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Diane Engel: What have we lost in the name of progress?

In the name of progress, we have lost so many talents and skills.

I remember sitting in second grade and learning how to write in cursive.

Mrs. Witman showed us how to connect the letters and form beautiful words. I remember how I admired her handwriting. It looked like it was intricate and flowing like filigree.

Now, I am encountering young people who have no idea what cursive writing says.

It’s like a foreign language to them. Will printing be the next thing gone?  How will we document our existence if we get to the point that we can’t write it down?  

If you say tatting, most people would think of a tattoo.

If you put the word into Google, it comes back with several pictures of tattoos.

Tatting is an old art of lacemaking using a shuttle or needle.

When people see something tatted, they speak of their grandmother as she was using her shuttle and her hands flying as she made the knots into beautiful lace.

I have heard so many say that they never thought they could learn how to tat because it looks so intricate. It’s easier than it looks.

Remember when we had to learn how to do simple math on paper?  

Now people use the calculator on their cell phones.

If you asked someone to add divide in long division, they may be lost.

Have you ever tried to darn a sock? I don’t mean getting upset because you have a hole in the heel.

Darning a sock is weaving threads into the sock to repair the hole.

This was a valuable skill so that you didn’t have the expense of buying new socks.

I can’t help but ask, “Have we really progressed by losing these valuable skills?”

‘Tribute to

Johnny Cash’ Bus Trip

The Senior Activity Center will be going to Sandstone, Minn. for a one-day bus trip on May 22 to see a “Tribute to Johnny Cash,” starring Terry Lee Goffee.

The cost is $65 for 2014 members and $75 for nonmembers. Deadline to sign up is April 21 at the Senior Center.

Style Show

Stop by and pick up your tickets for our Spring Style Show on April 26, only $6.50.


The 500 club, a card game like rummy, is looking for more members to play on Mondays at 1:00 pm.

The Senior Center also has a new activity, Cribbage, which gets together on Wednesdays at 1:00 pm. Come and play.

Thank You

Thank you to Ruby Tuesday for playing for our St. Patrick’s Dance. We had a good time. Thank you also to Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

Wish List

The Senior Activity Center is in need of white copy paper, coffee, postage stamps, silverware, and monetary donations.

If you are able to donate, please drop it by the front desk as it will be greatly appreciated.

We also take donated new or used greeting cards, craft supplies, jewelry and puzzles.

Stop by the Senior Creations Gift Shop, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or on the second Saturday of each month from 8:00-10:30 a.m.. Check out what’s new or buy a handmade card.

The Senior Activity Center is located at 216 Third Street NW, Bemidji.

DIANE ENGEL is the executive director of the Senior Activity Center.