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How Incentive Trusts Can Motivate Your Heirs Seniors, a Generous Bunch. Scam Artists Know This Well


Issue 66 December 2016 / January 2017

For Active Adults in the Central New York Area

free A Second Act for Retired Officers Theater: A New Chapter for Syracuse Stage Director

Higher Calling Jaime Alicea started at Syracuse school district three decades ago as kindergarten teacher’s aide. He found out education was his true passion and stuck around. In July he was appointed interim school superintendent

Meet The Great Loopers Retirees spend a year navigating through The Great Loop

Job Coaches, Networking, Social Media: Looking for a Job, Not What it Used to Be

Superior stroke care. It’s about time.


eceiving the area’s fastest stroke diagnosis and treatment starts even before you arrive at Crouse Hospital. That’s because our EMS

partners start communicating with our team the moment they arrive on the scene. Once here, our stroke specialists immediately assess your condition. And if more advanced care is needed, our boardcertified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeons use the most progressive stroke-rescue therapies and technology available. When it’s about time, say “Take me to Crouse.”


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December 2016/ January 2017

14 Savvy Senior 6 Financial Health 8 Gardening 10 Dining Out 12 My Turn 18 Aging 30 Golden Years 38 Consumers’ Health 42 Druger’s Zoo 46 Last Page 50 LAST PAGE in 2011 Tim Ames started Lakeside Artisans, an arts cooperative business in Oswego. He is now retiring 4

55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017




• Meet people who have spent a year navigating through The Great Loop


• Robert Hupp is moving from Arkansas to lead the Syracuse State


• Retired troopers, city police, are now using their skills at a special patrol unit

24 JOB COACHING • Should you consider getting a job coach?

26 JOB NETWORKING • Workers aged 40 and above have resource to make them more marketable




•Wide array of benefits that (some) veterans are missing


• The new interim superintendent of schools in Syracuse started at the district more than 30 years ago as a teacher’s aide


• Meet two local retired teachers who are giving back


• The serendipity of senior train travel in France


• Discover Lewis County, an all-seasons destination

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savvy senior By Jim Miller


Incentive Trusts Can Motivate Your Heirs

f you want to influence your family members even after you’re gone, an incentive trust is definitely an option to consider. Here’s how it works, along with some tips to help you create one.

Incentive Trust

An incentive trust is an estateplanning tool designed to help prod your heirs in a direction you desire when you’re no longer around. With an incentive trust, some or all of your assets are passed to your trust when you die rather than directly to your heirs. Your trustee is empowered to distribute funds from the trust only if and when your beneficiaries do whatever it is you have specified in the trust. For example, an incentive trust might encourage a beneficiary to graduate from college, enter a particular profession, get married or even have children. They could also reward beneficiaries who do charitable work, or supplement the incomes of those who choose low-paying, yet meaningful careers like teaching or social work. Or, they could penalize beneficiaries who don’t work by cutting off or decreasing distributions, or placing restrictions on heirs with addictions by requiring that payments go directly to rehab centers. But be aware that these types of trusts can also have drawbacks. A poorly constructed incentive trust can have a high risk of unintended consequences. For example, if your trust provides a financial incentive for your children to be employed full-time, but one of them gets sick or seriously injured in a car accident and can’t work, they would be punished unfairly. You also need to know that 6

55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

incentive trusts aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay an attorney $2,500 to $5,000 to draft one. There are also legal limits on what you can do with an incentive trust. While state laws vary, incentive trusts that encourage a beneficiary to join or leave a particular religion, or leave a spouse or not marry at all, can be challenged in court and possibly struck down.

How To Make One

To create a solid incentive trust that accomplishes what you envision, tell your estate-planning attorney that you want to include precise instructions that clearly spells out your wishes, but you also want to include language granting your trustee the right to use his or her discretion and that the trustee’s decisions should be final and binding. This allows your trustee to make common sense rulings, which will reduce or eliminate the chances of unintended and unfair consequences. It also makes it very difficult for beneficiaries to successfully challenge the trust or trustee in court. When a trust grants final decision-making authority to its trustee, it becomes almost impossible for beneficiaries to successfully argue that this trustee is not correctly implementing the trust’s terms. The key is to select a trustee who’s smart enough to interpret your intent and has sufficient backbone to stand up to beneficiaries when necessary. You also need to select a successor trustee too if your first choice can no longer serve. Fees paid to a trustee vary widely depending on the state’s fee schedules, the size and complexity of the trust, and conditions laid out in the trust.

55PLUS cny55.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo


Deborah J. Sergeant Aaron Gifford, Sandra Scott Matthew Liptak, Jacob Pucci Mary Beth Roach


Eva Briggs, M.D., Bruce Frassinelli Marilyn Pinsky, Harold Miller Jim Sollecito, Marvin Druger Michele Reed .


Amy Gagliano Cassandra Lawson

Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler

Cover Photo

Chuck Wainwright 55 PLUS –A Magazine for Active Adults in Central New York is published six times a year by Local News, Inc., which also publishes In Good Health–CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper. Published at 185 E. Seneca St. PO Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126. Subscription: $15 a year; $25 for two years © 2016 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in Upstate New York.

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55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

By David J. Zumpano

The Gift That Keeps On Giving


etty had been a client for over 15 years. Her only daughter and her husband were deceased. Betty had two grandchildren whom she cared for deeply. Recently, Betty’s grandson Benson announced that he planned to start a photography business. In addition to his normal day job, he had been working weekends photographing weddings and parties for several years, and had developed a strong following. Betty thought she could help financially and wanted to make a gift of about $150,000 to her grandson to get him up and running. Betty set a time to visit with her attorney to make sure it was OK to make the gift. She had heard about gift taxes and was worried about paying those. She also was worried that somehow she was not being fair to her granddaughter, who was a stay-at-home mom. Betty wanted to make sure that her granddaughter would be treated equally, but did not feel that it was the right time to make a large gift to her granddaughter. The first thing Betty’s attorney did was to ask her to complete an updated financial profile, so they would be able to make sure that Betty had enough money to make the business investment and still maintain her lifestyle. Once they were satisfied that she had the money to make the gift, the attorney explained that she could make annual gifts to her grandson of $13,000, but she could also make lifetime gifts of up to $5 million. All without paying any gift taxes. Finally, Betty’s attorney explained that while she could gift the money outright to her grandson, she might be better off making a loan to him, secured by the photography equipment.

The attorney explained that the loan would make the transaction more businesslike and might encourage her grandson to work hard to make sure the loan could be re-paid. It also meant that if something went wrong with the photography business, the equipment could be sold and Betty could recover some of her investment. In addition, the loan would be an asset in her estate and could be forgiven. But it also would be a way of tracking the fact that Benson had received money and allow the estate to equalize this “gift” to Betty’s granddaughter when Betty died. Betty decided that it made sense to make the loan. She had her attorney document the loan with a promissory note and an amendment to her living trust to add loan forgiveness language. Several years later, Betty is still alive and enjoys watching her grandson’s success. She has since made a similar loan to her granddaughter to help her buy a small ski home in Vermont, where Betty and all of her family meets at least once a year for a get-together, much to her delight. Gifting or lending money to your grandchildren can help your grandchildren get a good start in life. Gifts can also give great pleasure. Keep in mind that there are several ways to accomplish your goals. An experienced attorney can be helpful in terms of thinking through the different ways to accomplish your particular goals in the best way possible. David J. Zumpano is an attorney and a certified public accountant (CPA). He operates Estate Planning Law Center. He can be reached at 315-793-3622.

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December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


gardening By Jim Sollecito


Fits Like a Glove

have always found hard work to be the best way to get through many problems. Particularly if that activity is something I love to do. With a tool in my hand and sweat on my brow I navigate a lot of life’s paths. Then things become clearer. Think first, measure twice and cut once. Spending time outdoors, I stopped to wipe the sweat from my brow and set this old pair of leather gloves (photo) on the maple log. It was time for a water break. I thought about the many creatures who get their hydration from dew that forms on leaves. Even cast-off leaves on their way to becoming pre-soil still have value as moisture collectors. Nature sets the example for re-purposing and recycling, of course. Nature can sometimes fool us. Appearances can deceive. So it’s

important to observe carefully to see what’s really there. Next to that log grow three different plants, all with similar foliage. “Leaves of three let it be” is a phrase we’ve all heard but that is a misleading simplification. Only one of these plants is poison ivy. The others are wild strawberry and a nasty horizontal wild blackberry known as dewberry. Two can cause serious harm. One is user-friendly, providing a delicious natural red fruit. All have lovely white flowers but the result is not always what we might have expected. These three plants are all taking advantage of the cycle of life. The old decomposing logs provide nutrients and vigor to the plants as they compete for space closest to the newly created compost. Soil stays moister under rotting wood, another plus when you are thinking like a plant. Living things compete. Advantages have

consequences. In this well-worn pair of deerskin gloves, made from an animal I harvested myself, my hands have been protected from a number of threats. As evidenced by the bloodstained leather, even these gloves could not protect me from some of what life threw my way. And now, I’ll take off my trusty gloves and stow them safely as I prepare for colder weather. I’ll see about getting something more substantial to get me through the intensity of winter. Vision can be as simple as seeing what needs to be done and doing it. Vision directs your every day path and decision-making. It is not a mystical prophecy that only a genius can see. Recognize, take action and get something accomplished when no one else could or would. My job is to anticipate the workable solution in the landscapes I design, then make sure it happens. My paintbrushes are the plants I select and by choosing carefully, my works of art can last decades. Usually this involves separating the plants that are “maybes” from the ones that are proven worthwhile. Think of the three plants in the photograph. Drawing the correct conclusion is critical to success. I realize it’s time now for Gortex boots and insulated socks. I remember that sometimes you have to step out of your own shoes and look in the direction you’re headed. As I look ahead with great optimism to the next growing season, my confidence in what lies ahead is immeasurable.

Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or jim@sollecito.com. 10

55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

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DiningOut By Jacob Pucci



Edgar’s at Belhurst Castle A

Unbeatable place for weekend brunch

t first glance, it’s easy to write off Belhurst Castle as a gimmick. The stone castle, built in the 1880s, was first used as a private residence, but later converted into a casino, speakeasy, restaurant and, eventually, hotel. With its grandiose architecture and picturesque perch along Seneca Lake, just outside the city of Geneva, it’d be easy for the hotel’s restaurant to rely on setting alone to draw customers. But a trip to Edgar’s, located inside the castle, for weekend brunch ($24.95 per person) proved that sometimes, what you thought was gilding can sometimes be solid gold. Around 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday, we passed through the brick entry-


55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

way and wrought iron gates that serve as the restaurant’s entrance to find the buffet already busy. The buffet spans two rooms — the lounge, which doubles as a bar for the evening crowd, has the desserts, salads and pastries, while the main room houses the breakfast and lunch entrees. “Start at the grandfather clock and end at the fireplace,” our waitress told us. Breaking convention, we started in the lounge, where we filled our plates with quiche, toasted bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon and a selection of salads. The bagels were pre-toasted, which made me worry that they’d be dried out, but after tender bite, load-

ed with cream cheese, salmon, capers and chopped egg, my concerns were quickly forgotten. The onion, spinach and cheddar cheese quiche had a puffy, biscuit-like crust. I wished the bottom was a bit crispier, but the eggs were flavorful and not under-salted, a common downfall for buffet egg dishes. The orecchiette pasta and heirloom tomato salad was one of the finest pasta salads we’ve eaten. The tiny tomatoes, no larger than a marble, popped with a burst of fresh, juicy flavor. The pasta, cooked perfectly al dente, provided great texture. We went back for seconds. We also got second helpings of the roast beef and pit ham sliced to order at the carving station, located

Belhurst Edgar’s mimosa: Weekend brunch at Edgar’s includes complimentary bloody marys and mimosas.

Belhurst Edgar’s dining room: The stone walls, rich, dark wood and fine table settings evoked Victorian charm.

near the end of the buffet, in front of the fireplace and next to the made-toorder omelet station. The beef, a top round roast cooked medium-rare edging on medium, was served with au jus and horseradish. The horseradish was real, honest grated horseradish, far from anything served from a squeeze bottle. My watery eyes after eating a bite with too much horseradish was a testament to its potent flavor. The bacon perfectly walked the line between flabby and underdone and shatteringly crisp, which is no small task for cooking bacon in bulk. Eggs, home fries, sausage links, French toast and waffles with maple syrup and blackberry compote rounded out the breakfast selections. With its sweet ginger and plum glaze, the baked salmon was among the highlights of the lunch offerings. Eggplant parmesan and Southwest-inspired stuffed peppers, plus the carved meats, made up the lunch entrees. The pitfall of eating at a buffet is making sure there’s room for a dessert. It’d be especially tragic to not save room for the warm rum chocolate cinnamon cake. The molten chocolate cake, speckled with plump cherries, was divine. Service was attentive and our coffee, water and complimentary mimosas and bloody marys — properly prepared and plenty strong — never

went dry. It would have been easy for Edgar’s to skimp on the vodka in the bottomless bloody marys, or have a lighter hand with the white wine in the mimosas, but the fact that they didn’t speaks volumes about their attention to detail and resistance to rely simply on the gorgeous setting to provide a great dining experience. Note: A 4.7 percent surcharge is added to each bill. In March, owner Kevin Reeder explained to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that the fee was added in response to a $2.50/ hour increase of the state minimum wage for tipped workers.

Belhurst Edgar’s quiche, bagel, tomato pasta salad: A selection of sliced cheese, tomato and orecchiette pasta salad, spinach, onion and cheddar quiche and a toasted bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers and chopped egg.


Address 4069 W Lake Rd, Geneva, NY 14456 Phone 315-781-0201, ext 3. Hours • Breakfast: Daily, from 8 to 10 a.m. • Lunch: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; • Brunch: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. • Dinner: Monday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m; Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m. Website www.belhurst.com/dining/edgars

Belhurst Edgar’s ham, eggplant parm, bacon, couscous salad, tomato salad: A sampling of carved ham, chickpea and couscous salad, heirloom tomato and orecchiette pasta salad, bacon and eggplant parmesan. December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS




The Great Loopers Retirees spend about a year navigating through The Great Loop, a continuous waterway of about 6,000 miles in the US and Canada By Mary Beth Roach


sense of wanderlust and the desire to travel propelled Mike Sprik and Betty Carlisle to pilot their respective trawlers through The Great Loop, a continuous waterway of about 6,000 miles through the eastern portion of North America and part of the country’s heartland. Traveling on his trawler Mosey III, Sprik began in May 2015 and wrapped up his Great Loop trip earlier this summer. He had navigated about 13 months, by the time he returned to his home dock on the Seneca River, near Baldwinsville. Aboard her trawler, Sandpiper,


55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

Carlisle, a Brewerton resident and physician, now 78, began her adventure on the Great Loop in July 2014, and completed it 51 weeks, a week shy of a one year. She estimated that her route was about 7,000 miles.

From Lake Michigan To CNY

Having grown up near Lake Michigan, Sprik said he was always fascinated by boating. “We used to sit on the channel wall in Holland and watch the boats go by,” he recalled. Fast forward a few decades, and now Sprik, 73, pilots his boat and watches the cities go by. He has even opted to live on the

trawler on the Seneca River. When Sprik began contemplating his retirement plans, he said he knew he wanted to travel. Originally he thought about getting a Winnebago motor home and joining an organization called Work Campers. While traveling, the campers stay at campsites, work there for a small stipend and get a free campsite in return. But then, Sprik heard about The Great Loop, and the idea appealed to the sailor in him. “’This sounds like the ultimate cruise,’” he recalled. Although he grew up in Michigan, Sprik had moved to the Rochester area to attend the

Photo on the left shows Sandy Pyne and Mike Sprik displaying their Gold Flag— or burgee — that boaters get from the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association. According to AGLCA, the flag is “a symbol of accomplishment and a reminder of the adventure of a lifetime.” Photo on the right shows Betty Carlisle, a Brewerton resident and physician, began her adventure on the Great Loop in July 2014, and completed it 51 weeks, a week shy of a one year.. University of Rochester, stayed there after college, and spent his career in the banking industry. “When I was working for Marine Midland in Rochester, I was in an auto dealers golf outing,” he said. “I was on the tee box and I had sliced about six balls into the nearby cornfield.” One of his fellow golfers said, “’Mike, want to improve your golf game, buy a boat.’” It was a joke, Sprik said, but he found himself considering his friend’s idea. Living in Rochester near Lake Ontario and close to the Finger Lakes, Sprik said he bought a 1966 all-wood Chris-Craft and spent the next few seasons cruising the area waterways. In 1990, he moved to the Syracuse area, built a house in Cleveland on Oneida Lake, bought and traded two boats, and spent 15 years learning how to handle the boat solo. He started making plans to do the Great Loop in 2013, and had anticipated taking off in 2014, but while waxing Mosey II, he slipped, and landed on his back. That injury resulted in a delay in his departure date. But he continued planning — visiting the Great Loop website of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association — www.greatloop.org — figuring out budgets, and looking for a seaworthy trawler up to the task. About the boat he finally purchased, he said, “you see the world at 7-1/2 miles an hour, but that’s where the name Mosey comes from.” So in May 2015, he began his adventure along with buddy and former writer for the Syracuse Post-Standard Frank Brieaddy. While

The Great Loop The circumnavigation of Eastern North America by water is known as the Great Loop. Also referred to as America’s Great Loop and the Great Circle Route, the trip varies from 5,000 to 7,500 miles depending on route options and detours taken. The boats used range from personal watercraft to 60-foot-long yachts. Both sailboats and powerboats travel the loop, but the most common boats are 34–45foot recreational trawlers. The main factors that govern the size of the boats are the limited draft (5 feet) in some locations on the loop and the height of one bridge (19 feet) in Chicago. People traveling the Great Loop are known as “loopers”. The number of people attempting this voyage is growing as baby boomers reach retirement age. Source: Wikipedia

• To learn more about the The Great Loop, visit website of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, www.greatloop.org • To learn more about Mike Sprik’s adventures, check the blog “Cruising with Captain Mike,” which can be found at www.moseyiii.blogspot.com. • Betty Carlisle’s blog with details on the sights, sounds and cuisine along her way though the loop, can be found at https://sandpipertravels.wordpress.com

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


Sprik had several crewmembers with him throughout the journey, the one who traveled the longest stretches with him was Sandy Pyne. She grew up with Sprik and was even his date for his senior prom in 1961. They reconnected about six or seven years ago, after one of his granddaughters saw them in photos from their high school days and encouraged him to find Pyne through Facebook. Pyne may have come on board the Mosey III as a visitor, but after a harrowing, white-knuckled fourhour trip on Lake Michigan, fighting waves, some of which Sprik estimated at 6 to 7 footers, Pyne was promoted to “able-bodied seaman.” Once they anchored for the evening, and they were relaxing with some “docktails,” she announced that she wanted to stay on the cruise for longer periods of time. She has gone onto to earn the title first mate. “I even have a T-shirt and jacket to prove it,” she chuckled. Sprik has chronicled this part of their adventure and others in his blog, “Cruising with Captain Mike,” which can be found at www. moseyiii.blogspot.com. One of the most interesting aspects of the trip for Sprik was seeing some of the big cities from the water, like Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. “Most people never get to see these cities from that perspective,” he said. While some Loopers opt to do the trip in stages, Sprik decided to do it all at one time and planned for about 13 months, giving himself and his crew time stop and visit various areas, make trips to visit family during the holidays, and of course, wait out bad-weather days. And Sprik and Pine made sure to savor as much of the ambience of the various regions as possible. Some of their points of interest included the architecture and engineering feats in and around the Sanitary Canal in Chicago, the drawbridges and the 120 locks along the route; and the zydeco bands and the “Rent a Bum” in New Orleans. Also entertaining was Fern at Hoppies on the Mississippi. Fern is a classic, according to Pyne. She and her husband, Charles “Hoppie” Hopkins, own Hoppies, which is two 16

55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

A view of the Statue of Liberty seen by one of the Great Loopers.

retired barges wired together and then wired to the shore, Sprik said. It is a landmark for Loopers since it’s the last gas stop for the long stretch down the Mississippi and up the Ohio River to connect to the Tennessee–Tombigbee river system. Fern holds daily briefings at 6 p.m. and tells the boaters what they can expect going down the Mississippi to the Tenn-Tom. And there was plenty of history to take in, like George Washington’s purchase of an area known as Dismal Swamp near North Carolina and Virginia, which Pyne said is anything but dismal; and of course, the other loopers they met along the way, who would offer suggestions, advice, and the unique friendship that comes from sharing an experience like traveling the loop. As they started up the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, the pair took their time, not wishing for this trip to end, coasting by Asbury Park, where Sprik admitted to looking, albeit unsuccessfully, for Bruce Springsteen, one of that town’s favorite sons, and up to the busy New York Harbor, which Pyne found understandably a little intimidating, passing Ellis Island and stopping to visit some landmarks in that area. Eventually, they wound their way back to the Seneca River, where they have begun planning their next voyage.

A Lifelong World Traveler

“I think I started my wandering at 2,” joked Betty Carlisle. She was told that at about that age, she roamed away from home and was found about a mile from her house. While she was young, she and her family moved between Uruguay and the United States twice, and she graduated from high school in Uruguay. She has lived in the Los Angeles area, in Europe, Hawaii and Seattle, and even spent some time in Antarctica in the early 1990s. She saw an ad in a medical journal for a doctor to go to the South Pole, and she applied. She was the physician for the researchers and support staff there and had the opportunity to assist in some of the research. Carlisle is fond of saying “have stethoscope, will travel,” and she said she is fortunate to have a job that allows her to go places and still work. She got her start in navigation while in southern California. While interning at the Los Angeles County Hospital many years ago, she would take books from the library on how to sail, then head to the beach and practice what she read. After her internship year, she bought a 24-foot sailboat. She also took a power squadron class in seamanship and piloting. When she was 50 years old, she had a cancer scare, and although the mass she had was not cancer, she decided to take a year’s sabbatical and she took off, sailing from Washington state to Baja to Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. So she is no stranger to the water, to be sure. In July 2014, Carlisle was ready to travel the Great Loop adventure, starting out with one crewmember, the son of a co-worker named John Alden, and although Alden went back to terra firma in Mississippi, Carlisle continued, easily finding enthusiastic crewmembers among friends and family along the way. But her one constant companion was her dog, Pepa. When asked what kind of dog Pepa is, she replied without hesitation, “stubborn.” Carlisle’s route took her from

Oneida Lake to Oswego, then Lake Ontario to Canada to Trent Severn to Lake Huron to Georgian Bay and North Channel also in Lake Huron. From there, she navigated the Sandpiper underneath the Mackinaw Bridge through Michigan then down to Milwaukee, through Chicago via the Calumet River to the Illinois River, then the Mississippi to the Ohio River to Tennessee and the Kentucky River and Kentucky lakes. From there it was on to Green Turtle Bay, with a side trip up the Cumberland and Nashville. Carlisle was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to pull up at the city docks at the end of the main street and spend several days, enjoying the sights and sounds of that city. From there it was back down to Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River, which lead them to the TennTom and Mobile, Ala. A stop at the Dog River Marina, then off again to Ocean Springs, Miss., where she was joined by her niece Gabriela Van Auken, who accompanied her

on the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway to Apalachicola, Fla. A week of bad weather hampered their progress, but eventually they were able to do a night crossing to Clearwater, Fla., and traveled down the Gulf Coast to Marathon, Fla., where she decided to stay through the winter. When spring came, Carlisle was back on the water, with some friends, who would go up the Eastern Intercoastal Waterway and eventually to Norfolk, Va. The next leg would have her soloing, from Chesapeake to the Hudson River, although she “buddy boated,” so she knew if she got into trouble, help would be nearby. There she was joined by another friend, and they traveled the last leg through the Mohawk River and Valley to Sylvan Beach and back to Brewerton. Like Sprik, Carlisle started a blog —https://sandpipertravels. wordpress.com — with details on the sights, sounds and cuisine along the way. Several spots really stood out to her. Like Sprik and Pyne, she commented on the unique vantage point from the waterways. “Seeing the states from

the rivers is an interesting perspective,” she said. One of her favorite memories was the night passage across Lake Michigan from Muskegon, Mich., to Milwaukee, with the moon’s reflection on the water as her guide. “It was like following the Yellow Brick Road,” she said. Throughout her travels, she commented on how surprised she was to see the amount of commerce still on the rivers, and found the long stretches of sea grass in the Low Country of the Carolinas to be “hauntingly beautiful,” she said. But more than the vistas, it was the people she met along the way. The success of this trip is mainly people — the kindness of people along the Loop, she said. “People overall are good,” she said. “ The trip allows you to slow down and see people as human beings.” She looks forward to the opportunity to do the Loop again, spending more time exploring the side rivers.

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


my turn

By Bruce Frassinelli Email: bruce@cny55.com

Seniors, a Generous Bunch


Con artists are aware of that: Be careful and check carefully before donating

e seniors are a generous bunch. Having been through heartbreaks of our own because of tragedies or life’s circumstances, we are eager to help those who face adversity and those who have been through a traumatizing, life-altering event. Unhappily, con artists are equally aware of this generosity and prey on those with a good heart. Whenever tragedy strikes, as it did for families of victims of the Orlando shootings in the summer of 2016 or for the family of the 2-year-old Nebraska child who was snatched and killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World, or for those who lost their homes and everything else in tornadoes, floods and wildfires, we want to show our love and caring in a meaningful way. We want to show our sympathy and oneness with those afflicted or their surviving families by opening our wallets and purses to lessen the burden they will be facing because of these unfathomable events.


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This is laudable, but I am here to tell you to be careful and to check carefully before donating. From pennies given by children to big pledges from corporations, millions of dollars in donations for the Orlando shootings have broken online records. With so many donations, reputable charitable organizations tried as best they could to verify programs and services to make sure that every donation was distributed directly to the victims’ families. Donations to Equality Florida’s GoFundMe page, which is the state’s main LGBT advocacy and awareness group set up just hours after the June 12 shootings, hit $1 million before the end of the day — the fastest time frame for any campaign on the GoFundMe platform. The outpouring dwarfed the organizers’ modest goal of $100,000. Equality Florida partnered with the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nonprofit organization that gave assistance to victims of the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora,

Colo., that killed 12 people, and the 2015 attack in Chattanooga, Tenn., that killed four Marines and one sailor. Another major fund that has raised millions for the Orlando victims is the One Orlando Fund announced by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer the day after the shootings. “This tragedy will not define us, but will bring us together, because we are one Orlando,” Dyer said. He said that the fund was a way to “help respond to the needs of the community now and in the time to come.” Donations were funneled through the Central Florida Foundation, a nonprofit organization that disbursed the funds through more than 400 charitable organizations and programs. While acknowledging that it’s commendable for caring citizens to reach out to the victims’ families, the Better Business Bureau says you need to check carefully to whom you are donating. “We want you to give compassionately, but we want you to give carefully,” said Sandra Guile of the BBB.

The BBB provides these 10 common-sense rules for making any donation: • Check out the charity before donating. • Make sure the charity is registered. • See whether the charity has permission to use the names and photographs of the victims. • Know how the donations will be used. • Make sure the funds are received and administered by a reputable third party. • Be wary of newly created advocacy organizations. • Do not click on unfamiliar links. • Deal only with transparent organizations that make an annual accounting of donations and expenses. • Compare between newly created and established organizations. • Check for tax-deductibility, because not every organization collecting funds is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Contributions designated for a specific individual/family are not deductible as charitable donations. The BBB says it always hears of “click-bait” requests for donations (that lead to questionable websites) as well as vague crowd-sourcing campaigns, where it’s very tough to know where your money is going. There are also those who go through communities with canisters asking for donations for victims of natural and personal disasters. It is difficult to verify whether these are legitimate appeals or scammers. The problem is that in these days of immediacy, charities can pop up overnight, and in just a few hours raise thousands of dollars, without anyone really knowing who they are. The BBB says that this is a big change from the days when the American Red Cross served as the pass-through for most of the money collected for disaster victims. Anyone can open up a GoFundMe or Facebook page, appear to link it to a legitimate charity and start accepting money. You work hard for your money, so make sure your donation gets to their intended destination. Give with your heart, but make sure your eyes are wide open when you do.

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December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS



new kid

A New Chapter for Theater Director

Robert Hupp just took over Syracuse Stage as its new artistic director By Mary Beth Roach


he curtain has risen on a new artistic director at Syracuse Stage. It’s also a new act for Robert Hupp, 57, who moved to the Central New York area this summer, with his wife, Clea, from Little Rock, Ark., where he oversaw the Arkansas Repertory Theatre for 17 years. Hupp said he was happy in Little Rock but he believes that in his field, it is important to stay fresh and open to new possibilities. “I think you reach a certain point, particularly in my business,


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where you need to challenge yourself, you need to surround with new circumstances, new opportunities and to stay fresh,” he said. “I would have been totally content to stay there another 10 years and retire. In talking to my wife, and looking at what we wanted to do, what we wanted to accomplish, it just seemed like if we’re going to make a move, this was the time to do it. I think we both thought this would be a great opportunity to turn the page, to start a new chapter. ” Clea is a Middle East historian

and professor, and while she is teaching remotely at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she is looking for a teaching job here in Central New York. Hupp took over on July 1 at Syracuse Stage, and although he’s only been on the job a short time, he’s wasted no time in laying some groundwork. His goals, he said, are to build on the legacy and success of Syracuse Stage, and to continue to enhance the theater company’s work, its engagement in the

community and the contribution it makes to Central New York. “Theater can really be at its best when it is not above or beside the community but a part of it,” Hupp said. “I would not presume to just arrive here and know what’s best. You have to take the time to listen and you have to take the time to meet people,” he said. “So I’m still exploring how the theater company can do the work that we do and make a contribution to people’s lives.” While he is still studying ways to become more involved, Hupp indicated that one initiative the Syracuse Stage is working on is becoming more involved with veterans and veterans’ activities. He pointed to theater companies around the country that are working with veterans to help them tell their stories, to help them acclimate into life. “It can be something as simple as entertainment, it can be something as simple as coming down to see Mary Poppins [an upcoming Syracuse Stage production],” he said. “Or it can be working with veterans on performance-based pieces that help them process their own experiences and tell their own experiences to people who might not understand what they’re going through or what they’ve been through. That’s not the only thing we want to do. That’s a concrete example of what the kind of thing I hope we can do more of. I think Syracuse Stage appeals to a broad audience because our work is very different — from popular musicals to more cutting-edge plays — but I think we also have to look specifically at the community where there are underserved areas that we can engage with, that we could really make a contribution to. Around the country, we’re finding that veterans groups are one of those areas.” Community engagement is only one of the many aspects of Hupp’s work as the artistic director. He is responsible for programming, selection of the season, securing the artists, actors, directors and designers who will create the plays. He also works with the Stage’s managing director, Jill Anderson, on the financial

“I’m always amazed at the level of talent that we see when we’re auditioning for shows here at Syracuse Stage. Mostly we could cast these shows four or five times over. You just see so many talented actors. health of the stage, from budgets to marketing and development. Currently, Hupp is working on the opening show of Syracuse Stage’s 2016-17 season, “Great Expectations.” All the shows in this season had been selected by the former artistic director, Tim Bond, and in a few weeks, he’ll begin auditioning in New York City with the director to cast “Disgraced,” the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner that’ll be at Syracuse Stage in January-February. While about 30 people are fulltime at the Stage, including those who build sets and costumes, those who control the house and those who work the “front of the house” — each show will bring its own group of actors Casting can be a tough but a rewarding process, Hupp said. “I’m always amazed at the level of talent that we see when we’re auditioning for shows here at Syracuse Stage. Mostly we could cast these shows four or five times over. You just see so many talented actors. The lead for “Great Expectations” is a Syracuse University grad. That’s not uncommon because Syracuse University puts out such good actors. You frequently see them on our stage.” The 2017-18 season will feature those plays selected by Hupp, along with the associate artistic director, Kyle Bass. A lot goes into the selection of plays for each season. Hupp and Bass meet weekly to discuss stories they want to tell and the directors they want to work with, all the time trying to offer an eclectic mix, considering at least one musical, classics, brand new

plays, maybe one that has just won a Tony Award. Negotiating the rights to those plays they are interested in is a big factor, too, Hupp said. And if they are doing a play that is coming from another playhouse, there are economical factors to contend with and working with the other entity on sharing costs. “It starts out as a purely artistic enterprise and then gets very practical very quickly,” Hupp said. Once he and Bass have a list of plays they’d like to work on — ones they think would work, and would be of interest to their audiences — they work with managing director Anderson and her management team, and they determine what’ll work, what won’t and those that will with a few adjustments. So, there’s a lot more to staging a play than some rehearsals and the opening night. “The part of the iceberg that’s under the water is much more vast than the tip of the iceberg that people see when they come down here for a couple of hours six times a year,” Hupp quipped.

Background in theater

Hupp, who grew up in Delaware and West Virginia, brings decades of experience to Syracuse Stage. He attended college in Pennsylvania and then moved to New York City where he went to the National Shakespeare Conservatory. He then went to work at the John Cocteau Repertory, which was run by Eve Adamson, who Hupp credits with showing him how a theater is put together. He spent four years learning the financial, fundraising and marketing aspects of the operation. After Adamson retired, he succeeded her. He remained there until 1999 and then took the position with the Arkansas Repertory, where he’s been for 17 years. During his time in Little Rock, Hupp is credited with tripling the theater’s budget, increasing contributing income, and overseeing extensive renovations. Hupp also served on the board of the Theatre Communications Group, a nonprofit theatrical organization in New York, and has served as a panelist and on-site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts. December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


55+ second


Lt. John Anderson stands at the current command post of the special patrol unit in Onondaga County, currently based in the Onondaga County building complex in downtown Syracuse.

A Second Act for Retired Officers Retired troopers, city police and others are now using their skills at a special patrol unit in Onondaga County By Matthew Liptak


nondaga County Sheriff’s Office has 600 officers on duty and some of the best and most experienced are part of its special patrol unit. These 25 men and women are all former law enforcement or corrections officers who are retired from their departments and wanted to keep patrolling the thin blue line. Camaraderie can be a big part of police work. As the special patrol’s supervisor, Lt. John Anderson said, it’s not only a job; it’s a lifestyle. The force secures the Oncenter in Syracuse along with the Onondaga County office building and security headquarters. It is a way for the county to take advantage of a windfall of 22

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experienced officers who otherwise might be putting law enforcement behind them. “When they retire, walking away from that is very difficult for many of them,” Anderson said. “To come back and work in the workforce doing what they know best, working with their fraternal order of brothers and sisters who they’ve worked with for years, it allows them to still be active.” All the special patrol officers are part-time employees and they can only earn up to about $30,000 a year, Anderson said. The unit, which began in 2005, is funded by reimbursement from the individual agencies that use their security. Officers from any municipality can

become a special patrol officer, so the background of men and women on the force is quite diverse. Anderson said there are retired captains, lieutenants and sergeants that he supervises with backgrounds as varied as administration, information technology, special operations, firearms training and SWAT. They come from area municipalities, corrections, state police and one was an officer on the Oneida Nation. It can be a busy position. Over 220,000 people visit the county social services department alone each year, Anderson said. There are over 1,300 employees at the county complex. But even though it can be busy, the unit tries to embrace the public

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Home: 315-468-3598 Cell: 315-256-5993 Web: www.PizzolantiLTC.com Email: Pizzolanti@aol.com rather than build walls between them and law enforcement. The unit is not “pro-arrest,” Anderson said. They operate with the understanding that some of the people who use county services may be under emotional, mental or financial stress. They do their best to resolve situations that come up peacefully rather than escalate them, Anderson noted. “We do a lot more talking and a lot more resolving,” he said. “If there’s somebody that needs to be walked out, we make sure we walk them out. The arrests that are made are really last resort. Some of them you have to make an arrest. People become combative and you got to take care of business.”

Training civilians

One of the things Anderson realized when he took the position in July of last year was that although his experienced officers were trained in diffusing conflict, county employees were not. He started a program to remedy that. Recently, he has started training scores of supervisors in the art and science of de-escalating tense confrontations between civilian

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If you are considering making a gift to Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association, you may wish to consider a variety of assets. You also have a number of alternative ways for providing those gifts near and dear to you. Because we are a nonprofit organization, gifts you make generally qualify for an income tax deduction and/or gift or estate tax deduction, depending on how and when you make the gift. To receive a complete information packet further detailing how you can support our efforts through planned giving, please see this link or call (315) 697-2796. The animals thank you for your generosity! HTTP://WANDERERSREST.ORG/DONATE/PLANNED-GIVING/ employees and the public they serve. He also jumped at a chance to relocate the special patrol’s base of operations to the basement of a vacant credit union building at 421 Montgomery St. in Syracuse. Anderson expects it to be fully operational by the end of this year. It will include a holding area, conference room and a safe to store evidence. “We’ll be working out of a small precinct area and working more like a village police department in a way,” he said. That community policing is another aspect of the job that special patrol officers might find appealing. Law enforcement doesn’t often get to do that too often anymore. They are usually out on road patrols going from call to call, Anderson said. “You’re right there walking with people and talking with people and interacting with them,” he said. “You don’t get that anymore on the street.” Marc Marino, 60, a 25-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and corrections, joined the special patrol last December. He said he is enjoying the job. “It’s a little different than what

I’m used to,” he said “But I’m most enjoying the fact that I’m getting to work with a lot of individuals. There’s a lot of diversity in this position. I’m working with retired troopers, retired city police and retired road deputies. I’m getting a lot of information I was never exposed to. I’m getting a lot of training I was never exposed to.” Special patrol officer Joe Langevin has been working the position since September of last year. He spent 31 years as an officer, including time in Oneida and Madison counties. “It’s just very nice to be back home in Onondaga County because we have a larger bank of resources than they do in Oneida County and Madison County. The people are all very good in this unit. We’ve been there. We know how to do the job,” Langevin said. Anderson, who is himself a 31-year veteran of the sheriff’s department and the only full-time employee of the unit, agrees with Langevin. “I think we certainly have without question the most experienced unit of the sheriff’s office.” December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS



jobs-coaching McDonald

Need a Career Coach? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


an a career coach help you? It may seem a paradox for a retiree or near retiree to think about retaining a career coach. You’re almost there — why bother now? Shouldn’t you instinctively know what your post-retirement occupation should be? Local career coaches say that a lot of baby boomers looking for a second or third career or even a part-time occupation turn to them for help. “It’s helpful to work with a career counselor to sort out why they want to work,” said Leslie Rose McDonald, certified retirement options coach and president Pathfinders CTS, Inc. in Liverpool. “If they’re financially set, they have a broader set of options. If they need the finances, then a coach can be particularly helpful.” If you want to work for a different company, you’ll need a 24

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resume. Anne Messenger, principal at Messenger Associates in Manlius, specializes in career management and HR consulting. She said that many people who have worked with the same company for years find themselves out of touch with what works for resumes, including their content, formatting and promotion. “For people who are older and more seasoned, most times the biggest challenge is how to articulate their strengths,” Messenger said. Instead of a chronological listing of past jobs, target the resume toward the job you want and tailor it to the skills and strengths the employer is seeking. “We may use assessments that help target a person’s skills and strengths,” McDonald said. “Career counselors are trained in exploration dialogue or probing. We know how to ask the right questions to bring out the answers we need. Telling their


story and what they liked and what frustrated them helps. Even then, sometimes people can’t see their own possibilities until I reflect back to them the pieces, the threads I see so they can see new possibilities.” A pro can also help you leave off items that don’t belong in a resume, such as anything that can indicate protected statuses (unless vital to the job), and irrelevant or excessive information. No one needs to know about your hobbies, pets, or every single job you’ve had since high school. At this point, awards you snagged in college don’t matter anymore. What have you done lately? Tacking on “references available” or actually listing references wastes space according to Falter, since potential employers will ask for references if they want them. It’s more important to underscore measurable accomplishments and your areas of expertise. That can be tough, both when writing a resume and for figuring out what you want to do next. Some people begin a career because of a fascination with hands-on work but rise through the ranks to managerial roles, which eventually become wearisome. They may be happier going back to their roots and taking on a role closer to their first job. By thinking about what elements of your career you enjoy, such as helping people, writing, organizing or researching, you can segue into a new venture. Thanks to the networking and online sales possibilities accessible to everyone, “there are lots of opportunities now that didn’t exist before,” said Douglas Goldschmidt, licensed clinical social worker and

life coach in practice in Syracuse. For some people, going back to school may provide the stepping stone to the career they always wanted. “It really comes down to your level of risk and commitment you’re willing to do,” Goldschmidt. “Do you want to learn new skills or parlay skills you have?” Many people dream about starting a business when they retire, but this option carries the highest level of risk. It takes more than passion or industry knowledge to operate a successful business. “We talk about choices, like why they want to do this,” said Rita Worlock, a therapist with CNY Marriage & Family Therapy Place in North Syracuse, and Change in Motion Healing Arts in Dewitt. “I like to know if they’ve thought about this years ago and put it off for some reason. I like them to be sure about the hard work it will take. Running a business is not easy and it’s not for everyone.” Worlock recommends forming a business plan and consulting with people knowledgeable in that industry, as well as reviewing personal finances, room for risk, and the feasibility of that business in the current economy and location. Retirees should thoroughly research the risks and benefits of starting a business. Choosing a business with low start-up costs and overhead helps minimize the risk. Working as an independent contractor can also offer a means to start a business as you parlay your experience into working for yourself or as a subcontractor. Since usually these are service-based businesses that work for other businesses, such as preparing taxes, or writing ad copy, contracting tends to require much lower overhead than a products-based business such as a retail store. “There are a whole set of variables that are based on interest, energy level, health and finances,” Goldschmidt said. “Being realistic is the key point so you’re not making a choice that’s based on fantasy. That’s sometimes not so easy.”

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December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


jobs-networking 40 Above, a Cool Option 55+

Workers aged 40 and above have resources to make them more marketable By Matthew Liptak


ocal resident John Cruty is running an organization that helps older folks looking for work take on the challenge of finding that new job 40 Above teaches residents the skills on how to do it and also may offer a bit of a networking opportunity. “This is a good statistic,” Cruty said. “Of the hundreds of people who come to us, we have had a placement rate of 33.3 percent. The reason is because there’s a synergy to help each other.” Cruty has been a career counselor for a long time. He worked for 13 years at the nonprofit CNY Works. Before that, he worked for the Onondaga County Employment and Training Agency in 1992. He loved helping people find jobs but Cruty wasn’t too fond of parts of his career. “I don’t know about you but I hate bureaucracy,” he said. “It’s a necessary evil. What happened was I loved counseling people, but then I had to do data work. I had to do paperwork. I’m doing less counseling. I’m doing more paperwork. I finally retired in July of 2005. I got a pension.” After retirement, the career counselor wanted to continue to help folks — but without government red tape. He became a regular member of the Mature


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Workforce Alliance in Syracuse that was started by Peter Svoboda. When Svoboda moved on, Cruty took over. The name was changed and Cruty got his feet wet once again doing career counseling. “Peter bows out in April of 2011,” Cruty said. “I’m the leader. I had three people left. I said,

‘’Aw no. What am I doing?’ From April to November of 2011, we weren’t getting a lot of people.” Cruty made a hard decision to disband the group because of lack of interest, but then fate intervened. On his way out of the Westcott Center, where the group met in Syracuse, he bumped into a woman. Her name was Patricia Stewart. They began talking and she told Cruty her story. She was an expert in human resources, but had to retire from Lockheed Martin because of a degenerative condition. “She was an amazing human being,” he said. “She had a neuromuscular condition that made her eligible for Social Security disability. She had fantastic skills. She co-facilitated with me for about 10 months. From November 2011 to September 2012. Then her condition got worse. It’s too bad. She was doing wonderful lectures and presentations.” Then Cruty connected with a retired paratroop officer named Steve Brennaman, who co-facilitated for nine months. “The guy was fabulous,” Cruty

John Cruty runs 40 Above, an organization that helps older folks looking for work. The group teaches residents the skills on how to do it and also may offer a bit of a networking opportunity.

said. “He did wonderful presentations on interviewing, networking.” Cruty has been facilitating 40 Above solo since then. The door is open He said he is open to someone new that might have the business background and be able to assist. “We’ve had hundreds of people come to us,” he said. “We meet from 9:30-11:30 a.m. every Friday at North Syracuse Library. We’ve had nurse practitioners come. We’ve had accountants come. We’ve had mechanical engineers come. It’s pretty much been white collar.” But the group is open to any one 40 years old or older who needs help preparing for the job hunt, just needs help writing a resume, or is curious about the job market for older folks. If interested, Cruty said people under 40 are welcome to check out a meeting. Eighty-two-year-old Jim O’Brien put up the group’s website. He also presents topics to the group and he is a part of 40 Above’s many success stories. “Two years ago, Schneider Packaging hired him,” Cruty said. “He was 80.” Cruty wants to continue his success with helping people in the job market but he needs to draw more attention to 40 Above. He has an ad in the CNY Business Journal and a mention in the library’s newsletter. He hopes the word gets out that 40 Above offers free career help and has a good success rate. “Obviously we have to have people coming to us,” Cruty said. “The part I enjoy is helping people. I don’t want to sit in a room with one or two people and not have people come because then what’s the point of having the organization?”

What’s Next for You? Individual and couples career coaching / retirement life planning Group programs available

Leslie Rose McDonald

Certified 2Young2Retire Coach Certified Retirement Options Coach LeslieRose@TrustedCoach.com 315-453-7608

For more information on John Cruty and 40 Above, go to www.sites.google. com/site/40aboveworkersintransition/ or contact Cruty at crutij@yahoo. com or call 315-569-3964. December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS




Resumes: Not What They Used to Be Experts suggest new ways for job seekers to present their experience By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f you’re re-entering the workforce, shifting careers or otherwise transitioning between jobs, you’ll probably need a resume. If you have not needed a resume for several years, the changes in how they are written may surprise you. They’re no longer merely a list of your jobs, duties and degrees. “Generally speaking, I think the focus of the resume should be on their accomplishments, how well they did something as opposed to what they’ve done,” said Michael Willis, principal at Michael J. Willis & Associates in Syracuse. The firm offers personal and career coaching and human resources consulting. Willis earned a bachelor’s in business administration / marketing, master’s in vocational rehabilitation counseling, doctorate in adult studies and numerous other professional credentials. He said that formatting can help make a resume more approachable. At any age, it’s important to highlight what you bring to the company that relates to the position you seek. Willis isn’t a fan of the “Objective” line. “Your objective is to get a job,” he said. “Some organizations are looking for good people and may


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want to put you in a different slot.” If you really must use an objective line, state the top skills you have that you want to use, not the job title you crave. Just as with writing fiction, show, don’t tell. Show the results you have achieved; don’t tell about them. Measurable results impress potential employers more than a laundry list of the job titles you have held. “Any time you can quantify something, that’s better,” Willis said. “If you improved something by 20 percent, that’s better than just ‘responsible for cash flow’ on the resume.” Paula Behm, owns Careers by Design in Syracuse and coaches adults in career transiBehm tion. She earned her bachelor’s in human resource management with a focus in adult training , and a master’s degree in professional education. Like Willis, she thinks resumes should highlight accomplishments pertinent to the job

and leave off everything else. “For those who want to shift careers, keep it to a one-page resume that’s more skills-based than, ‘This is what I did throughout my life,’” she said. “A career summary, list of skill sets and knowledge, and a brief, 15-year overview of employment related to their future.” If you engage in hobbies that relate to the position you seek, especially if you can’t show you used these skills at a job, mention them. But never mention personal information that doesn’t relate to the job. For example, if you want a position as a manager and you have led a community fundraising event for 20 years, the leadership you exhibited in the community lends more weight to your resume, especially if you have not otherwise held leadership roles at work. “People put too much stock in their resume,” Behm said. “A 55-plus person has a wide network of people they know among friends, family and people they know who come to them for advice. The resume becomes a ‘by the way,’ not the door opener.” If the whole process seems overwhelming, consider seeking help from workshops or by hiring a professional resume writer. Third-party objectivity can help you see your resume with fresh eyes.

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10 Things to Exclude from Your Resume


Your age, date of birth, date you graduated (since that hints at your age), gender or any protected status such as disability, sexual orientation or veteran status. Employers wince when they see these because it exposes them to possible liability if they don’t hire you.


The fact that you graduated from high school. It’s assumed that if you have a college degree listed, you have graduated from high school. Listing your high school wastes space.


More than one page. Unless you possess an extensive background and are applying for a top-level position, you need only one page. But if you must go for two, make sure the second page is at least half full.


Hackneyed phrases such as: go-getter, results-driven, hard worker, demonstrated ability to, people person, interpersonal skills. Recruiters skip right over these phrases because they see them so often.

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

7 8 9

Odd fonts (Times New Roman, Courier or Arial are good), any color but black font on white, borders or graphics. Keep it easy to read.

Photos. Unless you’re an aspiring model or actor, employers don’t need to know what you look like until you come in for an interview.


Personal information such as “family man” or “happy grandmother of three” because employers don’t care about your personal life. Unless the employer would directly benefit from your experiences, do not list this information.


A non-professional email address. “fluffykitties@gmail. com” doesn’t sound as professional as “salesleader@gmail.com” would.

Your social security number or your citizen status. They’ll get this information once you are in the hiring process. Don’t worry about it now.


A shared phone number. Use your cell phone instead.

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


aging By Marilyn L. Pinsky

Let’s Meetup


Online site helps people find and create groups based around ideas and activities

o you want to hike but don’t have a partner or friend interested in hiking? Or are you a foodie but don’t have friends as excited as you to try new restaurants? Are you divorced or widowed and missing the activities you used to do as a couple? To the rescue — Meetup — an online site (meetup.com) that helps people find and create groups based around the ideas and activities that matter to them. To quote one of the local meetup organizers, it’s like saying, ‘’I want to do something and I want someone to come with me.” In just the Syracuse area alone there are more than 140 different groups, from outdoor adventures to engineering, religion, dining and the list goes on. I spoke with a few organizers to get a sense of their groups. Carol Jerose is one of many organizers for the Syracuse Area Outdoor Adventure Club. “After my husband died I was looking for things to do with people who shared my interest. There is no charge to belong to the group, but people can make donations if they want,” said Jerose. This is an active group with many levels of hiking available. “Anyone can post a hike noting the miles to be hiked, the hours and other relevant information. In the winter I post cross-country skiing and snowshoe adventures. Other people organize hikes on different days and once you have joined, you get access to what is going on.” Shari Clark organizes the 40+ Group for Single, Divorced, or Widowed Males and Females. Though there is no charge to belong to the group, there may be fees for special activities, like a $5 ticket purchase to go to a comedy club or when going out for New Years Eve.


55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

“It is not difficult coming up with activities in this area, as there is plenty to do out there, you just have to look for it,” said Clark, who greets new members and introduces them to others when they arrive. “The age group generally runs from late 40s and up and we try to schedule activities for weekends. Trivia Wednesdays at Cicero Country Pizza is popular and new participants are always welcome.” Kim Pomeroy organizes the Syracuse Happy Hours Adventures Group. “We do a lot of happy hours, bands and other things like movies, occasional dinners and downtown scavenger hunts,” explained Pomeroy. Anybody can join — married, single, young, older. If you sign up you’ll get emails about what’s going on and there is no charge to join. It’s easy to connect with the group. If you’re new and no one looks familiar — just ask the hostess where the group is seated. “Meetup is one of the best things that’s happened to me,” said Pomeroy. “It gets me out of the house and I’ve met people who have become good friends because we’re all in it for the same reasons. I know it’s hard to get yourself out to an event where you don’t know anybody but once you’ve done it, you’ll see how welcoming everyone is.” There are all kinds of book clubs around, including at local libraries. One that is very welcoming to new members is the Syracuse Book Club and it seems appropriate that the organizer, Alyssa Tassone, is a librarian. They have met for the past six years in downtown Syracuse on the first Monday of every month. As meetup. com charges to use the platform, a $2 donation to keep the site going is requested. “We have a wide range of people and ages who attend — college students, retirees, people of many

different backgrounds, men, women, everyone is welcome,” said Tassone, “We try to choose books that aren’t the hottest things at the moment so we can get them from the public library. People can sit in and not talk until they feel comfortable and we usually have one or two new people at each meeting.” They meet at different places downtown where people can get a drink or a bite to eat if they want. I hope you are getting the idea that there are sites for all kinds of interests and discussions. One I wanted to know more about, The Syracuse Atheists Meetup Group, is chaired by Gwen Bradshaw. “I joined the group three years ago and just recently took over organizing, though the group itself has been around for a long time,” said Bradshaw. “We have two regular meetings a month and there is no charge. You can find us on the second Wednesday of the month at Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge downtown where we order what we want and then discuss a topic. During the school year, we meet for brunch on the fourth Sunday of the month at the Wolf’s Den on the Northside.” A new monthly event is ‘debate night’ where they watch an online debate and then discuss it. A recent debate was on ‘whether God of the Old Testament is a moral monster’. “We have a lot of fun,” said Bradshaw. “It is a great group of people and anyone can attend — even if you are a believer, but enjoy good conversation.” To give you a sense of how one group started, let me tell you about Community Dining Syracuse (CDS) a site I started seven years ago. Two of my friends had become widowed at an early age and were experiencing the “third wheel” syndrome. They wanted to get out at night and socialize, but as most of their

Like to dine out? Play tennis? Watch movies? Meetup.com offers more than 140 groups that offer all sorts of opportunity to socialize and meet new people who share similar interests friends were “coupled,” they either had to wait for someone to call them or continually reach out themselves. They missed the spontaneity of just going out to dinner with a partner. At the time I was the AARP/NYS president and proposed the idea of a community dining concept. They found the online platform, meetup. com, that I could program and use locally. Then I visited restaurants to sell them on the idea of a group of strangers sitting at communal tables which would mean separate checks and making reservations for a number of people that I couldn’t guarantee would show up. In June of 2009 we had our first dinner. (As an aside, at that time I never thought I would soon be in the position of my friends who were widowed; it was only six months later that my husband Philip was diagnosed….and through the almost two years of treatments, we still went together to CDS dinners.) Seven years later CDS is still going strong. We usually have around 15-20 per dinner although the total membership is much larger. There are different people each time, as the nights and venues change each month but either Heidi Holtz, my coorganizer, or myself is there to greet new attendees and make them feel comfortable. We meet at 6 with some people arriving earlier to convene at the bar; then we order dinner, talk and are usually out by 8. There is no charge for membership — just sign up at meetup. com/communitydiningsyracuse. I hope these examples of local meetup groups encourage you to go on the website and find some that interest you. You will be surprised how welcoming everyone is and how comfortable you’ll soon feel.

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Higher Calling The new leader at Syracuse schools started in the district three decades ago as a kindergarten teacher’s aide. He found out education was his true passion and stuck around. In July he was appointed interim school superintendent By Aaron Gifford


aime Alicea planned a brief stop in Syracuse one summer to visit relatives. His intentions then were to return home to Puerto Rico to pursue a career in law, but he encountered a detour or two and stayed for more than just a few Central New York winters. That was 34 years ago. What began as a temporary job as a kindergarten teacher’s aide evolved into a rewarding career that saw Alicea grow his experience as an educator through multiple grade levels before enjoying success as a principal and then as an administrator. Today, he oversees the entire Syracuse City School District. That’s not how the interim superintendent envisioned his trip here would turn out. “My grandparents said why don’t we at least stay until Christmas,” Alicea, 57, said with a laugh. “The 32

55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

winter, well….that didn’t discourage me.” Alicea, formerly the chief operating officer, was appointed to lead the district in July after Superintendent Sharon Contrearas left here for a position in the Guilford County, N.C., school district. In a recent interview, he talked about his childhood in Puerto Rico, his career as an educator, his hobbies and interests, and what he does to continue feeling young and energized. The middle of three children, Alicea grew up in what he described as a “typical and happy” Puerto Rican household. They lived in a small town on the eastern end of the island. His mother, Petra, worked in the cafeteria at the neighborhood school. His father, Jaime, was a construction worker, using public transportation to get to his job and working 13 hours a day,

seven days a week. At that time, he said, many families in Puerto Rico got by on less than $900 a month. Alicea’s extended family was very close, and helped each other out with home repairs, gardening and whatever chores needed to be done. “Cousins, grandparents — we had a large family and we all helped each other out,” he said. “Dad always had a list of things for us to do.” Alicea attended a school where the student to teacher ratio was 36 to one. His second grade teacher, Mrs. Rivera, left quite an impression and set a very high standard that he would later duplicate. She commuted from four towns away but was always on time. And she rarely took a break, making herself available during lunch and recess. Even on Saturdays, Mrs. Rivera volunteered to take the students hiking or fishing, and she often organized

Jaime Alicea, the newly appointed interim superintendent at Syracuse City School District, interacting with students.

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


athletic field day events. “When she taught,” Alicea recalled. “We were all engaged.” In high school, Alicea was fortunate enough to have a teacher who challenged students not just to write essays, but to illustrate their points with performances and other unique ways of communicating. He also had an English teacher, Ms. Pedraza, who always pushed the kids to work harder and not be discouraged by the challenges of learning a second language. “She said you either use it or you lose it [English],” Alicea said. Alicea tried his hand at construction and actually liked it, but it didn’t take long for him to realize that he didn’t want to do that the rest of his life. He loved the idea of working in public schools, but his teachers challenged the students to set their sights on higherpaying careers in medicine or law. So Alicea enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico, earning a degree in labor relations with plans to continue on to law school. “As great as they [teachers] A video of Alicea jumping rope with elementary school students on the first day of school this year went viral, generating nearly 1,000 likes on a Facebook page.


55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

were, they encouraged all of us to do something else,” he said. In the early summer of 1982, Alicea’s cousins flew him and his grandparents to Syracuse for a visit. The family enjoyed the trip, and it wasn’t difficult to talk the young college graduate into staying for a few more months. He thought it would be a great chance to improve his English, which would definitely help his law career later on in life. He took English classes at Onondaga Community College. To earn extra money, he signed on as a kindergarten teacher’s aide at Seymour Elementary School. Diane Canino-Rispoli, the principal who hired the young upstart, said Alicea is the type of person who saw education as a calling. His genuineness, work ethic and sense of humor benefited the district right away. “He’s been successful because he’s out in the field, not just in the office,” she explained. “In the morning he might be at one of the elementary schools jumping rope with the kids, and later in the day he’s across town

on one of the field trips with high schoolers. He’s the kind of guy who never gives up, and he’s always that person who goes the extra mile for the kids.” For Alicea, one of the first things that really stood out about New York state schools was the level of generosity. Pencils, paper and other materials were provided for needy students, and most of the textbooks were less than four years old. He was also impressed that the school made nurses and psychologists available to children at school. He called his first year in the classroom a great experience, and later elected to become a full-time kindergarten teacher, a job he excelled at for five years. “They were great kids and it was a great experience,” he said. “I never imagined I’d be a kindergarten teacher. I still remember every single one of my kids.” Alicea moved onto teaching fifth graders and then sixth graders, and enjoyed teaching some of the same children he first taught in kindergarten.

Getting To Know The Super n Name Jaime Alicea n Position Interim superintendent at Syracuse City School District. Appointed in July. n Age 57 n Marital status Never married. Interim superintendent Alicea talking to a high school student in Syracuse.

Borrowing the techniques of some of his own elementary school educators, Alicea challenged the students to go beyond just writing book reports, inviting them to prepare skits or presentations and actually take pride in communicating what they’ve learned. School leaders saw tremendous potential in the young teacher, and eventually encouraged him to become a principal. Alicea accepted the challenge, because one of his favorite parts about working in a school was forging partnerships with parents and faculty members. He helped Canino-Rispoli deliver the Seymour Elementary School graduation speech in Spanish. On his own initiative, he wrote the speech, recorded it on a cassette tape and then worked with the principal over the course of several weeks before the commencement ceremony. “This was his idea, Canino-Rispoli said, “and it was a great one. We laughed a lot because I was learning the syllables but I didn’t remember the words I spoke. He wouldn’t let me use the same speech again. He did it for me every year.” A few years into his career with the district, Alicea went back to school part-time and earned a master’s degree in foreign language education from Syracuse University in 1988. Alicea thought he would become a Spanish teacher, but instead pursued a career as an administrator.

Four years later, he accepted an administrative internship position in the district where he was assigned to provide support to members of the class of 1992. He was there to help with course work, help them pass the Regents exam, and work to iron out family or transportation issues for students in low-income households. “My role was to make them understand that education is the best way to get out of poverty,” he said. “I made myself available, letting them know I was there to support them so they could see there were better opportunities. Poverty is a barrier, but it’s a barrier that can be overcome.” Alicea continued his work at Fowler as the high school principal, working from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. most days. During the day, he worked with teachers and students. At night, he worked with parents in the community who went back to school to get their GEDs. Based on that program’s success and the increasing demand to help the community, the Community School of Central New York was born. The Dr. King School was opened in the evenings to provide continuing education programs for hundreds of parents. The school also hosted a neighborhood health clinic and clothing donation programs. “We were proud to be part of the first of this type of program for Central New York,” Alicea said. By this time Alicea was immersed

n Education Bachelor’s degree in labor relations from the University of Puerto Rico, and a master’s degree in foreign language education from Syracuse University. n Career Entirely in the Syracuse City School District — teacher’s assistant and then teacher at Seymour Elementary School; principal at Fowler High School; deputy superintendent; chief operations officer, interim superintendent. n Career Goals According to published reports, Alicea has expressed interest in being appointed to the Syracuse City School District superintendent position permanently. But either way, when asked what he hopes to accomplish before retirement: “More kids graduating. More kids going to college. More kids finishing college. More families escaping poverty.” n Hobbies Walking, hiking in the Adirondacks, travelling abroad, and photography. n Something people may not know about him A video of him jumping rope with elementary school students on the first day of school this year went viral, generating nearly 1,000 likes on a Facebook page.

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


in his career, never stopping to think about getting married and starting a family. As he saw it, work in education was his life partner and the school district was his family. At one point he did consider a more lucrative position as an administrator in a wealthier downstate school district, but couldn’t bring himself to leave Syracuse. “I have friends in Long Island, but I felt I was committed to this district,” he said. “I also felt like Syracuse was a great place. I felt like I should really be here.” Under Alicea’s watch, Fowler, a high school that serves one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York state, improved its Regents exam passing rate from 40 percent to 90 percent. That task took a tremendous amount of work, and so many teachers, parents and the students themselves should share the credit. But, he cautioned, the formula for success was quite simple. “It’s just about believing in the potential that kids have,” he said. Alicea’s work at Fowler earned him a promotion. He advanced to the rank of deputy superintendent and then became chief operating officer, overseeing facilities and operations, health services, food and nutrition, building security, and transportation. Beyond the district, he served on the board of the Rosamond Gifford Foundation. In 2006, he received a community service award from the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1996, he was recognized as the Latino Educator of the Year from the Association of Neighbors Committed to Latino Advancement. According to published reports, Alicea has expressed an interest in being appointed to the superintendent position permanently. The Syracuse Board of Education hasn’t made a decision yet. Despite advances in the psychology of education that helps professionals to better understand the thinking and behavior patterns of young people, and the staggering improvements in technology that makes school more engaging and interesting for students, teachers face the same challenges they faced 40 years ago, Alicea explained. If anything, he added, electronic 36

55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

devices and social media can be a major distraction to kids. And the gap between rich and poor has only grown larger. “I don’t think people, especially those outside of a city school district, realize how much we are juggling,” Alicea said. “If we’re going to be successful, we have to have that rapport with families. It goes beyond standing in front of a classroom. We’re teaching them about life, too. There’s no immediate gratification. It might take four years; it might take eight years.” Alicea and other administrators are focused on student achievement, the results of state exams and college admissions. The interim superintendent has also worked to expand a partnership program between Hillside and Onondaga Community College to provide a support network to Syracuse city district graduates who continue on to OCC. Alicea loves the longwork days and still finds plenty of ways to enjoy himself outside of a school environment. He spends a few weeks each summer visiting his parents in Puerto Rico, and they come up to Central New York about once a year. To stay healthy and feeling younger than his

57 years, Alicea enjoys weekend hiking trips in the Adirondacks and walking around the city. Each day, he finds time to walk two to three miles. One of his favorite locations for that regimen is the Nottingham High School track. “I recharge my batteries,” he said. “Helps me to forget I’m over 55!” He also enjoys traveling, with stamps on his passport from Spain, Brazil, Italy and Cuba. During his travels domestically and abroad, Alicea always has his camera. Outside of education, photography is his favorite passion. “A picture captures a moment in time,” Alicea said. “You can always go back and look at it. It’s history.” During a previous academic year, Alicea won a photography contest for school district employees. His winning piece was a picture of a watermelon that appeared to be smiling. It was later featured at the Everson Museum. Carol Terry, a retired fine arts coordinator for the district, said the superintendent eye for photography is a reflection of his personality. “I equate it to his ability to listen,” Terry explained. “He takes a lot in before making decisions, and he gets input from others. He formulates all of it before making a decision. That takes great vision.”

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55 PLUS Issue 59 er 2015 r / Novemb

Sen. Johnco DeFrancis




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golden years By Harold Miller hal@cny55.com

The Healing Power of Prayers, Love and Modern Medicine Some pointers on how to accomplish it


y wife Janet had an 11 a.m. appointment at Auburn’s Diagnostic Imaging Center Aug. 30 for a routine examination. She arrived on the dot at 11, but complained to the woman at the front desk that she was nauseous and dizzy. Then she collapsed in cardiac arrest (her heart had stopped beating). The technician on duty at the Diagnostic Imaging Center called 9-1-1 at 11:05. An ambulance operated by TLC Emergency Medical Services arrived at 11:08. The paramedics shocked her heart three times, gave her three shots of adrenalin, installed a breathing tube, and began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) — all of which re-established a weak and fluttering heart beat (ventricular fibrillation). Janet arrived at Auburn Community Hospital’s emergency room at 11:24 a.m. where our friend and neighbor Rama Godishala — her cardiac physician — was standing by to oversee her continued CPR. After an hour’s of punishing chest pounding, her heart stabilized to the point where she could be transferred to St. Joseph Hospital in Syracuse. Later, Dr. Godishala told me he would not have given Janet one chance in a million to last the trip from Auburn to Syracuse. I was not in Auburn during the time that this horrible scenario unfolded; therefore I met with Lon Fricano, director of operations for TLC Emergency Medical Services, who filled me in on the foregoing description of the split-second 38

55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

The author, Harold Miller, and his wife, Jan. timing and dedication that undoubtedly saved Janet’s life. I call them heroes but Lon gently reminded me that saving lives is their daily job. I say different. Beyond technical training and the stressful activity of CPR, there is a driving motivation to go above and beyond. Lon told me that after cardiac arrest, clinical death occurs in four to six minutes (the heart is dead but the other organs are still functioning) and total death occurs in about 10 minutes. For the highly

motivated workers of this incredible organization TLC is more than just a logo — incidentally, TLC stands for tender, loving, care. Janet beat all the odds and made it to St. Joseph Hospital where ongoing emergency lifesaving treatment continued. Four ribs were broken and one pierced a lung, which collapsed (very common for CPR procedures). She was bleeding profusely within her chest cavity and the collapsed lung. Blood transfusions were administered

and drainage tubes were inserted. This is the condition that I saw when I entered her room for the first time. The hospital cardiologist warned me not to expect too much as far as recovery was concerned. What the doctors did not know was that my girl lived a clean life (never smoked, not overweight, healthy diet) and exercised virtually every day. Janet walked about a mile and a half every morning around the loop road at Martin Point on the shores of Owasco Lake. Then she went to the YMCA to swim followed by more exercise in the gym. In the afternoon we usually swim in the lake, along with a group of neighbors. Her exercise regimen in Florida is very much the same except the afternoon swim, which is in the Atlantic Ocean rather than Owasco Lake. According to Dr. Godishala, this daily exercise routine is very likely what allowed her to withstand the massive ‘insults’ her body received. After the word got out of Janet’s miraculous survival from almost-certain death we were flooded with literally thousands of telephone calls, emails, letters, get-well cards and hospital visits (later home visits). We live in two communities, one in Auburn and the other in Florida. Every communication echoed the same theme; “our love and prayers are with you.” I, for one, never underestimate the power of prayer, being convinced that praying has saved me from death in more than one occasion. When I discussed the miraculous life-saving work of TLC Medical Services with Lon Fricano — who directed those who saved Janet’s life — he said, “someone else was on our team that day.” As this column goes to print Janet is home and doing very well. There will be many weeks of therapy ahead but she is a fighter who left many doctors, nurses, therapists and all who love her as I do, shaking their heads in disbelief of her recovery. We plan to be in Florida by the end of the year to continue our great life together.

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December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS




Giving Back Two local retired school teachers find themselves immersed in volunteer work By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Wendy Davenport, 69, OASIS volunteer


55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017


or Wendy Davenport, 69, volunteering at OASIS seemed the perfect way to spend her retirement. Eight years ago, the Clay resident retired from teaching English literature and theater in the Syracuse and North Syracuse school districts. She had also taught at the college level at the Bryant and Stratton and Columbia College local branches in Syracuse. Davenport has led a book club at OASIS, among other volunteering efforts. OASIS is a nationwide organization that offers a wide array of adult enrichment classes to people 50 and older. Many require just nominal fees to cover expenses. “It’s different teaching high school literature because I’m working with older adults who are interested and want to be here,” Davenport said. “When I first started, another instructor said, ‘Isn’t it wonderful they’ve read the book first?’” Also unlike high school, the group votes on which book they read next, ranging from recent popular titles to classics. About 25 to 40 attend Davenport’s club, which meets monthly. In addition to book discussions, the club also watches films that have to do with the book, whether directly based on a title or generally associated with the same genre or time period of the setting. “I often get films from universities across the country that people can’t get locally, things people can’t get on their own,” Davenport said. “I find it very stimulating; I enjoy it.” Davenport also helps man the

desk at OASIS and serves on the organization’s leadership team planning activities and helping the staff. OASIS in Syracuse employs four paid staff and volunteers comprise the rest of the group. “We have a lot of people with an educational background,” Davenport said. The area’s numerous educational institutions supply OASIS with a steady stream of retiring educators. These comprise much of the volunteer OASIS faculty. Davenport has been involved in other community outreaches. She is a past member of the New York State Theatre Institute in Troy and served on its board eight years. For the past 12 years, she has been co-chairwoman of CNY Reads, which attempts to have the whole community to read the same book. She has also served as president of the English Speaking Union of Syracuse, which sponsors an annual Shakespeare Competition. High school students compete by performing a monologue. When not involved with her literary pursuits, Davenport enjoys working with her therapy dog. She has visited a local elementary school to help some youngsters understand what therapy dogs do: provide emotional comfort and support. Davenport has taken her dog to nursing homes, libraries and funeral homes. She also enjoys traveling and plans family trips with her children each winter with her children. This year, it’s tentatively the Pacific Northwest. Typically, the family visits someplace warm, such as New Orleans, San Fran-

cisco, Costa Rica, and the Florida Keys, among past adventures. “I love traveling with the kids,” she said. She and her late husband, Robert, have a son and daughter, who both live in the Rochester area. Davenport has one grandchild. Anyone considering volunteering should “give it a try,” Davenport said. “Come to a place like OASIS and see what we have to offer and see if it’s a good fit. I really think when you retire, you need to have something else to do that’s meaningful and I’ve found that. It’s really rewarding.”

Ellen Hardy, 69, Everson Museum volunteer


udging by her knowledge exhibited as a guide at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, one might guess Ellen Hardy, 69, has at some point in her life created or taught art. But she has only recently gained knowledge on the subject. That’s what the former French teacher likes most about volunteering at the museum: the opportunity to learn and then educate others. Hardy is a docent. The word comes from a Latin word that means “to teach” and that’s what the docents do: teach visitors about the exhibits on display. Hardy had retired in 2008 from her position as associate principal at Roxboro Road Middle School in the North Syracuse Central School District. She and her husband, David, have lived in Syracuse for about 40 years. She didn’t want to spend her retirement years sitting idle. Giving back to the community through volunteering seemed a natural fit for her. Hardy responded to the museum’s appeal for docents for an exhibit about impressionist art, which related to her background in teaching French. She has always appreciated art and was involved with the arts in education program at the middle

school; however, leading visitors on an art museum tour requires indepth knowledge of the exhibits. The Everson brings in art and architecture faculty from Syracuse University to help her and the other volunteer docents learn about exhibits so they could offer visitors accurate and interesting information on the exhibits. Eventually, Hardy became part of the museum’s outreach efforts, taking art activities and presentations into the community. Venues include schools, libraries, Girl Scout troops, memory care centers and other locations. “It’s a unique program,” Hardy said. “We presented it to an national symposium last year.” She enjoys sharing what she has learned with a broader audience. Hardy also serves as the president of the Member’s Council. “We work with the museum in carrying out various fundraising activities, the biggest of which is the Festival of Trees,” Hardy said. The two-week event, which will take place Dec. 2 through 11 at the museum, includes trees and wreaths for sale on display throughout the facility, along with live music. When she’s not at the Ever-

son, Hardy enjoys golfing, skiing, kayaking, spending time with her four children and seven grandchildren, and traveling. She and her husband, who retired last year, have explored Ireland and plan to travel to Germany. “We go to all the museums,” Hardy said. “We’re always learning.” They like to visit their children, two of whom live in California. Another one lives in Connecticut, and the fourth lives just a few blocks away. Hardy also likes cooking, which stems from growing up in large family and mothering four children herself. Hardy finds that volunteering at the museum is “like adult education for myself. It’s also a continuation for my passion of teaching.” She encourages anyone interested in volunteering to think about what they enjoyed doing in their career and look for a way to continue that pursuit. “It’s more rewarding if it matches your skill set and you can feel useful,” Hardy said. “It’s something you choose to do. A lot of the docents are former teachers or artists.”

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


consumers’ corner By Eva Briggs, M.D.


Options for Assistive Devices Abound

few months ago I broke my foot, necessitating crutches first and later a cane, which reminded me that many older patients require assistive devices. It’s estimated that more than 6 million people living in the U.S. use mobility aids to broaden their base of support, to improve balance, to alleviate lower extremity pain, or to compensate for weakness. What are some options, and how can you choose and use them correctly? • Canes help take weight off a painful extremity, improve stability by creating a wider base of support, and aid balance by giving feedback about the ground. Standard canes are the ones that look like a candy cane — a straight shaft with handle on top. Made of wood or aluminum, they’re inexpensive, lightweight, and available at most pharmacies. The aluminum ones are height adjustable. • Offset canes have a crook forward before the handle curves back, so that the patient’s weight is directly over the shaft of the cane. They’re a better option than a standard cane for someone who needs the cane to bear some weight. • Quadripod canes have a wider base with four little legs. They are more stable, especially for patients after a stroke or spine injury causing one-sided weakness. Quadripod canes remain standing if the patient must let go to use his/her hands, a plus. But they’re bulky and all four legs must contact the ground for correct use. • Umbrella handles — curved round like the end of an umbrella — are common but exert pressure on the palm of the hand in a way that potentially compresses nerves, leading to carpal tunnel


55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

syndrome. The shotgun handle, named for its resemblance to the shape of a shotgun butt is often found on offset canes and is less likely to cause nerve damage. The handle of a correctly fitted cane should reach approximately to the wrist crease when the arm is relaxed by the side. This produces a 20-30 degree bend of the elbow. When walking with a cane, it should be held in the hand opposite the weak leg for a natural gait. • Crutches are particularly helpful for individuals who must use their arms for weight bearing, not simply for balance. Axillary crutches are the ones most people are familiar with. They’re the crutches that fit under the armpits and are often dispensed by emergency rooms or urgent cares after an acute injury. They’re cumbersome to use. And if fitted incorrectly, they can press into the armpit and damage nerves. • Forearm crutches, also called Canadian crutches or Lofstrand crutches, have cuffs that encircle the forearm above the hand grips. This permits the user to let go of the handle, for example, to use a railing while climbing stairs, without dropping the crutch. • Platform crutches have a

shelf that supports the patient’s entire forearm. They’re used when hand or wrist weakness prevents gripping a handle, or when the elbow can’t be straightened. • Walkers help both for balance and weight bearing, but can be bulky, awkward in small spaces, and impossible to use on stairs. Standard walkers must be lifted with each step, making them slow to use and difficult for patients lacking upper body strength. • Front wheeled walkers don’t have to be lifted with every step. Although they’re less stable than a standard walker, they require less upper-body strength, allow faster forward propulsion, and cause less freezing for Parkinson disease patients. • Rollators, or four-wheeled walkers, are easier to propel and may have features such as a seat allowing the user to take a rest break. But they are less stable, and cognitively impaired patients or those with balance problems are at risk of falls if the device rolls forward unexpectedly. Ideally, a patient should be fitted for a trained in the use of assistive devices by a physical therapist. Of course, no assistive device can help if it’s not used. But nowadays there are literally hundreds of options for canes, as well as multiple options for walkers. And there are plenty of accessories available: cupholders, bags, pads, you name it. So if you or a family member needs an assistive device, there’s bound to be the correct one out there. Eva Briggs is a medical doctor who works at two urgent care centers (Central Square and Fulton) operated by Oswego Health.

Maintaining a Community Connection

413 Church Street North Syracuse, NY 13212 315.452.1402 www.namow.org


Reach Kidney Care of Syracuse (315) 473-5100 ext. 105 www.reachkidneycare.org/syracuse/

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


life after 55 By Michele Reed michele@cny55.com


The Serendipity of Senior Train Travel

ometimes you plan an adventure and other times, it just sneaks up on you. We had enjoyed our stay in Nice, France, (October/November issue) and were planning on a sixhour train ride back to our city of Beziers, arriving in late evening. The leg from Nice to Marseille was about three hours, where we would have to change trains for the final portion. When our Nice train was delayed, we worried we may not have enough time to make our connection. Luckily for us, the Marseille station is one of the few where the platforms are all together

A towering Ferris wheel gives visitors a birdseye view of Marseille’s old port.


Photos by Bill Reed

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on one level. Every other station we’d been in required going down a steep flight of stairs through an underground passage to climb another steep flight to the next platform — hard work for seniors! As we pulled into Marseille, we realized we had only two minutes to find our platform and our train had stopped well outside the center of the station. We ran, literally, lugging our baggage to locate the big illuminated sign that would tell us where our train was waiting. French trains all run pretty much on time and they have one frustrating quality. Often you do not know your platform until only a couple of minutes before the train leaves. We scanned the sign and saw our train number — but instead of “a l’heure,” on time, or “retard,” late, this time it said “supprime.” We didn’t know what that word meant. Panic gripped us for a moment. Had our train already left the station? We hurried to a conductor who explained the news, which was even worse. Our train hadn’t left.

In fact, no trains would be traveling in that direction. A freak summer hailstorm, lasting only 15 minutes, had uprooted a tree, which crashed into a train on our line, derailing it. “People are all over the tracks,” he told us. He suggested the rail system would give us all a train car to sleep overnight. We joined dozens of people in line to exchange tickets. When it turned out the delay would be two days, they didn’t even offer a train berth. And that was a good thing! What senior would want to sleep for two nights in a coach seat with a shared train bathroom and no shower facilities? I griped quite a bit about our delay, but Bill, my husband, reminded me: “You are the luckiest girl in the world!” If our cousin hadn’t booked a late flight out of Nice, we would have opted for an earlier train to Beziers, hoping to arrive before the buses stopped running — the difference between a 30 cent bus ride home and a $30 taxi. We would have been on that earlier train and possibly among the eight people who had been gravely injured and were in intensive care. Google and TripAdvisor apps to the rescue, and Bill found a 4-star hotel in the heart of Marseille’s old town. The city has a reputation as a rough port and with good reason. In the 1960s and 1970s it was the infamous French Connection, feeding the pipeline of drugs to the US. The mob ruled. In recent years, Marseille has done much to polish its image and appeal to visitors. Still, Google maps led us through a very rough neighborhood, and we were thankful it was still light. Later we would learn the difference was only a block or two! If we turned right in front of our hotel, all was fine. If we turned left, it was a bit sketchy.

café next to the old city hall. Our first regular museum course of little fried fishes included traced the history what seemed like a hundred tiny of Marseille back fish, piled onto the plate like onion to 600 BC when it straws. Bill followed that with a was settled by the Provence seafood stew, and I had ancient Greeks. Aioli Provençale, a plate of steamed I was fascinated carrots, cauliflower and potatoes, by a poster from mussels, crayfish and hardboiled 1899 celebrating egg, served with rich, garlicky aioli, a the 2,500th mayonnaise-like sauce, for dipping. anniversary of the We sat watching the sunset city’s founding. illuminate the gold-leafed statue of We refreshed the Virgin Mary atop the church of ourselves with a Notre Dame de la Garde, which sits beer at a brasserie high on a hill overlooking the harbor. at the corner Gazing at Fort Saint Nicholas on of the wharf, a one side of the historic port and Fort prime location for Saint Jean on the other, we started people watching. planning our next adventure there. Across the street The limestone façade of St. Ferreol’s Church dates And to think that it all happened was the white from the 19th Century, but the building itself was because of a tree on the tracks! limestone church founded by the Templars in the Middle Ages. of St. Ferreol les Augustins, owned by the Michele Reed retired after a career Making the most of our surprise Templars in the 1300s and almost spanning four decades in public relations, stopover, we headed for the Old destroyed twice, by the French advertising, journalism and higher Port, which has now become a Revolution and 19th Century street education. She now writes travel articles, tourist destination. We were greeted construction. Auspiciously, it was book reviews, haiku poetry and fiction. Bill by a huge illuminated Ferris open, so we entered to light a candle Reed retired after four decades in social wheel, offering views of the city of thanksgiving for being fortunate services with the county of Oswego, and from on high. A craft fair stretched enough to be on the later train. now works at travel photography and along the harborside. Trendy Our visit to Marseille ended photojournalism, along with writing book restaurants lined the wharf, serving with a delicious meal at a seaside reviews. everything from bouillabaisse, the city’s famous hearty fish soup, to Provençal specialties. Thanks to the desk clerk at our hotel, we had a prime restaurant recommendation: La Pulpe, which means the octopus. We walked almost to the end of the harbor, but it was worth the hike. Wicker couches and chairs on the terrace offered a view of the port with a pleasant sea breeze. Our meal of a Provençal octopus stew with onion, eggplant, garlic and of course, the tentacled sea creature, was delicious, and was accompanied by a local white wine. The next day we were excited to find that the Marseille History Museum was literally next door to our hotel. Although the city has several museums and historical sites, the choice was a no-brainer. Less of a hike meant more time to enjoy the exhibits. As in many places in France we asked for and received the senior discount. Instead of 13 euros we Marseille’s St. Charles train station is a rare senior-friendly paid only 5 to see the museum and one. Unlike other French stations, its platforms are on one a special exhibit about underwater level – no stair climbing involved! archaeology and shipwrecks. The December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS


druger’s zoo By Marvin Druger

14 Signs You’re Getting Old


lthough many of us would like to deny it, our body ages. We try to do everything we did in our younger days, but we soon realize that this is impossible. Like others, I have experienced the signs of aging that are the subject of this article. We start getting up earlier to make sure that the day is fully used. As youngsters, we slept late. As older adults, we get up as early as we can. Life is short and sleeping too much takes away from precious consciousness time in life. People tend to be nice to older people. They call us “Sir” or “Ma’am.” People open doors for us and are eager to offer help. I was about 20 feet away from the door of a store. A young lady saw me coming and she opened the door and held it open until I got there. On another occasion, I was in a store pushing a cart loaded with gardening supplies when a middleaged lady said, “Do you need any help?” Of course, I refused her offer,




55 PLUS - December 2016 / January 2017

and I later excused the episode by convincing myself that she was just trying to pick me up. Last winter, we had a snowstorm. I was just about to get my snowblower started to plow the driveway when my neighbor showed up and announced, “From now on, I’ll take care of the driveway.” He has been plowing my driveway ever since. People are protective of older people. Whenever someone sees me doing some vigorous physical activity, the person says, ”You shouldn’t do that. You might fall and break your hip.” Older people do tend to fall. I have fallen several times, but because I was daydreaming and tripped over some object. I have not yet broken my hip, but I’m cautious about that event happening. Family conflicts diminish. As we reach older age, our children and relatives are much more protective and attentive to our needs. Family love emerges in full force. Almost every day, I get a phone call from my daughter and two sons to



check on how I’m doing. At first, I was annoyed by these calls. Now, I look forward to them. Mirrors are our enemies. We wonder why and how our face changed so much over time? Our skin isn’t what it used to be and our smiling expression has turned to a perpetual frown. A hairdresser asked me, “How shall I cut your hair?” I replied, “Just make me handsome.” Her response was, “Then I’ve already done my job.” I gave her a big tip and I spent the rest of the day telling people about that remark. When someone meets an older person, it’s very common for them to say, “Gee, You look terrific!” How am I supposed to look? Recently, I have met several people who I hadn’t seen for a long time. My thought was, “I thought you were dead!” (But I kept that thought to myself). The health club becomes an obsession. We exercise with the unfounded hope that the exercise will cure us of older age. It was discouraging to see that the chart for



heart rate on the reclining bicycle stops at age 65. Whenever I see a potential new member at the club, I comment,” If you join, you start looking like me.” That comment has probably resulted in many individuals not joining. We get senior discounts. A sure sign of older age is the senior discount. We know we are older when the storekeeper gives us the discount without even asking our age. I am thrilled when I buy a six-packof beer at the grocery and the cashier asks to see my ID as proof of age. I don’t even drink beer, but I buy it to feel young again. We become grouchy as we age. Somehow, life owes me more than I’ve experienced. As life goes on, I am more aware that it must end sometime in the near future. Story Musgrave, the former astronaut, gave a talk at a memorial ceremony for my late wife at Syracuse University. After dinner, I asked, “Story, what’s your next big project?” He replied, “I’m preparing to die.” I laughed, but I’m not laughing now. We become more outspoken. We tend to say what we think and don’t worry about “political correctness.” In younger days, we might think more carefully about what we think, in fear of offending someone. Now, who cares what I say? I’ll just say what I think. When I published my “Diary of Love,” my daughter said, “That’s too personal.” That’s the strength of the book. It reveals personal thoughts about love and tells how intense it can be. Strength and physical abilities decline. I’ve lifted weights with the Nautilus machines for many years. My belief was that lifting weights for so long would make it easier. Yet, lifting weights gets me just as tired now as it did years ago, and the weights feel just as heavy, if not heavier. It’s ego-deflating to wait for use of a Nautilus weight machine and then have to lower the weight after some petite woman has finished with it. I used to jog at a reasonable rate and my fastest time for running a mile was 6:01. Someone at the health club commented, “Wow. Marv did a 6:01.” An ex-friend replied, ”How long did it take him?” Running is no longer on my agenda. I found that my legs no longer respond to the commands from my brain to move faster.






Health issues arise as we get older. My belief is that, as we age, we are bound to get something that we don’t want. Many health issues can be effectively dealt with, and I have numerous older friends who have had open heart surgery, knee and hip replacements, arthritis, cancers, etc. Yet, they are still vertical and they move on in life. Taking pills becomes commonplace as we age. It amazes me to see how such tiny pills can have such dramatic effects. One older friend had several kinds of cancer. Miraculously, he was cured. The doctors removed all his drugs, except Prozac, an anti-depressant. He asked, “How come I still have to take Prozac?” The doctor replied, “Everyone your age takes Prozac.” Friends of older people disappear. At my age, most people I know are either retired, terminally ill, or dead. We have to survive and cope with death of loved ones. We constantly talk about our latest ailments and who died recently. Bodily functions and sexuality declines. Many older men develop prostate problems. A joke that I heard tells about a 90-yearold man who was approached by a lady of the night. She purred, “I can give you super sex.” The old man thought for a moment and replied, “I’ll take the soup!” Wisdom increases. Our many past experiences have provided us with a vast reservoir of knowledge. We know what works and what doesn’t. The problem is that few people want to listen to our advice. The best sign of old age is that we are still here. Although dementia is not uncommon in old people, some older people retain mental capabilities until the end. When I visited a nursing home, I observed a number of individuals with sharp minds, but decaying bodies. Those with sharp minds still retained their sense of humor and wit. I imagined what they might be thinking: “What the hell am I doing here? It all went by too quickly. I should have gone on that special trip while I was physically able to do so.” So, let’s live life fully and do as much as we can while we can. There are good memories, but there are also positive things ahead for all of us who are still here.

12. 13. 14.

Social Security


Q: I’m retired and the only income I have is a monthly withdrawal from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Are the IRA withdrawals considered “earnings?” Could they reduce my monthly Social Security benefits? A: No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you’re self-employed. Non-work income such as pensions, annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains, and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. For more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity. gov or call us toll-free at 1-800772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Q: If I go back to work, will I automatically lose my Social Security disability benefits? A: No, Social Security has several work incentive programs to help people who want to work. You may be able to receive monthly benefits and continue your health care coverage during a trial work period. For information about Social Security’s work incentives and how they can help you return to work, you should: • Visit our special work site at www.socialsecurity.gov/work; • See the Red Book on work incentives at www.socialsecurity. gov/redbook; or • Check out our publications at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs and type “work” in the search box. For more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity. gov or call us toll-free at 1-800772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Information provided by the local Social Security office.

December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS




Winter is the time for downhill skiing at Snow Ridge where there are 21 runs.

Discover Lewis County, An All-Season Destination


By Sandra Scott estled in the Black River Va l l e y b e t w e e n t h e Adirondack Mountains and Tug Hill is a county where nature rules. Lewis County may not be on the travel radar for most people but, besides unspoiled woodlands, lakes, and rivers, there are many “gems” waiting to be discovered. Explore the wonderful surprises in this quiet corner of New York state. Lewis County is an all-season destination, a great place to get off the rat race and renew the mind and spirit. . Nature: Commune with nature in Whetstone Gulf State Park. The park is built in and around a three-mile gorge cut into the eastern edge of the Tug Hill Plateau. There are campsites, a man-made swimming area and trails, one of which circles the gorge. It is great for hiking and cross-country skiing. Rent a cabin on Lake Bonaparte named for Joseph Bonaparte, former King of Spain and brother of Napoleon, who purchased the land in 1818. Today this quiet lake is the perfect summer getaway with a marina, campground and rental cottages. . History: Constable Hall is an historic time capsule. The limestone mansion, built in 1810, was the family home


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for five generations. Fortunately, Constable Hall has much of its original furniture. The hall itself has remained unchanged in plan and architectural detail through the passing years. The beautifully restored 1896 Pine Grove Church with a unique interior is a nondenominational facility accessible to the general public. The General Walter Martin Mansion, also known as Greystone Manor, is being restored by the local historical society. Martin was an officer in the War of 1812, a mill owner, a politician, and the founder and promoter of Martinsburg. The Martinsburg Historical Society is restoring a one-room schoolhouse. . Museums: There are several small museums. In Lyons Falls visit the Pharmacy Museum located in the back of a working pharmacy and then the Storms-Bailey House Museum. Learn all about maple syrup production at the Maple Museum in Croghan; also in Croghan is the Railroad Museum. In the quiet Tug Hill town of Osceola is the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame and Museum where visitors can enjoy free concerts on Sundays from the end of May until the end of September.


The Mennonite Heritage Farm in Kirschnerville was home to three generations of the Moser family. The farm preserves the religious heritage of the Mennonite community. The historical society on Main Street in Lowville sometimes has displays and is the place for historical research. . For foodies: No visit to Lewis County is complete without enjoying Croghan Bologna which has been made since 1888 by the Croghan Meat Market using a secret recipe. It is uniquely Lewis County. All manner of cheese is made locally and can be purchased at the Lowville Producers Cheese Store along with locally produced maple syrup. You can’t miss it. Next to it visitors will find a statue of a giant cow donning sunglasses. Don’t miss the county’s only winery, Tug Hill Winery, where they also have seasonal u-pick berries. . Sports: The county is perfect for those who wish to commune with nature regardless of the season. Lewis County gets 200-300 feet of snow annually making a winter paradise. Winter is the time for downhill skiing at Snow Ridge where there are 21 runs. Cross-country skiers may use Snow Ridge’s lifts to access

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the cross-country trails located on the state land behind the resort. Cross-country ski or snowmobile through the woods on hundreds of miles of groomed trails. There are over 600 miles of free-access snowmobile trails. The Otter Creek Horse Trail near Glenfield has 65 miles of interlocking trails. The fishing is great and so is the boating. . Shopping: Several shops on Main Street in Lowville — including Yellowjack Custom Designs — offer products that are locally made. They have everything from signs to tables. They also custom make items. Nearby are Cozy Country Corner, Marguerite’s Cranberry Emporium and Entwined Treasures. The Old Meat Market Gallery has items from 75 local artists. Nolt’s Country Store has an eclectic connection of items for sale including food and handicrafts made by the local Mennonite community. In Copenhagen, check out the Amish Connection for furniture, gifts and home decorations. . Events: The first fair in Lewis County was held in 1821. In 1871 the Lewis County Fair made its permanent home in Lowville. It claims to be the oldest continuously operating agricultural fair in the United States. The fair offers all the traditional fair activities including a parade, fireworks, and demolition derby. Not to miss is Freeman’s Old Style Taffy — in 22 flavors. It has been in business for 121 years, in the same location, and run by the same family. There are many seasonal events such as the Cream Cheese Festival in the fall. . Fun: In Croghan stop at Good Ol’ Wishy’s oldfashioned soda fountain for an “Adirondack Sized Cone”


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Learn all about maple syrup production at the Maple Museum in Croghan, Lewis County. or for a root beer float. Go picking at Denmark Gardens Apple Orchard or Tug Hill Winery for seasonal fruits. The BarkEater Craft Brewery in Lowville brews small batches of artisanal ales and other brews. The owner, an artist, used his skill to make the brewery an interesting place to visit. Maple Ridge Center offers tubing also with seasonal events like a Blue Grass Festival. Kaleidoscope Studio in Lowville offers fun art and craft classes. . Unique: You can’t miss them; the skyline is dotted with windmills. The constant lake-effect winds and the wide open farmland of Lewis County make the Tug Hill region an ideal place for New York’s largest wind energy farm. The Maple Ridge Wind Farm with 195 wind turbines supplies enough clean energy to meet the annual electrical needs of 140,000 New York homes.



. Driving about: Each

spring the Cooperative Extension creates a maple tour with stops at sugar shanties. Lewis County is in the center of The Black River Scenic Byway. The 111-mile scenic byway extends from Rome to Ogdensburg past beautiful scenery and historical places. In the fall the chamber of commerce organizes a Fall Foliage do-it-yourself driving tour. Create your own driving or walking tour through the shaded streets of Lowville where there are historic houses, buildings and churches in a variety of architectural styles.

The constant lake-effect winds and the wide open farmland of Lewis County make the Tug Hill region an ideal place for New York’s largest wind energy farm, the Maple Ridge Wind Farm with 195 wind turbines. December 2016 / January 2017 - 55 PLUS




By Matthew Liptak

Tim Ames, 75 Founder of Oswego arts cooperative/ gallery, retiring at the end of the year Q. In 2011 you started Lakeside Artisans, an arts cooperative and gallery in Oswego. How does it feel to leave the business now? A. “It’s like leaving your kid behind, are you kidding? It is. It’s hard to let go, but it’s time. To use a metaphor, parents have to leave their kids eventually and let them run the business themselves. It’s time. It’s time. I’m 75. Q. Why are you retiring? A. “This isn’t just me. It’s Michele Southgate too. Michele and I, we’re partners. We’re in our 70s and it’s time to let the children run the business. There just comes a time when you’ve got to let go. All the artisans that are in the store are going to stay there and are going to continue to run the business. They’re going to continue on with what we started. It’s important to us that it’s in capable hands. Q. How much time have you spent on the business? A. “We spent the last seven, eight years of our lives on this without any time off at all. We’ve been in business for six years, but it took two years of preparation before we even started. Q. What’s the future for the store? A. “It’s going really, really well. That’s why we feel good leaving now. If it was doing poorly it would be like we’d be bailing a sinking ship, but we’re not. It’s extremely successful. It’s on a good path and there’s a bunch of good artisans there now. We feel like we’re leaving it in very capable hands. Q. What’s your artistic future? A. “Well, I’m going to be able to sit down and paint some paintings that I want to paint. I’ll have some 50

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time to do it. I haven’t had time to produce an awful lot of work in the last few years. Now I can relax and sit down and just worry about my own self instead of 20 other artists and a business to run. It’s going to be different. Q. Any other projects in the works? A. “We’re tossing some ideas around because both of us find it kind of hard to sit still. But we’re going to take some time off just to relax, do a little bit of traveling and take some time off for ourselves. I’d like to see a nice gallery open in Oswego — an art gallery. A gallery is a whole different thing. It’s complementary to an artisans shop. We’re thinking about it. We’re giving it careful consideration.” Q. What impact has Lakeside had on Oswego’s art scene? A. “I’m on the inside looking out. I think it’s made an extremely big impact on the art scene. One of our goals was to increase the quality and diversity of the visual arts in Oswego and provide the people with something to be proud of. I think we did that. Every time someone comes into the store they tell us how much they love it, how glad they are we got it going. That’s all I can go by. We’re really grateful everybody accepted it. Q. How has your creative impulse worked as an artist? A. “Personally, I never thought of myself as an artist, but when I look back on my life it looks like I’ve kind of always been creative. I was an entertainer for a long time. I

Tim Ames and his partner Michele Southgate in 2011 created Lakeside Artisans, a gift shop and gallery featuring fine arts and crafts area artisans. The couple is retiring after working in the business since its inception. opened up restaurants and I was a chef. I created dishes. Then I started painting. In every aspect of my life there’s been a lot of creativity involved. I didn’t realize it then, but I look back on it now and I can see it. It’s just inherent in me I guess. I just had to wake it up. I didn’t start painting until I was 55. I’m a late bloomer. I needed a hobby so I figured I’d try it. When you’re doing something like this... especially when you’re painting, you really have to concentrate on what you’re doing—the whole world just disappears. It just relieves all the stress. It’s a fantastic hobby.”



When it's time for a hip or knee replacement, turn to the experts at Upstate Community Campus Orthopedics. Here you will find surgeons who are skilled in state-of-the-art technology, such as the Mako Robotic Arm, and an entire hospital floor for the comfort of orthopedic patients. The team also includes specially trained nurses and therapists who provide the best practices for healing, including education for patients and a physical therapy gym just down the hall. The team will work closely with your own doctor before and after surgery to provide the best outcomes and care.



OVER 50?


Stay healthy and engaged through OASIS, a community learning center for those aged 50+. OASIS offers classes in the arts, history, technology, fitness, science, travel and more. Start anytime. Enjoy learning and being connected with others. Session class prices range from free to reasonable. Easy access and free parking. OASIS is located at 6333 State Rte 298 in East Syracuse, next to the DoubleTree Hotel, off Carrier Circle. SEE OUR CATALOG OF COURSES www.oasisnet.org/syracuse LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: SYRACUSE OASIS


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