Elderhostel Notebook #36,  Nov 1, 1998 

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    From the Editors Notebook       

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews 
         Roycroft Campus
         Frost Valley YMCA Elderhostel
         University of Kentucky, Berea         
         Trinity Conference Center-Pine Knoll Shores 
         Montreat Conference Center near Asheville, NC
         Geneva Bay Centre in Wisconsin
         Ocean Park Retreat Center-Long Beach, WA

    Editor's Notebook                  

We have been on the road most of October using my laptop computer
to connect via America On Line at various motel stops. No
elderhostels, just personal family business.

   Elderhostel News and Reviews    

Roycroft Campus
Spring 1998
Arts and Crafts

We were fortunate to have had beautiful weather for the our week
trip to the Roycroft Campus.  It is a group of buildings located
in the quaint town of East Aurora, New York (near Buffalo).  The
campus was built early in the century by Elbert Hubbard, a writer
who had made a fortune as a soap salesman.  Unable to find anyone
to publish his writings he started his own print shop which
evolved to employ 500 workers in 1910. He built the buildings in
old English style and the campus eventually included arts,
crafts, a furniture factory, print shop and an inn.  The
buildings are still there though used for different purposes. All
the furniture for the public rooms of the Grove Manor Resort in
Asheville, NC were made by Roycroft.  It is one of the old grand
style hotels and is still operational with most of the furniture
still being used in the hotel.

Our coordinators, Kitty Turgeon and her husband Bob, are
fascinating arts and crafts experts and were attentive to our
every need.

Stayed at Christ the King Seminary which was built to accommodate
seminarians for the diocese of Buffalo.  A group of buildings
built in the 60''s, it has six carpeted dorm buildings, each
containing their own chapels and miscellaneous living rooms.  We
had the whole place to ourselves. The main chapel building of the
complex is large and beautiful with two huge stained glass
windows.  There several other buildings -- classroom buildings,
dining room, library, gym, etc.  Situated on about 30 country
acres, they face a large man made pond which is populated by a
flock of Canadian Geese.  One night we all went out to see a
beautiful raspberry colored sunset across the pond, surrounded by
the black clouds of a distant thunderstorm with lightning
flashing through the distant sky. Had several lectures and
demonstrations about the arts and crafts movement and Frank Lloyd
Wright who designed an office building and several homes in the
Buffalo area.  Toured the area and visited several museums,
offices and homes in the area.

Had socials every afternoon at about 4pm.  First one was in our
host's home which was the home of "Fournier" one of the main
artists of the group. Dining room was unique in that it had
Roycroft oak paneling 3/4 up and the top 1/4 was covered with
murals depicting a season on each wall.  Master Bedroom on the
second floor had been the artists studio and had a huge skylight
over the bed.  Guess they can look up at the stars at night,
though the morning light would bother me.  They said it is pretty
to lie in bed and watch the snow.

Second social was held in a loft apartment of the old furniture
factory.  It had eight rooms and was decorated in a very
imaginative manner.  It had the high old factory ceilings and
suppose it is like the lofts in New York City that are popular

Third social was held in Buffalo in a Wright house that is a
private residence.  It is in mint condition and hard to believe
that the woman would let us roam freely through her beautiful
home.  Earlier in the day we had an interesting walking tour of

Wright's home are still on the cutting edge of modern design.
That was really pointed out to us when we were shown a slide of
the residents of one his Buffalo homes posed in front of their
new home in 1903.  The women wore the long skirts of the era and
looked so incongruous with the modern architecture of the house.
Like they were in time warp or something.

Fourth social was held in the original store of the campus and we
roamed thru miscellaneous artifacts of the arts and crafts era.
Participants came from as far away as Ca. and La.

Learned to appreciate the arts and crafts movement.

We had a delightful final lunch at the deluxe Roycroft Inn.
Highly recommend this Elderhostel.


Frost Valley YMCA Elderhostel

A good reason for an Elderhostel in the NY Catskill Mountains in
October would be to see the autumnal colors.  And it is partly
why we did enjoy this our 9th EH which was at the Frost Valley
YMCA Oct. 11-16, combined with a trip out East to visit family. 
We would recommend this place for any number of Elderhostels they
run.  Most weeks have an outdoors emphasis such as hiking,
birding, fly fishing, bicycling... in fact winter is quite a busy
season with cross country skiing and snow shoeing.  Other
subjects are Japanese art, folk music   dance, astronomy, and
intergenerational ones next June.

Our Elderhostel, located in the comfortable Strauss Conference
Center next to a clear flowing stream, was on "Traditions in the
Catskills." This included some hands-on learning about apple
cidering and fly fishing plus outings for hiking, draft horse
logging, and seeing the area, also talks on the pristine
watershed, maple sugaring, tanning, quilting, area history. Final
night was a square dance. We were fortunate to have a small group
of fourteen participants which generated a certain closeness.
Actually, Strauss Center can't handle more than 20 although the
main Forstmann Center over in the next valley which houses some
of the EH weeks can accomodate larger numbers.

This EH was well run, and a special treat was the
health-conscious menu prepared by Francine, a genuine French
cook!  Shared with us were lines from naturalist John Burroughs
who lived in the Catskills: "There is no other joy in life like
mental and bodily activity, like keeping up a live interest in
the world of thoughts and things.  Old age is practically held at
bay so long as one can keep the currents of his life moving.  The
vital currents, like mountain streams, lead to rejuvenate
themselves as they flow."

Contact me about specifics at wlongman@mail.orion.org

Bill and Lee Longman, Springfield, MO...near Branson :-)

University of Kentucky, Berea - October 11-16, 1998	 Pioneer
Industries/Iron Work, Diplomatic Nightmares? The U.S. and the
Middle East, A Portrait of Appalachia Today

"Gladys Dillemuth" dgdill@teleplex.net

Our 15th Elderhostel proved to be a mixed blessing. We had heard
about the Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea, which is listed in
Historic Hotels of America and wanted to attend an EH there. The
hotel lived up to its reputation and was delightful, elegant, and

Meals: Buffet breakfasts, adequate, but not spectacular. Sit-down
lunches and dinners. Service was excellent, but the food left a
little to be desired. Lunches were downright skimpy, dinners a
little better, but short on vegetables. All the food seemed
highly salted and there was no choice, unless you had a
particular problem, in which case they were very cooperative. If
this sounds too picky, it is because I was expecting excellent
food. I have had better food in almost every other EH, but it was
not usually served in as elegant a fashion.

Classes: The class on the Iron industry of Kentucky was presented
all day Monday. We had a lecture for an hour and a quarter, then
spent the rest of the day on a bus travelling to see the ruins of
iron furnaces. Just about everyone felt that it would have been
better with more class time and a short trip to see one furnace.
This class has potential, but it needs a lot more work on the
part of the presenter.

The Mideast class turned out to be the highlight of the week due
to the tremendous knowledge and personality of Hossein Motamedi.
He lectured without notes, and with humor, but explained the many
complex questions in the mideast in an understandable way. It
proves again that the instructor is so important in holding the
attention of the class. Some people thought this might be a dry
topic, but they hung on every word when Hossein was explaining
history, religion, politics, etc.

Portrait of Appalachia: Instead of one instructor, they used
quite a few different people to cover the topic. We had two
outstanding people. We did have an excellent "Old Time Music"
session one evening, as well. They had a short evening program
each night, but most of them seemed to be time fillers. The
lectures we had on Appalachian Culture, and Appalachian Humor
left you panting for more. If only they could get these gentlemen
to cover the entire class time the course would be considerably

It was a large group of 47 and we had one coordinator, no host
couple. Little touches were lacking, such as good directions to
the place, a welcoming atmosphere at registration, and little
things that have made EH so enjoyable. Most people would have
liked some handout materials with bibliographies, and we felt
that corners were cut wherever possible. Perhaps because the
hotel is more expensive than some other EH accommodations it was
necessary to cut other places.

Naturally this is my personal response to the week and I don't
wish to be too harsh in my criticism, as others might have loved
every minute. Perhaps I have been very lucky in the other 14
EH's, but I did find this to be the weakest program, and the food
to be near the bottom. Gladys Dillemuth dgdill@teleplex.net


Trinity Conference Center-Pine Knoll Shores (Bogue Banks) NC
September 6-11, 1998

This was my second Elderhostel and I thought it was really
topnotch.  The center is between the sound and the sea.  There is
an tunnel under the road to go to the ocean.  There is also a
pond by the lodge.  We had our inside lessons in a meeting room
and there was a large lounge where we had our breaks.  We had
outdoor lessons too where we found out what was living in the
pond and in the sound.

The food was wonderful.  It was either buffet or served family
style at the table.  There was great variety in the food offered
and it was served by friendly people.

The three classes were:  ( Sound to Sea:  Barrier Island
Discovery, ( Gentle on my Mind:  Carteret County Folklore and
History, ( 	Sea Turtles, Alligators and More.

We had entertainment every night.  There were two free
afternoons.  Places of interest in area are Cape Lookout
Lighthouse, Harkers Island, Beaufort, Maritime Museum at
Beaufort, North Carolina Aquarium, Cedar Island, New Bern-Tryon
Palace, Fort Macon, and Morehead City Museum of History.

They had a Sound and Sea staff and from them we learned about
different kinds of seashells, freshwater pond habitat, sound and
salt marsh habitat.

A member of the NC Aquarium came to us one morning and then we
went there one time for a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium.
 Rodney Kemp, a former teacher, came and talked to about Carteret
County three times.  He was very informative and so funny.  He
had us smiling all the time.  One evening Connie Mason
entertained us with song and storytelling.  Keith Mast was our
coordinator and he was so nice to us.  He kept us informed as to
what was going on all the time and gave lessons, too.  He also
presented a one-man play one night.

Dottie Scott, Raleigh, NC  919-846-4808    

Montreat Conference Center near Asheville, NC.


Facility:  Very nice.  Everything is usually held under one roof
which we think is a plus.

Food:  Very good.  No choices, but enjoyed everything offered.
When another group came on Tuesday food even improved!

Courses:  Doctors, Healers... should have been excellent however
we had a substitute instructor who left a lot to be desired.

Lerner and Lowe was also taught by a substitute instructor and
was a disappointment as well.  Three days into the course we
hadn't heard a song!

Potpourri of Mountain Culture by Glenn Bannerman was wonderful. 
We danced, sang, made "Legg" aerobic items and generally enjoyed
ourselves.  He is a good instructor.

Orientation was not the usual "Who I am?" but was done with some
mixers.  Most enjoyable and as we were a double group, didn't
take as long and wasn't boring.  Introductions were okay when we
started Hosteling years ago but have now become tiresome.

Nancy Smith, coordinator was pleasant and efficient.  She was on
duty early in the a.m. and remained until the close of nightly

Patricia Bensch


Geneva Bay Centre in Wisconsin


Facility:  Very nice.  Plenty of closet space and a sofa bed in
addition to twins in each room.

Food:  Low fat, low salt whenever possible.  Egg beaters always
substituted with plenty of skim milk on hand.  Wasn't always as
appetizing as we would have liked. Chicago hot dogs and kielbasi
has to go.  Had the latter three times, three different ways.

Courses:  Marvelous.  Suffice it to say the best instructors for
a long time. Rosalie DeRosset who taught "Amusing Ourselves to
Death" did a superb job teaching about a book written by Neil
Postman.  She was witty and so personable.  She let us in on her
own personal biases and gave us a lot of laughs.

Linda Bachand was another music wonder who taught Andrew Lloyd
Webber's works. She used various media to enlighten us about his
versatility.  What a songbird she was.  Delightful just before

>From Benchley to Bombeck... taught by the Fixmers.  Audrey was
full of fun and could be seen at the card table with the
"students" in the evening.  She has written several books and is
a bundle of energy.  Bob appears to be more serious.

The evenings had wonderful entertainment.  The substitute for
Thursday night, "Historical Costumes" was excellent.  Replaced
the scheduled flutist and was well received.

Whis was our second visit to this site and their forte is in
their teaching staff. Our coordinator could have been more
sensitive to the classroom temperature instead of dismissing the
subject.  When everyone is sitting with sweatshirts and their
coats on, it isn't their imagination.  Two days it must have been
about 65ish.  Sitting in a room that cold wasn't comfortable.


Ocean Park Retreat Center-Long Beach, WA


We welcome this opportunity to share our very refreshing
experiences at this nicely- situated Elderhostel. The 29-mile
Long Beach Peninsula is located on the southwest coast and the
conferece center is but several hundred feet from the ocean. It
is also strategically located for visiting Astoria and the
delightful Cannon Beach on the coast of Oregon. The week was
handled quite professionally by two able, and friendly
coordinators. The group was conveniently quartered in one lodge
which was adequate for lodging, meals, and classes. The food
service was fine, with a nice variety of entrees, and a
remarkable salad bar. One day was dedicated to exploring the
peninsula, from historic Oysterville on one end to a splendid
lighthouse on the other. One of our courses included the making
and flying of kites on the huge beach....Long Beach has the
International Kite Festival every year, with hundreds of entries
from all countries... The courses:

Shipwrecks off the Coasts of WA and OR
How the Arts were Preserved during the Depression.

Shipwrecks of the Washington   Oregon was taught by DON MARSHALL,
who is a lecturer, diver, author, and a HISTORIAN. Robert J.
Dietz lectured on The WPA   the Great Depression.Kay Buesing did
the Kites segment.

.....were all well presented by knowledgable, interesting
teachers.  We truly enjoyed all aspects of this
Elderhostel, and would recommend it... and the area..to anyone
who might enjoy this beautiful part of our country. Some of you
might have an objection to the lack of a private bath with each
room, but the positives of the Retreat Center far outweigh the
one drawback.We loved it.

Bud   Jane Luers (IL)

From: TERRYBEE@aol.com
Subject: Practical Magic Movie

The last movie I attended had a preview of the new movie
"Practical Magic" with Sandra Bullock, etc. I had forgotten that
they were making it last April when I attended the wonderful EH
at Friday Harb or, San Juan Islands, and we saw part of the set.
I believe they gave the city $50,000 to allow them to use part of
the park and shoreline, etc. and on my flight back to Seattle on
a little bitty plane (called the White Knuckle Express) I chatted
with one of the men who had come over from Idaho to work on this

I'll look forward to seeing the movie just to view again some of
the spectacular scenery and relive the wonderful time that 13 of
us had at this particular EH

 Best regards. 
 Terry B.

Subject: San Salvador Island, Bahamas

From: BetsyCas

Has anyone attended the Bahamas Elderhostel on San Salvador
Island?  It's at a marine research station, run by the College of
the Bahamas.  Any opinions would be appreciated.  Bets
From: Maretta Deiterman   Maretta@vvm.com  

Subject: Plaza de Resolana

Went to an excellent Elderhostel in Santa Fe at the Plaza de
Resolana in September. It was "Adventures in Santa Fe" and was
exceptionally well run and interesting with knowledgeable and
entertaining lecturers. Each afternoon we went in vans to museums
and galleries with beautiful gardens. Particularly interesting
was the Audobon Society with an old home and glorious grounds.
The food was excellent and served buffet style. The Plaza de
Resolana is a Presbyterian Conference Center within short walking
distance of central old Santa Fe. The rooms are large and
comfortable. Sink and toilet are in each room with shared shower
facilities in the hall. There was entertainment on two evenings.
It was a wonderful congenial group of people and we look forward
to returning to the Plaza. Joe and Alva Graves and Retta and Lou

Subject: Alaska Query
From: "Joe Hall"   joehall@mninter.net 

We are planning to go to Alaska this summer and would like
feedback and recommendations from poeple who have attended
Alaskan elderhostel programs. We are particularly interested in
the 13 day program which includes the inland passage.

Please respond to joehall@mninter.net

Subject: Sicily

From: MacRuth@aol.com

I had a wondeful time in the Elderhostel outside Palermo in
Sicily.  Our accomodations were in a lovely resort hotel on the
sea in Mondello. Classes very held on the site as well as meals. 
We had an excellent schedule of classes with very fine lecturers.
 Learned a lot about the history of Sicily, the every day life,
the literature,music and much much more.  I'd highly recommend
this EH.  The only drawback as far as I was concerned was that to
get to Palermo, it cost about $40 for a taxi.  I had to go to see
a doctor and my suitcase did not arrive with me.  This could have
amounted to a lot of money. EH does not provide transportation no
matter what.  The bus is possible, but not easy if you don't know
the system and where to go.  We had many field trips to fantastic
Greek ruins, tours of Palermo and many other things.  I'd
recommend the Elderhostel.   Ruth