Spring 2003


Affiliated with the American Council of the Blind
Available in large print, via e-mail and on cassette

Edited by Darian Hartman
Contributions by Members of the Oregon Council of the Blind

Editor's Note
If you receive this newsletter in recorded format, it is no longer necessary to return the cassettes.

In order to produce an interesting, informative and creative newsletter, articles of interest; chapter reports; etc., need to be submitted in a timely manner. The Stylus will come to you quarterly in March, June, September and December. Please submit materials by the 1st of February, May, August and November.

Please note, Darian Hartman has moved; she has a new street address and a new e-mail address. Materials may be submitted in Braille, on cassette, in print, on computer disk or via e-mail to: Darian Hartman 12820 NE Prescott Drive, Portland, OR 97230, Phone (503) 253-9543 e-mail:

Okay, so her e-mail changes almost as often as she changes her clothes, but blame that partly on ATTBI. Maybe someday she will get it straightened out. Beware, though, A T&T Broadband is changing to Cast sometime soon.

Those wishing to receive "The Stylus" via e-mail should contact Darian Hartman, by e-mail. Please include the words "Stylus via e-mail" in the subject line.

Please submit any address changes or requests to receive "The Stylus" in a different format to the Membership Chairperson, Joan Hill: (541) 882-9967, 4332 Meadows Dr., Klamath Falls, OR 97603, E-mail:

Thanks for your cooperation.

President's Message
By Bev Rushing
As I write this, it is the end of January. The older you get, the faster the days fly by. Once again, Charlotte Noddin is our convention coordinator. Any questions or suggestions, call her at 503-888-9851. This year's convention is at the Ramada Inn in Eugene, on October16th, 17th and 18th.

This is the time of year that I appoint our committees:
Membership - Joan Hill (541) 882-9967
Nominations - Carol Mallard (541) 412-3023
Legislative - Deb Marinos (503) 873-6627
Awards - Nancy Ripplinger (503) 391-7114
First Timers - Patty Bessant (503) 284-5278
Stylus - Darian Hartman (503) 253-9543
A.D.A. Rep - Bob Johnson (503) 361-8693
Web Master - John Fleming (541) 846-6981

As we are down $29,000.00 from this time last year, the board took a look at our financial situation and made a few changes in the budget. They decided not to send a representative to the President's mid-year meeting and the legislative seminar. John Fleming stated that he planned to attend, at his own expense, and asked if he could represent A.C.B. of Oregon. The board approved his request. They also approved a motion to have all board members pay their $75.00 fall convention fee, as they will receive mileage and lodging. It was also suggested to put on the entry application, that anyone wishing to contribute all or any part toward their registration entry, they may do so.

The April and July board meetings will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church in Salem. This will save mileage, meals and lodging for five board members. At the April meeting, the board will take another look at our financial situation, and make adjustments as needed.

Please ask your chapter secretary's to read the board meeting minutes at your meetings. They will explain the activities of the meeting much better than I can in a brief article. Remember, all board meetings are open to the membership.

We thank all of the members for your support and friendship that have always given us. We are looking forward to an interesting and productive 2003.

God Bless America, and all of you, in these uncertain times.

Multnomah Chapter News
By Patty Bessant
In early December, three of us, and a friend with visual problems, testified at an Oregon Department of Transportation grant hearing. It was an enlightening experience for all of us. There were so many extremely worthy appeals, and honestly, we were not dismayed to learn that audible signals failed to achieve ranking. Funds were limited, of course, and all we can believe is that more prosperous times are in the future.

We had a pleasant holiday luncheon at Steamers Restaurant where the service and the food were excellent. Our holiday tradition is to select a group or organization to receive funds to assist them with their endeavors. Northwest Medical Teams go everywhere to help so much. It was our pleasure to donate our collection to them and to help in our small way.

David and Glenys Becker's grandson, Andrew, who is not yet four years old, has been very ill for several months. He was hospitalized intermittently during the summer, and continuously since September. His home is in Idaho, and he is hospitalized in Salt Lake.

David Becker began feeling unlike himself in October. After tests, he was informed that the culprit is cancer of the brain. He is currently receiving radiation and experiencing overwhelming tiredness. Let's all form a prayer chain.

As you read this, my garden will exhibit brilliant splendor.

By Sue L'Esperance
Flu, pneumonia, falls and other health issues seem to be plaguing our members recently. This has kept attendance at our monthly meetings lower than usual this quarter, but activities still go on.

The toy workshop ended its annual season in November with a contribution of many wooden toys, including three dimensional reindeer puzzles, for the local Christmas Basket program.

Kelly Wessels, director of Retired Senior Volunteer Program, was the speaker at our November meeting. She discussed the history of RSVP, various types of volunteer activities available in the community, and how volunteers can assist people with visual impairments.

She also thanked the members who are currently or who have done volunteer work for RSVP in a variety of capacities, such as Helpline, Lifeline, Christmas Basket program, Tax-Aid program and mailings.

Our Christmas party was held on December 7th and was a great time of food, fellowship and fun. Hal Edwards, first-time attendee and new member, led the group in singing "Remember Pearl Harbor" and several Christmas songs as the planned entertainment failed to show. Thanks Hal, for your talent and willingness to help out!

At the December meeting, members voted to adopt a family with a blind child for Christmas. Cheri Dwaard, Special Education Director, referred the family. A shopping trip, donations of food, gifts and funds, a package wrapping session culminated with delivery to the family on December 21st. A big thanks to all the Rogue Valley members for their generous, giving spirits, which made this a very happy holiday season for this family!

Karl Baker, of the Oregon Commission for the Blind was the speaker at our January meeting. His focus was that we live in a claims-based society and as a group, we have many opportunities and more power to make claims for what we need and want in the blind community to improve our quality of life. Whether it be legislation, preventing budget cuts to vital programs, expanding programs, obtaining audible signals, talking ATM's, descriptive video, assistive technology or adaptive equipment, we must be willing to claim it. The bottom line was "if we don't claim it, we don't get it."

Winners of the 50/50 drawings were: November - John Fleming, who returned his share to the chapter; December - Harry Methven, new member who donated his share to the adopted Christmas family; and January - Martha Sells, chapter secretary, who returned her share to the chapter.

The Rogue Valley Chapter wishes all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2003!

Southwest Chapter News
By Charlotte Noddin
At the November meeting the members voted to have a daytime meeting starting in January. We also decided to do away with potlucks and meet in a restaurant for a luncheon meeting. Our new meeting place is the Lucky Star restaurant, located on the corner of Newmark and Highway 101. The time is 1:30 pm until 3:30 pm. There will be entertainment and business meeting as usual.

The "Old Fiddlers" provided music at our Christmas party. Members enjoyed good food, singing Christmas carols and exchange of white elephant gifts. Our guests were eight girls and two counselors from the Wineva Johnson Center for Girl's. We also presented Tommy Welty, an eleven-year-old visually impaired boy from a needy family, with a $75 gift certificate.

Members of Southwest chapter wish members of all other chapters a very healthy and prosperous New Year!!

Membership News
By Joan Hill
Congratulations to South Coast chapter the winner of the Traveling Membership Trophy. Last year the trophy went from February 16, 2001 to February 15, 2002 for the chapter with the biggest percentage growth. South Coast had a marvelous 70% increase in membership. Keep up the good work!

We want to welcome all the new members for 2003. All the chapters have been busy sending me changes. Please let us know right away when you have any changes. We would especially like to have email addresses. It is our hope to have a quick efficient means of distributing information and getting support for ACB national and state legislative issues

. Many of you have chosen to have your national Braille Forum by email. You will have to go to the National web site to get that format set up. It must come from your own email address. Subscribe or unsubscribe to the Braille Forum: Read the Braille Forum on-line:

If you have any questions just let me know. My mailing address is: Joan Hill, 4332 Meadows Drive, Klamath Falls, OR 97603. My email is: and phone number is 541-882-9967.

ACB President, Chris Gray Has Serious Accident in Transit
In January, some of us received word about our national ACB President's serious accident. His girlfriend circulated an e-mail to thank members and friends for their concern and to clarify his situation.

She wrote "Chris and I were returning home from a meal downtown, on San Francisco's Municipal underground system when Chris had an unfortunate accident. We were hurrying to board a train when, Chris, thinking that he was in the doorway of the train, stepped between the two cars and off the platform. The gap between the cars on this system is quite large, and this is something that he will be taking up with MUNI at some point. Chris broke his right femur, the large thighbone that connects the knee to the hip. Although he was in a lot of pain, he bore up amazingly well. Yesterday, he had quite extensive surgery where they made an incision in his hip, and inserted a metal rod through his femur. He is feeling much better, and has already begun some rigorous physical therapy. We expect him home in 5-7 days. Although it was a terrifying experience for both of us, we are comforted by the fact that it could've been much worse. Once again I'd like to thank everyone for their thoughtful consideration. It has been much appreciated." Sincerely, Marvelena C. Quesada

By Charlotte Noddin
Mark your calendars to attend the 2003 state convention. Dates are October 16, 17 & 18, 2003. This is the year to elect new officers, so make your motel reservations now for the Ramada Inn 225 Coberg Road, Eugene, Oregon 97401

Telephone numbers are: 541-342-5181 or 800-917-5500. Give room track number 3342. To receive room rate of $60 plus 9.5 percent tax, your reservation must be made by September 16, 2003. After that date, the rate will be $80 to $89 plus tax. All rooms will be on bottom floor but if you need special accommodations make these arrangements when you make reservations. For example, if you are in wheel chair, or need refrigerator for medications, etc.

The 1991 state convention was held in this motel when it was known as the Holiday Inn. Right next door is Albertson's grocery store and across the street the Oak Leaf Mall.

We hope you will participate in this two-day convention and give us your opinions on how it can be improved.

History Lesson via e-mail
Next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be...
here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence, the custom today, of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children---last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it -Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof, hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed, hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor."

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway -hence, a "thresh hold."

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while - hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to showoff. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up -hence the custom of holding a "wake."

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

And that's the truth... (who said that History was boring)?

What Color is a Butterfly:
Biography of a Blind Girl
Grace Hudlow Odell, has written a book about her mother's upbringing and her time at the Arkansas School for the Blind. "What Color is a Butterfly: A Biography of a Blind Girl" captures the many stories Odell's mother passed on to her.

When the mother of the author of this book, was born, a toxic solution of silver nitrate mixed and administered by a drunken doctor burned her eyes and left her blind. Her mother didn't talk about the accident that led to her blindness; she simply said they made a mistake. It was a horrible thing to happen. But they never thought of blaming the doctor.

Her parents didn't dwell on their baby's blindness. Instead, Ruth's family sought the best for her. Ruth Christensen developed her other senses and a remarkable memory and went on to become an accomplished pianist, wife and mother of three daughters.

In addition to playing the piano and organ, Odell's mother learned to sew, crochet and knit; keep house, and cook. During the Depression, she helped support her family by teaching Braille and piano lessons. Odell said her mother charmed their family with her sense of knowing where things were. Odell's sister, Nancy Cassidy, said her mother "Could smell her way through a chocolate cake. I would read her a recipe once and she could remember it."

State Officers
President: Bev Rushing
4730 Auburn Rd. N.E., Space #52
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 362-4151

Past President: John Fleming
106 NW "F"
PMB #258
Grants Pass, OR 97526
(541) 846-6981

1st Vice Pres.: Bob Johnson
4915 Swegle Rd. NE #69
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 361-8693

2nd Vice Pres.: Ed Ripplinger
4730 Auburn Rd. NE, Space 91
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 391-7114

Secretary: Gery Hallisy
746 Browning Ave., SE
Salem, Oregon 97302
(503) 364-5561

Treasurer: Bob Rushing
4730 Auburn Rd. NE, Space #52
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 362-4151

District Rep. #1: Jerry DeLaunay
Golden Hours Radio
7140 SW Macadam Ave.
Portland, OR 97219
(503) 293-1902

District Rep. #2: James Edwards
1075 Laurel Ave.
Reedsport, OR 97467
(541) 271-1226

District Rep. #3: Jan Chance
1505 Madison, Space #67
Klamath Falls, OR 97603

Copyright © 2000 by The ACB of Oregon/Oregon Council Of The Blind