RAPS - Portland State University ... RAPS ACTIVITIES RAPS BOOK CLUB At our last gathering on September

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  • THE RAPS SHEET Retirement Association of Portland State October 2006 Portland State University PO Box 751 Portland OR 97207-0751 Simon Benson House (503)725-3447 Campus Mail: RAPS E-Mail: raps@pdx.edu Website: http://www.raps.pdx.edu Office Hours: Tues. & Thurs. 8:00a.m. -3:30 p.m.

    Officers President Bruce Stern President-Elect Robert Tufts Past President Mary Brannan Treasurer Robert Lockerby Secretary Larry Sawyer Editor John Cooper

    Board Members-at- Large

    Robert Pearson (2007) Roger Moseley (2007) Gwen Newborg (2007)

    Committees Awards Richard Brinkman

    Elections Mary Brannan Membership TBA

    Social/Friendship Beryl and Vic Dahl

    Office Manager Darshana Patel 503-725-3447

    PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Last night I had the occasion to see a former student as I was doing volunteer work at the Oregon Food Bank. She said that she remembered me better than most of her instructors because I actually forced her to think and learn.

    As I later reflected on our conversation, I was reminded of the influence on me of one of the great figures of the Renaissance – Moses Maimonides, often just referred to as Maimonides. He was a philosopher, rabbi, and physician. His profound contributions to both Judaism and Western thought left neither quite the same. One statement attributed to him guided me throughout my professional career: “I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but most of all from my pupils.” As retirees, we learn from many sources: other people, conventional media, and new technology-driven vehicles. The important thing is to continue learning in order to keep our minds sharp.

    RAPS has an important role in keeping the matter between our ears active. On September 21, we had the opportunity to have a guided tour of the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. Not only did I learn the history of the gardens, but also I discovered new ways of pruning bushes and took advantage of several breathtaking views to do some reflection.

    On Thursday, October 19 at 1:00pm, we will commence our speaker programs. Dr. Basil Dmytryshyn will discuss his life’s journey from Russia to PSU. My many trips to Russia (from 1989-1998) have taught me to appreciate greatly our life in the United States. Basil’s story should increase that feeling in you.

    I look forward to your participation in RAPS programs and activities this year. Take advantage of what we have to offer and in doing so sharpen your mind.

    Bruce Stern


    Basil Dmytryshyn “From Poland to Portland”

    October 19, Thursaday 1:00 pm, 236 SMC


    At our last gathering on September 19th, seven RAPS members, including new member Sally Jacobsen, took part in a lively discussion of Small Island by Andrea Levy. Several commented on the author’s vivid character descriptions, and we liked the way each chapter was written from a specific character’s point of view. Thanks to a list of discussion questions obtained from www.picadorUSA.com, as well as contributions from all participants, it was a stimulating and delightful afternoon. Please join us next month for a discussion of The Color of Water by James McBride. The book group will meet at 1:30pm on October 17th, hosted by Prue Douglas at Terwilliger Plaza. Please contact her at 503-299- 4928 to let her know that you plan to attend and for directions. The book is a memoir and is described on the book jacket as follows:

    As a boy in Brooklyn’s Red Hook projects, James McBride knew his mother was different. But when he asked about it, she’d simply say, “I’m light-skinned.” Later he wondered if he was different, too, and asked his mother if he was black or white. “You’re a human being,” she snapped. “Educate yourself or you’ll be a nobody!” And when James asked what color God was, she said, “God is the color of water”. . . As an adult, McBride finally persuaded his mother to tell her story—the story of a rabbi’s daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church, and put twelve children through college. The Color of Water is James McBride’s tribute to his remarkable, eccentric, determined mother—and an eloquent exploration of what family really means.

    The book selected for November is Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman. Happy Reading!

    Mary Brannan and Maxine Thomas

    RAPS BRIDGE GROUP The next meeting of the RAPS Bridge Group will be at 1:30pm on Tuesday, October 10th, at the home of Mike and Marge Fiasca. If you would like to play, please call or e-mail Mike no later than Friday, October 6th at 503-675-8171 or mfiasca@aol.com. For answers to any other questions about the Bridge Group, please call or e-mail Colin Dunkeld at 503-292-0838 or colipat@easystreet.com.

    Colin Dunkeld

    RAPS HIKERS Four RAPS hikers traveled to Fort Clatsop on September 22nd, where we hiked on the fairly new trail from Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach. The section we hiked was graveled and dry. A new viewpoint about 1.5 miles from the fort gives a window view of the ocean through the forest.

    At lunch we discussed future hikes. Some suggested having fewer sack lunches on the trail and more lunches at popular restaurants. Hike location permitting, we will have lunch and social conversations at a restaurant. Unless it is near a holiday, hikes will continue be on the fourth Friday with meeting times at 9:00am on distant hikes and 9:30am on local hikes. Hikes will be planned that are not strenuous and less than five or six miles.

    October 27th hike: Lower Mccleay trail. Meet at 9:30am at the parking lot a few hundred yards east of the Audubon Society on Cornell Road. We will hike down the Wildwood trail to the Mccleay trail and follow this trail down Balch Creek Canyon to the park headquarters. We will car- shuttle back to the starting point. This is all downhill for several hundred feet of elevation with most of the steep part at the beginning of the hike. Robert Pearson will coordinate this hike as Larry Sawyer will be in Phoenix. Contact him at 503-293-1771 or pearson_ r@comcast.net.

    The November hike will be on the 17th because of the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no December hike because of the holidays.

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  • RAPS ACTIVITIES - continued HIKERS continued from page 2

    Hikes planned include Wahkeena Falls (not all the way to the top), Catherine Creek, a section of the Banks to Vernonia linear park with lunch in Vernonia, and Sauvie/Oak Island. In case of weather or other problems, alternate short hikes in Hoyt Arboretum and sections of the Springwater trail will be substituted. More details of these hikes will follow as scheduled.

    Larry Sawyer


    The RAPS excursion to the Japanese Garden in Wash- ingto Park brought out many RAPS members.

    The Lower Pond

    The Flat Garden

    RAPS PROGRAM October Program

    The first regular program of the year will be on October 19, Thursday, at 1:00 pm in SMC 236. Our featured speaker is Basil Dmytryshyn, Professor Emeritus of History. He will talk about his journey from Poland to Portland, from prison to PSU. Light refreshments will be served.

    Basil was born in Poland to Ukrainian parents. At the end of World War II, he was a member of the Slovak anti-German resistance. Later he spent a few months in a Soviet prison from which he escaped. He came to the U.S. in 1947, becoming a citizen in 1951. He received his B.A. in 1950 and M.A. in 1951 from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. in 1955. from the University of California, Berkeley.

    He has published twenty books and written many articles and reviews. He was a Fellow at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington D.C. and recognized with an honorary foreign membership in the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Center for North American Studies and Russian-American Relations. He has become an internationally recognized scholar of Russian history.

    September Events

    Japanese Garden Tour Early on the afternoon of September 21, our members assembled outside the main gate of the Japanese Garden, in Washington Park above the Rose Test Gardens, in anticipation of improving weather. In the event, the sky was overcast but there were only a very few raindrops. Twenty-seven members and guests participated. Tour guides took us in two groups through the Garden. The Japanese Garden Society of Oregon established the garden on the former site of the city zoo. This Garden is one the most authentic in the United States. It reflects the tradition of Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist philosophies.

    Viking Football Three dozen RAPS members enjoyed he Vikings football home-opener on September 9th at PGE

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    My next excursion after the Amazon and the Galapagos (described in the September RAPS Sheet) was a trip at the end of April to Chile and Argentina. We flew overnight from Miami to Santiago, Chile, arriving early in the morning. We stayed in Santiago for four days, and, while we were there, we visited a small family-owned winery.