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Aging and dying may not usually be considered art, but you could argue that aging well – and perhaps dying, too — calls for a creative touch. And there’s no doubt that writing an obituary — at least an engaging, memorable obituary — is clearly an art. That’s the topic Wednesday afternoon at Manzanita’s Hoffman Center for the Arts in the ongoing The Art of Aging & Dying series.

Writer Kathie Hightower will lead the two-hour workshop beginning at 3 p.m. Nov. 14. Like many of us, Hightower likes to read obits.

Writer Kathie Hightower will teach a workshop on obit writing in Manzanita.

“No, not to be morbid, but as an honoring and out of curiosity,” Hightower said in a press release, which continues: “You know there is a wide variety. Many are pretty darn boring, just the facts in response to the template most funeral parlors ask you to fill in. Others capture the life and spirit of the individual, the true person who lived between the lines of roles like career, parenting, volunteer work. Which would you rather have represent you when you are gone? Boring or spirited?”

Hightower will share advice from professional obituary writers, as well as examples to inspire your own obit, and get you started writing it. It can be your gift to those who will write your obit when it’s time. (Or your way of ensuring it’s already done to your liking.)

“This exercise can be a true celebration of your life,” Hightower’s release adds. Participants should bring pen and paper or a laptop. They’ll leave with a start and questions to fill in additional details after the session, Hightower notes, as well as an assignment of choosing a favorite photo they’d want attached to their obit.

The Art of Aging & Dying series is held the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, alternating topics on aging and dying. The Nov. 28 program features a conversation on the humor and wisdom of spiritual teacher Ram Dass. Admission is $5. Check out future programs here.

The topic’s a little lighter down the hill in Nehalem, where the Riverbend Players stage the final performances of a live radio play of the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Showtime is 7 p.m. Nov. 17 and 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at the North County Recreation District Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available online, $12 (plus fee), or at the door, $15 (no fee).

The Lincoln City Cultural Center hosts fiddler/piper/storyteller Kevin Carr at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. According to the center’s website, Carr honed his craft over the past 30 years in “smoky Irish pubs, remote cabins in Quebec and dance halls across America. He’s played banjo in Latvia, learned to play the bagpipes of a dozen countries and dug deep to find just the right stories to share. His one-man musical theater of the imagination blends folklore, true-life adventure, and the rare, soulful, fiery sounds of fiddle and pipes into a mesmerizing experience.”

Carr’s performance is part of the Celtic concert series, with five more concerts planned in coming months. Advance tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $10 youth 18 and under.

Photographer Kathy Samsel is the featured November artist at the Trails End Gallery in Gearhart. The art association’s next show opens Dec. 1, which coincides with the Gearhart Art Walk.

The Gearhart Art Walk takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 1. The date also marks the opening of the Trail’s End Art Association and Gallery’s December Art Show. Longtime members and new ones will be exhibiting recent watercolors, oils, and pastels, as well as mixed media, photographs, fiber arts, and 3-D works. Original fine art, prints, notecards, and small objets d’art will be for sale.

Stay tuned for more on Trail’s End, the oldest gallery on the North Coast, “thriving since the 1950s,” and housed in what was once known as the Little Red Schoolhouse. The gallery is located one block south of Pacific Way at 656 A St. in Gearhart.

Lori Tobias is a journalist of many years, and was a staff writer for The Oregonian for more than a decade, and a columnist and features writer for the Rocky Mountain News. Her memoir “Storm Beat – A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast” was published in 2020 by Oregon State University press. She is also the author of the novel Wander, winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award for literary fiction and a finalist for the 2017 International Book Awards for new fiction. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband Chan and rescue pups Luna and Monkey.