‘Headstrong’ History

Thomas Paine Society hosts annual birthday celebration Sunday at Castle Green

The Thomas Paine Society is one of Pasadena’s most  unique organizations, staging discussions of major philosophical issues between actors portraying major American icons at the historic Castle Green since 1993. This Sunday, the Society celebrates its 25th anniversary with its latest edition of the “Headstrong Evening Club,” hosting an evening of rousing conversation, great food, libations, and fun while recreating Paine’s favorite 18th Century English haunt, the White Hart Inn.

Ian Ruskin will portray Paine, while Weekly columnist Ellen Snortland will guest as Eleanor Roosevelt. Other special surprise guest historical figures will also appear, with musician Harold Payne providing accompaniment throughout the evening. The evening’s topic will be “Income Inequality: Was Thomas Paine’s ‘Agrarian Justice’ a Blueprint for Universal Basic Income?”

Be prepared for an evening of rousing conversation, libations, food and fun. Join  the conversation and speak your mind in this audience participation event like no other. Light fare, wine, ale and non-spirited drinks will be available throughout the evening.

The Thomas Paine Society presents the Headstrong Evening Club from 7 to 10 pm. Sunday at the Castle Green, 99 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Tickets are $30 for Thomas Paine Society members, Center for Inquiry members and Castle Green owners and residents. Admission is $35 for general public, and all tickets may be purchased at thomaspainesociety.org.

Packed Schedule

Pasadena Senior Center offers bevy of options for talks and activities in February

The Pasadena Senior Center has a full slate of classes and activities throughout February, with many of them free. While those wishing to attend do not have to be center members, some events require advance reservations.

The center will provide plenty of tax-time help from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays from Feb. 2 to April 13. Representatives from the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program will assist low- to middle-income filers in preparing their federal income tax returns. There is no age limit. Appointments are required by calling (626) 795-4331.

Meanwhile, from 1 to 3 pm. Tuesdays from Feb. 6 to March 13, caregivers can learn basic knowledge and skills needed to care for family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The “Savvy Caregivers” class is  presented by Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles. Registration is required: (626) 685-6730.

The Center will provide plenty of entertainment to seniors at its Friday Movie Matinees, with film screenings at 1 p.m. each Friday. The Feb. 2 selection is “Viceroy’s House” starring Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson, while Feb. 9 presents “Into the Wild,” starring Emile Hirsch. On Feb. 16, Judi Dench and Ali Fazal star in “Victoria and Abdul.”

The center will provide a Diabetes Workshop from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays from Feb. 9 to March 16. The series will encourage attendees to make lifestyle changes while learning more about diabetes and how it affects their health. Workshop topics include diet, exercise, medication issues, managing complications and the impact of diabetes on eyes, teeth and feet. Reservations are required: (626) 685-6732.

Finally, the Center will present an LA Opera Talk on “Orpheus and Eurydice” at 1 p.m. Feb. 26, featuring an LA Opera community educator leading guests through the classic opera. Christoph Gluck’s groundbreaking opera bridges the musical worlds of Handel and Mozart with ornate vocal lines and flowing melodies that forever changed the face of opera. In the story, Orpheus is granted permission to travel to the underworld to rescue his wife Eurydice on the condition that he will not look at her until they are back on Earth. Visit pasadenaseniorcenter.org.


The Pasadena Senior Center is located at 85 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Call (626) 795-4331.