About Mike McClain

Mike-McClain-Contributor Mike McClain spent 32 years as a teacher and school administrator, retiring in 1999 as Superintendent of Central Point Schools. He and his wife relocated to Jacksonville four years ago and are enjoying immersing themselves in this unique community.

A Strong Faith Keeps Mac and Peggy Peffley Grounded – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – September 2017

The first 30 minutes of my interview with Mac and Peggy Peffley was spent touring their expansive Singler Lane home to see their extensive eclectic art and southwestern pottery collection, which reflects their world travels and experiences. Then it was time to get busy with the life stories of two more […]

By | September 6th, 2017|Now, Sensational Seniors|0 Comments

Bo Atkinson Remains a Classic Warrior – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – August 2017

Robert Atkinson, known in Jacksonville as “Bo,” first moved here in 2000 with his effervescent wife, Iris, and the two immediately became a popular and well-known couple around town. Bo’s quiet and unassuming manner belies the fact that he had a distinguished career in the army as a helicopter pilot and […]

By | July 28th, 2017|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Bo Atkinson Remains a Classic Warrior – by Mike McClain

Mary Ann Byrne: World Traveler, Book Lover and Conversationalist – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – July 2017

When I entered Mary Ann Byrne’s stately historic Jacksonville home on California Street to begin my “Sensational Seniors” interview, I was greeted with, “I have always lived in and loved older homes and, while they take a good deal of tender care and are expensive to maintain, they help define who […]

By | June 30th, 2017|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Mary Ann Byrne: World Traveler, Book Lover and Conversationalist – by Mike McClain

Lou Mayersky: The View from the Top is Stunning – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – June 2017

I had just started my interview with Lou Mayersky, my June “Sensational Seniors” candidate, when he had me look at several tall fir trees outside his dining room. “You know,” started, “too many people want to improve their view by cutting trees down. That is a terrible waste of the beauty […]

By | May 30th, 2017|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Lou Mayersky: The View from the Top is Stunning – by Mike McClain

Iris and Shirley Demonstrate How Friendship Endures – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – May 2017

In 2012, a college friend of mine from over 50 years ago co-authored a book on how men can achieve true friendship and set the tone in the introduction by penning, “Whereas women very naturally share themselves with friends through acceptance and self-revealing conversations, men shy away from intimacy.” For this […]

By | April 27th, 2017|Now, Sensational Seniors|2 Comments

Mayor Becker’s Community Spirit Is Infectious – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – April 2017

Jacksonville Mayor Paul Becker’s transition from New York City to our small village is a story of finding one’s place in the world and is replete with the usual ups and downs, triumphs, defeats, sadness and elation. Paul was born in 1929 on the upper West Side of New York City. […]

By | March 29th, 2017|Now, Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Mayor Becker’s Community Spirit Is Infectious – by Mike McClain

Marge Wall: Jacksonville Quilt Lady, Still Sewing Strong – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – March 2017

Marge Wall, the owner of Country Quilts here in Jacksonville, decided to take it a little easier this January and close on Sundays. So now, instead of operating her quilt store seven days a week, she cut back to six. And this is a woman who will turn 83 this April. […]

By | February 28th, 2017|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors|1 Comment

Jacksonville’s Tony Hess Gets Things Done – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – February 2017

I knew when I scheduled my “Sensational Seniors” interview with Tony Hess that I should allow ample time for it…I wasn’t disappointed! And while I thought I already knew quite a bit about Tony, I quickly realized that I’d just scratched the surface.

Eighty-one year old Tony Hess was born in Toledo, […]

By | January 31st, 2017|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Jacksonville’s Tony Hess Gets Things Done – by Mike McClain

Jim and Georgene Van Orsow: Setting the Bar for Living a Full Life – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – December 2016/January 2017

For this month’s column, I only needed to cross the street to interview our close neighbors and friends, Jim and Georgene Van Orsow, another senior couple living a rich and varied life here in Jacksonville. Jim was born in Fairbault, Minnesota but moved to Oregon at age 2, so considers […]

By | November 30th, 2016|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Jim and Georgene Van Orsow: Setting the Bar for Living a Full Life – by Mike McClain

Jerry Evans: Iconic Jacksonville Businessman Does Not Quit – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – November 2016

Jerry Evans and his wife, Linda, have owned the Jacksonville Inn for over 40 years. In that time, Jerry has stayed home a total of 173 days or, to put it another way, he has averaged less than 5 days a year at home during the past 40 years. This must […]

By | October 24th, 2016|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Jerry Evans: Iconic Jacksonville Businessman Does Not Quit – by Mike McClain

Russ and Margaret Lyon: Enjoying a Third Career and Aging Well – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – October 2016

Because Jacksonville is replete with “Sensational Seniors,” I only needed to walk to the end of Shafer Lane to interview my good friends and neighbors, Russ and Margaret Lyon, of the well-known Daisy Creek Vineyard, for this column.

Their life story is one of determination and overcoming obstacles, while maintaining a finely-tuned […]

By | October 5th, 2016|Featured Stories, Sensational Seniors, The Wine Scene|1 Comment

Mira Wingfield: From Bucharest to Jacksonville – by Mike McClain

Sensational Seniors – September 2016

There have been many positive aspects of our move to Jacksonville some four years ago. For a village of 2,800 people, it offers a host of outstanding restaurants and watering holes, it is a walkable town with miles of trails and there is a spirit of volunteerism that surpasses anything I’ve […]

By | October 5th, 2016|Sensational Seniors|Comments Off on Mira Wingfield: From Bucharest to Jacksonville – by Mike McClain