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Ingleside at Rock Creek Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015

Retirement community schedules thought-provoking fall speaker series

“This guy’s really been around,” Allen says. He served in the U.S. Army, advancing to colonel, and then joined the Department of Defense as a civilian. Roberts served in Teheran as a Delta Force officer during the time when President Jimmy Carter ordered the famous blow-up in the desert.

“He was furious that it was done and went on the rescue mission,” Allen says. “He had people on site secretly to rescue the hostages. Then the whole thing blew up.”

Roberts now teaches at the National Defense University and has written extensively about terrorist groups.

Allen has also lined up Mike Canning, a freelance writer, movie reviewer and author of Hollywood on the Potomac, to speak Sept. 18. Canning has researched all of the places in the District where a Washington scene dominates a movie scenario. He will talk about how D.C. is portrayed in the movies.

On Oct. 30, the speaker will be Wayne Smith, a Foreign Service officer who was the U.S. representative in Havana before relations with Cuba were re-established. During that time, the Swiss government was the U.S. protecting power. Smith ran the American interest section at the Swiss embassy. He will talk about reopening relations with Cuba.

Other speakers who have committed to giving talks at Ingleside at Rock Creek are Teresita and Howard Schaffer, both former ambassadors and experts on South Asia, who will present a joint program on India and the United States on Nov. 13; and in December, one of the curators for the new African American Museum of History and Culture will speak. The museum is under construction and is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

“We’re trying to include a wide range of subjects of interest to our residents,” says Allen, who chairs the retirement community’s speakers committee. Since Allen teaches at Georgetown University, he shares the duty of recruiting speakers with his fellow committee members.

Allen took over chairmanship of the committee from Tom, a resident who headed it for 15 years.

Tom “would go to every meeting in town and listen to speakers. If he liked what he heard, he’d invite them to be one of our speakers. He also had his own contacts within the State Department,” Allen says.

Allen has been attending the lectures on a regular basis and gave a presentation himself on how terrorist groups operate. Allen and his wife Marilyn moved to Ingleside at Rock Creek in March 2013.

“We have a close friend here who once came to our house and interested us in Ingleside at Rock Creek,” he says. “We didn’t want to give up our house.”

As they got to know more about the retirement community, though, they changed their minds.

“It looked like a very good place, Allen says. “With three flights of stairs in our home, we decided one day it was time to close up and go to Ingleside.”

Allen found lots of kindred spirits at Ingleside at Rock Creek who are living the kind of active, engaged lives he and Marilyn wanted.

“It’s a very interesting group of people that have retired here. There are all kinds of people with interesting careers, and we have a lot of good conversations at dinner. There is a very welcoming atmosphere, and the staff are incredibly welcoming and helpful. Those were two very strong draws,” Allen says.

The community’s location and robust schedule of activities also were attractive to the couple. They found that every window looks out on green space and the beautiful Rock Creek Park, and their son lives 5 minutes away.

“We hated giving up our house, but we certainly are enjoying life just as much,” Allen says.



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