Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 1, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 1, 2014 



Dear Savvy Senior,

I’ve always been a walker, but when I fell last 
month my doctor suggested I start doing some 
balance exercises. Is this really something I need to 
practice? What can you tell me?

Avid Walker

Dear Walker,

 Most people don’t think much about practicing 
their balance, but you should, the same way that 
you walk to strengthen your heart, lungs and 
overall health, or you stretch to keep your body 

 As we age, our balance declines – if it isn’t 
practiced – and can cause falls. Every year more 
than one in three people age 65 years or older fall, 
and the risk increases with age. A simple fall can 
cause a serious fracture of the hip, pelvis, spine, 
arm, hand or ankle, which can lead to hospital 
stays, disability, loss of independence and even 

How Balance Works

 Balance is the ability to distribute your weight 
in a way that enables you to hold a steady position 
or move at will without falling. It’s determined by 
a complex combination of muscle strength, visual 
inputs, the inner ear and the work of specialized 
receptors in the nerves of your joints, muscles, 
ligaments and tendons that orient you in relation to 
other objects.

 It’s all sorted out in the sensory cortex of your 
brain, which takes in the information from those 
sources to give you balance. But aging dulls 
our balance senses, and causes most seniors to 
gradually become less stable on their feet over time.

 Poor balance can also lead to a vicious cycle of 
inactivity. You feel a little unsteady, so you curtail 
certain activities. If you’re inactive, you’re not 
challenging your balance systems or using your 
muscles. As a result, both balance and strength 
suffer. Simple acts like strolling through a grocery 
store or getting up from a chair become trickier. 
That shakes your confidence, so you become even 
less active.

Balance Exercises

If you have a balance problem that is not tied to 
illness, medication or some other specific cause, 
simple exercises can help preserve and improve 
your balance. Some basic exercises you can do 
anytime include:

· One-legged stands: Stand on one foot for 30 
seconds, or longer, then switch to the other foot. 
You can do this while brushing your teeth or 
waiting around somewhere. In the beginning, you 
might want to have a wall or chair to hold on to.

· Heel rises: While standing, rise up on your toes 
as far as you can. Then drop back to the starting 
position and repeat the process 10 to 20 times. You 
can make this more difficult by holding light hand 

· Heel-toe walk: Take 20 steps while looking straight 
ahead. Think of a field sobriety test.

· Sit-to-stand: Without using your hands, get up 
from a straight-backed chair and sit back down 10 
to 20 times. This improves balance and leg strength.

 For additional balance exercises visit go4life.nia., a resource created by the National Institute 
on Aging that offers free booklets and a DVD that 
provides illustrated examples of many appropriate 
exercises. You can order your free copies online or 
by calling 800-222-2225.

 Some other exercises that can help improve 
your balance and flexibility is through tai chi and 
yoga. To locate a beginner’s class in your area that 
teaches either of these disciplines, call your local 
senior center, health club or wellness center, check 
your yellow pages or try online directory sites like and

 If nothing is available near you, there are DVDs 
and videos that offer tai chi and yoga instructions 
and routines for seniors that you can do at home. 
Some good resources for finding them are amazon.
com, and, or check with 
your local public library.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. 
Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today 
show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

HELPFUL HINT: Get a picture of all of your prescription bottles and keep it in your phone’s 
photo album. 


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - A 45 year old woman had a heart attack and was 
taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God, she 
asked, “Is my time up?” God said, “No, you have another 43 years 2 months and 8 days to live.” Upon 
recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants 
and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth! 
Since she had so much time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it. After her last 
operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was 
killed by an ambulance. Arriving in front of God, she demanded, “I thought you said I had another 
43 years? Why didn’t you pull me out of the path of the ambulance?” God replied, “I didn’t recognize 

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … November Birthdays

Flo Mankin, Alberta Curran, Carmela Frontino, Kathy Wood, Lena Zate, Joe Pergola, Janice 
Kacer, Valerie Howard, “Mike” Ruggles, Joan Ruggles, Lois Stueck, Jean Wood, Shirley 
Yergeau, Kathi Jefferson, Pat Krok, Irene Nakagawa, Anna Ross, Mary Steinberg and Sue 

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not 


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park House 
(Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre


 YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon 

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 
for those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary as space is 
limited. Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256

Free Balance Class: Every 3rd Monday, from 11:00 to 11:45 am with Shannon. All ability levels are 
encouraged and welcomed.

Hawaiian and Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10:00am to 11:00am. Join 
instructor Barbara Dempsey as she instructs you in the art of hula.

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00pm. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to join. 
May be canceled if less than 5 people. Canceled on August 5th and 12th.

Free Blood Pressure Testing: Held 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11:00am to 12:00pm. No 
appointment is necessary.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, August 27th from 10:00am to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson 
is available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. 
For an appointment call 626-355-7394.

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45 am, except on the third 
Monday of the month when the balance class is held. A suggested donation of $5 at one 
of the classes is requested, but is not required.

Birthday Celebrations: Every second Thursday of the month the Hart Park House 
Senior Center celebrates birthdays of our patrons. The free birthday cake is provided by 
the Sierra Madre Civic Club.

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:45pm. A regular group of seniors play poker. Other games 
available for use.

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45pm to 1:30pm with Lisa Brandley. The class 
utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All materials for the class are provided.



Autry Museum & Route 66 Exhibit (Los Angeles)

 Date: Friday, November 14, 2014 Time: 9:30am-3:00pm

Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center Cost: $10.00 (does not include lunch)

Don’t miss a visit to this historic museum and the once in a lifetime exhibit Route 66: The Road and

the Romance. The exhibit features more than 250 historical artifacts such as the oldest existing 
Route 66 shield alongside vintage gas pumps and neon art, John Steinbeck’s original handwritten 
manuscript for The Grapes of Wrath and Jack Kerouac’s typewriter scroll of On the Road, and a 
1960’s Chevrolet Corvette.

A one hour guided tour of the exhibit will be given followed by lunch on your own at the Autry 
Cafe and/or independent exploring of the vast collections of art and artifacts. The charter bus 
departs from the Hart Park House Senior Center at 9:30am and will return to Sierra Madre at 
3:00pm. Participants should bring money for lunch and souvenirs. Last day to register is Thursday, 
November 6th. Level of Walking: Medium

KATIE Tse..........This and That


Are you feeling 
down, or just in 
need of a good 
laugh? Well, I 
can guarantee 
you’ll go from zero to hysterical in 
three short minutes! “How?” you ask. 
Watch a “Soundie”!

 “Soundies” were three-minute films 
from the early 1940’s that included 
short comedy skits or musicals. I 
haven’t seen any of the comedic ones, 
but I can tell you the musical numbers 

 We can all name great films 
from the 1940’s. “Casablanca,” 
“Citizen Kane,” and “Rebecca” are 
familiar classics. There were also 
a lot of mediocre (if not plain bad) 
films produced during that time. “The Brasher 
Doubloon,” “Isle of Forgotten Sins,” and “Plan 9 
from Outer Space” (1958, but close enough) are just a 
few examples. And then there were the “soundies”...

 When trying to capture the essence of the 
soundies, one word comes to mind --”off.” The 
singers, dancers, and “actors” in these shorts were 
never big names, and in most cases, it’s easy to 
see why. In one rendition of “Stardust,” the male 
singer is so stiff, he gives the impression that he’s 
suffering from severe arthritis. He periodically 
changes his facial expression to break the monotony 
by arching his eyebrows, or rapidly blinking his 
eyelids. Sometimes the camera pulls back and we 
see him full frame. He keeps one hand in his pocket, 
occasionally withdrawing it to adjust his shirt cuffs, 
as if he were modeling clothes for Sears. He’s not 
particularly bad looking, but his meaty face would 
be more believable as that of a construction worker 
or plumber, rather than a tuxedo-clad crooner!

 Half way through the number, our eye-blinker 
is joined by two lines of chorus girls in flowing 
gowns. (The random introduction of chorus lines 
is a “soundies” staple.) They dance around him, 
spinning and waving their arms, not quite in unison. 
Near the end, one girl leans so far back her head is 
out of the frame as she kicks her foot high in the air; 
a fittingly weird end.

 Latin themes must have been all the rage during 
the brief age of soundies. In “Chicky Chicky Boom 
Boom” (no, I’m not joking), a very White-looking 
woman appears in a Carmen Miranda get-up. 
Between close ups of her 
singing, “Cuban” style 
male and female dancers 
shake and shimmy in 
ruffled sleeves so big that 
they look like piñatas. 
As if the lead singer 
and the dancers weren’t 
enough, the camera 
periodically cuts back to 
an expressionless maraca 
player. Why? Who 

 But probably the 
most bizarre soundie 
I’ve seen featured a man 
and woman singing 
an unfamiliar (and 
somewhat disturbing) 
song about him being a Casanova and taking her to 
“a park in the dark.” Hmm, not exactly safe dating 
advice. But then again, I doubt that anyone viewed 
soundies as public service announcements. Between 
Casanova and his girlfriend singing, a chorus line 
files onto the stage. Something’s amiss with this 
chorus line, but you don’t realize it until they turn 
the opposite direction. Then, you see that these 
dancers are wearing half a dress and half a black tie 
and tails outfit! Creepy! 

 But that’s not all... The dancers then “hug” 
themselves, making it look as if a man and 
woman are embracing each other --sort of, (that 
takes a lot of imagination). As if you weren’t 
thoroughly grossed out by now, the last scene of 
the singing couple ends with a shot of the tux/
evening gown chorus lined up side by side as a 
woman dances in front of them. Just when you 
thought it was mercifully over, she turns around 
to reveal that the back of her outfit resembles 
a tuxedo, but the arms, torso, and legs look 
skinnier since she’s wearing a dress on the front. 
Her squiggly “dance” movements remind the 
viewer of a puppet or Halloween ghost. And just 
to make sure the younger viewers in the audience 
don’t make it out emotionally unscathed, this 
gown/tux ghost dancer has a male mask on the 
back of her head! And this isn’t just any mask; 
this thing is GROSTESQUE!

 But other than the disturbing numbers, “soundies” 
are quite entertaining. But don’t take my word for it; 
see for yourself at!

SENIOR CINEMA - 1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays - At the Hart Park House Senior Center 

October 29th – To Kill a Mocking Bird (1962)

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved 
rape charge, and his kids against prejudice. Not Rated. Start time: 1:00 pm (run time 129 minutes) 
Featuring: Frank Overton, Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

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