55 Plus CNY October - November 17

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Find & Claim Your Family’s Unclaimed Money Marilyn Pinsky: Caroma Restaurant Had Best Braciola in Town



PLUS Issue 71 October / November 2017

For Active Adults in the Central New York Area

TV PIONEER Ron Lombard, the news director at Spectrum News Central NY, was there in 2003 to launch the first and only 24-hour news station in Central New York. Still at the helm, he talks about his career, cable TV and more

New ways to explore fall foliage: by boat, balloon, train

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.”


No Home Phone is Needed to Get Help at a Moment Like This

Protect the ones you love

Anne Lloyd sits in the garden at her home in Camillus.

Over the course of my life, I faced challenges with determination and perseverance. Looking back on the life lessons I learned as a child coupled with support I received along the way, I now feel a strong desire to help others by giving back to the same community that so greatly impacted my life.

Giving for the Future: Anne Lloyd

I established a fund at the Community Foundation that will provide for my favorite charities in perpetuity. A portion of my estate will be contributed to the fund when I pass away, so I can continue to give back to the community that has given me so much. To know my time on earth will make a difference forever is an exciting concept. This community connected me to pivotal people who became lifelong friends and lit a pathway to a solid education and a productive career. I love knowing that my money is staying in Central New York. It belongs here.

Read more of Anne’s story at Lloyd.5forCNY.org

since 1927 cnycf.org (315) 422-9538 October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS



Find & Claim Your Family’s Unclaimed Money Marilyn Pinsky: Caroma Restaurant Had Best Braciola in Town




October/ November 2017

PLUS Issue 71 October / November 2017

For Active Adults in the Central New York Area

TV Pioneer Ron Lombard, Spectrum News Central NY news director, was there in 2003 to launch the first and only 24-hour news station in Central New York. Still at the helm, he talks about career, cable TV and more

New ways to explore fall foliage: by boat, ballon, train



Savvy Senior 6 12

Gardening 8 EXPLORE

• New ways to explore fall

Dining Out 10 foliage, by boat, balloon, train My Turn 21 14

Golden Years 40 WRITING

• Turning memoirs into books to

Aging 42 share with their families and friends Financial Health 37 18 Life After 55 44 MUSIC

• Group creates joyous African

Druger’s Zoo 46 dance music in Syracuse LAST PAGE Bobbi Cleaveland, 73, of Cazenovia enjoys her gig as a ski instructor — working with people of all ages. 4

55 PLUS - October / November 2017


• Fulton Amateur Radio Club turns 60


• Americans over the age of 55 have the highest rate of self-employment


24 28 MEMORY

• Your story is powerful, but only if you tell it


• Professor Robert Spitzer: from classroom to a theater


• Ron Lombard, Spectrum News CNY news director, is a pioneer in the history of TV in CNY


• Ten things to do in Cincinnati, the Queen City on the Ohio


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savvy senior By Jim Miller


Find and Claim Your Family’s Unclaimed Money

orgotten or lost money is actually quite common in the United States. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, there is around $42 billion in unclaimed funds sitting in state treasuries and other agencies just waiting to be found. These unclaimed funds are from accounts that are inactive or whose owners, or their heirs, cannot be located. Unclaimed funds can include lost or forgotten saving or checking accounts, stocks, utility security deposits, tax refunds, life insurance proceeds, uncashed dividend checks, contents of safedeposit boxes and more. This typically happens because of a change of address (the owner moved), a name change (the owner got married or divorced), or the owner dies and the estate was unaware of the money. By law, companies and financial institutions that can’t find the owner or their next of kin within two to five years must turn the property over to the state where it’s held indefinitely. Where to Search — It’s very possible that your father, or you, have some unclaimed money out there and you don’t even know it. To start your quest go to Unclaimed.org, which has links to all state programs that will let you to do a state benefits search online for free. Or, you can do a multistate search in 40 states at MissingMoney.com. Check every state in which your father or you have lived, worked or conducted business. Also, if you’re married, make sure to check under your maiden name as well. Using a first initial and your last name is also encouraged to make sure everything comes up.

Look Here Too

In addition to state treasuries, 6

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here are some other agencies that can help you find unclaimed money. IRS — Each year thousands of refund checks totaling millions of dollars are returned to the IRS by the post office. To look for lost federal tax refund checks go to IRS.gov/refunds, or call 800-829-1954. U.S. Treasury — To find out if there are any savings bonds your dad didn’t claim dating back to 1974, go to TreasuryHunt.gov. For older bonds or those still drawing interest use form 1048, which you can download at TreasuryHunt.gov/forms/sav1048. pdf, or call 844-284-2676 to request a form by mail. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation — If your dad worked for a company that went out of business or ended its defined benefit pension plan, you may be entitled to some of his benefits. To look for lost pensions, use the pension-search tool at PBGC.gov/ search/unclaimed-pensions, or you can call 800-400-7242 and get help over the phone. National Association of Insurance Commissioners — To track down a lost or forgotten life insurance policy, the NAIC, an insurance regulatory support organization, offers a national policy locator service at Locator. NAIC.org. PenChecks Inc. and Millennium Trust Co. — To search for lost or forgotten retirement benefits or 401(k) funds left behind with an old employer, go to UnclaimedRetirementBenefits. com and MTrustCompany.com/unclaimed-retirement-funds. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — To search for unclaimed bank accounts at firms that were shut down between January 1, 1989 and June 28, 1993 go to ClosedBanks.FDIC.gov/ funds. State treasuries hold assets from shutdowns after 1993. Social Security — To find lost Social Security benefits, including the $255 death benefit, call 800-772-1213.

55PLUS cny55.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo


Deborah J. Sergeant Aaron Gifford, Matthew Liptak Mary Beth Roach, Carol Radin Russ Tarby, Jennifer Owens


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


Amy Gagliano Cassandra Lawson

Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler


Dylon Clew-Thomas

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 © 2017 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in Upstate New York.

No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 3071

How to Reach Us P.O. Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126 Phone: 315-342-1182 Fax: 315-342-7776 Email: editor@CNY55.com Editor@cnyhealth.com

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October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS



By Jim Sollecito

Late Bloomers

Make sure you’re taking full advantage of fall’s foliage and flowers


all is definitely my favorite time of year. Autumn’s visual impact is greater than spring: a crayon box of hues everywhere we look. As leaves turn a riotous range of color, perennials and shrubs with late-season flowers have more value, as their backdrop offers so much more beyond the usual green. Many spring bloomers give us a flash of early color, then far too much maintenance to justify them in our year-round landscape. Now is the time for some selective landscape editing. Use your space wisely. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of fall’s foliage and flowers. Key feature plants are just now coming into their full flowering potential. And I’m not referring to garden mums, which in CNY honestly perform as annuals. Mums are too much effort for a plant that is in our landscape less than a month and then gone forever. Instead I lean more toward hardy perennials like Hot Lips Turtlehead. These beauties flourish in moist, partly shady areas. The lush deep green plants crowd out weeds all summer long. Late August their grinning hot lipstick-pink blooms put a smile on the face of everyone who sees them. And can’t we all use more smiles? Of course, hydrangeas are still going strong. Many of summer’s white blooms are blushing pink or red now. Like a double feature movie, there’s more still coming. Newer varieties grow in tidy compact forms with more bountiful blooms, brighter colors. Lower maintenance with superior performance. Win-win! Perception is everything. For example, it seems people my age appear much older than I think I am. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. So maybe it’s time to update with some improved Syracuse-hardy plants with better 8

55 PLUS - October / November 2017

features. Don’t be that person who has to make excuses for their disheveled yard. It’s one thing to be a late bloomer. It’s another to just be unkempt. And it’s amazing how easily plants slide into the ground in the fall, immediately giving us what we all want: instant gratification. Especially this year. If you are even considering some landscape color enhancement, your shopping list should also include anemone, hardy hibiscus, Walker’s Low catmint, Stella D’oro daylilies

and, of course, the many ornamental grasses. Clean foliage during the main part of the growing season followed by a bonus of blooms when we least expect them. Autumn’s flowers and fall foliage are a wonderfully rich combination. Like people, some plants are late bloomers. And these late bloomers are right on time. At this stage of the game, many of us are showing our finest flowers. Shouldn’t your landscape shine in the same light?

Hot Lips Turtlehead flourishes in moist, partly shady areas. The lush deep green plants crowd out weeds all summer long. Late August their grinning hot lipstick-pink blooms put a smile on the face of everyone who sees them.

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Certified 2Young2Retire Coach Certified Retirement Options Coach LeslieRose@TrustedCoach.com 315-453-7608 Dashaun Young as “Simba” in Lion King North American Tour. Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus / Disney.

Disney’s The Lion King Back in Syracuse


isney’s The Lion King will leap onto the Landmark Theatre stage in Syracuse Oct. 26 for a limited engagement of three weeks through Nov. 12. The Lion King North American tour will unveil a newly-configured production, which will launch in Syracuse, allowing the tour to entertain new audiences in cities and venues which previously couldn’t accommodate the show. In addition to the three weeks of performances, the production will spend five weeks in Syracuse perfecting these technical changes. During that process, a large contingent of crew members, actors and technicians — alongside members of the show’s award-winning creative team — will live and work in Syracuse. The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 19 million theatergoers. Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, The Lion King now proudly makes its Syracuse return. Tickets are on sale now at the Landmark Theatre box office and online at BroadwayInSyracuse.com. To charge tickets, call 1-866-870-2717. Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling Famous Artists at 315-424-8210. Premium ticket packages are also available.

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DiningOut By Jacob Pucci



With Love Restaurant in Little Italy, Syracuse, features chefs from different countries, one at the time.

With Love Restaurant


Global dining experience served in Syracuse’s Little Italy

here could not be a better location in Central New York for With Love — a restaurant incubator whose cuisine changes every six months and whose menus change much more frequently — than Syracuse’s North Side. The restaurant is in the heart of Little Italy, a neighborhood characterized by a mix of cultures and a vibrant refugee community where dozens of languages are spoken each day. With Love opened last December and served the food of Sarah Robin, a native of Pakistan’s Punjab province who emigrated to the United States as a refugee about four years ago. On Aug. 1, Nancy Aye, a Burmese refugee who came from a refugee camp in Thailand to Syracuse in 2008, took over 10

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as With Love’s restauranteur. We arrived for a Thursday night dinner — dinner is served on Thursday and Friday only, with lunch served on Tuesday and Wednesday — just after 5 p.m. The restaurant was empty, save for the staff, including Aye and Adam Sudmann, who is charge of OCC’s food services management program and manager of the restaurant, and a group of parents and young children, sprawled out in the restaurant’s front room. The front room features cushions on the floor and pillows against the wall that complemented the sky-blue tin walls — a sort of hybrid Japanese tea house/restaurant vibe that looked immensely comfortable. Aye arrived at our table to explain the menu soon after we sat down. The menu is short: Two starters, two

entrees and one dessert, plus Burmese tea, tamarind-peanut and hibiscusmint coolers and local Salt City Coffee. She explained all the components in the dishes — that the pork in the grilled moo ping skewers is locally-sourced or that the tamarind cooler pairs best with the spicy garlic noodles—but had already made our minds up: We were ordering everything. Dinner started with moo ping and the green and heirloom tomato salad (both $7). The moo ping skewers, served three to an order, are made with pork butt, so there was plenty of smoky fire-kissed pork fat marbled into the lean meat. The meat was not strongly seasoned, which was good, because it otherwise would have obscured the deliciously fruity and spicy chili sauce served alongside.

Dinner at With Love Restaurant started with green and heirloom tomato salad. With a little bit of sauce left in the cup, but all the pork gone, I found myself scooping up the last bit with my finger — after first looking around to make sure no one would see me. The tomato salad combines green and red tomatoes with crispy fried shallots, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, crunchy fried rice noodles and a fish sauce dressing. For a country as intensely hot as Burma (Myanmar), it makes sense that a cool, refreshing salad like this would be a regular part of the diet. The shallots and rice noodles provided a pleasant crunch to the dish and complemented the tomatoes well. Far too many chicken curries are made with sliced breast meat, which quickly overcooks and adds little in the way of flavor as it is. But at With Love, the chicken curry ($12) is juicy stewed dark meat served atop a bed of jasmine rice. Aye explained before our meal that her house-made Madras curry is unlike most other curry dishes, thanks to its unique blend of spices and use of coconut milk that tasted like a hybrid between typical Indian and Thai curries. Whatever the spice mix is, it’s incredible. The dish has an immense depth of flavor and just a touch of heat, though I wouldn’t consider the dish spicy. The rice, cooked in the same or a similar sauce as the chicken, is a flavorful and well-cooked supporting star. The garlic noodles, available with

Grilled shrimp with noodles tossed with a spicy peanut sauce and lots of caramelized shallots and garlic.

A Burmese take on the French classic. The custard is flavored with coconut, pandan leaf and jaggery. ($13) or without ($9) grilled shrimp, is a tangle of wheat noodles in a slick and spicy garlic sauce, speckled with peanuts and chopped purple basil. Aye was right, the sweet-and-sour tamarind cooler worked well to cut the spice, as did the neat piles of cubed cucumber and fried homemade chickpea tofu alongside the noodles. The hibiscus cooler, with its distinct ruby red color and tart flavor, held up well to the challenge as well. Both dishes were comforting, like the Burmese equivalent of your mother’s spaghetti and meatballs for Sunday supper. Dinner ended with crème brûlée ($6), which Aye said with a laugh is a chef’s special and not a traditional

Burmese dish. Crème brûlée is a favorite of mine at restaurants largely due to the time and tools its takes to make it at home, so I have eaten my fair share. The sugar crust — which can make or break the dessert — was dark and uniformly crisp. With Love’s version was flavored with coconut, pandan leaf, a sweet herb common in Asian desserts and jaggery, a type of unrefined cane sugar. The custard was topped with pink pearl tapioca, which resemble salmon caviar and give the dish a unique textural contrast. This classic French dessert was distinctively Burma. By the time we finished dinner, the small restaurant of about two dozen seats had filled up. Right as we were about to leave, one older couple walked in, looked at the menu, looked at each other and walked out. If only they knew what they were missing.

With Love Address: 435 N. Salina St., Syracuse Website: http://withloverestaurant.com Phone: 315-870-3861 Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, from noon to 2 p.m. and Thursday and Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


explore 55+ 55+ fall

Colonial Belle Erie Canal Boat Tour.


New Ways to Explore Fall Foliage

Leave your car behind: get on a train, balloon or boat By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f you really want to enjoy fall color, it’s easier — and safer — to leave the driving to someone else while you take in the sights. Thankfully, you have several options in the Central New York region for viewing autumn foliage without climbing behind the wheel. Here are four unique ways to explore:


Adirondack Balloon Flights

(www.adkballoonflights. com) could be the highlight of your weekend getaway, soaring above the autumn colors of the Adirondacks for an hour-long flight above Lake George, Saratoga, Wilton and rural Washington County areas. Guests receive commemorative digital photos and, upon landing, refreshments and a champagne toast. Ground transportation to the flight area included. Flights leave and return to Thruway Exit 19, I-87 Queensbury/ Glens Falls. Shared space and private group flight is $250.00 per person; 12

groups of 10 may reserve the entire flight. Weight restrictions apply and all flights are weather-dependant. More balloons are available for larger groups.

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Adirondack Scenic Railroad.


Adirondack Scenic Railroad,

Utica’s Union Station (www. adirondackrr.com), provides a nostalgic ride through the Adirondacks. Riders

can enjoy the scenery without a care. Rides begin at 11:30 a.m. Fridays and Sundays Sept. 15 through Oct. 22 and stopping in Thendara at 1:30 p.m. before heading home at 2:15 p.m. Train departs from 321 Main St. in Utica. Adults $39.50; seniors 62+ $37.50; youth (2-12) $29.50.


Camillus Erie Canal Park

(www.eriecanalcamillus. com/boat.htm) offers scenic boat tours on its two tour vessels, the turn of the century excursion boat, the Ontario, and a pontoon boat, the Camillus Erie (wheelchair accessible). Both offer music and narration on the two-mile, 45-minute rides. Guests may also join in an optional, brief walk to the historic Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct. Tours sail through mid-October Sundays, leaving on the hour from 1 p.m. through 4 p.m. Adults $3; Ages 5 to 12 $1.50; Under 5 free; maximum for family $10.50.


Colonial Belle Erie Canal Boat Tour

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(www.colonialbelle.com) is your best bet. Touring downtown Rochester, the four-hour fall foliage tour showcases one of the area’s most scenic routes via the Erie Canal to the Genesee River. The cruise includes a seasonal fall buffet dinner, dessert, beverages and live music by Fred Vine. The cruise leaves at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 8 from Schoen Place in Pittsford. Boarding begins 15 minutes before the tour starts. Reservations required. $85.


Amtrak’s Great Dome Car

( w w w. a m t r a k . c o m / f a l l travel-on-the-great-dome-car) gives leaf peepers plenty to see with its glass-topped viewing deck. With daily, 10-hour trips running north and south between New York City and Montreal, riders take in some of the state’s most famed sights. But as with the New England Fall Foliage tour, you’ll need to travel to one of the stations served by the line as listed on the website. For any of the above trips, don’t forget to ask about any discounts that may apply to you, such as AAA, senior, or veteran. If you plan on bringing along the grandchildren, ask about age minimums in advance.

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October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS




From Memory to Memoir: A Path to Discovery By Carol Radin “Memory is the diary we all carry around with us.” -Playwright Oscar Wilde


ome Central New Yorkers are re-charging their memories and mental diaries by transforming them into memoirs to share with their families and friends. Drawn from age and experience, a memoir can evolve into rich observations that elucidate the writer’s personal relationships or give a historical perspective to a neighborhood, a community or a culture. Seasoned local writers like Eric J. Evans and Irving Wagner have selfpublished memoirs that document years of their experiences and give character to the people and places that helped transform them. Other writers like Delores Tanner, a student at the Downtown Writers Center, examines social context in her short memory pieces on life as a college student, a mother and a volunteer teaching English to newly-arrived immigrants. Whatever their approach, all three writers find they’ve engaged in useful explorations of self-discovery. “I don’t know the answer,“ Tanner says, “but I like to ask the question.” For Tanner, who is 83, such reflections capture the essence of memoir. The realization that “there are spaces


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I need to fill in” attunes her to the random moments of reflection when she is not necessarily sitting down and physically writing, but rather engaged in some other activity, even so simple as washing dishes. In those moments, one of the “missing pieces” can suddenly come to her. She especially likes to employ humor, as in her story about a calamitous college audition for a TV cooking show, and a Saturday-in-thelife saga with four young sons, a Scout pack meeting in her living room, a painter in the kitchen, and a cat that gives birth in the middle of everything. With a focus on the evolving role of women, Tanner’s pieces often illustrate the lifestyle and values that she and her mother experienced as females in the past. From reflection on the way things are “now” compared with “then,” stories of her youth emerge. Eric Evans, a published poet, also linked his present reflections to his past for his memoir, “Meet Me in the Distance.” “I was going through a big change in my life and those new experiences altered my view of life.” Writing about his present identity “led, by extension, to going back to who I was before. Where did my sense of identity come from? I wanted a process of looking into this.” Evans steadfastly pursued an

See related story on page 28 emotional journey, writing “pieces of memory” each day. Avoiding the conventional form of a continuous narrative thread, he focused instead on a series of isolated stories related to his emotional life. His self-published “Meet Me in the Distance,” is now available on Amazon. In it, he relates vignettes from his Florida childhood, his complicated relationship with his father, a stint in the U.S. Navy, and his development as a writer and college professor. He engages his readers with chapter titles like, “Women and Men and Me,” “Strange Interlude: Panama City Beach,” “A Little Discussion Between Friends,” and “Shakuhachi: Another Musical World.” Irving Wagner ’s books, also self-published, “Recollection—The Autobiography of a Little Kid” and “Recollection Part 2” — are a record of the Syracuse Jewish community through the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Now 91, he chronicled his childhood, his work as a cattle farmer in Jefferson and Onondaga counties, and his religious commitment in the Syracuse synagogues of the old Fifteenth Ward. Wagner’s vignettes, some as short as a paragraph, offer glimpses into his courtship of his wife Louise, social

Georgia Popoff, a writer, blogger and workshop coordinator at Syracuse Downtown Writer’s Center in Syracuse. Popoff keeps her blog at gappoet.blogspot.com. occasions with friends, and even sensory memories of hearty Jewish cooking and drinking. Wagner ’s grandchildren would probably not learn about “House’s” cream soda, homemade strudel and chicken fat smeared on hunks of bread unless they read about it in his book. Altogether, Wagner gives us a social history of a particular community in a particular time. He wrote the material over a period of many years, as memories came to him. With the help of his late wife Louise, who was an artist, he designed and printed two 8 ½ by 11” volumes: “Recollections, The Autobiography of a Little Kid” and “Recollections, Part II.” His understated style delivers impact in its very simplicity, as it relates the trials of an immigrant generation that put its energies into striving for a better life rather than reflecting on it. For instance, on his family’s arrival here: “Our family arrived here in the U.S.A. from Lithuania in 1923. I was told I was very sick on board ship and almost didn’t survive. Nevertheless, despite the fact that I was only 6 months old I was persistent… Our first stop was Ellis Island, and then to Syracuse N.Y. where we moved in with our sponsors, Aunt Cecil and Uncle Louis. They lived on Montgomery Street, which at that time was a dirt road. Uncle Louie had a horse and wagon and traveled throughout the city buying rags and metal, making

Irving Wagner with his memoirs: “Recollections — The Autobiography of a Little Kid” and “Recollection Part 2.” He self-published his books in the 1990s and had to face all sorts of obstacles to get his books published. Today, online publishing programs and presses are plentiful and accessible, making it easier for those who want to publish. a comfortable living, but it was hard physical work.” Wagner’s intention as a writer is to impart a past and a set of values that the younger generations of his family can hold on to. “Otherwise,“ Wagner reflects, “history would be lost. This is my legacy to my kids.” Elinor Cramer, a local poet and a writing instructor for the Downtown Writers’ Center, echoes that sentiment. “You are the carrier of your family’s history,” she says, adding that oral histories passed down among family members can inspire them to write. “While in his 90s,” Cramer says, “my father dictated his experiences to my sister. She typed them and gave a copy to each of us.” Records such as these embody memoir at its most personal and poignant.

Memoir’s content What should writers keep in mind if they want to begin their own memoirs? Georgia Popoff, the workshops

coordinator for the Downtown Writer’s Center in Syracuse, encourages her students to begin by understanding that “everyone’s story is valuable and valid.” Most of the senior memoir-writers in her non-fiction writing workshops draw on stories from their youth, their adult accomplishments and, for some, illness and trauma. Whatever the focus, Popoff stresses that a memoir is an arduous journey for the writer, and that the best writing succeeds through hard work and conscientious revision. “It’s not what you draft, it’s what you craft,“ she says. “Revision is where you ‘prove your muster ’ as a writer.” Popoff has three “tiers to accomplishment,” questions her students must answer as they write: 1) What is your mission? 2) Who do you want to read it? 3) How much work are you willing to put into it? As a poet with three published volumes of poetry who is currently working on five writing projects, including a memoir of her own, Popoff understands intrinsically the demands writers must make upon themselves. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


Eileen Schell, professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, has additional suggestions for beginning memoir writers. One is to pick up a good book about process. In her writing classes at the Nottingham Senior Living Center, she recommends two particularly helpful guides, one intended for older adults called “Writing from Within,” by Bernard Selling, and the other, “Writing the Memoir, From Truth to Art,” by Judith Barrington. Schell’s other suggestion is to join a writing class, where people can “hear what others write and get inspired.” In her classes at the Nottingham, she finds that her older adult students prompt each other with stories of events, experiences and the life dilemmas they have in common. Whether a crafted memoir comes out of a class assignment, or a lone endeavor at the page or keyboard, ultimately it comes from a passion to hold onto one’s history and to share it. In sharing their memories and mental diaries, writers like Tanner, Evans, and Wagner have re-created whole pasts for others to discover.

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Self-Publishing Your Memoir Local author Irving Wagner published his memoirs the oldfashioned way in the 1990s. In those days, his computer word processor didn’t even have cut-and-paste capability. To put his memoirs into hardbound book form, he bought paper stock in “a little place on Erie Boulevard” that doesn’t exist anymore and ran back and forth to a printer to copy pages. Today, online publishing programs and presses are plentiful and accessible. Author Eric Evans used Amazon’s “Create Space” for his book “Meet Me in the Distance,” a glossy paperback with a cover of Evans’ own design. “Create Space” (www.createspace. com) is a user-friendly program in which writers create their typescript and export their text to a PDF file, with capability to separate the front, back, and spine of the book. Instructions are very easy, Evans says, and it was “lots of fun” designing his cover. Writers can also do an online search for other self-publishing programs that might fit their needs. Chapbooks are another appealing format for writers who want to publish, although chapbook presses are highly selective. Both Evans and local poet Elinor Cramer have published chapbooks with their poetry. Chapbooks are small booklets, often no more than 5” by 8”, with 20 to 50 pages bound with staples or even string, which gives them a home-grown, artisan-like appearance. Although many chapbooks focus

poetry, some chapbook presses appear to be open to works of short prose and memoir. Red Bird Chapbooks at redbirdchapbooks.com includes one memoir in its online catalog. The online Masters Review lists other chapbook presses at mastersreview.com, as well as additional publishing opportunities for new writers. W h i l e G e o rg i a Po p o ff, t h e workshops coordinator for the Downtown Writer’s Center in Syracuse, encourages self-publishing for memoir writers, she also suggests other paths to visibility. Cultivating a following through Facebook, Twitter, and blogging can get a writer’s perspective out in the online community. “Many people have their own blogs,” she says. She herself has one (gappoet.blogspot.com). Popoff also reminds her students that community readings are great opportunities for promoting their work and rallying an audience of readers. By Carol Radin

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Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble in a recent event at Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.

Syracuse Group Makes Marimbas Sing

Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble creates joyous African dance music By Russ Tarby


ne of the first things you notice when you see the Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble is the teamwork. Between tunes, the musicians swiftly switch off between seven homemade marimbas of varying tones, from bass to soprano, producing an eminently danceable picnic of polyphony spiced with a hint of pitch. After each number — like wellcoordinated square dancers — the players each step briskly to their new position ready to hammer out the next number. “We change marimbas with every song,” explains Diana Green, who has been a member of the ensemble for 12 years. “I play all of them.” No wonder the ambitious amateur musicians work so well together. Most of them got to know each other playing Syracuse City Rec League softball, most recently for the Gannon’s Ice Cream team. Audiences also notice that most of


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the musicians are women of retirement age. “We’re ultra-sensitive that we’re a bunch of older white ladies playing traditional Zimbabwean music,” says Carolyn Stafford, an original Kambuyu member who hosts rehearsals at her home near Webster Pond in Syracuse. Stafford also oversees the band’s business affairs and website — kambuyumarimbas.com. “And we have a pot-luck meal at every rehearsal,” she said. “Everyone brings a little something.” The ensemble — the first authentic traditional marimba band to form on the east coast — is clearly more than just a band; it’s a community.

Ad in the paper The Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble first formed 13 years ago in Syracuse, under the direction of composermusician Stan Sitnik who had become an important part of the Zimbabwean

music renaissance that blossomed in the early 1990s in the Northwestern United States. Sitnik had been a student of Dumisani Abraham Maraire — also known as Dumi — the dynamic Zimbabwean musician who introduced marimba music to the Pacific Northwest. Composing in his native language, Shona, Dumi specialized in marimba music — singing, dancing and drumming. He taught at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., in the 1970s and had plenty of private students. He also organized several marimba bands that played throughout the Northwest and British Columbia. Dumi died in November 1999 from a stroke. He was just 56 years old. Just as the Zimbabwean music craze has Dumi as its patron saint, the Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble has one of its own. Martha Jenks, who taught at Fowler High School for more than two

decades, was a lifelong musician who picked guitar and mandolin for groups such as the Tired Hands String Band, the Usual Suspects and the Near Mrs. On her 50th birthday in 2001, Jenks received a tiny orchestral marimba as a gift. “It was like one-and-a-half octaves, with those black-and-white keys,” remembers her sister, Carolyn Stafford. As chance would have it, Stan Sitnik had returned to his native Central New York in 2003 to care for his ailing mother, and he missed the marimba scene he’d discovered out west, so he placed an advertisement in a local newspaper seeking musicians interested in African music. Jenks read that ad and responded. “It sounded pretty wacky,” Stafford recalls. “But several of us went to try it out.” Playing Sitnik’s instruments, the ladies were initially unable to perform full songs. “We’d just play parts,” Stafford says. “It was a little disorganized, but Stan would teach us different parts every week. And we’d play that one thing over and over and over again.” B e f o re t o o l o n g , t h o s e o f t repeated rhythmic progressions linked together to make a complete tune. The ensemble’s original eight members were Martha Jenks, her daughter-inlaw Karen Jenks and her sister Carolyn Stafford along with Josh Coles, Robin Carruthers, Lisa Edlind, Diane Emord and Deborah Rose. A year later they were joined by Fran Lawlor, Barb Root, Jenks’ son Ethan Jenks and Africanstudies scholar Diana Green. Stafford remembers how Sitnik helped shape the ensemble using tough love. “He really drilled it into us, the respect that we needed to bring to the music,” she said. “He questioned our seriousness every day. He was always asking us, ‘Are you on the bus?’” And Sitnik didn’t shy away from a bit of friendly arm-twisting. After introducing the ensemble to the music by allowing them to play his own instruments, “he took away the instruments one by one,” Stafford said. “He said, ‘I’m not going to teach you anymore unless you build your own instruments.’” So the musicians went to work, using various tonal woods for the keys. Jenks built a soprano marimba,

John Heard has been playing African-style percussion for 30 years with such artists as jazz saxophonist Jesse Collins, and taught an after-school program for the Syracuse City School District.

Vicky Nolan and Diane Emord at Art on the Porches. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


which plays the lead. She and Stafford collaborated on the bass instrument, featuring especially sonorous black cherry wood. And Diane Emord built most of the other marimbas, bought tropical padauk wood planks from Paul Anthony’s local lumber yard, Memphis Hardwood, and purchased Congolese wenge wood from a Schenectady firm. Wenge wood is used for tenor marimbas while the baritone was fitted with Honduran mahogany by Deborah Rose and her son Brendan. The marimba is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets. The Syracuse group built its marimbas using various tonal woods for the keys and fashioning resonators from PVC pipe cut to length, tuned and sealed beneath the bars to amplify their sound. Pieces of cellophane were placed over small holes in the tubes to create a unique voice-like buzz. The wooden bars of a chromatic marimba are arranged like the keys of a piano, with groups of two and three accidentals raised vertically, overlapping the natural bars to aid the musician both visually and physically. Marimbas have more resonant and lower-pitched tones than the xylophone or glockenspiel.

Traveling cross-country Once they’d constructed their own instruments, the musicians rehearsed regularly and made one of their initial public appearances in June 2005, at the annual Boxing Hall of Fame parade in Canastota. “I remember we played the tune ‘Zomba’ over and over again as we were driven down the street in a flatbed truck,” said tenor player Diana Green. Suffering a musicians’ Murphy’s Law, the ensemble dealt with an unexpected technical glitch — elastic cord holding the keys in place got frayed and broke on one of the marimbas. It was a nerve-wracking experience compounded by the fact that the musicians were performing on a moving vehicle. “Nobody wants to do that again,” noted member Betsy Edinger. While the musicians struggled on the flatbed, however, the crowds flanking the parade were 20

55 PLUS - October / November 2017

Life-changing event

Diane Emord playing at Art Rage.

delighted by the marimbas’ insistent rhythms and mellow wooden tones. Then in 2007, the ensemble traveled cross-country to participate in the Zimbabwean Music Fest in Olympia, Wash. The festival performances represented a real achievement for the Syracuse musicians, as they were welcomed to the Great Northwest with open arms. Two short years later, however, they suffered a blow when Martha Jenks succumbed to a fatal stroke in April 2009 at age 58. “Martha inspired all of us,” said Diana Green. Jenks wrote three tunes in the traditional Shona style and structure, and two of those tunes — “Mira” and “Crow” — are still performed by the ensemble today Just as many song titles are in Shona, the word marimba itself means “song made by hitting planks” while the word kambuyu means “insects.” Stafford explains, “The knobbed mallets used to strike the marimbas remind us of insect antennae.” Especially when they’re moving like lightning, bouncing off the deep-toned wood. Before every performance the ensemble huddles together for what they call the “bug hug,” during which they remind themselves of their love for the music and their love for one another.

The 2017 version of the Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble includes Lynne Arnault, Betsy Edinger, Peter Sinatra, vocalist Vicky Nolan and drummer John Heard. Both African-Americans, Nolan and Heard come from gospel and jazz backgrounds, respectively. Nolan has been singing in church for more than 60 years, and she continues that lifelong avocation with a trio named ASV on Fire for God. But for the Kambuyu Ensemble, she had to learn to sing in Shona instead of English. “It was a challenge,” she said. “But Vicky captures the spirit,” said Betsy Edinger. Nolan just celebrated her 70th birthday in August with a party at which the ensemble entertained. Heard has been playing Africanstyle percussion for 30 years with such artists as jazz saxophonist Jesse Collins, and taught an after-school program for the Syracuse City School District. Although mostly retired now from their day jobs, the musicians include three teachers, two nurses, two humanservices providers, one scientist and a visual artist. Their ages range from 62 to 70, except for Ethan Jenks who is in his 30s. Carolyn Stafford insists that the musicians are painfully aware that purists could complain that they’ve taken liberties with a longstanding Z i m b a b w e a n t r a d i t i o n . “ We ’ re very concerned about cultural appropriation,” she said. “So we make an effort to bring the level of respect that this music deserves.” Betsy Edinger, who has been with the group for two years, agrees. “We bring a sensitivity to the culture and to how the music is to be played,” she said. “We respect that and want to keep that going and not to westernize it. I look at it as a mission to keep this music alive.” By rising to the challenges posed by the marimba, Edinger has experienced an existential epiphany. “I don’t have a musical bone in my body,” she said, “but I delved into it to put it mildly — all day, every day — it was a lifechanging event for me. It opened up a whole new world.”

my turn By Bruce Frassinelli Email: bruce@cny55.com

Retiring on Top


‘It is a fantastic feeling going out on top’

here is much to be said about retiring while at the top of your game and not overstaying your welcome I retired as publisher of The Palladium-Times in Oswego on Dec. 31, 1998, at age 59 ½. I considered myself at the top of my game. The paper was thriving, profitable, and I was rewarded with consecutive bonuses for achieving the goals set by our corporate bosses. An avid reader of industry newsletters and magazines, I could see the gathering storm clouds descending on the newspaper industry. So many articles were speculating what would happen to newspapers as the internet was gaining significant popularity as an advertising medium. Advertising and circulation revenues are a newspaper’s lifeblood. While news may be its main reason for being, advertising and circulation pay the bills and provide the news department with the resources to do

its job effectively. I was starting to hear about cutbacks at some big-city papers, which were going through retrenchments and consolidations. Smaller-city papers, such as The Palladium-Times, had not begun to feel the pinch, but I was convinced that it was just a matter of time. I thought of the agony of laying off staff, cutting expenses, robbing Peter to pay Paul and the crushing impact this would have on morale. I had been in the newspaper business for 32 years. I had worked my way up through the ranks, first as a reporter, then a bureau chief, regional editor, managing editor, editor, general manager and, finally, publisher. My experiences were incredible. I can never recall on even one occasion when I woke up in the morning and said to myself, “Oh, no, I have to go to that dreaded job again.” I loved my job and the newspaper’s role in helping to make the community better.

The Palladium-Times had changed hands three times in the previous four years, and it was likely to get sold again. Despite my solid record of achievement, I was concerned that a new owner might call me in one day and say, “Bruce, you have been doing a phenomenal job, but we are going in a different direction, so your services will no longer be needed in three weeks from now.” I got chills just envisioning such a scenario. All of the enormous satisfaction I enjoyed for this long and successful career would be dashed in a five-minute conversation. Not only that, it would be a constant albatross throughout my golden retirement years, making them less golden. If I retired on my terms, while I was still on top, I would enjoy the afterglow of a successful career for the rest of my life, and that was very important to me.

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In the fall of 1997, I announced that I was going to retire at the end of 1998, so there was an orderly transition. I had plenty of time to say my goodbyes to the various constituencies that the newspaper serves, and I even had a hand in helping to pick my successor. I was so lucky. As Frank Sinatra’s hit song said, “I did it my way.” I felt proud of my accomplishments, of the positive impact the newspaper had on the community, of the relationships I built with readers, advertisers and community leaders and proud of mentoring those coming behind me. (The advertising director of the paper during part of my tenure was Jon Spaulding, now publisher of The Palladium-Times.) Many people who plan to work until, let’s say, age 65 or beyond are forced to retire earlier because of failing health, or they get laid off or fall victim to ageism. It takes hard work and even some luck to get to the top of one’s profession. A publisher is the chief executive officer of his or her newspaper. Climbing the corporate ladder has allowed us to see the changing landscape at different levels. Each level has its pitfalls, its dangers and, at each rung, the demands and the pressures become increasingly more daunting. It is a fantastic feeling going out on top. Nearly 19 years later, I have never regretted, not even for one minute, leaving when I did. For all of these years and for those yet to come, I can enjoy the memories of my successes and accomplishments, the accolades from my coworkers and bosses and the beautiful written note of commendation from the corporate CEO thanking me for my service and success of the newspaper. I think about those who stayed around too long. Their demise and the humiliation they suffered played out in a very public way. Muhammad Ali, for example, one of the top fighters of all time, was just a shell of his glorious self, and we cried for him as lesser opponents pummeled him during his last several bouts. Obviously, when it comes to deciding when to retire, there are many practical considerations. We also must determine what we want to achieve in our careers. Each of us must decide what going out on top looks like.

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Bob LaMay, W2AFF, talking to a ham in Ireland. He has been involved with ham radio for about 40 years. The 79-year-old has broadcast to France, Italy, Germany, Russia and dozens of other nationals across the globe. “Russia was only about a year ago,” he says.

Fulton Amateur Radio Club Turns 60 ‘We are the original digital,’ says a long-time member By Aaron Gifford


ou can call these guys and gals hams, but they’re anything but amateurs. As the Fulton Amateur Radio Club celebrates a major milestone — its 60th anniversary — dedicated members reflected on why exploring invisible air waves that crackle with life remains such a thrill well after the onset of internet and digital technologies. These folks were wireless before wireless was sexy. As longtime member Redd Swindells puts it, “we are the original digital.” The Fulton Amateur Radio Club, formed in 1957, has never wavered in its mission: To foster interest in radio and electronics, to provide license training and testing for all levels of radio operators, and to promote the use of amateur radio for emergency communications. At any


55 PLUS - October / November 2017

given time it has maintained at least 35 active members or more, including youngsters who are still in high school or college who have an extra special interest in communications or electrical engineering. Swindells, 63, started tinkering at the age of 10 or 11 when he got his first transistor radio. A whole new world opened up to him in his kitchen, on a winter night after dark, when a radio announcer noted the time was 7:22 p.m. Swindells still remembers the rush he felt when he looked at his own clock at the time and noticed the time was in fact 8:22 p.m. “It was this marvel,” the Oswego County resident recalled of his first tiny radio. “The station was in Chicago. After that, it was off to the races.” A family friend at his church taught Swindells more about the equipment and the licensing requirements for

amateur radio. It became his favorite hobby. He stuck with it into adulthood, pursuing a career as an instrumentation technician for Niagara Mohawk. Swindells has remained a gadget guy to this day, keeping his old television vacuum tubes while also staying up to date on the latest digital technology. “I like it all,” he said. He has checked out the ham radio scene in remote places like Surinam and Aruba, and operated his own station from there. With fewer operators there, compared to half a million in the United States, he said, “you are popular. People want to talk to you!” Bob LaMay has been involved with ham radio for about 40 years, but, unlike Swindel, he was already a grown up when he got the bug. His children were learning about electronic devices at school. They initially turned him onto CB radio. “It was great for a while, but we wanted to go to a higher echelon,” LaMay said. “We wanted to talk to the world.” And that’s just what LaMay did. The 79-year-old has broadcast to France, Italy, Germany, Russia and dozens of other nationals across the globe. “Russia was only about a year ago,” he said. “We couldn’t talk to the Soviet bloc countries when I first got into it. Now, it’s wide open. There are no limits.” “Even with Serbia and Bosnia, you don’t get into politics, and people are happy to avoid politics. With Italy, I learned about their culture. You’d be surprised how much they love their flower gardens.” LaMay estimates that 95 percent of ham radio operators across the world speak English, but if not, people manage to communicate. Many of the most dedicated amateur radio enthusiasts still use Morse code to bridge language barriers or make connections with low-tech devices. These days, LaMay has spent much of his time on the airways talking to South Americans. The signals seem to be very strong there, especially in the winter. His wife, Judy LaMay, is a relative

Members of the Fulton Amateur Radio Club at the presentation of the Thomas Cantine Memorial Scholarship at its May meeting. From left are Redd Swindells, Bob LaMay, Dave Granoff, Daniel Grant (scholarship winner) Tom Grant, Pam Cantine, Fred Koch, Henry Laura and Chris Lighthife, Also in front are Pam & Tom Cantine’s twin girls, Joslyn and Gracyn. . newcomer to ham radio, a “rookie” of sorts with only one decade under her belt so far. But the club relies on her heavily: She does the publicity work, submitting information on club events to local newspapers and coordinating amateur radio communications for the Oswego Triathlon. She also coordinates the club’s annual field day events, and the Mock DWI scenes at local schools where the importance of volunteer radio communication at emergency scenes is demonstrated. “Regardless of your level of expertise,” she said, “there’s so much you can get involved with.” The club promotes radio as a hobby, but, being located not far from a nuclear power plant, also takes its role as an emergency communication provider very seriously. Members participate in drills under the guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various police, fire and recuse agencies. The club, which meets in Fulton once a month and is always open to new members, also has volunteer weather spotters. “It is fun, but it’s nice to be able to help,” Swindells says. “When all else fails — if it gets down to nothing [is working], we are expected to get out there, get on the air, and find a way to communicate with people.”

Members show off their stuff at summer field day events, setting up temporary stations with the use of batteries and remote antennas, technology that would be relied on in the event of long-term and widespread power outages. David Granoff, the club president, got involved with ham radio in 1966 at the age of 13 when he was assigned to work on a merit badge for Boy Scouts. His father was a radio operator in the South Pacific during World War II and was well-versed in Morse code. Granoff was so intrigued by the field that he stuck with it well after he outgrew that scout uniform. He studied basic radio theory, learning how signals are transmitted from antennas to radio devices. He figured out how to put a radio together, and then gained a strong understanding of communications and networking. As Granoff communicated with like-minded hams outside of the United States, he soon learned that amateur radio is a hobby that does not divide people by politics, region, race or nation. “It’s a universal hobby of good will,” said Granoff, a retired physician who went on to receive the highestlevel license an individual amateur radio operator can obtain. The higher level licenses allow operators to access

more frequencies. Granoff also enjoys the “sport” of ham radio, which he likens to fishing. Reaching someone from another continent, especially in a country that you have never communicated in before, is an adventure. One of Granoff ’s most exciting moments — perhaps his biggest fish — was communicating with astronauts at an international space station. It was a tricky feat that required him to transmit a signal at a rate of roughly 17,500 miles per hour. Granoff says internet and digital technology actually enhances the amateur radio experience. The club presents a scholarship each year to promising young amateur operators who want to learn more about wireless technology or electrical engineering in college. It’s named after a charter member of the club, Thomas G. Cantine Jr. Ham radio, the current club president says, is an easy sell to the next generation. “I learned so much. It has enriched my life,” Granoff said. “I know so much, whether it was medicine or computers, because ham radio helps me to learn how things work. There’s a unique mystique about being a ham radio operator.” October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS




Entrepreneurship as an Encore Career Thinking about retiring? Then it’s time to start a business. Americans over the age of 55 have the highest rate of self-employment By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


o you know what you’ll do once you retire? If you’re like many baby boomers, you’ll be working in some way or another. According to a Pew Research Center study released in 2016, 18.8 percent of Americans 65 and older — numbering almost 9 million — work full- or part-time, up from 12.8 percent or 4 million in 2000. For many baby boomers, their labor won’t be for someone else once they retire from their career position. In “The Multistage Life and Self-Employment in the On-Demand Economy” posted in March 2017 by Small Business Labs, “Americans over the age of 55 have the highest rate of self-employment of any age cohort.” Many factors account for the entrepreneurial bug biting. For Leslie Rose McDonald, losing several human resource specialists jobs caused her to think that she could provide a useful service in career development and helping other adults transition. She specializes in helping baby boomers shift gears to new careers. It wasn’t easy to start out on her own to found what eventually b e c a m e Pathfinders CTS, Inc. in Liverpool. Knowing human resources is one thing; starting a business entails McDonald a lot more. That’s why McDonald sought out experts in the area whom she trusted for mentoring and advice. 26

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McDonald followed advice she often shares with others, “Is there some yearning in the background?” By establishing her own career transition firm, she could truly help others while leveraging her experience in human resources. “It’s about looking at your heart for something you’re passionate about,” McDonald said. But once a would-be entrepreneur has established what to do, it’s time to think about why. If it’s for the money, it’s especially important to consider the up-front investment. Consulting, writing and similar home-based work may require $1,000 or less investment. Opening a major franchise location often requires hundreds of thousands — and much more time involvement and a longer return on the investment. Be honest with yourself as to how much of your time and financial resources you want to commit.

The ongoing financial commitment and the timeliness for the return on investment represent huge factors for baby boomers who want to start businesses. Will the business make money in time to recoup the investment? For some people, taking over an existing business represents the way to go. It already has an established c u s t o m e r base, vendors and business systems in place; however, you may find that you don’t like t h e d i re c t i o n the business is going or how Falter the processes work. Revamping a business may prove more difficult than starting from

scratch. For those who are financially comfortable, an encore career could enhance their legacy. Many baby boomers simply feel bored doing nothing in retirement and find fulfillment in operating their own business. Another example, Jane Falter of Rochester transitioned from working in human resources to offering professional coaching as a way of parlaying her years of experience into a successful small business. Falter was a little young to retire at the time and thought that starting her own business at this point would allow her to finally accomplish her dream that previously “I didn’t have the guts to do.” She advises soon-to-be retirees to

examine themselves for “some sort of skill that may indicate what they want to do.” That may be completely different from what you’ve been doing, such as a weekend hobby you’d like to make profitable or, like McDonald and Falter, a half-step away — with some education needed. Falter has furthered her education to learn coaching and effective resume writing. Falter advises would-be entrepreneurs to network with others in their desired industry and in business/entrepreneurial groups. It takes time to establish and grow a business. Falter said that about five years is right. To help soften the effect, you can establish networks and work at it part-time before retirement.

“Start planning, if you still have a job,” Falter said. “It takes more resources that you initially may estimate.” Regardless of what type of business you run, Falter thinks that the most difficult part is marketing. She always keeps her eyes open for opportunities and encourages entrepreneurs to “follow your gut.” While marketing experts produced a professional online presence for her, she realized it was too stiff and formal for her. She wrote her own and felt that it was more authentic (though if writing isn’t your forte, a proofreader may help you). “It has to be deeper than what you do but who you are,” Falter said.

6 Business Ideas That Don’t Require Employees Many entrepreneurs are embracing the “lean startup” model, in which operations are kept simple and overhead remains low. Few businesses are run leaner than those without any employees. A good “solopreneur” reaps all the benefits of the business, but also has to do all of the legwork. For some, this is the ideal arrangement. Here are seven ideas for a business owner who wants to go it alone: Freelancer

If you have a particular skill, be it writing, graphic design, coding or anything in between, building up an independent network and offering your services as a freelancer is a great way to translate side hustle into full-time business. Easily started on the side of a 9-to-5, these types of arrangements can quickly blossom into full, one-person operations once a solid network and reliable body of work develop. In a few short months, a freelancer can often build up several regular clients; the aspiring solopreneur will find in this an opportunity to launch a business. Virtual Health Coaching

Are you educated in nutrition but are still looking to get your career to go in the right direction? Turn your

healthy lifestyle choices and education into lucrative business decisions by becoming a virtual health coach. You’ll be aided in your efforts by the myriad new health-related apps and devices being developed to help clients keep track of fitness goals and weight loss. Chore/Errand Service for Seniors

Anyone with aging loved ones knows how hard it can be to care for them without extra help. Elderly people living in their own homes need help with lots of routine chores like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and yard work. Why not start a business that offers senior citizens and their families the help they need to maintain their households without breaking their budgets? With wordof-mouth endorsements and social media targeted at the overworked baby-boomer set, you could get this business off the ground in no time. Microbrewery

Want to turn your love of beer into a viable occupation? Why not jump on the microbrewing bandwagon? With the popularity of craft beers on the rise in the U.S., the demand for innovative breweries is growing. Take a page from the successful owners of Brooklyn Brewery and start by focusing on branding and distribution of your beverages. With some thirsty investors

and a few barrels of persistence, you could have your brewery up and running faster than you can say “cheers!” Special Deliveries

Whether it ’s a bouquet of flowers in celebration of a wedding anniversary or an ice cream cake delivery for a child’s birthday, there’s a need for businesses that carry out long-distance requests on behalf of those whose loved ones live far away. With the right website and a PayPal account, you could start building your reputation as a “special delivery” courier today. Business Coach

Are you business-savvy with years of experience, and willing to pass that knowledge on to others? With the right marketing tactics, a strong personal network and a great website, it’s simple to become a business coach on your own. Work with small business owners or startup-hopefuls to carefully craft business plans, and advise those who need that extra motivation. If you know you can be a good motivator and not just a “yes man,” their investment in you will have great returns. Published previously in Business News Daily, an online news service. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS



By Jennifer Owens

Telling Your Tale Your story is powerful, but only if you tell it


here is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. For many, this quote by Maya Angelou provides inspiration to share our personal stories. When I read it, though, it sounds painful and overwhelming and discourages me from putting pen to paper or fingertips to keypad. With all due respect to the amazing Ms. Angelou, I prefer a more positive spin on this quote: “There is no greater joy than sharing the stories inside you.” Storytelling, especially about your own life, gives you the freedom to bring your values and experiences to life, to reflect on the meaning and impact of important events on your life’s path, to uncover the causes most important to you and to leave a written account of your journey that can be shared with friends and family now or after you are gone. And let’s be honest — if someone is going to tell your story, wouldn’t you rather have that someone be you? I’ve spent years in my role at the Central New York Community Foundation helping people to document their personal stories and preserve their legacies. Inherent in this job is the most fundamental and difficult hurdle we have to clear — getting people to see and appreciate the value of their life experiences. But if we can agree that your story matters, it’s time to get around to telling it. To help you get started, here are seven tips for sharing your story: There is no time like the present. Time waits for no one, so start writing down your stories today. While it is helpful to have some distance between events and your reflection on them, putting the first words down on paper is the most important step you take in



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a journey to document your story. Write like you speak. You know that smile that comes across your face when you get a text from a friend, or an email from your cousin, and you can almost hear them saying it? The words that you use and the tone with which you write can be as important as what you say. With that in mind, take care to let your personality shine through in your own writing. Don’t worry about what others will think. It’s tempting to take the social media approach to personal history writing, sharing only the good and flattering parts of our lives. But is this interesting? Stories without conflict or adversity are a major snooze. Life is full of complexity and difficulty, and describing how you came out the other side of these trying times is what makes life stories captivating. Give someone the chance to learn from your mistakes and to see the real you.



Honesty best policy


Write your truth. It seems like truth is going out of style, but I suggest that you help bring it back. Of course, every story you tell about your life is told from the only perspective you know — yours. Memories are tricky and colored by our own perception, but try to be truthful. Giving readers a look into your version of events can give them a glimpse through your eyes. Consider working with a partner. Accountability isn’t just for gym workouts and New Year’s resolutions. Finding someone else who wants to document his or her story can provide motivation to keep you on track. This partner can also give you a chance to share your writing along the way to get


feedback and prompt questions that can guide you to a better final product. Start with great questions. Don’t let an inability to figure out what to write stop you from doing it at all. There are several helpful resources available to prompt your work. One of my favorites is StoryCorps’ Great Questions at https://storycorps.org/ participate/great-questions/. Spend a few minutes with this list of questions and you’ll be inspired to write in no time flat. If you go digital, be diligent. Who hasn’t lost an important note or accidentally deleted a computer file that you invested time preparing? The moment you realize that you’ve lost something meaningful is a terrible one. If you’re working on the computer, save and backup your files. Even just email yourself the files on a periodic basis or copy your written work and put it somewhere safe. Remember, this writing can be done just for you — like journaling — or to eventually share with others. Many people even find this process helpful prior to deciding on the focus of their charitable giving or legacies. Oftentimes, the recording process uncovers passions for causes they had not yet considered. And we know that capturing stories makes our community stronger, builds pride in our region and keeps the memories of generous people alive forever. To learn more about options for sharing your story and preserving your charitable legacy, contact Jennifer Owens at jowens@cnycf.org or visit 5forCNY.org.



Jennifer Owens is senior vice president and chief development officer for the Central New York Community Foundation.


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Q: How do I know if I’ve worked long enough to get Social Security disability benefits? A : To get Social Security disability benefits, you must meet the definition of disability under the Social Security Act. And you must have worked long enough — and recently enough — under Social Security to qualify for disability

benefits. The amount of work you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 10 years of work, and that must include working five out of the last 10 years, ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with as little as one and one half years of work earned in the three-year period ending when the disability starts. See our Disability Planner at www.socialsecurity.gov/ dibplan/dqualify3.htm for credit requirements at different ages. Q: Can I get a new Social Security number if someone has stolen my identity?

A: We do not routinely assign a new number to someone whose identity has been stolen. Only as a last resort should you consider requesting a new Social Security number. Changing your number may adversely affect your ability to interact with federal and state agencies, employers and others. This is because your financial, medical, employment and other records will be under your former Social Security number. We cannot guarantee that a new number will solve your problem. To learn more about your Social Security card and number, read our online publication on the subject at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002. html.

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after school From Lectern to Stage Robert Spitzer gains fulfillment as teacher, performer By Aaron Gifford


hen it comes to politics, Robert Spitzer is like a royal guard at London’s Buckingham Palace. No matter how outlandish the behavior or events, Spitzer does not flinch. And yet, when the classroom empties and the lectern is pushed aside, he can be found smiling, singing and dancing. The SUNY Cortland political s c i e n c e p r o f e s s o r, t e l e v i s i o n commentator and author has seen a lot in his time, from the reforms of the 1960s, to the manic political peaks and valleys of the 1970s, ‘80s, ‘90s and beyond, to the most unpredictable antics of the Trump administration. “That’s what keeps it interesting,” Spitzer, 63, said in a recent interview. “That’s what makes it fun.” And if having his finger on the pulse of America’s democratic system wasn’t interesting enough, Spitzer often switches gears, ending his workday in the classroom to perform with the Cortland campus thearer group. The Mohawk Valley native took some time recently to explain how he got to his oasis in Central New York that allows him to balance education, the arts and current events.


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When he is not in classroom, SUNY Cortland political science professor, television commentator and author, can be found smiling, singing and dancing Spitzer grew up in the Utica area, graduating from New Hartford High School in Oneida County. His father, Bill Spitzer, worked many years as a window washer before getting a job with the New York State Lottery. He started as a sales representative and eventually got promoted to the regional director position. His mother, Virginia, was a homemaker. Spitzer has a young sister, Gail, and an older brother, Gary. Utica, of course, had a reputation back then as a hot bed of corruption. Spitzer’s parents were involved with the reformist movement that tried to clean up local government. Both of them volunteered for reformist election campaigns. “Utica was dominated by machine

politics for many years,” Spitzer said. “It was discussed at the dinner table every night.” Naturally, Spitzer developed an interest in social studies and politics early on. But he also had a passion for music and the arts. He chose to attend college at SUNY Fredonia in Western New York, where he could learn about the history of America’s leadership by day, and perform on stage in campus theater productions by night. “It was a great place,” he recalled. “I could get involved with so many things out of class.” In 1973, Spitzer landed an internship in Washington, D.C, which at the time was rocked by the Watergate scandal. He worked for the Democratic National Committee. His supervisor at the time was Hamilton Jordan, who later became the chief of staff for President Jimmy Carter. At one point, Spitzer thought about getting involved in Carter’s campaign, but elected to pursue a career in the teaching side of government instead of the public service side of it. “I didn’t want to get involved in specific political causes,” Spitzer said. “I was more interested in understanding why people vote the way that they do, what issues mattered

Robert Spitzer in his costume as Josiah Bartlett (top photo) in the musical “1776,” presented in the summer of 2015 at Cortland Repertory Theatre. On the right he is dressed as the Mikado in “The Mikado,” a SUNY Cortland production from 10 years ago. to people, and the political process itself.” Intent on becoming a subject matter expert on those topics, Spitzer enrolled at Cornell University. It was a great fit for Spitzer, and he was able to earn both a master’s degree and a PhD within four years, though during this time he was spread too thin to participate in campus musicals. After completing the program, he was also hired to teach at Cornell, where he still works on a part-time basis today as an adjunct professor. Spitzer brought his impressive resume to SUNY Cortland, and was hired to teach there in 1979. The school was much smaller then, and faculty jobs were hard to come by. The political science professor considered himself “extremely lucky” to get in. Spitzer got involved in publishing his viewpoints about some of the most heated issues in politics a few years into his tenure. It began with an invitation from a friend who was

putting together a book covering the most heated issues, including gay rights, abortion and gun control. Spitzer took gun control because no one had already signed up for it. During the research phase of that project, it dawned on Spitzer that, as far as he could tell, no book had been written yet about the politics of gun control. Spitzer’s own book on that topic was published in 1995. “The issue is still more heated now than it was 30 years ago,” he said. “There is more anger and divisiveness between the two sides. The gun safety movement has experienced a revival. But the big question is will they be able to match the size and power of the gun rights side.”

Ever-changing climate The other topic that has continually fascinated Spitzer is separation of powers in Washington, D.C., and the

constitutional power of the American president. And in more recent years, the power of the polls and social media in politics is always a hot topic in the professor’s classroom. “The speed and potential availability of so many viewpoints is a good thing, obviously,” he said. “But the bad thing is the ideology it creates. The average American is more likely than ever to just obtain information for their pre-election point of view and shut out other information.” And as for the events of the 2016 presidential election, Spitzer said, “this was beyond any prediction anyone could have made. As far as teaching goes, I don’t want to ignore it, but I don’t want it to become just a course about Trump. The idea is to integrate it into a case point of view.” All told, Spitzer has written 15 books, five of which were on gun control and four on the presidency. His books opened up other opportunities, including testifying before Congress October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


and participating in meetings at the White House. In 1997, SUNY Cortland promoted him to the rank of Distinguished Service Professors. In 2003, he received the SUNY Chancellor ’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship, which was followed by SUNY Cortland’s Outstanding Achievement in Research Award in 2005 and 2010. He is also the former president of the Presidency Research Group of the American Political Science Association. His television appearances include NBC’s “Today Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Leher,” an interview on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several interviews with national newspapers and foreign news outlets. Locally, he is a regular panelist on the weekly “Ivory Tower” program on the WCNY PBS affiliate. “It’s been a privilege, for sure,” he said. “Television took a while to get used to, but I feel like I’ve finally gotten better at it. I still feel like I have things to say.”


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With so much national exposure, Spitzer has bolstered his resume. But he’s quick to point out that he has never spent much time taking his talents elsewhere. He loves Upstate New York, and SUNY Cortland has been very good to him. When Spitzer does get time off, his favorite place to visit is New York City — “the greatest city in the world.” The professor never gets tired of Broadway performances. When he’s home during the academic year, he finds the most local stage available. He did community theater growing up and has performed in a number of musicals at SUNY Cortland over the years. He loves the applause of an audience, and he never gets tired of the look on students’ faces when they see him on stage for the first time. “They are pretty surprised to see their stuffy old professor singing and dancing,” Spitzer said. When he’s not in the classroom or behind a desk, Spitzer enjoys working out at the campus gym three days a week and walking almost daily. The Cortland resident strolls to work

every morning and in his spare time frequents the more scenic routes around the small city. He also loves to cook, and claims his egg rolls are “almost famous.” Spitzer and his wife, Teresa, have one daughter, Skye, who studied political science and works for the National Breast Cancer Coalition in Washington, D.C. While Spitzer enjoys his career, he does envision retiring within a decade, with his sights set on travelling more and spending time in warmer climates. Until then, says at least one of Spitzer ’s colleagues, the political science professor ’s energy, in the classroom and on stage, remains a major asset to the Cortland community. “Everything he does, he dives with both feet in,” says Kevin Halpin, SUNY Cortland coordinator of musical theatre. “The students love him. I think they really respect his great sense of humor and timing. He’s fun to have on stage. It’s a place that he retreats to as a way to stay a balanced human being.”

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Broadcasting Icon Ron Lombard, Spectrum News Central NY news director, was there in 2003 to launch the first and only 24-hour news station in Central New York. Still at the helm, he reflects on his career, history of TV news in the region and more By Mary Beth Roach


on Lombard’s name and face may not be recognizable to a lot of Central New York television viewers. Nevertheless, he has shaped the news in the area for three decades and arguably has changed the way we watch regional TV news. He was a key player when Time Warner Cable launched the area’s first and only 24-hour news station in 2003, and 14 years later, Lombard is the director of news and programming for Spectrum News Central NY, the company that joined with Time Warner Cable several months ago. When he first joined Time Warner Cable, his job was to take the model that the company had used in other cities and make it local. “Make it play in Syracuse and Central New York and the North Country and places where we were initially,” he said. And he and his team have made it play — and grow. The station has picked up a larger market, both in terms of geography and viewers. Around 2006, Time Warner Cable merged the Syracuse


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division with its Binghamton division, but they soon realized that airing news about people and events from the North Country into the Southern Tier wasn’t going to work. So in early 2007, they unveiled a completely separate channel for the southern area with news-gathering teams in Binghamton and Corning. Now, Lombard is responsible for a staff of approximately 70 reporters, photographers, assignment desk editors and producers. The coverage area has more than 600,000 cable subscribers within roughly 15,000 square miles, 25 counties and the northern tier of Pennsylvania — from southwest Steuben County to northeast Clinton County, about a 7-1/2 hour drive. He believes that his ability to handle this large a task is, in large measure, to the fact that he is a native Central New Yorker.

Home Grown Talent Lombard, who turns 58 on Oct. 30, grew up in Lakeland and graduated

from Solvay High School and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1981, and has worked for area radio and television stations for his entire career. “I’m a hometown guy,” he said. “I’ve often felt part of my effectiveness is the fact that I’m from here. I know a lot of people. I know where everything is. I’ve visited most of the towns we’ve ever reported on.” He had been a reporter for several years with local radio stations and the then-WIXT, now News Channel 9, but a fateful cocktail party one evening about 15 years ago led him to then-Time Warner Cable and the opportunity to change television news in Central New York. Lombard was working at WIXT and serving as president of the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association. In this latter role, he had wanted the organization to do something for up-and-coming journalists preparing to enter the industry. So they arranged for a seminar at his alma mater and brought together a number of experts in the field as panelists for the program.

Ron Lombard photographed Aug. 21 at the studios of Spectrum News Central NY. Photo by Chuck Wainwright. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


The night before the seminar, there was a cocktail party for the guest panelists. Channel 9’s then-general manager was in attendance. He pulled Lombard into a corner and told him that the TV station was being sold, and that it would be announced publicly within a few days. Later, in that same corner, one of Lombard’s close friends and mentors, Larry Rickel, who had heard the news of the impending sale, encouraged Lombard to begin looking for another job. Later still, another friend and an Associated Press sales rep, Bob Feldman, pulled Lombard into that same corner and said Time Warner Cable was preparing to start a 24hour news channel in Syracuse. The company was looking for a general manager, and had been unable to find one. He suggested that Lombard would be the perfect fit. “‘That’s a pipe dream. Twentyfour hour news will never work in Syracuse,’” he recalled telling Feldman. Undeterred, Feldman introduced Lombard to Kirk Varner, who was vice

president for news for Time Warner Cable. A few days later, Lombard got an email from Feldman telling him to contact Varner immediately, which he did. The phone interview, done right on the spot, lasted 45 minutes, after which Lombard was fairly confident he had the job. It took another couple of months, Lombard said, for him to be hired, and he started work there in February of 2002. Lombard, along with his team, was determined to make 24-hour news in Syracuse work. Time Warner Cable had been doing similar launches in other parts of the country and had the systems and technology in place. Syracuse was the final launch of a group of stations that went on the air in 2002-2003, including those in Albany, Raleigh, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C. “The proudest moment of my career was being the one to push the button to put News 10 Now live on the cable system back in 2003,” he said. With their format, Lombard admitted that the stories do repeat, but added broadcasts are not designed to be watched for hours at a time. “Turn us on, check us out for 20

minutes, click it off, come back a little bit later in the day. Check it out again. See what’s new. See if the forecast had changed. That’s really the right way to watch us, and I think that’s how people have learned how to watch the channel and really use it as a tool.”

Memorable moments His start in the business might not be defined as “fun,” but it was certainly memorable. After graduation, he was not finding any work in local television news although he’d been trying for several months. Remember, this was 1981, and options were limited. There wasn’t cable news to speak of, and CNN was just starting. Each market had only three broadcast stations, but radio news was still popular back then. So he began looking at radio stations within a two- to three-hour range from Syracuse, and finally got a call from the owner of WCBA in Corning, Dean Slack. He met Slack on a Saturday and was hired. Slack explained, however,

Group shot of the staff of then-Time Warner Cable during the station’s 10th anniversary party in 2013. 36

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that he was letting go of the guy that Lombard was to replace on Tuesday, so Lombard could start on Wednesday morning. While relieved to have found a job, Lombard recalled, with a chuckle, “I knew that there was a message — if you don’t work out, the same thing’s going to happen to you.” It was his second day at WCBA, and he was covering a story about a body that had been found frozen in a river in Corning. He was reporting live from the scene, and calling it in from a phone booth in a nearby Burger King, since this was, of course, long before cell phones. “I was doing this live shot, my very first one professionally, second day of work and I’m on the air, and I ended the live shot, and I waited ‘til they cleared me, and I hung up the phone and everyone in the restaurant cheered.” At WCBA, he was the news department, and as such, his regular work week was six days, often seven, and 12-15 hours a day. The radio station’s entire staff numbered 13 people. He would start his day at about 8:30 a.m., record a couple of newscasts that would run throughout the morning; cover stories all day; come back and put those together; anchor the afternoon news; cover night stories; return to the station and package those up for the morning news reader, who also served as the mid-day jock. Lombard would anchor Saturday mornings from 6 a.m. to noon. He made $135 a week. His rent was $135 a month, he had to drive his own car, and there was no mileage allotment. “I probably lost money,” he said, laughing. “But that’s what we did back then. Dean was a newsman, a career newsman from Vermont and he really taught me a lot. It was a real news station. They really tried to cover stuff, go in-depth, and do series as much as you can. It was really a great learning experience for that first job out.” The Corning-Elmira-Elmira Heights area will also hold a special place in Lombard’s heart not just because it was his first job, but it was also where he and his college sweetheart, Deb, became engaged. They planned a wedding for the summer of 1983.

TV history: Ron Lombard, seated at right, on Nov. 7, 2003, at the launch of the 24-hour news station, News 10 Now, at the time owned by Time Warner Cable. Behind Lombard, from left, is then Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll, thenCounty Executive Nick Pirro, and Mary Cotter, who was president of Time Warner Cable in Upstate New York.

Road gets winding He was eager to return to his hometown, where Deb was working, and where the two planned to make their home. But his career path in the Syracuse market started out a little bumpy. He accepted a job offer as a reporter with local radio station WFBL, and WCBA hired his replacement. But the day before he was to start at WFBL, he received a call that the station had been sold, and the new owners were not going to be doing news. The job he was hired for was eliminated and the rest of the staff was being laid off. He was back to knocking on doors. He tried WSYR Radio, and although it didn’t have any openings at the time, it took his resume. He then got an appointment with the local news legend, the late Bill Carey, who was news director at WHEN Radio at the time. Dressed in a three-piece suit, he sat eagerly waiting to meet Carey. A half-hour later, a staffer came out with a box of doughnuts and said, “Hey, Bill sent me out. He can’t come out and meet you, he’s too busy, but he said, ‘Have

a doughnut before you leave.’” He didn’t end up at WHEN, but ironically, Lombard would later have the opportunity to hire Carey twice, the first time stealing him away from a competing news station to work at Channel 9 and then later, as they were ready to start News 10, he brought Carey in on the ground level. And the doughnut story became a running joke between the two for years. Although Lombard was only offered a doughnut at WHEN and not a job, he persevered, and finally landed a part-time spot at $3.35 an hour with WSEN, which was a country radio station in the mid-1980s. Several months later — the day before his wedding — Lombard got a call from the then-news director at WSYR, Jack Sheehan, who said he had an opening and thought Lombard would be a good fit. The call had come in about 9 a.m. on the morning after his bachelor party. He explained his current condition, Sheehan chuckled and told him to call the station back when he returned from his honeymoon, which he did. But in the interim, WSYR had hired a new news director, John Butler, October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


and all hiring was on hold. Eventually, several months later, Lombard would be hired on at WSYR as a part-time reporter, and then full time. He remained at WSYR for four years, and while there, created a new job for himself. He suggested to Butler that he be the assignment editor, and got the OK as long as he still did his five stories a day. After taking on dual roles for a while, Lombard said he began to consider a management position in the industry. Then in 1987, out of the blue, then-news director at WIXT-TV, asked Lombard to leave radio and become the assignment editor at the TV station. He was later promoted to assistant news director, working under Dan Cummings, but in 1991, Cummings suggested a job change to the station’s general manager. Cummings would become managing editor and anchor of the

Switching Careers Early On Although Ron Lombard, the director of news and programming for Spectrum News Central NY, has been in broadcast news for several decades, he had originally planned on a career in newspapers. “I started out being really interested in newspaper. That’s what I really wanted for a career,” he said. “I always enjoyed writing, so I figured I maybe should do something like that career-wise and gravitate toward that.” While in high school, he was on the newspaper staff and was elected editor his senior year. He entered the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications as a newspaper major. But in his freshman year, he explained, the Newhouse curriculum included a course in broadcasting. “Probably with the first broadcast course I took, I said, ‘Hmm, wait a minute. I could do TV or radio and maybe have more fun.’ So when I declared my major, I declared for broadcast journalism,” he said. 38

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new morning newscast Channel 9, and Lombard would become news director. So, at the age of 31, Lombard became the news director and stayed at the station for the next 15 years before taking the helm at the now Spectrum News Central NY.

Mentoring gig While he may be adept at technology, his major focus is leading a solid team of journalists and fostering in them the need for accuracy — one of Lombard’s touchstones. “I still think that certain media organizations might be too fast to jump on something, to be first. And I’m still a huge proponent — be right, not first,” he said. “It’s great when you’re first, but make sure that you’re right, if you’re first. I still do that. When it comes down to it, it’s still your reputation; we’re still journalists — there’s still an expectation. If you’re seeing it on my channel, it’s credible, it’s correct, it’s accurate.” Lombard understands that a majority of people hired by the station is new in the business, and his ability to mentor them is one of his strengths. “The markets that he oversees in Central and Southern New York, they are some smaller markets,” said Bernie Han, Spectrum Networks Group vice president of news. “He’s hiring reporters and producers right out of college, giving them real-world experience.” “We’re very nurturing,” Lombard said of his staff at Spectrum. “We understand that we’re by and large hiring people who are junior in the business. Typically, they’re usually on their first or second job, maybe.” “And we know that we need to bring them along, we need to be patient with them. We try to hire a lot on upside potential. As long as it’s not a fatal mistake, I’m a big proponent of letting people make a mistake. I think that’s a very effective way for people to learn. Just show me that slow, steady growth and you’ll be just fine. And before you know, your career’s launched and you’re on your way,” Lombard said. For example, the seminars he started with the AP board and several Newhouse professors back in 2001 have continued. The first few were called “Electronic Journalism Seminars,” and

Ron Lombard in his earlier days while at WCBA radio in Corning. He was the news department, and as such, his regular work week was six days, often seven, and 12-15 hours a day. they were held every other year. Newhouse has since renamed them as “State of the Field,” and although he turned over the leadership role to a colleague in New York City in 2014, he has been involved in an advisory role. Steve Osterhaus, the assistant news director at Spectrum, began working for Lombard not long after graduating from college. “I have learned just about everything I know about the business from Ron, from the basic details to how to tell a story to how to manage people. I hate to be cheesy, but he leads by example,” Osterhaus said. “Ron is very detail-oriented. He’s also quite possibly one of the most organized individuals I’ve ever worked with, but even though, that’s more for the accuracy and making sure we’re getting things right because obviously in the business we’re in, we need to make sure we’re correct,” he said. Once stories are pitched and people have been assigned to cover them, Osterhaus said, Lombard will step back and let the staff develop the stories on their own. And he realizes that errors will be made. As long as they’re not damaging or producing anything with inaccuracies, he lets people make mistakes knowing that they’re only going to become better each and every day after that, he added.

Finding the right balance That Lombard is a hometown guy is not only evident in his career, it’s also the reason he stays involved in various community organizations. He went through the Leadership Greater Syracuse class in 2006, and has remained on the board ever since he graduated. “We have 2,000 graduates who are engaged in this community, who are serving on boards, who are giving back. That’s important for a homebody like me to know we’re fostering that kind of community leadership,” he said. In addition, he has served on the board of the McMahon/Ryan Advocacy Center, which helps abused children, and he has been involved in his church, Brewerton United Methodist, having served on a number of its various committees over the year. He is also the lead singer in a contemporary Christian cover band that plays every other Sunday. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to any of Lombard’s friends, since he has been musically inclined for years. He played trombone in the Syracuse University Marching Band, and that’s where he met his wife, Deb, who was in the flag corps. Lombard refers to Deb as his rock, saying that she has been with him every step along his career path. The pair will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary next year, and they have one daughter, Abby, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ron Lombard and his wife, Deb, at the station’s 10th anniversary party in 2013. The Lombards have lived in Brewerton for many years, not too far from Oneida Lake and the marina where they keep their boat, which provides Lombard with his stress relief in the summer, he said. But the couple loves to travel and vacation as well, exploring new locales. They own time-shares in Florida and often use them to trade. “Sometimes we pull up a map and say, “‘Let’s go here,’” he chuckled. “This fall, it will be Hot Springs, Ark.” They don’t know much about the area, but they enjoy going places just to see what’s there, he said.

His career has been a crazy but rewarding ride, he claimed. “I’ve had so many people along the way who have helped me get there, who’ve trusted me to run things and manage things and take initiative. There’s so many people I owe a debt of gratitude to, and to be able to do it in my hometown all these years,” he said. But he isn’t ready to put the brakes on that ride and retire anytime soon. “What I hope, for the foreseeable future, is to do everything I can to ensure the news channel remains highly successful long beyond the time I decide to call it a career,” he said.

Spectrum: New Projects in the Works As the media continues to evolve, so does Ron Lombard’s role with the cable station, according to Spectrum Networks Group Vice President of News Bernie Han. “We are still actively building on what we have in Upstate New York,” she said. “At the end of the day, the goal is to produce content that is informative, entertaining, and engaging to our audience. Ron, being a lifelong Syracusan, understands the market so well, and he plays a key role in anything we do in that part of the state.”

P re s e nt l y, t h e co m p a ny is creating an investigative documentary unit that will create more in-depth reporting pieces by reporters from around the country, accompanied by follow-up features that offer a local perspective. One such program, Lombard said, aired in May and was titled “Immigration in America.” It dealt with the human stories of the immigrants and refugees who have come to this country, and of the businesses that rely on migrants for their livelihood.

Following the national broadcast, Upstate New York Spectrum stations aired a statewide town hall meeting with panelists from major Upstate cities to bring the topic home and discuss what this means for New York state and issues here. As the development of this documentary unit ramps up, Lombard said his role will be to pitch stories, provide resources as needed, and to help coordinate the town halls and panel discussions. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


golden years By Harold Miller hal@cny55.com

It’s a New Environment for Senior Drivers. Are You Up to It?


t will become increasingly difficult to tell the new autonomous cars (cars that drive themselves) from those driven by grandma, who sits so low in the seat that only her hands can be seen on the steering wheel. The percent of senior drivers is increasing rapidly in many areas of the country because we are living longer — and younger drivers may not be driving their own cars in this modern society, particularly in large metropolitan areas. They will either call Uber or an autonomous automobile to pick them up and take them where they want to go. Every major automobile manufacturer is scrambling to design the car that drives itself — even Google is getting in the game. This growing trend will mostly leave only us 55 plussers to do our own thing behind the wheel Florida has the most senior drivers in the country and the state government does its best to accommodate those of us who have seen our younger driving days. Recently I renewed my Florida driver’s license. The only requirement was an eye test. It will not be necessary to renew my license again until 2023 when I will be 90 years of age. Driving in the sunshine state is (to say the least) challenging. Half of the senior drivers can’t see too well and the other half can’t hear too well. When the traffic light turns green, seldom does the car in front of you react immediately. Often, it takes a little peep on the horn to get them to react at all. Our auto insurance in Florida costs more than twice that of Syracuse because of the higher accident rate — partly due to senior drivers. My mother lived near our Florida residence in a small apartment complex. Her car was parked outside the door and she drove it until she was well into her 90s. That car was her independence. She fought me every time I suggested that she sell it and let me drive her anywhere that she might 40

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want to go. One day she drove to a nearby shopping mall and while entering the parking lot she side-swiped a car coming out. The mall security policeman saw it happen and confronted her as she parked her car. “Lady do you realize that you hit another car as you pulled in here?” She replied, “I thought I felt a bump.” Fortunately, Florida law requires that if an elderly person has a traffic accident they must pass a driver’s test to retain their driver’s license. Knowing that she couldn’t pass the test, my mother voluntarily turned in her license. Of course, not all elderly drivers are bad drivers. I still race cars and periodically take refresher courses

in high performance driving. The late movie star Paul Newman was a professional racer and regularly raced at Daytona International Raceway and other main line tracks into his 80s. As long as you keep yourself in shape there is no reason why your driving skills should deteriorate with age. On the other hand, keeping up with traffic on interstate highways where today’s high performance automobiles run bumper to bumper at speeds of 80 MPH or more, driving is not for sissies. When the time comes when you no longer feel comfortable in this environment, it is time to hand over your keys.

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aging By Marilyn L. Pinsky

Caroma: Best Braciola in Town


‘Ro’ Wadanole Weatherup recalls the beginnings of what would become one of the most popular eateries in Syracuse

recently was in a discussion about Italian restaurants and said that I have never had braciola as good as I remembered it at the Caroma on Lodi Street in Syracuse. Coincidentally, I then read a 60th anniversary announcement in the newspaper about a Rosemarie and Paul Weatherup, that said Rosemarie was connected to the former Caroma restaurant. I tracked her down and we spent a fun afternoon reminiscing. ‘Ro’ Wadanole Weatherup, for those who know her, has been hiding in plain sight between Syracuse and Florida for years. I asked her if the story I heard was accurate, that the restaurant was named for the three sisters who owned and ran the restaurant. “That’s right,” said Weatherup. “They were Carmel [Sacco], Rose [Wadanole] and Mary D’Addario. I am the daughter of Rose.” Weatherup recalls the beginnings of what would become one of the most

popular eateries in Syracuse. “In 1941 my grandfather got sick and the family was going to lose a building he owned across the street from the family home on Lodi Street, where typical of Italian families, one family lived upstairs, one downstairs, one in the middle. In order to keep the building, the sisters decided to open a restaurant. They were in their mid A poster in early 1940’s announcing the opening of Caroma restaurant. The restaurant became a staple in Syracuse and was owned by three sisters. It closed 40 years later on Dec, 7,1981.

20s at the time and the only one who knew how to cook was my Aunt Mary — the others couldn’t even boil water. My grandmother Rosina Gelormini came over and taught those girls how to cook. They each specialized, one in soups, one in baking, one in sauce dishes. When they had specialty food, the cacciatores, the scallopinis, that was all Mary. Their brother Mike worked the bar and my brother Ted also helped while he was in college.” “My mother and her brother-inlaw Sonny D’Addario were the brains of the restaurant. She and Carmel did the books at home in the basement and grandma took care of us kids while everyone was working. When the restaurant first opened, it was just on one side of the building; when I was in my teens they expanded.” “After high school I went to college for a short time, then left and worked at First Trust. My mother insisted I go back to college because she didn’t want me to work as hard as she did,

Facada of Caroma at 402 Lodi St. in Syracuse.The building is now the site of the site of the Syracuse Cultural Workers. 42

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so I worked at the bank during the day, where I met my husband Paul, and went to Syracuse University night school.” “After our son Mark was born, the restaurant needed a hostess. I went in to help out a little and 30 years later I was still there. Our schedules worked out as Paul was a football referee for 35 years and has been executive secretary of the NYS Association of Certified Football Officials now going on 50 years.” “Anna Colaneri, another sister, also worked in the kitchen. Her daughter Connie Mazella was hostess on Wednesday and Thursday nights and I hosted Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Occasionally my sister-in-law, Mary Wadanole, would hostess on Mondays. The only Sunday we would ever open was Mother’s Day. Our father said Sunday was our family day and we would all go to church together in the morning.” “There were so many people that were long-time friends and customers that it just felt like home. All the grandchildren spent time as busboys and Mary and Carmel’s sons went on to become doctors. Mark helped me on the floor and he is the one who learned the cooking skills from Aunt Mary; he can make anything. He and I still make sauce together in a huge pot that comes almost to my waist.” W h a t m a d e t h e C a ro m a s o successful?

“It was consistency; family was all over that place. I never saw a family that got along so well. And everything was made from scratch. The sauce recipe was kept in a safe and they’d make 60 gallons at least twice a week. Uncle Sonny made all the sausage and meatballs and we also made our own homemade macaroni. People would call ahead and say they’re coming in with their families and they’d preorder special dishes and desserts. Sometimes we just couldn’t keep up.” The Caroma was also known for their desserts. “Carmel made all the pies — the most popular being apple,

followed by the red raspberry and the large variety of cream pies. All the police in Syracuse would stop in for our brownies.” They closed on the 40th anniversary of the restaurant, Dec, 7,1981. “It was about time the girls had a rest. They worked from early in the morning until late at night and then they’d take turns going over to put grandma to bed.” “I love running into our former customers when we go out. All wish the Caroma would make an encore appearance.”

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(315) 565 -7551 sasyr .org/pathways Rosemarie Wadanole Weatherup is the daughter of Rose Wadanole, one of the three sisters who opened and ran Caroma until 1981. Rosemarie worked at the restaurant for about 30 years.


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life after 55 By Michele Reed michele@cny55.com


Sharing the Good Food of France

here’s nothing more important to the French than sharing food. Even on TV commercials, most ads for food start with the word “partager” (part – ah – zhay) — literally, to share. We Americans are used to taking short or non-existent lunch breaks, often eating at our desks, packing a sandwich and an apple or protein drink in a paper sack. Our French neighbors would be horrified by this. Most businesses close completely from noon or 12:30 until 2 or 2:30 p.m., so the workers can get lunch. Sometimes they go home to their families, with parents picking up their kids at school and taking them home for a family meal. Other times, the workers eat together, either on site like a potluck or out in neighborhood restaurants. And eating lunch at those restaurants is not a fast food affair — although there are fast food joints. Even McDonald’s is in France. The French people shorten it to McDo, p ro n o u n c e d M c D o u g h . T h e i r hamburgers are made of French beef and ads inform you of the breed of cow and what region of France it came from. Cheeseburgers are made with Brie, Gruyere or Emmenthaler, a type of Swiss cheese, and have names like “The Shepherd” or “The Mountaineer.” The real French noon meal is usually a three-course affair with an aperitif, usually a rosé wine or Kir, a drink made of white wine and crème de cassis. Lunch itself is accompanied by a carafe of red wine as well as water. We had a beautiful lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Hallegria is so named because it is located in Les Halles, or the grand covered market in Beziers. Most French cities have halles, literally, the halls. The covered markets became popular when the landscape 44

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The plat du jour was tender slices of beef, smothered in a rich, dark sauce, accompanied by whipped potatoes and green beans with gourmet mushrooms. Photo by Bill Reed became more urbanized in the 19th century, and are huge structures of wrought iron, wood and glass. Hallegria’s claim to fame is that they use only fresh ingredients from that day’s market, changing the menu to fit what is available. Most ingredients are local and all are as fresh as can be. The French don’t pronounce the letter H so the name of the restaurant is a pun on the Italian word allegria, meaning liveliness. A sports bar founded by a group of friends and former athletes each active in the food business in one way or another, it is our favorite place to watch a rugby

game on Saturday afternoon or have a special lunch midweek. We recently learned that the owner we know best — we frequent his other café in town, too — is a former rugby hero of Beziers, who is a four-time champion of France. Those are his rugby boots and jersey hanging on the wall. And to think, I thought they were only artful decorations! Every restaurant offers the “formula,” or menu of the day. You can choose from an entrée, which unlike the English word actually means the first course or starter; the plat du jour, which is the main dish of the meal;

I finished the meal with a profiterole or cream puff stuffed with vanilla ice cream and strawberries on a chocolate sauce. Photo by Bill Reed and dessert. You can usually choose any combination of the three. I always opt for the entire meal because I love sweets, but Bill, my husband, is a much more careful eater and will forego dessert, choosing only entrée and plat. Our entrée was a soft poached egg over a mélange of vegetables including eggplant, lentils, onions and tomato, beautifully molded in the center of the plate. A spicy tomato sauce bathed the whole creation and it was flanked by six tiny marinated anchovies. Garnish included beet sprouts and pink endive. The plat du jour was pot roast — but this was not your grandma’s pot roast! Two succulent, tender slices of slow-braised beef chuck were smothered in a rich, dark sauce. We could taste hints of wine, raisins and onions. An artful scoop of potatoes whipped with butter and bits of bacon accompanied it, and the vegetable portion was haricot verts — green beans with gourmet mushrooms. We think the mushrooms were the unfortunately named but unbelievably delicious variety “trumpets of death.” The plate was garnished with balsamic reduction, green spicy sprouts and finely sliced carrot and beet. All of this was accompanied by crusty, fresh baked bread, replenished when the basket got low, and a couple of glasses of Faugeres, a dry red from a local chateau. Our choices for wine by the glass included no fewer than 10 white, 6 rosés, and a dozen reds, all from our region and costing between

A soft poached egg over succulent vegetables, bathed in spicy tomato sauce and flanked by anchovies opened our meal. Photo by Bill Reed

$3 and $4 a glass. Dessert was a flaky profiterole or cream puff stuffed with homemade vanilla ice cream and slices of strawberry, floating in a pool of chocolate sauce and flanked by the ever-present “chantilly,” or whipped cream, neatly piped onto the plate and garnished with crushed gingerbread cookies. It was almost too lovely to eat, but of course I did. That’s another difference between eating out in America and France. The portions are not huge, and you are expected to eat the whole thing. If you don’t, the chef is likely to come and ask what was wrong with his or her creation. A great controversy erupted last year when a law was passed saying restaurants could now offer “doggy bags.” Restauranteurs were horrified by the very idea that their masterpieces would end up as cold leftovers at home. But since portions are not huge, and meals can go on for hours, it is not too hard to clean your plate. We arrived for lunch at 12:45 and finished at about 2:15 p.m., with plenty of time for relaxed conversation. While the wait staff were attentive, they did not hover. As is customary in France, the waiter doesn’t bring the bill until you are good and ready. You have to ask, “L’addition, s’il vous plait?” (“The bill, please?”) We could have been there until after 3, sipping our café crème, except that we had to flag down our waitress so we could pay and make it to the bus on time for the ride home.

With the “formula” the price is always right, and Bill’s two-course meal cost the equivalent of $16 and my three-course version was $18. With wine and coffee added in, we paid only 51 euros or $59, tax included. Another difference is that tipping is much less common. Wait staff are paid a living wage and do not depend on tips, although they are happy for a small something extra. Usually it is called “bus money” and is no more than a few euros. We left 55 for our 51 euro bill, and the waitress was thrilled. In a restaurant in Barcelona, we once had such a great time with our friendly Catalan waitress, we left her an American-sized tip – 20 percent or about 12 euros. The next time we came in she gave us a little talk, saying that while she was grateful, “That’s not something we do here.” We left the restaurant, feeling comfortably full and happy, and looking forward to our next chance to share or “partager,” an excellent French restaurant meal. Michele Reed retired after a career spanning four decades in public relations, advertising, journalism and higher education. She now writes travel articles, book reviews, haiku poetry and fiction. Bill Reed retired after four decades in social services with the county of Oswego, and now works at travel photography and photojournalism, along with writing book reviews. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS


druger’s zoo

By Marvin Druger

A Perspective on the Modern World


t is truly astounding to recognize the changes that have occurred since I was a child. Technology permeates everything we do. What does the future hold? Some of you may remember the days in elementary school when we wrote on a piece of paper with ink from a small inkwell on a wooden desk. I remember when I was honored to be the “inkwell monitor” and pour ink into the inkwells. In 1874, we had the first commercially available typewriters and people made copies of our typed words using carbon paper. Later, teachers used a mimeograph machine or a ditto machine to make multiple copies of something, leaving ink all over our hands and clothing. In 1888, the first ball point pen was patented. At one time in the past, only propeller-driven airplanes were available for travel, and we were served a hot meal on many domestic flights. In school, we learned how to add, multiply and divide, and we memorized the times table. When working on my Ph.D. dissertation, I had to interpolate square roots from Fisher’s Tables of Square Roots. Then, a Texas Instrument calculator became available that gave the square roots of numbers at the touch of a button. I bought the calculator for about $150. Now, solar calculators that offer much more than square roots are available at the Dollar Store. I remember when hot dogs at Nathans in Coney Island in Brooklyn were 5 cents each. Now, the Coney Island store charges $3.15 for a hotdog. Making a phone call used to involve putting a nickel in the phone slot. The phone was wired to a system, involving an operator. Now, almost everyone has a wireless cell phone that can be used to make calls overseas from any location. 46

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In the old days, we talked to someone in person. Now, everyone is texting each other, even if the person is close by. A family dinner has everyone on their cell phone texting or talking. Computers have taken over the world. The first general purpose electronic digital computer was ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). It took three years to build and was completed in 1945. ENIAC covered 1800 square feet, weighed about 30 tons and had about 18,000 vacuum tubes. Now we carry tiny computers in our pocket that are faster and can do more than ENIAC. Computers have made us almost superhuman. My car is a good example. Driving my Subaru Legacy is like driving a computer. The car starts when I put my foot

on the brake and push a button on the dashboard. I have a back-up camera and my car beeps when there is a moving car behind me. A light on the mirror blinks when a car is in my blind spot. I can push buttons and get my rear end heated, and I can do the same for a passenger next to me. My radio is operated by poking a touch screen. A light goes on when tires are low in pressure. I push a button and a voice says, “How can I help you?” A talking GPS tells me how to get anywhere. I call my GPS Carla, and she has been my friendly guide, except when she sarcastically says, “Recalculating.” I almost hear her thinking, “How stupid can you be?” There are many other computerized features in my car that I haven’t bothered to learn to use. Sometimes, I imagine how nice it would be if I had an ejection button

Some members of the Druger family communicating before dinner in a restaurant in Portugal. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Jamieson.

that would toss annoying passengers from the car. In our modern age, calling anyone on the telephone for service or information can be annoying. Oftentimes, you have to press one, or press two or press three to get to another message. If you are lucky, you may actually get to talk to a real person. When you do finally talk to a real person, that individual may or may not speak English. I couldn’t understand one such person and I asked “Where are you located?” “I’m in Mumbai, India,” was the answer. You can now pay bills online automatically. I sometimes wonder if I have any money left after making all these online payments. If you need to have your computer repaired, you can go to a computer store. These stores are like being in another world. You are surrounded by “techies” who are like robots. They are smart, energetic, fast-talking, efficient, and know it all. They can fix anything.

I sometimes wonder if there is a switch that can turn them off? The World Wide Web is a source of information about everything imaginable. I am particularly impressed by Siri. Using my cell phone, I can ask her anything, and get a prompt and accurate answer. I think Siri is alive. She often responds to my questions by saying, “I didn’t understand what you said.” She seems to have a personality and I imagine her saying, ”Why don’t you think before you ask that question?” Even dating is different in the modern world. In the old days, you might meet someone at an alcoholfree, drug-free party. Nowadays, you are likely to meet someone through an online dating service. An online dating service offers a smorgasbord of potential mates and you can mutually pick and choose and communicate without actually dating that person. When my wife died, my granddaughter registered me on

an online dating service. I ended up dating seven women at the same time. This was time-consuming, expensive, complicated and risky… but fun. It is truly astounding to recognize the changes that have occurred since I was a child. Technology permeates everything we do. What does the future hold? I envision a robotic-like world where human interactions are mostly by text. All we will have to do is push digitized buttons and the tasks will be done. I envision that someone will find a fossil of a human hand one million years from now and will wonder why the thumb is enlarged. Like most other species on earth, humans may be on the path toward extinction. More than 99 percent of all the species that ever lived on earth have become extinct. Why not Homo sapiens?

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10 Things to Do in Cincinnati: The Queen City on the Ohio


n the 40 years after its founding in 1788, Cincinnati grew rapidly and by 1820 the citizens proudly called their city on the Ohio River “The Queen City” or “The Queen City of the West.” In the early 1800s, Cincinnati was considered the West. Later Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also referred to Cincinnati as “The Queen City” in his poem, “Catawba Wine.” Today the city has a lot to offer visitors in the way of history, nature and shopping.


Get Visual: Visitors entering the Cincinnati Art Museum are greeted with a suspended blue Chihuly fantasy glass creation and can continue to view the works of Picasso, Chagall, Tiffany, and more all in one location. There is no admission fee. In Cincinnati art is everywhere you look. Download Art Work’s walking tour to see the many murals scattered throughout the city. Each month Cincinnati Underground features a new emerging contemporary artist. There are several galleries and once a month Art on Vine promotes the work of over 60 artists. Freedom Museum: The Underground Railroad Freedom Center is the place to open up your mind. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center celebrates the heroes who created the Underground Railroad, a secret network slaves used to escape to freedom. It also makes people aware of the 27 million people who are still trying to get their freedom. The Harriet Tubman Theater presentations tell of people in search of freedom. Many displays relate the Underground Railroad to the search for freedom around the world today especially the present-day traffic in humans. Presidential: William Howard Taft was raised in the family’s tradition of hard work, fair play, and public service. He served as governor of the Philippines before becoming president;


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No visit to Cincinnati is complete without a stop at Findlay Market to get a bite to eat and enjoy some of the entertainment it offers. his goal was never to be president but he did want to be chief justice of the Supreme Court. He said, “Presidents come and go but the Supreme Court goes on forever.” The 27th president was the only person to serve in both offices. He was the first president to lob the first baseball to signal the beginning of the Washington Senator’s baseball season and the tradition continues. There is a museum next to his home with a great animatronic display with reminisces about Taft by his son. Harriet Beecher Stowe: According to legend, Abraham Lincoln greeted Stowe in 1862 by saying “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War.” Her book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was an international success and fueled the anti-slavery movement. At that time Cincinnati and the area along Ohio River were important stops for slaves on the way to Canada. Cincinnati was the site of many antislavery protests. The book tells the horrors of slavery


and the dangerous path to freedom taken by many runaway slaves. Parks: There are many parks perfect for relaxing and they are often the sites of special events. Not to miss is the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park, home to 3,500 plant species from around the world and the popular “Butterfly Show” where thousands of butterflies are free to fly about. Smale Riverfront Park with P&G Go Vibrantscape is a unique multimedia play area that causes people to exercise without them knowing it. Check out the talking tubes, exercise pipes, a giant foot piano, a flying pig and Carol Ann’s Carousel. Neighborhoods: They say you haven’t really visited Cincinnati without walking through one of their unique neighborhoods. Mount Adams with narrow winding streets, historic churches and restaurants is reminiscent of Italy while Indian Hill was home to the millionaires — and looks it. Over-the-Rhine (OTR) is the largest intact urban history district in



the country with unique architecture, great restaurants and microbreweries. ManiStrasse, on the National Historic Register, with cobblestone streets is known for its Maifest, a fun festival based on the German tradition of welcoming spring. Ball Time: See red at The Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds, baseball’s first professional franchise. It is also home to the Reds Hall of Fame that includes an interactive strike zone and a gallery that highlights the championship teams with a tribute in bronze to the Big Red Machine. Paul Brown Stadium is home to the Cincinnati Bengals, a NFL member. Both stadiums are the site of other events such as Cincinnati Music Festival at Paul Brown Stadium. Food: You’ve never had chili until you try Cincinnati Chili: Spaghetti topped with chili and mounds of shredded cheese or try in four-ways with the addition of beans or onions, or five-ways with both beans and onions all with a hint of cinnamon. Don’t be embarrassed ask for a bib! Cincinnati is the home of famed Graeter’s Ice Cream, the makers of craft ice cream and gelato. Shopping: Visitors can shop at Tiffany and Saks or in one of the many unique shops such as Rookwood Pottery Co. on Vine Street where they have an amazing selection of tiles and pottery. There is a once a-month flea market in Washington Park. No visit to Cincinnati is complete without a stop at Findlay Market to get something to eat. It is the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio and where they host a farmer’s market from April to November complete with street performers and special events. Museums are always a great place to shop for gifts. And more: It is worth the drive to Tarpis Street to see the fantastical Mushroom House. It is unlike anything you have ever seen. Walk across the Purple People Bridge, a pedestrian-only bridge across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati to Newport, Kentucky where there is a bevy of great eateries and the award-winning aquarium. Enjoy a riverboat ride on the Ohio River. Ride the affordable Cincinnati Bell Connector that makes a 3.6 mile loop with stops at or near many popular downtown Cincinnati destinations.


You’ve never had chili until you try Cincinnati Chili: Spaghetti topped with chili and mounds of shredded cheese

At William Howard Taft National Historic Site people can learn more about the 27th president of the United State. He also served as chief justice of the Supreme Court.

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The Underground Railroad Freedom Center celebrates the heroes who created the Underground Railroad, a secret network slaves used to escape to freedom.


See red at The Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds, baseball’s first professional franchise. October / November 2017 - 55 PLUS




that situation, [to] take some lessons. By Matthew Liptak

Bobbi Cleaveland, 73 Cazenovia resident still teaching skiing after more than 45 years as ski instructor Q. How long have you been instructing at Toggenburg Mountain? A. “I taught there for 23 years back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and then I left and went to Labrador, and now I’ve been back at Tog for one year. I teach all levels of skiing. I’ve never been involved with racing. I got started when I went to college. I went to St. Lawrence University and in freshmen year some people came through the dorm asking if anybody knew how to ski. I said ‘I do.’ They said ‘Do you want to teach?’ I started teaching at the phys ed classes at the snow bowl at St. Lawrence. I’ve been teaching skiing forever. I’m a level three instructor of the PSIA [Professional Ski Instructors of America].” Q. What do you like about skiing? A. “I love being outdoors. I love the sunshine. I love the snow. I love the movement — the rhythmic qualities of skiing. I mean it’s almost like dancing on the snow. I never was one to go extremely fast. I wanted to be a pretty skier. It’s like dancing. A lot of times I’ll have my classes sing a song as they’re going down the hill so they’ll feel something that has a 1-2-3 waltz rhythm, and then they just try to get their ski turns to move with the song. It really helps people. I love the rhythmic quality of it.” Q. How have you evolved as an instructor? A. “Well, starting out I did kids. I did middle-aged people. I taught older people. You can’t do the same with each one. The more experienced I got the better I felt. Now with this senior program that I’ve been doing for many years, being a senior myself...I just feel that I know what they’re feeling. I know what they’re going through. I know what their fears are. I know what their health issues are. I can relate personally instead of a situation where you’ve got some 20-year-old trying to 50

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teach a 70-year-old — it doesn’t work too well.” Q. How is the sport of skiing doing? A. “The past 15 years, the number of people taking ski instruction has dwindled. I think back 10, 15 years and the areas were much more crowded. More people were taking lessons. It would be a major discussion to figure out why it’s dwindled, but I think it is dwindling. I’m sad to see that. Hopefully something will come along to turn it around.” Q. What would you say to somebody who is 55 or older and wants to try skiing? A. “I would say as long as they’re healthy, and mobile, and everything, there’s no reason why they couldn’t try. I always remember when I was teaching at Song Mountain years ago, I had a fellow come for lessons, and he had just retired. I taught him and he eventually ended up being on the ski patrol. He took it up quickly. I think he had been an athlete. It just shows if it’s something you want to do, and you’ve got good instruction, anybody can do it. Now the equipment is much easier to use. It’s more peoplefriendly. The skis have a shape to them which makes it much easier for someone to turn. Skiis are a little shorter. “What I find with the senior program we have is that they used to ski, and then life got in the way. T h e y ’ v e re t i re d , and now they want to get back into it. When they used to ski the technique and the equipment was totally different. It’s beneficial to them, if they’re in

Q. Do you travel to ski a lot? A. “Now more than I used to because I’m not teaching as much. I can get away and do other things. Usually all the years that I’ve been in teaching I’m involved until the snow goes, and a lot of times at that point I really don’t want to ski anymore. I’m a little bit more free now to go take trips.” Q. Are you looking forward to the new season? A. “Oh yes. I just got home. I was down in Chili skiing. It was great — loved it. Way up in the mountains, way above the treeline, an altitude of 10,000, 12,000 feet. It was just such a wide-open area. We were lucky. It was sunny every day.” Q. What do you like about instructing? A. “I really enjoy seeing people get it. So many times you talk about different things in different ways trying to get something that clicks with them. When the light bulb goes off I’m as excited as they are. I get a lot of joy out of teaching.” Q. Is there anything else? A. “I just encourage people to get out and do something. If they think they might like skiing, the program we have at To g g e n b u r g is called Mastertrax. I strongly recommend it if they want to see what it is all about.”



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