The Village Common Newsletter - June 2020
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Village Common Website Adds Barrington Pages—Check it Out!
By Laura Young

The Barrington Village website pages are now available on the Village Common website. We invite you to take a look at, Go to Our Villages, then click on Barrington Village.

The photographs were donated by Chuck Van Sluyter of the Friends of the Barrington Library from images on the delightful Barrington playing cards. (available on the Library website). Thank you!

The information provides the details about membership, services and volunteering. Thank you to the Village Common for their website support and design help, and the Communications Team of the Barrington Village for their development and editing!

Our Founding Members who join us in our first year will help to shape the development of the Barrington Village.

Starting out in this unusual time means we will develop differently, shifting our processes to keep an eye on safety and protection for members and volunteers. Being part of a community concerned for each other's well-being as we move through the changes is what we aim for.

We have held three volunteer trainings and have more than twenty vetted volunteers ready to assist in ways that are safe. We are seeking help with committees, so if you would like to participate in some meaningful and productive activity, please let us know!

Barrington Village Membership Ambassadors Shift Gears for COVID-19

Member Ambassadors of the Barrington Village were trained in a new, no-contact and streamlined process for membership. Together with Jo Ellen and Eliza, a system was developed involving membership packets, direct mailings, and phone or Zoom interviews. The new process, according to Pat Keefe, goes quite smoothly. Our Ambassadors are Judie Knilans, Allan Klepper, Mira Meyer-Oertel, Pat Keefe, Laura Young and Betsy Restituyo will soon join the ranks. We are all engaged in signing up members, and hope to be kept busy!

Volunteer Spotlight: Jim Fredricksen
by Rosalind Ladd

Jim is one of the growing contingent of retired folks who have made a thoughtful and deliberate choice to come to live in Providence. When going through on a business trip, Jim would arrange to stay a night here to check out what the city had to offer. He liked what he saw and settled here in 2016, after 17 years in Charlotte, N.C.

Jim began his volunteer work with the Providence Village as a volunteer driver. When the call went out for someone to set up an on-line calendar of events for the Village Common on its website, Jim was a perfect match, with his professional background working with big systems in manufacturing. The inauguration of the events calendar has had the welcome effect of streamlining the number of e-mails that go out, especially for the volunteer drivers, and making it convenient for members to keep track of what's going on.

With strong interests in theater and classical music, Jim has extended his volunteer stints to usher at Trinity Rep and will do the same at the RI Philharmonic when that becomes possible again. In the increased at-home hours in recent weeks, Jim has had time for some serious reading. Non-fiction on scientific topics and mysteries are at the top of his list, along with nice long classic texts. He also enjoys old films, especially the classics on the Turner network.

Walking the dog is an important activity, too. A sweet, 14 year- old chihuahua named Rumor is at the end of Jim's leash. We are happy to include her in the Village community.

ZOOM Through the Looking Glass
By Sue Bayley
Caption: Oak Hill Village Zoom Circle

In the space of two months we have entered a topsy-turvey land of adventure and no one has a map to find the exit. I am reminded of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, or rather the sequel, Through the Looking Glass, where Alice magically passes through a large mirror in her house:

“There,” according to Wikipedia, “she finds that, just like a reflection, everything is reversed, including logic (e.g. running helps you remain stationary, walking away from something brings you towards it, chessmen are alive, nursery rhyme characters exist, etc.)”

Sound familiar? Oh, never mind the details — it’s just the sudden feeling that things don’t make sense any more, and how does one deal with it?

The answer is ZOOM!

You might consider our “looking glass” these days to be our digital screens. Whether it’s your desktop, laptop, or iPad; the Broadway architectural-size screens; or the cell phone you hold in your hand, you can press a button and enter a different world. This comes in handy as we shelter at home while the Coronavirus occupies the outside world where we used to live, and to which we will return someday — hopefully soon.

Looking on the bright side, we see a new land where people are becoming tech-savvy at an astonishing rate. Without moving from your home, look at what you can find through your digital screen:

Dance for Small Spaces: On Tuesday afternoons you can learn beloved historic dance steps from dance instructor Dr. Wendy Oliver, Chair of the Providence College Dept. of Theatre, Dance, and Film. A new, 7-week drop-in session begins on Tuesday, June 16. Free. 

Gentle Yoga and BoneBuilding: Begin and end your week with stretching, strength-building, expanding and calming movement with yoga instructor Susan Bayley. Mondays and Fridays at 9 AM in the comfort of your home. No fee, but donations accepted. To receive an invitation to join the class, send a request to Sue at:

Neighborhood Discussion Circles: Relax with a favorite beverage and share your dreams, books you’ve read, poems — written by you or someone else — and catch up on news (what’s real and what’s fake?). There are currently three circles and more are forming. To find the one in your neighborhood, inquire with

Your Job: How many people do you know who do their work at home? This situation has it pros and cons, reminiscent of Alice’s experience of “running helps you remain stationary.”

These are only a few examples of where you can go through the ZOOM screen. Read your Village Common newsletters (on a screen, of course at to discover the many worlds available to you when you go Through the 2020 Looking Glass!

Telemedicine Is Here To Stay!
By Bonnie Ryviker, Providence Village Steering Committee

Telemedicine is practicing patient care via a digital (on-line) platform instead of the provider and patient physically being together. Generally, this is a video visit via a device that connects to the internet such as a computer, tablet or smartphone. Most physicians have medical- based, secure platforms. Be sure to inquire prior to your visit.

With COVID-19, the growth of telemedicine, or telehealth, is likely here to stay. It is especially convenient for seniors so that they remain at home and are not exposed to germs, either in the emergency room or doctor’s office. Telehealth is good if you do not require an in-person visit, but if your symptoms are new and severe, telehealth may not be a good choice. Call you doctor and discuss it with them.

Telehealth is especially good if you have sore throat, stomach issues, skin concerns, hypertension, allergies, and insect bites.

If you choose a telemedicine visit, plan ahead. You will need an internet connection, along with either a smart phone, computer, or tablet device. Try it out before your appointment, and enlist assistance if needed.

Write down your symptoms, how you have treated them, and the effect of your treatments. Prepare a list of your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. If you have a scale, thermometer, and a blood pressure cuff available at home, that might be helpful. Plan your approach; prioritize and decide what you want to accomplish. If you are a new patient, be prepared to list your medical conditions, medications, and symptoms, as well as the contact information for your primary care physician and pharmacy. And you will need your insurance information as well. Just as in the office, a nurse or assistant may interview you initially before seeing the doctor. You will probably have to agree, verbally, to a HIPPA or confidentiality clause.

If you need a prescription refill, please have it handy. Schedule a follow-up visit if needed. If you have any questions prior to your appointment, feel free to contact Village Common Board member Bonnie Ryviker, who has experience in this area at:

Crossword Puzzle

This original crossword was created by Matt Zeleznik and Allan Klepper in honor of the Barrington Village. Look for the Village-relevant terms embedded within it! Click here for puzzle to print out.

The Occasional

The new feature of the Village Common Newsletter, The Occasional, welcomes your poem, story, recollection, or values statement for publication in the July newsletter. Or, compose 3 sentences on this topic: I am...

Email your offering by June 15 to, or to John Harkey, 90 Larch Street, Providence, 02906. Submissions will be published as space allows. We will work with you to edit for clarity and brevity.

PHOTO QUIZ: Built by the Water
By Phil West

Rhode Island was built by the water. From villages of the Pequot, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Narraganset tribes to Providence, the settlement Roger Williams laid out on land he purchased from the Narragansetts, water was key. Rivers and Narragansett Bay offered countless ways to feed, supply, and power the growing population.

Our photo quiz includes four essential RI structures built by the water. See if you can answer questions about all four, Get the dates of construction for a bonus! (Check your answers at the bottom of this newsletter.)

Photo 1: (1) What body of water? (2) Name of the white church? (3) Date of construction? (4) Photographed from?

Photo 2: (1) What body of water? (2) Name of the bridge or body of water? (3) Date of construction? (4) Photographed from?
Photo 3: (1) What body of water? (2) Name of the lighthouse? (3) Date of construction? (4) Photographed from?
Photo 4: (1) What body of water? (2) Name of the building with the cupola? (3) Date of construction? (4) Photographed from?
Dr. Alice Eichenbaum: The Story of My Life

Please use the link below to view The Story of My Life, featuring one of our Village members, Alice Eichenbaum. Her story is a timely reminder of how to survive adversity. You do not need a Vimeo account to view this 5-minute video.

Dr. Alice Eichenbaum TSOML v1
Walkathon For Diane Goldman Postponed
By Jody Josephson

The Walkathon for Diane Goldman has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unclear if we will be able to hold this event in the Fall. More information to follow over the summer.

If you would still like to make a donation to Camp Angel Wings (the camp for bereaved children where Diane used to volunteer) please write out a check to:

Southcoast Health VNA
Attention: Camp Angel Wings
Then please send the check to me and I will forward all of the donations together in July in Diane’s memory.

If you prefer to send in the check yourself, the address is:

Southcoast Health VNA
Southcoast Business Center 200 Mill Road
Suite 120
Fairhaven, MA 02719

Social Events Committee Presents Pam Steager

Zoom talk on June 7 at 2pm. 

Pam Steager is a researcher, trainer, and writer at URI's Media Education Lab. Her extensive experience with media also includes helping to develop media literacy curricula for the schools, writing a newspaper column for the Providence Phoenix, and performing as an actress and stand-up comedian.

She will be speaking on "Disinformation in the Age of Coronavirus." Please contact Ada Winsten ( if you have any questions and to register. The Zoom link also is on the Village's website calendar.


Please join us for the Longevity Explorers June meeting, Wed. June 17 at 1 PM.

An audiologist from Keystone Audiology will provide an interactive program providing the latest information on utilizing technology including tips to support hearing on calls and zoom meetings. Longevity Explorers is a collaborative program between the Providence Village and Hamilton House providing opportunity to learn about the products, services, and information for the senior population and exploring the intersection of technology and aging.

There will be opportunity for questions & discussion.

Link to Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 925 0537 9278
Password: 952623


Photo 1 Answers: Newport Harbor, Narragansett Bay. The white church is Trinity Church. Built in 1725, it is the oldest Episcopal Church in Rhode Island. Photographed from Goat Island.

Photo 2 Answers: Omega Pond Railway Bridge in the Rumford neighborhood of East Providence. The Richmond Paper Company dammed a cove in 1883 to create Omega Pond. NYNH&H Railroad added the truss bridge in 1918 to carry heavy trains. Water from Omega Pond falls into the Seekonk River, photographed from Gulf Ave. a protected walking space in the Blackstone Conservancy in Providence.

Photo 3 Answers: Popham Rocks Lighthouse in the Providence River (Narragansett Bay is also correct) was completed in 1871 by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Photographed from the East Bay Bike Path in East Providence.

Photo 4 Answers: William E. Tollman High School was built above the Blackstone River in Pawtucket in 1926. Photographed from the Central Ave. Bridge between Pawtucket and Central Falls.

Give yourself extra credit if you got the dates within ten years.

Silver birch at sunset, by Phil West
The Village Common of RI
Board of Directors
Suzanne Francis, President
Jim Maxwell, Past President
Anne Connor, Secretary
Peter Viner-Brown, Treasurer

Lenore Bunting, Lorraine Keeney, Pat Mattingly, Susan McCalmont, Bonnie Ryvicker, Terry Percelay, Joe Santarlasci, Phil West

The Village Common of RI
Advisory Council

Barry Fain, Jay Glasson, Beverly Ledbetter, Lynette Lopes, Marcus Mitchell, Herbert Rakatansky, Corinne Calise Russo, Barbara Sokoloff, Bill Twaddell, Phil West

Newsletter Staff
 Wendy Oliver
Design: Josh Kemp   
Writers:  Jane Adler, Sue Bayley, John Harkey, Rosalind Ladd, Vivian Malloy, Wendy Oliver, Diane Strommer, Eliza Sutton, Phil West 
Photography:  Jane Adler, John Harkey, Phil West,
Obituary Assistance: Anne Connor, Phil West
Copyright © 2020 Village Common of RI, All rights reserved.

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