Programs and Activities

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 #1 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.

Jan. 5, 2018     Columbus Museum of Art: Beyond Impressionism

Thanks to Judy Long we have visual evidence of how much our group enjoyed visiting the Columbus Museum of Art this afternoon. We had an excellent docent-guided tour of their current exhibit: Beyond Impressionism. Curated in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, CMA is the only U.S. venue for this extraordinary exhibition. Featuring approximately 100 paintings, drawings, prints, and works on paper, the exhibition explores the Parisian art scene, focusing on the most important French avant-garde artists of the late 19th century, including Paul Signac, Maximilien Luce, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, Odilon Redon, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. As we exited we grabbed the opportunity to dress for the avant-garde 1890s. What fun!

Dec. 31, 2017        New Year’s Eve with Nicole Johnson

We began the evening with hors ‘duevres and toasted 2018 with champagne. We just didn’t do it at midnight. Nicole Johnson, vocalist and children’s dance teacher, was here to perform a holiday program from “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” to “Auld Lang Syne” with plenty of our favorites from the 40s and 50s in between. Nicole trained in voice in the Musical Theatre Department at Otterbein and performs an eclectic musical repertoire of Big Band and Broadway tunes. She has performed with various bands throughout Ohio and as a singer/vocalist/dancer with Columbus Vaud-Villities. We were delighted to have her spend New Year’s Eve with us.




Dec. 27, 2017         Sing-Along with Sylvia 

Joy to the World! Do you remember the “good old days” when we would gather around the piano to sing Christmas carols? Well this afternoon we had our own Sylvia McKinney playing piano in the living room and song sheets to be sure we knew the words. What an exclamation point ending to the Christmas season. It was good for our spirits!

Dec. 21, 2017     Johnny Steiner Christmas Concert

What a treat this evening to welcome back Forum favorite, Johnny Steiner – vocalist, conductor, teacher, composer. Johnny is an Otterbein University music and theater graduate whose Christmas concert is orchestrated to perfection. 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. We’re delighted that he still makes time for the Forum and wish him a Merry Christmas.


Dec. 18, 2017          Holiday Lights Downtown & Easton

This evening our bus took us downtown to view the holiday lights. The Columbus Commons is a fabulous display that we circled to see from all sides.


We also went out East Broad Street to see this years State 85th annual nativity display and on east to Easton Town Center to circle their all blue Christmas tree.




Dec. 16, 2017         A Toasty Holiday Celebration

Party, party, party the entire month of December. Today residents invited their families, particularly children, to share a “Toasty Holiday.” Perhaps this is the beginning of a new Forum holiday tradition? In addition to visits with Santa Claus, there was a craft table to keep the little ones busy and happy. Lunch featured  toasty comfort foods: three versions of toasty cheese sandwiches, soup, a salad bar and several varieties of s’mores (chocolate cookies topped with toasted marshmellows). The Clintonville Songsters, a small a cappella choir that is part of the Clintonville Community Choir, ended our celebration with a program of favorite holiday carols.




Dec. 15, 2017     Sharing and Tasting Holiday Recipes

Knowing that few of us cook or bake at the Forum but occasionally enjoy entertaining friends, our dietitian Chelsea Schaefer came up with three tasty holiday treats with only three ingredients each – a crab dip or a pesto and feta cheese dip to be served with crackers or baguette slices, and a candy cane fudge made with white chocolate chips, condensed milk and crushed candy canes. Add some wine and good friends and it is sure to create a lovely party.

Dec. 13, 2017         Concert: Trombones Plus

This easy listening jazz ensemble featuring five trombones, plus piano, bass and drums was back this evening with a holiday program. Trombones Plus 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. Thank you for sharing the holiday spirit with us.

Dec. 13, 2017   Employee Appreciation Day

We really do appreciate our staff members every day, but today is special when each employee receives a holiday bonus from residents’ combined tips for the year. The housekeepers who clean our apartments, the dining room staff who serve our lunches and dinners, the cooks who prepare delicious meals, the drivers who take us to the grocery and special program events, the maintenance men who can fix anything from a leaky faucet to a thermostat, nurses and aides if we need rehab, and always our multitasking receptionists. Best of all, our dining staff provides a special lunch buffet with all the trimmings – salad bar with fresh shrimp, main dishes including ham, fried chicken, roast beef, macaroni and cheese with vegetable sides, a waffle bar with all the trimmings from strawberries to whipped cream, and a dessert bar with assorted pies and cookies. Residents and staff dress in their holiday outfits, eat together, and share big hugs to show our appreciation. Happy Holidays everyone!



Dec. 12, 2017       Centennial HS Choir & Orchestra

This afternoon we had the delightful experience of a concert by the Centennial High School string orchestra and a cappella 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 featured music of the holiday season closing with a rousing Hallelujah chorus. No wonder their music program wins state awards!



Dec. 11, 2017         Dinner Out: The Refectory

Having dinner at this restaurant in an old church on Bethel Road in December has become a Forum tradition for some of us. Offering upscale French style food and wine consistently earns The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro awards in Columbus and beyond. They are known for their beautiful artistic presentations. They let us order from either the main menu or the bistro menus and pork chops or lamb terrine were popular choices. Chocolate bread pudding or creme brule where the most popular dessert choices. We all enjoyed a lovely holiday dinner.


Dec. 9, 2017         First Snow of the Season

 Congratulations to the Columbus weather forecasters who promised us the first measurable snow of the season this afternoon. It arrived on schedule and was still snowing when I stepped out to take a picture. Do you remember how much you loved the first snow as a child? It’s possible to still have that sense of wonder that the world has changed completely, but we’d rather just watch it through the window and not have to go out and risk falling.


Dec. 8, 2017       Very Personal Christmas Decorations

We’re so lucky to have residents and staff who share personal holiday decorations with the whole Forum community. Sharon Mueller, one of our dining room servers made the gingerbread dollhouse in the lobby. Be sure to check out both the exterior and interior views.

The Wright Family doll tree on the first floor by elevator two features their international doll collection that was started by Jacque’s mother over seventy years ago. Residents John and Jacque Wright have added to it in their travels. Be sure to share it with your visiting great-grandchildren. On the first floor by elevator one, the lace covered white balls tied with ribbons and tiny flowers were handmade by resident Lillian Swan and are elegant enough for a Christmas wedding.




Dec. 7, 2017        A trip to Israel

Today we imagined ourselves taking a short but delightful trip to Israel. Beginning with a program by Merov Livneh-Dill describing life in modern Israel through the experiences of her family. She is on a three-year program as an emissary primarily to the US Jewish community. This was followed by our friend Joanie Calem, the talented director of our inter-generational music program, playing and singing Israeli folk songs. Our dining staff treated us to an Israeli dinner that was a fusion of Mediterranean and traditional Jewish cuisine. We began with Tomato and chick pea soup with basil, an Israeli salad of tomatoes and cucumbers, and a choice of beef brisket, chicken Sharma, or shrimp and scallops for an entree. Accompaniments were a choice of potato Latkes with sour cream, Tzimmes (sweet potatoes, carrots and prunes baked with honey and lemon), or roasted vegetables with cous cous. And it ended with shortbread topped with chocolate sauce and a red raspberry. A nice addition to our holiday celebrations.


Dec. 2, 2017        Gift Shop Open House + Santa Claus


Today our overflowing gift shop invited all residents and staff to come by and shop their many bargains. Small decorative trees, wreaths or swags were individually designed by Judy Long. Cuddly plush talking animals are great presents for the little ones in your life and sold out quickly. Sparkling pins, necklaces and bracelets; stocking stuffers from decorative ornaments to fuzzy footies; colorful scarves to create a party outfit; and a nice variety of Christmas cards were all at bargain prices since we have a volunteer staff. Santa was present to hear the requests of staff member’s children. Barb and Chris were popping corn and offering Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. And Murphy’s Law, a four-piece band, kept us in the spirit of the holidays with their music.


Dec. 1, 2017      Ohio State School of Music Celebration Concert

Whether you are an OSU student celebrating the end of the semester or a Forum resident celebrating the holiday season, this musical extravaganza is special. It features all of the School’s larger musical groups – symphony orchestra, symphonic band, men’s and women’s glee clubs, wind symphony – as well as soloists and small specialized groups – jazz, horn, percussion and trumpet ensembles, saxophone and clarinet choirs, and CellOHIO (a dozen cellos).  Over 500 different students participate. If this doesn’t give you the holiday spirit, nothing will.

Dec. 1, 2017         A Day in the life of an Honor Flight chaperone



Steve Husmann was with us today to share his experiences as a chaperone for Columbus Honor Flight. He described the daily schedule of flying to Washington to view the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam memorials and what an emotional experience it is both for the veterans and the volunteers to assist them. They have a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery and in all of these locations are honored by people who greet them and thank them for their service. Honor Flight Columbus sponsored six trips for 493 veterans in 2017. Veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam are eligible with priority to oldest first. Steve had a memorabilia table with some great pictures.

Dec. 1, 2017          Holiday Decorations

Thanks to our wonderful decorating elves Don and Judy Long, and Barb Holliday, the Forum is unbelievably festive for the upcoming holidays. Our living room tree must be twenty feet tall and the fireplace mantel is surely one of the prettiest to greet Santa.


It wouldn’t be Christmas without a nativity scene and we have one in the living room and another in the hall.


Our lobby glows welcome with icicle lights and nutcrackers standing at attention.


The dining room mantel boasts a photo of our own snowy ravine a couple of years ago, and Santa perched in the big window watching to see whether we’re all being good.

Too many decorations to post them all, but don’t miss the lovely small tree in the multipurpose room, Santa’s sleigh and reindeer outside the gift shop, and the angel on the patio. And it’s always well worth walking the halls – and great exercise – to check out your neighbors’ creative doorways.







Nov. 28, 2017       Lunch Out: Anna’s Greek Cuisine

Ending this month’s focus on Greece and Greek food, a group of us went out to lunch at Anna’s Greek Cuisine, rated by many (including our own Gus Kademenos) the most authentic Greek restaurant in Columbus. Anna grew up on the Greek island of Evoia cooking with her mother and many of their favorite recipes are included in the menu. Several of us began with with Avgolemono (chicken lemon soup) or Spanakapita (filo triangles stuffed with cheese and spinach). Popular entrees included Dolmathakia (grape leaves stuffed with ground meat and topped with lemon sauce); Mousaka (eggplant layered with potatoes and meat topped with Bechamel cream) with Tabouli salad (cracked wheat, tomatoes and parsley); Lamb Parnasos (lamb and vegetables over rice); grilled Chicken Pita with mushrooms, onions and green peppers and Tzatsiki (cucumber & yogurt); Makaronia Me Kima (spaghetti with meat sauce). Desserts were over the top: Bakalava (filo layered with ground nuts and honey); Rizogalo (Rice pudding), Kafaifi Ekmok (filo with custard and pineapple topped with whipped cream and almonds)


Nov. 20, 2017     Dinner on the Town: The Barn at Rocky Fork 

Tonight a small group of us went out to dinner at Cameron Mitchell’s newest restaurant, the Barn at Rocky Fork. We were delighted to find they had put up their Christmas decorations this past weekend and it made a warm, cozy environment. Their website describes it as a destination steakhouse, but their menu includes a variety and no two of our group had the same meal. Don’s barbequed pork chop must have been at least two inches thick and Norma said her blackened scallops were absolutely delicious. We all agreed we would enjoy coming back.





Nov. 17, 2017        Hyper Friday: OSU Alumni Band & Cheerleaders

Today the Ohio State Alumni Band and Cheerleaders were here to lead us in celebrating our annual OSU football pep rally before the last home game. The balmy weather that allowed us to hold it outside last November is only a memory, but our lobby provided plenty of room for the alumni cheerleaders to build their pyramids and alumni drum major Shelley Graf to toss her baton high. She even led a march so Gilda could dot the I (without tuba!). OSU alumni band members played from the dining room and an overflow crowd of Forum residents cheered and sang the fight songs. Miss Dee, the balloon lady was here making Brutus balloons and Jeanine was one of the lucky residents to get a finished one. GO BUCKS!






Nov. 13 , 2017        Greece: Armchair Travel and Dinner

This afternoon resident Jennie McCormick took us to Greece via an armchair travel program. We sailed the islands around the Pelopoinnesian peninsula visiting lovely village harbors, temple ruins, and noting a seafood restaurant that displayed an octopus on its patio fence.


In Athens we, of course, visited the Parthenon and enjoyed the Evzoni guards at the royal palace, shopped in the Plaka district, and exhausted ourselves with ruins and museums.

In the North we marveled at the twin peaks of Mt. Olympus that the ancients considered the throne of Zeus and Thessaloniki museum treasures such as a gold chest with the Macedon star on the cover that were recovered in the 1970s from the tomb of Phillip II, the father of Alexander the Great.


This evening our dining staff treated us to a Greek dinner that began with lemon chicken soup, a Greek salad, a choice of entrees (many of us chose lamb chops), a choice of vegetable sides, and ended with the sweetest of all desserts: Blakavi, made with phyllo sheets layered with walnut filling and drenched in a honey based syrup. Deeeelicious!



Nov. 10, 2017        Veteran’s Day Celebration

Because Veteran’s Day falls on Saturday this year, the Forum celebrated today. The colors were presented and retired by cadets of the Air Force ROTC unit at Ohio State. Pianist Andy Launer led the audience in the song of each military branch: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Major Larry Bogan called the roll as ROTC cadets saluted and presented a medal to each Forum veteran individually. Most of our veterans served during World War II or the Korean War and many other residents are spouses or widows of veterans. Several brought memorabilia for an exhibit in the living room – photos, scrapbooks, maps, medals. This evening Marine veteran and Forum maintenance man Jim Murphy invited all veterans, to a free dinner at the Gahanna VFW post. We honor and thank them for their service.




Nov. 9, 2017       Christmas at the White House: Jeri Diehl-Cusack

This evening retired Grandview librarian, Jeri Diehl-Cusack presentied a program on Christmas traditions at the White House. In retirement Jeri has become a recognized presidential historian and has written several books about life in the White House. She shared pictures and information about traditions associated with the White House Christmas tree, greeting cards, staff gifts, ornaments, and first family celebrations. Much has changed since the John Adams family was the first to spend Christmas in the White House.


Nov. 7, 2017   First Congregational Church: Harp & Organ Concert

Today our bus took a group of us downtown for the “Tuesdays at First” noontime concert featuring organist Kevin Jones, First Congregational’s Minister of Music, and harpist, Jeanne Norton. a member of the OSU School of Music Faculty and harpist for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. The program included an aria by Marcel Grandjany, three brief preludes by Carlos Satzedo for solo harp, and “Twilight,” a new work by Dutch composer Ad Wammes who began his career in the 1980’s composing songs for Sesame Street before turning to conventional concert pieces. A delightful lunchtime interlude.


Oct. 31, 2017        Dinner, Halloween Eve

Oh dear, our dining room hostess has gone crazy! No, she’s a clown off to join the circus. Wait, stay calm, it’s just Chappelle on Halloween! Just look at the rest of our  staff, cowgirls in classy boots, bottles of McCormick spices, a black-eyed pea (our director, no less, with a large P on her sweater and makeup on one eye) … nothing like having our worker bees in costume for a day.


Oct. 28, 2017       Trick or Treat



What fun we have inviting staff to bring their kids and residents to invite their grandchildren under ten to our trick or treat Halloween party. Even our organizers got into the costume act with Heidi masquerading as the tooth fairy with a crown of toothbrushes! Residents passed out candy as trick or treaters filled their sacks and buckets. Dinosaurs and Star Trek characters were popular this year. We had one huge dinosaur who danced and pranced, but we had quite a variety of scary characters from lions to alligators, Mad Hatters to princesses, a trio of spidermen. and dozens of adorably cute kids.









Oct. 20, 2017       Art For Everyone

We were immersed in art all over today. Jim Lacksonen, an accomplished painter in transparent watercolor, opened his apartment/art gallery for us to enjoy forty or fifty of his paintings.


In the MRP Barb was offering the opportunity to paint pumpkins to decorate our apartments. Back to kindergarten and great fun!! Set out on the poker table to dry, some of them made a whimsical picture.

For Happy Hour we had delicious artistic hors deuvres from our dining staff and cool jazz from Wade Jones at the piano. A creative and delightful day.




Oct. 19, 2017     Picnic & Tram Ride: Blendon Woods Metro Park

Today was our final Metro Park picnic and tram ride of the 2017 season and we traveled to Blendon Woods between Westerville and Gahanna. This 653 acre park is mostly beach, maple, oak and hickory forest but the trees hadn’t colored up as usual for mid October. But it was a lovely day and we found a nice spot for our picnic. Jim picked up a cute burr oak acorn nestled in its fuzzy cap. Secluded eleven-acre Thoreau Lake was calm but we didn’t see a single duck or even the wild turkeys that are so plentiful here.




Oct. 17, 2017      Oktoberfest Happy Hour & Dinner

Today we celebrated a traditional German style Oktoberfest. Accordion players Ken Nicol and Mary Drake, in German costume, entertained us in the lobby Happy Hour with polkas that had toes tapping. Ken plays a five row ‘button box” accordion and Mary a piano accordion. It was festive scene with balloons in the colors of the German flag. With our beer we munched fried mushrooms, sauerkraut balls and pretzel bites with cheese or mustard dipping sauce.Our dining staff prepared a German dinner beginning with cheese soup with stout and pumpernickel croutons; Cucumber, dill and horseradish salad with sour cream; a choice of Hanchen Schnitzel (breaded chicken cutlet), Forelle Nack Art der Mullerin (rainbow trout), Schlachtplatte (sausage and sauerkraut); a choice of German potato salad, glazed carrots and parsnips, or creamed peas. Dessert was apple streudel. Wunderbar!




Oct. 13, 2017        Lunch out at Spagio

Since Hubert and Helga Seifert arrived in the United States thirty years ago, their Grandview restaurant, Spagio, has become a local favorite and a visitor destination. Yesterday a group of us enjoyed a delicious lunch there with the favorites being the chicken salad plate or a Reuben sandwich with fries.


Oct. 13, 2017       Alchemy 4 Exhibit – Ohio Craft Museum

Afterwards, we traveled a few blocks to the Alchemy 4 Exhibit at the Ohio Craft Museum. Organized by the Enamelist Society, this juried exhibition offered over 150 works by 98 artists from around the world. From jewelry to sculptures we were amazed at the creative vision and skill of these artists.



Oct. 9, 2017    Worthington Christian Eighth Grade Choir

After lunch the Worthington Christian Middle School Eighth Grade Choir was here to entertain us with their music and visit with us about life as eighth graders. They are pretty amazing after only seven weeks of music practice. Community service is part of their school mission and we loved having them here.

Oct. 8, 2017        ProMusica Concert

A loyal group of Forum residents who subscribe to the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra concert series enjoyed the opening concert of their 39th season this evening. The featured soloist was virtuoso pianist Conrad Tao playing Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major. The orchestra launched a series of Beethoven symphonies with a rousing version of Beethoven’s Fifth that earned the second standing ovation of the evening. It may have been raining outside but it was warm and welcoming in the Southern Theater!

Sept. 27, 2017    Central Ohio Glass Masters Exhibit

This morning fourteen of us visited the Concourse Gallery in the Upper Arlington Municipal Building to tour the show by Central Ohio Glass Masters. Our guide was the curator Harold Stevens, a member of the Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Commission. This diverse show featured items from $75 to $5600, from an elegant teardrop sculpture to a whimsical fish vase, by Central Ohio Studio Artists. Glass blowing is taught in Columbus at Ohio State, Columbus College of Art and Design, and the Glass Axis in addition to an active group of glass masters with their own glass furnaces. Their creations are simply lovely.


             Lunch at the OSU Golf Course Clubhouse

After our tour we crossed the street to the OSU Golf Course for lunch in the Clubhouse Restaurant overlooking the course. Most of us enjoyed a sandwich, soup, salad, or wrap at a very reasonable price.






After today’s regular monthly town meeting, our bus was waiting to shuttle us to the Healthcare Center for a VIP tour of the recently completed renovation of our Rehab Center. We’ve put up with the inconveniences, the fire alarms while they were connecting and testing the new system, the furniture in the hall as the old moved out and the new moved in, the noise that patients, family and friends experienced during the renovation.

 But it was all worth it! The decor is a calm and clean turquoise and cream, with private patient rooms each with a wheelchair accessible shower bath. The therapy room is spacious with window views of the ravine and a variety of equipment for both physical and occupational therapy. The new dining room is adjacent to a casual living space with TV, a couch and comfortable chairs. And the Bistro open 24/7 has a toaster, microwave, refrigerator and beverage maker for hot and cold food available to patients and family members.  What a blessing if you’re admitted at 10 PM and missed dinner in your discharge from the hospital! We all hope we never need a knee replacement or recovery from a stroke, but when we do, we now have a lovely setting for recovery.

Sept. 22, 2017       Trip to the Wilds

Those of us who went to the Wilds today had a marvelous day for seeing a wide variety of animals. We began with lunch at a picnic shelter overlooking one of more than 100 lakes on the property. We didn’t try the zip line but it looked like a lot of fun. This 10,000 acre wild animal preserve on reclaimed strip mining land is home to over 500 animals of 38 varieties. We had a two and a half hour ride in an open air bus for a close look at giraffes, cheetahs, bison, several varieties of deer and antelope from different parts of the world. rhinos, wild African dogs, ostriches, camels, Persian donkeys, wild Mongolian horses, and more.


Sept. 17, 2017          Dog Days of Summer

It was a lovely late summer afternoon as we gathered under the portico to celebrate the Dog Days of Summer. Residents, staff, and family members were invited to bring their dogs to enjoy each other’s company and Glen Parks entertaining us with four-string banjo tunes. There were hot dogs and chips for the humans and doggie treats for our four-legged friends and a good time was had by all. That’s Norma’s daughter and granddaughter with her grand dog, Pumpkin.


Sept. 14, 2017      Rick Moon & Doug Fentiman Concert

It’s a special evening when Rick Moon and Doug Fentiman return to perform for us. Rick has sung both leading baritone and tenor opera roles in over 100 cities throughout the United States and Italy. Doug is an accomplished pianist who has succeeded as a soloist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director for productions throughout the northeastern United States. Together they make exceptional music from Broadway musicals to operettas, hymns and 20th Century love songs. And, as always they invite us to join them in ending their concert with “God Bless America.” Glad to have you back, guys.

Sept. 14, 2017    Blacklick Woods Metro Park & Ice Cream

Our visits to Columbus Metro Parks are some of our most popular Forum outings. Today we headed to Reynoldsburg to visit Blacklick Woods Metro Park. This 643 acre park is bisected by Blacklick Creek, so named because the Native Americans noticed that it was visited by a variety of wild animals who licked its black stones for salt. We rode a trail bordered in many places by fall wild flowers – golden rod, two or three types of daisies, lobelia, thistles and touch-me-nots. Poison ivy vines, Virginia creeper and honeysuckle berries provided touches of red. Our naturalist guide stopped at a pawpaw grove to show us ripening fruits. We stopped to admire a magnificent burr oak that must be over 200 years old. The butterflies were out and about but animals such as the deer and beaver who live in the park must have been taking an afternoon siesta. Afterwards we stopped at Culver’s for ice cream. many of us had a dip of the day’s special German Chocolate Fudge – enough to spoil dinner!


Sept. 5, 2017      Honda Heritage Center, Marysville

Today a group of us traveled toward Marysville to tour the Honda Heritage Center. This tells the Honda story from the 1977 agreement between former Governor James Rhodes and the Honda president to manufacture some of their iconic motorcycles at a new plant in Ohio. In November 1982 they added cars when the first Honda Accord rolled off the production line at its newest factory. They have since added off-road bikes, the CRV sports utility vehicle, Accuras and Crosstours. Today they have four manufacturing plants in Ohio and 9,500 employees. Our group posed with a red one and Ginny and Marie met the test robot.

Sept. 5, 2017       Lunch at Der Dutchman, Plain City

After Honda we had lunch at Der Dutchman, a popular family restaurant that specializes in Amish and Mennonite favorites. The first Der Dutchman opened in 1969 at Walnut Grove, Ohio and the company headquarters is still there although they now have six restaurants, bakeries and gift shops. Lunch options include soup and salad combos but most of us chose their famous lunch buffet. And yes, we had time to check out the gift shop.

Sept. 2, 2017        Happy Hour with Andy Launer

Pianist Andy Launer was playing for us this evening for Happy Hour. Andy grew up in a musical family, played with a five-piece band in high school, and organized a dance combo while studying music education at Ohio Wesleyan. His varied musical career has involved teaching music, tuning pianos, and playing in various groups from a jazz trio to piano duo. In 2002 he was inducted into the Columbus Senior Musicians Hall of Fame. Andy is happy to take requests and Dick Wharton loves to ask for favorites, especially from Andy who played for his wedding reception.



August 28, 2017     “Wild Wonders:” Franklin Park Conservatory

Today a dozen of us traveled  to the Franklin Park Conservatory to see their special exhibit, “Wild Wonders.” These topiary animals created by the conservatory staff, both inside and outside, reflect endangered species all over the world. We began with lunch in the Garden Cafe which offers fresh seasonal salads, sandwiches and soups and delicious made-from-scratch pastries in the bright and airy lobby.

Very colorful flamingos greeted us as we arrived. A green peacock with his flowery blue tail dominated the north courtyard, A red panda was at home in the Himalayan mountains, a lowland gorilla in the rain forest, and a prong horned gazelle in the desert. An elephant family was occupying the sculpture garden. Be sure and ask Norma what the baby elephant whispered in her ear. In the bonsai courtyard, an African lion was eyeing the giraffe across the water hole (fishpond).

A sea turtle dominated the Pacific Island water garden and real butterflies flitted among the colorful flowers above the waterfall.

August 25, 2017       Farm to Table Special Dinner

This evening’s chef Pat Born is obviously enjoying serving residents freshly produced local foods.  August is a bountiful time. Our menu featured herbed chicken, beef short ribs, and Lake Erie walleye. We began with a cold blueberry soup, tomato salad, and had options of roasted acorn squash, corn and cheesy grits, and fresh mixed vegetables before ending with peach shortcake. The moment we entered the ‘barn doors’ to our dining room it was a delicious dinner.


August 21, 2017       Bridge For 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 eighteen tables of bridge players and everyone had a wonderful time for a good cause. Even the prizes and favors were donated.

August 18, 2017       Gilda Ferrari’s Italian exhibit

This afternoon prior to our Italian dinner, Gilda set up and exhibit of memorabilia from her eight trips to Italy. Both she and her late husband have Italian heritage and relatives still living in Italy. Pottery, tea towels, household accessories, scrapbooks of pictures, it was a fascinating collection that we enjoyed very much. Gilda also made Pizelles for us to munch as we browsed. Delicious!  For dinner our dining staff went all out Italian from soup to veal osso buco to our sous chef’s mother’s recipe for Italian wedding cake.


August 17, 2017         Concert: Johnny Steiner

This evening we welcomed back Forum favorite, Johnny Steiner – performer, conductor, teacher, composer. A week after his annual concert at his alma mater, Otterbein University, whose theme this year was ‘Signature,’ we enjoyed a variety of signature songs from his favorite vocalists – Louis Armstrong, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and many more. 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.

August 10, 2017    ProMusica Concert:Franklin Park Conservatory

The lawn of the Franklin Park Conservatory is a magical setting for music as the sun sets and the colored lights of the glass house in the background come on. This evening a group of us heard Conductor David Damzmayr lead the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in the Overture and several arias from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” with soprano soloist Chelseaa Hart Melcher and baritone Carlos Albert Monzon. The orchestra ended the evening with Schubert’s “Symphony No. 2.”

August 9, 2017       Clintonville Community Band

This evening we concluded our concerts under the portico for the season with a performance by the Clintonville Community Band. This band was organized in 1984 and is composed of sixty volunteers from high school and college students to Clintonville business and professional people. The director is Rick Burkart, retired Instrumental Music Director at Whetstone High School. They rehearse weekly, perform at outdoor concerts during the summer such as the Park of Roses, retirement communities such as the Forum, and host the community for an annual Holiday Concert in December. Wonderful music from swing to marches to patriotism!


August 8, 2017        Flower Arranging with Michele DeSantis

Michele DeSantis of DeSantis Florists on Kenny Rd. was back this afternoon with gorgeous summer flowers for residents who registered to make a summer arrangement for their apartment or give to a friend. She’s an expert and patient teacher who helped us create arrangements to enjoy or be proud to share. She encouraged us not to be afraid to cut stems or pull clusters apart to get the effect we want. Cynthia, Barb and Florence seem pleased with their results, but every single one was a beautiful blend of sunflowers, lilies, baby roses, daisies, mums, and baby’s breath.

August 7, 2017     Matsiko Children’s Choir

Nothing equals the bouncing enthusiasm of the Matsiko World Orphan Choir. Sponsored by the International Children’s Network, this choir has been touring the United States for several months each year since 2008. ‘Matsiko’ is the Ungandan word for hope and these youngsters radiate it with their huge smiles and energetic dancing. This year’s choir has 26 children from India, Liberia, Nepal and Peru and they dress in their colorful native costumes. They brought some local handicrafts such as jewelry, scarves, and purses as part of their fund-raising efforts for their school.


August 3, 2017       Concert: Worthington Civic Band

The Worthington Civic Band returned for this evening’s Concert Under the Portico. Sponsored by the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department, this band was founded in 1973 and since then has made performance trips to Europe several times as well as Hawaii and Australia. They recently returned from performing at Disneyland. Members range from 18 to 85 years of age and a number were college music majors. The Director is Robert Gibson, formerly a member of the US Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Ohio National Guard Band, and Band Director for Dublin City Schools and Ohio Dominican University. Their program this evening ranged from patriotic songs and marches to Broadway musicals, HMS Pinafore and a bit of jazz. A great evening!

July 27, 2017    Dinner on the Town: Boathouse At Confluence Park

A good group of us traveled downtown this evening for dinner at the Boathouse. A rainy day spoiled our plan to sit on the patio but we had a window table that gave us a foggy million-dollar view of the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers with the Columbus skyline in the background. Most of us had cocktails or wine; lobster bisque or crabcake appetizers; scampi & linguine, planked salmon or porkchop entrees; and creme brule cheesecake desserts. And we had plenty of time to watch the egret patiently waiting for fish by the riverbank.


July 26, 2017       Concert: Double Play

This evening this popular husband and wife team from Michigan was back to entertain us with their creative tuba and flute duets. The combination of flute and tuba might seem strange but with these talented musicians it works beautifully. Amy Ridings is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and Patrick Scianella is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. This evening’s program of ‘Songs and Dances’ went from Baroque Bach to Hungarian dances to Gershwin swing. Explaining the music as they introduced each number, they delighted us by demonstrating with a twelve-foot garden hose and funnel that brass instruments like the tuba are simply coiled tubes.

July 20, 2017    UA Concert in Park: Columbus Jazz Group

This evening a group of us enjoyed “Jazz in July” at the Upper Arlington Sunny 95 Park. We took lawn chairs and listened to the outstanding Columbus Jazz Group directed by Byron Stipling, former lead trumpeter with the Count Basie Orchestra. This free concert is always the final highlight of the Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation Department summer concert series. It was a beautiful evening with a refreshing breeze, a fiery orange sunset, and lots of cool jazz from the stage.

July 20, 2017     Sharon Woods Park Tram Ride & Picnic

Combine a warm summer day with a refreshing breeze and one of Columbus’ Metro Parks and you have one of Forum resident’s favorite activities. Our bus was full for our trip to Sharon Woods in Westerville. We boarded a tram to explore the park in comfort with a naturalist narrating the sights along the way. This park is primarily woods and meadows and native wildflowers were at peak bloom: Wild Bergamot, Black Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, spikey red Cardinal Flowers, Purple Loosestrife, and Milkweeds for the bees and butterflies. At midday the wild animals must have gone for a nap in the cool woods, but there was a lovely breeze through the shelter house near Shrock Lake where we enjoyed the picnic lunch packed by our dining staff. Nothing like spending a few hours with nature to recharge our batteries!

July 15, 2017      Trombones Plus with Ali Ryerson, Flutist

This morning we were lucky enough to reschedule the concert under our portico planned for Monday evening when the thunderstorm knocked our our electricity for several hours. Trombones Plus have been with us before, but this was special because internationally known jazz flutist Ali Ryerson, a niece of one of the trombone players, was in town visiting relatives and was featured with them. She played both soprano and alto flutes specially designed for her, and the group treated us to a variety from South American rhythms to patriotic American favorites. First time we’ve ever heard a bass trombone and soprano flute duet!

July 14, 2017     Columbus Symphony Woodwind Trio

This evening we had a special treat with a concert by a Columbus Symphony community outreach ensemble. This was a woodwind trio composed of Randall Nester on flute, Robert Royce oboe, and Betsy Sturdevant bassoon. Their program moved from Bach to a tango dance to Verdi opera to the patriotism of America the Beautiful among others. They invited questions on everything from making oboe and bassoon reeds to their musical backgrounds and symphony programming. A lovely evening enjoyed by a full house.

July 7, 2017      Olympic “Putt-Putt” Golf Tournament

The thunderstorm arrived just as our golf tournament was starting, but not to worry – our psychic activities director, Barb, listened to the weather forecast and set up the six-hole putt-putt course in our living room and lobby. A great time was had both by players and their cheering sections, especially for a hole-in-one! Some competed as teams, some individually, and all for a bottle of champagne!


July 4, 2017        4th of July Picnic Buffet

We all got out our red, white and blue to celebrate the glorious 4th. As always, our dining staff prepared and served a festive picnic buffet of potato salad, tortellini salad, fruit salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, hot dogs, hamburgers with all of the trimmings, barbeque chicken and berry, berry pie. Independence Day has been a federal holiday since 1941 although the tradition dates to 1776 and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Last night thousands jammed downtown for Red, White and Boom along the Columbus riverfront. Today most of the suburbs began with parades, followed by family picnics, entertainment, and ending with fireworks.


July 3, 2014        Steve Ball Concert: Civil War Music

This evening Steve and Lisa Ball entertained us with authentic music of the Civil War era. Steve plays an 1850s guitar and his wife Lisa accompanies him on base and vocals. Since childhood Steve has been interested in the Civil War, inspired by stories of his great-grandfather who left his Ross County home to fight for the Union in some of the wars major battles. He has acquired quite a collection of Civil War sheet music and shared fascinating stories about composers and the stories behind the music from ‘My Darling Nellie Gray’ to the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ Remembering the Civil war on the eve of our 4th of July holiday was the perfect way to pay tribute to the those who fought, died, or were wounded for the freedoms we celebrate.

June 30, 2017     Singer, Guitarist 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.” This evening, in keeping with our June theme of fruits and vegetables, his program had an agricultural focus appropriate to his growing up on an Ohio pig farm. Accompanying himself with either guitar or banjo his familiar selections from “You Are My Sunshine” to “Get Along Home Cindy, Cindy” encouraged us to sing along.




June 29, 2017      Pie on the Patio

What’s more American than apple pie? Last night we ended our dinner with apple pie on the patio. The weather cooperated with a pleasant breezy evening, perfect for lingering and visiting. And so we end the month of June and begin the 4th of July holiday weekend.

June 23, 2017            ‘North Church’ Handbell Choir

Members of the North Congregational United Church of Christ handbell choir — including our own Kay McKee! — were here to entertain us this evening. This group was playing three octaves of White Chapel handbells, alternating at times with hand chimes that produce a sound like a large music box. Have you ever seen one lady pinching hitting for a missing member playing two sets of  handbells? Impressive!


June 22, 2017     A Trip to India with Food and Music

This evening our dining staff took us to the Himalayas and back with a dinner theme of Indian foods. This was followed by an evening of traditional music of northern India with Utpola Borah and Hans Utter. Vocalist Utpola Borah earned her PhD in music in Delhi specializing in both Indian classical and folk music. Instrumentalist Hans Utter earned his PhD in ethnomusicology at Ohio State specializing in the sitar and tabla both of which he used in entertaining us. Afterwards several of us gathered around to see and question Utpola about some of the handicrafts she displayed on the piano.


June 19, 2017     “The Experience” – Christ Lutheran Touring Choir

This morning we had a special treat and an overflow audience under our portico for a concert by “The Experience,” a high-school-age touring choir of the Christ Lutheran Church at Charlotte, North Carolina. This group of forty-two young people from ten different high schools presented “These Chains,” a selection of religious songs with a definite youthful, modern beat. Accompanied by keyboard, drums and guitar the program featured a variety of soloists, or small groups backed by the entire choir. One highlight was the trumpet soloist. Presenting programs as they go, the group also makes time for fun with a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this afternoon and Cedar Point tomorrow.

June 6, 2017       Three Creeks Metro Park Tram Ride

The trams are running again in the Columbus Metro Parks, so today we headed for Three Creeks with a picnic lunch prepared by our dining staff. We found a shelter house with picnic tables overlooking Turtle Pond. Three Creeks is southeast of Columbus near Groveport and includes the confluence of Alum, Blacklick, and Big Walnut Creeks. At 1100 acres it is one of the largest metro parks and a delight to explore by tram. Rangers say that over over 100 species of birds have been sighted in the park and we were delighted to see a blue heron and colorful Baltimore oriole among several more common species. We were fascinated by a pollinating garden with an ‘insect hotel’ to attract bees. Many weeds and shrubs were in full bloom including the elegant elderberry. A truly beautiful day.


June 2, 2017      Happy Hour on Patio

It’s summer again and we can enjoy our regular Friday and Saturday evening Happy Hours on the patio when the weather cooperates. We love it!

June 2, 2017       Stop and Smell the Roses

Today we did indeed stop to smell the roses with a trip to one of our loveliest neighbors, the Columbus Park of Roses. This 13 acre park within the larger 149 acre Whetstone Park was already at or slightly past its peak bloom this year. We didn’t see every one the 12,000 roses, but we admired hundreds – first taking in the entire panorama and then up close to admire the grandeur of many individually. The weather was perfect for just sitting on a bench or wandering the paved paths refreshing our souls!


June 1, 2017      Patio Concert: Four Winds

What a lovely evening! The weather was perfect – blue skies, low seventies – the patio was inviting, and the music was mellow with the Four Winds saxophone quartet. For those of us who know the alto or tenor sax well, seeing the full range from soprano to baritone was a real treat. The diversity of their musical selections included the lively Pennsylvania Polka, the iconic Take the A Train and Pink Panther, Glenn Miller’s famous String of Pearls, the mellow sounds of Moon River and Stardust, and several jazz tunes before ending with A Closer Walk with Thee in New Orleans style from funeral march to celebration in the bar. Definitely an evening to remember. 

May 29, 2017        Memorial Day Buffet Picnic

Today was our traditional annual Memorial Day Buffet Picnic. This year it featured Bratwurst, Barbequed Hamburger Sliders with Bacon, Fried Chicken thighs, Macaroni & Cheese, Corn, Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables, Potato Salad, Pea Salad, Cole Slaw, Fruit Salad, beverages and Cherry Pie for Dessert. Some preferred to eat in our scenic dining room dominated by a huge American flag while others preferred to take theirs out on the patio and enjoy the gorgeous weather.


May 25, 2017       Columbus International Program Chinese Visitors

The Columbus International Program (CIP) promotes international understanding through youth and adult international exchanges where participants live with families and absorb local culture related to their special interests. Today a group of professional Chinese social workers visited us, learning about senior living lifestyle options in the U.S. Paki, our regular Tai Chi class leader invited everyone to participate in a Tai Chi session that made our lobby resemble a very active Chinese public park.

May 22, 2017        Resident and Staff Talent Show

What a joyous, fun afternoon this turned out to be with Kay keeping the show moving as MC. Marilyn and Bill dancing to Glenn Miller’s “Pennsylvania 6-5000” brought back many memories and a few tears.

Tracy’s piano rendition of the gospel song “Amen” turned into a singing, clapping audience participation number.

The Singing Seniors accompanied by Sylvia at the piano responded with “Amazing Grace” and A.J. recited a poem about growing older that he learned as a boy.

Peg sang the version of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music that Julie Andrews altered to honor seniors when she performed for an AARP convention. Chris has been playing harmonica since he was ten and the audience couldn’t resist joining him in “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Alyssa on guitar and Chelsea as vocalist presented the Rock and Roll classic, “Games People Play.”


Charlie, accompanied by Tracy brought the audience in singing Burl Ives’ “Don’t Mess with Mr. In-Between.” Pete Anderson, our longest resident, reminisced about what the Forum was like 25 years ago, and Tracy closed with a rousing version of the great gospel song, “How Great Thou Art.” How we do enjoy and appreciate each other!

May 15, 2017     Houses of Faith: Broad St. Presbyterian

Today our Houses of Faith series continued with a visit to the East Broad Street Presbyterian Church. This Romanesque style building was designed in 1887 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places 1987. It was expanded early in the 20th century when the congregation became one of the largest in the city. Our guide gave us an excellent history of the church and its exquisite collection of Tiffany windows, including the Resurrection window in the chancel and Christ Blessing the Children at the rear of the sanctuary. These and those at Greenlawn Cemetery are the only Tiffany windows in Columbus.

May 13, 20117      Roll Out the Red Carpet for Moms

Today we rolled out the red ‘carpet’ and set the stage to honor the ‘stars’ – our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and the concept of motherhood. Musician/entertainer extraordinaire, Johnnie Steiner, entertained an overflow crowd with a medley of songs from joyous to sentimental.

Afterwards we moved to the dining room for an elegant selection of sweets from our marvelous chefs, accompanied by colorful flutes of champagne or Shirley Temples. Then to the living room to have a professional photo commemorating the occasion. Memorable day indeed!


May 7, 2017      Spring in Bloom all Around the Forum

Gorgeous spring days are the perfect time to walk the Forum grounds and admire the lovely flowers offering a changing display week by week. John & Jackie’s pansies and roses, Joyce’s peonies literally pulsing with color, Ginny’s dainty blue and white iris, Dorothy’s commanding clemitis, Jim and Bev’s delicate French lilac – we dare you not to love them all.



May 5, 2017           Cinco ‘de Mayo

Cinco ‘de Mayo commemorates the improbable victory of 2000 Mexican soldiers over the much larger 6000 man French army on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. Today we joined our neighbors to the south in celebrating with a specially themed Happy Hour with Margaritas, chips and salsa. The dining staff outdid themselves with a south-of-the-border menu highlighting Tira de Asado (barbecue beef short ribs), Chipotle Shrimp, or Arroz con Pollo accompanied by colorful Latin soup, salad, sides, and dessert.

April 27, 2017       Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

The theme of today’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon was Lawrence Welk’s famous saying “Wunderful! Wunderful!” Volunteers are indeed wonderful. They compose the committees that work with staff in welcoming newcomers, suggesting programs, providing feedback on dining services. They conduct a variety of programs and activities from Bible Study to Current Events, calling Bingo, or staffing the gift shop. Life at the Forum is enriched by their time and effort. We enjoyed a delightful lunch of mushroom soup, chicken salad, fruit, topped off by lemon ribbon cake and coffee or tea. Ken and Mary were here to entertain us afterwards with a lively accordion performance of Lawrence Welk standards, and everyone one left with a box of chocolates! 

April 17, 2017      Concert: Friday Night Live Music

Yes, it’s the meteorologist Ben Gelber who we see on WCMH-TV giving weather reports, who is also the founder of “Friday Night Live Music.” Nine of them were with us this evening playing evocative and enchanting Jewish melodies. Ben plays keyboard. He took piano lessons as a child and played with groups while attending Penn State University. But music took a back seat to his professional career until his mother developed cancer and his father dementia. Music was a language in which they could communicate. Although Friday Night Live Music plays many venues, senior living communities have a special place in Ben’s heart.

April 12, 2017      Redbud in the Ravine

Our beautiful ravine is a joy to us in all seasons – even with a winter coat of pristine snow. But it comes into all of its glory when the redbud and crabapples bloom. Don’t underestimate the healing and restorative powers of nature when you are choosing a senior living community.

April 8, 2017         Easter Bunny Visit & Easter Egg Hunt

This afternoon featured the Forum’s annual visit from the Easter bunny. The entire building was decorated and overflowing with those special Easter eggs filled with candies. Staff members brought their children and residents invited their great-grandchildren age two to ten. Kids get a hug and have their picture taken with the Easter bunny and join the scramble for eggs with prizes for the winners and cookies and punch for everyone. It makes you feel young again!


April 3, 2017       Tour: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral


This afternoon fifteen of us toured the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral as part of our “Houses of Faith” series. The traditional Byzantine architecture of this building is modeled on the 6th century Hagia Sophia in Istanbul in the shape of the Greek cross with all cross pieces of equal length. The large dome above their cross point portrays Christ in the center Four corner arches feature the apostles. The half dome behind the altar features a mosaic icon of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child. Our guide gave us an excellent explanation of the meaning of the iconostasis and the mosaic workmanship containing millions of small pieces of colored glass. Colorful stained glass windows feature various Biblical stories such as St. George killing the dragon.


This shrine will soon be covered with fresh flowers and paraded around the block on Good Friday.

A special treat was the current exhibit of colorful wedding attire in the unique styles of various regions of Greece. Note the bride wearing her dowry of coins in her necklace and head dress.