Mature Friends Newsletter

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

Every month, Mature Friends publishes the newsletter with updates on our activities. So, here is what we’re up to this month, 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, choosing among many options for dinners and lunches, cooking, and tasting fine wines from our own state, from other states, and from around the world.


Goings On

Please click on underlined area for additional information.

Eating Date and Time Location
Lunch Out  🍴 Wed., Aug. 14 and 28, at
12:00 noon
Roosters on Broadway
Dinner Out 🍴
First Tuesday [NEW] –>
Third Tuesday –>

Tues., Aug. 6,  at 6:30 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 20, at 6:00 p.m.

Palermo’s on Capitol Hill, 350 15th Avenue East.
Robb’s 125th Street Grill
Monthly Potluck 🍴
Food Contributions
NA (see Annual Picnic below)
Wallingford Community Senior Center
Wine Tasting  Wine
No tasting this month
In members’ homes
Dinner for Six 🍴 Determined by participants In members’ homes
Annual Banquet 🍴
Banquet Form
Sat., June TBD, 2020
Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.
Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Women’s University Club
Annual Picnic  🌭
Sat., Aug. 17, at 12:00 noon
Meridian Park 
Christmas Lunch  🎄
Sat., Dec. 14
Cocktails at 11:30 a.m.
Lunch at 1:15 p.m.
Robb’s 125th Street Grill
Reservations must be received by Dec. 11.
See Newsletter for reservation form.
Playing Date and Time Location
Bridge Club1 🃏 Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center
Pinochle Club2  🃏 Wed., Aug. 7 and 21, at 7:00 p.m.
Wallingford Community Senior Center
Green Lake Walk  🌳 Every Wed. at 11:00 a.m.
S.W. Corner of Green Lake at tree #51 on map
(Afterwards, lunch at the Blue Star Cafe and Pub.)
A Better Club for Investing    📈 Sun., TBD, at 5:00 p.m.  
Members, contact club leader for location;
See newsletter for contact information.
Book Club    📖 Tue, Aug 20, at 7:30 p.m.
Leading Men by Christopher Castellani
See member newsletter for location.
Board Meeting  📓 Mon., Aug. 12, at 7:00 p.m.
In a board member’s home
Walk/Hike 🚶 Tue., Aug. 20, at 9:30 a.m.  Skookum Flats Trail See newsletter for more.
Garden Tour  🌺
Thu., Aug. 15, at 10:30 a.m.
Elandan Gardens
See newsletter for additional info.
Theater, Music  🎭 Dates and Details below
SIFF 2019 and Fifth Annual Shakespeare
Festival, Ashland, OR., and more....
Scarecrow  Screenings  🎭 Sun., Aug. 18, at 3:00 p.m. Tiger Orange  See newsletter for more.
Oddball Outing  Sun., Aug. 24, at 10:30 a.m.
Exhibit of 60 modern quilts at the Whatcom Museum
See newsletter for more.
Travel and Events  ✈️ Various trips, foreign and U.S.
Check our destinations

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 is $4.00 per night for members and for nonmembers.


Potluck Contributions

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

No June or August Potluck: in June, our annual banquet substitutes for the potluck, and in August, the picnic2 substitutes.

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 B,D,N,O,P,V
Main Dish

1 For those assigned to bring an appetizer, please arrive early.
2 Food to bring to 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: Skookum Flats Trail

Our August hike will be along the Skookum Flats Trail, adjacent to the White River, near Greenwater, Washington. As the name suggests, Skookum Flats involves little in the way of elevation gain, taking us on a gentle tour through old-growth forest, past mossy rocks and fallen trees, with plenty of river views. 

“Skookum” is a popular adjective in Chinook jargon. It can mean many different things depending on the context, though it is usually positive, associated with strength and power. There is a waterfall on Skookum Creek, about two miles from the trail head, which may be where the name Skookum came from. We usually hike about three miles round trip, so it will be up to the hikers whether they want to go all the way to the falls. There are lots of places with river views that could be our lunch spot and turnaround spot.

We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 20, in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. We will be back in Seattle around 5 PM. Bring a lunch and water. Car pool riders share the cost of the mileage. A Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the trail head.

If you wish to go directly to the trail head (please let Dale know if you plan to go directly to the trail head):
  1. Drive to Enumclaw, Washington.

  2. From Enumclaw, drive SR 410 east for 25 miles.

  3. Turn right onto FR 73 and drive 0.5 miles to the trailhead just beyond the bridge.

Google Maps directions are helpful. Please let Dale know if you plan to go directly to the trail head.

July Hike was on the Monte Cristo Trail

Our hike in July was along the Monte Cristo Trail, east of Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway. In years past you could drive to Monte Cristo, an old mining town, but now this is a hiking trail along the South Fork of the Sauk River. The trail goes through mostly evergreen forest, with a mix of wildflowers. Along the way there are occasional views of nearby mountains and the river.

Our hike started from the trail head at Barlow Pass to the place where the road bridge washed out several years ago. Then we go a short way on another trail to a spot overlooking the Sauk River for our lunch spot. The round trip distance is three miles, with minimal elevation gain.

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.

David, Dale, Garry, Chris, and Steve on the Baker River Trail

Dale, Garry, David, Keith, Stephen, and Lee at Mima Mounds

Dale, Garry, Jerry, Brian, and Duane Hiking in Seward Park

December Hikers in Carkeek Park

Garry, Phil, Luis, and Dale on the Cougar Mountain Trail

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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!

August Tour:

The Elandan Gardens, at the west tip of Sinclair Inlet between Port Orchard and Bremerton, will be on Thursday, August 15. The garden features a “world-class bonsai collection” and the landscape artistry of Dan Robinson who will be giving a tour of the gardens. It's also the home of Elandan Interiors, a gift shop and gallery, which is filled with antiques and worldly treasures, and the studio of sculptor Will Robinson.

Participants will meet at the gardens at 10:30 a.m. to start the tour.
Address: 3050 West State Hwy 16, Bremerton, WA.
Cost to tour the gardens is $8. Individuals who want to carpool or ride the van will leave from Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave E, Seattle, WA) by 9:00 a.m. For additional information on the tour contact Barry B. See newsletter for contact and carpool information.

The July Tour was at the University of Washington Gardens at Union Bay

On a fine Thursday morning, July 18, eighteen Mature Friends gathered at the Center for Urban Horticulture for a tour of the University of Washington Botanical Garden.

Garden Group

Tour guide Catherine Nelson of the Center took the group on a walking tour of part of the vast grounds of the center showing how the grounds are being restored and returned to native vegetation, of what were once a dump and an abandoned parking lot, as well as examples of regenerated wetlands.

Catherine Nelson

Catherine Nelson and Brian Thompson

Ms. Nelson identified some of the usual and some perhaps more unusual plants that have taken root in the area. It is not only native vegetation taking root, but wildlife is also attracted to the area, such as a bald eagle seen in a tree snag, and an osprey in a nesting site. Following the tour, the group assembled in the Elizabeth C. Miller Horticultural Library for an overview of the library by library manager Brian Thompson (who is also a Mature Friends member), and how we can use the library.

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Wine Tasting

This every-other-month activity is hosted in a Mature Friends member’s home. The newsletter gives the location and wines to be tasted. RSVP to Ed K. (see newsletter for contact information).

The July Tasting (no August tasting)

On July 22 we tasted from the endless variety of Oregon wine MINUS Pinot Noir. Other varietals are often neglected in tastings, and you will have no difficulty discovering them.

Oregon has three major American Viticulture regions:
Almost every varietal imaginable is grown: Sangiovese, Petit Syrah, Gewürztraminer, Malbec, Viognier, Gruner Veltliner, etc. The industry has evolved into significant tourism and wine export and more than quadrupled since 1995. We also tasted some less common wine from smaller producers from that amazingly beautiful land.

Wines tasted in July (images thanks to Dale J.)

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. Many events require an RSVP to Jerry P. (see newsletter for contact information).

August Outing

On Saturday, August 24, we'll visit the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham to see its exhibit of 60 modern quilts. All of the quilts on display were made by members of the Modern Quilt Guild, and they feature graphic color palettes, bold design elements, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work, while maintaining traditional quilt construction. Members of the Guild will be available to share information about modern quilt design and methods, answer questions, and demonstrate techniques. Here is a link to details about the exhibit: Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century -The Whatcom Museum

We will also explore the artsy Fairhaven district in Bellingham, including the Old City Hall and Syre Education Buildings which are part of the Whatcom Museum with their own displays.

We’ll have lunch or a snack in town, or you can bring your own lunch along with you. We'll depart from the Wallingford Community Center at 10:30 a.m. and will return late afternoon/early evening. We have reserved the 11-person van for the trip, with our own Bruce T. driving. It is first-come, first-served; if you wish to join the trip and ride in the van, you must reserve a spot. The cost will be $5 for the van, and $8 entry fee for the museum. If you are interested in attending, email Jerry P. See newsletter for contact information.

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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.

Southern Oregon Road Trip

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Daedalus Aids Benefit
Our trip for 2019 will be September 13 through 16. We will see four plays, three by Shakespeare: Macbeth, As You Like It, All’s Well that Ends Well, and one by Paula Vogel, Indecent, which presents the story of a ground breaking and scandalous Yiddish play produced in 1932 on Broadway. We will also participate in the Daedalus Festival on September 16, including the semi-staged reading of a play related to gay themes or AIDS, and a talent show which includes the ever-popular underwear contest, where teams from the company compete and you vote for the most interesting underwear [or person in the underwear] with your dollar bills.  Costs will be around $400, which includes tickets to four plays and the two Daedalus Events, a group dinner, and happy hour cocktails each afternoon. It does not include housing, transportation or other meals.

See the newsletter for more details.

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 barbequed 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, 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 will 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.

Screening of “Tiger Orange

Our next screening is Sunday, August 18, at 3:00 p.m., hosted at Scarecrow Video.

Tiger Orange
chronicles the relationship of two gay brothers from small town California. While the one has remained at home living a rather closeted life, the other has gone off to the big city living an out and loud gay life. The death of their father brings them together again. How they struggle to reconnect makes for a lively film. Directed by Wade Gasque; starring Mark Strano and Frankie Valenti. 1 hour 15 minutes.

The private viewing room will accommodate 30 people and is free to Mature Friends and Prime Timers and their guests. Scarecrow has concessions available for purchase. If you have questions, contact Roger M. —see newsletter for contact information.


Scarecrow Video
5030 Roosevelt Way NE

Roger M.

Shakespeare and Daedalus in Ashland

This year our trip will take place on September 13–16. Due to the smoke in August for the last two years, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has scheduled the Daedalus AIDS Benefit in September rather than August, so we will be moving our trip to September as well, when we hope there will be less disruption of outdoor activities. We will see four plays, three by Shakespeare: Macbeth, As You Like It, All’s Well that Ends Well, and one by Paula Vogel, Indecent, which presents the story of a ground breaking and scandalous Yiddish play produced in 1932 on Broadway.

We will also participate in the Daedalus Festival on September 16, including the semi-staged reading of a play related to gay themes or AIDS, and a talent show which includes the ever-popular underwear contest, where teams from the company compete and you vote for the most interesting underwear [or person in the underwear] with your dollar bills. Costs will be around $400, which includes tickets to four plays and the two Daedalus Events, a group dinner, and happy hour cocktails each afternoon. It does not include housing, transportation or other meals.

The first play will be at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13. For those interested I can try to get you tickets to Hairspray on that day at 1:30 p.m. Tickets to Hairspray will not have the group discount and will be on the order of $100–$120 each, if I can get them.

Rooms will be reserved in the Stratford Inn for those who want them. You will pay directly for your room on departure, around $100 a night each for a double occupancy. There is not much discount for a single, but I can suggest more reasonable choices nearby for those wishing a single. The Stratford includes breakfast, an indoor pool, and Wi-Fi. It is a ten-minute walk to the theaters.

You will need to arrange your own transportation. It is about an eight-hour drive to Ashland, which is just fifteen miles from the California border, on I-5. Some of our participants fly. There are reasonable flights to Medford on Horizon, and ground transportation to Ashland is easily arranged, by either taxi or shuttle. It is about fifteen miles.

A deposit of $50 will reserve you a space. The remainder will be due in August.

There is a slight chance the lineup of plays will change. I have submitted our reservations, but they will not be confirmed until January. If there is a change, I will inform you in the February newsletter [and by email to those of you who have already reserved a spot].

— Bruce B.

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