Pinot & Prose Book Club Selection for January and February 2018

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Publisher Comments

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, National Book Award winner Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America.  According to historian Joseph Ellis, “Alexander Hamilton is a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.

Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before — from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

Because of the length our selection the Pinot & Prose Book Club will be spreading it over two months.  At our monthly discussion session on January 24th (11:30 a.m. at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant), we will discuss the first 20 chapters; our monthly discussion session on February 21st (11:30 a.m. at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant) we will discuss the remainder of the book.   Come join us for the discussion sessions, followed by lunch. 

Posted in Book Group, Book of the Month, Calendar, Events | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays From Your Retiree Network!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Posted in Calendar, Event of the Month | Leave a comment

December News and our Calendar of Events…

First, we want to thank everyone who participated in our Giving Tuesday fundraising effort for the PCC Panther Pantries. We set a goal for the Retiree Network of $500 and overachieved raising a total of $808 in less than two days! The PCC Foundation’s Giving Tuesday goal for the Panther Pantries was $10,000 and overall among the multiple groups who participated along with the retirees, such as the campuses teams of employees and/or students, we raised in excess of $16,000 in that same period. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!!!

As demonstrated above, the generosity of our retirees is always amazing. So you can file this under “a shot in the dark” or “you never know unless you ask” but we have another opportunity. The Retiree Network recently learned that enrollment growth in the music program at the Rock Creek Campus has left them with a shortage of available practice pianos.  Do you have a piano that could be donated through the Foundation to the Rock Creek Music Department? Perhaps you’re preparing to downsize your living space or you have one that your children learned to play on that now sits idly awaiting a player. We can help you work out a tax deductible donation through the PCC Foundation. If you’re in such a situation, check out the prior post for more information, using this link: Possible Piano Donation.

On to our December Calendar of Events (be sure to read the notes on future events as we need some feedback on possible winter events listed after the December calendar):

Sunday, December 10th, 12:00 noon for lunch followed by 2:00 matinee performance of “Second City’s A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens” at Portland Center Stage. WE HAVE ONE TICKET REMAINING! If you aren’t already on the list but would like to join us, please contact Jerry Donnelly ASAP by replying to the emailed version of this list.  Details on the lunch and performance schedule have been separately mailed to those who’ve ordered tickets.

Wednesday, December 13th, 1:00 p.m. Happy Lunch with guest speaker, State Senator Michael Dembrow.  We’ve invited Michael to talk with us again as he prepares for the coming 2018 ‘short session’ of the Oregon Legislature. We’ve arranged for a room at Le Petite Provence Restaurant, 1824 NE Alberta Street. We will need RSVP’s to give them a head count no later than 5:00 p.m. Monday, December 11th. Please RSVP by reply to your emailed version of this message.

Thursday, December 21st, 9:15 a.m. (coffee), 10:15 a.m. (movie): Art & Conversation, Portland Art Museum. This month a special treat! LAIKA Studios Spotlight, a presentation of the LAIKA Studios movie “The Boxtrolls”. Bring the grand kids, they should be out of school for the holidays and this promises to be an especially entertaining outing.  For more information click on Portland Art Museum above then use their calendar to find the information on December 21st, Art & Conversation.

As usual we will not have a Pinot & Prose Book Club discussion nor a Business Meeting in December, but please note the following:

1) The Book Club selection for January AND February is “Hamilton” by Ron Chernow. Due to the length of the book, we’re going to divide it roughly in half and plan to discuss the reading up through chapter 20 in January (January 24th) and the remainder of the book at our February (February 28th) Pinot & Prose discussion session. Both sessions will meet at 11:30 a.m. at the Walter Mitty’s Restaurant.

2) We are looking into group tickets for a concert on the evening of February 2nd, and we would like an early showing of interest to determine whether this is something you’d like us to pursue. The concert, sponsored by Friends of Chamber Music at Kaul Auditorium (Reed College campus) will feature the male a capella group Chanticleer.  If you would be interested, please let us know as soon as possible as it is a relatively small venue and tickets may sell out fast. Just reply to the emailed version of this message if you are interested. (Clicking on the group name will take you to their YouTube page where you can sample their performances.)

3) We are also planning another theater outing at Portland Center Stage on February 18, 2018 for a performance of “Astoria – Part 2”. The Pinot & Prose Book Club read the book (Astoria by Peter Stark) last year and some of us attended performances of “Astoria – Part 1” last season at PCS. If you didn’t catch Astoria – Part 1, they will be performing it again in January and early February. If you want to join us for Part 2 on February 18th, you can find information on the Part 1 performances at this link: Portland Center Stage. And, you can reply to the emailed version of this message and let us know now that you are interested and we’ll include you as we get the details together for February 18th.

Whew! That’s a lot this month.


Posted in Book of the Month, Calendar, Events, News | Leave a comment

Wondering what to do with that piano?

This may well be a shot in the dark, but if you don’t ask you never know. So we’re asking. Do you have a piano in your home that is no longer played or that you haven’t determined what you’ll do with as you prepare to ‘downsize’ your home?

It has come to the attention of the Retiree Network that the Rock Creek Campus music program has a need for additional pianos. The program has grown significantly in recent years and the faculty hope to continue that growth but one of the current limitations is that there are not enough pianos available to meet the practice time needs of our students. All the practice rooms are currently equipped with spinet style uprights; a concert grand would be a nice addition, especially with a height adjustable bench if we lived in an ideal world but any piano and bench in decent to good condition (i.e. most keys work, it has all its strings, etc.) and capable of handling hours of practice use could be acceptable.

If you have a piano that you would consider donating to the College as a tax deductible ‘in-kind’ donation, we can help you make that happen. If you have questions about how that process works, you can contact Christina Kline at the PCC Foundation for more information. | Direct: 971-722-4607 |

Posted in Events, News | Leave a comment

Retiree Network Supports PCC Panther Pantries for Giving Tuesday.

Join us on “Giving Tuesday” (November 28) in supporting the PCC Foundation’s campaign for the “Panther Pantries”.   For more information about these campus based food pantries, click here to read about the pantry at the Rock Creek Campus.  There are Pantries at each campus.

Retirees of Portland Community College continue to be inspired by the students we have known over many years and those we meet at current PCC events. We know they are here to pursue an education and create a brighter future for them and their families. PCC students are smart, hard-working and dedicated to making our community stronger!

We have learned recently that nearly 50% of students face food insecurity and become aware of the campus based Panther Pantries working to help alleviate that problem. That’s why this Giving Tuesday, we’re joining forces with the PCC Foundation to support them. We’ve set a moderate goal of $500 to do our part in meeting the Foundation’s goal.

A well-fed mind is ready to learn and succeed. Join us and make gift to support our students. Together, we’re creating a healthier, stronger community!

We’re doing this in conjunction with the PCC Foundation using a secure on-line site called “Everyday Heros” and we will continue using this forum to raise funds through January 31, 2018.  Last year the Foundation successfully raised $5,000 for the Panther Pantries on Giving Tuesday, this year’s goal is double that amount.  Contributions of any size are accepted.  Clicking here will take you to the Retiree Network page at Everyday Heros.



Posted in Events, News | Leave a comment

Retiree Network Calendar of Events, November 2017

Tuesday, November 7th, Election Day! Don’t forget to return your ballot. If you live in the PCC District, you have a bond measure to vote on.

This PCC bond measure is a replacement of the bonds approved in 2000 and will therefore result in a continuation of PCC’s current bond rate.  It is not a ‘tax increase’, but will allow the college to issue an additional $185 million to fund: construction of a Child Care Center at the Rock Creek Campus; reconstruction of buildings at the Portland Metro Workforce Training Center as well as improve workforce training programs with updated equipment; renovate the Health Technology building at Sylvania Campus and develop new interactive training spaces for the Health Professions; and, invest in students’ needs for safety, security, ADA accessibility and building longevity across the District.

Wednesday, November 8th, 1:00 p.m. Happy Lunch:  We’re returning to one of our favorite lunch venues this month. Please join us at Gracie’s at the Hotel Deluxe (729 SW 15th, Portland – free valet parking available).  As usual, we’ll need to make a reservation, so please RSVP by Monday, November 6th. You can RSVP by simply replying to the emailed version of this message or use the comment field below this post.

Thursday, November 16th, 10:15 a.m., Art & Conversation, Portland Art Museum:  This month, Julia Dolan, Ph. D., The Minor White Curator of Photography,  will discuss the exhibition, Representing: Vernacular Photographs Of, By, and For African Americans.

Please note: There will be no coffee portion this month. Please join us for the lecture at 10:15 a.m. in the Whitsell Auditorium, Main Building. Those attending the lecture are also welcome to explore the galleries after the talk. This series is free for adults 62 and over and is made possible through the Marguerite and Harry Kendall Education Fund. Additional support comes from Rick and Erika Miller.

Friday, November 17th, A Christmas Carol, Twist Your Dickens – Final Day to reserve your tickets to join us at Portland Center Stage for the Sunday, December 10th matinee performance of “Twist Your Dickens”.  Click the link above for details.

Note this change of schedule: Our regular Pinot & Prose Book Club discussion session and the monthly business meeting would fall on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so we are bumping them out to – Wednesday, November 29th:

The Book Club will meet at 11:30 a.m. at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant to discuss this month’s selection: Stoner, by John Edward Williams. (Note: since there will be no December book club session or business meeting, we have selected a longer book – “Hamilton by Ron Chernow for the January book selection.)

Our regular business meeting will follow at 1:00 p.m. also at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant.  All are welcome to join us for the meeting as we begin planning for upcoming events in the new year!

Posted in Calendar, Events, News | Leave a comment

Remembering Terri Greenfield

We are saddened to share the news that Mary Terese (Terri) Greenfield (nee Shiells) died October 23, 2017.  Terri had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for the past six years. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Portland on Monday October 30th at 7:00 pm. All are welcome.

Terri was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She was the only child of George Francis
Shiells and Joan Callaghan Shiells. She attended St. Thomas grade school and Xavier College Preparatory High School. Growing up in Phoenix, Terri developed her fondness for good Mexican food and her distaste for hot weather. She moved to Portland to attend college at the University of Portland, where she met fellow UP student Michael Greenfield (Mike) during her freshman year. Terri graduated in 1969 with a degree in sociology, and she and Mike were married several weeks later. Terri and Mike remained in Portland to start their family. They welcomed daughter Julia in 1971 and son Brian in 1974. Terri and Mike enjoyed a 48‐year marriage filled with love and laughter.

Terri had a long and successful career advocating for, mentoring, and inspiring others. Her
first jobs were at the Regional Office of Adult and Family Services as a food stamps and Aid to Families with Dependent Children caseworker, and then with the Brodart Corporation as a book buyer for JK Gill. In these roles, she honed her natural talent for networking, relationship building, and creating connections. In the early 1980’s, Terri was named the first Director of the newly established Women’s Resource Center of Portland Community College at the Cascade Campus. She led Project Independence, which prepares women students for college and successful careers. She was later recruited to be the founding Director of PCC’s Steps to Success Program, and from there was appointed Dean of Business and Government. While working full‐time and raising her two children, she earned a Master’s degree in Education with highest honors at Portland State
University. She concluded her career as PCC’s Dean of Adult Basic Skills. In this role she
worked to help establish PCC’s new Southeast Portland campus. After retirement from
PCC, Terri continued to serve as a consultant to community colleges around the country on the improvement of adult basic education programs.

Terri was a trailblazer in balancing personal and professional goals and satisfaction. She
was actively involved in her children’s lives and in the St. Therese parish faith community. Terri and Mike chaired St. Therese School’s Parent Association, where Terri’s greatest achievement was supplementing the popcorn and hot dogs sold at St. Therese athletic events with homemade Mexican flautas that she and Sr. Lynne Marie Gillanders fried to order by the hundreds. Terri taught her children by example to work hard for others during the week, and to reserve weekends for reading in bed until the wee hours of
the morning, sleeping late, and enjoying good food and wine with family and friends.
Though she was a natural introvert, Terri developed and nourished new lifelong
friendships at every stage of her life, from elementary school through her retirement. Mike
and Terri enjoyed traveling and spending time with friends and family around the country
and the world, particularly Italy, Spain, and the Mediterranean Islands. In her last fifteen
years, Terri’s greatest joy was the birth of her four grandchildren, Derek, Amelia, Natalie,
and Gabriel. Though Terri was otherwise known for her humility, she frequently called
Julia and Brian after ferrying a grandchild to some activity or other to remark on how
gifted, precocious, smart, talented, or just generally exceptional that particular grandchild
was. Each grandchild was her favorite.

Thousands of lives have been enriched by Terri’s generosity with her time, intelligence,
energy, passion, and humor. Her family, friends, and colleagues knew her as a
tremendously caring and authentic person who fiercely supported all those she loved and
those who needed love. Terri was deeply committed to the development of people through
education as a means to address social and economic inequality. She was tenacious in her
work to help women acquire the skills they needed to secure jobs, develop meaningful
careers, and support their families. She strived to ensure that educational programs and
facilities were well suited to meet the needs of women and families in diverse

In lieu of flowers, Terri’s family suggests honoring Terri’s legacy with memorial contributions to one of the following organizations: Adelante Mujeres, 2030 Main St. Suite A, Forest Grove, OR 97116 (; or St. Andrew Nativity School, PO Box 11127, Portland OR 97211 (

Terri is survived by her husband Michael; daughter Julia (Adam Arms); son Brian (Katie);
grandchildren Derek Greenfield, Amelia Arms, Natalie Greenfield, and Gabriel Arms; niece Elizabeth Perry; aunt Patricia Marcum; and foster daughter Christina Mueller (husband Ed; children Jennifer, Edward, Andrew, and Aaron).

Posted in Events, News | Tagged | Leave a comment