About Lifespring


Thanks to everyone who voted to have the newsletter continue; we are very grateful that you find News & Views a valuable addition to the Lifespring program, and the entire newsletter team – Susan Davis, Arzi McKeown, Susan Puretz, Esther Rosenfeld, and I – all sincerely appreciate your enthusiastic comments.
In this issue you’ll find some new features and twists on past features, all of which we hope you’ll enjoy. Please do notice the enhanced quality of our visual images, especially those that highlight the photographs submitted for this issue’s Themed Photography feature of FANTASY, plus improved graphic features that allow you to click on a page name to get to a particular article. These visual and technical enhancements are due to the brilliant work of Arzi McKeown and to her willingness to plunge ahead to learn, learn, learn about how to creatively upgrade the graphics and layout for the newsletter’s readers.
A new feature focusing on “The Idea Behind the Course,” features Vivi Hlavsa’s course on William Faulkner, which Vivi was kind enough to discuss with newsletter team member, Esther Rosenfeld.
Also look for a new format for the Presenter Profile, now called Meet the Presenters: the 5-Mintue Interview and this month featuring our much-loved drumming hero, Nathan Brenowitz, with intriguing answers to some snappy questions.
Susan Puretz highlights two important meetings attended by members of the Lifespring Board of Directors in the President’s column; Susan Davis keeps us updated on exciting happenings at the Saugerties Library; and Esther Rosenfeld gathers together three poets for an expanded Poetry Corner. Finally, don’t miss the WHY column, the announcement of next issue’s Photography theme, plus information on upcoming Winter Presentations.
We hope you enjoy this issue, and we join you all in looking forward to seeing one another at the winter presentations and to the not-too-distant start of the spring semester on April 6, 2016.
Susan Greenstein
A Message from the

Meet the Presenters

Library Corner

Photo Op      

Floral Arrangement Workshop

The Idea Behind a Course

Photography Class
Poetry Place  

Household Hints 

Looking Forward


  Susan Greenstein

  Susan Puretz
  Susan Davis
  Esther Rosenfeld
  Arzi McKeown

Newsletter Design
  Arzi McKeown

 845 246 2800 ext. 452

Banner photo from website of
the Saugerties Lighthouse


As you read this column, winter weather has arrived – after a delayed start – and we have enjoyed our first two Winter Presentations. Our February 4th presentation on John Burroughs has been announced, and the spring schedule of classes is presenting you with a potpourri of choices.

In late November, at the end of the fall semester, the Lifespring Board of Directors came together for a one-day intensive retreat, as the first step in a long range planning process for Lifespring’s future. We made a good start and the results point the way towards more avenues to explore and discuss.

Several days before the retreat, four members of Lifespring (Susan Davis, Arzi McKeown, Annette Zwickler and I) attended a Lifetime Learning Institute (LLI) “mini-conference” hosted by New Paltz LLI, where 6 mid-Hudson LLI’s were represented: Bard, Marist, New Paltz, Mt. St. Mary’s, Encore-Orange County Community College, and Lifespring. I went prepared to exchange ideas, gain information, and to network, and I came away impressed with how well, in our brief 7 years, Lifespring has progressed.

I am pleased to announce that at the Board’s invitation, Peg Nau has accepted the role of acting Treasurer to fill Rich Phillips unexpired term. Rich has held the Treasurer’s position since the inception of Lifespring and would be continuing if not for some troublesome health issues. We wish him well and applaud his years of service to Lifespring.

As you peruse the spring 2016 course catalog and make some pleasantly challenging class choices, remember that Lifespring is an all-volunteer organization. When we put out the call for volunteers, please do consider the position/job – it may be just something that perfectly meets your schedule and inclination.

In the meantime:   Keep warm and Keep Active!
Susan Puretz


This issue features Nathan Brenowitz, who has taught several Lifespring music courses and brilliantly led the rhythm circle at the conclusion of this past summer’s ArtWorks. Nathan was kind enough to participate in this new feature, the 5-Minute Interview. We both laughed a lot as he was challenged to condense his entire life into the answers to 9 questions, some factual, some thoughtful, and some a tiny bit whimsical. A very brief synopsis of Nathan’s accomplishments appears at the end of the interview.
Brooklyn, New York

Alma Mater(s)          
PS 244, Meyer Levin Junior High, Tilden High School, Pace University, and a graduate degree in counseling from St. John’s University
Favorite kind of music and favorite pieces to play
Jazz: a bunch of pieces but two favorites are “Lester Leaps In” and “Blue Monk"
Musical guilty pleasure
Rap music: my son is a rapper and he turned me on to it
Careers you’ve had or have or jobs you’ve done
Elementary school teacher, guidance counselor, running an insurance/financial business, a music teacher for a lot of years, and of course getting paid to play music, and I’m still doing counseling at Family of Woodstock
Favorite book read in the last year (or ever)
"Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Favorite movie
I just saw Brooklyn, which I really liked, but my favorite ones I can’t recall right now
Favorite painting or artist (includes photography)
Monet. I like the impressionists very much and I love Monet. I have prints of some of his paintings at home.
Time travel destination – If you could travel either back or forward in time, where would you go and why
I’d go back to around the year 1950, to 52nd Street in Manhattan, for that whole street of jazz clubs. I’d like to be there late at night and go to see and hear all those jazz greats who played there back then.
(The blocks of 52nd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, were renowned for the abundance of jazz clubs. It’s said that musicians who played for others in the early evening played for themselves on 52nd Street.)

Bonus Answer
I’m currently taking trumpet lessons from Harold Lieberman. We met through Lifespring and I think he’s terrific. I continue to learn; in music you can never stop!
Nathan Brenowitz has lead great rhythm circles for universities, corporations, camps, schools, retreat centers, youth centers, hotels, nursing homes, and private parties. He holds degrees in counseling, mediation, education, and business. He has been a percussionist for more than 30 years and has studied music around the world, including in Cuba and Brazil. Nathan also plays piano and trumpet and has been a professional musician, often performing in clubs. Those who have taken his classes or studied with him know his charismatic and upbeat personality, his wonderful teaching and life skills, and his ever-ready attitude of playfulness and good humor.

Susan Greenstein
For all you film enthusiasts out there, especially those of you who enjoy the latest in independent films, the Saugerties Public Library Director, Frank Rees, has shared the following exciting new offering from the Library.
IndieFlix for Libraries, a premier online streaming service provider of award-winning independent films, shorts, and documentaries is now available through the Saugerties Public Library website and it’s free to anyone with a library card. You can have unlimited access to thousands of streaming film-festival hits, including the best of Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, and more. IndieFlix is available for Apple, Android, and all internet-enabled devices. The only requirement for access is a Saugerties Public Library card or a card from any Ulster County Library. If you’re interested, visit the Saugerties Public Library website at http://saugertiespubliclibrary.org/ and click on the IndieFlix button located at the bottom of the webpage. Then all you have to do is get the popcorn ready and enjoy these great films in the comfort of your own home.
Susan Davis


Each edition of News and Views offers Lifespring members an opportunity to participate in the Themed Photography feature.  This issue’s theme is FANTASY.  We received photos representing different ways to look at FANTASY. Some were of artistic or environmental objects, while others were fanciful or fantastical in appearance. We’ve selected several to feature in this issue and we hope you enjoy them.

We’ve chosen these 4 images that capture expressiveness and feeling or creatively interpret a metaphor. Thanks to all those who participated!

Gayle Schumacher,
Harvey Greenstein
Susan Davis
Steve Zwickler

The theme for the May 2016 issue is TRIAD.  If you’d like to participate, here are the Guidelines:
  • You may submit no more than 2 photos to be considered.  (Please do not send more than 2; select your favorites).
  • Each photo should be titled as follows: the title, your last name.jpg
  • The photo may be black and white or color. 
  • Please send all submissions to Arzi at: moonchild246@yahoo.com
If you’re interested in taking thoughtful photographs, here’s your chance to show and share your work with other Lifespring members. Don’t be shy; this is a great opportunity to get your photos “published” to a receptive and friendly audience.

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
                                Ansel Adams                              





      Do We Have Add/Drop

 It sometimes happens that you register for a class and discover during the first session that it isn’t what you expected, or it has a reading requirement, or it is dull or too physical.  Perhaps you had a commitment early in the morning and hadn’t registered for the first period, but you now find that you’re available and want to take a class during that time.
We can help with those situations because we want you to get all that you can from your membership.  During the first 2 weekly sessions, we have an add/drop table available so that you can alter your schedule.  The registration committee is waiting and ready to help you switch classes or add classes, and this add/drop table is “in business” at 3 different times on those 2 days; you’ll find the times and location posted on the bulletin board.
At the add/drop table you will be able to register for classes that still have openings, and you will be given an add/drop form to present to the class manager of your new class.
In summary, if you wish to switch classes or sign up for an additional class, you must do it through the add/drop process because in many cases there are waiting lists that have been established by the lottery for a particular class.  
If you have any questions about registration or about specific courses, please read page 13 in the catalog or email us.
Arzi McKeown


On Dec. 16, 2015, Karren Trent, a Lifespring member and recognized floral designer, offered a hands-on workshop where participants were guided through the process of creating a live, holiday-themed floral centerpiece.  Everyone really enjoyed making their own individual arrangement and all were very pleased to take home a centerpiece they had created.


(above) Karren demonstrating
(right) A finished centerpiece (Susan Kahl)

(Photos: Teri Reynolds, Susan Kahl)


In this new feature, we’re highlighting some of the ideas and approaches that a presenter uses to create a new course. In the upcoming spring semester, Vivi Hlavsa will be teaching a course, Faulkner’s Dirt Poor: As I Lay Dying, “The Old Man, and “Spotted Horses.”
People interest Vivi and she's deeply committed to fostering an environment rich in class participation. Here is how she frames the way she teaches her literature courses.
Vivi believes it’s important to have class participants choose a part of the Faulkner classic that deeply interests them, and then have them talk about that in class; she encourages participants to voice a particular focus or perspective. Vivi finds this process very affecting, and she believes that it enriches the discussion for all. Having taught this way for several years, Vivi has found that most of what she would have lectured on is brought up in class through this method of shared and guided discussion. Students gain a deeper understanding of the readings, as well as the knowledge that their participation fostered learning and appreciation for everyone in the class.
In each session, she asks her students to make note of certain passages, and to later read that passage to the class. These selected passages become the basis for discussion. Student responses are critical to the success of the course, and Vivi notes that “people come alive in the class” using this approach.
Look for Vivi Hlavsa’s Faulkner course in the spring catalog; it’s course C2 in the afternoon session.
  Esther Rosenfeld

In the fall 2015 semester, photographer Lauren Piperno offered the course “MAKING PHOTOGRAPHS: THE ART & POINT OF VIEW.”  In each session a new concept or principle of the photography craft was explained and demonstrated. In the sessions that followed, participants presented their own photographic work for observation and critique, each photograph highlighting the particular assigned concept for that week.  These are a few of those photographs from class members.


Thanks again to all of the members who submitted their poems a year ago, in January 2015. Our plan remains to feature poets in each issue of Lifespring News & Views. A brief bio of the featured poet(s) will be published along with the poems. In this issue, at the editor’s request, two of my own poems are featured, along with a New Year’s poem of winter by Juliette Eisenson and another wintry yet warm poem by Marlin Klinger. Enjoy!
Esther Rosenfeld
Our three contributors this issue are Juliette Eisenson, Esther Rosenfeld, and Marlin Klinger. Juliette enjoys exploring the arts, and since her retirement she’s been “dabbling in them” as well. Juliette writes poetry for the greeting cards she makes herself, celebrating birthdays, holidays, and seasonal change.

Esther has been writing poetry for many years.  These two, from her collection of Street People, were written after many years of observing them on her block, Amsterdam Avenue, in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where she lived with her family for many years before moving to Woodstock in 1999.

Marlin remembers writing poetry when he was very young. In High School he created little verses for friends. He writes about things around him and things he’s thinking about – his walks on the Walkway Over the Hudson or a recent poem about his brain that he says was stimulated by a Lifespring course.

Winter’s Embrace
Juliette Eisenson
As the grip of winter’s nudity takes rein…
those non-deciduous leaves form a cocoon,
embracing themselves and one another.
Hold onto this, as winter begins to wax.
Best wishes for this holiday season and 2016.

She Winks a Feeble Eye
Esther Rosenfeld
She winks a feeble eye,
and in shocked amazement, I
discerned a twinkle.

She grinned a toothless grin,
and rummaged through her stained brown bag
elbow deep, as her arm snaked through string wrapped collections
rising to the surface, like bobbing bottles on a crested wave.
Her parchment-papery skin crackled,
as she scratched through the bowels of her bag.
Her coat of many colors, fading,
(A collage of sorts)
embraced her sack-like form, swathed in rags,
and was bent, deeply concentrating on her task.
Her hand emerged, triumphant!
Waving a wrinkled sheet of paper,
she winked once more.

Pink Tea Rose
Esther Rosenfeld
Pink, soft, tea rose
jammed in his crushed hat’s brim
atop a costumed nightmare
reeking of urine and gin.
His eyes are cold and vacant
belying his misleading grin.
An epithet is softly growled
and rolls into the street.
A fancy step or two is danced
by pointy, shuffling feet.
His costumes change to meet the days
from Knight-Errant to King of Rock.
But once each morn’ with his pink, tea rose
Quack-Quack’s King of the Block.

That Time of Year
Marlin Klinger
And now we enjoy that time of year
When love and peace prevail
Thoughts of other’s needs are here
And cards just fill the mail.
We’ve been in touch with family
No matter how far or near
And told them of our love for them
And how we hold them dear.
But now we see the world is cold
The trees are bare and stark
The days start late to bring the light
And the afternoons are dark.
We do however still have friends
Who invite us in to dine
We share the time and platitudes

While also sharing wine
So focus on the positives
Enjoy your life and days
Look for the sun and brilliant snow
And love what life repays.
Many of us have household hints that we share with friends; Esther Rosenfeld, one of the News & Views team and an inveterate “hint” collector, suggested that she’d like to share some of the hints she has accumulated over the past years, “gleaned from here and there.”

If you have another hint or two or several that you’d like to appear in our newsletter, send them along to the editor at
In the Kitchen
Storing Cheese chunks – store in aluminum foil, the cheese will stay fresh longer and not grow mold.
Selecting Bell Peppers – peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating; those with 4 bumps are firmer and better for cooking.
Warming Breadstuffs – to warm biscuits, pancakes or muffins, place them in the microwave with a cup of water beside them; the increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it to reheat faster.
Getting Rid of Fruit Flies – take a small glass, fill it with 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix well.  You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
Picking up Broken Glass – use a wet cotton ball or Q-tips to pick up small shards of glass you can’t easily see.
In the Garden and Outdoors
Keeping Weeds Away – take newspaper pages and wet them, then put layers of the wet papers around plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch, and forget about weeds.  Weeds will get through some gardening plastic, but they will not get through newspapers.
Keeping Mosquitoes Away – place a dryer sheet in your pocket; it really works!
Keeping Squirrels Away – to keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.  Does anyone know if this works for deer?
More “tips” in the next edition of News & Views.  Remember that if you have any tips of your own, do send them in!
Esther Rosenfeld



Feb. 3, 2016
Presenter:  Bill Birns, writer, teacher, and president of the board of trustees of Woodchuck Lodge, a Burroughs home, in Roxbury, NY.

March 2, 2016
Presenter: Tom Lake, NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program Naturalist

April 6-May 25 (no classes on April 20 and April 27)

June 8, 2016

News and Views, a newsletter created for the
Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community
is published 3 times a year.

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