PO Box 21203, Seattle, WA 98111-3203
Mature Friends publishes a member newsletter with updates on our
activities such as: • traveling (both locally and internationally),
• attending arts events, • playing bridge or pinochle, • reading and
discussing books, • making investments, • touring gardens,
• taking walks and going on hikes, • lunching and dining
options, • cooking, • and tasting fine wines from around the
world including our own Washington state.
The same newsletter information is included here but without member contact information.
Want the newsletter? See How to Join on the Welcome page.
NOTE: Because of the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, all activities have been suspended until the ban on group gatherings can be safely lifted.
Please click on underlined area for additional information.
Eating Date and Time Location Lunch Out Suspended Jimmy's [closed] Dinner Out
First Tuesday [NEW]
Suspended Palermo’s on Capitol Hill, [closed]
Robb’s 125th Street Grill [closed]
Suspended until further notice
Wallingford Community Senior Center [closed]
Mon., Nov. 16, at 7:00
Via Zoom Dinner for Six Suspended In members’ homes
Canceled for 2020
Women’s University Club
Canceled for 2020
Meridian Park (playground),Shelter #1
Sat., Dec. TBD
Cocktails at 11:30 a.m.
Lunch at 1:00 p.m.
Playing Date and Time Location Bridge Club 1 Suspended Wallingford Community Senior Center
Pinochle Club2 Wed., Nov. 4 & 18, at 7:00 p.m.
In your home, online via Pinochle app by Karman Games Board Games
Suspended Wallingford Community Senior Center Green Lake Walk Every Wed., 10:45 a.m. at
Parking lot by the Bathhouse Theater, but now
The Seattle Public Theater
(Suspended: lunch at the Blue Star Cafe and Pub)
West Seattle Walk Every Sat., 11:00 a.m. Meet at Jack Block Park
2130 Harbor Avenue Southwest
A Better Club for Investing Suspended
Members, contact club leader for location;
See newsletter for contact information
Book Club Tue., Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Buying Gay, by
David K. Johnson
Board Meeting Mon., Nov. 9, at 7:00 p.m.
Walk/Hike Tue., Nov. 17, at 10:00 a.m. Camp Long
Challenging Hike Suspended until spring Wallace Falls (canceled due to bad weather) Garden Tour
TBD Theater, Music Dates and Details below
SIFF 2020 and Sixth Annual Shakespeare
Festival, Ashland, OR., and more...
Scarecrow Screenings Suspended Scarecrow Video
Oddball Outing No outing this month
Via Zoom, see newsletter
Hearts Wed., Nov. 11 & 25, at 7:00 p.m. Via the "Hearts+" app, see Oct. newsletter, p. 3 Travel and Events Suspended
Past trips, foreign and U.S.
Time2Share Thu., Nov. 19, at 7:00 p.m. Slideshow of hikes, via Zoom, see newsletter
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.
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?
November Hike —Camp Long
Now that the rainy season is here we will hike in lowland places in the metro area. Our November hike will be in Camp Long in West Seattle. There is an extensive network of trails in this 68-acre park. The park has some old growth forest, wildlife, a variety of hiking trails, rock climbing, and environmental education. Originally built to serve organized scouting groups Camp Long was opened to the general public in 1984.
There is also an opportunity to hike a trail along nearby Longfellow Creek. Longfellow Creek is a three-mile waterway running south to north through the Delridge Valley in West Seattle and emptying into the Duwamish River at the head of Elliott Bay. Longfellow is one of only three natural waterways left within the Seattle City limits that remain free flowing. There has been a community effort to restore the creek for several years including yearly fish releases conducted by local schools.
We will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 17, at the Camp Long parking lot, 5200 35th Ave. SW.
- Take the West Seattle Bridge; follow the signs toward the Fauntleroy direction.
- At the first light, turn left on 35th Avenue SW.
- Go 8/10 of a mile to Dawson St.
- Take a left on Dawson and you will enter the park.
The parking lot is to the right.
October Hike — Whistle Lake
In October we hiked up to to Whistle Lake, near Anacortes, Washington. We had to cancel this hike in March for coronavirus. This hike in the heart of Fidalgo Island is in a forest with wetlands, the lake, and meadows with great views. The hike takes you along the lake on a hiker only trail. Along the way, we saw lots of vivid fall colors.
October 2020 Hikers at Whistle Lake
The trail starts out on an old road, through second growth forest. In a mile or so we reached the lake, and took a trail along the west shoreline of the lake. There are views of the lake all the way down the west side. We stopped for lunch at a place overlooking the lake. We returned on the same route, for about a three-mile hike. The elevation gain is essentially flat, just some ups and downs in the trail.
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.
John, Dale, Duane, Stephen, Ramon and Keith Hiking the Cedar River Trail
Some photos of the hike to Barclay Lake
Dale, Jim, Larry, Garry, Ed, Duane, and Roger Hiking in Hamlin Park
Dale, Garry, Stephen, Jim, David, and Duane
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This year Mature Friends Ron A. and Vincent G. 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?
Spring 2021When spring weather permits, Vincent plans to organize somewhat strenuous hikes for Mature Friends after the snow melts a little..
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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!
The Garden Tours for 2020 have suspended until further notice.
From the Garden of George and Omar
Mature Friends Omar Watson and George Shriver sent around some pictures from their garden. I asked them to label the pictures so that I could identify them and put them up on the website to share with all of you. So here we go. . . .
These three lilies have different names for the same flower:
The next four are the Acer Aconififollum tree, or full moon:
And the last one is the Oxydendrum arboreum Sourwood tree:
October 2019 Tour: Seymour Botanical ConservatoryOn Thursday, October 17, 2019, two of us Mature Friends had a wonderful private tour of the Seymour Botanical Conservatory at Wright Park in Tacoma. Tour guide Kayla pointed out many of the beautiful specimens in the botanical collection.
We were sorry that nobody else showed up but we had a great time and I courage many of you to make your way down. It's a wonderful little gem. And Kayla obviously loves her work as she frequently got very excited about seeing new blooms.
In 1908 the historic W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory was opened and is one of only three public Victorian-style conservatories still in existence on the West Coast. Listed on the National Historic register, the conservatory’s tropical plants and flowers gave many of the early residents their first chance to learn about many exotic and species not native to the Pacific Northwest.
Today, visitors experience the conservatory’s permanent collection of ferns, palms, figs, bromeliads, orchids, and many other rare, unusual, and endangered plants as well as its changing floral exhibits.
Address: 316 South G St., Tacoma, Washington
Cost: $2.00 per person
September 2019 Tour: Point Defiance ZooEleven Mature Friends enjoyed a tour of the gardens at Point Defiance Zoo lead by head gardener Bryon Jones on September 19.
The zoo gardens are home to hundreds of plant species with three full-time gardeners responsible for garden design and plant maintenance.
Special garden areas visited included the Asian forest sanctuary, bamboo garden, and an area dedicated to conifers, cycads, and ferns. We also learned about living fossils, such as the Ginkgo Tree and Wollemi Pine, both once thought to have been extinct. We also learned about plants grown in the zoo gardens that are used as food for the animals, including Dogwood, banana, bamboo, and kiwi.
The Zoo gardens feature:
The garden is home to hundreds of varieties of plants from decorative to functional. Zookeepers use some of the plant growth, such as banana leaves and bamboo shoots, as food or skill-building tools for the animals. The plants also create a stunning botanical paradise.
5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, Washington 98407
Directions to the Zoo:
Cost: Adult $19, 65+ $18.
- From I-5 North or South, take exit 132 (Highway 16 West).
- Exit Highway 16 at 6th Avenue (Exit 3),
- Continue to the second stoplight and turn right on to Pearl Street (WA 163).
- Follow Pearl Street into Point Defiance Park. Signs will lead you to the Zoo's free parking lots.
There are hills involved so mobility may be an issue for some. They do offer motorized scooters for rent $35.00 and wheelchairs for $10.00 each.
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Book ClubFor our meeting on November 17, the Mature Friends Book Club will take advantage of Zoom by hosting special guest David K. Johnson, the author of Buying Gay, our reading selection for that meeting. Thanks to David Chapman for making the contact for us. Professor Johnson is a leading historian of GLBTQ history in the mid-twentieth century. His previous book, The Lavender Scare, explores the purge of homosexuals from the Federal Government during the Cold War and spawned an award-winning documentary. His book Buying Gay, concerning the role of the physique magazines of the mid-century in forging a gay community, is available in limited numbers from Seattle and King County Library systems and may be purchased from on-line and local bookstores.
Those interested in participating who are not regular participants in the book club should contact Bruce (see the newsletter).
We meet via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.
Last month our meeting took place on October 20 and featured The Inheritance, by Matthew Lopez, a two-part play about the responsibilities of gay men three decades after the heights of the AIDS crisis toward earlier and later generations. This book is available from the Seattle Public Library, but not from King County. There is a reasonably priced paperback available on-line.
— Bruce B., Book Club Leader
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It’s time to sit back, relax and check out Vincent G’s travelogue of his adventures in the mountains of the Northwest. Vincent is an experienced and rigorous hiker who is going to tell us a little about himself along with his visits to the high country. He plans on setting up somewhat more strenuous hikes for Mature Friends next spring after the snow melts. The talk will be about 30 minutes. See the second-to-last page of your newsletter for contact information.
Sixteen Mature Friends participated in last month’s Time2Share activity via Zoom to hear Ed K. relate his amazing coming-of-age tale of leaving home. Ed took off from Pittsburgh in a beat-up car with his good friend Barry at age 19 to work in the oil fields of Oklahoma. Following grueling work there, Ed went on to Hollywood to frolic in the mid-century gay bars. It was a fantastic road trip.
He returned to Pittsburgh a year later and didn’t lose his East Coast accent. Thanks again Ed for sharing your adventures.
— Garry R., Time2Share Organizer
Wine TastingThe 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.
November Tasting: Wines for Thanksgiving DinnerOur next tasting will be on November 16, at 7:00 p.m. This evening will be wine for Thanksgiving dinner. Some attendees may bring one for turkey, another for a side dish. It’s your choice.
Over the years I’ve noticed that this exceedingly powerful dinner goes well with more acid, lower alcohol wine, red or white, but not everyone agrees. In 2019 Eric Azimov, the New York Times wine critic, had a long and informative article along with tasting notes regarding holiday wine.
— Ed K., Wine Tasting Organizer
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Oddball OutingThis 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. Many events require an RSVP to Jerry P. See newsletter for contact information.
The Oddball Outings have been suspended until further notice.
February Outing was: Dim Sum in the Year of the Rat
This month we celebrated the Chinese New Year which has just begun. In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water.
To celebrate this momentous year, February’s Oddball Outing will be Dim Sum at the Dough Zone, located at 815 Pine, at Ninth Avenue. We will
meet on Friday, February 7, at 11:30 a.m. The Dough Zone has terrific dumplings and a tempting Dim Sum menu.
— Jerry P., Oddball Organizer
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Travel and EventsThis 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 2020Our travel coordinator will once again search for trips, based on how many members are interested and on when the travel ban is lifted.
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.
Pictures to come. Stay tuned!
— 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, 2017On 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, 2017Departing 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 Victoria, B.C., 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 toSan 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!
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 2013In 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 TripTwenty-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 2014In 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 ChinaAnd enjoy the pictures, too!
Spain and France 2014On 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 CoastAt 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 AlaskaOn 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.
Three Dollar Bill Cinema LGBT Film Festival
Now it progress, the annual Three Dollar Bill Cinema LGBT Film Festival has moved online. Buy a ticket to a movie, and Three Dollar Bill Cinema will email you the link and code to view the film. The event runs from October 15 – 25. The festival guide gives a suggested viewing time for each film which syncs up with director comments and questions and answers. However, the films can be viewed at any time through October 25.
Screenings of Gay Themed MoviesSuspended until further notice.
5030 Roosevelt Way NE
— Brian T. & James B., Scarecrow Video coordinator
Shakespeare and Daedalus in Ashland
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:
- As You Like It
- All’s Well that Ends Well
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.
The 2020 Shakespeare Festival
The 2020 Ashland trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been canceled. The festival is planning to reopen in September for a truncated season, but two of the four plays we were planning to see have been canceled. An informal poll of the group registered preferred canceling to a diminished season. The deposit will be rolled over into a deposit for next year. If you did register with a deposit this year and know you are not going next year, I can refund the deposit. More information about next year’s trip will be in a future newsletter. As you can imagine things at the festival are quite chaotic currently as the box office reschedules or refunds tickets for five months of performances.
— Bruce B.
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