The Hilltowns Seniors Thanksgiving dinner was a smashed potatoes hit. The food was excellent and 60 some seniors were there to enjoy the fellowship, this was reported by everyone I asked, as Alyce and I missed it do to conflicting events.

We were at a craft event where Alyce was a big hit with her angels made out of hymnbooks and wreaths made out of sheet music. I just sat there and talked to everyone and took the money. Can’t ask for a better day than that.

Senior bus 

Our bus is running. We don’t have a schedule down yet as another driver is needed and the holidays are messing up our Wednesdays. This will all be worked out shortly. 

Christmas party

Our Christmas party will be held at the senior center and catered. The menu is scalloped potatoes and ham with all the fixings. Lots of singing and other entertainment provided by some people that don’t know it yet. The date is Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. and please call Rosemary Porter if you haven’t yet as we need a head count soon.

 Book club

The senior book club is reading Crossing Oceans. All are welcome.


My life has been less stressful these past two months. I told my husband he doesn’t have to buy me a daily calendar as I looked at it the other day and it is blank.

Of course, you never get rid of the daily stresses of reading the paper or listening to the television.

Not much good news there.  I am wondering how to start the eighties over again. Enough of all this government backstabbing, and having to go through a hundred channels to get things done.

Even then things don’t get done as they sit on people’s desk.

Christmas giving

Enough of that. During this Christmas season, let’s not forget people less fortunate than ourselves. Even though money is tight for all of us, we still can find a way to give to those in need.

For our seniors that are confined to their home or elsewhere, we are asking that our group bring something to our Christmas party to put in our baskets to be delivered.

Just in case you need a reminder:  If at first you don’t succeed...So much for skydiving.


A couple of weeks ago, I was honored to host a party for Pauline Williman. She is one of many that were born and raised in the Hilltowns. She grew up on a farm on Ketchum Road in the town of Knox and went to the one room schoolhouse on the same road with her other siblings. She is just an amazing woman with many stories to tell.

She told me that when her father was twelve he had a falling out with her grandfather and went to Gilboa and got a job as water boy where they were building the dam. Years later he returned, met her mother and started farming.

Williman had to help with the chores along with attending school.

Another story is told that their father bought them warm coats for winter as they had to walk to school. One day it was really cold, so they asked their father if they could stay home. He said, "No, that is why I bought the coats." So they went to school only to find that no one was there. So, they did have snow days but no apparent communication.

Later on in life Pauline Williman became a court reporter and started her own business. During this time she was singled out to do many important cases.  She was very fortunate to meet many important people. One year she was invited to be a delegate to the Republican National Convention. She has a scrapbook filled with pictures and autographs of politicians within the state and federal level.

She has also helped many young people to achieve their goals and become good citizens of this country.

Williman has helped her community with serving her church. Many times she has been asked to give the sermon when the minister was unavailable. One day, she wondered what her father would like for her to do with the farmland, so she went to Albany and offered it to the Regional Food Bank.

At the dinner honoring her, many people spoke and told various stories and thanked her for her involvment in her community. Williman replied," I still don't know why I am being honored, I just did what I was suppose to do, I am very thankful for my friends and wouldn't live in any other place.


Can you believe it’s almost turkey time? Our Thanksgiving party will be on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Berne Reformed Church.  The cost is $6.  Please let Shirley Slingerland know if you will be coming, if you have not already signed up.  Also, please bring a food item for the food pantries and a small gift for the Christmas baskets for seniors.

There will be a sign up for the Christmas party at the Thanksgiving party.  The cost will also be $6.  The Christmas party will be held at the Hilltowns Senior Center on Saturday, Dec. 14.  It will be a catered affair.

Shopping trips

Our shopping van will be available on Wednesday, Nov. 13, for stops at Wal-Mart and Crossgates and on Wednesday, Nov. 27 with stops at Wal-Mart and Colonie Center. Think Christmas gifts!

Christmas show

On Tuesday, Nov. 26, we will be going to the Troy Hilton for a great Christmas show and dinner.  The price of $50 includes everything.  The van can only hold 14 people, but you can follow the van if you are taking your own car.  We will be leaving from the Seniors Center at 10:30 a.m.  I will need your money at the Thanksgiving party or you can mail it to me.  Please remember that once reservations are made you must pay. So far 11 people have signed up for the van.  Call me at 861-8960 if you have any questions or to make a reservation.

Please remember to get out and vote on Nov. 5.

Thanks for all of your support Seniors!  A Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Hanukkah to all.

Editor’s note: Charlotte Fuss is the president of the Hilltowns Seniors.


The Oct. 12 meeting of the Hilltown Seniors was held at the senior center with 34 members present; three new members joined us.

Birthday wishes were sung to Tom Smith, Edna Bunzey, Charlotte Fuss, Margie Wright, and Milie Rossman.

Anniversary greetings were sent to Roz and Don Moser (who should be home by now following heart surgery) and to Fran and Henry Brezenski.

Our speaker for this month was Sgt. Matthew Campbell from the Albany County Sheriff's Department. He told us various ways to protect ourselves from break-ins and phone scams.

President Charlotte Fuss has 25 free tickets to attend Proctor’s on Oct. 23 to listen to the Youth Orchestra.

If there is enough interest, we will able to use the senior van; anyone over 55 is invited. Call 861-8690 for further information.

Our first shopping trip with the van will be Oct. 30 to Colonie Center and Wal-Mart. This, too, is available to people over 55 from the towns of Berne and Knox. You will have to call the Capital district transportation authority at 437-5161 two days before so they can make up a pick-up schedule. 

Our Thanksgiving dinner will be held at the Berne Reform Church. Call Shirley Slingerland or Margie Wright to make reservations.

Don't forget to get your flu shot.

Where did the summer go! Here I am thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas parties! I’d like to give you an update on things to come:

— Oct. 8 — Flu shots from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Wyman Osterhout Community Center. Contact Diane Dechenes or Carol Cootware at 439-4865 to sign up for a time slot;

— Oct. 12 — Our monthly meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Senior Center, 1360 Helderberg Trail (Route 443) in Berne. This month, Sergeant Tracy of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office will be doing a presentation;

— Oct. 16 — Apple-picking at Indian Ladder Farms. Up to 14 people can take the van from the Senior Center. We will leave at 11:30 a.m. Feel free to have lunch, doughnuts, or just walk around at Indian Ladder if you don’t want to pick apples. Dan McCoy and Kevin Crosier plan to join us for this event. Sign-up will be at the Oct. 12 Seniors’ meeting; and

— Oct. 23 — Free concert by the youth orchestra at Proctor’s Again, the van will be available to transport up to 14 people. We will be leaving at 10:45 a.m. with lunch on your own and the concert will start at 1 p.m. Sign-up will also be at the Seniors’ meeting. You can also go on your own. The tickets are reserved for “Hilltown Seniors” and anyone can attend.

Shopping trips

OK, here it is! The new Senior van will be available to take people shopping on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and every two weeks thereafter. Trips will alternate between Wal-Mart and Crossgates Mall and Wal-Mart and Colonie Center.

You must contact CDTA at 437-5161 (TDD 482-9024) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to arrange for a pickup. All reservations must be made at least two days in advance. Please use the van and support this program.

Volunteers needed

We are still working on setting up a meal program, but we need volunteers to make this happen. Contact me at 861-8960 to volunteer. It will be both fun and a way to give something back to our community.

Future events include a Thanksgiving party on Nov. 9 and a Christmas party on Dec. 14.



The meeting of the Hilltown Seniors was held on Sept. 14 in the senior center with 47 members present.

Meeting notes

We celebrated with Linda McDermott and Roz Moser as their birthdays are this month.

Also, Florence Zimmer who is going to be 101 years young and still does all her craft work. A very big happy birthday, Florence.

A get-well card was sent to Frances Miller, who was able to join us along with her son Harold, who flew in from Mexico for the week to spend some time with her and visit his hometown. 

A sympathy card was sent to the family of Emily Chase.

President Fuss had several televisions with VCRs to give away; they were donated by the Colonie Seniors. There is also an exercise bike to start us off with our new program for healthy living.

I am looking into getting a yoga class started.

Charlotte also told us about the county's plan to start a meal program in our building. It will start off with one meal a week followed by a game day.

There will be a monthly Friday night movie. This program is for 55 and over.

Future visitor 

Sargeant Henry, from the Albany County Sheriff's Department will be at our next meeting with a presentation about security in your home

Senior trips 

The last two trips were well attended and enjoyed by all. The Lake George Dinner Theater was very good as usual. Before the show we had time to stop at the outlets. But, because of the rain, ice cream at Millie's was cancelled.

Our trip to the 1000 Islands was excellent. The first day we went to Rock Island Lighthouse. Several of us climbed all the way to the top. Our guide was very entertaining. He showed us a house on the river that had 5 kitchens; Mr. Kitchen, Mrs. Kitchen and 3 little Kitchens. He got an extra tip for that one.

Our motel was wonderful with our rooms facing the river and right across the way was Boldt Castle. Not to mention that each of the rooms had a bottle of champagne. The meals were excellent and the shopping too.

 That was the last of my trips. I was presented with a lovely vase at the meeting. Thank you all so very much for going on all my trips.

Public hearing

I just returned from a public hearing in the town of Knox regarding senior housing. The town board approved an addition to their comprehensive plan to include the building of senior housing. So, cluster housing has already been proposed and hopefully a unit of 24 apartments will be presented soon.



Our Saturday, Aug. 10, meeting of the Hilltowns Seniors was filled with the "Sound of Music”. Berne-Knox-Westerlo Connections kids along with their teacher, Bonnie Conklin, and Ruth Pelham and her music mobile entertained us with songs and questions. They have been practicing all summer with their homemade instruments and made up several songs.

During one period they asked questions of the seniors about what they liked in school. We weren't too good in setting an example as one senior said, chasing the girls and another mentioned playing hooky. They got a big chuckle from the kids.

Then we asked them what they liked and they did a little better than us. Several of them liked lunch and recess, but two of them liked science.

The senior center rocked when they handed out the instruments for us to play and sing along. Afterwards, they were rewarded with pizza and ice cream that the Stewart’s in Altamont donated.  Thank you Stewart’s, the ice cream was a big hit even for the older group.

A thank you also goes to Mrs. Conklin, and Ruth Pelham for sharing these talented children with us.

Meeting notes

Because of the excitement of having the children, our meeting was cut short. We sent sympathy to the family of Emily Chase who was a long-standing member of our group.

We hope Peg Filkins suffering with her back is feeling better.

 I reported on our upcoming trips to Lake George and the 1000 Islands.

Mike Vincent reminded us of the town of Berne Summerfest that will be held Aug. 24, at the Berne town park.

Remember meetings are held the second Saturday of the month at the senior center at 11 a.m., along with a potluck lunch.