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Senior News: Driving and technology set a different reaction time

— Automobiles have changed over the years, from push button transmissions, metal dash boards, and cigarette lighters to computerized engines, backup cameras and remote car keys (so you can lock your car from your living room and accidently set off the car alarm as you fumble with your car keys!)

And so have traffic rules, driving conditions, and, although I hate to admit it, so have we. But by taking an AARP Driver Safety course you'll learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques, and how to manage and accommodate common age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time.

In addition, you'll learn how to minimize the effects of dangerous blind spots; how to maintain the proper following distance behind another car; the safest ways to change lanes and make turns at busy intersections; ways to monitor your own and others' driving skills and capabilities; the effects of medications on driving; and the importance of eliminating distractions, such as eating, smoking, and cell-phone use. No wonder many insurance companies will reduce your insurance rates if you successfully complete the class.

Dennis Davis teaches the AARP Driver Safety Class at the center from 9 a.m. to noon on the third Monday and Tuesday of every month. The cost is $14 or $12 for AARP members. You can sign up by calling the Center.

During the summer several of the Center’s activities enjoy a break including the Young-at-Heart Serenaders, Strong Women, Tuesday Lectures and Creative Arts. But there are plenty of other opportunities during the summer months to keep you active. Here are a few highlights:

If you are interested in local history The Dalles School District Archive Museum at the Wahtonka Campus is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the summer.

The Rorick House at 300 W. 13th Street is open on Saturdays and Sundays through August with several summer history programs including Carolyn Wood discussing the restoration and preservations of the Historic Columbia River Highway at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22. And you can “take a walk on the rural side” and visit the Sherman County Historical Museum in Moro including the 30th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, June 22.

If you are interested in art and music you can enjoy the work of local artists at The Dalles Art Center; or bring your picnic dinner and lawn chair to the Fort Dalles Fourth Sunday at the Fort Music Concerts; and at The Dalles/Wasco County Library on June 19 starting at 7 p.m., you can listen to 87 year old author Ralph Salisbury who just published his memoir “So Far, So Good,” and award-winning poet Ingrid Wendt.

And before the bow bends and the arrow flies, playing tonight at the center is Truman And on Tuesday, June 25, For the Good Times will play. Music starts at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.

The R&B group that formed in 1953 and successfully recorded several old standards including the "My Prayer" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is the Platters. (And the winner this week is Ed Anghilante.)

But let’s move away from music to an icon of American culture. “The Lone Ranger” will be coming back to the movie theaters on July 3. But Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels starred in the popular ABC series from 1949-1957 about the ex-Texas Ranger who left behind silver bullets, wore a mask made from his dead brothers’ vest and rode his trusty steed, Silver. And who along with his Indian companion Tonto, fought injustice in the Old West. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what did Tonto call the Lone Ranger? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of the William Tell Overture.


Wednesday (19) Swedish Meatballs

Thursday (20) Salisbury Steak

Friday (21) Turkey and Dumplings

Monday (24) Meatloaf with Baked Potato

Tuesday (25) Oven Baked Chicken with Mashed Potatoes


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