UMass Lowell Professor John Shirley teaches Harmonica class to LIRA.

The 2016 Summer Intersession, given between semesters, offers to retirees and those semi-retired, a sample of LIRA’s almost year- round program and friendly community. The program is planned and much of it provided by the members themselves. The general public is invited to all Intersession programs. The time for the on campus programs is 10 a.m. – Noon.

NOTE: Following are the current room assignments for our indoor sessions. Check your email before you go for any changes.

June 15 in the Talon Room at the Tsongas Center (Arena), 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell. Parking is at the Tsongas Center (Arena) lot.

June 22 at the Campus Recreation Center, 292 Aiken Street, Lowell

July 20 at University Suites, 327 Aiken Street, Room 106A. Lowell 

Parking for the above two dates is in the garage directly across the street from the Rec Center or in the Perkins Parking lot.  Your ID is needed to enter the garage or lot. 

Please use your parking hangtags wherever you park.

June 1 A Walk at Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge and a Picnic

LIRA's annual summer walk this year will be at the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, Devens, MA.  The interpretive trail loop covers 1.9 miles and takes about an hour.  On this walk you can expect to see numerous views of the Nashua River, forest and wetland habitats, a beaver pond, and beaver stumps and lodges.  Birds and wildflowers vary with the season.  The terrain is flat except for one small section.  Members may want to bring a picnic lunch, water, bug spray and wear comfortable shoes and long pants.

After the walk we will gather for a picnic lunch on the banks of the Nashua River.  Since no picnic tables are available, take along a lawn chair.  Toilet facilities are available at the trail head.

Directions:  From Route 495 South take exit 29B to go on Route 2 West.  Take exit 38A to go on Route 110 West to Harvard.  At the blinking light on Harvard Green go right continuing on Route 110.  In 2 miles look for sign to Oxbow Refuge and go right on Still River Depot Road.  Proceed downhill across railroad track and follow gravel road left then right to the parking lot.

Car-poolers meet at the Hannaford parking lot in Chelmsford at 9:15 a.m.  I will have printed directions available at Hannaford.

Coordinator: Shirley McCaffrey* 

June 8 Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA  


“Workers on the Line” is a hands-on activity for a group of up to 30 people.  Participating in this activity will give people an idea of what it was like to be part of a textile assembly line.  

Here's the tentative schedule:

• 10 to 11:30 a.m. Stroll the Riverwalk and/or take a trolley ride (I'll find out what times the trolley will run that day and notify people who sign up.).  

• 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Boott Mills Loft, 130 John St, Lowell, and bring a sack lunch.  Eat in lounge/inner courtyard.

• 1 to 2 p.m. Walk over to Boott Cotton Mills Museum for independent tour of the museum (which has rangers to answer questions.) Cost is $4 for seniors.  

• 2 to 3 p.m. Participate in "Workers on the Line."

• 3 p.m. Option to visit the Mill Girl Museum

Parking is available at the Tsongas Center (Arena) and at the John Street Garage.

Coordinator: Terri Munson*

June 15 Food Politics, Talon Room, Tsongas Center

Presenter Christopher Wilkinson

We will examine current debates in food politics over: regulatory politics and the appropriate reach of the state in food labeling, safety, and oversight; genetically modified food, organic and sustainable agriculture, the effects of economic globalization of the food supply chain and the future of the world food system. This program is offered by Christopher Wilkinson, Community Relations Coordinator, University Relations and Adjunct Professor, Political Science Department

Coordinator: Nancy Pitkin*

June 17 Book Discussion

Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright

Meet at the home of Nancy Pitkin at 10 a.m. A pot luck luncheon follows the discussion.

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

June 22 Death Café, Campus Recreation Center

Presenter Johanna Kiefne, Circle Home Inc.

Death Café is an international movement which provides a safe place for a discussion on this topic.  At this presentation, those attending will hear a talk about an often taboo subject, death.  It is a group discussion, rather than a grief counseling or support group.  It does not promote specific programs or have a specific religious or spiritual orientation.  For more information, check the website:

Coordinator:  Jean Schott*

June 29 World War II Museum, Wednesday June 29th

Visit the World War II Museum in Natick.  This museum is a unique experience.  In addition to being the most comprehensive collection of original World War II artifacts anywhere in the world, the exhibition- nearly 7,000 pieces- integrates the human, political and military stories.  It is an intense experience made more so by the fact most artifacts are not behind or under glass. Most can be touched.  The exhibits cover the lead up to war and the war itself.  You will gain an insight into both the events that happened and the people involved. Since many of the exhibits can be touched, the museum asks that visitors fill out a Liability Waiver Form prior to their visit.  Forms will be available on the bus and can be found on the museum’s website.  The bus will leave Hannaford’s parking lot in Chelmsford at 9:15 a.m.   Cost including museum admission and bus is $25 for LIRA member and $32 for non-members.   Checks payable to LIRA, Inc. are due by June 17th.  Please send checks to Bob Hanlon, 255 North Road, Unit 37, Chelmsford, MA 01824.  Please note that the museum does not have a cafeteria.

Coordinator: Bob Hanlon*


July 13 Samuel Crocker Lawrence Masonic Library, Boston

We will visit the Masonic Temple on Tremont Street in Boston and have a tour of the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Masonic Library housed there.  Our tour guide will be Walter Hunt, Librarian.  He has many important historical documents to show us. Please bring a bag lunch for a possible picnic on Boston Common.

The bus will leave Hannaford’s parking lot in Chelmsford at 9:30 a.m.   Cost for the bus is $12 for LIRA member and $17 for non-members. We will leave Boston at 1:30 p.m. Checks payable to LIRA, Inc. are due by July 1.  Please send checks to: Beverly Rudeen, 3 Thoreau Lane, Tyngsboro, MA 01879 (phone 978-226-5635).

Coordinator: Beverly Rudeen*

July 20 Alcohol and its Effects on the Body, University Suites

Presenter Professor Katherine Tucker

cohol has been described as a double edged sword. On one hand it is an addictive substance that causes much suffering. On the other, it has health benefits if consumed moderately. Evidence for the latter include reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Current recommendations for moderate drinking are up to one drink per day for women and up to two per day for men. Benefits appear to be greater for intake of beer or red wine, as opposed to spirits.  However, some individuals should not drink. These include women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant; those with alcoholism in their family history; or those taking medications for which alcohol is contraindicated. Professor Katherine Tucker, Nutritional Epidemiology at UMass Lowell, leads the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, tackling the problems of nutrition in our society head on.

Coordinator: Jackie Carr* 

July 27 Frederick Historic Piano Collection at the Historic Piano Study Center, 30 Main Street, Ashburnham, MA 

We travel to Ashburnham, Massachusetts to see the Frederick Historic Piano Collection. The Frederick collection is housed in the former Stevens Library, 30 Main St., Ashburnham, MA, next to the Town Hall at the junction of Routes 12 and 101. The time period of the collection is 1790-1928. Check the web site: There will be two tours: the first at 10 a.m. and the second at Noon. (There is only so much room between pianos.) Carpool from Hannaford in Chelmsford at 8:45 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. Those wanting to go will be divided into two groups ahead of time. Directions will be available at the Annual Meeting or at Hannaford the morning of the trip. You will be notified of your tour group (10:00 or Noon) according to the sign-up sheet.  Changes may be made.

NOTE: It is very important to sign up at the Annual Meeting if you want to go to this program so that the two groups can be organized. You may have someone sign up for you if you can't be at the Annual Meeting.

Coordinator: Carol McCarthy*

*Member of LIRA