OLLI spring semester begins with “Life in the Fast Lane”

Kelly Arrison
Kelly Arrison, bottom left, changes a tire as part of the pit crew for a team based in Woodstock, Vt. with driver Bill Alsup at the Pocono 500 Indy car race. Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Kelly Arrison will begin the Spring 2019 OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute series Tuesday, Jan. 29. He will be speaking of his experiences as a professional automobile racer. It will be presented at 2 p.m. at the Nolin Murray Center next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Pleasant Street in Springfield, Vt.

Through photos and artifacts, Kelly will tell stories of decades of world travels during his professional auto-racing career. Starting as a winning driver at regional speedways, he worked his way up the racing ladder to drive some of the most powerful and dangerous racecars in the country. Though he continues to drive racecars from time to time, he transitioned to become a crew chief and team manager in many of the world’s most prestigious professional series and iconic events. He was involved in running cars at the Indianapolis 500 seven times and on the full Indy CART Series for several years – in USA, Mexico, Canada, and England. He ran a 210-miles-per-hour prototype racer out of his Vermont shop in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France and at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Involved as a racer in the 2,800-mile World Rally race from Hong Kong to Beijing, he won the event on his second try. He has won races in the IMSA prototype series, run electric powered racecars at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, and run several events in Winston Cup, the top NASCAR series at the time.

Over the years, he’s turned his Heads Up Motorsports facility in Chester to the restoration and maintenance of a large variety of interesting classic and streetcars.

OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, affiliated with the University of Vermont, is a local membership program geared towards seniors 50 years and older who want to engage in meaningful learning “just for the fun of it!” People of all ages who are interested in this type of program are welcome to attend.

The OLLI series programs are selected with input from the local members and carry varied themes from semester to semester including history, art, music, literature, health, nature, science, travel, and current events.

Programs are held at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoons and last about an hour and a half.

Membership for the semester includes nine programs. Nonmembers are encouraged and welcome to attend individual lectures for a single program fee. Memberships, as well as single program fees, may be paid at the program.

The following OLLI program will be two weeks later Tuesday, Feb. 12 and will be “Do Plants Think?” Arborist Lincoln Earle-Centers will speak about research in plant behavior. This program is co-sponsored by the Springfield Garden Club.

Other programs this semester are sponsored by the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society and local benefactor Barbara Sanderson.

Brochures have been distributed throughout the area towns at businesses, the local libraries, town halls, and Chamber of Commerce offices. The complete Springfield and statewide program list are available online at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli. Choose statewide programs from the menu, and then scroll to Springfield.

For weather-related changes to the schedule, you may check the above mentioned website or SAPA TV, 802-885-6248, or call 802-885-3094.

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