Issue No. 84
The MSCN Newsletter
Welcome to Your May 2017 Newsletter!

"Spring in Goscieradz" by Leon Wyczółkowski 

As far as I can tell, all the articles and upcoming event notices posted in this newsletter are real! That is, to date, the Maine Senior College Network newsletter does not carry any fake news. However, that does not mean that Senior College members are ignoring the "fake news" phenomenon. In fact, members of the GoldLEAF Institute are exploring the implications of "Fake News, Witches.... And Contemporary Legends" with folklorist Dr. Margaret R. Yocum. Reading about this intriguing class encouraged me to look up "folklore and fake news" in Google, and I found it is an area of fascination to many writers.

Meanwhile, Jane Woodruff, member of the University of Maine in Augusta Senior College invites us to explore the "Langlais Trail." Bernard Langlais' sculptures will make you feel you have stumbled into a strange land of legendary beasts.

This month's Senior College (SC) offerings from around the state include: 
I wish that I could claim that this newsletter's final item was really fake news. Unfortunately, Maine's tick season is upon us. These tiny creatures are the fearful carriers of Lyme disease (and worse) so follow this advice provided by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Program Director
Gold LEAFers tackle Fake News, Witches
.... And Contemporary Legends
Witches from Macbeth by John Downman 

There is quite a bit to absorb in the title alone of the current Gold LEAF offering: " Fake News, Witches and Contemporary Legends." Presenter, Folklorist and Story-Teller Dr. Margaret R. Yocum has generously put together this unusual and amazing lecture series.

The following class description throws some light on the topics covered by Dr. Yocum.  "Satanists!" In December 2016, Hillary Clinton and John Podesta were accused of witchcraft, satanism, and child pornography. Such charges are not new, only the names of the accused have changed. And these charges are far from benign: consider the attack on a Washington DC café by a man convinced by "fake news" of Clinton/Podesta's guilt. How can Folklore Studies help us sift through what has-and has not-happened? We'll discuss news stories, witch lore, and contemporary legends that whisper of satanic panics, stolen human organs, baby thefts, the intentional spread of diseases, and more. We'll share stories we've heard.

Danger by Winslow Homer

As the class begins we are looking both to the past and to the future, we feel the imprint of legends on our human psyche. Or, to cut to the chase, legends have a way of warning us of danger. They play a critical role in human evolution teaching us how to survive by fine-tuning our senses to imminent threat.  Legends of course also perpetuate and intensify the myths that surround us.  

Sleep by Frances MacDonald

For example, we can glimpse the effects of deep fear in: "The Trauma Of Facing Deportation - In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country."  This story, written by Rachel Aviv, appears in the current New Yorker magazine. Aviv tells how families are coming up for deportation, and overwhelmed by fear, some of their children are falling asleep and not waking up.This illness is being described as "Resignation Syndrome." The children "just fall away from the world" explains the author. This is a description of deep fear and danger experienced in modern day life, and yet it leads us to think back to the tales of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. We are impacted deeply by stories that touch on and connect up with legends we heard long ago.

Participants will use the time between class meetings to read Dr. Yocom's extensive wiki, which takes the subject matter of folklore much deeper. They will also be watching for examples of how the truth, as we understand it, is being twisted before our very eyes in today's media, and bring those matters up in class discussions.

Gold LEAF members will be watching for the next Story-Telling festival in the neighboring towns and for Farmington's upcoming Story-Telling events, in which Dr. Yocom presents.

Submitted by Eileen Kreutz, The Gold LEAF Institute

langlaisThe Langlais Trail: A Unique Way to See Maine by Jane Woodruff

Rhinoceros - Ogunquit Museum of American art

Bernard "Blackie" Langlais and his wife Helen have impacted Maine in a way that they could not have imagined possible. If these names are not familiar to you, perhaps the Skowhegan Indian is, or the massive Trojan horse on the River Road in Cushing. 

Blackie was the artist who created these massive sculptures. What many may not know is that he was a talented painter before he started working in wood. He created "wood pictures" before moving on to sculptures. His wife Helen Friend supported his career as an artist, and at her death in 2010 she gifted their home in Cushing and over 3500 pieces of art to Colby College. To say he was prolific in his short life (1921-1977) would be an understatement. 

Hannah Blunt of Colby catalogued and curated a wonderful exhibit of his work that was displayed in 2014. She contacted Kohler Foundation of Wisconsin, an organization that helps with the preservation and placement of art, to work with Colby on the distribution of nearly 2000 pieces of his art. A call-out for non-profit organizations to apply for some of these pieces resulted in the placement of Blackie's work in schools, libraries, and art museums throughout Maine, but especially in the mid-coast and mid-central regions. 

Horse - Ogunquit Museum of American art

I met the Langlais in the late 1960s when my sister and I spotted the Trojan horse and were drawn to all the sculptures on his lawn. Blackie found us wandering about, and he kindly showed us his studio where we spotted a large wood painting that we had previously seen at an art show at the University of Maine at Orono. In talking with the Langlais, we learned that Helen's sister lived in Pittsfield and was in our mother's bridge group! Later I moved away, but when I returned to Maine with my family, I took my two-year-old son and husband to see the Langlais home and its many wonderful sculptures. Little did I know that this would prove to be just two months before his death.

Somehow I did not learn of the Langlais art giveaway until quite late and only because of a Facebook posting about Skowhegan receiving twenty-five pieces. There were few left by this time, but our town applied and happily Pittsfield received three pieces which are located at our public library. 

Lion - Ogunquit Museum of American art

A comment made by our town manager that we wouldn't be on the art trail that was being discussed because we are not a Main Street town prompted what has become the wonderful experience of "doing the trail." I had read an article by Suzi Thayer that listed the places receiving his art, so I looked up several of them in the mid-coast region, and in March of 2014 I began my tour. I took pictures of the pieces and sent copies to my new friend Susan Kelly at Kohler, Hannah Blunt at Colby, and Mike Scarborough at the Boothbay Register as well as to whatever facility I had visited.

Lion (detail)

Over the course of the last year and a half, I have visited over fifty places that display Langlais art-ranging from Eastport to Ogunquit, from Belfast to Norway. The scope of his work is far ranging and the facilities quite varied. My trips have taken me to places in Maine that I never would have seen but for the Langlais Art Trail. And I am not done yet! There are about nine more to go, two of which are on islands. 

Should you  venture on this trail, and I highly recommend that you do, know that you need to call ahead to make sure that the pieces are currently being displayed. Follow the trail by accessing The Langlais Trail website.

This article originally appeared in the University of Maine in Augusta Senior College newsletter "Illuminator."
BooksaleOLLI Book Sale - Saturday May 6th

Annual Book Sale to Benefit OLLI Scholarships: 

Friday.  May 5,
2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for OLLI and USM campus members only 

Saturday. May 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. open to everyone! 

Room 102, Wishcamper Center. USM Portland Campus

University of Maine in Augusta (UMA) College of Arts and Sciences and UMA Senior College 
"Concerts at Jewett" Series Present:  
Masanobu Ikemiya

UMA Jewett Auditorium, Sunday, 
Sunday, May 7, 2017, 2PM

Masanobu Ikemiya

The "Concerts at Jewett" Series sponsored by University of Maine at Augusta College of Arts and Sciences and UMA Senior College will feature Masanobu Ikemiya, "classical pianist, ragtime aficionado, peace activist, organic farmer," in "Classics to Ragtime" on Sunday, May 7, 2017, 2PM at UMA Jewett Hall Auditorium.

Masanobu, a classically trained pianist, became interested in ragtime while volunteering at a homeless shelter in Harlem. Founder and leader of the New York Ragtime Orchestra, he has also toured with members of the New York Philharmonic. He has been the recipient of an award from the United Nations for promoting world peace through music. Here in Maine, Masanobu founded the Arcady Music Festival and was its artistic director for 24 years. He and his wife live on an organic farm on Mt. Desert Island.

In this return concert Masanobu will treat the audience to both classical and ragtime music accompanied by commentary and visuals. Tickets are $10, students $5, 12 & under free. Tickets are available at Pat's Pizza in Augusta, Dave's Appliance in Winthrop and at the door. Call 621-3551, or email UMA Senior College for more information or for mail order tickets.

Media contact: Irene Forster 445-5227

PlantsFlowersWestern Mountains Senior College 
Searching for the Plants and Flowers of Spring

Thursday, May 11, 12:30-4:00
Location: Mahoosuc Land Trust's Valentine Conservation Center 

Western Mountains Senior College and Mahoosuc Land Trust will collaborate on two programs conveniently tagged to each other (though you may participate in just one). The traditional WMSC Brown Bag Lunch program will begin, somewhat different from the norm, at 12:30; as usual, bring your lunch and join the discussion. It will be held at the Mahoosuc Land Trust's Valentine Conservation Center on the North Road (just beyond the airport, left side of the road from Bethel). 

Barbara Murphy, the new MLT Development Coordinator, will introduce participants to the natural beauty of the property. She and Lynne Zimmerman, Master Naturalist, will guide the group in identifying flowers that we welcome as signs of Spring. Discussion will also focus on strategies for identifying less familiar flowers, including some edible plants, along with harvesting considerations. From this valuable introduction, the group will begin the wildflower search on the property. 

Open to the public and free of charge. 

We need to be sure we have adequate seating for the lunch, so please RSVP to Liz Wooley.

USM's Lewiston-Auburn Senior College 
Food for Thought Lecture
Dr. Charles Plummer, Civil War historian, living-history performer and LASC instructor

Friday, May 12.
Location: Function Room 170 at USM LAC
Civil War Battle Scene by William. T. Trego
Dr. Charles Plummer,  a well-known Civil War historian, living-history performer, and long-time L.A. Senior College instructor, will be the presenter at the next LA Senior College Food for Thought session on Friday, May 12. He will be sharing a few Civil War poems that illuminate the literary meanings and memory of the Civil War as well as the role that poetry plays in American popular culture.  

Dr. Charles Plummer,
Plummer is a firm believer that it is important to understand that poetry is a literary art form that can be associated with a vast array of ideas and emotions and that many poets throughout history have incorporated their political views and their personal thoughts through the use of poetry.  The Civil War poems that he will share clearly reveal this fact.  He has divided the poems that he will be sharing into the following seven categories: The Horrors of War, Moral Fervor, Snapshots of War, Pantheon, Lincoln, Aftermath, and Stillness. Prior to reading each poem, he will share a few words about the author who wrote it.

Senior College, now in its 19th year, presents this monthly luncheon program that is open to the public in Function Room 170 at USM LAC.  Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the program will begin promptly at noon.  The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with an advance reservation or $8 at the door.  To make your advance reservation, call Senior College at 753-6510 by noon on Wednesday, May 10.  Reservation calls received after this date/time will be considered "at the door".

Request for Memorial Day messages for display on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC on Memorial Day Weekend

A Gold LEAF member is currently seeking letters (emails) to be displayed at the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC on Memorial Day weekend. Anyone directly impacted by the war in Viet Nam is invited to send their letter to this email address.

Submitted by Eileen Kreutz, The Gold LEAF Institute
Ocean Frontiers III Film Screening and Panel Discussion 

Thur. May 18th 
Reception 6:30pm - Film 7:00pm - Panel/Q&A 8:00pm  
Free admission & refreshments. 

USM Abromson Center (Hannaford Hall), 88 Bedford St., Portland, ME 04101

(Click on image above to start film trailer.)

Maine's ocean use is growing rapidly: massive new ships from faraway places are now commonplace in the port of Portland; there is growing research around changes in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem; and offshore wind development holds promise to power communities in Maine. Our busy waters are also home to endangered whales, support thriving fishing and aquaculture industries, as well as offering diverse recreational activities. It's more important than ever that we plan ahead for responsible ocean growth.
On Thursday, May 18th, join us at the Abromson Center at the University of Southern Maine for the Portland premiere of Ocean Frontiers III. This hopeful film explores the challenges at the heart of ocean conservation and development, presenting solutions from a range of people who are leading the way to a healthy and sustainable ocean future.

Participate in the post-film conversation with our expert panelists: 
  • Chris Mayo - Harbormaster, Town of Wells 
  • Susan Farady - Assistant Professor of Ocean Studies and Marine Affairs, University of New England 
  • Christopher Davis - Executive Director, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center 
  • Aimee Bushman - Ocean Planning Outreach Coordinator, Conservation Law Foundation (moderator) 
This event is hosted by:
The Island Institute, Conservation Law Foundation, Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative, Maine Coast Fishermen's Association, North American Marine Environment Protection Association, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., Darling Marine Center, Surfrider Foundation, Friends of Casco Bay, Cruise Maine USA, New England Ocean Cluster, and Green Fire Productions.

TickAlertBe Tick Smart to Prevent Tick-borne Diseases

"More ways to catch this than one." 

The warmer weather is on its way, which means that we need to be using proper protection methods against ticks and the diseases they carry. Maine had 1,473 cases of Lyme disease reported in 2016 (preliminary as of 3/1/17). May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month each year in Maine, which is the perfect time to remind you to "be tick smart" by doing your daily tick check, since ticks are most active in warmer weather. 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is passed through the bite of an infected deer tick. It is most common in adults over the age of 65 years and in children between the ages of 5 and 15 years in Maine. Individuals that work and play outside are more likely to be exposed to ticks. Ticks must be attached for 24-48 hours before Lyme disease can be transmitted, so daily tick checks will allow you to find and remove ticks before getting Lyme disease. 

If you are bitten by a tick, or spend a lot of time outdoors, watch for symptoms for up to 30 days, and call your healthcare provider if symptoms develop. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a skin lesion called erythema migrans (EM), better known as the "bull's-eye" rash. This usually appears in 3-30 days after the tick bite. Other symptoms include fevers, headaches, and joint or muscle pain. Lyme disease is treatable and most individuals recover completely with a proper drugs. However, the easiest way to avoid the disease is prevention, using "No Ticks 4 ME":
  1. Use caution in tick infested areas 
  2. Wear protective clothing 
  3. Use an EPA approved repellant 
  4. Perform daily tick checks after any outdoor activity
Lyme disease is not the only disease that can be carried by deer ticks in Maine. Anaplasmosis and babesiosis are two other tickborne infections found in Maine. The number of cases reported for anaplasmosis rose to 372 (preliminary as of 3/1/17) and the number of babesiosis cases rose to 82 (preliminary as of 3/1/17) in 2016. 

While the deer tick is the only species of tick in Maine that can transmit Lyme disease, there are other species of ticks found across the state including dog ticks. Tick identification is important, especially when removing ticks, and there are tick identification resources available to order at Maine CDC's website. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab also offers free identification services and educational references. 

Additional information:  
* Maine CDC has Lyme disease information available on our website.
* Lyme disease data is available through the Maine Tracking Network look under EPI Information on the left hand side of the page.  
* For additional questions, please call Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821 or email
* Tickborne videos can be found on our website. (See left hand side of the page.)
Submitted by Catie Peranzi, Department of Health and Human Services - Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention 

The MSCN newsletter is sent to each Senior College board. The boards then forward the newsletter to their membership. However, if you are not a member of a Senior College or perhaps you are, and you simply want the news "hot off the press" subscribe here! 
Newsletter Submissions Deadline Date:
The 26th of each month!

Please submit your articles and photographs to Anne Cardale at

Like MSCN on Facebook

Facebook logo Now you can "like" Maine Senior College Network on Facebook. We've created an MSCN page on Facebook, so please visit it to share experiences, ideas, photos, and information about upcoming Maine Senior College happenings. We'll also post links to articles about lifelong learning and other topics relevant to senior college members.


Images Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Spring in Goscieradz by Leon Wyczółkowski  (11 April 1852 - 27 December 1936). Also see:  Art Stack

Other images

"More ways to catch this than one." Old pen and ink drawing found on the wall of "The Gun" public house on the Isle of Dogs, London UK.

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the  

Maine Senior College Network

Acadia Senior College

Augusta Senior College
Coastal Senior College

Downeast Senior College

Gold LEAF Institute

South Coast Senior College

Midcoast Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Penobscot Valley Senior College


Senior College at Belfast

St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
Western Mountains Senior College

York County Senior College
MSCN Promotional Videos

Maine Senior Guide is a comprehensive web resource about all things senior that provides "one stop shopping" for Maine's seniors at the link below: 

Contact Information
Maine Senior College Network 
P.O. Box 9300 
Portland, Maine 04104-9300 
(207) 228-4128


Trouble opening our pdfs?

Adobe Reader Icon

Download Adobe Reader by clicking the button above.
Join Our Mailing List