Otto Ross, 101, writes poetry every day
by Marjorie I. Randell
Otto Ross, a 101-year-old courtly gentleman, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on Nov. 13, 1912.
In 1933, when he was 21, after graduating college, he came to America on a trip. When he arrived he found out that Hitler had become chancellor of Germany, and he could not go back.
Stranded, alone in New York, he got a job with Venus, a company making ladies underwear.
With war looming, Otto brought his parents to America, where they stayed until they returned to Germany after WWII. They lived into their late 80s before they passed away.
During his time in New York Otto married, spent three years in the Army, then later moved to California to live in Palos Verdes. For many years he owned and worked in his shoe store, Allen’s Shoe Store, in Belmont Shore.
Otto was married for 50 years and has one daughter who lives in Santa Fe, N.M.
After his wife passed away, he moved into Leisure World, where he has been active in various clubs. He still plays poker twice a week with his friends in the Poker Club.
He has worked with the Friends of the Library for several years and also attended OLLI classes, sponsored by Cal State Long Beach, on the LW campus. He was instrumental in bringing this program to LW, which has benefited many people.
At one time, at the urging of his daughter, Otto moved to an assisted care facility, but within months, he moved back to LW to be among his friends and partake of all the activities he still finds so satisfying.
His health is good, his diet is mainly vegetarian. He walks daily for about a half-hour using his walker with his caretaker accompanying him. He smoked as a young man for about 20 years and is a teetotaler.
He is a member of the Creative Writers Group, where he is well-known for his poetry. Otto writes a poem every day. He feels that poems just live in his head and appear on the paper as if by magic. It is his poetry that keeps his mind active, gives him satisfaction and a reason to keep going forward.
When asked if he considers himself a happy person, he answered with gusto, “Absolutely!”
Otto credits his longevity to peace of mind, liking what he is doing, and having friends and nice things around him.
His recommendation to others to live a long and happy life was an enthusiastic, “move to Leisure World! Absolutely!”
March 11 class is in CH3, Room 7
The Japanese language class taught by Kuniko Okamoto, Mutual 2, and sponsored by the Nikkei Club, has been moved from Clubhouse 1 to Clubhouse 3. The class is taught on Tuesdays from 1-2:30 p.m. and will be held in different rooms depending on the week of the month.
The first and second Tuesday of the month the class will be in Room 7; the third Tuesday it is in Room 6; and the fourth and fifth Tuesdays it will be in Room 5.
The next class, March 11, will be at 1:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 3, Room 7.
The class covers conversational Japanese and some Japanese characters. Registration fee is $30, which includes two books. The weekly lesson fee is $1. For more information, call Dr. Carolyn Mottola, Mutual 11, at 446-0436.
Celebrate Purim, March 11, CH 3
Laugh consultant Beverly Bender will lead the Schmooze Club’s Purim celebration with hilarity and fun at the next meeting on Tuesday, March 11, in Clubhouse 3, Room 9. Refreshments will be served at 10 a.m. followed by Beverly’s program “A Purim Laugh-In” at 10:30.
Guests are welcome. Just bring a sense of humor and a smile to share. Beverly encourages everyone to wear silly hats to add to the merriment.
Beverly holds a master’s degree in gerontology and wrote her thesis on “Using Humor to Promote Life Satisfaction Among Older Adults.”
As always, “there are no dues to schmooze (socialize).” There is no cost to attend this event, however donations are gratefully accepted.
To participate, RSVP to Evelyn Glick, 598-2022, or Darlene Rose, 296-5140, to allow ample time to plan refreshments and provide names of outside guests for Main Gate entry.
‘Bintl Briv’ will be read tonight
The Yiddish Club of Leisure World will meet tonight, March 6, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2, at 7.
“The Bintl Briv,” letters to the editor, will be discussed and recited after new words and proverbs in Yiddish are introduced by the club president.
In 1906 a column, “A Bintl Briv,” was published in the popular Yiddish newspaper in America, “The Forward.” It became so popular that it is often used as part of American Yiddish. When the Yiddish speak of an interesting event in family life, it is often said the event is like “a remarkable story, just for ‘Bintl Briv.’”
Refreshments will be served.
Paws, Claws and Beaks
Pet club meets March 12, 3 p.m.
The Paws, Claws and Beaks Club will meet on Wednesday, March 12, in Clubhouse 3, Room 3, at 3 p.m.
Among the topics to be discussed will be coyotes in Leisure World, and how to protect pets.
For more information, call 799-3841.
Y Service Club president is guest
Margaret Humes, president of the Y Service Club, will speak at the Sunshine Club Friday, March 7. The club meets in Clubhouse 3, Room 8, from 10 a.m.-noon.
Margaret will explain the purpose and activities of the Y Service Club to those in attendance.
Margaret and Bruce moved to Leisure World in 2008 after living in a small community 58 miles northeast of Las Vegas for 30 years. She calls it as their desert experience.
Prior to moving to California, she worked as preschool teacher. She loved working with children, and it was very rewarding job.
Bruce and Margaret are very involved with their church, First Christian, and with the Y Service Club. They enjoy meeting people and helping Leisure World residents with services they can no longer do their own.
Margaret has served as president of the club since 2011.
Y Service Club volunteers help residents who are unable to do chores around the house like changing light bulbs, cleaning air conditioner filters, hanging a small picture or mirror, removing or placing items on a high shelf, putting air in bicycle tires, etc.
Margaret participates in the club’s rummage sale that helps raise funds to send children to camp.
Margaret and Bruce have been married for 31 years. They have six children and nine grandchildren.
The Sunshine Club meets Fridays in Clubhouse 3, Room 8, from 10 a.m.-noon. It is an English-speaking class. All shareholders are welcome to attend. Membership is not required. Refreshments are provided. Anyone who wants more information, call Anna Derby, 598-6796.
— Anna Derby
Donations given to GAF, Filipinos
The Filipino Association of Leisure World (FALW), donated $1,000 to the Golden Age Foundation (GAF) before its meeting Feb. 26. Victor P. Gendrano, FALW vice president; Joe Sabroso, FALW director; Julie Nulod and Gui Baker, association representatives; were present to witness the handing of the check to Maureen Habel of the GAF.
Ren Villanueva, FALW president, was also on hand. He had just arrived from the Philippines after a successful medical mission with his wife, Myrrha.
While in the Philippines, Ren and Myrrha donated a check in the amount of $3,500 to “Sagip Kapamilya” to support the immediate needs of the families affected by typhoon Haiyan. The amount was enough to feed 100 families of three for a month.
In addition, they also gave “Gawad Kalinga” a donation to build three modern structures to house a family of five comfortably. Each building will have two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, living room and dining room.
All these charitable projects of FALW were accomplished with the help of the Leisure World community through its unselfish donations.
— Victor P. Gendrano
PHOTO-TYPHOON RELIEF— Ren and Myrrha Villanueva delivered a check to Sagip Kapamila’s program director, Tina M. Palma (center), that will feed 100 families of three for a month. The money was collected during FALW’s Typhoon Haiyan aid drive.
Club is looking for more pairs
The Friendly Couples Club of Leisure World is looking for new members. The couples meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 12, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2.
Couples gather about 5 p.m. for social time and then have a potluck dinner at 5:30.
Dues are $20 per couple for the year.
The theme for March 12 is St. Patrick’s wearing of the green. Members will play white elephant bingo after dinner. Call Lee and Sandy Esslinger, 430-2891, to reserve a spot.
Wear green to March meeting
The Britannia Club will be “wearin’ o’ the green” at its March meeting, with snacks to match and shandies. Linda Herman will play her accordion. Bring something to share. Members will sing and even dance, if anyone feels an Irish jig comin’ on.
The February Valentine’s meeting brought forth red, pink and purple decorations with hearts and flowers on white tablecloths and romantic music. It was a beautiful room as usual.
Members had “passion-colored” food, everything from pasta with red sauce to red cherry pie to chocolates, etc.
“Happy Birthday” was sung for Margaret Harkness, Jackie Kennedy, Al Reid and Helen Scott. Jane England won the 50/50.
President Eric Dodd adjourned members to dine on food from generous members, play Marion’s games and listen to some romantic stories.
New officers elected, installed
Chapter RT of the PEO Sisterhood will meet Monday, March 10, in Clubhouse 3, Room 9. Come for coffee at 10:30 a.m.;the business meeting is at 11. The brown-bag lunch and program events follow.
This is an important meeting for all, as members will elect and install new officers for the March 2014-March 2015 term. There will be an initiation ceremony welcoming two new members.
Members are encouraged to bring the picture part of used or new greeting cards and a pair of scissors. They will learn how to turn them into various projects to be used for hospital and convalescent patients. Some of the decorative items may also be donated to the Friends of the Library Bookstore.
Chapter RT sponsors the PEO card party luncheon on the fourth Wednesday of the month. The next card party luncheon is Wednesday, March 26. Men are welcome too. Get a foursome together and enjoy lunch, $9 per person, and play card games of choice or dominos. Mark calendars and call Jan Krehbiel, 431-8240, to make a reservation for a table of four before March 21.
Potluck set for tomorrow, CH4
The American-Latino Club will have a potluck, tomorrow, Friday, March 7, in Clubhouse 4. Members who bring a dish to share, six-eight servings, at 11:30 a.m. will be admitted free. Non-members and members who do not bring a dish must pay $8.
For information, call 430-3405 or 342-5001, after 3 p.m.