xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook#27 May 17,1998 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Elderhostel Notebook is a production of The Senior Group, an informal group of older netizens. It provides a place for elderhostelers to share information about Elderhosteling and other learning experiences related to travel. It has a world wide web site at http://discover-net.net/~jimo/eldnote/eldnote.html It is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated with Elderhostel Inc. To subscribe to the e-mail edition send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org ********************************************** Contents From the Editors Notebook Elderhostel Reviews Elderhostel at Henry Horton State Park National Park Service- Fredricksburg, Virginia Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas Oklahoma Elderhostel Ponca City Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia Personals ######################################## Editor's Notebook ######################################## I have been updating the Elderhostel Notebook web pages, making sure the links all work and adding a page of links to regional, state, and local elderhostel sites. If I have missed some (as I most certainly have) I would appreciate any urls you might send me from such a site. I have also focused the page completely on Elderhosteling. Later I hope to add an informational section dealing with some common issues and concerns to supplement the excellent section on frequently asked questions in the Elderhostel Inc. home pages. It will include sections on Elderhosteling as a single, the smoking issues as presented in our last issue, intergenerational elderhostels, etc. All will be seen from our readers' points of view. I've been asked about the Elderhostel experiment with cruise programs. I don't have any information at present except to note that that section is no longer on the Elderhostel Inc. web page. Along this line you could look at the Alaska page in the new section of the notebook web site where a number of inside passage land/sea programs are listed. In the next issue, I'll have an account of one of those trips by Dick Monaghan who some of you will recognize as a frequent and witty contributor to Jean Sansom's "Talespinners," an e-zine that I also occasionally write for. ######################################### Elderhostel Reviews ######################################### Elderhostel at Henry Horton State Park Middle Tennessee State University April 19-24, 1998 Jimo@discover-net.net The state parks in Tennessee are more like resorts than the state parks we were used to in Wisconsin. Henry Horton State Park. locate about thirty miles south of Nashville, has a lodge, a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, and golf course. We appreciated the resort features but missed some of the extensive natural features of Wisconsin State Parks The program consisted of Anger and Tears:Civil War's Franklin - Bob Womack Natures Symphony in Song and Flight( bird watching) -Mellisa Turrentine Spring Wild Flowers -Bertha Chrietzberg The facilities were above average for an elderhostel with spacious motel like rooms with private baths and phone service. The food service was buffet style with a wide selection of choices and by careful choices most tastes were satisfied although no one could describe any as gourmet quality. The Elderhostel was well organized and hosted with a friendly and supportive atmosphere conducive to the camaraderie that one comes to expect in elderhostel programs. The Instruction was excellent, and the evening programs interesting. The program dealing with the Civil War was exceptional as the instructor has done a great deal of original research in the area of collecting letters and diaries from the area dealing with the human side of that most terrible war. He presented a perspective on the Civil War in middle Tennessee that one could get nowhere else. Maggie and I particularly look for and appreciate programs like this where the flavor and unique values to be found in the local community are utilized. All of the instructors are deeply involved in their topics and their community, an ideal situation for an elderhostel. There were two field trips, one to a state natural area to study the birds and plants there and one to Franklin, Tennessee, to visit the site of one of the battles discussed in the course. Both were done with modern well equipped motor coaches. The bird watching course was well done and covered the basic material very well. The instructor knew the area and its birds well, but the course would probably not be suitable for an intensive birder out to add to a life list. We have found that you can always tell when you are on one of those when the instructor routs you out of bed two hours before dawn to go stand in a swamp up to your a...nkles and watch the sunrise reveal some rare species. This was not that kind of course. ____________ National Park Service- Fredricksburg, Virginia Service Elderhostel Susan Menne - email@example.com I attended a great EH in Fredericksburg, VA, last October. It was my first SERVICE Elderhostel. It was a cooperative effort of Mary Washington College and the National Park Service. Our task was to assist the Park Service at and around the Fredericksburg National Park, primarily in the cemetary which holds the remains of the thousands of Union soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War battles at Fredericksburg. We worked at tuckpointing the brick wall surrounding the cemetary. The wall was erected soon after 1865. Another chore was painting cannon, both in the cemetary and on site at the battlefield. Lastly, we undertook the cleaning of tombstones, both in the national cemetery and in a pre-Civil War cemetery on land the NPS recently acquired. The Park Service people were wonderful instructors, teaching us much about restoration. We stayed at a motel and ate every meal at an adjoining Shoney's. The food was quite good, but paled somewhat by about the third day. We were transported in college vans to the work sites every day and worked about five hours daily. There were many field trips to historical Civil War sites and through the town of Fredericksburg. In closing ceremonies the night before we left, the Park Ranger told us that we had been his first experience with Elderhostel volunteers, and that his entire staff had been amazed at the quantity and quality of our work. They had, in fact, not really planned enough work to keep us busy. Though he didn't say it in so many words, I think the reason for this was the assumption that we would all fall over with heart attacks if we had to work hard. The group was great, and working together kind of bonded us in a way that non-service EH's can't. Don't be afraid that the work on a service project will be too strenuous. They make adjustments. I can't kneel because of an artificial knee, so when the group was assigned to tuckpoint the bottom eight brick layers on the cemetary wall, I was reassigned to the top eight layers. Go for it. _______________ Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas TBENSP
Topic: Yesterday's Castoffs, Tomorrow's Treasures (Antiques) This was a repeat Elderhostel for us as we liked it so much four years ago, we decided to return April 26th this year. From the moment of Registration where we were greeted warmly by Susan Ketchum, our coordinator for the week, we knew we were in for another wonderful experience. A tray of fresh fruit and cheese, crackers and punch was a delightful welcome after the long, twisting drive through the mountains. Food: It was not only tasty, but presented in an artful manner. It was not the usual institutional fare. There was always fruit, cookies or cheese and crackers at the morning and afternoon breaks, also. A nice touch. Because this program covered all areas of antiques and collecting, it's difficult to single out any one presenter. All were experts in their field and did a professional job. We were told how to identify reproductions from the originals and learned how to "recycle" broken china (make pendants). The days were filled with samples of art glass, beads, buttons, badges, guns, musical instruments and herbal uses and remedies. The evenings were spent in the 1000 seat theater with good old folk songs by the mountain musicians and/or singers, or in the small 200 seat auditorium for our own private concert. After fun-filled days, we returned to our nicely appointed rooms with private bath. The craft village held the interest of us all and when you weren't in class you could freely wander through the site and enjoy the mountain crafts, music and folklore. There were school groups who frequently visit the Folk Center as it is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of traditional mountain ways. This was our 66th Elderhostel and we rank it as one of the best. The toughest part is getting there, but well worth the effort. _____ Oklahoma Elderhostel Ponca City No. 36240-0426-1 North Central Oklahoma Historical Association/ Rose Stone Inn firstname.lastname@example.org This elderhostel was a disappointment. We had heard that there was a good elderhostel in Ponca City, OK, but it was evidently the one sponsored by Oklahoma State University. Ours was sponsored (in name only) by the North Central Oklahoma Historical Association. In actuality, it was sponsored by the Rose Stone Inn. The Inn furnished the lodging, the meals, and the owner of the Inn was the coordinator and the instructor for all of the classes except for one hour on Friday morning. When we visited a restored theater, we had to wait under an awning in the cold rain for 30 or more minutes because the manager of the theater wasn't told when we were coming so he hadn't opened the theater. On visits to a local museum, an historical site, and a library, the guides there were not aware of our coming so they weren't prepared for the group. The Rose Stone Inn is located in an old bank building but by no means is it a luxury Bed Breakfast in a historic bank building as stated in the elderhostel catalog. And the food, contrary to what was stated in the elderhostel catalog as healthy, home-cooked meals, was just average at best. ____________ Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia Program Number 10500-05030-1 Date: 05/03/98 HLBAT@aol.com Savannah State University is a state-supported school of approximately 2800 coeducational students. All but the Friday morning class were held at the school, with Friday's session being held where we were housed, the Days Inn on Savannah's historic river front. The topics for this program were a) Savannah - A Look into Colonial Times b) The Gullah Culture, Language, and a People of Ancestral Roots c) Jazz Styles and Listening Our look into historic Savannah was led marvelously by Westley W. Law, who brought us from Savannah's founding and early struggles to the modern day. His bus and walking tour of the historic area provided keen insight into the living in colonial times. We were privileged to tour the interiors of several marvelous homes on the beautiful town squares. Mr. Law, a leading civil rights activist and the former long-term director of Savannah's NAACP, also led an excellent tour of the Black Heritage Museum, which he helped found. Adjunct professor Janie Fowles introduced us to the Gullah language, a mixture of English and African words spoken to this day by descendants of former slaves living on the islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. Ms. Fowles described the culture of the approximate 100,000 people living on the relatively isolated barrier islands who still speak the language. Ms. Fowles beautifully illuminated the language with her readings of short stories, essays and poems written in Gullah. It brought to mind and added more significance to "The Water is Wide", Pat Conroy's novel describing his year as a school teacher on one of those islands, encountering what was, to him, a very foreign language and culture. Our jazz class was headed by the enormously talented Teddy Adams, who said, "I'm going to teach you in five days what I teach my students in a semester!" I'm not sure he did that, but he did instill in us an increased appreciation of that truly American art form. He reviewed the major jazz periods from its beginnings in spirituals, through gospel, rhythm and blues, Dixieland, the big band era, be-bop and fusion. He stressed constantly that improvisation is the essence of jazz, making it the highest art form. Most meals were at the school cafeteria and are best described as "institutional". A large variety of items at each meal, however, did insure that everyone would find something palatable. The cafeteria staff provided excellent service, always with a smile. That same goal to please the Elderhostelers also was evident from Edna Jackson, the coordinator, and her superb staff. Lou Corsetti's publication and delivery of a 12-page paper, complete with many photographs of the attendees, surprised us and capped off an excellent week with wonderful people. Harvey Batleman ######################################### Personals ######################################### From : Susan Menne email@example.com Just returned from an EH on Ireland. It was held at St. Mary's of the Woods College outside of Terre Haute, IN. Lovely campus. Not so lovely program. The speakers were very uneven. We had four sessions on Irish music and one on Irish history. With the complexity of that island's history, it should have been the other way around. There was far too much free time, only one off-campus field trip. The food was satisfactory. We ate in the student dining facilities. But I noted on my evaluation that if this had been my first Elderhostel it would also be my last. Fortunately it was my fourth. In fairness I add that many people thought the program very good. Maybe it was me. ______________ From: SRAM86 We just got back from an Elderhostel at Carlsbad Caverns in NM, sorry I don't have the course number with me. The instructors were all excellent -- four of them, all very well qualified, well prepared, good speakers. The Elderhostel coordinators, a husband and wife, were also very good, considerate, tried to help in any way they could. Two field trips were well done and we were prepared for them. The last night a group of young Hispanic children danced traditional Spanish dances for us, and we all loved it. The food was good with a nice variety. We drove down for a "bat watch" one evening but the bats didn't come out. Guess I can't blame that on Elderhostel though! The facilities are very spartan. My husband and I had a small dorm room to ourselves, with five beds in it. No TV in the room, or phone, etc. That was okay with us. What was NOT okay, and the only thing wrong with the trip, was that the facilities were simply not clean enough. The manager even joked he didn't like cleaning. That didn't go over so well with many of us. My bedspread was obviously soiled and smelled. We received only two sets of towels for the week. The floors needed to be swept and vacuumed. The bath rooms were so-so, and needed to be scrubbed with Lysol. Would I recommend this trip to others? Only if Elderhostel changes facilities or cleans up the present one. editors note: This post touches on some real issues involving housekeeping in some facilities. At one elderhostel Maggie looked under the bed after a couple of days and found a ladies soiled undergarment- (quite large). It wasn't hers and she looked askance at me. I was innocent. Sometimes we have experienced motel facilities used for the week where the rooms are cleaned daily but linen changed twice- others changed linen once- towels daily- others on demand- others cleaned rooms, changed linen and towels daily- the practice varies. But certainly basic cleanliness should be demanded of all. ____________ From: SantaFe812 Subject: Galveston We have been looking at the Texas A M University/Galveston Island trip. I just noticed that there is also an intergenerational week included. Has anyone been on this trip? How was it either with or without grandchildren? Do you know what the age limits are for grandchildren? Ours is 7 years old. Are there other intergenerational trips that are recommended by the Elderhostel Notebook readers? Thanks, Bob and Georgia Honeyfield _________________ From: firstname.lastname@example.org (wilson d dysart) We two lovers of singing are attending a June 14 - 20th so-called "intensive" Elderhostel at Purdue U. in Lafayette, Ind.--a choral workshop. ( Since this is HIS place of advanced learning, it holds old memories for us both. ) But the very intriguing thing I learned from the advance literature is that there are at the same date a number of Elderhostel groups there AND it is possible, should you not both want to sing, to split your duo and attend one of the alternate groups on nature, etc. What a marvelous arrangement ! ______________ From: "Dick Vandergrift" Hi- My husband I will be going on our first Elder. in June to Bentley College outside of Boston. Would love to hear of anyone who has taken this trip. Helen. _____________ From: TBENSP Would like to know if anyone has been to Montreat Conference Center near Asheville NC. We are scheduled to go in September and would like to have an opinion about it if any of you have been there. Thank you. Patricia Bensch ___________ From: SaulRho We are going to the Bay Area Elderhostel in July at Tiburon California and preceeding that a program at Union Square San Francisco. Would love to hear from anyone who has attended these summer venues with any suggestions that one has. Thank you Rhoda Lesser SaulRho@aol.com ________ From: NS4TRAVEL I just wanted to report on 2 Elderhostels in the San Francisco Area. The first one is run by the Bay Area Classic Learning Center. They run programs at 2 locations, one at Pacifica and one in Tiburon. I was at the Pacifica location. We stayed at a lovely^¿ hotel right on the beach. Food was decent ( a little salty for Seniors)and served Buffet. The classes were on Jewish Immigration from the spanish inquisition days until after WW II, The Middle East Conflict, and Jewish comedians on the radio. Ken Blady who had amazing knowledge of his subject. John Rothman taught the Middle East Conflict and was terrific. He presented both sides of the problem very even handedly. John Stanley taught the radio course and was quite interesting. The only problem with Pacifica, was that aside from scenery, there was not much to do, but the coordinators tried to arrange things to keep us busy. The second elderhostel was in the heart of the City and was at a motel. It was run by the San Francisco Arts Humanities Seminar. Classes and meals were all held in the motel. Food was good and buffet style. The hosts arranged for us to go out for a Dim Sum Luncheon in Chinatown and also for a night at the Theater for very little extra money. The classes were one on the First Ladies taught by the same John Rothman we had in Pacifica. The man is amazing and teaches many different courses. He doesn't travel far, because he has a new baby, but if you can find him, it is worth going. The second course was on Constitutional law as it applies to criminals. The teacher here was Prof. James Curtin, another winner. He is so interesting you don't want the class to end. The third course was on comedy and was not what I had expected and I did not attend all the classes. But all in all it too was a great elderhostel and I would recommend both Host groups. __________ From: robert levine Do you have any information on and/or do you know of anyone who has gone to the elderhostel in vietnam?