East Bay Center for the Blind


Summer 2014
Newsletter of
The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc.
2928 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: 510-843-6935
Fax: 510-843-6006
E-Mail: eastbaycenterfortheblind@gmail.com
Web site: www.eastbaycenterfortheblind.org

Editor's Corner

By Maureen Schulz

This summer, so far, has brought much excitement, but some sadness as well. On the one hand, I am totally engrossed in the passion of the World Cup games, on the other hand, I think about the suffering in Iraq and the Ukraine that goes on simultaneously, in the same world. I also think about some of the great people we have lost recently: Close to home, Bill Barker is certainly someone whose life has touched many with his music. Then we have lost Gerry Goffin who, along with Carole King, has written the songs capturing the spirit of the 60s generation; their songs will never be forgotten. And, last but not least, we lost Maya Angelou, who for many years, has tried to give voice, in lyrical form, to the world she found and was a part of.... One of her poems, which I had meant to include in this issue, could not be reprinted, but I encourage everybody to look at her poetry, which helps us remember not only the many contradictions we face in this world on a daily basis, but the much greater force that unites us.

I wish everybody a relaxing, but also a productive summer!

Message from the General Manager

By Jan Santos

Hello everyone,

Our outreach activities are picking up steam, and with good results. Anita March, Leah Gardner and Ray Marcus have recently visited the Orientation Center for the Blind in Albany, and the Hatlen Center in San Pablo. We also had an entertainment evening in May of a type new to EBCB, organized by Yolanda Gonzales. All these events have brought new people to EBCB, some of whom have returned to us for other classes and activities.

New people also attended the equipment presentation with Access Ingenuity and Freedom Scientific, organized by Leah Gardner in May. We want more people to enhance the Center, and to provide the larger community with EBCB's support and information. So, everyone, bring your friends and encourage any folks you meet to contact the Center if you think we'd be a good fit for each other.

It is with much sadness that I tell you of the passing of Bill Barker, one of our very active long-time members. At our Center and far beyond, Bill enriched the lives of those around him as a musician, teacher, and in countless other ways. He was always there to offer help as needed. He will be remembered with love and missed by many. We will honor Bill's spirit by continuing at the Center, as we support each other through our ups and downs and enjoy life each day, in the way Bill lived his life.

So as I think of Bill, I can tell you all happy news! Some of our members have already stepped up to liven up our summer with some activities. Many thanks to Sandy Kramford and Laurel Largent for their wonderful offerings. Look for descriptions of their activity ideas in the Events section of this newsletter. I encourage any of you who would like to organize more fun and interesting activities over the summer to please contact me or Anita with your ideas, maybe even with suggestions for an outing if we can find volunteers to provide transportation and guides.

As you can see from our Events page, we will also be having some other scheduled happenings. And don't forget, we're open most of the time (except for closures as detailed in the Events list.) So you are all welcome to drop by to visit or help with projects. You could also arrange with others to come to socialize, have lunch, etc.

I look forward to seeing you soon, and wish all a happy summer.

Center Announcements and Events

Submitted By: Sandy Kramford

Hello members!

During the summer months, we won't be having any Ceramics classes. So instead, we are planning to have a Crafts class on Tuesdays during the month of July, from 9:30 till noon. We have a few ideas for it already, like a sachet for your dresser, or an orange poked with cloves and a head made out of Knee Highs and stuffed with saw dust. We'll put eyes, mouth and ears on it, plus it will grow hair on top, which is really grass.

If anyone else has any ideas, please let us know, so we can arrange things ahead of time. Please let us also know if you plan to attend, by calling the Center, or Sandy Kramford, at 925-294-9813.

Submitted By: Laurel Largent

Most of us do not know how to live in the present moment. We're either thinking about some good times we've had in the past, or worrying about the future. Vipassana Meditation helps us to quiet our minds and be here now, by focusing on our breath.

Come join us on Wednesday, July 30, from 10 to 11 AM, to learn more about this healing way of living and being.

Center Events and Closure Dates

The Center will be closed on Friday, July 4, and we will close for our summer break from Tuesday, August 5 through Monday, August 18, to open again Tuesday, August 19.

Our next quarterly business meeting will be held on Saturday, July 26, from 1 to 4 PM. We'll be serving Malibu Chicken, zucchini with mushrooms and a roll, with ice cream and cookies for dessert. Lunch will cost $10 across the board. Please reserve by Wednesday, July 23.

We hope you will join us for our annual picnic on Saturday, August 23, from 12 to 4 PM. We will have Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob and watermelon. The cost will be $10 across the board. Please reserve by Wednesday, August 20.

Our next oldies dance is coming up on Saturday, September 27, between noon and 4 PM. DJ and EBCB member Michael Gorman will treat us to his oldies collection for our listening and dancing pleasure. For lunch, we will serve fried chicken, potato salad, a roll and ice cream, and the cost is $10, to be reserved by Wednesday, September 24.

Our Book Club, because of the closures mentioned above, will move to Friday, July 11, from 10 to 11 AM, and there will be no Book Club in August.

Our Writing Group will take place on Friday, July 18, from 10 to 11 AM. There will be no Writing Group in August.

Bingo: Thursday, July 3, from 1 to 3 PM, there will be no Bingo in August.

Memory Support Group: continues weekly as usual, Thursdays in July from 10 AM to noon. On Thursday, July 24, speaker Karen Marshall, "the Gadget Lady", will give a presentation of helpful aids. In August, the Memory Group will meet on Thursdays, August 21 and 28 only, from 10 AM to noon.

Berkeley Adult School classes are not taking place in July and August, but will start again in September. Ceramics with Michele Muennig will begin meeting weekly on Tuesday, September 2, from 9:30 to noon. Exercise with Kathleen Davis will meet weekly starting Tuesday, September 2, from 2 to 3:15 PM. Music Appreciation with Diana Perry will meet weekly starting on Friday, September 5, from 1 to 3 PM.

My Good Friend Bill

By Preston Moses

I am writing this article to pay my respects to Bill Barker, who passed away on May 3, 2014.

Bill and I have been long-time friends since 1979, when I graduated from Cal State Hayward with a degree in Communication. I was volunteering at the SF LightHouse for the Blind when I met him. He asked me to read some announcements for his radio program on KEST and I, among others, performed on his other radio show on station KALW during the 80s, singing and playing the piano. In addition to his radio work, Bill has been the host of many Christmas parties and talent shows, both for the LightHouse and for the East Bay Center.

In 1991, Bill employed me to teach Braille at the Martin Luther King Center in Richmond while he was away for two weeks in October, and he also gave me hours for an Internship as a Teacher's Aide. I never got that job, but Bill helped my self-esteem a great deal, and I admire him for that. Bill always gave blind people chances where nobody else would.

Bill and I went to many Cal football and basketball games over the years, where he always insisted on paying for food and drinks. Each time I hear a Cal game on the radio, I will have good memories.

Even though Bill had not been feeling well for many years, he kept on handling business in a professional and timely manner. He had a saying: "When you have time, use it wisely." I will never forget that, on his radio programs, Bill would often refer to our friendship by saying, for example: "Next, our good friend Preston Moses will provide us with some piano music..."

Yes, Bill, you were a true and genuine friend. I will never forget you! Thank you and may you always be rewarded!

Our Monterey Ritual

By Maureen Schulz

We can't do it whenever we want to -- not by any means, but when we can sneak away from our daily, often stressful work routine, even if it is only for a very brief stay, it is always a special occasion. It has become an exciting ritual for my sweetie and me. We are ready by about 10 in the morning. We carry our bags the eight blocks to the BART station, and we take BART all the way to Fremont, Then a bus for a half-hour ride to San Jose to the train station. At the train station we have coffee -- every time, as we wait for the bus that will take us -- only two more hours -- to our destination Monterey. A 4-hour trip all in all, and we're here. Take in deep breaths of the invigorating ocean air, relax, and leave everything behind!

The sounds of seals and seagulls are greeting us, as we walk to our favorite place to stay. Those on duty know us by now, and they give us our favorite room, room 117, whenever they can. Now Mike, my sweetie, comes into his element. While I inspect the room, unpack just a few things, and then lazily lie on my bed sort of resting from the trip, all around me the most diverse collection of technology is being set up and got ready. My lamp is being unplugged and moved away -- I don't need it, it gets in the way of my antenna -- to make room for my radio, which is magically being tuned to my favorite, favorite station KUOP, a listener-supported station I can only get here in Monterey. Nice folk, bluegrass or country music is soon enveloping me. Then the TV, via HTMI cable, is being connected to our Laptop, the Wifi is being set up and checked -- a bit of a chance factor, sometimes it is not working. And I don't have to do one single thing to make all that magic happen!

When all is done to Mike's satisfaction, we're off for a short walk to our favorite pub -- a British establishment, with a British hostess who welcomes us like old friends, and British and Irish food. We either have the Bangers and Mash, or else I have the Vegetable Curry and, if it's on special, you can bet that Mike will have the Prime Rib. And when my first Gin and Tonic arrives -- one of three, three is usually my limit -- I know that I have arrived, and all recent stress and worries are a thing of the past.

What follows is a time of walks through the town and along the trail leading to Cannery Row, a section of the pier, swimming, great mostly seafood meals right by the Ocean, and visits to neighboring cities like Carmel or Salinas.

But when all is said and done, the best part of it for me is the ritual of getting there and looking forward, once again, to the magic of the trip to come. I sure hope we will have many more.

Mission Statement

The mission of the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., is to develop quality programs and services for blind and visually impaired people by providing a safe and supportive environment, while encouraging one another through leadership, interaction and the sharing of information, resources and skills. The center's activities enhance independence, dignity and self-determination. As a self-governing organization of primarily blind and visually impaired persons, the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., is committed to remaining a living, working foundation of strength, as we participate in the larger community in all areas of our daily lives.

Center Officers and Directors

General Manager: Jan Santos
President: Anita March
First Vice-President: Dorothy Donaville
Second Vice-President: Steve Fort
Recording Secretary: Connie Skeen
Corresponding Secretary: Patricia Nash
Treasurer: Elizabeth Deeff
Directors: Michael Castner; Claude Everett; Leah Gardner; Ida Johnson; Katrina McCurdy


If you or a friend would like to remember the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., in your will, you can do so by employing the following language: "I give, devise, and bequeath unto the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization in California, the sum of $___ (or ___) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons." Thank you for your tax-deductible donation.

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."
-- Sam Keen