York Town Square

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OLLI’s (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s) theme song: ‘Don’t stop thinking about learning’

Katharine Beecher Candies has moved its decades-old manufacturing operations from Manchester to Cumberland County. The owner and namesake was one of the top businesswomen in York County in the 20th century, and her accomplishments will be part of an upcoming course of county history. Background posts: Katharine Beecher: ‘Legacies,’ Part I and York author’s works adapted to the big screen: ‘Legacies,’ Part Last.
Question 1: This York countian’s sculpture brought $23.6 million at auction in New York.
Question 2: This woman was so sweet her candy circulated to all parts of the world.
Question 3: This York countian met a friend 3 different times on 3 different beaches in the South Pacific in World War II. Who was the York countian and who was the friend?
I used these three questions (answers below) to introduce a course I will be teaching on famous people from York County … .

The upcoming course is part of a new continuing education program at Penn State York.
My course and four others (including one by local historian Tom Schaefer, who will teach on trends and events in York County’s past) will be part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s – or OLLI – kickoff in York.
A recent open house to present the courses drew a standing-room-only crowd at Penn State. For details, call 771-4015 and see Gordon Freireich’s York Sunday News column below.
And now, the quiz answers, which should be known by York Town Square readers :
Answer 1: Dover’s Jeff Koons’ “Hanging Heart,” hit the jackpot.
Answer 2: Katharine Beecher founded Beechers Candies and popularized butter mints.
Answer 3: Pal, the German Shepard war dog, met Art Glatfelter on the beach.
Freireich gave more details in his (1/27/08) column titled “Don’t stop thinking about learning.”

Way back – way, way back – in 1977, Fleetwood Mac released a song titled, “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow).”
It was a catchy tune 31 years ago and was later adopted by then Gov. Bill Clinton for his campaign anthem as he moved toward the presidency.
Well, I’m proposing that the song be adopted with a slight modification by OLLI – the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute that will soon get under way at Penn State York. “Don’t Stop Thinking About Learning.”
An important disclaimer here: My wife has been working for months as a volunteer on the committee to establish OLLI in York. We were both early proponents of continuing education for “experienced adults” – I don’t like the term “senior citizens.”
And that’s the exact purpose of OLLI: to provide educational experiences for people as long as they are able to absorb information.
Just because someone has gray hair doesn’t mean the gray matter under it has dried up. I prefer to think of an older person’s brain (despite the variation in the spelling) more as a “greyhound” that is just itching to be exercised.
My mother-in-law, who lives in Wilmington, Del., has been taking classes at the University of Delaware’s lifelong learning academy for years. She has taken courses on Shakespeare, music and current events. In fact, she has taken so many courses on Shakespeare that I am convinced she knows him better than his wife, Anne Hathaway, did.
The benefit of “experienced adults” attending classes on a regular basis in an organized, educational setting is clear: It keeps the mind sharp and provides important social interaction.
There’s no homework and no exams. The classes also provide topics for conversations with friends and families other than the weather and what they had for dinner that day.
That’s why my wife hopped on board when the OLLI wagon began rolling here in York.
There is an open house for the York program today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the main classroom building at Penn State York, just off of Edgecomb Avenue. Information on courses for the inaugural semester, which will run April and May, will be available.
If you are retired, or you have relatives who have time on their hands, come on down. You have nothing to lose but the “rust” on your “mental machine.”
Learning, thinking, asking Questions and getting to meet new people do not cease when you accept a gold watch and you are supposed to ride quietly off into the sunset. Or, worse yet, move to Florida at the urging of your children so they have some place to visit over their vacations.
The cost for taking part in OLLI is very inexpensive. The membership is $50 for two semesters and the per-course fee is $20. The classes will be taught by volunteer instructors.
I keep thinking OLLI is missing a golden marketing opportunity by not paraphrasing the tagline of a similar-sounding store in our area. That would be: “OLLI – Good Education Cheap.”
I can almost hear “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” playing in the background.