Mature Friends Newsletter

What’s New This Month
Mailing Address:
Mature Friends
PO Box 21203, Seattle, WA 98111-3203

Every month, Mature Friends publishes a member newsletter with updates on our activities such as: • traveling (both locally and internationally), • viewing art, • playing cards, • reading and discussing books, • investing, • touring gardens, • taking walks and hikes, • lunching and dining out, • cooking, • and tasting wines.

The same newsletter information is included here but without member contact information.

Want the newsletter? See How to Join on the Welcome page.  



Please click on the underlined 'hyperlinks' for additional information.

Eating Date and Time Location
Monthly Potluck
Food Contributions
Wallingford Community Senior Center
Lunch Out  Suspended Jimmy's [closed]
Dinners Out First Tue., Aug. 3, 6:30 p.m.
Third Tue., Aug. 17, at 6:00 pm.
Palermo’s on Capitol Hill
Robb’s 125th Street Grill
East-Side Dinner Out Sun., Aug. 15, at 6:00 p.m. Wilde Rover Irish Public House
Burien Dinner Out Thurs., Aug. 19, at 5:30 p.m. Classic Eats Restaurant
Alehouse Rock Tue., Aug. 10, at 4:00 p.m. Chuck's Hop Shop Brewery, 2001 E. Union St.
Dinner for Six Aug., Sept., Oct. In members’ homes
Wine Tasting  Wine
No Aug. tasting
LIVE! At a member's home. Check the newsletter.
Annual Banquet
Banquet Form
June TBD, 2022
Women’s University Club
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. 21, at 4:00 p.m. Hamlin Park, Shoreline
Christmas Lunch
Playing Date and Time Location
Board Meeting Mon., Aug. 9, at 7:00 p.m.
Via Zoom
Bridge Club 1 Every Wed., 7:00 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center
Pinochle Club2  Wed., Aug. 4 & 18, at 7:00 p.m.
Online via Pinochle app by Karman Games. See newsletter for contact person.
Hearts Wed., Aug. 11 & 25, at 7:00 p.m. Via the "Hearts+" app, see newsletter.
Board Games
Suspended Wallingford Community Senior Center
West Seattle Bowl Tue., Aug. 3, 1:00 p.m. West Seattle Bowl
Green Lake Walk  Every Wed., 10:45 a.m. at
Tree #36
Parking lot by The Seattle Public Theater (was the Bathhouse Theater)
West Seattle Walk Every Sat., 11:00 a.m. Meet at Lincoln Park
8011 Fauntleroy Way S.W.
Time2Share Sat., Aug. 21, after the picnic Snare drumming exhibition by Curt J.
Book Club Tue., Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Armistad Maupin’s novel, The Night Listener
Oddball Outing  Thurs., Aug 5, at 11:00 a.m. The National Nordic Museum in Ballard
A Better Club for Investing   Suspended Members, contact club leader for location;
See newsletter for contact information.
Walk/Hike Tue., Aug. 17, at 9.30 a.m. CCC Road Trail
Challenging Hike Wed., Aug. 24, at 9:30 a.m. Lodge Lake
Garden Tour
None scheduled for August
NOTE: An activity head for Garden Tours is needed.
Travel and Events Suspended Past trips, foreign and U.S.
Scarecrow  Screenings Sun., Aug. 15, 3:00 p.m. Via Zoom. See newsletter for link and passcode.
Theater, Music Dates and Details below
Annual Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR.

1 The fee for Bridge Club is $4.00 per night for members (who pay an annual fee of $40.00 to join the club) and $5.00 for nonmembers.

2 The fee for Pinochle, when in person at the senior center,  is $4.00 per night for members and for nonmembers.



Potluck Contributions for the Picnic in August

On the last Saturday of the month, the membership meets for a big potluck at the Wallingford Community Senior Center

Each member is assigned a type of dish to bring based on the initial of their last name.

If you bring a vegan or vegetarian dish, please label it as such.

Plan for all dishes to serve 6-to-8 people.

Dish to Bring Initial of Last Name
Appetizer1 A, F, K, L, W
Main Dish
D, I, N, S, Z
F, G, J
B, H, O, V
C, M, P, R, T, Y

1 For those assigned to bring an appetizer, please arrive early.
NOTE: Food to bring to the annual August picnic is assigned the same as the potluck.



Once a month, our hike leader takes a group on a day hike through some beautiful territory. If the hike leads the group out of town and you share a ride, expect to chip in $5.00 or $10.00, depending on the distance, to the driver for gas. Also, the group sometimes brown bags it for lunch along the trail. Other than that, this activity is an invigorating, frugal day’s entertainment! So why not join us on the next hike?

August Hike —CCC Road Trail

Our first August hike will be along the CCC Road Trail, near North Bend, Washington. We will hike along the upper section of the trail. It is parallel to the Middle Fork Road and starts from the Middle Fork trail head. The gentle trail goes through varied lowland forest, with some glimpses of mountains across the valley. We will hike to a lunch spot near a creek. Our hike round trip is about 2.8 miles, with a moderate elevation gain of 400 feet.

To facilitate carpooling we will meet in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 17. Carpool riders share the cost. Bring a lunch and drinking water. The trail head is about 9 miles east of North Bend on the Middle Fork Road. A Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the trail head. Google Maps link to trail head. Those leaving from Volunteer Park will arrive at the trail head around10:45 a.m..

July Hike —Robe Canyon Trail

Our first July hike led us to the Robe Canyon Trail, along the Stillaguamish River, near Granite Falls, Washington. The trail follows the old route of the Everett and Monte Cristo Railroad, built to transport gold and silver from the mines at Monte Cristo. The well-maintained trail quickly leaves the Mountain Loop Highway behind as it descends 300 feet down a bluff toward the Stillaguamish River. The roar of the river soon rises as the water is funneled through narrowing canyon walls, creating frothy rapids and churning eddies. The hike round trip is 2.4 miles.

Mike, Gary, Lance, Marty, Ron, and Roger on the Robe Canyon Trail

The trail head is seven miles east of Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway. A Discover Pass is required at the trail head. Google Maps link to trail head. No pass is required at the trail head.

Snapshots from Some of Our Previous Hikes

Our hikers posed with beautiful backdrops from some of our past treks. The following pictures show some examples.

Hikers at Twin Lakes

Stephen, Bruce, Roger, Lance, Jerry, Ron, Doug, James, Steb at the Kukutali Preserve

Bruce, Larry, and Garry on the Fragrance Lake Trail

John, Garry, Ron, Lance, Wayman, Larry, and Bruce in the Redmond Watershed Preserve

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Challenging Hike

This year, Mature Friends have introduced a hike activity that is more challenging than our regular hikes. If you feel up to a bit of a challenge and wonderful scenery, why not give it a try and join us on the next hike?

August Hike — Lodge Lake

Our second hike will be to Lodge Lake, near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. This is a beautiful, leisurely hike to a forest surrounded lake. The trail begins under tree cover but shortly opens into the vast, wildflower-covered ski hill.  At the top of the lift hill, the trail levels out and re-enters the forest and descends a long winding path towards the lake. At the lake there are a number of open shoreline areas to enjoy the scenery. The hike is 3.8 miles long round trip, with 853 feet of elevation gain.

To facilitate carpooling we will meet in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 24. Carpool riders share the cost.  Bring a lunch and drinking water. A Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the trail head. Google Maps Link to the trail head. Those leaving from Volunteer Park will arrive at the trail head around 11:00 a.m.

July Hike — Heather Lake

On July 27, our challenging hike took us up to Heather Lake near Granite Falls, Washington. The scenic lake is on the flank of Mt. Pilchuck, with towering mountain walls around the lake. The trail is 4.3 miles round trip, longer than our July hike, and 1184 feet elevation gain, also more than our earlier hike. However, it is rated as moderate.

Karl, Lance, Alan, Roger, and Marty, photo taken by Bruce, President of Mature Friends

June Hike — Garfield Ledges

Our challenging hike in June took us to Garfield Ledges. The trail leads to panoramic views of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River valley.

Hikers at the Garfield Ledges

The trail goes through second growth forest with the typical lush ferns understory. Keep an eye out for the midway point, which features a lovely viewpoint just half a mile in. The hike is about two miles round trip with 830 feet of elevation gain. The trail feels steep because of that amount of gain in a mile, so this hike was a little more strenuous than our first hike in June.

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Garden Tours

This wildly popular activity takes you on tours of beautiful gardens in the Seattle and greater Seattle area. if you like plants and gardens or if you’re just interested to learn a little about horticulture, come join us!

No August garden tour!

Last July we viewed a Private Gardens

July 13, brought Mature Friends the opportunity to tour a private gardens located in West Seattle. We began at the garden of Gary Lindberg.

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Book Club

The Book Club is open to all Mature Friends and their guests. For the required invitation to join a Zoom meeting, contact Bruce B. —see the newsletter. The invitation is sent out about an hour before the meeting time of 7:30, and many people sign on early to have a half hour of socializing.

August Reading

The Book Club will discuss Armistad Maupin’s novel, The Night Listener. This 2000 novel turns to a rather serious mode, concerning the relationship, established only through phone calls, between a radio storyteller and an ailing 13-year-old boy living with his adoptive mother, who has suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his birth parents.

— Bruce B., Book Club Leader

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August Is for Drumming

Our own Curt J. will offer a snare drum performance. As a teenager he played with the Chicago Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps for six years, winning five national championships with the corps and one individual drumming championship. Then in 2004 he joined the 2nd Wind Drum Line of Seattle. They marched local parades for about 10 years. After the Mature Friends picnic, he may ask for volunteers who . . . !  Don't miss it.

Vincent Shares Norway : Postponed

Vincent Gong was to share his international hiking adventures of Norway’s Lofoten Archipelago. Due to COVID-19 Variant concerns the potluck was cancelled. Look for this adventure talk in the future.

[MORE: The Lofoten islands are located far north of the Arctic Circle with its distinctive scenery: dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands. "It was truly one of a kind excursion."]

June Sharing

Last June on Zoom, Roger Sharp presented images of his paintings and talked about his creative process. He is an artist who has been painting for 25 years. He has taken classes from Gage Academy in Seattle and also workshops from many other artists.

Please keep in mind about sharing one of your activities with Mature Friends at our Saturday night potluck.


— Garry R., Time2Share Organizer


Wine Tasting

The ever-popular wine tastings meet every other month. During this time of shelter-in-place, we've been meeting virtually through Zoom. We hope to resume “live” tastings sometime in the future.

July Tasting --

Each year Larry G. and Rodger H. generously host a tasting in which they provide wines from their cellar, and grill sausage. Those attending bring sides and desserts. This always becomes a festive summer party. Ed K. reports that a lively, though smaller group, enjoyed the event this July.

May Tasting: Italian Chianti

Last May, eighteen wine lovers met in person for the first time in more than a year and a half and with enthusiasm for wine tasting. The company was delightful and the “live” tasting lifted our spirits.

The 2017 Isole e Olena ($25) and the 2015 Cavaliere D’Oro ($25) were favorites, though less expensive wines were all enjoyed.

Read a recent article by Eric Azimov’s in the New York Times' wine column on Chianti Classico.

— Ed K., Wine Tasting Organizer

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Oddball Outing

This once-a-month activity that began in 2017, takes us on day trips and activities around the town or to locations nearby. The newsletter gives the location and time.

White Center Walking Tour

July marks the return of Oddball Outings! Our first outing will be a walking tour of the Mural Art in White Center with a lunch afterwards at the Classic Eats restaurant in Burien.

We will meet on Thursday, July 22, at 10:30 a.m. by White Center’s gay Lumberyard Bar.

The walking tour is completely flat and should take about an hour. We will then drive to Burien for lunch at Classic Eats restaurant. Sporting a large menu with delicious food, the restaurant is also filled with great American classic memorabilia.

Jerry P., Oddball Organizer

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Travel and Events

This section is about upcoming or recent trips planned for Mature Friends. Everybody who has gone on one of these trips has had a great time and was well taken care of. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up and join the fun!

NOTE: To travel with us, you must first join the club.

Travel Options in 2021

Our travel coordinator will once again search for trips, based on how many members are interested and on when the travel ban is lifted. But first we need to get someone to volunteer to be the new travel coordinator.

Past Trips and Events

If you missed some of the trips organized by Mature Friends, you might be interested in reading about what you missed. Or if you went on any of these wonderful trips, you might be interested in reliving the fun and adventure. If so, this section is for you!

Thailand in Spring 2019

Travel to Thailand—once called Siam—where independence, hospitality, and the traditional philosophy that "life is pleasure" casts a spell over every visitor.

Twelve Mature Friends returned from a sixteen-day adventure to Thailand on March 29. We started with a boat trip though the canals of Bangkok with a lunch that featured David Turner using a mortar and pestle to make red curry for our lunch. In Bangkok, we also visited the Grand Palace. We proceeded to Kanchanaburi, where we walked across the River Kwai Bridge and along the Hellfire Pass railroad constructed by World War II prisoners of war. We also visit the Kanchanaburi prisoner- of-war cemetery.

Then off to Sukhothai Province to visit historic ruins and a local school. On the way to Chiang Main, we stopped at roadside food booths for sticky rice and barbecued rats. A highlight of Chiang Mai was the elephant-care center, where we fed sugar cane to elephants and also washed them.

We ended the trip at the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, where we looked from Thailand across the Mekong River into Burma and Laos.

Bruce T.

Viking Homelands: April 28 – May 12, 2018

Eight Mature Friends embarked for fifteen days on Viking Ocean Cruises to Bergen, Norway, and disembark in Stockholm, Sweden. We will visit eight countries and dock at eleven ports of call. Accommodations on the Viking Sky consisted of a private veranda stateroom, including wine and beer with meals. The itinerary comprised eleven guided tours with ports of call that include Helsinki, Copenhagen, Berlin, Gdansk, and St. Petersburg.

A full account of this magnificent trip, with photos, will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.

Tacoma’s Big Three Museums: November, 2017

On Thursday, November 9, we bused down to Tacoma to visit three Tacoma Museums, including the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Washington State History Museum. Each participant chose what museums to see and paid his or her own entry fee.

Special exhibits for November at the Art Museum include “Two Centuries of Still-Life Painting,” “The Dynamic American West,” and “The Art of Framing.” The Museum of Glass showcased special exhibitions dedicated to the work of Dale Chihuly and the glass and steel sculptures of Albert Paley.

Lake Diablo Day Trip, 2017

On August 10, thirteen Mature Friends bused to Diablo Lake. Hop aboard and get a taste of what these tourists saw and experienced. Maybe you can schedule this tour some day.

Diablo Lake Tour

California Coastal Cruise, 2017

Departing on April 11, seven Mature Friends sailed on the ten-night California Coastal Cruise departing from Vancouver, B.C. sailing at 4:30 p.m., we cruised down the coat for two days before arriving in Los Angeles, followed by a day on Catalina Island. After Catalina, we embarked for Santa Barbara for a day, ending up with an overnight stay in San Francisco. Then we sailed up the coast for two days before arriving back in Vancouver the morning of April 21.

Escape into Cuba

Five Mature Friends took off on an all gay tour with seven days in Cuba. They departed from Seattle and arrived in Havana in time for a group dinner.

The tour included a bus overview trip around the city and visits to a rum-bottling facility and a tobacco farm to see the cigar-making process. We also saw the unique mountains and caves in Vinales National Park. The highlights, though, were the explorations of the city we did on our own.

We saw the beautifully renovated plazas and streets in Old Havana (a UNESCO Heritage Site), strolled along the Malecon with hundreds of cell phone-toting Cubans, saw various museums, and reveled in the joy of riding in 1940s and 1950s vintage American car taxis. We all thoroughly enjoyed one another’s company, and it was a trip we will long remember.

Sail Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain Sailing Ships

Avast, ye buccaneers! Last summer, our evening sailing on the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain got canceled because of a heavy rain and lightning storm that struck just before our sailing time. This year we tried again.

The three-hour cruise on Lake Washington in reproductions of eighteenth-century sailing ships features booming cannons, close quarter maneuvers, and the singing of sea shanties. Both ships have appeared in numerous movies and television shows. The ships sailed on Saturday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m. from the docks at Carillon Point in Kirkland.

But don’t take my word for it. Read all about it and check out the pictures!

— President Bruce T.

The Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23, 2017

The famous Cruise to Nowhere (actually it went somewhere) departed from Seattle with a one-day stop in Astoria, Oregon, then for two days in San Francisco, and finally one day in ., before returning to Seattle. This voyage consisted of a full seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas with no airfare required.

Cruise to Nowhere

Rome and Tuscany, April 23 – May 8, 2016

This trip began with a week in Rome. We spent a week in the Eternal City with a gay guide escorting us to the major tourist sites, including ancient, renaissance, and contemporary Rome.

We spent the second week at a private villa in a small hill town in southern Tuscany. Day trips took us to Siena, the wine towns of Montepulciano (home of Brunello wine), Assisi, Pienza, Chiusi (Etruscan sites), Orvieto, the antique fair in Arezzo, and Monte Olivetti Maggiore (a major abbey with a large collection of frescoes by the Renaissance painter Sodoma).

The fabulous trip concluded with a day in Florence. Some travelers extended their tour for a day or more in Florence.

Weekend in Texas, October 30 – November 1, 2015

On Friday, October 30, nine Mature Friends flew on Alaska Airlines nonstop to

San Antonio. We spent a great time in this beautiful city over Day of the Dead (Halloween) weekend, staying at the traditional El Tropicano River Walk Hotel right on the banks of the famous River Walk.

Daily high temperatures hovered around 75º with cloudy and clear skies. San Antonio is a popular convention town and the most visited city in Texas. It has the Alamo, an easily walkable downtown with several museums, and an amazing San Antonio River, which meanders for miles and on which quiet tour boats glide. Great restaurant terraces line the route from which you can watch the lighted boats pass and hear Mariachi and jazz quietly echoing up the canyon. The natural ambiance is romantic and real. And . . .

Remember the Alamo!

The Alamo

We spent a low-stress weekend mainly riding the hop-on-hop-off sight-seeing bus. Some in our group had booked a Halloween dinner cruise on the San Antonio River, but at the last minute the cruise got canceled due to heavy rains. Undaunted, the dinner guests got re-booked into a fine restaurant on the River Walk. Others of us went off on our own and also experienced fine dining on the River Walk. Two went to Landry’s Seafood and sat outside by the river. When the rain started, everybody scampered indoors . . . all except for two of us, who decided to stay put when the staff erected an umbrella over us.

Aside from the great food and beautiful scenery along the river banks, we enjoyed touring the Alamo, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Tower of the Americas, La Villita, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, as well as many more sights. We could have spent a week and seen something new every day.

We flew home on Sunday evening after a full day of last-minute of sight-seeing. Everybody had a great time. Thank you, Jerry and Bob, for organizing this relaxing, enjoyable long weekend in Texas.

Cruising the San Juans 2013

In September 2013, several Mature Friends set sail to spend a long weekend cruising the San Juan Islands in the northern part of Puget Sound. But don't listen to me, check out the trip for yourselves:

Boating through the San Juans

Reno Gambling Trip

Twenty-one people took off for our annual gambling trip on May 12. The package included round-trip airfare and accommodations at the El Dorado Resort Casino. We arrived in Reno shortly after 5:00 p.m., just in time for cocktail hour in the Roxy bar.

But to get the full story, come on and click the link and see some pictures of this relaxing three-day excursion.

Reno or Bust!

Grand Tour of China 2014

In April 2014, about twenty Mature Friends set off for an adventure of a lifetime — touring China! To read about the trip, all we did, all we saw, please click the link:

Tour of China

And enjoy the pictures, too!

Spain and France 2014

On October 12, 2014, twenty-four Mature Friends took off for Madrid, where they began a two-week tour of Northern Spain and Southern France. Please click the following link to see some of the sights they saw:

Tour of Spain and Southern France

Don’t forget to click the links in the story to see some pictures.

Cruise Down the Asian Coast

At the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, several Mature Friends took a cruise down the East Coast of Asia. We began in Hong Kong and ended up in Singapore. As with the tour of China, we saw several incredible sites, but without the hassle of unpacking and repacking, because our Holland-America ship acted as our home base. Check out this great cruise:
Cruise Down the Asian Coast

Cruise to Alaska

On April 29, a few Mature Friends set off on a short cruise off the Alaskan coast to Ketchikan. Everybody had a great time, as usual on a Mature Friends’ voyage. Check out some of the pictures of this relaxing trip

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Theater and Music

This section lists local theater and music productions that might be of interest to Mature Friends.

Screenings of Gay Themed Movies

Online via Zoom until further notice.

Brian T. & James B., Scarecrow Video coordinator

Shakespeare and Daedalus in Ashland

The 2021 Shakespeare Festival

We are not yet able to announce a 2021 season schedule or an on-sale date, but we’re working hard to plan for our return. Given COVID-19 safety concerns for our audiences, artists, and staff and in line with many of our sister theaters around the country, we are focusing our programming options toward the second half of 2021. You’ll be the first to hear when the plans are finalized and we are ready to launch our 2021 season.

The 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic. But in 2019, our annual trip took place on September 13 – 16. Eighteen Mature Friends, the largest number so far, spent an extended weekend in Ashland, Oregon, attending plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and taking part in the 2019 Daedalus Project, the Festival’s Aids Benefit. We enjoyed three Shakespeare plays:

Ashland Group

Elizabethan Theater

We also saw Paula Vogel’s Indecent, which is playing this month at the Seattle Rep in a different production. We saw a lively staged reading of Hedwig and the Angry Inch as part of the Daedalus Project and enjoyed the talents of the company’s members in a talent show, including the ever-popular Underwear Contest. We also enjoyed a group meal at Arbor House, an excellent family-run restaurant in neighboring Talent, Oregon, as well as many meals in the wide variety of Ashland restaurants.

— Bruce B.

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Edition: 21NewsMF08-02