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Join in the Joy of Tai Chi Chih

by Tom Hood

Living in the chaotic, uncertain world of today may cause stress and anxiety. Join in any one of  Florence St. Peter’s classes Beginning or Advanced Tai Chi Chih, and you may find your way to inner peace, quietness, and self-discovery. Tai Chi Chih is an American version of classic Chinese Tai Chi and was originated by Justin B. Stone. He learned Tai Chi in China, Japan, and India and then modified it into a meditative form of movement to fit American tastes when he returned home in 1974. He went on to become a Tai Chi Chih master. There are nineteen movements and one pose that, once learned, can be used as a tool to help improve your health, creativity, performance, and intuition.
          It was instant love for  Florence. The class gave her peacefulness and serenity. It allowed her to connect with her self and let go of baggage long carried.
            Florence became an accredited teacher in 2013 and now teaches Tai Chi Chih at St. Mary Medical Center and at OLLI. One of the greatest pleasures she gets from teaching Tai Chi Chih is watching her pupils’ progress and seeing the looks on their faces as they move deeper into the realm of personal serenity.
             Florence was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She worked her way through school at Boston University by singing and dancing and met her future husband on campus when she auditioned for a singing role in his band. Florence moved to California in 1966. In 1984, she and her two children moved to Long Beach to join her husband who had relocated to the L.A. area to work in the music business. Curiosity led her to take a beginning Tai Chi Chih class taught by Al Talberg at St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach. She came to OLLI as a friend and follower of Al and we are glad she did.

OLLI On the High Seas

On Saturday, June 15th, OLLI members had the opportunity to view the operations and facilities of the Port of Long Beach. Onboard the Harbor Breeze tour boat, we were welcomed by port employees Mario and Eric, who provided detailed narration as we sailed past various points of interest in the port.
As we learned about the history, current status, and future of the port facilities, we saw many interesting sights, including container facilities, ships under tug tow, salt piles, and huge cranes moving giant shipping containers. We also got to see the Gerald Desmond replacement bridge from a unique perspective: we sailed under an unconnected section still in the works!
Seventeen intrepid OLLI members were on board to learn more about our port. Because so many facts were provided, we couldn’t possibly remember them all! We were very glad there was no test to be given afterward.
We learned that the Port of Long Beach was established in 1911, and their first import product was lumber. Today, the number one product received by both volume and value is petroleum. We learned that 2018 was a record year for the port, receiving the most freight ever. Because the port is working diligently to replace carbon-based power with electrical power, ships can plug into land-based electrical systems, reducing as much pollution as 40,000 cars produce. And we were gratified to learn that the port management has long-term plans in place to deal with the rise of sea level that is expected in the future.
As the tour came to an end, we were much more knowledgeable about the operation of this huge and important Port of Long Beach, which is in our own backyard.
** Photography credit to Mae Chu and Hank Landsberg
Bring a friend to OLLI and share our motto:
Learn More ~ Age Less