Thursday, November 24, 2011

Taste & Share

"Taste the Food and Share the Recipes" is a four-week NKA class offered by Marilyn Edwards, former program coordinator (now retired) of Idaho State University's Culinary Arts program. If you have a dish that your family loves or a recipe that has been passed down from generations of cooks in your family, here is the place to share it.
Class members take turns preparing dishes, presenting recipes, and describing new techniques and equipment. 
 Sue demonstrates a fruit/vegetable juicer.
Marilyn brings years of culinary experience, teaching expertise, 
and a love of food to her group.
Sue (class facilitator), Marilyn, and Judy model their matching
neck-scarves before class.
Then the tasting begins!

Two Judys, ready to share their recipes.
Bette shared a funny story about these yummy spinach nuggets, which her family calls "mulch balls," because of their resemblance to lawn clippings.

Recipes range from appetizers to main course dishes to desserts--all delicious!
Bon app├ętit!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Come Dance With Us

What has 50 arms and 50 legs, can perform several different moves simultaneously, and occasionally breaks into laughter? No, it's not a ticklish, multi-tasking centipede; it's a group of NKA line dancers.
NKA offers line dancing classes for all skill levels, starters to advanced. There's even a performance class for more experienced dancers. 
Dancers watch the instructors demonstrate a new step before trying it themselves.
Detailed instructions for each routine are available.
   Marjean queues up the music for the next dance.
Following instructions such as, "Turn, turn, triple to the left, now rock back, turn, shuffle, triple to the right," can be tricky, and occasionally, someone takes a turn to the right when everyone else goes to the left.
 Taking a breather after a particularly complex series of steps.
 "Let's see...was that kick-ball-touch/crossover-unwind?"
Now, we've got it!
A new step has just been invented!

Why do we love line dancing?  It's good exercise for the body and the mind, we meet new people, and it's just plain fun!

On November 29, the Sugarfoot Dancers (advanced performance group) performed at the Veteran's Home, and on December 12, the intermediate performance group entertained residents at Ridgewind and Quail Ridge retirement centers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meridell Park

For years, many people driving into Pocatello from the South have passed this structure and wondered what it was. Thanks to NKA, the mystery is solved: it's Meridell Park.
Meridell Park's current owner, Dale Kirkham, presented a history of the Park, complete with a slide show.
Built in the early 1900s, Meridell Park was originally a dance pavilion that was so popular that shuttles carrying partiers ran constantly from downtown Pocatello out to the 5th Avenue site. Over time, the buildings fell into disrepair, despite several efforts to revive and repurpose the structures.
Dale and other members of the Kirkham family have undertaken a renovation of the grounds and the remaining structures.
After his presentation, Dale invited NKA members to visit the Park and see for themselves how it is being restored. Dale proudly pointed out his vintage tractor collection, now housed on the Meridell grounds.
There are several websites devoted to Meridell Park's history. Here's a link to one of them:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Rhetoric of Hitler

Did you know that a Harvard graduate came up with the "Seig Heil" salute used in Nazi Germany? 
Neither did we, until we took the NKA class called "The Rhetoric of Hitler" from Dr. Bruce Loebs, a professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Idaho State University. 
This is Dr. Loebs' 14th time teaching a course for NKA. He says, "NKA students are my favorite kind of students." Dr. Loebs is NKA's favorite kind of teacher, too. He's friendly, funny, and full of fascinating information.
Each student received a large packet of photos and articles pertaining to the topic. 
Although he joked about his lack of skill in operating the classroom projector system, Dr. Loebs managed to incorporate a wide variety of documentaries and old film footage into his lectures.
We watched Leni Reifenstal's Triumph of the Will, considered to be one of the most important films ever made.

Dr. Loebs usually teaches one 6-week course per semester (1-1/2 hours, once a week) for NKA. Other courses he has offered include "The Rhetoric of War" and "Winston Churchill's Rhetoric."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Square Dancers' Cruise to Hawaii

NKA instructors/leaders Steve and Judy Sullivan coordinated an October cruise to Hawaii for the square dance group.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dance Contest!

In July, our local Senior Center sponsored the annual "Senior Games," which included competitive dancing. Several NKA members who had taken the line-dancing classes participated, and other NKA members and friends went to cheer them on.
The order of dances included couples' ballroom dance competitions in the waltz, rhumba, cha cha, samba, tango, swing, and quick step.
Fortunately, the competing couples were often attired in matching outfits, so it was easy for the audience to root for the "blue couple" or the "red couple," etc.  It was pretty darn amazing to watch some of the very senior couples shaking a leg while managing not to break a hip.
The line dancing was even more impressive, because the routines were intricately choreographed and very well-executed by groups of up to a dozen dancers. These dancers had learned their routines in NKA line-dancing classes and had practiced extensively for this competition.
Joy and excitement were contagious. The audience cheered, clapped, and sang along to songs ranging from the West Coast swing's "Fine Brown Frame" to "Blame It On The Bossa Nova." 
Pat's excited as her group prepares to take the floor.
Audene executes a tricky dance step.
The dancing looked like so much fun that at least one audience member was thinking that maybe knee replacement surgery would be worth it.
Later that evening, KPVI, a local TV news channel, broadcast footage taken at the competition. To view it, go to: