Springfield OLLI Announces Spring ‘23 Programs

OLLI participants enjoy visiting with speakers after the program.
Wade Smith of Mill Hollow Craft School, explains features of traditional hand tools. Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Springfield OLLI, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, is pleased to announce its Spring ‘23 programs. There will be exciting programs on history and nature. The first program on Tuesday Feb. 28, will give a look back on 100 years of Vermont in films.

Sponsored by the University of Vermont, OLLI is run by local volunteer members and is geared mainly towards seniors who are 50 years of age and over who enjoy learning for the fun of it. Anyone who would be interested in this type of program, regardless of their age, is welcome.

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

The meeting location is the Nolin Murray Center on Pleasant Street, next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Springfield, Vt.

Following is the listing of programs for the Spring 2023 semester:

Feb. 28, Vermont vs Hollywood: 100 Years of Vermont in film – Amanda Gustin, Vermont Historical Society. Vermont has been a featured location in Hollywood movies for nearly a century. It has represented many different ideals during that time, and its portrayal reflects both Vermont’s own history as well as American history. Examining those films provides interesting and fun insights into the hold Vermont has had on imagination in the media age.

March 14, Jennie B. Powers: The Woman Who Dares – Jennifer Carroll, Education Director, Cheshire County Historical Society, Keene, N.H. Jennie Powers took a stand against social vices in New Hampshire and Vermont in the early twentieth century. She was a humane society agent in the region from 1898-1936 and arguably the first female deputy sheriff in New Hampshire. Jennie was known across the country as “The Woman Who Dares,” cited by the Boston Post newspaper in 1906 as having arrested more men than any other woman in America. As a photographic activist, she used her camera to document animal cruelty, family violence, and widespread poverty in New Hampshire’s Monadnock region and beyond. This illustrated presentation introduces us to Jennie’s life story, the work of humane societies at the turn of the twentieth century, and the politics of the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) from a local perspective.

March 28, It’s Ghana Be Good – Hank Kaestner, retired spice buyer and international birder, co-sponsored by the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society. We’ll take a trip to the West African nation of Ghana, where we‘ll learn of Ghana’s history, which is mainly about slavery, its culture, agriculture, tourism, geopolitical issues, and of course its many birds and wildlife.

April 11, Supporting Native Plants Supports Bird Populations – Desiree Narango, Conservation Biologist, Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Co-Sponsored by the Springfield Garden Club. Birds depend on insects from native plants to feed their young. We’ll consider the disappearance of many bird species in our area if the plants aren’t here to provide their usual food source. By planting and encouraging more native plants in our gardens, yards, and fields we will support the native fruits, berries, and insects that feed upon them, thus providing the food source that our local birds are accustomed to for raising their young.

April 25, “Government of the People, by the People, for the People” – The Making and Meaning of an American Proverb of Democracy – Wolfgang Mieder, University of Vermont German and Proverb Professor Emeritus. We’ll investigate the origin, history, and significance of the triad “Government of, by, for the people,” and how it became an American proverb defining the concept of democracy in a most succinct manner. The survey deals with John Adams, Daniel Webster, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Barack Obama, and others. The survival of the “people” proverb in the modern age will also be discussed. Even though Lincoln’s name is often attached to it, the proverb is also cited as an anonymous piece of wisdom that encompasses the fundamental principles of a democratic government.

May 9, 80+ Years of Changes in the Connecticut River ValleySteve Taylor, Newspaperman, Farmer, Public Servant. We’ll enjoy the recollections of the ‘good ole days’ as witnessed by Steve Taylor, of Plainfield, N.H. Our memories will resonate with his experiences as he relates changes during his lifetime in many aspects of our lifestyles, including such topics as the use of farm land and the disappearance of dairy farms, transportation and road conditions (think mud season), how the interstate highways have affected shopping and employment opportunities, the changing scene of industrial employment with the disappearance of the machine tool industry in Springfield and Windsor. He’ll voice his lament at how the introduction of television cut into the traditional social events of church suppers and town dances. We’ll hear his tales of good changes of how indoor plumbing and electricity have greatly improved our way of life.

Come join this exciting educational OLLI group to learn about interesting details on a variety of topics.

OLLI on-line Distinguished Speakers Series is also available by Zoom through your computer. Information is at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli

Thanks go out to our local benefactor, Barbara Sanderson.

There is a membership series fee for the complete semester. Non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend individual programs for a single program fee.

Pre-registration is highly recommended. We can no longer take any payments at the door, onsite. If you do attend and have not pre-registered, we will welcome you, and provide an easy form for you to take to send in payment or pay online after the program.

Registration can easily be done online with a credit card by going to www.learn.uvm.edu/olli/springfield. You may also register over the phone, using your credit card by calling 1-802-656-5817.

If you prefer to register by mail, send your contact information (name, address, phone number, and email address) indicating full series membership or which specific program(s) you wish the attend. Mail this information and your check (made out to University of Vermont-OLLI) to: OLLI at UVM, 460 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05405.

If mailing in the registration, please allow 10-14 days from date of mailing check to receipt & processing.

The latest brochures have been printed and have been mailed to those on the local OLLI mailing list. They have been distributed throughout the area at public locations such as local libraries, town halls, community and Senior centers, and Chamber of Commerce offices. Requests for a brochure can be made by calling 802-885-3094. The complete program listing and registration form can be viewed online at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli/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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