Mature Friends Web Site

What’s New in July
Mailing Address:
Mature Friends
PO Box 21203, Seattle, WA 98111-3203

Every month, Mature Friends publishes the newsletter with updates on our activities. So, here is what we’re up to this month, such as traveling (both locally and internationally), attending arts events, playing bridge or pinochle, reading and discussing books, making investments, touring gardens, taking walks and going on hikes, choosing among many options for dinners and lunches, cooking, and tasting fine wines from our own state, from other states, and from around the world.


Goings On

Please click on underlined area for additional information.

Eating Date and Time Where
Lunch Out
Wed., July 8 and July 22, at 12:00 Noon Canterbury Ale House,  534 15th Ave. E
Dinner Out
Tue., July 14, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill, 12255 Aurora Ave. N
Monthly Potluck
Fri., July 31, at 6:30 p.m.
Odd Fellows Hall in Ballard
Wine Tasting
Sun., July 29, at 6:00 p.m.
Tasting dry rosé wines at a member's home in Lake Sammamish
Annual Banquet
Sat., June 2016, at 6:00 p.m.
Womens’ Athletic Club
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. 15, at 12:00 Noon
Woodland Park
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes
Christmas Lunch
Sat., Dec. 12, at 12:00 Noon
Robb's 125th Street Grill, 12255 Aurora Ave. N.
Playing Date and Time Where
A Better Club for Investing
Sun., July 12, at 4:45 p.m.
The New Pandasia Restaurant in Interbay
Book Club
No meeting in July
Last discussion was on Peter Stark’s Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire at home of a member.
Board Meeting
Mon., July 13, at 6:30 p.m. At the home of our president
Tue., July 21, at 9:30 a.m. Naches Peak Loop Trail
Garden Tour
Thurs., July 16, at 10:00 a.m.
Two Woodinville Gardens
Theater and Music
Various dates and times
Check out these performances
Travel and Events
Various trips
Check our destinations
Bridge Club
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall
Pinochle Club
Wed., July 1 and 15, at 7:30 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall
Camera Club
Still waiting for a new leader. Any volunteers?
Odd Fellows Hall
Exercise Group
Every Wed. at 10:00 a.m. Odd Fellows Hall


Potluck Contributions

On the last Friday of most months, the membership meets for a big potluck at the Odd Fellows Hall in Ballard. Each member is assigned a type of dish to bring based on the initial of the member's last name.

If you bring a vegan or vegetarian dish, please label it as such.

Dish to Bring Initial of Last Name
C, H, O, R, S (please arrive early)
Hot Dish
F, K, M, T, Y (servings for 6)
B, D
A, G, N, P W, Z
E, I, J, L, V

1 For those assigned to bring an appetizer, please arrive early.



Our hike in June led up to Mirror Lake, which is located a little ways east of Snoqualmie Pass. The trail begins off Forest Road 5810, briefly traversing the lingering scars of logging activities circa the 1970s. Soon the trail enters forests of fir and pine. The trail is well trodden and easy to follow. It leads across a small stream, and soon little Cottonwood Lake comes into view. We kept going uphill to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. Mirror Lake is situated a ways along the trail.

June Hikers at Mirror Lake

Dale, Harvey, Jim, Ramon, Tim, Ed, Bill, and Roger at Mirror Lake

July Hike along Naches Peak Loop Trail

Our hike in July will be along the popular Naches Peak Loop Trail near Chinook Pass and Mt. Rainier National Park. The 3.2-mile hike follows the Pacific Crest Trail part of the way and the Naches Peak Trail inside the park the rest of the way. We will start at the Pacific Crest Trail parking lot and hike clockwise around the peak. That way we will be facing Mt. Rainier when we return, with wonderful views of the mountain.

In the first part of the hike we pass through sub-alpine meadows that may still have wildflowers blooming, even though the season is early this year. About halfway along the trail, we come to an overlook of Dewey Lake far below. Then we round the peak and begin the part of the hike with views of Mt. Rainier. Somewhere along here we will stop for lunch and soak up the view.

This is a well-maintained trail that is easy to hike. There is a modest 600 feet of elevation gain in the hike.
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21, in front of the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Car pool riders share the cost. Bring a lunch, and drinking water. No permit needed to park the car this time, since the parking lot is outside of the Park. Dogs are not allowed on trails in the Park so no dogs on this hike. We will get back to Seattle by around 5:00 p.m., depending somewhat on traffic.

Snapshots from Some of Our Previous Hikes

Our hikers posed with beautiful backdrops from some of our past treks. The following pictures show some examples.

Scott, Ed, Roger, Harvey, Dale and Keith with Elmo Relaxing along the White Chuck Bench Trail

Lee, Garry, Ed, John, Ramon, Hector, Jerry, Steb, Roger, Dale Pose at Heybrook Lookout

Hikers Tim, Roger, Jerry, Hector, Dale, Scott, Ramon, Brian Take a Break In Kukutali Preserve

Hikers Steb, Dale, Scott, Hector, Jerry, Stephen, Harvey, Alan, Tim, and David In Meandowdale Beach Park

— Dale J.

Back to “Goings On”


July Tour of Two Woodinville Gardens

On Thursday, July 16, we will visit two gardens that were featured in the 2014 Woodinville Garden Tour. We will meet at the garden of Susan (and Barry) Latter, have coffee, and then carpool to the second garden, about twenty minutes away. 

Five years ago, the Latter’s sold their large Woodinville Garden and moved to a home in Trilogy, which has a much smaller garden and lots of shade. Moss became their friend as was the small stream running through their property. Susan is a member of the Northwest Horticulture Society and her sister is the owner of Ravenna Gardens in the University Village Mall. You will see lots of containers.

Next we will visit the sunny half-acre garden, which was suffering from embarrassment and neglect when the Agers (Carol) acquired it six years ago. This is a spectacular “redo” with a new storage shed, gates, new paths, and many new plants. It has been featured in publications.


  1. Take SR520 East and continue onward as it becomes Avondale Road N.E.  
  2. Turn right onto N.E. 132nd Street, which then becomes Bear Creek Road N.E.  
  3. Turn right onto N. E. 133rd Street.  
  4. Turn right onto Sunbreak Way N.E.
  5. Take the second left onto N.E. 132nd Street.  
  6. Take the first left onto 230th Place N. E. 
  7. The address is 13200 230th Place N.E. in Redmond.

These streets are very narrow so please only park on one side of the street, as Susan says, “There are lots of old people here and the emergency vehicles need to respond quickly.”

Meet promptly at 10:00 a.m. Susan will show us to the second garden. 

June Tour

On Thursday, June 11, twenty-two Mature Friends visited the Sammamish Garden of Barbara Flynn, one of the founding members of the widely popular Northwest Perennial Alliance.

June Garden Group

Established in one of the early subdivisions on the Sammamish plateau, Barbara with her English heritage, started the garden in 1968. She patterned it after the famed Sissinghurst Castle Garden in England, with garden rooms of white, purple, green, and other colors. The garden has been written up in many horticultural magazines, featured in many TV shows, and Barbara was the first major garden design coordinator for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

It was a tossup as to who had more fun, the attendees or Barbara being able to show off her garden. For many years, the garden was regularly open for public garden tours, but now it open for appointment only. She did invite anyone to stop by any future afternoon for tea and sherry on her deck.

Situated on the higher side of the street, the front garden contains many established as well as unusual plants. We were met by Barbara and her Corgi, Haley, who also quickly made friends with everyone. The garden is loaded with many unusual plants, many given to Barbara by internationally famous garden geeks such as one of the five kinds of Cardiocrinum gigantum (Giant Himalayan lily). Stuck in every corner are pieces of art work, glasswork, tufa tubs, bird houses, and unusual planters and pots.

We entered the mystical maze of the rear garden rooms through an iron gate, only to continue to walk though many small rooms. As you looked up and down, you always saw something new. Each room had more unusual art and plants. Now you can see why her grand children enjoy visiting often and playing in a different “room” each time, Barbara knows each plant, its name, and from whom she obtained it, proudly walking through the garden.

The deck and adjoining area was loaded with many pots, tufa containers, all full of flowering gems collected over many years. Leading out from the deck are two short columns of fastigiated yews of considerable size which divide the garden into half .

As in a typical English garden visit, we were treated to cool lemonade and an assortment of sweets, all of which were eagerly consumed by the attendees. So if anyone is in Sammamish on a late afternoon, I would advise that you take up the offer of tea and sherry with Barbara and enjoy her beautiful garden.

May Tour Filled with Treats and Flowers

On Thursday, May 14, thirteen members descended the winding streets of Newcastle, Washington, to find the hillside home of Carol Schneider and Ed Corker for a most unusual treat.

May Garden Tour

Seated are Ed, Carol, and Dr. John Wott, Esteemed Horticulturalist and Head of the Garden Tours

Carol, a native of Minnesota, grew up with a grandfather who was a pioneer peony breeder in that cold state. She never lost her interest in peonies, and when Carol and Ed purchased their home over ten years ago, she began her quest to purchase and grow as many unusual peonies as she could find. Today her garden contains over 100 different plants, ranging from ancient Chinese tree peonies, ITOH types, as well as many herbaceous types. There is always something in bloom, from early spring to fall.
Many of the tree peonies have a history which extends for hundreds of years, and many also have medicinal uses. Most of us are familiar with the herbaceous types which have been a staple of American gardens for hundreds of years. The ITOHs are newer types, which combine the characteristics of the tree and herbaceous types, often exhibiting extraordinary flowers.

We entered the garden at the street level and slowly climbed the steep slope, always finding a new color and type along the way. Carol explained the history of many of the plants and how they all differ as we passed them. Each one was her most favorite. Just when you found the perfect size and color you liked, then you came upon another more exciting one. There is a succession of paths and stairways throughout the hillside as you advance to the rear of the house where you find a most pleasant patio.

The patio is also surrounded by the continuing rising slope with many types of plants which compliment the peonies. There is also a bubbling waterfall and pond. The bamboo hedge surrounding the property makes it seem like your own private oasis.

Upon our arrival, we were treated to Mimosas ... only one til we safely ascended the steps. On the patio table, she had laid out fifteen blooms in a chromatic arrangement that made it easy to see and sniff. The subtleties in color, hue, and shape were immense, and the group enjoyed studying them. She had also laid out a wide array of references and books for perusal. Further, we also enjoyed warm home baked rhubarb coffee cake and coffee. Needless to say, this is a garden worthy of a visit at many different times of the year.

Hot tip: If you missed the tour but are eager to see peonies in their full glory, stop by the Seattle Chinese Garden in the Arboretum. This garden hosted a peony festival toward the end of April, but their peonies are still in bloom, waiting for you to enjoy their beauty.

Future Garden Tour Dates

Mark your calendars for the following future garden tours this summer:

August 20
N.W. Seattle, Carkeet Park Area
Highlands Older Established Garden

Back to “Goings On”


Travel and Events

This section tells you all about recent or upcoming trips planned for Mature Friends. Everybody who has gone on one of these trips has had a great time and was well taken care of. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up and join the fun!

Note: For those of you who are not members of Mature Friends, you must join the club before you can travel with us.

Road Trip to Ashland, Oregon, August 21 – 25

Ten Mature Friends will arrive in Ashland late afternoon on Friday, August 21, to see three plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival:

  • Guys and Dolls
  • Pericles
  • Much Ado About Nothing

Pericles is a rarely done late play by Shakespeare and the Festival always does a spectacular job on it. We will also take part in activities of the Daedalus Project, the Festival’s AIDs benefit including a reading of a new play on an AIDs-related theme and the Company Variety Show featuring the ever popular Underwear Contest. Ever wanted to stuff a dollar bill into an actor’s briefs? Now’s your chance.

We will  stay at the Stratford Inn in downtown Ashland, a short walk to the theaters and we will have another back stage tour. Some also plan to fit side trips to Crater Lake, Jacksonville and Hilt, California (a booze run).

W will also attend events of the Daedalus Celebrfation, the Festival's AIDs benefit, which includes a reading of a contemporary play on an AIDs-related theme and the talent show put on by talented people, including the ever popular Underwear Contest, whcn you get to donate by stuffing money in the underwear of your favorite actor..

Rome and Tuscany, April 23 – May 8, 2016

Nine Mature Friends have signed upu to travel to Rome and Tuscany from April 23 – May 8, 2016. We will spend a week in Rome with a gay guide seeing the major tourist sights, including ancient, renaissance, and contemporary Rome. After dinner, our guide will introduce us to the gay nightlife, and give us lots of free time as well.

We will spend the second week at a private villa in Montisi, a small hill town in southern Tuscany. Day trips will take us to Siena, the wine towns of Monepulciano and Montalcino, Assisi, Pienza, Orvieto, and the antique fair in Arezzo.

The trip will conclude with a day in Florence. Travelers will have an option to extend the tour for a day or more in Florence.

There is room for more participants, but you  must sign up very soon. The cost will be under $4,000.00 plus airfare (currently $1,550.00 from Seattle to Rome, returning to Seattle from Florence).

Future Trips

The travel committee will be meeting soon to select a trip for the fall of 2016. Do you have a dream destination that you would like the committee to consider? If so, please let the committee know. So far, members have suggested an African safari, tour of Iceland and riverboat up the Columbia River. We are also looking into a wine tasting tour of Central Washington for summer 2016.

Past Trips and Events

If you missed some of the trips organized by Mature Friends, you might be interested in reading about what you missed. Or if you went on any of these wonderful trips, you might be interested in reliving the fun and adventure. If so, this section is for you!

Reno Gambling Trip

Twenty-one people took off for our annual gambling trip on May 12. The package included round-trip airfare and accommodations at the El Dorado Resort Casino. We arrived in Reno shortly after 5:00 p.m., just in time for cocktail hour in the Roxy bar.

Good luck struck some of our gamblers, but nobody broke the bank. At least they had a great time trying. One of us won bigtime on his first pull of a slot machine. He more than quadripled his money. However, he'd put in only a quarter.

On our second day, we took in a show featuring tap dancing and drumming. During the day, many experienced other Reno sights, such as the National Auto Museum and the Truckee River walk. 

Stay tuned for a more thorough write-up along with pictures.


In April 2014, about twenty Mature Friends set off for an adventure of a lifetime — touring China! To read about the trip, all we did, all we saw, please click the link:

Tour of China

. . . and enjoy some pictures, too!

Spain and France

On October 12, 2014, twenty-four Mature Friends took off for Madrid, where they began a two-week tour of Northern Spain and Southern France. Please click the following link to see some of the sights they saw:

Tour of Spain and Southern France

Don’t forget to click the links in the story to see some pictures.

Costa Rica

On February 14, 2015, some adventurous Mature Friends took a short winter’s break in a land down south to soak up some warm weather and fine culture, as well as to see incredibly beautiful and fascinating sights. If you missed the tour or have an interest in what we did and what we saw, just click the link below for a description, written by Dan, one of the Mature Friends on the trip. Also, click the links in the write-up to see more:

Tour of Costa Rica

Cruise Down the Asian Coast

At the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, several Mature Friends took a cruise down the East Coast of Asia. We began in Hong Kong and ended up in Singapore. As with the tour of China, we saw several incredible sites, but without the hassle of unpacking and repacking, because our Holland-America ship acted as our home base. Check out this great cruise:

Cruise Down the Asian Coast

Cruise to Alaska

On April 29, a few Mature Friends set off on a short cruise off the Alaskan coast to Ketchican. Everybody had a great time, as usual on a Mature Friends' voyage. Check out some of the pictures of this relaxing trip.

Back to “Goings On”


Theater and Music

Tune into this section to find information on theater and music that might interest gays and Lesbians over forty, or that might interest anybody, for that matter.

Southern Oregon Road Trip, August 21 – 25

Plans are being finalized for ten Mature Friends to travel to Ashland, Oregon, to see three plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We will also participate in the Daedalus Events, OSF’s fundraiser for AIDS, and recognition of members of the company and others who have died of AIDS. There will probably be a few side trips including Crater Lake.

The cost is $725 plus a tank of gas if you carpool. This price covers housing, theater tickets, breakfast, and one dinner.  Reserve  deposit of $200 was due by April 20 to guarantee a slot. The remainder is due by June 5. The single supplement price is $385.


This trip will be loosely organized, with transportation by private car. We will help you organize car pools after we get a roster of participants. Some may prefer to fly: Alaska/Horizon offers flights to Medford, which is about twelve miles from our hotel. Alaska offers two nonstop flights and flights with plane changes in Portland.  (Because it is easy to  get to downtown Portland on the light-rail, you might prefer to fly and spend a day in Portland.)

Shuttles to our hotel are available. We expect most of us will travel by private car: the drive is just over seven hours via I-5 with the worst traffic between Seattle and Olympia. This would  allow short stops in Portland, Eugene, or Grants Pass. Possible alternate routes involve Highway 97 on the east side. You can access 97 through Yakima via I-90 and I-82 to Yakima, where you can connect with Highway 97. There are several routes back across the Southern Cascades, north or south of Crater Lake and one through Crater Lake. Those with more time might detour to the Oregon Coast one the way down or back. The coastal route would probably involve another night or more unless you are a marathon driver.


We will be staying at the Stratford Inn, which is four blocks from the theaters at the other end of downtown Ashland. The rooms have a choice of one king or two queen beds. Breakfast is included. There is a coffee  shop at the inn and several nearby bars.


Breakfast is included in the rooms. We will have one organized group dinner in a restaurant in downtown or nearby, included in your fees. You will be on your own for lunches and the other dinners. The rooms have a kitchenette. There is a large grocery store across the street. Ashland is rife with interesting restaurants, all of which are good at getting you served in time for curtain.


Liquor used to be very close to the same price as in Washington, but I'm not sure if that is the case now since our plunge into free enterprise in the booze trade.  I would guess it is a little lower there. BUT about fifteen miles  south on I-5, roughly five feet over the California border, there is a liquor store, well stocked and at California  prices. They specialize in Washington and  Oregon  shoppers. John and I will plan on a trip before you arrive, so you can order what you would like us to get for the week. We will also plan on booze runs during the week, so you may need to plan on saving room in your cars for taking some liquid souvenirs  back home.


The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, housed in Ashland, is by most measures the largest repertory company in the country. It has a large outdoor theater, a large indoor theater, and a small indoor theater. The indoor theaters play from February through October. We have tickets included in the fee for Guys and Dolls, Pericles, and Much Ado About Nothing. In addition there are tickets for the Daedalus Festival, the AIDS fund raiser, on Monday,  including a staged reading of a new play on an AIDS theme and the company talent show, which includes the ever popular underwear contest where you get to stuff bills in the under- wear of your favorite actor. We also have tickets for the backstage theater tour on Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m. This takes about a hour and does involve six flights of stairs, not all at once. Pericles is a late play, probably only partly by Shakespeare, which is rarely  staged, but they always do a spectacular job of it at Ashland. Word is that it is the best production of the three plays we will see though there are rarely bad productions in Ashland.


Optional excursions during the day include Crater Lake, Historic Jacksonville, Wine Tasting, hiking, white water rafting.

Back to “Goings On”