Rainbow Seniors meet twice a month in Pittsfield and North Adams

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If you enjoy getting together with other LGBTQ seniors, there are plenty of opportunities to do so here in Berkshire County. We meet twice a month as follows:

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Pittsfield: Me gather on the first Saturday of the month from 2-4pm at the Berkshire Athenaeum around the big table in the conference room on the second floor.

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Williamstown: It’s a potluck lunch that brings us together in one of the many meetings rooms at at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown on the Third Tuesday of each month. Come a bit early to help arrange the buffet, and to chat with members of this friendly group. And be sure to bring a dish to share.

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We also get together for walks, theatre trips, a bit of activism and other events throughout the year.

To keep up to date we have an e-mail list that keeps us in contact with each other. To have your name added, or for more information, send a note to ed@rainbowseniors.org. You can also call Ed at 413-441-6006.

We are always looking for interesting guest speakers for our gatherings, and welcome your ideas.

And of course we are on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/berkshirerainbowseniors.

Rainbow Seniors Thanksgiving lunch is Thursday, Nov. 17

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Turkey day comes early as the Berkshire Rainbow Seniors meet from 12-2pm on Thursday, November 17, 2016 for a potluck Thanksgiving lunch with the turkey and main course provided by Elder Services of Berkshire County. Regulars and newcomers alike are invited to add some appetizers and desserts of their own creation. To help cover costs, you can make a voluntary $2 contribution if you want.

Our adventurous leader, Ed Sedarbaum will have returned from his peregrinations in the wilds of Barcelona and surrounding areas of the Iberian peninsula, no doubt with tales of his contacts with the native peoples and cuisine.

As with all our Williamstown gatherings, it takes place at the First Congregational Church on Route 2, with free parking in the rear. Use Chapin Hall Drive which runs alongside the church to access. Be sure to remember your parking permit for the dashboard, or if you need one, pick one up at the church office so you are not ticketed.

For more information, call Ed at 413-441-6006 or by email at ed@rainbowseniors.org. Check us out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/berkshirerainbowseniors.

We’re great at making the most of winter

It’s a given that the LGBT community is full of ideas, and with winter just weeks away, we turn our attention to ways we have learned to not only survive the short days but to have fun doing it.

Our Pittsfield meeting on Saturday, November 5, 2016 will take place as usual from 2-4pm at the Berkshire Atheneum in Pittsfield, in the conference room on the second floor. If you haven’t sat around the big table and shared your thoughts with us, this may be the perfect chance to get to know your LGBT neighbors in the Berkshires.

Some of us are lucky to have a fireplace to gather around, enjoying the indoors and good companionship. Others still get out and go cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and even ice fishing. Some busy themselves with homemade holiday gifts and decorations, and others ready ideas for February’s 10×10 Winter Arts Festival in Pittsfield when everyone leaves their shelters to meet on the streets of the Cultural District.

So what do you do? Looking for ideas, or have some to share? Join us for a brainstorming session to make the next few months as much fun as possible.

“If I knew then what I know now…” October 18 in Williamstown

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There’s something about our potluck lunches that fuels great conversations at our Williamstown gatherings. The next one is Tuesday, October 18 from noon until two at the First Congregational Church on Main Street, with a parking lot in the rear, just off of Chapin Hall Drive.

So after sharing lunch (be sure to bring a tasty contribution!) and catching up, the conversation will turn to our early days and the theme “If I only knew then, what I know now…” Our earlier years were fraught with both challenges and great possibilities, often both at the same time. We hope our LGBTQ friends and allies will understand that this conversation will work best if it is “just us”.

For more information, call Ed Sedarbaum at 413-441-6006. Other meeting dates to jot down on your calendar:

Saturday, November 5 at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, 2-4pm. “What do you do to beat the winter blues?”

Thursday, November 17 at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown Noon-2pm – Early Thanksgiving Dinner

Saturday, December 3 at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield 2-4pm. “How to talk to your doctor…”

If you are driving, please remember that if you park in the Williamstown church lot you will need a Temporary Parking sign that can be put on the dashboard of your car. These are available in the office for free. Be sure to use caution during the construction on Chapin Hill Drive.

In Pittsfield, the Berkshire Athenaeum has free parking.

Pittsfield Rainbow Seniors October 1: the return of the Milton and Adam show

Milton and Adam.
Milton and Adam.

When creative couple Milton and Adam did their first play reading in Williamstown a year ago, Rainbow Seniors has just began, and most of us did not know what to expect. That Thing by John Shanahan was their choice, and we loved it because it was about a couple who had been together long enough that they had begun to lose “the fire.”

Because we had such fun, we asked them for an encore.

They agreed. So for our Pittsfield meeting on October 1, 2016 we will enjoy several more fun short plays, and Milton is hoping some of us will volunteer to read some of the key parts with them. One story in particular depends on a little advance preparation, so if you are game, give Milt a call at 413-445-5878. Or email him at millet210@aol.com And it is ok if you are more Florence Foster Jenkins than Meryl Streep.

The very short plays they are considering all have fascinating titles: A Walk in the Park, So Tell Me about This Guy, Farewell and Adieu, The Rental, A Sunny Morning. In true theatrical tradition, all the stories have unexpected twists and payoffs.

There will only be one reading, and that takes place only on Saturday, October 1 from 2-4pm at the second floor conference room of the Berkshire Atheneum in Pittsfield, MA. For more information on Rainbow Seniors, contact Ed Sedarbaum at 413-441-6006.

Rainbow Seniors joins with Adams Council on Aging for Fall Foliage Picnic Oct. 5

A free and fabulous fall foliage picnic will take place on October 5, 2016 at the Adams Senior Center (the former Visitor’s Center) at 3 Hoosac Street in Adams. This will be a very special picnic, with freshly roasted pulled pork being the main menu item. The food and conversation will be more lively and richer than usual as this picnic combines a number of new elements to bring seniors from different backgrounds and towns together.

If you plan to attend, RSVP by October 4 to 413-743-8333. See you there!

Sponsored by the Adams Council on Aging, Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County, and the Berkshire-Taconic’s Foundation Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy, the picnic will take place from noon to 2pm on Wednesday, October 5.

In addition to great food and interesting people, there will be music and memories in the air as well. This is a great chance to enjoy the great outdoors during the most glorious time of the year in the Berkshires. And should it rain, well, the shelter of the Senior Center is the alternative location in case of uncooperative weather.

For more information, call Ed Sedarbaum at 413-441-6006.

Ed Sedarbaum, Rainbow Seniors honored by Berkshire Magazine

Ed Sedarbaum is recognized for his work on behalf of the LGBT community.
Ed Sedarbaum is recognized for his work on behalf of the LGBT community.

When Berkshire Magazine decided to honor the 25 people who are “The Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential of the Berkshires” in 2016 (their third year of recognizing the areas movers and shakers) they included our own Ed Sedarbaum. He has spent the past year bringing LGBT seniors together after decades of being virtually invisible, and Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County continues to grow with regular meetings in Williamstown and Pittsfield.

At a ceremony attended by about 250 guests at Chesterwood in Stockbridge, Berkshire Magazine honored the wide range of people who make us unique, and their work that improves and enhances our homes, lives, lands, schools, healthcare, business, fine arts, security, and more.

Says Ed: “It’s gratifying to see how warmly the LGBT community of elders has been welcomed and supported in an area as rural as ours. The isolation that was once a fact of life is being replaced by monthly meetings and special events, often with our extended family of friends and allies.”

In making the award, Berkshire Magazine said: “Ed Sedarbaum of Williamstown is known for his tireless work promoting LGBTQ Senior awareness. He runs the Berkshires Rainbow Seniors, which is dedicated to creating safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ senior community. In addition, he made a big splash this year when he spoke at Pittsfield’s Park Square at the vigil for the 49 victims gunned down in Orlando. Community members would agree that Sedarbaum’s passion and determination has had a positive impact on area residents.”

To read about the awards, and the other 24 recipients, visit Berkshire Magazine’s blogspot, townvibe.com