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February 16, 2011

Ferndale Record

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | Ferndale Record

SENIOR LIFE

Vernon and Lois Weidkamp sweethearts for over 71 years on Front Street. They have lived in the Lynden area ever since, 49 of those years near the original Weidkamp family homestead on Weidkamp Road northwest of town.     Vernon, 93, worked through all the years at the Lynden farm supply plant that started out as the Washington Cooperative Egg & Poultry Association and evolved, though four name changes, to become the Western Farmers Association. Today the site is operated as the Whatcom Farmers Co-op.     Vernon remembers that in his earliest years the cooperative shipped out two traincar loads of eggs from Lynden-area chicken houses every week. Of course, that industry is entirely gone.     He worked in jobs ranging from pushing a hand art to stitching up sacks of feed and fixing machinery, he remembers. “I did every job there was, I think,” he said.     That ended in 1973 when Vernon was burned in the lungs and throat in a liquid fertilizer tank accident, and for a few days after the accident he was struggling for his life.     “I did try to go back to work, but I just couldn’t do it,” Vernon said. He takes three medicines for his condition and makes sure to avoid fumes and smoke.     At the farm during the family years, Vernon, Lois and their six children kept 18 cows and did all the work associated with

He ‘found’ her in math class at Lynden High School in 1935 Calvin Bratt Tribune editor     LYNDEN — The way Vernon Weidkamp tells it, he “found” Lois when he returned to Lynden High School for some postgraduate classes.     He had already graduated in 1935, but he wanted to sharpen up his math skills in a certain class, and sophomore Lois Olin happened to be in the class, too.     It started out that he was helping her with math.     By her account, “I wasn’t very good at it, so it was good that he was there and helped me,” she said with a laugh.     Vernon and Lois are still together, living in a Liberty Street apartment, and not doing much math except to count up how many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren they have — which totals to 27, as he goes through his list name by name.     “A whole bunch,” she sums up. “We have a good time when we get together.”     After Lois graduated from high school in 1939, they were married on Oct. 14 of that year in Chauncey Weidkamp’s house

Vernon and Lois Weidkamp live in an apartment on Liberty Street in Lynden. Most of their extended family resides locally as well. — Lynden Tribune | CALVIN BRATT

See WEIDKAMP on C5


SENIOR LIFE

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | Ferndale Record

Lynden center adjusts for reduced county support

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Sweethearts in Lynden

New manager to be hired, with more local input Calvin Bratt Tribune editor     LYNDEN — Despite plenty of changes, to be sure, the Lynden Community Center is still doing quite well, thank you.     “The community has always been supportive of what we do here,” said activities director Mary Chenoweth in appreciation.     Mostly, that means a lot of donated time and supplies.     The reduction in funding and elimination of senior center coordinator positions that was built into Whatcom County’s 2011-12 austerity budget is indeed coming to pass.     In fact, the departure of coordinator Cam Oliver — who was in the county-funded position in Lynden for just a few months after Judy Van Brocklin had left — happened right at the end of 2010, even though the county was willing to go to March 31.     And so, since then, former coordinator Bob Long, who lives at Sandy Point, has been filling in at Lynden, putting in more hours than he is being paid for. Long

See CENTER on C5

The color theme was red and white on Tuesday at the Lynden Community Center, right down to the ice cream sundaes being prepared in the kitchen. In style from left are: Winnie Phillips, Marie Van Rooyen, Enid Davis and Mary Chenoweth. Van Rooyen and Davis are volunteers in the kitchen. — Lynden Tribune | CALVIN BRATT


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | Ferndale Record

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Ferndale’s Jerry Warren leaving; interviews for replacement this week

SENIOR LIFE

Communion at the manor

Blaine keeping its coordinator at reduced pay Calvin Bratt Tribune editor     FERNDALE  —  The  Ferndale  Senior  Activity Center also is going through some  major  changes  as  a  result  of  the  county's  funding pullbacks.     The biggest is that Jerry Warren, coordinator at Ferndale for the last 15 years, truly  is leaving the position effective March 31.     Over  the  years,  Warren  has  managed  to juggle his Ferndale job with being in the  National Guard and needing to go to Washington, D.C., at least three weeks annually.  Sometimes,  he  has  served  more  extended  stays at the Pentagon.     Pete  Harksell,  president  of  the  Ferndale  Jet  Oldsters  nonprofit  group  that guides the  center’s  operation,  said  Warren will be  missed.     “He  puts  together  all  that’s  going  to  happen,  flyers  and calendars,  so it’s going to  be  a  new  situation,�  Harksell said. Lacey Green,     (Actually,  programmer Warren  is  goFerndale Senior Center ing  to  use  his  seniority  in  the  county  Parks/Senior  Services  system  to become the ranger at Silver Lake County  Park.)     Beside the full-time coordinator at the  Ferndale Senior Activity Center, the staff includes  a  half-time  programmer,  filled  cur-

rently  by  Lacey  Green,  and  a  quarter-time  janitor.     At  first,  it  was  thought  that  the  county’s  reduced  funding  would  be  channeled  through the City of Ferndale, as at Lynden,  but that is no longer the plan, Harksell said.  Instead,  county  Senior  Services  will  work  directly with the Jet Oldsters.     A  hiring  process  has  been  set  in  motion.  Ferndale  has  already  received  applications from several folks who have extensive experience in Whatcom County senior  programs, and interviews were due to take  place this week, Harksell said.     Hopefully  there  can  be  a  little  bit  of  training overlap with Warren, but otherwise  the person should be able to “hit the road  runningâ€? at Ferndale, he predicted.     “They’re not strangers to us and we’re  kind of happy about that,â€? Harksell said.     Another  issue  that  had  come  up  was  the status of the property the Ferndale Senior  Activity  Center  sits  on. The  city  owns  the  land,  as  part  of  Pioneer  Park,  but  the  county owns the building itself.     “That’s  all  going  to  stay  the  same,â€?  at  least for a few years, Harksell confirmed.     â€˘â€ƒ At  the  Blaine  Community/Senior  Center,  Dana  Hanks  is  the  current  coordinator  —  and  she  will  stay  in  the  job.  Bud  Powell, board president, said that a deal has  been reached to keep her.     “Dana has agreed to take a cut in pay  and leave the county parks department and  go to work for us,â€? Powell said.     As in Lynden, there will be an interlocal  agreement  with  the  City  of  Blaine  to  process the money, a little over $44,000.     â€˘â€ƒIn Bellingham, Judy Van Brocklin, experienced at several centers in the county,  is now the coordinator. No information was  available on changes there.      E-mail Calvin Bratt at editor@lyndentribune.com.

Pastor Joel Lohafer leads a worship service that includes communion at Lynden Manor on the first Sunday of each month. Hope Lutheran Church of Lynden started the services, which also bring in residents of the nearby Christian Health Care Center. It can be difficult otherwise for many of these residents to attend a regular communion service, said Lohafer. — Courtesy photo

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | Ferndale Record

SENIOR LIFE

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Weidkamp: A Center: More control going to local board life-long harmony Continued from C2

Continued from C2 producing their tankful of Grade A milk.     “They did a lot of the work. They were good kids. We were proud of them,” Lois said.     Of the six, all but the youngest still live in Whatcom County. In order, their children are: Shirley Allen (who lives nearby in the same apartment complex), Joyce Huisman, Beth Price, Robert Weidkamp, Jean Francisco and Darlene Hornbeck (living in Wyoming).     Vernon and Lois have both lived entirely in Whatcom County. He was born in Lynden, she at Nooksack. She will turn 90 in March.     They walk without any extra support, and Vernon still drives without any problems.     In fact, he still plays the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and harmonica, which he learned by himself, in a seniors’ band at the Lynden Community Center each Friday. And he used to do a lot of singing.     “I don’t know anything about music, nothing,” Vernon said. He plays by ear. To which Lois responds with a laugh, “I can read notes, but it doesn’t do any good.”     But they found a harmony that worked together in life.

also picked up the slack of some medical leave for office manager Alice Fairall.     “He has come in and done a great job. It’s really helped through the transition,” Chenoweth said.     And now the 15-member Lynden Community Center board of directors is on its own for hiring a new permanent co-

"We don't want to be in charge of the operation.”

— Bill Verwolf

ordinator or manager to run things at the 500-member center, starting April 1.     The county will contribute just $44,062 for the balance of the year, then $58,750 for all of 2012, a significant decrease, to cover the wages and benefits of whoever is hired.     The city of Lynden will be involved, via an interlocal agreement with the county, in funneling the money to the community center. But City Administrator Bill Verwolf said last week that the city has not yet seen the county money nor developed an agreement. That should happen soon, though, he added.     It will be a minimal role for the city, beyond continuing to provide the build-

ing at 401 Grover St. and paying for insurance and utilities, Verwolf said.     “We don’t want to be in charge of the operation,” he said.     However, for 2011, the city will pay $66,630 that is one of the sources for overall income that the center relies upon.     It may sound a little complicated, and there certainly is less money to go around, but all in all the folks at the center are still getting very good service and the local board is getting more direct control of operations, said Chenoweth and Fairall.     It will be up to the board “to hire someone who fits our needs,” Fairall said.     And Chenoweth only needs to point to the way people came forward as volunteers and community organizations made commitments when Lynden suddenly lost the county’s kitchen services in Novem-

ber 2009, to exemplify how things can go forward. Paul Larson is a “great” volunteer cook and Chenoweth has at least 20 more names on a Kitchen Volunteer Schedule list she keeps.     “Honestly, if we didn’t have the volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do all the things we do,” she said.     Right now, the application process is open for hiring a new center manager, and dozens of applications have come in. In March, the list will be pared way down to a small number of finalists for the board to consider.     • The Lynden Community Center’s annual membership meeting will be on March 17. Five board directors will be voted on to begin three-year terms.      E-mail Calvin Bratt at editor@lyndentribune.com.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | Ferndale Record

SENIOR LIFE

Antique & Collectibles Evaluation Event coming to Bellingham Open to all, senior center event on Saturday, April 2, welcomes surprises

Peter Holeman shows off two vases he purchased in China for $1. They were appraised for $1,000 at the Bellingham Senior and Activity Center’s Antique & Collectibles Evaluation Event last year. — Courtesy photo | VINCENT AISOSA Tim Newcomb Tribune assistant editor     BELLINGHAM — We’ve all heard the stories of someone finding some forget-

table collectible in an attic and then discovering it’s worth much more than the $2 garage sale price tag they were going to sell it for. And some of those stories happen right here in Whatcom County at the

Bellingham Senior Activity Center.     In a repeat of last year’s first-ever event, the Whatcom Council on Aging will host an Antique & Collectible Evaluation Event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday,

April 2, at the 315 Halleck St. center.     Cheryl Willis, program coordinator, said 14 evaluators will be on hand to inspect all types of antiques and collectibles as part of the center’s fundraising effort, which is open to all ages.     Last year, the program really played out like a mini-Antique Road Show event, a PBS favorite. However, Willis quickly joked, this one is American, not British.     Two big surprises highlighted the show last year. Peter Holeman brought in two small vases he purchased for about $1 in China. They appraised for $1,000.     Then, a county couple unveiled a glass-art piece they brought to the show in a brown paper bag. The piece turned out to be a Tiffany, valued at $40,000. “We carefully wrapped it up for them for when they left,” Willis said.     This year, the evaluators cover a range of specialties: tools, coins, fine art, books (including quite old versions and also comic books), clocks, dolls, jewelry, photos, military knives, Native American art and even vintage hats (you know, the ones with the feathers and such).     With more appraisers this year, Willis hopes for more than the 200 people who came last year.     Also new, a lister will be on hand to take photos and list collectibles on various internet sites. This, of course, is all done for a fee.     And since this is a fundraiser for the center, the cost to have each item appraised is $6, or three items for $15.     To provide a little more to the event, Willis said to expect live music, food concessions and homemade pies for sale from Slice In The Hole Pies.     A few vintage British automobiles may also be on hand in the parking lot for people to gaze at on the way in.     No advance registration is necessary, and Willis said there is usually less of a rush on the appraisers’ time later in the day.     E-mail Tim Newcomb at tim@lyndentribune.com.

Warm, exciting places beckon through Senior Travel Program     WHATCOM — These are some of the trips that are available through the Whatcom County Senior Tour Program, organized through the Bellingham Senior Activity Center:     • Famous Artist Norman Rockwell Exhibit, March 23 / cost $79. American homegrown artist Norman Rockwell, who created the cover pieces for the Saturday Evening Post for years, is exhibited at the Tacoma Art Museum. The exhibit includes 44 paintings of American life in the 20th century, and 323 original Saturday Evening Post covers. Includes transportation, museum guide, entry and lunch. Depart 8 a.m. / return 5:30 p.m. Final payment needed March 8.     • Lake Chelan Getaway, April 27-29 / cost $399 pp. dbl. occ. Relax on this #1 get-

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SENIOR LIFE

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | Ferndale Record

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Fitness, therapy options offered at Lynden center     A new provider is guiding the weight strength training at the Lynden Community Center.     With Whatcom County’s reduced funding support as of Jan. 1, Tate Norris of Homestead Fitness has brought in his expertise instead. He or partner Marc Davis come to the center’s fitness room for an hour of activity on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 a.m. or Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. The cost for eight weeks for seniors 55 or over is $45.     The classes are meant to improve overall strength, balance and flexibility and make everyday tasks easier.     “It’s like having a physical trainer in here,” Chenoweth said.     The well-equipped strength training room was set up in 2005 and Western

Washington University professor Kathy Knutzen, with expertise in healthy living for seniors, had a hand in starting the program.     A new round of the current class starts in March. To get on board, contact Norris at 224-8606.     • If you haven’t heard of mnemetherapy before, you’re not alone. But a free demonstration session at the Lynden Community Center gives you a chance to find out.     Certified mnemetherapist Jayne Baron, who already visits seven other Whatcom County locations regularly, will be presenting in Lynden at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 28.     “Art Without Boundaries” is the quick

See THERAPY on C8

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Fitness trainer Marc Davis works with Ruth Verbrugge in the strength training room at the Lynden Community Center. — Tribune photo | CALVIN BRATT

Expires: 2/28/11

Expires: 2/28/11


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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | Ferndale Record

SENIOR LIFE

Therapy: Classes improve overall strength, balance and health Continued from C7 phrase used to describe mnemetherapy.     It is a fun form of art-based therapy that stimulates  brain  function  in  people,  says  Baron.  It  improves  the  quality  of  life  for  individuals  with  autism,  Alzheimers  disease and other related disorders, according to the Art  Without Boundaries Association Web site.     Patients using mnemetherapy have seen increased  verbal  skills,  decreased  combativeness,  improved  selfesteem, better mobility, better spatial acuity and greater  interest  in  activities,  socialization  and  grooming,  according to the Web site.     Singing,  movement,  painting  and  story-telling  are  used to stimulate changes in the brain.     In about a half-hour of one-on-one interaction with  a patient, “there are so many things that are stimulated  in the brain,” Baron said.     The person may feel a sense of accomplishment or  perhaps  a  release  of  emotions. “I  don’t  know  how  you  can separate art and emotion. I have some people who  can’t  sing  without  crying,  and  that’s  beautiful,”  Baron  said.     •  Other  classes:  Gentle  Chair Yoga  with  instructor  Lise Waugh  at  10:30  a.m.  on  Mondays;  Chair  Aerobics  with  Shelli  Lentz  at  9:30  a.m.  on  Mondays  and Thursdays. Email Calvin Bratt at editor@lyndentribune.com.

Jayne Baron works with a patient using mnemetherapy at a Bellingham care center. — Lynden Tribune | CALVIN BRATT

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Senior Life February 2011