UMass Lowell Professor John Shirley teaches Harmonica class to LIRA.

Summer Intersession 2009

The 2009 LIRA Summer Intersession, given between semesters, offers to retirees and those semi-retired, a sample of LIRA’s almost year-round program and very friendly community. The program is planned and much of it provided by the members themselves. Please note that Summer Intersession meetings will be held at the MIL Conference Center, Wannalancit Building, from 10 a.m. to noon unless otherwise indicated. Visitors are always welcome.

Wednesday, May 27 ANNUAL MEETING

IL Conference Center, Wannalancit Building


The destination for this year’s walk is Mount Pisgah located in Berlin-Northborough conservation areas described on For those who might arrive late, we will follow the Mentzer Trail, rising gently (really!) through open forest to reach a rocky outlook with a distant view North toward Boston.

Wear comfortable shoes; carry water and insect repellant. Bring food and a lawn chair for a picnic lunch.

From Route 495 take exit 26 to Route 62 West, toward Berlin/Clinton. Pass through the center of Berlin and bear left onto Linden Street at the flashing yellow light. Follow Linden Street for 1.6 miles and turn left onto Ball Hill Road. Follow the road, which becomes Smith Road, for 1.3 miles. A small parking lot will be on the left.

Car-poolers meet at the Hannaford parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Others plan to arrive at the trailhead by 10:15 a.m.

Steve Sussman


MIL Conference Center

Paleoanthropologist Timothy Bromage, Ph.D., returns for another look at science from his unique perspective.

Not a single day goes by without night. The most potent regulator of our physiology, behavior, and development is our planet earth, turning on its axis with a period we measure in about 24 hours. The effect it has on us is a manifestation we call a biorhythm; specifically a circadian rhythm, meaning “about a day”. But there is another rhythm as plain as night and day, but one that oscillates on a longer time scale. For mammals this rhythm controls the pace of life. We discovered this rhythm, not from the halls of molecular biology, the keepers of research on circadian rhythms, but from the harsh landscapes of our human ancestors and the sawing, grinding, and polishing machines of hard tissue biologists. The bones and teeth of us all reveal our – indeed, your individual - long-period rhythm and our place in nature, which we will examine in some detail. Beyond this, using our newfound knowledge of long-period rhythms, we explain, if even we do not understand, really long-period rhythms!

Dorothy Bromage


MIL Conference Center

Melissa Pennell, Professor and Chair of the Department of English at UMass Lowell, will present a program on summer reading suggestions. Back by popular demand, she will speak with us about recommendations on local mysteries and/or local authors. Dr. Pennell's specialty is l9th and 20th century American literature, and she also has a special interest in mystery and detective fiction. She recently published "Masterpieces of American Romantic Literature," and she is the author of the "Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne" and the "Student Companion to Edith Wharton." She is a contributor to the Hawthorne in Salem website, a museum consultant and lecturer on American literature and culture.

Mary Willis

Wednesday, June 24 LOWELL CEMETERY

Catherine Goodwin will lead us in a tour of the Lowell Cemetery which was conceived by a group of prominent Lowell citizens in 1840 as a private non-sectarian, non-profit corporation. It was modeled after Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, the first garden cemetery in America. The curved roads and paths under a canopy of oaks, beeches, and ashes create the setting for a depository of cemetery art, some of elaborate design. The guided tour begins at the oldest section. Enter the Lawrence Street gate. Once inside, park along Washington Street. Driving directions will be available at the LIRA Annual Meeting in May.

Dorothy Bromage


We will take a tour of the Mariposa folk museum in Peterborough, NH. We will meet in Hannaford's parking lot at 9:00 and drive a bit over an hour to the museum, where we will have a tour by the director. There is a wonderful gift shop and several good restaurants near by. When you sign up, be sure to indicate if you can drive or need a ride.

Barbara Page


MIL Conference Center

Jerry Gilmore will bring us up to speed on NASA’s current plans to assemble, in earth orbit, the space ship that will be used for our next mission to the moon. They are trying to hold costs down by using smaller launch vehicles, sending various parts into orbit and then assembling them in space. They will then boost off to the moon and plan to land four or five astronauts who will assemble a habitat shelter on the Moon for an extended stay. The concept is to use this base as a training site for the eventual manned trip to Mars. Jerry will have a power point presentation showing the various space vehicles in design, etc. He also hopes to have a video of an Astronaut actually working on the International Space Station.

Jerry Gilmore

Wednesday, July 22 “CHOCAHOLIC” TOUR

Van Otis Chocolate Factory, 341 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03103

This Chocolate Factory was established in 1935 by the Van Otis family (father and daughter). Daughter Evangeline operated the business until her death in 1995. It is now run by two of her brothers-in-law. Over the years they have gained a national reputation for manufacturing and selling nothing but the finest crafted premium chocolates and other fine candies. There is no charge for the tour and it will take approximately 2 hours. Free samples are offered; there is a gift shop available and a Restaurant/Cafe on the premises.

Car-pools will meet at Hannaford’s parking lot at 8:45. Directions will be available for those choosing to drive on their own at the Annual Meeting on May 28th.

Ann Dahlman

Wednesday, July 29 HOMMUS TOUR

Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods, 50 Foundation Way, Ward Hill, Haverhill, MA

Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods is a leading force in the production and distribution of Hommus and other Mediterranean food products. Our tour will be of their new state of the art production plant. It will start at 10:00 a.m. and will last approximately one and a half hours. There will be samples.

PLEASE NOTE: OSHA rules prohibit visitors wearing any jewelry, including watches. Because the plant is cold and floors might be slippery, visitors are advised to dress warmly and wear sneakers.

Car pools should meet at the University’s IPI parking lot at 9:00 a.m. Directions will be available at the Annual Meeting for those who would prefer to drive themselves.

Toby Hodes