loss that should be treated. Everyone had the opportunity to take the 15 minute SAGE test of early cognitive loss (Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination) and have it scored by a member of the OSU team. Early detection of dementia symptoms leads to better solutions for treatment and delaying loss. It pays to test yourself and nearly all of us did.
July 6, 2018 A Happy Surprise!
Sometimes neat things happen at the Forum just out of the blue. This evening at Happy Hour it was an impromptu concert by Betty’s daughter, who was here to celebrate her Mom’s 97th birthday. Anne Marie Binder, known professionally as ‘Anni McCann’ in honor of her grandparents, began heading toward the piano even as a pre-schooler. She began vocal training in high school, and graduated from Bowling Green with a degree in opera and theater. Her older brother was being discharged from the Air Force in California and she went out for a visit, and according to Betty, “Never came back.” She became a vocal soloist and a member of a quartet called “Backwoods Jazz,” sometimes playing guitar as well singing and for the past forty years has performed throughout northern California and even several trips to Europe. What a treat to have her share her talent with us!
July 5, 2018 Viola & Piano Concert: Ken and Tanya Matsuda
Violist Ken and pianist Tanya Matsuda were back this evening to entertain us with a program of light classical music. Ken is a native of Japan who studied there before immigrating to the US and earning his Bachelors and Masters degrees in music at Northern Illinois University. He joined the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in 1987. He also plays with the High St. Four String Quartet, is an adjunct lecturer at Capital University School of Music and conducts the Japanese Women’s Chorus. Tanya also earned Bachelors and Masters degrees at Northern Illinois where she met Ken. She teaches piano and specializes in the Suzuki method. She is also the accompanist for the Japanese Women’s Chorus.
July 4, 2018 4th of July Buffet
Happy 4th of July!!! As usual our dining staff prepared a festive buffet luncheon that we enjoyed under our big American flag, with many of us wearing red, white and blue. It began with potato salad, pasta salad, and slices of watermelon. We had hamburgers with all the trimmings, barbeque chicken or ribs, corn on the cob, zucchini casserole and baked beans. And we topped it off with apple and berry pie and our choice of beverages. Lots of good food and lots of good visiting.
July 3, 2018 Celeste Friedman: ‘Revolutionary Tea’
Celeste Friedman was back today with a special patriotic concert to celebrate the 4th of July. Vocalist, song-writer, recording artist, radio and TV performer, and founder of “Celestrial Voices,” Friedman has won numerous performance awards including a Grammy nomination and one for the Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts. Today she shared songs and stories beginning with the 3 pence tax on a pound of tea that caused our Declaration of Independence against tax without representation. From “A Grand Old Flag” to “This Land is Our Land” she invited us to join her in songs of patriotic pride.
July 2, 2018 Trip to Granville Inn for Lunch
Our first adventure this month was a trip to Granville for lunch at the famous Granville Inn. The inn was built in 1924 by John Suphen Jones, who became wealthy in the 19th and early 20th century Ohio coal industry. Its Jacobean Revival style is the work of Columbus architect Frank Packard. It is now owned and operated by Denison University who recently restored it completely. They pride themselves on their classic Quiche Lorraine and the original Lazarus Chintz Room Chicken Salad which many of us had. It was a lovely outing despite a heavy thunderstorm on the way home which Don drove us through safely.
June 28, 2018 Four Winds Concert on the Patio
Oh what a lovely evening! The weather was perfect and the Four Winds, a talented saxophone quartet, entertained us on the patio. The sound of mellow saxophone music echoing through our ravine is not to be missed. Many of us aren’t well acquainted with the range of soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones so this was a real treat. They played a delightful group of melodies from ‘our era’ – Take the A Train, Moon River, String of Pearls, Pink Panther, Satan Doll, Stardust, and so many others. In honor of the upcoming 4th of July they offered a delightful version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. And they closed with a New Orleans jazz version of A Closer Walk with Thee, mournfully following the casket to the cemetery and then joyfully heading back for a round at the bar! We enjoyed it all.
June 27, 2018 Trip to National Air Force Museum
Today a group of us traveled to the National Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Base. Four large hangers on this site contain more than 360 vintage aircraft and attract over a million visitors each year. We began with the Korean War exhibit since that is the war that involved the most current Forum residents. Bob Smith, an Air Force pilot in Korea was delighted to reunite with an F94, one of the planes that he flew. It’s awesome to walk through one of those really huge cargo planes.
It’s impossible to see everything here in one day, but we did enjoy seeing their newest exhibit, the newly renovated “Memphis Belle,” the first ‘flying fortress’ bomber to complete its required twenty-five missions in 1942-43. It returned to the US and toured to encourage buying war bonds. It became the subject of a famous documentary movie.
June 22, 2018 Patty Carver: A Tribute to Doris Day
Connecticut vocalist, actress, and writer Patty Carver’s was at the Forum for the first time this evening presenting “A Tribute to Doris Day.” Patty has sung nationally and in regional theaters in a variety of musicals and served as Artistic Director of Connecticut Children’s Theatre. Her tribute to Doris Day for more than thirty years singing with big bands, on radio and TV, in movies and making recordings. Patty mixed details of Doris’ life with some of her favorite songs such as Sentimental Journey, On Moonlight Bay, and ending appropriately with Que Sera Sera. She invited residents to join her at the mike and highlighted some good Forum voices and a neat story from Bob Smith about dancing with Doris Day when he was in the Air Force in the 1950s. We hope to see you back soon Patty.
June 18, 2018 Bridge to a Cure
What a lovely party it was! This afternoon we had a bridge party to support Alzheimer’s research. Both residents and invited friends from outside made a donation to support Alzheimer’s by playing bridge. Guests approaching our front door were greeted by Becky’s creative ‘bridge card’ wreaths. Our dining room was filled with thirteen tables of bridge players and everyone had a wonderful time for a good cause.
June 16, 2018 Father’s Day Round-Up
We celebrate Father’s Day on Saturday at the Forum so that families can celebrate together on Sunday. A country Western theme was set with our lobby bar becoming the ‘saloon’ and the dining room window sporting a mountain view at sunset.
Mini buckets of peanuts in the shell decorated the tables and made delicious munching. A dining room of checkered tablecloths made a cheerful scene.
Our buffet was loaded with coleslaw, watermelon, baked beans, corn on the cob, hot dogs with all the trimmings, fried fish, barbeque drumsticks, and, of course, our cook’s famous cowboy cookies.
We had numerous family groups celebrating our Forum fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers. And we were entertained by Cowboy Bob and JoJo’s country music.
June 15, 2018 Happiness Is . . . .
Our June Lifestyle 360 theme is Pursuit of Happiness and we all know there is no better authority on happiness than Snoopy. Snoopy spends a lot of time on the roof of his doghouse thinking about what happiness is,and he invited Forum residents to share their thoughts. Now his doghouse roof is being papered with ‘post it’ note shingles defining happiness for various residents: Good health, Family; Friends; Swimming in an outdoor pool in the sun; No more wars; A cottage by the ocean; Hearing the birds sing in the morning; Family, friends and a woof, woof; Bread pudding; Being old enough to see life in perspective; A good book; In touch with God; Having a daughter who enjoys being with me; Contentment; Music and Laughter; and more. Obviously happiness is many things and we have much to be grateful for. Happiness is composed of different things for different people and we’re all welcome to share our own thoughts — you still have fifteen days!
June 14, 2018 Talbot’s Trunk Show
Today a dozen of us had a fun trip to the Shops on Lane for Talbot’s July trunk show of new styles and trends. Narrated by Barb Benesh, fashion stylist from the home office in Massachusetts. a half dozen models showed some of the new looks and colors for this summer. She did an excellent job of describing ways to pair pieces for different looks from casual to dressy and accessorizing for maximum effect. All of us enjoyed and some of us shopped.
June 12, 2018 Mah-Jong Demonstration Game
This evening Marilyn Campbell arranged for her Mah-Jong group to give us a demonstration of this Chinese game that has become quite popular among seniors. It is normally played by four players who use a set of 144 tiles with Chinese characters and symbols. We had an interested group eager to learn and hopefully we’ll be able to start a new group here.
June 10, 2018 Pizza on the Patio
What a lovely Sunday evening! The weather was perfect – the pizza was delicious and so were the cookies our cooks baked! We had a nice crowd of neighbors to visit with. What a perfect way to take advantage of our beautiful patio overlooking our lush ravine.
June 6, 2018 Dinner at Barcelona
A gorgeous patio, weather in the sunny seventies, delicious Spanish food, and good friends for visiting. A dozen of us had that recipe for a perfect evening with dinner at Barcelona in German Village tonight. Most of us at our table went very Spanish with a variety of small plate tapas – gazpacho or peach soup, Caesar salad with anchovies, shrimp, scallops, mussels, dry cured ham on flatbread, soft-shell crab, and of course desserts such as almond cake or sweet cherry flan. It was an evening to remember.
May 30, 2018 A Visit From the Columbus Zoo
This afternoon we had a delightful visit from Devan and Angela and several ‘animal ambassadors’ from the Columbus Zoo. The rain forest background was a reminder that half of the animals in the world are native to the rain forests. Two of its representatives could not be more different. The two-toed sloth barely moves and is content to simply hang from a branch all day while the kinkajou, a distant relative of raccoons, is an active gymnast who uses his strong tail like a third arm.
The opossum is the only North American marsupial (carries its baby in a pouch) and its 52 teeth are the most of any mammal. Geoffrey’s cats are the size of ordinary house pets but these South American wildcats are actually miniature members of the leopard family.
The hairy armadillo has a bit of a wight problem which the zoo is trying to solve by giving her more exercise, but one wonders if the avocado ‘treats’ she is given for performing are part of the problem.
The noisiest ‘animal ambassadors’ were two members of the bird family. The red faced macaw is a real attention seeker who wants to be the center of attention and is beautiful enough to get it. The red-legged seriema is a South American native that in full song can be heard a mile away. What a learning experience we had!
May 29, 2018 Lunch at Cracker Barrel & Battelle-Darby
Today a group of us had lunch at the Cracker Barrel restaurant on our way to the Battelle-Darby Metro Park. Cracker Barrel prides themselves on “good country cooking since 1969.” Our group divided nearly evenly between salad and sandwich entrees – all super sized!
From there we headed to the southwestern corner of Franklin County near Galloway to visit Battelle-Darby Metro Park. This is the largest of the Columbus Metro Parks at a little over 7000 acres stretching 13 miles along both Big and Little Darby Creeks. These are designated Ohio Scenic Rivers. It is size that gives Battelle-Darby the distinction of being home to a herd of native bison – the large animals that roamed the plains of central Ohio when the first white settlers arrived. The metal sculpture bison near the Nature Center was easier to see than the herd resting around a pond in the pasture. We spent most of our time at the nature center with a living stream constructed with real stones and native creatures from tadpoles to fish to turtles that had been taken from Darby Creek to let visitors see them up close. Fascinating!
May 28, 2018 Memorial Day Picnic Lunch
Today we joined the entire country in celebrating our 150th Memorial Day. It originated after the Civil War as “Decoration Day” with family members and neighbors gathering in cemeteries to memorialize and decorate the graves of those who gave their lives in that conflict. Today we remember all who have given their lives in service to our country. We celebrated with a picnic buffet lunch and even ‘Le Mop’ knew to wear his red, white & blue for the occasion. Our buffet table featured barbeque chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, stir fry mixed vegetables, potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, and mixed fruit. And we topped it off with a red, white and blue dessert of cherry pie with a dollop of whipped cream crowned with a blueberry.
May 25, 2018 Bake Sale for Alzheimer’s Research
Today was our annual bake sale to raise funds to support Alzheimer’s research. Our kitchen as well as many staff members and residents contribute baked goods and everyone is welcome to buy cookies, muffins, sweet rolls, pies, etc, for themselves or as gifts to family and friends. It’s a win-win for everyone and all for a worthy cause.
May 21, 2018 April Showers Bring May Flowers
We all know the saying that “April showers bring May flowers” and that never seemed more true than this spring. If you haven’t walked around and checked out the blooms you really should do so. There are the perennial shrubs like the azaleas and lilacs and clematis showing off their annual glory. The violas our landscapers planted last fall came out of the snows as beautiful clumps of dainty blossoms. Nothing is more lovely than Ginny’s iris. And don’t miss all the crocks, hanging baskets and porch railing planters that have been popping up since Mother’s Day with a variety of mixed annuals. Do take a walk and enjoy them all.
May 15, 2018 Concert: Wellington Middle School Choir
Today we were treated to a spirited concert by two Wellington Middle School choral groups. This private co-educational school in Upper Arlington was founded in 1982. It serves children from pre-school through high school. We’re delighted that the Middle School choral groups from 5th to 8th grade offered to end their school year performing for us. They sang several numbers from the ‘The Greatest Showman,’ including a delightful rhythm number that had half of the group on the floor creating the beat with clapping and plastic cups. They closed with a lilting ensemble from ‘Anne.’
May 14, 2018 Dinner on the Town: Columbus Fish Market
This evening a group of went out on the town for dinner at the Columbus Fish Market. Lobster bisque and Caesar salad complete with anchovies were popular appetizers. Flo’s salmon, Gus’s broiled oysters on the half shell, and Jean’s triple shrimp were typical entrees. And creme brulee won the dessert prize hands down. Good visiting and good food are just the right mix for a delightful evening out.
May 12, 2018 “Moms are Tea-riffic!”
Today we celebrated all Forum mothers with a delightful Mothers Day tea. Our dining room overflowed with mothers,their daughters and granddaughters. Barb and the dining staff outdid themselves with lovely decorations and a delicious menu. It was an elegant English tea with smoked salmon on multigrain bread triangles, miniature cream cheese tarts, strawberry mousse and a chocolate covered strawberry – all accompanied by tea, of course. We were entertained by ‘Essential Pieces,’ a women’s barbershop quartet.
May 3, 2018 Redbuds blooming in the Ravine
What a treat it is to watch spring’s changing landscape from our dining room windows. There is something about having breakfast, lunch or dinner with this glorious view of the redbuds in our ravine that soothes the soul. It’s not unusual to find one of us just standing and staring at the beauty of it all. They’re about three weeks late this year but perhaps all the more appreciated. ENJOY!
April 27, 2018 CMA Tour: Art in Bloom
Today a group of us went to the Columbus Museum of Art for their annual spring “Art in Bloom” event. Each year the museum curators select an interesting variety of paintings and sculptures in their permanent collection and invite a group of local florists and garden clubs to produce a floral arrangement that interprets a particular piece of art. It is a delightful way for visiters to see the museum collections in a new light and develop new perspectives on art that you may or may not have appreciated before. And the beauty and sweet scent of the flowers are a wonderful cure for spring fever.
April 20, 2018 Concert: CEAR – notes
This afternoon, the CEAR-Notes, a choral group new to the Forum was here for a concert. They are members of the Columbus Educators Association Retired – a group of over 2000 members who enjoy a variety of trips, programs, and special interest groups together. Their director is retired educator Bobbie Mills who spent much or her career teaching special education at Northland High School. The group from various schools and grades from kindergarten to high school share a common interest in singing and we were delighted to have them entertain us.
Apr. 19, 2018 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon
Today was our annual luncheon to recognize volunteers – both residents and outsiders who enrich the Forum community with their work. Of course this includes members of our standing committees: resident council, food, program and welcome committees. But it also includes the crew of volunteers who keep our gift shop open and many program assistants for everything from Bible study to current events to calling bingo. We’re deeply grateful for what they do. Our dining staff prepared a delicious salad lunch with chicken, pasta, and fruit salads with a yummy muffin and strawberry rainbow cake for dessert. Darcy Hussman received an “Above and Beyond” award for the many hours she spends making purchases, arranging attractive displays and supervising volunteer sales persons for our gift shop.
Michele DeSantis, who does monthly flower arranging programs demonstrated making tall or short arrangements and then everyone received a container and bunch of flowers to create an arrangement to take back to our apartments.
Apr. 16, 2018 Spring?
I know, I know. The calendar says it has been spring for nearly a month but 32 degrees and a biting wind filled with snowflakes doesn’t feel like it. But the weeping cherry tree outside our dining room window looks like a beautiful bridal bouquet and and Mac and Marilyn’s dog, ‘Le Mop,’ is wearing his straw hat. Spring must be around the corner somewhere nearby.
Apr. 2, 2018 APRIL FOOL!!!!!
That’s right. Look what arrived over night. Should we be getting out the Christmas decorations instead of the flower pots? Nope. This is just spring in Ohio. According to legend we’ll have four snows after the forsythia blooms and the weather man is predicting our early morning wonderland will all be gone before noon. Our daffodils are under there somewhere.
Mar. 28, 2018 Daffodils in the Ravine
We may be having April showers a few days early, but the daffodils in the ravine outside of our dining room are blooming bravely and brightly. They are always our first major sign of spring and herald magnolias, red buds, tulips and dogwood to come. How welcome they are!
Mar. 26, 2018 Art Quilt Exhibit at Riffe Gallery
This afternoon several of us went downtown to the Riffe Gallery to see the Ohio Arts Council exhibit of 36 quilts from the Quilt National 2017 International Juried Art Quilt Exhibition produced by the Dairy Barn Arts Center at Athens. This is the 20th anniversary of this biennial international exhibition now in its 40th year of attracting the most creative art quilters across the US and the world. We marveled at the creativity and the workmanship of these quilts. It stretched our image of what quilts can be.
Mar. 23, 2018 Easter Bunnies
Easter is coming and so are the bunnies! Our lobby, living room, and dining room are overflowing with cute furry creatures. Bunny banners lining the fireplace mantels, bunnies riding on bicycles, bunnies nurturing a basket of baby chicks, bunnies picking flowers or eating carrots, a bunny lounging on the mantel with a butterfly tickling his ear, a see-through grass bunny, and a tall bunny guarding the door to the gift shop night and day. Pretend you’re a kid again and enjoy the fun!
Mar. 22, 2018 Concert: Four Cellos
This evening we had a special treat with a concert by a cello quartet. The violincello is considered one of the most romantic instruments in the world because of its mellow tone, but its size makes it a rare choice for women musicians. The members of this quartet are from Women in Music Columbus which has been educating and entertaining the citizens of Central Ohio since 1881. The Four Cellos are one of a number of small ensemble groups who perform public concerts at the art museum, at area schools – and at the Forum! Their selections this evening ranged from Carmen to tango to Ragtime and ended with the theme music from Ken Burns Civil War series, the ‘Ashokan Farewell.’ Lovely.
Mar. 17, 2018 St. Patrick’s Day
Ah, it’s the day when we’re all a bit Irish and wear a bit of green to celebrate. Today we even had happy hour before lunch with green beer or orange punch and potato chips with a touch of Guinness. And Harriet took the prize for being the cutest leprechaun. Check out that miniature top hat!
Dinner was Irish all the way from Shamrock soup to Grasshopper desserts. Those who had the fish and chips said they were great and I can honestly say the corned beef and cabbage was perfect with colcannon and spiced carrots. Can we be Irish every day?
Mar. 12, 2018 Tour: Pontifical College Josephinum
Today a group of us had an excellent tour with a seminarian of the Pontifical College Josephinum at Worthington. This liberal arts college and seminary for educating Catholic priests is the only pontifical college outside of Italy. It’s magnificent Gothic building was completed in 1931 and contains unique architectural elements such as the inlay of the wooden wainscoting and the marble floor in the entrance foyer. A recent restoration project brought out the beauty of the alter mural in the main chapel and the unique German Art Nouveau stained glass windows. It is truly a central Ohio landmark and we enjoyed learning about its history.
Mar. 10, 2018 Swing Therapy Happy Hour with Scott Brooks
Mar. 9, 2018 Candide: OSU School of Music
A group of us went down to Ohio State this evening for the School of Music performance of Candide. This was a celebration of the hundred anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. The semi-staged operetta featured the School’s symphony orchestra and about two dozen singers from the opera theatre program. Voltaire’s satiric novel about a young man who discovers the world is not always a happy place but within its absurdities he can find his own happiness.
Mar. 8, 2018 Concert: Gary and Linda Sclafani
Accompanied by his electric guitar, vocalists Gary and Linda Sclafani presented a concert of country music this evening. Although this was their first visit to the Forum, they have been performing together over thirty years and have played to a variety of venues from cafes to churches, conventions, and senior centers. They grew up in the New York/New Jersey area but now live in central Ohio where they are performing and recording.
Mar. 1, 2018 Alcohol Painting Activity
Tile painting with alcohol is a new technique sweeping the art world. Tonight Becky and Barb held an “Art and Music” program that was lots of fun and produced some really lovely ceramic tiles to feature as art or use as coasters. This is one of those projects with no right or wrong, just whatever you like. What a colorful exhibit we had at the end.
Feb. 27, 2018 Dinner Out: The Whitney House
This evening a group of us enjoyed a great dinner out at The Whitney House in downtown Worthington. The owners pride themselves on using fresh local ingredients and a number of their mother’s recipes. Several of us had their Tuesday special fresh tomato soup and Mom’s Stroganoff. The fresh tomato soup was a delight compared to canned and and the flavor of the stroganoff won raves. Jean’s smile says it all for the stroganoff, but Gus was really pleased with his scallops and little neck clams and Sandra was a bit overwhelmed by her supersized hamburger and fries. We all want to go back!
Feb. 22, 2018 Steven Foster Concert – Steve & Lisa Ball
Steve and Lisa Ball did a great program on Civil War music for us last year. Tonight they were back with a delightful program of Steven Foster’s music. Steve plays a 19th century Martin guitar and a vintage tenor banjo. Lisa plays bass and sings harmony for their vocals. Steven Foster wrote over 200 pieces of parlor and minstrel music including many that have remained favorites well over a century: Beautiful Dreamer, Camptown Races, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, My Old Kentucky Home, Oh! Susanna, Old Folds at Home (Suwanee River), We’re Coming Father Abraham. What makes their program special is Steve’s detailed knowledge of Steven Foster’s biography. It adds poignant details of a sad life to such beautiful music.
Feb. 22, 2018 Soul Food Lunch Buffet
Today residents and staff celebrated Black History Month with a delicious soul food lunch buffet prepared by our dining staff. The menu included fried chicken, barbequed ribs, fried catfish, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, mixed vegetables, cornbread, biscuits, cole slaw, and mixed fruit. A beautiful dessert table contained a wide variety of delicious treats from decadent brownies, to pecan or cherry pie, red velvet cake, or lemon bars. Whoever said delicious food is good for your soul surely should have been here today!
Feb. 20, 2018 Tour of Columbus Metropolitan Library
Did you know that the Columbus Metropolitan Library has been ranked first among large-city libraries in the United States four times since 1999, and has been among the top four every year since then? Today a group of us toured the main library building downtown which was built in 1907 with a donation from Pittsburg steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. We walked through the Carnegie aart gallery but we focused on the new addition that opened in June 2016 to increase the space and offerings and take full advantage of the view from the view from three-story windows overlooking the adjacent Topiary Park. And our excellent guide took our picture beside the main staircase with Aminah Robinson’s colorful drawings of the Sells Brothers Circus’ winter home in Grandview.
Feb. 15, 2018 Travel Memorabilia Roundtable
In keeping with this month’s travel theme, this afternoon we had a roundtable with residents invited to bring a special memento from their travels to share with everyone and explain why it brings special memories. Some residents just described memories from a special trip, but the world map in our multipurpose room makes the perfect background for Jennie, Cynthia, Flo and Sara to display a handcrafted tote bag from Thailand, a miniature oil lamp from Spain, a miniature teapot from England and a stainless steel hand crafted bracelet from southeast Asia.
Feb. 14, 2018 Valentine’s Day Lunch
With Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day back to back and Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day, it didn’t seem right to have another special dinner tonight. So we celebrated with pink pancakes for lunch smothered in strawberry sauce. And we still have our Valentine balloons bobbing everywhere. Very festive!
Feb. 13, 2018 Mardi Gras Dinner & Allison Portney Concert
This evening our dining staff hosted our annual Mardi Gras dinner. Although our celebration of ‘Fat Tuesday’ didn’t rival the extended parades of New Orleans or Brazil’s Carnival, we began with happy hour and a very special New Orleans style meal before the Lenten season begins. Dinner was followed by a jazz concert by Allison Portney, a talented Ohio State student who we have enjoyed before.
Feb. 8, 2018 Concert: Mark Gaskill
Tonight guitar and keyboard playing vocalist Mark Gaskill, in tuxedo and a snappy red tie, presented a Valentine program of love songs from the 1940s and 50s hit parade. Mark has a wide ranging repertoire from the 1930s through the 90s. In addition to his performance schedule, Mark sings bass in the Columbus Symphony Chorus and was for several years the guitarist and lead singer for One Riot One Ranger, a local country and bluegrass band. Tonight was his first time here, and we’re delighted to welcome Mark to the Forum. We enjoyed the information he gave us about the writers and singers associated with each of the songs.
Feb. 7, 2018 Great Courses: Santorini – Volcanic Eruptions
Today more than a dozen of us began our Great Courses lecture series on Geological Wonders of World with the Greek island of Santorini. It is the remnant of a volcanic caldera that 3600 years ago had a cataclysmic explosion. This destroyed the Minoan city of Akrotiri, an advanced civilization that excavations show constructed three-story residences with hot-and-cold-running water. Many think this was the city of Atlantis that Plato described a thousand years later. Other scholars believe it is the source of the Exodus story in the Bible where the Israelites escaped Egypt by following a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night until they reached the sea and found the water rolled up leaving dry land. A volcanic explosion and tsunami creating a beautiful tourist mecca and legends of ancient peoples?
Feb. 4, 2018 Aida in Concert
This afternoon a number of us were treated to the Columbus musical extravaganza of the season – a performance by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Opera Columbus, and the Columbus Symphony Chorus of Verdi’s beloved opera, Aida. It even included the trumpet section of the OSU Marching Band and a donkey, two camels, and small animals including a skunk from the Columbus zoo. These were presented to the Egyptian king as trophies during the triumphal march celebrating the defeat of the Ethiopians. Aida transported the audience musically to ancient Egypt for the tragic love story between Egyptian military commander Radamès and the enslaved Ethiopian princess Aida. These roles were sung by internationally known American tenor Marc Heller and soprano Michelle Johnson.
Feb. 1, 2018 Richard Barrett: Columbus in Vintage Postcards
This evening was a trip down memory lane for many of us who have been long time residents of the Columbus area. Local historian Richard Barrett is believed to have the most extensive collection of Columbus vintage postcards in existence and has written a book about them. It features the period from 1898 to 1950 which was the golden era of postcards. This evening he shared evolving views Presutti’s restaurant, Fort Hayes, Ohio Field to Ohio Stadium, and many more. Fascinating!
Jan. 26, 2017 A Reel Black and White Evening
Oh, what a party it was! We were all invited to dress in black and white and the decorations complimented the era of black and white movies – especially Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. We began with Happy Hour and tasty hors d’oeuvres that included cheese and crackers, pita with hummus, and shrimp cocktails – all with Fred & Ginger in “Shall We Dance?” playing on the wall!
It was progessive party that moved us into the dining room for an elegant dinner accompanied by music from harpist, Lydia Haywood. Litling tunes like Edilweiss, Clare de Lune, and Danny Boy set an elegant atmosphere.
And then we moved into the living room for a lovely dessert table of varied cookies and chocolate covered strawberries, coffee and Fred and Ginger dancing in “Swing Time.”
We ended our evening in the multipurpose room with a showing of “Top Hat,” the 1953 film nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture that many consider the best Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie.
Jan. 24, 2018 New Residents Reception
Our bi-monthly reception for new residents is always a fun time to welcome new residents who have moved in during the past two months, learn a bit about their biography, and visit over punch and cookies. Today we welcomed seven new residents, all of whom have lived in the Columbus metro area for some time. This is rather unusual because quite a number of our residents move to be near adult children and grandchildren. We always look forward to making new friends, and they soon turn out to be just that.
Jan. 23, 2018 Gene Gilliam: China Off the Beaten Path
Our international dinner this month was China and this evening Gene Gillion, Emeritus Professor of Education at Ohio State shared “China Off the Beaten Path.” This was the 19th trip to China that Gene has led and he shared a part of this trip last September little known to Western tourists. This was in the mountains of southeast China that has natural wonders beloved by Chinese tourists. Some of the challenges his group faced were a cliff-clinging glass skywalk and a gondola crossing nearly 5000 feet above a gorge that offered spectacular views and gorgeous pictures.
Jan. 16, 2018 OSU Historic Costume Exhibit: Dior in Ohio
Today a group of us traveled to the Ohio State campus for an excellent tour by the curator of the historic costume exhibit celebrating the 70th anniversary of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look.’ Titled “Dior in Ohio: 1947-1997,” the fifty outfits in the exhibit, plus some accessories such as shoes and hats, focus on evening gowns, cocktail dresses, day dresses and suits worn by Ohio women. A number of the outfits in the exhibit were worn by Elizabeth Parke Firestone of Akron and Mary Peters Bolton of Cleveland. In addition to items in the OSU collection, others were loaned by Western Reserve Historical Society, Kent State University and the Henry Ford Museum. For those of us who never owned a Dior outfit, it was a delight to see the elegant craftsmanship of designer clothing up close.
Jan. 16, 2018 The Forum’s Winter Wonderland
Overnight our snowy ravine gained three inches of fresh snow to the four from last Saturday, creating a winter wonderland in the ravine we view from the dining room. Thank goodness for our wonderful staff who brave slick roads to come and take care of us. We’re free to watch the squirrels scurrying back and forth to find the nuts they buried in the fall and the lone robin on a tree branch with his feathers fluffed up to keep warm. Thank goodness for Ohio’s variety. This is more snow on the ground than we had all last winter.
Jan. 11, 2018 Carrie Keller, Columbus Metro Parks
We love our tram rides to tour Columbus Metro Parks in the summer, but tonight Carrie Keller, their naturalist for metro park outreach programs was here to give us an overview of the nineteen Columbus Metro Parks. She described each briefly and highlighted the special features of each one and the variety of programs they offer. From forests to prairies, cliffs to swamps, climbing walls to children’s playgrounds, bird watching to hiking and bike trails, blue herons to buffalo, we are so fortunate to have these green spaces to explore.