Travel with Hope in 2021

Submitted by Hopes & Dreams Travel – May 2020

The face of travel may look a lot different in 2021!  People will travel again but the process will look different – much like September 11 events forever changed air travel, but helped to better ensure safety. We believe that going forward, cruises and tours will greatly enhance their safety protocols. We are hearing about some of the options that cruises may look to implement going forward:  smaller sailing capacity on the larger ships, filling each ship to only 50-70% of their occupancy, increasing onboard medical staff, having unsold cabins serve as potential quarantine areas in the event of any future outbreak, taking temperatures and conducting health checks daily, extreme cleaning measures taking place a few times each day and hourly in certain public areas of the ships. Nothing has been officially decided but these are some of the discussions and safety reviews that are happening now.

One thing that we hope people may feel more comfortable with is traveling closer to home, within the U.S. and Canada for 2021. There are so many incredible travel options right here!  What destinations do you still have on your list?  Perhaps a visit to Tennessee or the Smokey Mountains?  A New England fall foliage tour?  A train trip through the Canadian Rockies?  Or sailing on the Columbia River in our own backyard with only 70-80 guests on a small ship? 

For 2021, Hopes & Dreams Travel is offering a couple of group trips that may interest you. First, we are planning to reschedule our Cannon Beach group for next spring as well as our Holland America Alaska group for June of 2021.  Here are two new trips that we are offering as well: 

April 30 – May 06, 2021

Canadian Rockies By Rail and Coach From Vancouver To Calgary, With Round-trip Panorama transfers.

Explore the majestic Canadian Rockies by train with two days in GoldLeaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver to Kamloops to Banff. Then spend some time sightseeing in Banff as well as 2 days/nights in Lake Louise. Next we will make our way to Calgary for some sightseeing and an overnight before flying back to Seattle.  

Prices start from approximately $4,899 per person based on double occupancy, or $6,750 per person for single occupancy for this 8 day/7 night journey.  This trip includes GoldLeaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer, tours from Vancouver to Calgary, 7 hotel nights, taxes and porterage, touring by bus and train, airfare from Calgary to Seattle and round-trip Panorama transfers. Trip will be escorted with a minimum of 16 people.  Hold your spot with $1,000 per person deposit payable by check. Travel Insurance is additional. 

October 23 – 30, 2021

7 Nights on the ss Legacy UnCruise – Rivers of Wine & History Round-trip Portland, OR With Optional Transportation From Panorama

Join us for an adventure on the Columbia River in October 2021! We will sail round-trip Portland on the ss Legacy, which holds just 86 guests. Ports include Astoria, Hood River, then we will pass through the Bonneville locks, and up to the Snake River with a side trip to Walla Walla. The cruise will also include a stop at the Maryhill Museum, as well as some wineries in Walla Walla and the Willamette Valley, with food and wine pairings and events along the way. UnCruise offers included excursions and amazing landscapes from sea to river on this unique journey. There’s no better way to discover the natural treasures of Washington and Oregon than from the decks of a small ship.

Prices start from approximately $4,920 per person based on double occupancy, which includes cruise fare, port charges, and taxes. Additional savings are available if you have previously cruised with UnCruise. Gratuities, travel insurance and transfers to/from Portland are additional. Call today for more details, or if you simply want to add your name to the list of people who are interested!  You can then decide by June or July if you would like to put a deposit on any trip. 

To contact Hopes & Dreams Travel, you can leave a message at x5112, or call 253-931-0909. You can also email us at  We look forward to helping you with group or individual bookings when you are ready to travel again!

Cabin Fever – A Back Roads Tour

Submitted by resident group, CarTable – April 2020

The following is a fun way to get out of the house safely. It was originally created for the resident CarTable group but we imagine the whole Panorama community could find enjoyment here.

“Hey Cooped-up Car Nutz,

Instead of our outlawed regular meeting at the QCR, here’s something for a sunny day that you can do without breaking any laws; well, social gathering laws anyway. You can run it at any time; there is NO meeting at the start, and it will magically get you back to your house.  A little over 60 miles long; suitable for EVs or bicycles. An EZ 2 hours unless you are a very fast driver and break a few laws.

Hope you have fun!



General Stuff:

  • Run this whenever you want. 
  • No preliminary gathering.
  • Ends at YOUR house.
  • Most fun on a sunny day with a spouse/partner for navigating.
  • Could be done with an EV or even a bicycle.
  • 0.00 mile is from STOP on pavement at the exit of Panorama Aquatic & Fitness Center. Zero your odometer here.
  • Trip measures with Halda Tripmaster in the PBMGB.
  • If in doubt, go straight or follow the obvious main road.
  • Most importantly, there are no official bio-breaks. Island Johnny at park at end is probably closed; indoor cubbynays at the Shell at 13.87 mile point and Chevron at 19.50 mile point.

0.00   Rt out of Aquatic & Fitness Center.

0.10   Rt at traffic circle.

0.23   Left onto Sleater Kinney.

0.55   L @ STOP on 21st  Ave.

0.80   R @ STOP on Golf Club.

1.02   L onto 26th Ave (NOT Lp).

1.24   L @ STOP to remain on 26th Ave  (NOT Lp).

1.29   R @ STOP onto College.

3.23   Straight @ signal to cross Yelm Hwy; College becomes Rainier Rd.  Follow it.

There are two Xmas tree farms on this stretch, practically across the road from one another.  Notice their names.

13.62 Rainier becomes Minnesota for a short piece.

13.87 L @ STOP.  School straight ahead; SHELL station on L.

14.00 R toward Lawrence Lake; Centre St (Hard to See).

Centre eventually becomes Algyer, which becomes 148th

19.00 R @ STOP onto Vail Rd.

19.50 L @ Chevron onto 153rd toward Lake Lawrence.

21.09 L @ STOP onto Lawrence Lk Rd.

22.07 Straight @ STOP and continue onto Bald Hill Rd.

29.40 Straight into DEAD END towards Deschutes Falls Park.

31.42 Deschutes Falls Park. Probably closed. Don’t congregate here or you’ll get in trouble!  Note cabin; look thru window. 

0.00  Turnaround Time.  Zero odo at white gate and go back out the way you came.

1.70  CAUTION – Exposure Left.

1.98  Straight to get home.

9.33  Straight @ STOP toward Lawrence Lake.

10.31 R onto 153rd – COMES UP QUICK – No other landmark.  Miss this and you’re lost!

11.90  L @  STOP onto Vail Rd  (This is a bit different than how you got here.)

13.64  Keep Right after bridge.

15.50  Keep R onto Vail Cut-off.

17.28  R @ STOP to remain on Vail Cut-off.

19.53  R @ STOP onto Hwy 507 toward Tacoma.

20.10 L before SHELL toward East Olympia (Minnesota again).

20.95  Keep Right to pick up Rainier Rd.

30.72 Straight at signal; Rainier Rd becomes College St.

32.68  L on 26th and find your way home!  No gathering!! 

Inside Panorama TV

Submitted by Panorama TV – April 2020


The Panorama Dream goes something like this. Give our residents a pleasant environment and plenty to do — dozens of self-governing interest and activity groups served by first-rate workshops and facilities — and they’ll stay healthy and happy. 

Now, the COVID-19 Pandemic is testing our dream in a way few of us could have imagined — the threat might abate if we stop doing what we do best — stop demonstrating our interdependence; and stay away from each other. ‘Til further notice. 

And yet, look how quickly we’re adjusting:

Like all campus activities, Panorama TV has suspended meetings and most production. But PTV has a part to play during this emergency — the vital information part: “INSIDE PANORAMA” shows continue (11AM, 3PM and 10PM on channel 370 and on demand via — our leaders, explaining community process, emergency rules and policies. We also stepped up with a new show, “The News with Lu” (8:00AM, 12PM, 6PM on 370, on demand on Kya) where residents can see the latest official updates. And, safety first, we’ll also be recording in a new way — everyone involved in production will be physically separated.

Actually, this forced break is an opportunity to take stock of the Panorama TV dream. We’re working on new shows that demonstrate how Panorama works. We’re dreaming about new cameras and clearer pictures on your TVs, tablets and smart phones. Our dreams are full of new on-demand features for the Kya resident web portal. To make sure it’s accessible to all, we’re working on additional methods for services like closed captioning.

This is a great time to get involved — subscribe to our weekly Highlights email; watch our cable channel (tell your new Xfinity voice remote “Channel 370”). Look us up on Kya. 

When the danger passes — and it will — we’ll dream up more fresh neighborhood TV…Panorama TV.

Dave Newton, Panorama TV

Makin’ Do

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush – March 2020

The situation today that is affecting so many populations makes me harken back to my bringing up. My grandmother came through the depression and essentially raised me until I was about eleven. She instilled cooking and sewing skills and ways to solve problems, “makin’ do” she called it.

Then my family was a one-earner blue collar family and it was hard some of the time. Polio scare came and went with the vaccine. My dad was a staunch union supporter and we went through long strikes where he wouldn’t cross the picket lines, and that was hard on a young family.

Now, finally in my waning years, I am ensconced in a caring community. Panorama was a life-affirming decision we may in our early 70s. Six years we have enjoyed what the community has offered us. Outings and activities have let us explore a new region and keep fit at the same time. 

Now I am impressed, as we all head into uncharted territory with a new health and public safety issue. I am impressed that our management and board of directors have our well-being out center in their sights.

We are experiencing disruptions to our daily patterns and find we are in new territory as a community. In our various neighborhoods we are readily watching out for those who are less prepared for the deprivations ahead. All of our workers and service people have family issues of their own in this time.  I am so grateful for them all!!!

I am betting on our common sense and abilities to ride this thing out. One hopes this is a passing threat and will resolve as other flus have. But in case this is the new normal, boy, will our frugal and caring ways come to the fore. Limiting our actual contact with friends and neighbors is best, but phones and email work!!!

Everyone is stressed, and that is not so good re: our immune systems fighting what may be a casual contact with this virus. We need to get our books and readers out, work some puzzles, and try to laugh at funny stuff. The media is making most everyone nuts. The less time spent monitoring that is best.

Our TV and Kya functions are keeping us posted with what is important to us. Keep tabs on it and share with those who might not be so electrically hooked up….we really are all in this together. Let’s enjoy the spring and the blooms and now the snow and the rain. We are so very lucky to live in such a place as Panorama.

Did You Hear What Happened to the Barn?

Written by Panorama resident, Dale Vincent. August 2016

Well, I’ll tell you this….it’s not the Barn anymore. No siree! If you go around asking people about “The Barn” you may just get a blank stare!

That’s because it has a new name. It is no longer, “The Barn”. Nope.

It is now “The Stiles-Beach Barn”. Or, if that is just a little too long to say easily and all the time, perhaps you could just say, “I’m going to the Stiles-Beach”. That has a nice ring to it.  Sort of like being on vacation, or something. Yes! I’m going to the Stiles-Beach. Kind of makes you think of palm trees, and surf with warm sun on the sand.

What really happened? Well, Diane Stiles and Jo Love Beach retired as manager and assistant manager of the Benevolent Fund Patio Sale, after 16 incredibly successful years. There was a very special tribute to Diane and Jo Love at the Benevolent Fund Patio Sale volunteer’s appreciation lunch on August 2nd.

Both Diane and Jo Love were given large bouquets of flowers, a $1,000 gift certificate, and most of all, in their honor, the Barn was officially renamed the “Stiles-Beach” Barn.  So to honor these amazing and hardworking ladies, you have to remember to call it by its new name….Stiles-Beach.


The honor and the official Panorama name change was one of the last official Chief Executive Officer actions of Joseph Di Santo.

Thank you Mr. Di Santo and congratulations, Diane and Jo Love. Remember, “Stiles-Beach”.

2016 Arts Walk is on its way!

Arts Walk Blog Banner copy

Panorama is home to a number of accomplished artists, as well as those who are exploring their artistic side for the first time. Please join us for the 2nd Annual Arts Walk at Panorama. This year’s event will be even bigger and than last year with more than 60 visual artists displaying their works in fabric art, oil painting, watercolors, colored pencil, woodworking, metalwork, Zentangle, ceramics, basketry and more! As you stroll the campus viewing these art displays, enjoy the sound of live music being played by resident musicians and stop by the theatre for a live stage performance! There will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Following the event, be sure to join us for a special Arts Walk Happy Hour at Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro ¤ 3:00p – 5:00p.

KPAN Presents Workshops with Katherine Billings






As residents are seated comfortably in the Panorama Auditorium seats, a screen portrays the chapter selection for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Between the microphones being handed out and the movie, it is exciting to see what Katherine, Auditorium Coordinator, has in store for her students. As the workshop starts, Katherine dives into the world of voice over animation and post-production sound. Her intention for this session is to give her students a chance to put their voices in place of the characters’. It seems like a simple task until the students take a shot at it. The sound is turned off and subtitles scroll across the screen as each scene is played once before the students give it a try. With a combination of humans and animated characters, “Roger Rabbit” is a nice example to start with. Between the wide moving lips and fast paced subtitles, students quickly learn the difficultly of fitting their voice into a character.

Between multiple movie scenes, including some from “Up” and “Madagascar”, Katherine talks about post-production sound and how it plays a key role in movies. She covers a large amount of “behind the scenes” information of post-production sound, using technical terms and even sharing stories from past jobs. With practice and Katherine’s tips, the students slowly begin to learn how to articulate and pace themselves, improving the quality of their voiceover skills.

What seems to be a fun chance to voice an animated character is actually an in-depth lesson and background into the film industry. One small part of film making contributes a large deal to the creation of a film. If you ever have a moment, turn off your volume while watching a movie. Without any sound, the movie loses its pizzazz. Take out the extras, background noises, or even the music, and the film is just a series of scenes with simple dialogue.

Panorama residents are lifelong learners! In the workshop described above, they challenge themselves to “think out of the box” and find how many characters they can create with their voices and imagination. And…the laughter never stops!

KPAN is a resident performance group which creates live radio shows to delight audiences of fellow Panorama residents. The group has written radio shows and commercials looking back at the 1940’s & 50’s, honored Panorama Veterans in a show about how they served their country, discussed the media’s responsibility to its listeners in exploring the iconic broadcast, War of the Worlds,  and even created their own send ups of all things Panorama called Primose Path and Panoramaland.

Katherine Billings Bio


Requiem for a Giant Sequoia

Written by Panorama employee, Jacklynn Roberts. November 2015

In July we said farewell to a well known and beloved member of our arboretum. A 47 year old sequoia tree had become diseased and in danger of falling. The news that it had to come down safely before it fell on its own was hard for our community to hear but we knew it had to be done. So we gathered around and watched the two day process of tree felling so we wouldn’t forget the beauty of what stood there before. Read one resident’s farewell thoughts here.

After the tree came down, pieces of its trunk were taken for repurposing throughout the campus. Many took small pieces as a token of memorial in their own home, while others had plans for larger pieces. One such case resulted in a beautiful piece of native style art by resident artist, Chuck Magnusson. Northwest Native Style Sequoia Art

In this carving, the top face represents the life of the tree. The bottom face, a traditional native death mask, represents the death and felling of the tree. While the middle, an owl face, represents the life and sanctuary the tree provided for birds.



 About the Artist

Eighteen years ago, Chuck Magnusson took a class at the Seattle Art Museum that taught him to carve in a traditional style with traditional tools, adze, and knives.  Since then, he has been carving masks, bowls, and ceremonial rattles. He still considers himself a student of this stunning art form and the amazing culture of the First Nation people who brought it to us.


2015 Pumpkin Parade

Every year, Panorama staff teams up to put on a Pumpkin Parade for residents living in our skilled nursing facility. Each department gets a pumpkin to decorate, along with some form of float. Residents gather in halls to watch as each float parades by. Here’s some of the wonderful creativity that was exhibited during this year’s parade!

Charlottes Web Pumpkin

Charlotte’s Web Pumpkin

1920's Pumpkin

1920’s Flapper Girl Pumpkin

Snoopy Pumpkin

Snoopy versus the Red Baron Pumpkin

Snoopy Pumpkin

Snoopy the Flying Ace Pumpkin

Scooby Doo Pumpkin

Scooby Doo Mystery Machine Pumpkin


Friday Share at Panorama’s Pea Patch Gardens

Photo taken by resident, Charlie Keck. August 2015

Photo taken by resident, Charlie Keck. August 2015

Residents who love to garden create such a beautiful atmosphere at our Pea Patch gardens. And it’s that time of year again when the produce is plentiful. Every Friday during harvest season, the gardeners of the Pea Patch bring together the surplus of their bounty and share it with other residents. This weekly event is so popular, patrons know they have to arrive early if they hope to take anything home! Donations for the produce and flowers taken during Friday share are greatly appreciated by the gardeners who use the earnings to keep those gardens flourishing!

Photo taken by resident Charlie Keck. August 2015

Photo taken by resident Charlie Keck. August 2015


A Resident’s Perspective – It Was All About Cars and Caring

Written by Panorama resident, Mike Turner. August 2015

On Saturday August 15th Panorama held it’s first Car Show. What a treat! Jean Jacobsen and Grace Moore from Lifestyle Enrichment did a bang up job of a show presenting new and vintage cars for Panorama and local residents alike. To be honest though, Jean was getting a little nervous on Friday when the torrential rains were looking a little ominous. Car show guys are just not in the habit of bringing those bright shiny cars out in the rain.20150815_121130_resized copy


Photo by resident Charlie Keck

The Show had two parking lots full of cars. A great band, Pumphouse, that played songs we all knew and some danced to. The Car Show had all the extras we love; fun T-shirts, a raffle with great prizes and of course food. This time the food was provided by food trucks! There was an Asian fusion and Mediterranean style offering, with my favorite being the dessert truck….elephant ears. Had never heard of them, had them and will be back for them.

The show was an overall success with lots of residents and local folks out with their kids. However I think there were some special moments.

Like one of the car owners saying he doesn’t go to many car shows where the spectators say things like “I remember when my family got one of those cars when it was new.” “We had that car when I was a kid.” “That was my first car when I was in high school.”20150815_121432_resized

One of the real special moments was when the show participants took their cars for a parade around Panorama as they left the show. The parade route even included a trip through the C&R parking lot so the residents in the nursing facility could look out the windows and see the cars. What a nice gesture.

For one of Panorama’s residents the show was particularly sweet and more than a little nostalgic. Frank Alberti of Holladay Park showed his 1917 King automobile. Incidentally the year the car was “born”, so was Frank. After many years of working on it, showing it off and taking the neighbors for rides, it was time to let it go. Frank sold his baby to an Air and Car Museum in Oregon where they not only display their exhibits but keep them in running order and have shows of their vintage planes and cars. The car went to a nice home.


Frank Alberti and his wife Reta pose in front of their 1917 King Motor Car just before it was loaded up for its trip to the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.

Mike_Jay_Frank (copy)

Residents Mike Turner, Jay Felzien and Frank Alberti pose with Frank’s 1917 King Motor Car on the morning of Panorama’s 1st Car Show.

Frank and his wife Reta were surprised, proud and excited when they learned that the car had been voted BEST IN SHOW. But as we know life sometimes throws us curve balls or in this case a gas line leak. As Frank was taking his car to the fair early Saturday morning, the gas line sprung a leak. No gas, no moving. And here is where the “care” portion of the story comes in. We know how the Panorama staff looks out for us, provides great service and really care about our welfare and safety. Well who knew that care included some AAA service? When security and some of the Panorama staff found out about the situation they were on the spot providing a very long push to the Auditorium parking lot to make sure that Frank’s car was in its special place when the show opened. I spoke to Frank about that and showed him the pictures that were taken. He said he thought the one with all the guys pushing reminded him of the Iwo Jima statue with the Marines hoisting the American flag. Good eye Frank. 2

Panorama Staff give resident, Frank Alberti and is 1917 King a push to the Car Show.

Panorama Staff give resident, Frank Alberti and is 1917 King a push to the Car Show.

UntitledWell here’s to another great Panorama program! See you around campus.

Mike Turner


A Resident’s Perspective – My Arts Walk Experience

ShawsWritten by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. May 2015

When I think Panorama can’t get any better, they pull something else on us.  Well, they did again in May, when 300 guests and 300 residents attended our first annual Art Walk and tour of the campus, organized by Panorama and our Art Guild.

Chris and I arrived in our sage, Panorama Art Walk T-shirts to our assigned, white-skirted table with wooden easels made in the woodshop.  It was next to the grand piano I’d play as part of the Music Arts Division.

Chris’ framed scene of a tree on a hill in Rocky Mountain National Park was sketched with fine-point pens. So was my framed Fancy Fish Aquarium in Zentangle art-form. The larger of two fish was multi-sectioned—each filled with a different, intricate pattern.   A smaller identical fish—but colored, blending from light yellow to deep purple—was a cut-out mounted on the cardstock.  On the bottom of the scene were piles of ornate, tiny squiggles of aquarium-looking plants, shells, vines, and sand, illustrated with almost hair-thin pen points.

J.ShanowerWe were swarmed with excited visitors OH’s and AH’s who came to our table and other exhibits in the same large reception room of the skilled nursing facility.  There were demos of woven and twined baskets made primarily of bark.  A lady demonstrated functional baskets and sculptural art-work using fabric, water-colored paper, thread, paint and occasionally wire.  A resident-teacher was weaving exquisite coiled baskets with pine needles and waxed Irish linen thread.

At noon, Chambers Restaurant hosted a buffet of raw veggies and fruits, gourmet sandwiches, salads, and hearty soup amid the high volume of excited chatter.


C.BowersPanorama busses shuttled, or visitors walked in beautiful weather to the auditorium for theater scenes, artist profiles, then ice cream while listening to live stringed and brass music outdoors.

On to other areas, to view books by residents, metal and wood works, and fused glass jewelry.  Many strolled paradise in McGandy Park.

Visitors were also amazed with:

The Clay Arts Studio with artists at work

Demonstrations of hand-woven tapestry

Fabric art using hand-dyed and commercial cotton and silk fabric

Wood sculptures

Northwest Coast native style art–masks, rattles, bowls, flat art

Shadow boxes of unique found objects, images, fabric, fiber, trims

Acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache paintings

Counted cross-stitch, and much more.

We are honored with two centenarian—artists:

*Russell Day, who mentored famous Dale Chihuly, whose “Glass Persians” hang over the large fireplace in Panorama Hall, and at our front entrance outdoors: the Icicle Tower.

*Cay Thomas, and her oil paintings, has encouraged and instructed many other residents in her 35 years as resident.

The next day, residents raved the success, quoting guests’ comments:

“You residents seem so happy.”

“I heard most residents say that one spouse wasn’t interested in moving, but glad they did.  Now I’m relieved.”

“The quality talent on Panorama campus is incredible.”

“I showed up early to fill out an application first thing.  I’ve been checking places—I’m ready!”

“Whenever I ask for cons about their choice, most say they wished they’d come sooner, and that Panorama just gets better and better.”

“My husband loves the wood and metal workshops.  I love that pool, art studio and many exercise rooms around the campus. I want to learn to weave.  So many choices!”

“My husband didn’t want to come today, but I made him.  He just now whispered to me, ‘Maybe we’d better get on the list!’” 

If you missed it this year, yep,—you missed!  Keep in touch.  Maybe we’ll see you next year.

P.S.  Wait ‘till you read what we’re doing every day in June!

Mary Jo Bio

Special Event: Patient Education Program for Parkinson’s Awareness


Wednesday, April 29th

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Panorama Auditorium

 1670 Circle Loop SE, Lacey, WA 98503

Panorama is inviting the community to attend a patient education program in recognition of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. The guest speaker will be Dr. Pinky Agarwal from the Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center and she will present Parkinson’s Disease: Medication and Non-Medication Options. The Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association will also be sharing valuable information and resources with attendees.

WHY:  April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s, affecting approximately one million people in the United States. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder.  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s.

Panorama offers a support group to over thirty residents who are battling Parkinson’s or have a loved one who’s been affected by the disease. The support group is organized and facilitated by the Campus Social Services department and meets once per month. In addition, the retirement community has a Parkinson’s exercise class and dinner group which have proven to be another great form of support to these residents. This month, Panorama wants to open its doors to educate, support and renew hope by inviting community members to this special event!

TO LEARN MORE:  For more information about the event, please contact Sara Wasser at 360-438-7776 or  For more information on Parkinson’s and how you can help make a difference, contact the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) at (800) 457-6676, or

A Resident’s Perspective – My Talent Show Experience

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. March 2015

Announcer Melissa walked into the spotlight in our auditorium with a 10-foot no-longer-used pole from our Aquatic Center.  It had a large half-circle-hook at the top.  She knocked the other end on the stage floor, for attention from the standing-room-only crowd.  After welcoming everyone to the annual talent show, she warned, “If any performance goes beyond 10 minutes, I’m coming out.”  She waved the pole back and forth horizontally, mimicking pulling someone backstage.

Panorama's Got Talent 2015 _1Laughter bounced off the walls!  Then she announced that Helen W. and I were going to play duets of Verdi’s “March Militaire” from Aida and Handel’s “Largo” from Xerxes.  Overwhelmed with applause, we were pleased with our performance.  It was heartwarming during our final bow to see smiles from our encouraging neighbors of Woodland Court who sat together in row four to cheer us on.  To our right, I spied our daughter, Melody, her hubby John and seven-year-old Hope in the row with my hubby, Chris.

Panorama's Got Talent 2015_2A few acts later, I returned with Jane B. to perform what Melissa announced was “a very serious, classical duet called C. S. Theme and Variations, Opus 6, by Compton.”  We bowed. I sat on the primo (right) side of the bench, Jane to my left.  After playing eight bars of the classic Hungarian Rhapsody exchange of ta-dah, ta-ta-ta-dah…we directly exploded into a big sounding, fast Chopsticks. (Even kids and adults who don’t play piano seem to learn to play this in simple style!)  Surprised, hilarious laughter and clapping kept us motivated!  In our 15 pages we played very fast, very difficult, all-over-the-piano, 13 variations of Chopsticks.

Panorama's Got Talent 2015_3BUT half-way through our routine, Jane plays fast, three octaves, of alternating hands of 16th note octaves progressing up the piano, edging me from my positon and off the piano bench.  While I choreograph standing behind her to the audience, what am I supposed to do?…look at her just playing away, forgetting that I’m part of the performance, she continues with her inserted version of twinkling-lightly, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”  I pretend to tap her shoulder to say, I’m here, too, remember?  She turns to recognize me and cues me to join playing with her again.  She’s now occupying my right side of the bench. I quickly climb over the left end of the bench, and we take off playing.  The music progresses louder and faster.  Jane ends with a glissando (a swish on the keys to the right, with one finger) up the keyboard as she’s standing up to bow while I’m still at the piano.  I stand to exit the right side of the bench swishing another loud glissando.

She’s already bobbing up and down when I finally join her to begin my bow.  We carry on like the lady on the stage in The Sound of Music.  We bow constantly, even encouraging more from the roaring audience until…you guessed it…announcer Melissa marches out onto the stage with her 10’ pole!  We exit, waving with big smiles to a roaring audience for intermission.

Panorama's Got Talent 2015_5

P.S. The C. S. Variations stands for Chopsticks, written and dedicated to Victor Borge.

Footnotes:  When we burst out playing Chopsticks, little Hope whispered slowly with puckered lips, “Mommie, why is everybody laughing at Granny?”

After the excited intermission with cookies and visiting, Hope told Daddy John, “I like seeing all the Grannies!”

Mary Jo Bio