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Spring 2019 Program


Multi-Session Courses | Single-Session Courses | Tours |
Theater Productions & Classes


S1901 Gallery Walks, the Sequel
Presenter: Michael R. Kapetan
Dates: Fridays, April 5, 12, 19, and 26
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $32; Nonmembers $45

This is about art and about history, but it is not art history. Let's be foot loose and fancy free, and just follow our feet from one imaginary gallery to another, from one museum to another, to an astonishing building here and a surprising home or factory there. Without any boundaries of time or space, let's enjoy the work of creative people, one by one, asking ourselves how the font of human ingenuity is opened and nourished and fulfilled. Among the imagined galleries we will visit are those of German expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, contemporary British sculptor Andy Golds-worthy, French impressionist Claude Monet, and the nameless artists of prehistory who decorated cave walls with images.

Michael R. Kapetan is an artist whose own work is informed by the scientific, the aesthetic, and the spiritual, as he creates holy images for churches,synagogues, and temples, plus unique solar sculptures that mark the turning of the seasons. Mike is retired from the University ofMichigan School of Art. He holds a degree in art history from Harvard University, and a master’s degree in sculpture from the University of Michigan.


S1902 Creative Writing Workshop
Facilitator: Rosalie Karunas
Dates: Wednesdays, April 10, May 1, June 5, and June 26
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee: Members $32; Nonmembers $45
Class Size: Enrollment for this class is limited to 12 attendees.

This workshop offers a relaxed setting for writers of all interests and levels. Attendees will discuss each other’s writings and offer suggestions for mining memories, maintaining a journal, and adding music and mystery to both prose and poetry. Whether you would like to delve into family history, memoir, or fantasy, or discover new formats, this workshop can help. Sharing your drafts with peers and listening to their reactions is a proven road to more effective writing. In this small group you will never feel overwhelmed or overlooked, and you will meet new friends whose lively company you will enjoy. To the initial session, please bring 13 copies of your work for distribution among the participants – up to two pages for poetry, three pages for prose.

Rosalie Karunas is retired from a career as a research statistician with Parke Davis and with the University of Michigan Health System. She is a long-time participant in this workshop who enjoys writing poetry, stories, and devotional materials. Rosalie will be assisted by co-facilitator Carol Westfall.


S1903 The Truth of Their Lives: Women of the Old Testament
Presenter: Ken Phifer
Dates: Fridays, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $32; Nonmembers $45

Some of the most interesting and influential women in history are found in the stories of the Hebrew Bible/Christian Old Testament. Until quite recently, these women were relegated to a secondary position by students of the Bible and the Jewish and Christian traditions, but the truth of their lives is how important they were to their contemporaries, and have become to us. Among the women we will discuss in this course are Eve, Hagar, Rahab, Jezebel, Ruth, Esther, Jephthah's daughter, and others.

Ken Phifer is a graduate of Harvard College and earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He has been a Unitarian Universalist minister for almost 50 years, 25 of them in ministry at the Ann Arbor congregation. With pride, Ken has 17 grandchildren.


S1904 Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita:
The Challenges of Artistic Complexity
Presenter: Jeffrey Cordell
Dates: Mondays, April 15 and 22
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25
Text: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita. Second International Vintage Edition, 1997. ©1955.
ISBN 679-72316-1

Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one of the most challenging works of 20th century American literature. It challenges our common notions of what kind of story a novel should tell, and with whom, among the characters, a reader should identify. It also challenges our conventions about the role of style in storytelling. In this course, we will read Lolita with an eye to its artistic complexities, complexities that make the novel at once a rare artistic achievement and yet another challenge – the perennial moral challenge. This course also offers a brief overview of Vladimir Nabokov’s life and art, from his earliest writings in pre-revolutionary Russia to his exile in Germany, and then in the United States, where he became a citizen, to his final years in Switzerland.

Jeffrey Cordell holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature from the University of Virginia. He has taught literature and academic writing at Boston University, Harvard, and Alma College. Jeffrey currently is an assistant professor and teaches in the Department of Language, Literature, Communication and Writing at Madonna University.


S1905 African American Slavery, 1619–2019: Still Haunting America
Presenter: Michael Homel
Dates: Wednesdays, April 24, May 1 and 8
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon [Please note the 9:30 a.m. start time.]
Fee: Members $24; Nonmembers $35

William Faulkner wrote, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” So it is with black slavery. Although it ended 150 years ago in the United States, it looms over us still. This course addresses American slavery in its own time. We start with its beginnings, discuss how it developed over time, and differed from place to place. We will describe daily rhythms of life and tell how, amid adversity, a new people – African Americans – emerged with their own culture. We will also evaluate slave resistance and account for the collapse of the system in the 1860s, only to see it give way to a slightly modified economic and racial order.

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University. He specializes in 20th century American history. Mike is the author of two books and other publications on urban education, race, government, and politics. He is a regular Elderwise instructor, offering classes on history, politics, and popular music.


S1906 Book Club
Facilitator: Shirley Southgate
Dates: Mondays, April 29, May 20, and June 24
Times: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., except May 20, which is 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Using prepared questions and our own observations, the discussion each month will explore a book from current best-seller lists. Selected books for the Spring 2019 semester are:

April In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende Fiction
May The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware Fiction
June The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson Nonfiction

Please read In the Midst of Winter before the first class. The facilitator will send a list of discussion questions for each book to all registrants prior to each Book Club session.

Shirley Southgate is a long-time member of both Elderwise and the Book Club. She is an avid reader and looks forward to a lively exchange of ideas, opinions, and interpretations.


S1907 Jane Austen: Emma
Presenter: George Stewart
Dates: Thursdays, May 2, 9, 16, and 23
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon.
Fee: Members $32; Nonmembers $45
Class Size: Enrollment for this class is limited to 15 attendees.

Emma Woodhouse is young, beautiful, and rich; and she thinks, perhaps, rather too well of herself. Among the talents she imagines she possesses is one for match-making, but she proves to be not very good at it – with unfortunate results. Emma has some lessons to learn about love and about herself before she can find her own ideal match. Jane Austen, with her characteristic wit and irony on full display, is the perfect teacher. For the first class please read Chapters 1 through 15, roughly the first one-quarter of the novel.

George Stewart practiced law for many years in Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, and Ann Arbor. He is honing his retirement skills by reading, and rereading, great writers like Jane Austen. He looks forward to sharing the pleasures of Emma with like-minded readers.


S1908 Taking Apart the News
Presenter: Al Chambers
Dates: Thursdays, May 2, 9, 16, and 23
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $32; Nonmembers $45

A quest for the truth, and intense interest in news and the role of the media, are leading factors in the longevity and popularity of this course. It would be nice to think that our Taking Apart the News sessions might soon return to considering more than American politics and presidential problems, but that would be an unlikely surprise. With the constant and rapid twisting and turning of daily news, it is impossible to identify specific subject content in advance, except to say that our classes will focus on current real news and how the media is covering those developments. By May 2019, the “Endless Election” leading up to 2020 will be well underway, with not only a field of Democratic aspirants, but also announced or rumored challenges to President Trump from Republican or independent contenders. Perhaps of greater importance will be the turmoil of the rest of the world, including the uncertainty of other countries in reacting to this very different, and some think dangerous, America.

Al Chambers has spent decades in front-line journalism, corporate communications and, more recently, consulting with major global corporations. He works hard at trying to understand the fascinating and fast-paced developments of today’s world and how the media covers them.


S1909 The Joy of Gardening and Plant Exchange
Presenter: Keith Germain
Dates: Mondays, May 6 and 13
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25

To all of our long-time gardeners, as well as beginners and would-be gardeners: Please bring your gardening problems and questions to this course! Master Gardener Keith Germain will discuss new
information and approaches, with a special focus on insects and plant diseases. He will also discuss invasive species in the garden, along with the art and science of composting. If weather conditions permit, class members will enjoy an additional opportunity for plant exchange.

Keith Germain has more than 60 years of gardening experience. He plants his own quarter-acre garden with vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Over the years, Keith has worked with several horticulture groups, as well as with plant and flower clubs. He has taught gardening courses regularly with the Elderwise lifelong learning program since 1993.


S1910 Exploring the Poetry of Our Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith
Presenter: Leonore Gerstein
Dates: Tuesdays, May 7 and 14
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25
Texts: Life on Mars: Poems (2011); The Body’s Question (2004); and Duende (2003)
by Tracy K. Smith, Graywolf Press. All are available in libraries, bookstores, and
at online booksellers. Copies of the selected poems will be available for enrollees
at the Elderwise office ten days in advance of the first session.

In these two sessions we will read selections from Tracy K. Smith’s three volumes of poetry, including Life on Mars, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. Ms. Smith is currently the nation’s Poet Laureate. Her natural bent is to look inward and make a beautiful whole out of seemingly disparate experiences. In a 2017 interview with National Public Radio, she commented that poems “house contradictions and disrupt certainties, and fundamentally connect us more fully to our own inner lives and to the lives of others.” With language that is always fresh and surprising, Smith’s poems embody wholly particular and individual responses to life. As we share our understanding of the texts, we will discover the beauty of her language while, perhaps, broadening our own emotional and cognitive range.

Leonore Gerstein was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and spent many of her formative years in Israel, first at a kibbutz, and then in Jerusalem, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy. Leonore is passionate about poetry and is always eager to explore a variety of works with veteran and new Elderwise members.


S1911 Children in Wartime: Two French Films
Presenter: Edward Couture
Dates: Tuesdays, May 28 and June 4
Time: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25

In this course we will view and discuss two films that tell of the experiences of French children during the World War II German occupation of their country between 1940 and 1944.

Forbidden Games [Jeux Interdits] (René Clément, 1952) opens as we witness millions of French citizens fleeing the advance of the conquering forces. Thousands are brutally attacked from the air during their frantic escape to freedom. One small girl is rescued by a farming family and cared for as one of their own.
Good-Bye Children [Au Revoir les Enfants] (Louis Malle, 1987) is situated in a private boys school run by a group of sympathetic priests. All of the Jewish boys have been given Christian-sounding names, in the hope of shielding them from the ever-prying eyes of the enemy. We witness their daily lives as they are slowly integrated into their new community.

Edward Couture earned his master’s degree in French and Russian from Middlebury College in Vermont. He moved to Ann Arbor in 1997, after retiring from 35 years of teaching in the Los Angeles City schools. Edward is a student of languages and history, and a professional philatelist focusing on stamp collections from North America and France.


S1912 Poems I Love . . . and You Will, Too
Presenter: Joel Nydahl
Dates: Thursdays, June 13 and 20
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25
Class Size: Enrollment for this class is limited to 20 attendees.


When Joel Nydahl looked back over decades of introducing college students to poetry, it occurred to him that there were a few dozen poems that repeatedly found their way into his syllabi. These were poems that he loved to teach and that students loved to read and study. It has been a while since Joel has taught a survey class in poetry, and he has missed that enthusiastic interaction among teacher, student, and poem. So, here goes! Nostalgia, full speed ahead! The poems to be studied will be a potpourri of works by well-known poets – but with no cohesion other than a history of students and teacher finding them rewarding, interesting, and fun. We will read and discuss poems by Robert Frost, Wilfred Owen, e. e. cummings, John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Browning, Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, William Shakespeare, and . . . well, just join us and be surprised. The instructor will provide handouts of all poems. Please pick up your copy at the Elderwise office the week before classes begin.

Joel Nydahl holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He has taught literature courses for a number of colleges and universities, and retired as Chair of the English Department at Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.




S1913 From Michigan to the Pacific Ocean, and Back:
North America's Natural Worlds
Presenters: Michael and Susan Kielb
Date: Tuesday, April 9
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

In this class naturalists Michael and Susan Kielb will lead us on an amazing natural history adventure. We will visit a wide variety of spectacular natural paradises, ranging from the southern cyprus swamps of southern Illinois, through the tall grass prairies of the Midwest, to a diversity of southwestern and western deserts. We will journey through the sequoias and coastal redwoods in California, along ocean shores, and back through northern glaciers, the Rocky Mountains, and the Badlands in southern South Dakota. Along the way, we will experience the incredible and stunning diversity of life on this amazing continent.

Michael Kielb began his career as a histochemist studying monkeys, but always studied birds on the side. He has led several natural history tours through the Americas. Mike is currently a member of the Biology faculty at Eastern Michigan University, and a contributing author for several books on birds.

Susan Kielb started out as an ornithologist studying Indigo Buntings. She is now retired from teaching middle-school math and science, and currently studies Palm Warblers during their nesting season in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


S1914 Scotland’s Stevensons and Their Lighthouses
Presenter: Mary Borkowski
Date: Wednesday, April 10
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

This illustrated presentation by Mary Borkowski traces the history of how the ancestors of author Robert Louis Stevenson built the lighthouses of Scotland. The story of lighthouses for mariners in Scotland’s treacherous waters began with Robert Louis Stevenson’s great grandfather, Thomas Smith, and continues with his grandfather, Robert Stevenson, his uncles, father, and cousins, ultimately spanning almost two centuries and four generations of Stevensons. In this class we will learn about the Stevenson family history while we explore the increasing need for lighthouses, not only in Scotland but around the world, during the 18th century, and the development of lighthouse technology and construction. With Mary Borkowski’s expert photography, we will enjoy many views of Scotland’s present-day lighthouses.

Mary Borkowski is a retired landscape architect who spent 40 years with Atwell-Hicks before retiring in 2005. Mary and husband Phil have been traveling to and photographing scenic lighthouses worldwide for more than 30 years. They often travel with the United States Lighthouse Society. Mary is an active volunteer with that group. They returned from their fourth trip to Scotland in late July, 2017.


S1915 The State of American Politics
Presenter: Edward Sidlow
Date: Thursday, April 11
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Regardless of political persuasion, many citizens today question the tone, posture, direction, purpose, and effectiveness of American politics. Shrill voices, strident stances, extreme swings from the center, an intense focus on problems instead of solutions, and legislative paralysis – these seem to have become the defining attributes of power and governance in the United States. But, is it really all that bad? Ed Sidlow is a political scientist, student of American political history, and expert on the United States Congress. In this presentation he will discuss the American electorate (yes, Americans still vote), the state of our political institutions (yes, America is still a democracy), and the political policy issues on our horizon. These topics may well be drawn the night before this class but, well, that’s politics!

Edward Sidlow is Professor of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University. He holds his Ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University and previously taught at Arizona State University, Miami University, and Northwestern University. He is a recipient of the Award for Teaching Excellence, and has authored two books on Congress and a textbook on American politics.


S1916 Songs of America's Women: An Encore
Presenter: Layla Ananda
Date: Monday, April 15
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p. m.

Musician and vocalist Layla Ananda returns to Elderwise with an encore presentation on the songs that have expressed the lives of women in American history. When people came to this country from Europe, Africa, and Asia, they brought their music with them. After coming ashore, some of the songs remained intact while others were rearranged to fit new lives in the new world. The songs women have sung during these last 300 years have much to tell us about how our foremothers thought and felt. Sad songs and violent songs seem to be outlets for powerlessness and hard work, while songs of strength and daring show that women did not always accept their lot quietly, or at all. In this class we will hear the stories behind the songs. We will also enjoy Layla’s live performance and an opportunity to sing along.

Layla Ananda has been singing all her life, and has been performing for almost 50 years. She created "Songs of America's Women" as part of her B.A. degree in Contemporary Musicology at Michigan State University. Layla accompanies herself on both the guitar and the dulcimer.


S1917 Alexander Hamilton: Building America
Presenter: Hedy Brodak
Date: Wednesday, April 17
Time: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]

Alexander Hamilton: Building America is a 2017 History Channel documentary which captures the amazing life and times of one of our nation’s most influential founding fathers. Alexander Hamilton’s brief life (January 11, 1755 [or 1757] – July 12, 1804) was marked by rivalry, intrigue, and scandal. This film depicts the iconic American political and financial institutions he helped to create – from the United States Mint and Wall Street to the two-party political system – and examines his enormous influence, which still resonates across American society and politics today.

Hedy Brodak retired in 2007 as the Assistant Library Director of the Troy Public Library, where she particularly enjoyed planning film and book discussion events for library patrons. She continues to enjoy the study of films and their relationship to current times.


S1918 The Captivating Beauty of Classical and Modern Ballet
Presenter: Toby Teorey
Date: Thursday, April 18
Time: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. [Please note the 3:30 end time.]

Ballet is a wonderful art form, combining beautiful music by great composers with exciting dance elements that range from the classical to the modern forms. In this presentation, we begin with Leonard Bernstein’s masterful audio introduction, followed by Stravinsky’s brilliant and colorful classical ballet, Petrushka. At the modern end of the spectrum, we will view video excerpts from the recent and acclaimed Angelin Preljocaj production of Snow White. Other highlights include video footage of Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and current American prima ballerina Misty Copland. Our presenter will allow ample time for questions and discussion.

Toby Teorey is the current Vice Chair of Elderwise Council. He is retired from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan and in retirement pursues his enduring love of classical music, world cultures, and theater arts.


S1919 Crime and Punishment in 19th Century Michigan
Presenter: Susan Nenadic
Date: Monday, April 22
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Virtually no one in Michigan today would guess that in the 19th century the state was actually a leader in prison reform. Michigan’s 1837 constitution was the first to prohibit the death penalty, and the state’s successful responses to issues of punishment versus reform, to minors and first-time offenders, and to female convicts will indeed surprise you. Examples include the cases of a presidential assassin, rioters, body snatchers, and con artists. In this presentation, historian Susan Nenadic looks at cases against thieves and murderers, as well as at some early laws that now seem almost funny via a modern perspective.

Susan Nenadic is a retired teacher of English and history. She is the author of A Purse of Her Own: Occupations of Nineteenth Century Women, and Legendary Locals of Ann Arbor, as well as several articles, one of which was on the topic of this presentation. Susan is a former board member of the Washtenaw County Historical Society, a member of the Ann Arbor Downtown Street Exhibit Educational Committee, and President of Friends of Amoru, a nonprofit creating a secondary school in Uganda.


S1920 Interpreting Character through Verse:
Shakespeare’s King Richard III and King Lear
Presenter: Macklin Smith
Date: Tuesday, April 23
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Texts: William Shakespeare, King Richard III, the Duke of Gloucester’s opening speech
William Shakespeare, King Lear, the first speech by King Lear

Any of several editions are available in libraries, book stores, and online.

In this discussion, Macklin Smith focuses on some of William Shakespeare’s best-known characters, and asks how the playwright creates a king as a king, as distinct from a queen, a courtier, a fool, or a lower-class scoundrel. We will zero in on two of Shakespeare’s flawed kings: Richard III (early, when Shakespeare was still imitating Christopher Marlowe) and King Lear (late, when he had figured out how to create truly psychological characters). Certainly historical typology and political messaging are part of the character creation, along with family and dynastic situations, individual goals, world views, and moral natures. But what cues might an actor or an audience pick up from Shakespeare’s actual verse lines in order to formulate a compelling interpretation of Richard and Lear? To further explore this question, we will first compare some video versions of Richard and Lear, then look at and listen for the verse lines’ minute rhythmic and verbal clues, hints, oddities, and mysteries.

Macklin Smith recently retired from the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where he taught Medieval literature, Shakespeare, and a variety of poetry courses.


S1921 W. B. Yeats: The Last Romantic
Presenter: Will Horwath
Date: Wednesday, April 24
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Texts (Recommended but not required):
W. B. Yeats and Peter Porter, Great Irish Poets:
W. B. Yeats – The Last Romantic, Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, 1990
W. B. Yeats: A Poet to His Beloved: The Early Love Poems of W. B. Yeats
St. Martin’s Press, 1985

Robert Browning said it in a poem – “Oh, to be in England/Now that April’s here.” Ann Arbor is not England, but oh, to be at Elderwise this April with Will Horwath for an afternoon’s plunge into the early love poetry of William Butler Yeats – the last Romantic. The dark poems (e.g. the Rough Beasts slouching toward Bethlehem waiting to be born) will come later, with another class. This spring, let us dance like a wave of the sea with the “Fiddler of Dooney,” and sing with the “Wandering Aengus” when white moths are on the wing. Let us toss a brown penny to see if we might live as did Yeats . . . in the old high way of love.

Will Horwath holds a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. He has taught literature and creative writing at Moravian College, the University of Michigan, and Oakland University. He most recently taught at Madonna University in the Department of Language, Literature, Communication and Writing.


S1922 Famous World Churches and Cathedrals, Part IV
Presenter: Toby Teorey
Date: Thursday, April 25
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

In this spring semester we will continue our exploration of famous churches, synagogues, mosques, shrines, and cathedrals by viewing visually stunning video lectures by award-winning Professor William R. Cook of The Great Courses series. This semester’s lectures will focus on several of the most interesting of the world’s churches. We will pursue a survey of some of the earliest Christian churches, such as The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and two early churches in South America – La Compania in Ecuador and the shrine at Las Lajas in Columbia. Our study will include video tours of the buildings, the architecture of each individual church, and the religious meaning of the details found in each structure. At the conclusion of the videos, we will provide adequate time for discussion.

Toby Teorey is the current Vice Chair of Elderwise Council. He is retired from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, and in retirement pursues his enduring interest in worldwide art and culture.


S1923 The More Things Change . . .
A Panel Discussion
Presenters: Jeffrey Bernstein, Michael Homel, Larry Kestenbaum
Date: Tuesday, April 30
Time: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]

By the time we meet, we will have seen four months of President Donald Trump governing with a Democratic House, and four months of a Democrat occupying the governor’s mansion here in Michigan. What were the outcomes of Mueller’s probes, lawsuits, and criminal prosecutions? How has President Trump responded? How has the new Democratic majority in the House played its hand? Have Republicans stood by their President? How is the President succeeding with his domestic and foreign policy agendas? This panel is confident in predicting that we cannot even hazard a guess of what American politics will look like at the end of April, but we are equally confident that we will enjoy having the chance to consider where we have been, where we are, and where we are headed, both nationally and locally. We hope you can join us!

Jeffrey Bernstein studies and teaches political science and American politics at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). He specializes in public opinion and political behavior.

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at EMU. Mike’s special expertise is in the fields of 20th century American history, and American urban history.

Larry Kestenbaum is the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds. Larry is the creator and owner of, the Internet’s most comprehensive source for American political biography.


S1924 Extinct or Not Extinct?
The Case of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
Presenter: Raymond Stocking
Date: Friday, May 3
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Ray Stocking returns to Elderwise with his fascinating program on one of the first great conservation showdowns in America – the confrontation between the need to fulfill the demand for fashion, land, and timber, and the desire to save the “Lord God” bird, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. It has been almost 15 years since the “rediscovery” of this stunning bird, and the expert backlash that immediately followed that announcement. With Ray’s guidance, we will have an opportunity to review what has happened since, and what lies ahead. Join us for this important chapter in the continuing saga of commerce versus conservation in America.

Ray Stocking is a former president of the Washtenaw Audubon Society, a former member of the Michigan Audubon Board of Directors, and a passionate bird watcher. Ray lives in Ann Arbor and birds there... as well as everywhere else.


S1925 The Poetry of Robert Browning (1812–1889)
Presenter: Russell Robert Larson
Date: Monday, May 6
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Robert Browning’s early creative efforts were supported by his father, but his work received increasing recognition, and he has come to be regarded as one of the most important poets of the Victorian period. Browning’s dramatic monologues and The Ring and the Book (1868-1869), a novel in verse, have established him as a major figure in the history of English poetry. In this session we will look at seven poems: “Porphyria’s Lover,” “Meeting at Night,” “Love Among the Ruins,” “My Last Duchess,” “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” “Two in the Campagna,” and “A Toccata of Galuppi’s.” A coursepack will be available for class registrants.

Russell Larson is Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). He holds a Ph.D. in 19th century English literature from the University of Michigan, and joined the teaching faculty of the Department of English Language and Literature at EMU in 1970, where he served as department chair from 1999 to 2006.


S1926 Behind the Green Room Door: Backstage Stories about
Famous Artists Performing at the University of Michigan
Presenter: Kenneth C. Fischer
Date: Tuesday, May 7
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

During his 30 years as president of the University Musical Society (UMS) at the University of Michigan, Ken Fischer had the opportunity to present many of the world’s finest artists and ensembles on the stages of the University’s campus, and other venues throughout Southeast Michigan. UMS audiences enjoyed the talents of performers such as Leonard Bernstein, Cecilia Bartoli, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Audra McDonald, the Berlin Philharmonic, Wynton Marsalis, the Metropolitan Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others. In earlier years UMS presented the virtuosos Vladimir Horowitz, Mstislav Rostropovich, Enrico Caruso, and other legendary musicians. All had in common that they loved UMS audiences, and each had memorable experiences in Ann Arbor beyond the stage and the Green Room – in show business the lounge and waiting area for performers. In this presentation, Ken shares his fascinating stories of these artists and performers, and explains why Ann Arbor is a favorite destination for them.

Ken Fischer is President Emeritus of UMS at the University of Michigan. In 2015, on behalf of the UMS, Ken accepted the National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States government, from President Barak Obama at the White House. Ken is currently writing a book on his arts career as well as teaching Arts Leadership at the University.


S1927 Endangered Species Across the United States
and Invasive Species in the State of Michigan
Presenter: Don Chalfant
Date: Wednesday, May 8
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Don Chalfant returns with another amazing double-feature presentation on nature. Illustrated with his remarkable photographs, Endangered Species nationwide features some 20 birds, mammals, and other fauna and flora, the causes of their decline, efforts to restore their populations, and their outlook for the future. Among the endangered, Don will discuss the Kirtland’s Warbler, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and Gopher Tortoise. Invasive Species of Michigan looks at the many non-native plants and animals in our state, and reports on how they were introduced, their impact on native species, efforts to control them, and their outlook for the future. Among Don’s 23 invasive species, we will get a close-up view of the European Starling, Japanese Beetle, Zebra Mussel, and Purple Loosestrife.

Don Chalfant holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan. He retired from the Ann Arbor Schools in 1995, where he taught elementary students for many years. In retirement, Don indulges his passion for the outdoors, for birding, and for photographing the inhabitants of our natural world.


S1928 Gerald Ford’s Michigan
Presenter: Kenneth Hafeli
Date: Friday, May 10
Time: 10:00 to 12 noon

Gerald R. Ford is Michigan’s only President of the United States. Though born in Nebraska, he spent most of his 93+ years either in Michigan or representing the state in Washington, D.C., before becoming vice president and then president. He eventually retired to California, but his presence continues to be felt in our state, especially in his home town of Grand Rapids. Through photos and documents Ken Hafeli will share his accumulated knowledge of our nation’s 38th president, emphasizing Ford’s close ties to Michigan.

Kenneth Hafeli holds an undergraduate degree from Michigan Technological University in Houghton and a master's degree in history from Wayne State University. He recently retired after 39 years with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor. For the last 20 years he held the position of Senior Photo Archivist and was responsible for cataloging, arranging, and preserving President Ford's White House negatives, as well as the Ford family’s personal pre- and post-presidential photographs.


S1929 Restorative Justice through a Bit of Theater
Presenter: Mary Miller
CANCELLED - will be rescheduled

Restorative Justice – what does it mean? How can it work to heal both the victims of crime and their offenders? In this class we will utilize the one-hour Reader’s Theater play Tough Case by David Craig, which enacts a different way of dealing with crime. The story involves a 16-year-old juvenile who has vandalized the home of an elderly widow, and the play demonstrates a restorative justice practice called victim-offender conferencing. This brings the person harmed and the perpetrator together and asks questions such as: Who has been hurt? What are their needs? How can the offender repair the harm? In this interactive session, some of your fellow Elderwise class members will act out Tough Case. These readers already will have been chosen and rehearsed before the class. We will conclude with a discussion of the concept and practice of restorative justice, and a question-and-answer period.

Mary Miller is currently an active Elderwise member and class assistant, peacemaking circle keeper, small claims mediator, and member of the local nonprofit Friends of Restorative Justice.


S1930 Blood, Ghosts, and Glory: Michigan Civil War Stories
Presenter: Rochelle Balkam
Date: Monday, May 13
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Civil War stories are a part of Rochelle Balkam’s heritage, with several of her ancestors playing a significant role. Rochelle’s personal journey began with the discovery of the questionable autobiography and Civil War artifacts of Sarah Edmonds and Franklin Thompson while pursuing historical research for her master’s degree. That journey took Rochelle to Spotsylvania, Virginia, where her great-great uncle received the Kearney Cross for bravery, and to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where she had a bloody accident and a “ghost encounter.” Michigan’s Civil War stories begin with President Lincoln’s 1861 call for volunteers. When Michigan answered the call, he proclaimed, “Thank God for Michigan.” The war ended four years later with George Armstrong Custer receiving the flag of surrender, and another Michigan hero capturing the fleeing Jefferson Davis wrapped in his wife’s cloak. In the final act, Michigan’s Iron Brigade, including the Michigan 24th Infantry, accompanied President Lincoln’s funeral train to his home in Springfield, Illinois.

Rochelle Balkam has taught Michigan history at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) for 28 years. She holds an M.A. degree in history and an M.S. in historic preservation from EMU. Rochelle is a former board member of the Historical Society of Michigan.


S1931 The Heroine's Journey
Presenter: Barbara Schutzgruber
Date: Wednesday, May 15
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon [Please note the 9:30 a.m. start time]

All too often storytellers, writers, and the media regard Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey as the "one true recipe for a good story." A Hero's Journey is one path. However, there is another - the Heroine's Journey. In her book, Beyond the Sword Maiden: A Storyteller’s Introduction to the Heroine's Journey, Barbara Schutzgruber travels the path of personal perseverance, survival, and transformation, also traveled by those who have walked life's rough road and see themselves not as victims, but as survivors. Stand at the crossroads as we explore each of these paths using traditional folktales, contemporary personal stories of resilience, the instructor’s lecture, and group discussion, to discover new insights and learn how the story changes depending upon the path taken.

Barbara Schutzgruber is an award-winning storyteller of folk-tales, ballads, and personal stories of resilience. Since 1987, she has presented programs, workshops and showcases throughout Michigan, nationally, and internationally. She holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Eastern Michigan University and is the co-author of Beyond the Sword Maiden: A Storyteller's Introduction to the Heroine's Journey.


S1932 The Culture of Clothing, A History:
Part II, The 19th and 20th Centuries
Presenter: Melanie Schuessler Bond
Date: Wednesday, May 15
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Melanie Schuessler Bond returns to Elderwise with a sequel to her presentation of Spring 2018. This time we will examine the social and cultural attributes of clothing, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. Have you ever wondered why people wore certain styles in the past? Fashion has never been a frivolous pursuit – it is instead a deep-rooted cultural practice that offers insight into the ways that human society operates. For example, corsets and top hats tell us about gender roles in particular periods and places, and clothing also has usually marked wealth and power, as well as religion and rituals. Just as a suit and tie hold a different message for us than jeans and a t-shirt, historic fashions that look silly to us today conveyed detailed information for those who observed them in their original context. Join us for another exploration of the history of clothing and how it can be used to decode the past.

Melanie Schuessler Bond is the faculty Costume Designer at Eastern Michigan University. In addition to numerous university theater designs, her professional costume design credits include productions at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the Williamston Theatre in Williamston, Michigan, and Tipping Point Theatre in Northville.


S1933 United States Foreign Affairs: The Middle East
Presenter: Toby Teorey
Date: Friday, May 17
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

The conduct of foreign affairs in the Middle East has been a continuing challenge for American presidents and their administrations in the 21st century. In particular, the bitter rivalry between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia has dominated politics and violence across the region in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. The war in Yemen has resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis across the world. In this class we will view and discuss recent videos from the acclaimed PBS Frontline series to help us better understand the background of the current situation facing America, and the options available to meet it.

Toby Teorey is retired from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan and currently serves as the Vice Chair of Elderwise Council. Toby's enduring interest in world cultures includes the worldwide political and military history of peoples, nations, and regions.


S1934 Hawaiian Adventures
Presenter: George Jabol
Date: Friday, May 17
Time: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]

In this class Saline resident George Jabol will share highlights of several trips to the islands of Hawaii. On the Big Island of Hawaii we will view Volcanoes National Park and the Nani Mau Gardens. On Maui we will visit the 10,000-foot-high Haleakala National Park and the Maui Ocean Center, embark on a whale-watching boat trip, and enjoy the beautiful drive along Maui’s scenic road to Hana. A 120-mile bus tour around the island of Oahu will feature the Polynesian Cultural Center and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. On the newest island, Kauai, we will visit Waimea Canyon and the National Botanical Garden. Finally, about 900 miles south, near the equator, we will see nearby Fanning Atoll, also known as Tabuaeran.

George Jabol received his B.A. degree from Ohio’s Muskingum University, and a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. Fully retired now from a career with the federal government, George creates photographic slide shows as a way to remember his travels and share them with others.


S1935 Personal Computer and Internet Security
Presenter: Harvey Juster
Date: Wednesday, May 22
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

This class focuses on Windows PCs, but most of the advice also applies to Apple computers. Harvey Juster will describe ways you can protect both your computer data and your personal identity. He will cover methods of keeping your computer safer by using antivirus software and enabling software updates, and ways to avoid such email and web security threats as ransomware and phishing. Harvey will also discuss alternative means of backing up files, the best practices for choosing passwords, how to keep wireless transmissions secure, the latest Internet and telephone scams, common-sense tips for Facebook security, and details on how to prevent identity theft. Throughout, there will be ample opportunities for individual questions.

Harvey Juster is a semi-retired IT consultant who has guided friends, family, and businesses through the task of protecting their data from internal and external threats. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Michigan and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.


S1936 Turbulent History, Exquisite Art, and Modern-Day Charm: The Normandy Coast
Presenter: Gerlinda Melchiori
Date: Wednesday, May 22
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Commemorating 75 years since the 1944 D-Day landings on its beaches during World War II, France’s Normandy coast will be a veritable tourist mecca in 2019. Join Gerlinda Melchiori for a virtual visit, without the crowds, to some of Normandy’s most famous historic sites: the Omaha beaches; Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake; Honfleur, the cradle of impressionism; and Monet’s home and garden in Giverny, near Paris. We will also journey to medieval Bayeux and its Viking tapestry; the Benedictine Abbey of Fecamp, famous for its herbal liquor; Le Mont Saint Michel Abbey (now a commune) on a rock island looking over to England, as well as the region’s beautiful seaside cliffs.

Gerlinda Melchiori holds advanced degrees in history and business, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Michigan. She has served as an international consultant to universities around the world. Her special interests include the history and arts of regions and cultures worldwide.


S1937 Protecting Our Pollinators: A Garden for Butterflies and Bees
Presenters: Lee Smith Bravender and Betsy Maxwell
Date: Wednesday, May 29
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

This unique team-taught class features the expertise of a horticulturist-educator and the experience of an Elderwise member. Lee Smith Bravender will discuss why and how the University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens created a Pollinator Garden as part of its Gaffield Children’s Garden to encourage a more inclusive appreciation of insects. Lee will also describe the basic gardening principles for creating a pollinator-friendly garden at home. Long-time member Betsy Maxwell will share the delight of the Monarch butterfly, a fragile creature that migrates more than 2,000 miles to Mexico and is steadily declining because of the loss of habitat rich in milkweed. Betsy will show us The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies, a Nova film about the Monarch’s amazing migratory odyssey. She will also share her story about planting a butterfly garden for the first time.

Lee Smith Bravender is responsible for the Gaffield Children’s Garden and Pollinator Garden at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, where she advocates and creates opportunities for hands-on nature play. Her favorite pollinators include bees of all sorts and hummingbird moths.

Betsy Maxwell has been an Elderwise member since 2011. After taking a class at Michigan’s Hidden Lake Gardens on creating a butterfly garden, the Maxwells planted one at their cottage last spring. When they discovered 30 Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed in late August, they knew their butterfly garden was a success.


S1938 Gene Therapy: An Update on Medicine’s Ultimate Frontier
Presenter: Maria G. Castro
Date: Wednesday, May 29
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

A little over a year ago, Maria Castro and Pedro Lowenstein shared with us a presentation on their gene-therapy research. Maria returns this spring with a progress report on their findings and the ongoing results of their clinical trial. Maria and Pedro have devoted more than two decades to pursuing medicine’s “ultimate frontier” – the genetic treatment of cancer. In this class Maria will discuss the development of a gene-therapy strategy that enables the human body to fight malignant brain cancer and, potentially, other solid cancers by employing a highly disabled virus to deliver therapeutic cargoes. Genetically engineered viruses (vectors) kill the cancerous tumor cells and elicit an anti-tumor immune response. Maria will also discuss the preliminary results of the Phase I clinical trial at the University of Michigan – the first-in-human, first-in-the-world clinical trial using two different gene-therapy vectors.

Maria G. Castro is the R.C. Schneider Professor of Neurosurgery, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and Program Director of the Cancer Biology Training grant at the University of Michigan Medical School. She dedicates her research to novel treatments for adult and pediatric brain cancer, including immune-mediated gene therapy.


S1939 Alzheimer’s in 2019:
Latest Advances in Diagnosis, Care, and Prevention
Presenter: Bruno Giordani
Date: Monday, June 17
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Alzheimer’s disease was first described by the German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Today, it is regarded as the most common form of dementia. In this class Dr. Bruno Giordani will provide background information on Alzheimer’s disease and explain what is going on in the brain when someone has this form of dementia. We will learn about the latest findings from this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and several other recent conferences where new information is being presented, including information on risk factors, early detection, innovative prevention and treatment approaches, and new initiatives to support research.

Bruno Giordani is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Psychology, and in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, and is the Senior Director of the Mary A. Rackham Institute. Dr. Giordani currently serves as Associate Director of the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center. His research interests include identification of early signs of cognitive impairment and cross-cultural applications of new assessment and intervention models.


S1940 Late Glacial Foragers in Michigan:
Recent Archaeological Discoveries
Presenter: Henry T. Wright
Date: Friday, May 31
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

CANCELLED - rescheduled Fall 2019

Quite possibly more than 13,500 years ago, the first Michiganders arrived in a land of glacial hills and ice-edge lake features covered with a mosaic of tundra and spruce parkland. These earliest colonists were foragers adapted to harsh and rapidly changing environments, determined to exploit the local populations of caribou, elk, mammoth, mastodon, peccary, and other animals. Their subsistence systems and social system have been defined by the devoted efforts of University of Michigan researchers and students, and by avocational archaeologists. Recently developed sites in southwestern Michigan, south of Sturgis and north of Kalamazoo, have produced important new information. In this class Henry Wright will summarize these recent discoveries about the formative steps in the evolution of Michigan’s Late Glacial foragers, and will offer some predictions about the directions of future research.

Henry Wright is Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Archaeology at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. His formal research has been on the archaeology of early civilizations in Eurasia, and Africa, and around the Indian Ocean. For several decades he has also studied the Late Glacial inhabitants of the central Great Lakes.


S1941 Fifty Years of Aerial Warfare and the Expanding Role of Drones
Presenter: Lon Nordeen
Date: Friday, May 31
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

In this class we will review the revolution in aerial warfare that has taken place since the time of the Vietnam War (circa 1965) to the present. Lon Nordeen will focus on developments spanning the United States’ engagements in Southeast Asia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other critical areas of the Middle East. We will talk about the War on Terror, including the use of fighter aircraft and missiles, with emphasis on the more recent history and deployment of unmanned drones. We will also discuss tactical developments, strategic surveillance, and related political issues.

Lon Nordeen spent more than 35 years in the aerospace industry. He is the author of a dozen books on aerial warfare and military systems, and more than 150 articles and technical presentations. Lon has appeared on television’s Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Smithsonian Channel, presenting his expertise on aerial warfare.


S1942 The Medicinal Effects of Good Nutrition
Presenter: Cecilia Sauter
Date: Monday, June 3
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

There are many reasons why we should pay attention to what we eat. Good nutrition is very important for our health, and maintaining a fine balance of nutrients is what helps us stay healthy. The processed foods many of us frequently and repeatedly consume may be convenient and tasty, but they can, and often do, compromise our wellbeing. Do you want to learn more about how good nutrition can make a big difference in your health? Are you interested in knowing about the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and whether fish oil supplements really help lower your cholesterol? Are there any health benefits in consuming garlic and ginger? Join us for this class to learn more about how Food acts as Medicine – not only to maintain health and wellbeing, but to prevent and treat disease.

Cecilia Sauter holds an M.S. degree from Texas Woman’s University and is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She currently works at the University of Michigan, training clinical staff in how to help people who have chronic conditions.


S1943 Viewing Ann Arbor History through a Show Business Lens
Presenter: Russ Collins
Date: Monday, June 3
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Russ Collins, Ann Arbor history buff and expert on the history of the city’s theaters, relates the history of our college town through its impressive collection of arts (and notable science and sports) venues. Ann Arbor citizens and the University of Michigan have wisely preserved many historic theaters: the Michigan and State Theaters, Hill Auditorium, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, and Rackham Auditorium. Each theater has a fascinating history and architectural pedigree. Many of our historic theaters were lost, however – some tragically so (Hill’s Opera House), and some merely the result of downtown evolution (Orpheum, Werth, Majestic, Star, Theatorium, Rae, Campus, Fifth Forum). In this presentation, Russ provides the highlights and historic tidbits that celebrate arts, entertainment and community, and shares thoughts on their contributions to Ann Arbor’s unique character and quality of life.

Russ Collins is Executive Director of the Michigan Theater Foundation, a nonprofit community organization operating Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater, a 1920s movie palace, and the recently renovated State Theatre, a 1940s Art Deco cinema style theater. Russ also heads the Cinetopia Festival and Art House Convergence, a national organization for community-based independent cinemas.


S1944 Race and Culture: Continuing the Conversation
Facilitator: Judy Wenzel
Date: Wednesday, June 5
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon


Working with individuals in our prisons provides an opportunity for discussions about valuing diversity, living with and solving conflicts, and learning from mistakes. This session will be a continuation of the conversation we began last fall concerning issues of prison life and criminal justice reform. Judy Wenzel, our facilitator, learned the importance of talking about differences from a very diverse group of students in the federal prison in Milan, Michigan. Both students and teacher came to recognize the value of listening to, and learning from, people whose backgrounds and experiences were far different from their own. This informal discussion session at Elderwise encourages a dialogue and sharing focused on the definitions and importance of culture, and on the interactions and the hope to be found between and among our differences and commonalities.

Judy Wenzel is the author of Light from the Cage: 25 Years in a Prison Classroom. She taught many subjects in the Milan prison high school completion program between 1986 and 2010, primarily in the fields of English and social studies.


S1945 Johnny Appleseed: The Slice and Times of John Chapman
Presenter: Jennifer Clark
Date: Thursday, June 6
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

It all started with her young son’s simple questions: “Have you ever heard of Johnny Appleseed?”
“Was he real, Mom?” Those questions set Jennifer Clark on a quest to find the man behind the mythology. Who was this guy with the tin pot on his head and apple seeds in his hand? Using sketches, portraits, and maps gathered during research for her recent book on Johnny Appleseed, Jennifer Clark peels back the Appleseed myth, revealing the real John Chapman, an eccentric frontier nurseryman who established orchards throughout the American Midwest. We know he was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, in 1774, and died in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1845, but Jennifer tells us much more as she discusses his life and the lives of many others who have disappeared from the Appleseed narrative, including women and people of color.

Jennifer Clark lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections - Johnny Appleseed (Shabda Press, 2018), and Necessary Clearings (Shabda Press, 2014). Her next book, A Beginner’s Guide to Heaven, will be published in 2019 by Unsolicited Press. Jennifer’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award.


S1946 A Little Record Company That Made Big Hits: The Cameo-Parkway Story, 1957–1967
Presenter: Michael Homel
Date: Wednesday, June 12
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Although New York was the pop music capital in the early rock ‘n’ roll era, other cities made their mark as well. In this latest chapter of the history of small independent record firms, Mike Homel tells the story of Philadelphia’s Cameo and Parkway labels. Founded by Jewish entrepreneurs Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann, Cameo-Parkway rocketed to commercial success owing to several strengths. First, the company welcomed the vocal talents of Philly’s Italian American and African American youth. Second, it jumped on the dance fads of local teens and focused on the booming teen market. Third, it forged a profitable link to Dick Clark’s popular American Bandstand. Over 100 Cameo-Parkway singles reached the pop music hit charts with performers such as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Dee Dee Sharp, the Orlons, and the Dovells. Join us for this lively journey along pop music’s memory lane.

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University. He specializes in 20th century American history, and is the author of two books and other publications on urban education, race, government, and politics. Mike regularly offers classes on American history, politics, and popular music and culture.


S1947 Make-and-Take Cards
Presenter: Barbara Theurer
Date: Wednesday, June 12
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $13, Nonmembers $20 [Fee includes $5 for materials.]
Class size: Enrollment for this class is limited to 12 attendees.

Come to this craft session and spend an afternoon in your creative zone. No previous experience with papercraft is required, and our instructor will provide materials, guidance, and abundant extra help (if you need it). We do ask you to bring a pair of small pointed scissors with you to this class. Back by popular demand from previous card-making sessions will be the card project "sandpipers on the shore.” Class members will also create a card with a multicolored spring wreath on an embossed background, and two additional seasonal cards. Crafters will go home with at least four handmade cards to keep or to share.

Barbara Theurer has previously taught four make-and-take card classes at Elderwise. She currently helps design and organize papercraft projects in Michigan’s Bloomfield Hills area. For crafting with us, Barbara says, "I always look forward to returning and creating with the Elderwise community."


S1948 Adventures in Patagonia and Antarctica
Presenters: Russ and Lonnie Haines
Date: Tuesday, June 18
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Join Russ and Lonnie on their journey to southern South America, and to Antarctica, their seventh continent. In this illustrated travelogue, they will begin with highlights of Buenos Aries, Argentina, along with the desert region of Patagonia, including an array of penguin nests. They also filmed whales swimming with their calves along the coast. Proceeding to Ushuaia, nicknamed "the city at the end of the world," Russ and Lonnie boarded their ship, the Clelia II, and continued on through the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Several island and continent walks ended at Port Lockroy, a British research station, where they were ordered to board their ship "as soon as possible." You may have seen this frightening voyage on television. It was the Clelia II that crossed the Drake Passage in a typhoon.

Russell Haines holds an M.A. in education administration from the University of Michigan and spent more than 30 years teaching in a variety of fields.

Lonnie Haines received her B.S. degree in mathematics and science from the University of Detroit Mercy, and her M.S. in the teaching of science from the University of Michigan. She is an accomplished artist in watercolor and acrylic painting.


S1949 Film: Pelle the Conqueror
Presenter: John Stewart
Date: Wednesday, June 19
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]

Slow-paced, beautifully filmed, and superbly acted, this 1987 Danish movie captures the harsh lives of farm workers in pre-mechanized 19th century Europe. Max von Sydow received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of an impoverished 50-something widower who migrates with his 12-year old son Pelle from Sweden to Denmark. Sadly, their new life offers the father only humiliation and despair. But, to the young and adventurous Pelle, it provides an opportunity to set out and conquer the world. Written and directed by Bille August, the movie received an Academy Award for best foreign language film, as well as the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme D’Or. The film is in Swedish and Danish with English subtitles, and contains some brief scenes of nudity and violence.

John Stewart is a retired software developer with degrees in biology from the University of Michigan. He is not a movie maven, but he does enjoy foreign films and believes Pelle the Conqueror holds a special appeal for all lovers of fine cinema.


S1950 Writing Your Memoirs: One Story at a Time
Presenter: Stephanie Kadel Taras
Date: Friday, June 21
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Have you been thinking about sharing some of your life experiences with the next generations? Do you want to write your memoirs, but find that trying to “get it all down” leaves you daunted? Come to this engaging workshop for both inspiration and practical advice on writing stories from your past. We will explore themes from your life, try out simple storytelling techniques, and discuss the writing process. You will receive a take-home workbook full of ideas to get you started and keep you writing. No previous writing experience is needed. New writers are welcome!

Stephanie Kadel Taras, Ph.D., has more than 25 years of experience as a professional writer. Through her company, TimePieces Personal Biographies, she interviews family elders and helps them save their life stories in heirloom-quality books. Stephanie has taught life-story writing in various venues in Michigan and Florida.


S1951 Photographs of Lost Ann Arbor
Presenter: H. Mark Hildebrandt
Date: Wednesday, June 26
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

In March of this year, local historian Mark Hildebrandt presented examples of early postcards showing past scenes of downtown Ann Arbor and of the University of Michigan campus. In this presentation, Mark will focus on those city landmarks that have been altered or have disappeared altogether. Using old photographs preserved in the Bentley Historical Library, he will describe the life and ultimate fate of each lost building. He will highlight Ann Arbor’s remarkable transformation by pairing the historic photos with his own present-day photographs taken at the former locations of the buildings.

H. Mark Hildebrandt is a retired pediatrician who taught and practiced medicine in Ann Arbor for 50 years. He is a history enthusiast with a lifelong interest in electric railroads and street cars. He is the co-author, with Martha Churchill, of Electric Trolleys of Washtenaw County (2009). Mark is also the author of A History of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor, Part II (2014).


S1952 Rare Books, Old Books, New Books, Sold Books:
A Bookseller Looks at Collecting
Presenter: Gene Alloway
Date: Thursday, June 27
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Even if you have been buying books for years, there is always an opportunity to improve your collection and find new excitement in collecting. In this class we will talk about what makes a good book collection, how to manage it, and smart ways to hunt for books. We will also talk about different ways to present and protect your collection so it can be shared with others.

Gene Alloway holds degrees in classical history and library science, and is a former University of Michigan librarian. He is the current owner of Motte & Bailey Used & Rare Booksellers in downtown Ann Arbor. Gene also is a book collector, with two ongoing collections and one accumulation that is slowly growing.


S1953 Albrecht Dürer: His Life and His Art
Presenter: Boyd E. Chapin, Jr.
Date: Friday, June 28
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Boyd Chapin’s favorite artist is Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), a painter, print-maker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. Dürer’s high-quality woodcut prints established his reputation and influence across Europe while he was still in his twenties. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini, and Leonardo da Vinci. And, from 1512 onward, he enjoyed the patronage of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I. In this class we will examine the range of Dürer’s works from a self-portrait done at age 13 to works created at the height his career as a woodcut artist and painter. Boyd will give special attention to the artist’s drawings and woodcuts.

Boyd E. Chapin is a graduate of Wayne State University and a senior attorney with the Detroit firm of Garan Lucow Miller, PC. Boyd is a former docent with the Detroit Institute of Arts and has an ongoing passion for all forms of art. It is a passion he pursues through his own work in pencil, oil, and acrylic.


S1954 Elderwise Round Table Coffee Hour
Adventures with Food: Memorable Culinary Experiences
Facilitator: Elderwise Host
Date: Friday, June 28
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Our popular Round Table Coffee Hour continues, but with an entirely new theme at the end of the Spring 2019 semester. This theme will focus on our memories of unusual or fascinating food experiences. Whether at home or abroad, our three squares have often provided us with memorable misadventures. At this round-table discussion, you can share some of your most entertaining experiences, such as the dish that lacked an essential ingredient or the one that had an unfortunate addition. You can tell us about practical jokes that went too far, exotic snacks such as silk worms and grasshoppers, furry mystery meats with lumpy gravies, bursting bottles, green apples, the beverage that did not taste like ginger ale, and the fragrant fruit not allowed on the airplane. But, do plan to counter the “ick factor” by sharing some of your more pleasing and satisfying food discoveries.

The Spring 2019 Round Table will be facilitated by an Elderwise Member Host. We warmly welcome all Elderwise members, nonmember friends, and guests to our end-of-semester Round Table Coffee Hour. This collegial gathering is free of charge, but we do ask you to register in advance on the Registration Form.




S1955 A Wildflower Walk in Draper-Houston Meadows
Presenter: Sylvia Taylor
Date: Thursday, April 25, at the Draper-Houston Preserve, Milan, Michigan
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Class Size: Enrollment for this field trip is limited to 20 attendees.

Draper-Houston Meadows is a 113 acre preserve operated by Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation. It extends for over one-half mile along the Saline River just west of Milan, Michigan. There are extensive open areas as well as high quality floodplain forests of oak, sycamore, walnut, butternut, and pawpaw. In the spring, the preserve features excellent wildflower displays. The terrain is mostly level with easy walking conditions. However, the trails can be wet and muddy after a rain. Please wear appropriate attire and sturdy walking shoes. Driving and parking directions will be provided in advance.

Sylvia Taylor is an adjunct assistant professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. She is retired from the State of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, where she served for many years as an endangered species coordinator and wildlife biologist. Sylvia is currently engaged in multiple projects involving field botany, wildlife biology, forest ecology, and the monitoring of vegetation.


S1956 A Tour of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor
Presenter: H. Mark Hildebrandt
Dates: Monday, April 29, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 306 North Division Street
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Class Size: Enrollment for this tour is limited to 15 attendees.

Saint Andrew’s parish was founded in 1827, three years after the founding of Ann Arbor. It became the second Episcopal Church in Michigan. In the year 1867, the nave cornerstone of the current stone building was laid at the corner of Catherine and Division Streets. Subsequent enhancements included construction of a bell tower in 1903, laying of Pewabic tiling in 1917, and a major restoration in 2008. Local historian and long-time church member Mark Hildebrandt will guide us on a walking tour of both the exterior and interior of this local jewel, paying particular attention to the church’s stained glass windows. Driving and parking directions will be provided to registrants in advance.

H. Mark Hildebrandt is a retired pediatrician who taught and practiced medicine in Ann Arbor for 50 years. He is a history enthusiast with a lifelong interest in electric railroads and street cars. Mark is the author of The Windows of St. Andrew’s (2002) and A History of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor, Part II (2014).


S1957 Another Stroll on the Wild Side:
Revisiting the Burns-Stokes Preserve
Presenter: Andrew Buesser
Date: Tuesday, May 21, at the Burns-Stokes Preserve, just off Zeeb Road, Dexter, Michigan
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Class Size: Enrollment for this field trip is limited to 20 attendees.

For this field trip, survival instructor Andy Buesser takes us back to the Burns-Stokes Preserve, a small gem of natural area along the Huron River shoreline. This time, in a different season, we will experience a different environment in which to continue our identification of plants and other natural materials used for wilderness survival. Andy will expand on the collection, preparation, and employment of these materials to secure survival’s Sacred Four: shelter, water, fire, and food. We will learn even more about the Native American legacy of procuring, maintaining, and conserving natural resources while becoming stewards of the earth, and achieving a better understanding of the true law of nature – “the flourishment of the most cooperative.” Please wear appropriate attire for this walk, and sturdy, comfortable shoes. Driving directions to the Preserve will be sent to registrants in advance.

Andy Buesser is a master carpenter who has spent much of his life studying wilderness survival. Under the tutelage of legendary tracker, Tom Brown, Jr., Andy learned the knowledge and skills of Stalking Wolf, an elder and last of the Apache scouts.


S1958 An Outdoor Sculpture Tour of the University of Michigan North Campus
Guide: Ina Sandalow
Date: Thursday, May 30, beginning at the North Campus Bell Tower
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon [Please note the 10:30 a.m. start time.]
Tour Size: Enrollment for this tour is limited to 20 attendees.

This walking tour of the University of Michigan North Campus will introduce participants to world-class examples of contemporary monumental outdoor sculpture as produced by some of the leading artists of our time. Many famous modern sculptors have contributed to the North Campus collection, among them Maya Lin, who says of her Wave Field, “[It is] . . . pure poetry . . . sanctuary yet playful.” Others include nationally known Kenneth Snelson and Alexander Liberman, who also have installations at the Grand Rapids Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and Gerome Kamrowski, a former member of the art faculty, whose mosaics grace the University’s hospital complex. Yet other features will include the recently acquired work of the Pop Art pioneer Jim Dine. These are but a sampling of the extraordinary array of artists and works of art included in this tour. Participants will gather at the Lurie Bell Tower on North Campus and should be able to walk one mile. There will be opportunities to rest along the way.

Ina Sandalow previously taught history and law at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. She has been a docent with the University of Michigan Museum of Art for more than 17 years. The North Campus sculpture tour is one of her favorite projects.


S1959 Our Michigan Wildlife
Presenter: Lannis Smith
Date: Monday, June 10 at the Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor
Time: 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. [Please note the 1:30 p.m. start time.]
Fee: Members $13; Nonmembers $20
This fee includes a $5 charge for the program.
Class Size: Enrollment for this off-site program is limited to 20 attendees.

At Ann Arbor’s Leslie Science and Nature Center, we will visit the Critter House for a program on wildlife in the State of Michigan. Lannis Smith will discuss the variety, habits, habitats, endangered status, and survival techniques of a wide range of Michigan fauna. Her presentation will include up-close-and-personal demonstrations with resident bats, snakes, a salamander, other reptiles and amphibians, and appropriate rescue mammals living there at the time. During the last half hour, we will be free to wander the Center’s extensive grounds. The Leslie Science and Nature Center occupies a unique fifty-acre site of fields, prairies, forest, pond, and wildlife enclosures, and is the permanent home for injured birds of prey. The Center’s facilities and central grounds are accessible to those with disabilities.

Lannis Smith is the Wildlife Manager at the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor. Ever since she could walk, Lannis has loved to explore wilderness areas. A Michigan native, she has pursued a career in wildlife biology and environmental education. Lannis received her bachelor’s degree in biology at Albion College, and her master’s in environmental science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


S1960 Butter: An Exhibition of the Ware of Fine Dining
Presenter: Margaret Carney
Date: Thursday, June 13 at the Museum on Main Street, 520 North Main, Ann Arbor
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Tour Size: Enrollment for this tour is limited to 12 attendees.

Join us for a tour of the Butter exhibition assembled by Ann Arbor’s International Museum of Dinnerware Design, (IMoDD). The museum collects, preserves and celebrates masterpieces of the tabletop genre created by leading artists and designers worldwide. Through collections, exhibitions, and educational programming, IMoDD opens a window on our varied cultural and societal attitudes about food and dining, and commemorates the objects that exalt and venerate the dining experience. IMoDD’s Butter exhibition showcases the best in contemporary dinnerware as it relates to the theme “butter,” either functional work (dishes, warmers, picks, etc.) or sculptural work with a “butter” theme.

Margaret Carney is a ceramic historian with Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Asian art history, and a B.A. in anthropology/archaeology. She is a lifelong museum administrator and curator, and the founding director and curator IMoDD, Margaret has authored numerous books, articles, and exhibition catalogues.


S1961 All-day Coach Tour: Exploring the Art and History of Toledo
Guides: Audio-Assisted Self-Guided Tour at the Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
Guided Coach Tour of Toledo, Professional Staff of the Toledo History Museum
Date: Friday, June 14
Times: 8:45 a.m. Departure from Red Cross Building Parking Lot
5:45 p.m. Return to the Red Cross Building Parking Lot
Fee: Members $75; Nonmembers $85 Fee includes lunch at Georgio’s Café International.
Registrants may request a refund up to two weeks before departure.
Tour Size: Enrollment for this tour is limited to 48 persons.
One space on the coach is reserved for a wheelchair.
Access: Wheelchair access is at the rear of the museum, with interior elevators to
facilitate accessibility. Please note that the morning segment of this tour
involves a fair amount of walking, and negotiating some stairs.

Morning at the Toledo Museum of Art. A self-guided tour of the museum and the Glass Pavilion. The Toledo Museum of Art houses a collection of more than 30,000 works of art ranked among the finest in the United States. In more than 35 galleries, the Sculpture Garden, and the Glass Pavilion, you will discover important, popular, and outstanding paintings, sculptures, and other artwork by Cezanne, Cole, Degas, Gainsborough, Holbein, Kiefer, Miro, Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Gogh. You will also view masterworks from Western antiquity, and from Asia; decorative arts; and highlights from the renowned glass collection. The Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion made its debut in August of 2006, and visitors from across the globe continue to marvel at this architectural masterpiece and home of the museum’s world-renowned glass collection and active glass-making studio.

Lunch at Georgio’s Café International. An elegant downtown restaurant offering a special dining experience. Registrants with dietary restrictions should inform the Elderwise office in advance of their dietary requirements and meal preference.

Afternoon Coach Tour of Toledo Highlights. A driving tour of Toledo historic sites. The City of Toledo grew quickly after the 1845 completion of the Miami and Erie Canal. The city also benefited from its position on the railway line between New York City and Chicago. The first of many glass manufacturers arrived in the 1880s, eventually earning Toledo its nickname – The Glass City. Toledo has since become a city of extensive industry, commerce, and culture, with a thriving art community, auto assembly and financial services businesses, education, healthcare, and competitive sports.



THEATER Back to top

S1962 Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Theater:
Much Ado About Nothing
A Comedy by William Shakespeare
Directed by Lee Stille
Presenter: Lee Stille
                       Pre-Performance Class: Friday, April 5, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
                       at the Red Cross Building
                       Matinee Performance: Sunday, April 7, 2:00 p.m.
                       at Quirk Theater, EMU Campus
Fees: Members $18; Nonmembers $25 [Fee includes one ticket to the play.]
Emeritus Faculty: Members $8; Nonmembers $15
[Fee includes 2 tickets to the play.]
Extra Tickets are $10 each. Please see S1964 on this catalog’s Registration Form.

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare and is thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599 as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. The play was included in the First Folio, published in 1623. At that time, “noting” (gossip, rumor, hearsay) was pronounced “nothing” (as in the play’s title), and it is by means of "noting" that the leading characters, Benedick and Beatrice, are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief that she has been unfaithful. In a joyous conclusion, Benedick and Beatrice collaborate to set things right, and the others join in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples.

Lee Stille has taught at Eastern Michigan University in the areas of Interpretation/Performance Studies and Theatre Arts since 1996. He has directed more than 45 stage productions, and is a specialist in the fields of voice, speech and dialects, text analysis, and performance of literature (especially Shakespeare). His work includes nearly 25 years of individualized voice/speech/dialect training (actors, performance artists, English language students, comedians, teachers, politicians, and lawyers) plus consultation and coaching with over
75 theatre productions.


S1963 University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society (UMGASS)
Gilbert, Sullivan, and D’Oyly Carte:
Pieces of the Puzzle that Created The Gondoliers
(and Modern Musicals!)
Presenters: Mitchell Gillett and Natan Zamansky
Pre-Performance Class: Monday, April 8, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
at the Red Cross Building
Matinee Performance: Saturday, April 20, 2:00 p.m.
at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
University of Michigan Central Campus
Fees: Members $30; Nonmembers $37 [Fee includes one ticket to the play.]
Extra Tickets are $22 each. Please see S1965 on the Registration Form.

Dramatist W.S. Gilbert, composer Arthur Sullivan, and producer Richard D’Oyly Carte: How did three such different men, and talents, come together in the 19th century to create 20 years of quintessential British theater, and along the way also create the very model of the modern musical? How did they work together, prosper, and then explode and fall apart over the trivial matter of a carpet? Join us for a pre-performance class where all will be revealed, as Natan Zamansky and Mitchell Gillett take us on a whirlwind tour of Victorian London's artistic and theatre scene, and explain how this melting pot produced these evergreen shows. The Gondoliers, or, The King of Barataria, was the twelfth opera written together by Gilbert and Sullivan. In this opera, Gilbert returns to the satire of class distinctions which figure in many of his earlier librettos. The story concerns the young bride of the heir to the throne of the fictional kingdom of Barataria, who arrives in Venice to join her husband. It turns out, however, that he cannot be identified, since he was entrusted as an infant to the care of a drunken gondolier who mixed up the prince with his own son. To complicate matters, the King of Barataria has just been killed, and the two young gondoliers must now jointly rule the kingdom until the nurse of the prince can be brought in to determine which of them is the rightful king. Moreover, when the young queen arrives to claim her husband, she finds that the two gondoliers have each recently married local girls. A final complicating factor is that she, herself, is in love with another man.

Mitchell Gillett has directed opera and operetta, and has researched and performed the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, both professionally and semi-professionally, for 32 years in Southeast Michigan.

Natan Zamansky is a student in theater arts at the University of Michigan. During his time as a student, he has participated in University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society productions as an actor, director, and board member. The Gondoliers will mark his ninth production with the Society.

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