Are you a veteran or a spouse of a veteran? Do you know what benefits you may be eligible for?

Because of the support of the Wasco County Board of Commissioners, Wasco County has two Veterans Service Officers, Russell Jones and Patrick Wilburn, to ensure veterans receive the benefits they are entitled to. This could include disability compensation, non-service connected pensions for war period veterans, aid and attendance, VA health care, education benefits, VA loan information and more.

But there have been changes in the VA system, and Patrick Wilburn is getting out into the community to spread the word about those changes and what the local Veterans Services Office offers. He will be at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, and again at 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 19. I would like to thank Patrick for providing these opportunities to learn more about VA benefits.

You can also help support our veterans by volunteering at the Veterans Service Office. There is a need for volunteers to help at the front desk or with other clerical duties. To volunteer, call Jean at 541-296-3478, email her at oaknook@gmail.com, or call the service office at 541-506-2502.

I need some help. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “what’s new, he always needs help.” Or is that just what my wife thinks? But this is incredibly important. Could someone explain to me what’s the big deal about all these emojis? And when should I use them, and what does each one mean?

I understand what the thumbs up and the smiley face mean. But what about the upside-down smiley face, the smiley face with the tears or with the tongue sticking out. It’s beyond me. And I’m afraid I will use the wrong emoji in the wrong situation and offend someone or embarrass myself.

In the past it was simpler. I just had to learn facial expressions and other types of body language to navigate social situations. But now in this digital world of social interactions I’m afraid I’m just lost.

If you understand the world of mystifying emojis, I’ll be glad to schedule a class, so those like myself can be more socially adept in this new digital age.

v

Every year with the help of Ginny McNary, the Center offers several trips during the spring and summer. There have already been trips to OMSI, The Northwest Senior Theater and the Rhododendron Gardens—where we’ll go several weeks earlier next time. But we have five more trips scheduled, including our next trip to the Vista House and Multnomah Falls for lunch on Wednesday, June 19. Cost is $35, which covers transportation, but you are responsible for your meal at the lodge. Then on Monday, July 1, the Center has scheduled a trip to Timberline, which includes transportation and a delicious lunch at Timberline Lodge for $65. Call the Center to sign up. Seats are limited.

v

The name of the film in which a decorated war veteran was arrested one drunken night and sentenced to two years on a chain gang where his free spirit clashed with the “Captain” was Cool Hand Luke. I received correct answers from Becky Roberts, Cheri Brent, Betsy Ayers, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Janet Figg and Tom Hodge, Dave Lutgens, Jerry Phillips, Deloris Schrader and Mark Battel, who remembers the famous line “What we have here is a failure to communicate” and is the winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Now that we are in the season of school graduations it only seems appropriate to ask a question about Dustin Hoffman’s breakout movie from 1967, “The Graduate.” For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the song specially written for the movie but originally conceived as a song “about times past—about Mrs. Roosevelt and Joe DiMaggio and stuff?” And for bonus points who was the singing duo that sang the song? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer on the side of a plastic container because “the future is plastics.”

Well, it’s been another week talking too loud so I can hear what I’m saying to make sure it is what I meant. Until we meet again, as the writer Dashiell Hammett once said, “You got to look on the bright side, even if there ain’t one.”

v

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

            — A.A. Milne

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