June 2007

Congratulations to two new authors, members of the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the University of S. Florida, Sarasota-Manatee.

The first, Helga Harris, has written a fascinating account (Dear Helga…Dear Ruth) of her family’s 1938 exodus from Berlin to America, focusing on the effect it had on her most intense childhood friendship, interrupted so suddenly when they were both ten years old. The story is told in letter- between-the-two-form, documenting the evolution of them both as they travel decidedly different paths, during the war and in the years afterwards. The narration, interspersed among the letters, gives wonderful (and often comic) insight into Helga’s early subsistence life in New York City compared to the much more genteel life her friend Ruth experienced when her family left Berlin also and settled in Santiago, Chile. To purchase a copy, you can email Helga at hh7@aol.com.

The second new author, Marcia Lang, brings to life, through a collection of stories and essays (Mayan Voices) her life’s work with the Peace Corps and CORE in Guatemala and among the Mayan people. Some colorful, some poignant, and some inspiring, Marcia’s stories are pieces of a larger puzzle that will lead the reader to a real-life understanding of the Mayan culture. Her later work with MayaWorks, a non-profit organization which supports the impoverished Mayans by selling their hand-made jewelry, trinkets and curios, allows her to keep in contact with a world few of us know, but to which Marcia has dedicated her life. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of Mayan Voices can do so by emailing the author at zelle@comcast.net.

Earlier this year, the Center for Successful Aging at Yavapai College in Arizona received a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation. The money will be used to promote learning institutes, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the College will receive some of the funding.




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