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. [ ▼ indicates the link goes to a topic lower on this same page. ]

Eating Date and Time Location
Lunch Out  🍴 Wed., Aug. 8 and 22, at 12:00 noon Roosters on Broadway
Dinner Out  🍴 Tue., Aug. 21, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill
Monthly Potluck 🍴
Sat., Sept 29, at 6:00 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center
Wine Tasting  Wine
Mon., Sept 17, at 3:00 p.m.
In members’ homes
Dinner for Six 🍴 Determined by participants In members’ homes
Annual Banquet 🍴 Sat., June TBD, 2019
Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.
Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Women's University Club
Annual Picnic  🌭
Food Contributions
Sat., Aug. 11, 2018 at 12:00 noon
Meridian Park 
Annual Christmas Lunch  🎄
Sat., Dec. 15, 2019
Cocktails at 11:30 a.m.
Lunch at 1:15 p.m.
Robb’s 125th Street Grill
Playing Date and Time Location
Bridge Club1 🃏 Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center
Pinochle Club2  🃏 Wed., Aug. 15 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, some lunch at the Blue Star Cafe and Pub at noon)
A Better Club for Investing    📈 Sun., Aug. TBD, at 5:00 p.m.  
Members, contact club leader Karl for location
See newsletter for contact information
Book Club    📖 Tue., Aug. 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Michael Bronski’s A Queer History of the United States in member's homes
Board Meeting  📓 Mon., Aug. 13, at 7:00 p.m.
In a board member’s home
Walk/Hike 🚶 Tue., Aug. 21, at 9:30 a.m. Barclay Lake
Garden Tour  🌺
Thurs., Aug. 16, at 10:30 a.m.
Amazon Spheres
Theater, Music  🎭 Aug. 17 – 21
Ashland, Oregon, for Shakespeare Festival 
Scarecrow  Screenings 🎭 Sun., Aug. 19, at 3:00 p.m. Beefcake   RSVP to Roger M.
Oddball Outings  Thurs., Aug. 23, at 5:00 p.m.
Olympic Sculpture Park
Contact Jerry P.
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 picnic substitutes.

Each member is assigned a type of dish to bring based on the initial of the member’s 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, L, P
Main Dish
B, C, E, H, N
J, M, V, Z
 I, R, T, W
D, G, K, O, S

1 For those assigned to bring an appetizer, please arrive early.



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 a few dollars 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 — Barclay Lake

Our hike in August will be to Barclay Lake near Baring, Washington, on Highway 2, next to the new Wild Sky Wilderness. This is a gentle two-mile hike to a beautiful lake, with a moderate 200-foot elevation gain. The trail starts out in second growth forest, running parallel with Barclay Creek. Along the way loom many old growth stumps. There are several places to stop along the creek. After crossing the creek on a bridge the trail climbs slowly up to the lake, with old growth forest along this section of the trail. At the western end of the lake towers the face of Mt. Baring, with an impressive 3,100-foot vertical drop from the top. The lake itself is about half a mile long. The trail travels down the north side of the lake, where there are places to sit by the shore and have lunch.

We will meet for car pooling at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 21, at the north end of Northgate Shopping Center, just off Northgate Way, in front of the Bank of America building. Bring a lunch and water. Car pool riders share the cost. A Senior Pass or Northwest Forest Pass is required at the trail head. We will get back to Seattle by 4:00 p.m.


If you wish to drive directly to the trail head:

  1. From Monroe head east on US-2 to the town of Baring.

  2. Near milepost 41 and across from a convenience store, turn left (north) onto 635th Place NE.

  3. Cross the railroad tracks and continue 0.3 miles.

  4. Reach a junction and keep left on 635th Place NE for 0.1 mile.
    The road becomes FR-6024.

  5. Continue 3.9 miles to the trailhead.

July Hike — Denny Creek

In July we hiked along the Denny Creek Trail, just west of the Snoqualmie Pass area. This is a popular trail with all ages. The trail begins in an old forest, with a wide, gentle, well-maintained grade. Hikers found the walking easy and pleasant up to the Denny Creek crossing at one mile, where you can cross the creek on a shallow ford. This area where water cascades over smooth rocks, known as the “slippery slabs,” the destination for many who wish to picnic or observe the natural water-slides of the creek. Some may wish to stop here. Or you can continue on the trail through forest and open hillsides with views of nearby peaks, as you climb towards Keekwulee Falls at 1.5 miles, elevation gain 600 feet from the trailhead. The falls have water going over them even in July, and it is a fine viewing spot.

July Hikers

July Hikers Mark, Gene, Lowell, Scott, Lee, Garry, and Dale

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.

Roger, Ed, Chris, Gene, David, Lee, Al, Garry, Bill, Steve, Bill, and Dale on the Mine Road Trail

Ramon, Steve, Al, Chris, Chris (there were two hikers named Chris), and Dale on the Pratt River Connector Trail

Dale, Chris, David, Steve, Gene, Al, Ron, and Roger on the Pass Lake Loop Trail

Chris, David, Ramon, Brian, Steve, Lee, Al, Gene, Garry, Dwayne and Dale

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Garden Tours

This wildly popular activity takes you on tours of beautiful gardens in the Seattle and greater Seattle area. Led by our resident horticulturalist, Dr. John Wott, you see a variety of plants, flowers, and shrubs. So, if you like plants and gardens or if you’re just interested to learn a little about horticulture, come join us!

August Tour to Visit the Amazon Spheres

Almost everyone has been trying to figure out a way to tour the Amazon Spheres, which recently opened in their south Lake Union headquarters. They are offering tours, and I have been able to arrange two tours, of twelve persons each, for August and October, through Ron Gagliardo, Senior Manager for Horticultural Operations. So please read carefully and respond to me. (These tours are open to members of Mature Friends. To contact John Wott, please see your electronic or hard copy newsletter.)

The August tour is Thursday, August 16, 2018, 10:30 a.m. The date for the October Spheres tour has not yet been set. Anyone who wants to attend the August tour, needs to notify me in writing NO LATER THAN THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 2018, by midnight with your full name attached. I will put your names in a “HAT” and select randomly. I expect there will be more than twelve names, and the unlucky ones will automatically qualify for the October date.

Consolation Tour

However, knowing that we usually have twenty or more who regularly attend our tours, I have also arranged a very nice tour of the Bellevue Botanical Garden (BBG) on the same date, Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 10:30 a.m., for our non-Sphere winners. There you will see the new Meadow Garden and one of the best perennial gardens in the country. The BBG is in Wilburton Park at 120001 Main Street, Bellevue, WA. This is east of I-405. Meet at the entrance of the garden.

I realize this is a bit complicated, but I was able to arrange these Amazon tours with twelve participants rather than eight.

July Tour of Historic Beacon Hill House and Garden

On Thursday, July 12, twenty-one members toured the historic Beacon Hill home and garden which has been the headquarters for the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs (WSFGC) for nearly fifty years.

July Garden Tour

The original part of the house is over one-hundred years old and was built as a farm house on a large section of property. Eventually it was purchased by a Ladies community society which then sold it to the WSFGC. The WSFGC has used the facility for many classes and demonstrations for members, where they have received their certificates for gardening, plant identification, landscape design and conservation. The inside of the house has been remodeled so it can be used as a venue for social occasions.

The history was given by Lana Finegold, State Historian. We were welcomed by Lona Carter, State President, who also shared sweets and fruits. After a short introduction in the large hall, followed by questions, the group proceeded to tour the gardens.

Garden Lawn

Dogwood in Garden

The home sits on the middle of three lots flanked by gardens, containing some rare old specimens.


Beech Tree

There is a gazebo and fountain garden where the blue and pink hydrangeas and day lilies were in full bloom.

The south garden has a half dozen rare pear trees, which are over one-hundred years old and bear many fruits that are made into delicacies. There is also ample lawn space for outdoor activities.

Garden Nook

Like all historic older facilities in Seattle, their actual worth becomes a burden for the owner. The membership of the WSFGC continues to decline and their state officers recently decided to sell the property. Now we wait to see its fate, which usually means destruction and construction of new modern buildings. This ultimately means another historic building will only be known through its history and pictures.

— Dr. John Wott, Tour Organizer, Leader, and Expert Horticulturalist

Dr. John Wott

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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).

No August 2018 Tasting

Our July 2018 Tasting

We had another eventful afternoon in which Larry and Rodger provided the wine at their home. 

Wine Wisdom

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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.

August Outing

August’s Oddball Outing will be to the closing celebration at the Olympic Sculpture Park. This year’s focus at the park has centered on Native and Indigenous artists and voices, and the closing performance of the year is by blues and jazz band Khu.éex’. Khu.éex’ translates to “Potlatch” in Tlingit language and fuses Tlingit culture and contemporary funk.

We will meet at the park’s pavilion patio at 2901 Western Avenue to enjoy a leisurely walk through the park to enjoy the sculptures. Then we will return to the performing area in the park to enjoy a bite to eat as we watch the performance, which begins at 6:30. You can bring your own food if you wish. The following food trucks will also be on site: Hallava Falafel, Lula Salads, Chewaya BBQ, Biscuit Box, and Pop Up. There is no charge other than for food purchases. Contact Jerry P.

Early Alert for October Outing

October 11, plan for a day trip via the City’s Parks and Recreation LGBTQ program to visit the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center, located 16 miles east of Ellensburg.

Previous Outings

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Travel and Events

This section is about recent or upcoming 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.

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. In a small group, you'll weave your way into daily life to get an authentic glimpse of a culture that has gone untouched by western influence. Let locals lead you through their cities, villages, markets, and temples on this adventure from Bangkok to Chiang Rai.

Exploring Thailand from the cosmopolitan south to the remote northern hill tribes, you'll witness Buddhist monks receiving alms at a dawn ceremony, walk along scenic stretches of the Mekong River, hear about the studies and aspirations of students at a local university, and maybe even buy some fresh lemon grass in Bangkok's floating market. A local Trip Leader will help you gain an insider's perspective into Thai culture as they connect you with locals—prepare a traditional meal alongside villagers, dine in a local home, and ride on a traditional wooden rice barge. Discover what captivates so many visitors in this tropical nation.

Departure for Our Group

Optional Pre-Trip: Three-night Hong Kong stopover departs US
on March 11, 2019.

Main tour departs US on March 14, 2019, returning to US on March 29, 2019.


Optional three-night Hong Kong stopover: $695*

Main Tour: $2595 per person

Airfare from SEA: $1400 (but all US commercial airports available at varying costs)

*There’s a $195 single supplement fee on optional Hong Kong stopover

NOTE: You must book by July 13 and there must be 16 Mature Friends to keep the trip exclusive to our group. After July 13 if we don’t have 16 members signed up it will be open to the general public.

— Steve L., Travel Chairman

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!

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: Last 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

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 Montisi, a small hill town in southern Tuscany. Day trips took us to Siena, the wine towns of Montepulciano, Mo ntalcino (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.

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

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

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 “Beefcake”


This film looks at the 1950's muscle men's magazines and the representative industry that were popular supposedly as health and fitness magazines, but were in reality primarily being purchased by the still underground homosexual community.


Scarecrow Video
5030 Roosevelt Way NE

The private viewing room can accommodate only thirty people. To make sure no one is turned away at the door, please send your indication of interest to Roger M. (See your newsletter for contact information.) 

Seattle International Film Festival Report

Report on the 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival

Shakespeare and Daedalus in Ashland — August 17 – 21, 2018

Twelve Mature Friends have already signed up for this year’s trip to Ashland, leaving space for only four more. Participants will arrange their own travel to Ashland for August 17 – 21 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

We will see four plays:

The Festival has received permission to cross cast Oklahoma!, with Curly as a cowgirl courting the farmer’s daughter and Ado Andy as the boy who can’t say no to any cowboy, or traveling salesman, for that matter. This is the first time the play has been cross-cast, except for a staged reading in 2015 at the Daedalus Festival.

The Way the Mountain Moved is a new play, commissioned by the festival in a series of plays on American history, including the two plays All the Way and The Great Society, which played at Seattle Rep as well. This play concerns a team setting out in 1850 to survey a route for a transcontinental railroad, and their encounters with lost pioneers, African-American Mormons, and Native Americans.

Henry V is the final play of Shakespeare’s great trilogy of historical plays.

Othello is one of his major tragedies, and to me, the most tightly plotted.

In addition, on Monday, August 20, we will take part in Daedalus, the Festival’s AIDS benefit. We will attend a reading of a play with some connection to AIDS and the evening talent show, complete with an Underwear Contest. The play at the reading is unannounced, but recent titles have been The Baltimore Waltz, Oklahoma! with a queer slant, and Cabaret.

Costs will be $430 for tickets to six events and one group dinner, as well as supplying afternoon cocktail gatherings. Participants will pay for lodging themselves: We have reserved double rooms in the Stratford Inn, which will be under $200 per night for two, so approximately $400 each for the four-night stay. You are welcome to look for other accommodation, but this is a pretty good rate for Ashland, and we can cancel up to a month before our stay. If you want to pursue other lodging options, let me know. I suggest we hold the Stratford booking until you secure something else.

You can reserve a space for the trip by sending a deposit check for $100 to the responsible party. See page 5 of the newsletter for details and mailing information.

— Bruce B.

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