SAGE Activities

SAGE Rides the Rails to Watts Towers, Mama’s Hot Tamales

Posted on October 30, 2009. Filed under: California senior citizens, California State University at Northridge, CSUN, Learning in Retirement, SAGE Activities | Tags: , , , , , |


Using public transportation, members of SAGE rode the rails Saturday, October 24, on their journey to visit the historic Watts Towers.

Boarding the Red Line at the North Hollywood Station, the group traveled to Seventh Street Metro Center where they transferred to the Blue Line. Instead of taking this train to the end of the line in Long Beach, intrepid travelers disembarked at the 103rd Street Station for a short walk to the towers.

At the towers they were greeted by guide James Janisse, a radio personality on local public stations. Janisse, who grew up in the Watts community, recounted stories of visiting the towers during his youth. As he led the SAGE group through an inside tour of the towers, he informed them about Simon Rodia and the builder’s 33-year-project. Following the tour, the group viewed a 12-minute video about Rodia and the towers.

The group also viewed the art gallery with its 50th Anniversary display of paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

Following the visit the SAGE travelers boarded the train back to MacArthur Park where they had colorful lunch at Mama’s Hot Tamales. Mama herself, Sandy Romero, told of her efforts to improve the neighborhood and train young people in restaurant work. –Reuben Allen



Some Member Comments about the Trip

It was very interesting to learn than an immigrant who could neither read nor write English with little formal education could build this engineering marvel. Also riding the subway with all the station changes was a new and exciting experience for me. Thank you again for all your planning.
Estelle Allen


Lunch was at the Hot Tamale cafe, which is next to MacArthur Park and Lake. Remember? That is the place where there was all the police brutality, not so long ago. Well, now, the arrests this year have gone to zero from a high a year or so ago of 500. The owner of the cafe has been instrumental in getting the cart vendors to learn to open more legitimate businesses. She even trains some of the younger people for jobs at Starbucks. The buffet was magnificent and the hibiscus tea was a real hit. What a treat to hear about the local success story. Darlene Wilson


Memorable trip. It was so much more than we expected. How fortunate to have a great guide to better understand what we saw, its history, how it was created. Our friends will be a little envious of us as we regale them of not only what we saw but also how we felt.

I was born in Los Angeles in the year that Sam Rodia began this remarkable project, and this trip fulfilled my desire to see it and be at one with it.
Fearful that it would be too much of a trip for the very elderly, you not only made us feel comfortable with our slow pace, it but successful enough to want to take another of your tours. Our appreciation of your efforts, your planning and your watchfulness cannot be expressed loudly enough. Thanks so very much.
Eli and Lil Baker


Thank you, Zel and Reuben for getting the Watts Towers trip together. It was fulfilling and a long time wish realized for me. Simon Rodia–a dedicated man with a purpose in mind. My father, Anthony Mion, was a cement finisher and terrazzo worker, an immigrant from Italy, so I was especially interested in Rodia’s masterpiece. The colored glass and decorative pottery were brought to life in the California sun. The overall shape of the towers into a ship was breathtaking. What touched my heart most was the honor Rodia gave to his work tools by imbedding the shapes of the small hammer, pliers, trowel, etc. into the cement. –Rita Thayer

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Film Club Discusses Two Features

Posted on March 22, 2009. Filed under: SAGE Activities | Tags: |

We had about a dozen folks show up last Monday for a discussion of two films, The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire. We are so lucky to have two knowledgeable people in SAGE.

Tom Potter (a new member of SAGE) lived in Berlin some years ago, so he was able to share some points about German culture that helped us understand some of the events in the film as he led the discussion.

Joyce Tapper is an experienced traveler in Asia, so she led the discussion on Slumdog Millionaire and shared cultural information that was also very helpful in our understanding of the film.

Next month, we will meet on April 20th to again discuss two films. Everlasting Moments has been at the Laemmle, Encino (remember, it’s $4 on Wednesday afternoons). This film was nominated by both Judy Cohn and Mary Ann Shiner. Some of us went to see it last week and found it very nicely done.

The second film, Sunshine Cleaning, got a good review in the Times, but is not out in the Valley yet. We have a month ahead of us in which to plan our movie going, so I hope to see all of you at the next meeting.

Two people volunteered to bring refreshments. We need a volunteer to lead the discussion of Sunshine Cleaning. Please let me know if you are interested. Have a good Easter/Passover holiday.
–Joyce Linden

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Kudos to Forum Organizers

Posted on March 22, 2009. Filed under: SAGE Activities |

Kudos to those involved in the SAGE Forum, 3/20/09. It was well-run and a real delight. Please know that your work is appreciated.
–Darlene Wilson

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Learning in Retirement, SAGE Activities, SAGE Classes, Senior Study Discussion Groups |

For how many years has a certain time honored tenet of SAGE been ignored?
It’s not “Please tell, don’t read, your research information.”
It’s not “The dog ate my outline.”

It’s the need to let the curriculum committee know a first, second and third choice of classes you would like to take. It’s coordinators sometimes accepting more than 15 people, the curriculum committee going soft because members have stubbornly ignored directions.
This means that those who submitted a subject for study and those who wanted it will see a class has failed class for lack of  enrollments.
Is it fair to hold SAGE hostage by saying classes other than a first choice are not worthwhile topics, as if members in a class have no  influence on how well a class can be  valuable to learning?

Once there was a solution for signups that tempt over enrollment: Offer that class to be available again for the next session.
Is there a solution for consideration of our learning in retirement society to be a more learning to be considerate group?

Submitted by “sour grapes.” A study of the United Nations needs a lot of wise people to know how much it is needed in today’s world.
Yes, I will take it to Hot topics–all alone. –Bette Simons

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: SAGE Activities | Tags: , |

Today we will start a new adventure with our new found friend the internet.

Any or all of us that wish to learn how to blog will have the opportunity to learn right here.

susi1Yes, I am learning right along with you and we have a great teacher, our dear friend Reuben.

Like always I am willing to assist you in finding answers to your Windows questions.

Thanks, Reuben, for stretching all of us with your wisdom and friendship. –Susi White

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Learning and Retirement, Learning in Retirement, Older People Education, Retirement Learning, SAGE Activities, SAGE Classes, Senior Citizens, Senior Education, Senior Learning, Senior Organizations, Senior Study Discussion Groups |

For over 20 years the SAGE Society has stressed the fact that people are never too old to learn. Members in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are quite mentally alert and have stretched their minds by participating in study groups exploring all facets of literature, science, history, politics, culture, music, art, religion, and current events.
With this SAGE Society Blog we are embarking on a new learning adventure involving a new form of communication. In other words, we oldsters want to keep up with what’s new.  We don’t want to be left behind. Almost all of our 150 members are on the internet and have email addresses.

When SAGE took its initial formative steps to become a learning-in-retirement organization in 1987, there were no blogs. That didn’t happen until the 1990’s. Now we want to be part of the action by sharing our wealth of experience and information with each other and the world.

One form of communication we currently possess is our organization’s website at that gives a comprehensive picture of SAGE and its activities.
The website features a pdf version of SAGE Observations, our quarterly publication printed and distributed to all the members and other learning-in-retirement  organizations.

In the coming weeks, months, and years we hope to fill our blog with
•    Comments by members about their experiences at SAGE
•    Reflections and views about any current issue
•    Reviews of books, movies, plays, and other events they would like to share with fellow members and the world
•    Pictures of SAGE members and their activities

We’re never too old to learn!

–Reuben Allen

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