TMC Administration Notes - April/May 2015

Letter from the Chair

Please forgive me if this letter seems a little distracted, but this is the last Chair Letter I'll write before the ten's digit on my body's odometer rolls up to a "5", and even though this hasn't exactly snuck up on me, it still feels like a shock. And there will probably be more shocks to come. Receiving the letter from AARP inviting me to join will be particularly unpleasant, and I just hope my wife gets to the mail first on that unhappy day and quietly sends it straight into the shredder.

As a dedicated rationalist, I've found myself wondering why such an abstract event with no outwardly tangible changes is proving to be so distressing. I can appreciate that many of us don't think much about our age except at milestone birthdays like this. So this birthday is more of a marker than anything, but a marker of what? Well, a lot of things, it seems. I'm worried that my body will no longer do quite what I want it to do. But I've been working out for the last 6 months, have lost a bunch of weight, and feel better than I have in a long time. On top of which, my 75 year old dad and I will be doing our first skydive later this spring. So I don't seem to be suffering too much in the "can't keep up physically" department. Well OK, I worry that I will start to lose a step mentally, forget more things, or be unable to express myself the way I used to. But I realize that I do the kind of work that forces me to stay sharp, and in many ways with the benefit of experience, I'm doing it better than ever, so this also seems like a premature worry.

Perhaps most disturbingly, I worry that my age will cause other people to think differently about me, or to hold doors for me, or otherwise treat me as an old person. This is the worry that I don't have an answer for, but I have to admit that I can't control what other people think about me. If someone chooses to see me as a geezer accelerating into senescence and decrepitude, there's nothing I can do about that. But ultimately, I realize that how others see me isn't the real fear. The real fear is that if others see me differently, then maybe I should think of myself differently too.

There is no doubt that age brings challenges, both physical and mental. At some point, I will be unable to run ultra marathons (OK, I never did before, but that's not the point), and I will probably lose some mental acuity and may even start asking 20-somethings to explain why Facebook is so popular. But I will still be the same person I've always been, older and wiser perhaps, but with the same likes and dislikes, the same sense of humor, and the same approach to life.

All of which might lead to a simple rule: If things you cannot control change in your life, like a change in financial circumstances, the end of a relationship, health problems, or a change in your decade, don't let this change how you see yourself. Don't let external changes affect your internal self.

So come this April, if you see a guy on the street desperately clinging to a giant numeral "4" that is trying to escape, come up and say "Hi", and maybe remind me that I'm still Joe. Then tell me what's going on in your life, and I'll remind you that you are still you.

Joe Szurszewski
Board Chair


Library Corner

–– Jim Heaney, Librarian

We have a unique and extensive collection of books on men's and general topics which can be checked out by members of the Men's Center. Our periodicals include:

  • Fathering Today
  • Men's Health
  • Men's Journal
  • Lavender
  • Transitions
  • Voice Male.

The books in the Men’s Center Library are sectioned off into 14 categories.  These categories are: Fathers, Children & Families, Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Health & Therapy, Humor, Men’s Movement & Masculinity, Men’s Stories & Poetry, Miscellaneous, Relationships & Friendships, Reference, Relationships & Friendships, Sexuality, Spirituality, Valued Elders, Women. 

The Men's Center is proud to have a signed copy of Timothy Young's recently published To the Palace of Kings. Timothy is very active in the mens movement. This is the book which was referenced in the last Men Talk.

The Men's Center Staff and Key Volunteers

Office Manager -- Randy Genrich
Office Assistant Mgr-- Bryon Wistrom
Anger Mgmt Director-- John Hesch
Office Volunteers -- Rick Charlson, Jim Heaney, Dick Madigan
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Donation Pick-up Volunteers --
See chart in kitchen area

Board Chair -- Joe Szurszewski
Board Vice Chair -- Tom Weaver
Board Secretary -- Norm Petrik
Board Treasurer -- Rick Charlson
Board Member -- Jim Heaney
Board Member -- Ken Knoll
Board Member -- Andy Mickel
Board Member -- Damon Starks
Alternate -- Todd Fogelberg
Alternate -- Harry Greenberg
Alternate -- Malik Holt
Alternate -- Dave Webb

MenTalk Editor -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Production -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Here/There -- Andy Mickel
MenTalk Advertising -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Mailing Coord -- Scott Benson
MenTalk Labels/Database -- Scott Benson

Program Committee, Chair -- Norm Petrick
Wednesday Present Coord --Randy Genrich

Wednesday Present Publicity -- Rick Charlson

Finance Committee, Chair -- Rick Charlson
Finance Committee Chair -- Rick Charlson
Fin Comm Grant Writer -- Malik Holt-Shabazz
Fin Comm Memberships -- Andy Mickel

Outreach Committee, Chair -- Rick Charlson
Pride Festival Coord -- Ken Knoll
Media Publicity Coord -- Rick Charlson
Outreach Booth at Shows -- Randy Genrich, Andy Mickel, Malik Holt-Shabazz
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Web Site/Technology -- Bill Dobbs, Andy Mickel, Ken Knoll, Joe Szurszewski
E-mail Responders -- Scott Benson, Rick Charlson, Bill Dobbs, John Hesch, Andy Mickel, Joe Szurszewski

Anger Mgmt Director -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Grant Writer -- Bob Anderson
Anger Mgmt Publicity -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Steer Commit -- Bob Lundberg, John Hersch, David Giancristforo
Anger Mgmt Facilitators -- Tom M, Michael K, Jim K, John H, Art H, Bryce K, Pat G, Dean G, David E, Hoske R, Cory C, Michael I, John C, Lee C, Norm P, Bob L, Bob A, Harry G, Howard B, Tom F

Support Group Coord -- Norm Petrik
Support Group Database -- Dave Webb
General Men's Issues -- Randy G, Jerry O
Addiction Busters -- Tommy J
Gay Issues -- Pat K, Bruce K, Ranslow Z
Transitions --Scott, Richard S.
Divorce/Uncouplng -- John M, Greg D, Gerry W
Sexual Trauma & Abuse Survivors -- Jerry B, Kathleen M
Bi-Men & Gay Issues -- Leo P, David W, Damon S.
Healthy Sexual Boundaries -- Bobby S, Tommy J
Healthy Sexual Boundaries East -- Bobby S
Healthy Sexual Boundaries Tues -- Rich P, Bobby S, Tommy J
Retirement -- Norm P

Call our Office Manager at 612-822-5892 and ask how you can help.
We have been a vital part of the Twin Cities community for decades,
and almost all of our services have been provided by volunteers like you.