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Big Band Sounds : The MelodyMakers Orchestra, featuring retired musicians who played with famous groups, will play at the Harbortown Marina.


Chances are good that many seniors fell in love to the lush orchestrations of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, or the Dorseys during the Big Band era. Romantic dancing in that elegant age involved a parquet floor, not a parking lot. Satin was the fabric of choice at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom. And Max Factor's viscous red lipstick became a universal aphrodisiac.

Adults of all ages are invited to enjoy ballroom dancing to the 17-piece MelodyMakers Orchestra at Big Band Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Harbortown Marina Resort, 1050 Schooner Drive, Ventura. The band consists mostly of retired professional musicians who played with the famous big bands.

The event will also feature two guest bands, dance demonstrations, door prizes, and light refreshments. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $4 per person at both of Ventura's seniors centers (420 E. Santa Clara St. and 550 N. Ventura Ave.) weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., or at the recreation division offices in Ventura's City Hall, 501 Poli St., Room 226, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (805) 648-3035.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) will hold nine community forums throughout the county to help identify and establish priorities for unmet needs of the area's senior citizens. These meetings will provide information to assist the AAA in allocating state funds and in planning services. Participants may speak on seniors' concerns and will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about the needs of their senior community.

The forums will be held through Nov. 6. For locations and dates of meetings, call 652-7560 or (800) 529-2060, Ext. 7560.

Homebound residents may also obtain a questionnaire and a stamped return envelope by calling the same numbers.

The Ventura County Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is recruiting volunteers for a training session from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Tuesday through Thursday and Oct. 22, 23 and 29 through 31. Twenty-eight volunteers ranging in age from their 40s to their 70s monitor the quality of care and problems related to the rights of residents of long-term care facilities in the county.

The program also provides pre-admission and referral information, workshops, and counseling to prospective long-term care residents and their families. The support group sessions cover the care-giver's rights, family advocacy, effects of institutionalization, and coping with guilt.

For information on the Ventura County Long-Term Care Ombudsman program and related services, call Ventura (805) 656-1986 or Thousand Oaks (805) 373-7371.

As part of her travelogue series, "Whizzing Around the World with Irma," 75-year-old traveler extraordinaire Irma Kackert will show slides and souvenirs of her adventures in the Caribbean and Venezuela on Wednesday from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. For details, call (805) 497-1639.

Next Week: Meet Irma and learn her tips for women who travel alone.


The following is a list of upcoming dances and concerts featuring music from the Big Band era:

Oct. 20: An Octoberfest dance will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Ventura Avenue Adult Senior Center, 550 N. Ventura Ave. Similar tea dances are held there the third Sunday of each month. Tickets are available at the door for $3, which includes light refreshments. For details, call (805) 648-3035.

Oct. 20: On the third Sunday of each month, seniors can enjoy ballroom dancing to the music of Gloria & the Boys band from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Port Hueneme Community Center, 550 Park Ave. The $3 admission cost per person includes refreshments. For details, call (805) 483-6890.

Oct. 20: The Mello Tones will provide music for a ballroom dance sponsored by the Thousand Oaks Senior Adult Dance Club and the Conejo Recreation and Park District from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, in Thousand Oaks. Dues for club membership through June, 1992, is $6. Admission cost is $4 per club member and $5 per non-member. For details, call (805) 497-1639.

Oct. 21: A concert celebrating the music of Duke Ellington and the Big Band era will be presented at 8 p.m. at the Dorill B. Wright Cultural Center in Port Hueneme, 575 Surfside Drive. The event will feature performances by Herb Jeffries (formerly a singer with Ellington's band) and his orchestra, vocalists Barbara McNair, John and Donald Mills of the Mills Brothers, and tap dancer Gene Bell. Tickets cost $20. (805) 986-6599.

Oct. 27: Ballroom Dancing to the Johnny Olins Band, 4 to 7 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, Eighth and A streets in Oxnard. Cost is $5 per person. (805) 647-3820.

Oct. 28: The 50+ Club will hold a dance from 8:30 to 11 p.m. at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road, in Ventura. Admission per person is $5. (805) 643-2653.

Nov. 26: The Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. at Port Hueneme's Dorill B. Wright Cultural Center and the dance floor will be open. Tickets are $18. (805) 986-6599.

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