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Harold Miller: The Lost Art of Being a Gentleman

55 Issue 74 • April / May 2018

PLUS Wendy Meyerson Promoter-in-Chief of Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins Having the ‘Tyme’ of Her Life

INSIDE 19 self-employment ideas that could generate some extra cash 13 signs you need to dump your financial adviser

Special: Coping with Divorce After 55


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April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS



Harold Miller: The Lost Art of Being a Gentleman



Issue 74 • April / May 2018

April / May 2018

PLUS Wendy Meyerson Promoter-in-Chief of Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins Having the ‘Tyme’ of Her Life

INSIDE 19 self-employment ideas that could generate some extra cash 13 signs you need to dump your financial adviser

Special: Coping with Divorce After 55



Savvy Senior 6 12

Gardening 8 SECOND ACT

• Jamesville resident shifts gears

Dining Out 10 from education to owning a bakery My Turn 18 14 Golden Years 20 DIVORCE

• The older, the more

Life After 55 45 painful the loss can feel Druger’s Zoo 47 22


• Should you get a life coach?

LAST PAGE At 101 years of age, Ruth Colvin will be the commencement speaker at LeMoyne College in May. 4


55 PLUS - April / May 2018


• 19 self-employment ideas that could generate some extra cash in retirement


• Dean of SU’s Newhouse School completes 10 years on the job




• Wendy Meyerson: Promoter-inchief of nutritional supplements and vitamins

34 LAW

• Experts: Be careful selecting person to hold your power of attorney


• The show goes on for lifelong thespian Inez Parker


• Golf purist explains what a real score is all about


• Ten things to do in Utica

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2/26/18 2:33 PM

savvy senior By Jim Miller

Financial Tips for Retiring Abroad


etiring abroad has become a growing trend for millions of U.S. retirees who are looking to stretch their retirement savings. Here are some tips: Researching Tools — For starters, you can find lots of information and articles on the countries and cities you’re interested in retiring to at websites like and Another good tip is to talk or network with some expatriates who have already made the move you’re thinking about making. They can give you tips and suggestions on many issues, as well as the advantages and disadvantages and day-to-day reality of living in a particular country. Some popular sites for finding expat resources are and But before committing to location, most experts recommend that you visit multiple times during different seasons to see whether you can envision yourself living there and not just exploring the place as a tourist. Also, consider these factors: Cost of living — Retiring abroad used to be seen as a surefire way to live beyond your means, and for some countries it still is. But the U.S. dollar isn’t what it used to be, so your money may not stretch as far as you think. See for a country-by-country cost of living comparison. Taxes — No matter what foreign country you decide to retire in, as long as you’re a U.S. citizen you must file an annual tax return reporting all income above certain minimums, no matter where it’s earned. For details see the IRS publication 54, “Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad” at p54.pdf. Health care — Most U.S. health insurance companies do not provide coverage outside the U.S., nor does


55 PLUS - April / May 2018

55PLUS Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Medicare. Check with the embassy (see of your destination country to see how you can be covered as a foreign resident. Many countries provide government-sponsored health care that’s inexpensive, accessible and just as good as what you get in the states, or you may want to buy a policy through Medibroker ( or Bupa Global ( Also know that most people who retire abroad eventually return to the U.S., so you should consider paying your Medicare Part B premiums. If you drop and resume Part B, or delay initial enrollment, you’ll pay a 10 percent premium penalty for every 12-month period in which you could have been enrolled. Banking: Opening or maintaining a bank account abroad has become more difficult because of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a U.S. law designed to prevent Americans from hiding assets abroad. So, you may have to establish a savings and checking account with an institution that has international reach like Citibank. Or consider maintaining your U.S. bank account that you can access online. Rent vs. buy: Buying a home in a foreign country can be complicated, so it’s usually cheaper and simpler to rent, unless you know you’re going to live there for a long time. Social Security: You can receive your monthly Social Security benefits almost anywhere you live around the world (see payments.html). Your benefits can be deposited into your bank account either in the U.S. or in your new home country, but there are some exceptions. The U.S. State Department offers a handy checklist that can help you think through all the issues on retiring abroad. Visit and search for “retirement abroad.”

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo


Deborah J. Sergeant Aaron Gifford, Mary Beth Roach, Payne Horning, Margaret McCormick


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


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 © 2018 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:

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3/6/18 9:52 PM


By Jim Sollecito

We Can Work It Out Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend


t’s official: This year, I have aged into a Beatles song. Since their work had a significant impact on my thinking during those important formative years, I thought I might reflect on some of their long-term effects. Through reading and travel, I assimilate new ideas and review old information. From there, I’ll assess what might impact me personally going forward. Off-season preparation has led me into my 45th year in a career that, in no small way, defines me. Some people leave a coaching legacy, teach, create art or music. I design and plant. It’s what I do. It’s what I want to do. Good Day Sunshine. Sometimes we try to do everything at once in the too short spring season, which can lead to mistakes. Helter Skelter, so to speak. Some things just take a bit of time, with critical edits after we sit and think about what we have created. Some words and plants are meant to be deleted if they don’t produce the desired result. Maybe there are some areas of your own landscape where a fresh perspective might produce a


happier and easier result. I remember anticipating the Irish countryside’s promised 40 shades of green. In my observation, there were probably more, and it made such an impression that I then redoubled my effort to include as many green hues that I can into landscape designs. Evergreens do carry the weight of a landscape during at least seven months of the year when leaves are absent. And conifers are not even necessarily green. So, we stock a lot of needled plants in blue, gold and dozens of greens. As a bonus, many of those are resistant to deer.

Color your world Of course, we crave floral color, too. It’s important to remember that flowers have a limited bloom time. For example, crabapples flower for about two weeks, perhaps less than we might have thought. Part of the design process is sequencing bloom to extend color opportunities. A design has truly achieved its glory if there’s always something grabbing our attention. Every year, our team sifts through myriads of new plant introductions

and selects only those that pass our scrutiny. Winners will not only be visually appealing but also must thrive in our challenging and variable Central New York growing conditions, including soil and weather. I am a fan of perennials that require little input for an outpouring of reward. Or as others have stated: Act Naturally. The newer cultivars (cultivated varieties) of peonies are at the top of that list. Their longevity is phenomenal. These hardy perennials will outlive me. The newer named varieties we’ve chosen offer sturdy stems that support the showy, longlasting flowers. Requiring very little care, a peony is also a viable, attractive, deer-resistant foliage plant long after the flowering is done. Maybe I’m Amazed at the rich flower colors in the photo. In a palette of brilliant white, delightful pinks to rich reds, peonies enhance and add value to a sunny spot for literally decades. These beauties are a workhorse and a great investment for mid-spring flower color after the early bloomers fade. Imagine. Plants enrich and improve our lives. People are just calmer and more relaxed when plants are around. If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to live, why not start now? Are there gaps when nothing is blooming with excitement? The first step in any journey is the most important one. If you are stuck, give me a call. Let my experience and ideas help you. We all do better when we get by With a Little Help From Our Friends.

Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or 55 PLUS - April / May 2018

Social Security

Q&A Q: I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits and I recently went back to work. Do I have to pay Social Security (FICA) taxes on my income? A: Yes. By law, your employer must withhold FICA taxes from your paycheck. Although you are retired, you do receive credit for those new earnings. Each year Social Security automatically credits the new earnings and, if your new earnings are higher than in any earlier year used to calculate your current benefit, your monthly benefit could increase. Q: Often, I need assistance with day-to-day tasks. My daughter offered to help me with my Social Security claim and wants to represent me. Is that OK? A: You can choose to have a representative help you when you do business with Social Security. We’ll work with your representative in the same way we would work with you. Select a qualified person, because this person will act for you in most Social Security matters. First, you will need to fill out the Appoint a Representative form at pdf. Q: Will my son be eligible to receive benefits on his retired father’s record while going to college? A: No. At one time, Social Security did pay benefits to eligible college students. But the law changed in 1981. We now pay benefits only to students taking courses at grade 12 or below. Normally, benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if children are still full-time students at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits generally can continue until they graduate or until two months after they reach age 19, whichever is first.

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April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS





The renovated restaurant is brighter than the old restaurant, but still retains much of the original charm.

Danzer’s German & American Gasthof


German food is finally back in Syracuse

anzer’s opened on Syracuse’s North Side in 1946 and moved to Ainsley Drive, in the southeast corner of the city, in 1971. When Danzer’s closed right before Christmas 2015, it seemingly meant the end to one of Syracuse’s longest-running restaurants, a relic of the city’s long-standing history of German restaurants that included the likes of Weber’s and Gruen’s. So, when Danzer’s German & American Gasthof reopened in January under new ownership and a fresh coat of paint, Central New Yorkers were rightfully excited with anticipation. Danzer’s is back. Well, most of it. Gone is the chipping green paint inside and outside the restaurant


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and the dated, dark wooden bar that greeted diners upon entering. In their place are a sleek coat of black paint that contrasts the restaurant’s bold yellow and red sign and a renovated bar that’s brighter and more modern, while still retaining the wood beams and wrought iron sconces so characteristic of the original restaurant. Also retained are the massive hot open-faced sandwiches, like the big rueben, which has red cabbage instead of sauerkraut, and the hamlet, a Danzer’s original creation. We started our lunch with an order of rueben egg rolls ($8.25). Served two to an order, the rolls were fried to a crackling golden brown and packed full of corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Unlike many egg roll wrappings, which can often be too

thick and doughy, these were thick enough to contain the large amount of filling without bogging down the dish. A side of Russian dressing for dipping was a traditional and welcome pairing. The hamlet sandwich ($11.99) consists of ham, bacon, coleslaw, tomato, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on two pieces of dark rye bread that are easily twice the size of normal sliced bread. The bacon listed on the menu was missing on our sandwich, but it wasn’t really missed, as the heaping helping of ham provided plenty of smoky pork. At first, I was hesitant that the cabbage and carrot coleslaw would be unpleasant once broiled underneath a blanket of melted swiss cheese. But

like the tuna melt sandwich proves, sometimes ignoring common sense and heating up a mayonnaise-based food can pay off handsomely. However, between the coleslaw and Russian dressing, this sandwich was saucy and messy. It’s tempting to fold the two halves together and pick it up, but the steak knife — and the extra napkins — are provided for a reason. Thanks to a generous slathering of gravy on top, there was no temptation to pick up our sauerbraten sandwich ($11.99). Two large slices of beef eye round were served between two slices of the same oversized dark rye bread with an ample dosing of gravy inside and outside the sandwich to top it off. If you’re looking for a photogenic sandwich, this is not it. The brown bread, braised beef and gravy all made for a very monochromatic sandwich. Unlike the hamlet, this sandwich is not broiled, so the bread had no chance to toast. As a result, the soft bread — particularly the bottom piece — became soggy. The gravy was a bit thick, but along with the beef, provided the piquant vinegar flavor with just a bit of sweetness and spice that’s crucial for proper sauerbraten. The meat itself, akin to pot roast, was fork-tender without being stringy. Per our server’s suggestion, we ended our meal with a slice of tur-

tle cheesecake ($7.25), one of several homemade desserts served daily. With a buttery caramel sauce on top and a hefty amount of chocolate and pecans mixed in, the cheesecake was an indulgent treat. Save for a few hiccups, Danzer’s is clearly regaining its steam after

more than two years away, or three, if you include a chaotic final year under its old ownership that included a staff walkout, insect infestations and a month-long closure for repairs. After several years of waiting, Danzer’s, and by extension, German food, is back in Syracuse.

Reuben egg rolls: Billed as one of several house specialties, these egg rolls were loaded with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.

This oversized sandwich of ham, coleslaw, tomato, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese is served openfaced.

Traditional German sauerbraten meets the classic diner hot roast beef in this stick-to-your-ribs sandwich.


Address: 153 Ainsley Drive, Syracuse Phone: 315-471-6666 Website: Danzers-German-AmericanGasthof-251454965373972/ Hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday: noon to 7 p.m. Closed Mondays.

The turtle cheesecake, loaded with chocolate, pecans and caramel, is one of several homemade desserts served daily. April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS



second act Debra Titus is the owner of Half Moon Bakery and Bistro in Jamesville. Photo by Margaret McCormick

Educator to Professional Baker Shifting gears was a natural thing for Jamesville educator


hen Debra Titus retired after nearly 30 years as an educator, she wasn’t ready to sleep in and putter around the house. She was ready to roll up her sleeves, put on an apron and cook up a second career. Now, instead of rising early with lessons, tests and evaluations on her mind, she rises early with baking and cooking on her mind. Ti t u s , w h o g o e s b y D e b b e (prounounced “Deb”), is the owner and creative spark behind the Half Moon Bakery and Bistro in Jamesville. After serving in a variety of positions at several school districts in Central New York — including teacher, building principal, administrator, reading specialist and staff developer — Titus took a leap of faith and made the transition to life as a professional baker. She was always that staff member who showed up for meetings with homemade muffins, cookies or


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By Margaret McCormick cupcakes. Why not take it to another level? “Some people, probably most p e o p l e , t h e y re t i re a n d e n j o y retirement,’’ Titus says with a smile. “I’ve just always been one who doesn’t think of her age. I just do it. I thought, ‘here’s an opportunity to try something new.’ I’ve always baked at home and I’ve always had a passion for it.’’ Titus, 62, shifted gears in the summer of 2013, selling cupcakes, cookies, brownies and more on Saturdays at the Cazenovia Farmers Market. Before long, customers began to ask if she had a storefront location. She didn’t have to look far for one: the Sweet Endings Bakeshop in Jamesville, where Titus and her family live, was up for sale. Titus negotiated the purchase and launched her “brick and mortar’’ storefront. Her market experience introduced her to a variety of local producers, whose products she incorporates into the

bistro menu and sells in the bakery. The bistro menu features soups, salads, sandwiches, quiche and daily specials, like macaroni and cheese and pulled pork macaroni and cheese. The bakery offerings, meanwhile, change regularly and include cookies, decorated cutout cookies, cakes, cupcakes, mini cupcakes, moon drops (Titus’ version of cake balls), muffins, scones, tarts, brownies and other bar cookies — the list goes on. Titus developed the recipe for her signature half moon cookies and has finessed them over the years. They feature a sturdy vanilla cookie base embellished with the familiar two-toned frosting, one half vanilla and one half chocolate — and not too heavy on the icing, so the flavor of the cookie shines through. Titus and her team bake pies, custom cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions and showstopping wedding cakes — a major part of the business that keeps bakers

Half moon and other custom cookies are some of the specialties of Half Moon Bakery and Bistro in Jamesville. and decorators busy from May to December. Titus keeps up with baking and cake trends, so when customers request unicorn cakes or “PAW Patrol’’ cakes for their son or daughter’s birthday or a “naked” cake (with minimal icing) for a wedding, she is prepared. She has worked hard to make certain that the Half Moon is an inclusive bakery that offers a wide range of vegan, gluten -free and dairy-free items, available by special request. Recently, a woman in Indianapolis who found the Half Moon Bakery online placed a special order for a vegan layer cake to be shipped to her home. Titus fulfilled her request and shipped the cake layers frozen, with the icing carefully packaged in containers, for the customer to assemble. “Every day is different,’’ Titus says. “We always have fun.’’ Five years into owning her business, Titus says her recipe for success is trying new things, spotlighting local food producers, exploring new avenues to bring people in and offering excellent customer service. The Half Moon offers events, like a recent “Ink and Drink’’ hand-lettering workshop, and recently joined Grubhub, an online food ordering and delivery service. “We pull from different office buildings and social media and good word of mouth helps people find us,’’ Titus says. “People don’t really think of coming to Jamesville.’’

Tina McPherson, founder of SalsaCuse Salsa, a specialty food business based in Cazenovia, considers Titus both a friend and supportive c o l l e a g u e . Ti t u s h a s f e a t u re d McPherson’s salsas in soups, chili and egg dishes, like huevos rancheros and offers them for sale in her shop. “At Christmas she bundles my salsa and other goodies from her shop for ‘buy local’ gift baskets,’’ McPherson says. “Whenever I make a delivery, I receive a cup of coffee and a treat for the road. I wish I could mention a favorite, but they’re all so good. “Nine out of 10 deliveries we also talk shop,’’ McPherson adds. “We discuss how business is going, any recent struggles and new ideas.’’ A s a n e n c o re e n t re p re n e u r in “unretirement,’’ Titus says it’s important to keep herself informed and up-to-date. To that end, she attends events like the annual WISE Symposium (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship) to network, hear speakers and soak up energy and inspiration. It’s also important to try and strike a balance between work and life. Owning a business is consuming, Titus says, and vacations are few and far between. She makes eating healthily a priority and carves out time for activities like walking and working in her garden. For those who wonder what a career in education has in common

with a career running a bakery, Titus says the common threads are pleasing people, customer service and common sense. At the end of the day, she says, the biggest reward of running her business is enthusiastic response to her food and baked goods. “One of joys of the business is when kids come in with their parents and you have been able to execute something to order and you bring to them exactly what they wanted,’’ Titus says. “Or when you feed someone a meal and you know they like it … that makes you feel good. We have wonderful customers. We really do.’’

The Half Moon Bakery and Bistro Address: 6500 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Friday; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (closed Sundays). Phone: 315-492-0110 Website: April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS




13 Signs You Need to Dump Your Financial Adviser By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


erhaps you’ve used the same financial adviser for many years, maybe even your parent’s favorite firm. Why should you consider changing firms? Here are a few reasons, according to three financial advisers interviewed for this story: From Cynthia Scott, president and chartered financial consultant Cynthia at OMC Financial Services, Ltd., DeWitt:


“Does your adviser call you back on timely basis? We had a client who said they’d been trying to get in touch with their adviser for two weeks. We return phone calls that day or the next day. When a client calls up, they call because they need something or have a problem. They don’t want to wait for two weeks. The analogy I use is how many people call their doctor to say, ‘I wanted to tell you I feel fantastic.’ They only call when there’s a problem.


“Do they meet with you at least annually? That’s important, to go over if anything’s changed and to make sure you understand your portfolio. There are lots of reasons to meet with someone. You should meet if there’s a change from your overall financial situations or life events —like losing your job or relocating.


“Are you with the right adviser based upon the size of your portfolio? Are you too small to get the attention you need or are you so large that the adviser can’t handle your portfolio appropriately?


“When you do meet with your adviser, do they go over your entire financial program, including an updated will, power of attorney, etcetera? A lot of financial 14

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advisers don’t ask about these. If the person isn’t looking at your entire picture, you might want to look at someone who is.” From Jeff Layhew owner, president and financial adviser with Wealth Resources Network, Liverpool:


“The adviser should do what they say they do — not regarding rate of return — but if someone wants to change a beneficiary, for example. Do they confirm what they do? With estate planning, there are a

lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross.


“If you’re a married individual, does the adviser talk with both parties if both want to be involved? Sometimes, we have the tendency to talk only with the party who’s talking with us. If the spouse chooses not to answer, that’s fine, but I want to try to engage both.


“If it’s really important to you to have continuity and you’re dealing with a 70-year-old financial adviser, it may be difficult

when that person retires or passes away. If they don’t have a staff or partner, what happens then? We make our businesses more valuable if we communicate to clients, ‘This is who will take over in five or 10 years’ because part of the sale is ‘X’ number of clients will stay.


“Check out your broker at FINRA. You can see licensing, see how long in the business and see if there are any negative marks on the business if you’re looking for a new one.” From Caragh Fahy, owner, certified financial planner, Madison Financial Planning Group, Syracuse:

9. 10. 11.

“If you’re more confused when you leave a meeting than when you arrive. Planners often get caught up in the industry jargon. “If the adviser is more reactive than proactive. Clients shouldn’t have to manage the relationship, waiting to hear back.

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“If they only look at your investments. For a lot of offices, that means investment management. We don’t view finances in a silo. There are so many facets of it like taxes and estate planning. We plan holistically. When it’s coordinated across all facets; clients are best served that way.


“If the adviser doesn’t have a specialty. The financial industry is so broad. It’s hard to be all things to all people. Our practice specializes in the retirement transition, so we understand the nuances of that phase of financial planning. It’s not the same conversation with someone who’s 25 and is just starting working. Younger clients may be children of existing clients and we try to be helpful. But boomers advancing towards retirement are our niche.


“If they don’t incorporate technology into their practice. We’ve found the use of technology has helped us be more efficient in clients’ time. Online financial dashboards let clients access their information. We’re doing more electronic account servicing. Lack of technology can be a sign of complacency.”

Your Financial Consultant

Craig G. Fitzpatrick Financial Consultant Toll-free: 800-811-5620 x8088 Phone: 315-207-8088 Email: NOT FDIC INSURED • MAY LOSE VALUE • NO BANK GUARANTEE Securities related products and services made available through Pathfinder Bank are offered through Cadaret, Grant, & Co., Inc., MEMBER FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products and services are offered through Finger Lakes Investments Corporation (FLIC). Cadaret, Grant, & Co. and FLIC are not affiliated with Pathfinder Bank it’s affiliates, divisions, or subsidiaries. OSJ office: FLIC 65-A Monroe Ave, Pittsford, NY 14534. (585) 389-0326. Pathfinder Investment Services, Cadaret, Grant & Co, Inc and Finger Lakes Investments Corp. are separate entities.

April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS




Coping with Divorce After 55 The older one is, the more painful the loss can feel, say experts By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


n acquaintance in his 50s once shared with me that he had been divorced — three times. I responded, “Ouch.” He threw back his head and laughed, saying, “That’s the best response I’ve ever heard.” But it’s true. Divorce hurts, regardless of why it happens. The older one is, the more painful the loss can feel. After so many years of building a life together, making mutual friends and planning for forever, it’s done. Over. Each person likely faces challenges previously unknown. There’s also social and familial awkwardness, and possibly financial struggles. Plus, they need to work through the difficult reasons that caused the divorce, too. Many other factors make midlife divorce different from earlier divorce, according to Robert Barash, a psychologist in private practice in DeWitt. “At 55 or older, they may feel there are fewer options to remarry than at 22,” Barash said, “although some are more confident in finding meaningful relationships.” He added that the age of the children makes a difference because younger, still-developing children may be particularly vulnerable to the stresses of divorce. “Grown children of older divorced parents may take sides, or be encouraged to do so, just as younger children may, but they tend to be more objective and also are usually not subject to being influenced by


55 PLUS - April / May 2018

an economic or emotional dependency on one of their parents,” Barash said. Friends and family may mean well, but most of the time, they’re too eager to dole out advice and take sides than to truly listen and honor the feelings present. A professional can help in sorting out the feelings so the person feels more ready for the next chapter. “The person’s philosophy about life makes a difference,” Barash said. “For people of faith, that’s another insulator against stress. They have a s u p p o r t i v e community and tend to feel things happen for a reason and God is watching Barash over them.” It takes time to figure out what to do next and how to build a new life. Barash said that feeling uncertain is perfectly natural, since divorce changes a life significantly, and the new way of life isn’t in place yet. Andrea Reinking, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Fayetteville, encourages people who have divorced to find the meaning in their lives through giving back. Volunteering can help direct the attention outward, to others less fortunate. This strategy can also help develop a spirit of gratitude and reduce bitterness. “Try something new you’ve

wanted to try,” Reinking said. “It can make you feel good about yourself.” That could mean joining a club or gym, getting a makeover, signing up for a class, or attending events. Redecorating, moving, finding a new career or furthering the education all represent larger-scale changes. “I like to tell my clients that the YMCA is a great thing,” Reinking said. “Exercise helps a lot with mental health. If they’re not into a gym, there are hiking groups, dancing groups, all kinds of groups or classes. You need to reconnect with friends as well. You have to reach out, which is really hard when you’re lonely and depressed. But that is what is going to help lift you up. It should be something you feel happy about it.” As for figuring out the nuts and bolts of life — tasks the former spouse always did — divorced people should take the initiative to learn. Plenty of classes, books, and videos offer terrific how-to tips. Paul Batkin, licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Syracuse, encourages divorced people to reach out to their network of friends and give themselves time before jumping into a relationship. “Think about what you want before you go looking for it,” Batkin said. “It will be very difficult, no matter how long you’ve been married and there will be a period of adjustment.”

Richard and Janice Hezel in their Jamesville home.

Working in learning enterprises throughout our careers, we recognize that access to education is fundamental to the future of a bright, open and civil society. That belief lies at the heart of our charitable giving. To administer our giving, we established a donoradvised fund at the Community Foundation. Our existing donor-advised fund, as well as additional estate gifts, will form a permanent field-of-interest fund at the Community Foundation to provide for causes, organizations and human needs that we care most about well after our passing.

Giving for the Community: Richard and Janice Hezel

Seeing our fund grow is gratifying. It is even more gratifying to know that finally, after we have “run the good race,” our fund will be allocated to the community’s most pressing needs.

since 1927

Read more of the Hezels’ story at (315) 422-9538 April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS

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5/5/2017 10:24:04 AM

my turn By Bruce Frassinelli Email:

What it Means to Age Gracefully


was startled recently when a friend I had not seen in about 10 years told me that I was “aging gracefully.” What does that mean? I find “aging gracefully” and phrases like it can have any number of meanings. Of course, I could have demanded to know what my longabsent friend meant, but I felt that this might put him on the spot, so I remained silent. I asked about a dozen of my senior friends how they would react if someone they hadn’t seen in a decade told them that they were “aging gracefully.” About half said they would take it as a compliment, but the other half thought it was a secret code for “you got a lot older-looking from the last time I saw you.” I started quizzing myself about this phrase, one that I have heard dozens of times but never before pondered its implications. I thought my mother aged gracefully until age 90 when she became ill. When it comes to well-known Hollywood actresses, I would label Helen Mirren, who at 72 is about six years my junior, as one who is “aging gracefully.” She does not seem to use extreme means to fight off Father Time, while exuding an elegant, natural appearance. S o m e m e n a n d w o m e n a re 18

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obsessed about their looks, and they fret constantly about wrinkles or other manifestations of age. They spend enormous amounts of money trying to find products to slow down the aging process. No wonder 16th century Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon and countless others after him were fixated about finding the “Fountain of Youth” or some elusive magic potion that would fend off the aging process. Some friends in their mid- to late50s are in this category. I envision them perched on a big clock in the town square, struggling with all of their might to hold back the hands of time, but, try as they might, it is futile. Best-selling author Nora Ephron waded into the conversation in her book, “I Feel Bad about My Neck.” She observed that “our faces are lies, and our necks are the truth.” She joked that although you have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, if the tree had a neck, it would readily give away its age. Last November, one of my alleged friends cautioned me to be careful. “Someone might mistake you for a turkey and have you for Thanksgiving dinner,” he said, pointing to the flabby skin under my chin. Very funny! G ro w i n g o l d i s a s t u d y i n contradictions. Several of my contemporary Oswego friends rejoiced

in all of the trips they took during 2017. In their annual Christmas letter, they described these far-away places with the strange-sounding names that they had visited. On the other hand, a 75-year-old friend from Fulton said he has thrown in the towel on travel. “It’s too much of a hassle,” he announced. “Besides, I just love to stay home and watch the world go by on TV.” I find I am cramming in as much travel as I can, sometimes leaving myself exhausted. I rationalize that I have an unknown number of “good years” left, so I want to visit some bucket-list locations while I am still mobile. Last year ’s Alaskan cruise with my youngest son was challenging because of some of the wilderness hiking during off-ship excursions, but I did them without regret. An old high school buddy with whom I have lunch about once a month and I were discussing how much driving adds to our mobility and independence. During our conversation, I wondered whether we would recognize when it was time to hang up the keys, or whether one of our children would feel compelled to give us “the talk” to convince us that our driving was putting ourselves or others at risk. Then, if we protested and refused to


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turn in our keys voluntarily,would they threaten to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles to force us off the road? My deceased wife, who was afflicted with stage four ovarian cancer, would lament periodically that “getting old sucks.” There is no question that getting older contains physical and emotional landmines. While aging gracefully isn’t easy, a person’s attitude matters considerably. In talking to Web MD, Susan Whitbourne, professor of psychology at the University of MassachusettsAmherst, said our society is obsessed with the negative aspects of aging. She cautions seniors not to fall into a trap with all the “bad press” about aging. “Once you start thinking about it, it can drive you mad,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do; the clock is going to tick away.” Not only are wisdom and mature understanding some of the prizes of a longer life, but growing old itself earns a gold star. “If you get to be older, you have survived a lot of the threats to your physical and psychological integrity that have affected other

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‘To age gracefully, you need to have the proper mindset to recognize the changes that are inevitably coming. Rigid thinkers tend to get overwhelmed by aging, can’t manage the changes, then wind up depressed.’ people who are no longer around,” Whitbourne said. She said we should not be lamenting, rather congratulating ourselves that through good luck or good genes, or both, we have dodged fatal accidents, premature disease and other afflictions that kill young people. “You are stronger, and you get to live longer,” she said. Whitbourne also said, “The people who do the best with aging aren’t thinking that much about getting older.

If you sit around mulling over how time is running out, you’re not going to age as successfully.” The sooner we realize that aging changes everyone, the better we will be able to cope with this reality. At, let’s say, 85, most of us are not going to be able to do the things we did when we were 65, or, if we can do them, we won’t do them as well. You may not be living on your own any more in a beautiful home or apartment or driving to the supermarket or walking a mile or two in the park. To age gracefully, you need to have the proper mindset to recognize the changes that are inevitably coming. Rigid thinkers tend to get overwhelmed by aging, can’t manage the changes, then wind up depressed. Those who deal with aging more successfully are those who can anticipate what is happening and who are determined to work their way through the maze of challenges confronting them. I want to be in the latter category; how about you? April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


golden years By Harold Miller

The lost art of being a gentleman


#MeToo reveals a growing breach in our culture

he dictionary defines a gentleman as a chivalrous, courteous, honorable man. But there is much more to it than that. The true gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will; whose self-control is equal to all emergencies, who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity. Beyond this, a gentleman always walks a woman home. He does not pack her off alone in an Uber. A gentleman is always good to women because he has his own dignity and is aware of their dignity. He is never pushy, manipulative, or belittling. It goes deeper — the polite gentleman always stands when a woman, or an older person, enters the room. He always opens the door or keeps the door open for anyone behind or adjacent to him while entering a building. Being a gentleman involves not only manners, but morals as well. Being a gentleman isn’t about what you do or what you wear — it’s about how you behave and who you are. A gentleman holds chivalry in great regard. He gives up his seat for a lady, takes off his coat for her on a cold evening, and always puts her comfort foremost. Sometimes it is difficult to be gentlemanly today when fewer of the women today are ladylike. While it is true that our modern social media has worked against decorum, dignity, and self-control for both genders, respect for the opposite sex is still in style – or should be if not.

#MeToo movement builds awareness The #MeToo epidemic has revealed that when fame and fortune strike the egotistical, chauvinistic male be it a politician, business tycoon, or movie 20

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star they think that they can get away with anything and have their way with anyone. Yesterday’s wolf has become today’s rapist. Social, technological and cultural revolutions have overcome our country. The family has disintegrated through divorce, unwed childbearing, and fatherless sons and daughters. In other words, there are very few fathers around to teach their sons how to be gentlemen and few mothers have the time to teach their daughters to be ladylike. Instead of being brought up, half of today’s children just grow up. As the saying goes, “most of what a child learns is caught, not taught.” Our country needs more than parents to raise our children. America needs grandparents to teach the lessons learned in the first half of the 20th century (this is where we 55-plussers come in). We’ve been so swept up by the social, technological, cultural revolutions, and the role that men and women play that there is

total confusion. Where will the next generations learn the social graces? As a footnote, we mourn the recent passing of Billy Graham, the greatest gentleman and preacher of our time. For many hours a day seven days a week he preached to vast throngs throughout the world. Graham was consular to most of the presidents of his day and respected by all faiths. Hollywood saw a leading man and offered him a multi-million dollar movie contract. Graham laughed and said, “I wouldn’t do it for a million a month.” His sermons were always about following the teachings of the bible in your everyday life. If this were done, every man would automatically be a gentleman and every woman would be a lady. Think of it — if all the men in our world were gentlemen, there would be no wars, there would be no killings, there would be no famine, and the marvelous technologies developed in the 21st century would only be used to foster mankind. Think of it!

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Should You Get a Life Coach? Professionals say coaching is not just for business people or executives — everyday people, including those considering retirement, can benefit from it By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


oaches help athletes excel at their sport. A life coach, in a similar sense, helps people “win” at life, where the prizes are more contentment, happiness, purpose and security. These can all seem out of reach during a big life transition, such as when the children all leave home, the career is winding down and certain signs of aging begin cropping up. For those uncertain as to what to do next, a life coach can help, according to Jennifer B. Bernstein, president and


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founder of Get Yourself Into College, Inc. in Syracuse. Now 48, Bernstein was a tenured college professor when she decided to quit teaching, but not leave academia. Her company guides students through the application process. She started Getting Yourself in 2010. Early in her career, Bernstein thought she would want to teach for the rest of her life; however, that changed. She’s now glad that she planned and launched her business earlier instead of waiting until retirement. Working

with a coach “was really important,” Bernstein said. “Talking with a coach versus networking and talking with friends and family is very different. I think that when you’re making this big transition, it really helps to have that plan of support.” While a counselor or therapist may help clients heal as they work through past hurts, a life coach is oriented on the client’s future. What’s next? And, especially in Bernstein’s case, “how do I get there?” Life coaching, unlike business coaching, isn’t about directives, but helping clients develop their own answers as to what they should do next by breaking down self-imposed barriers to their success. They can also help ease the segue from the working world to whatever’s next. For Bernstein, that meant fleshing out her business idea. “When I started working with the coach, I had stopped teaching but I had a web copy writing client who was giving me a very stable monthly income,” Bernstein said. “I was at the point with my business where I couldn’t grow my company any more if I was still using those hours. I had to let go of that.” In a normal session, they talk about what’s going well in the client’s

life, recent small successes and what they can do to keep moving forward toward their goals. They discuss areas in which the client can practice improvement the next week. “For me, a big challenge was I felt maxed out with my time and energy,” Bernstein said. “Part of that was really making that strong, inner commitment that what I wanted to do was go all-in on my business.” Life coaches aren’t just about people moving from working life to entrepreneurship. Jill Murphy, certified personal trainer, certified life coach and coowner of Mission Fitness in East Syracuse, provides life and fitness coaching. “A life coach is someone who gives their clients tools to make positive changes in their life,” Murphy said. “They encourage their clients to achieve their full potential. They come alongside their client to achieve a specific goal they’re looking to achieve.” Since many lifestyle habits affect weight and fitness, life coaching provides more means of helping her clients than addressing diet and exercise separately. “A lot of what we do is conversations with clients,” she said of herself and her husband and business partner, Nick Murphy, who is also a certified life coach and trainer. It may seem helpful to simply “try harder” to make life changes or exercise greater willpower; however, “very often, people don’t stop to take the time to see why they’re doing things,” Murphy said. “Coaches ask hard and deep questions.” By asking questions, they drill down to the reasons why clients overeat, make poor food choices and don’t exercise. Then they help their clients find ways to make healthful choices that will stick with them. The Murphys also address the self-esteem and self-worth issues that often lead to poor choices. “I give work for them to do [between sessions],” Murphy said. That helps clients own their issues and take real steps toward change instead of just talking about what changes should happen. Life coaches can cost a few hundred to thousands of dollars; however, the cost of living a fulfilling life is priceless.


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55+ work Looking for a New Occupation? Here are 19 self-employment ideas that could generate some extra cash in retirement or pre-retirement By Kimberly Blaker


or a variety o f re a s o n s , many older Americans won’t retire. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 32 percent of Americans aged 65 to 69 were employed during the second quarter of 2017. In the 70 to 74 age group, 19 percent were employed. While financial necessity is one big reason many people won’t retire, others are choosing to stay employed for as long as they can. According to Maurie Backman, in “3 Reasons to Work During Retirement,” generating extra income, saving on leisure costs, and warding off depression top the reasons many seniors choose to remain in the workforce. But working after retirement age doesn’t necessarily mean seniors are punching time clocks. According to data from the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, in 2016, 24 percent of new entrepreneurs were between 55 and 64 years of age. If you plan to remain in the workforce, the good news is, there are plenty of opportunities for selfemployment that don’t cost a bundle to get started. Here are 19 companies you can start from home, most requiring minimal to no investment to start up.

Professional Organizer

Are you obsessed with keeping your cupboards, drawers, closets and garage organized? If so, you might be surprised to learn that most people are 24

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Tour Company Whether you live in a big city, historical town or scenic area with state parks and national monuments, there’s likely a need or demand for tour guides, which can be a lucrative business. You can provide either walking or driving tours to visitors and residents while sharing your knowledge of the area and sights with them.

Social Media Management

If you’re savvy with social media, companies large and small are in need of your service. Social media management includes setting up social media accounts and writing ongoing interesting and shareable posts. You’ll also respond to social media messages and comments to build and maintain the company’s relationship with its followers.


not. Here’s where your organizational skills can earn you a living. Between those who don’t know how to organize and others who don’t have the time to deal with it, there’s a huge market in need of such services.


What’s your area of expertise? Whatever it is, there are likely plenty of people or businesses that could use your advice. To get your brain churning, here are a few examples of consultant services to consider: financial, business, social media, legal, career, technology, public relations, human resources, strategy, marketing, information technology, management, childbirth, interior decorating, and the list goes on.

Pet Sitting

For animal lovers, this has become a particularly popular form of selfemployment. With the rising cost of pet boarding and pet owners’ desire to reduce the stress their pets experience during owners’ absences, many hire sitters and are willing to pay good money for the service.

If you love writing and have the skill to write ongoing engaging posts, you’ll discover every type of business imaginable has or needs a blog. Just look for businesses related to your area of expertise. If you’re an expert researcher, that’s all the better, and the sky’s the limit.

Content Writing

This is another high-demand writing job. Businesses of all kinds need well-written website content that describes their products and services as well as related content to increase targeted traffic. For most companies, search engine optimized (SEO) content is a must. So, if you have this skill, you already have the edge over many writers.

Wedding Planner

Does the idea of helping couples with one of the most important and romantic days of their lives make your heart skip a beat? Wedding planners help couples with every aspect of their wedding and reception, from invitations and the wedding party’s attire to the cake, reception hall and entertainment.

Event Planner If you have excellent organizational and time management skills and business acumen, this might be the perfect fit. Event planners coordinate every aspect of a meeting or convention and sometimes social events as well. Planners arrange the location, catering, speakers, and printed materials for events, and more.

Home Staging Consultant

According to the real estate industry, well-staged homes sell faster and for more money. Yet, when it comes down to it, most people’s homes are anything but show-ready. If you like home decorating and rearranging furniture, this might be right up your alley. You can offer consulting services or do the staging yourself.

Travel Agency

Despite the ease and costeffectiveness of buying and scheduling travel online, there’s still a good demand for travel agents. Many people prefer using an agent because of the travel advice agents offer as well as for arranging complicated travel plans. So if you love to travel and helping people, this might be just the right business for you.

Website Design

Have you built a website for yourself or someone in the past? If so and you have a knack for design along with excellent computer skills, this might be just the home-based career you’ve been waiting for. With Wordpress, in particular, website

design is relatively simple yet offers designers unlimited options.

Project Management

If you’re an idea person with good management skills, this career is worth looking into. Can you take a project and run with it and see it through to completion? As a project manager, your role is to put together and lead teams through projects. You’ll also be in charge of creating project budgets and managing their costs, and ultimately, making most of the projects’ decisions.


Small businesses often have only a few hours worth of accounting per week or month. So it isn’t feasible or necessary for them to hire an employee for the task. This is where you can step in and offer your services. Landing just a few business accounts could quickly provide you a full-time income working from home.

Personal Trainer

If you’re a fitness buff and enjoy motivating others, this might be just the career for you. Personal trainer certification programs run between $400 to $1,000. Upon completion, you can either work as a personal trainer for a fitness corporation or independently.

Teaching Online Courses

Here’s a wide-open opportunity because courses can be taught on just about anything. Do you have a passion for something? What are your areas of expertise, educational background, or

special skills or talents? Chances are there’s something you’re great at and qualified to teach. Here are some ideas to consider: a hobby or craft, computer skills, photography, web design, writing, professional development, how to play an instrument, dog training, the list is endless.

Recruiting Agency

Because of the challenges and time involved in finding qualified applicants to fill high-level positions, many companies now use recruiters to help fill the roles. With the current low unemployment rate, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates on their own. So why not step in and help them?


Do you live for making delicious and eye-appealing food? If you’ve got excellent culinary skills, you can offer your catering services for wedding receptions, corporate events, graduation parties, bar mitzvahs, luncheons, anniversary parties, and a host of other occasions.

Life Coach

If you enjoy helping people better themselves, here’s the perfect opportunity to make the most of your skill. Depending on where you live, there may be educational requirements for this career. So do your research. But if you’re good at setting goals and developing personal plans, solving problems, understanding people and what motivates them, and offering sound advice, this career is worth looking into.

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Dean Lorraine Branham and Oprah Winfrey visit with guests at a luncheon to celebrate the dedication of the Newhouse Studio and Innovation Center in September 2014. Winfrey was the featured speaker at the luncheon.

A Trailblazer Marks a Milestone Dean of SU’s Newhouse School of Public Communication completes 10 years on the job as the first female and the first person of color to occupy the position


orraine Branham is the first female and the first person of color to serve as dean of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, since it opened more than 50 years ago. As such, she could well be considered a trailblazer, but it’s not something she makes a big deal about. “I’ve often said, I don’t mind being the first, but I don’t want to be the last,” she said. She has been the first female, the first African-American or both in many of the jobs she’s had in her career. For example, at her first academic appointment at the School of Communications at the University of Texas in Austin, she was the first


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By Mary Beth Roach female and first African-American full professor, and when she went to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper as executive editor, she was the first woman and first person of color to hold that position, she noted. “It’s been kind of the story of my life,” she remarked. “I want to open doors for others. It’s part of what I should do.”

The Newhouse years

Taking over the reins of the school in 2008, Branham, now in her 60s, is in her 10th year at Newhouse. Although she jokes that she will never adjust to Central New York winters, she loves the summers, the autumn and, of course, Newhouse. Over her 10 years, she has

developed numerous programs and internship opportunities and led a campaign to renovate Newhouse II. “I see my role as making those things possible — making it possible for my faculty, my students, my staff to do their job well, have great experiences here and help prepare the next generation of communicators,” she said. But she’s quick to add that she did not accomplish any of this alone. “Of course, I didn’t do it singlehandedly. I have a great staff and great faculty, and am blessed with really good students. David Rubin had been dean for 18 years — a very successful dean. It was big shoes to fill. My job was to not just sort of keep things status quo, but to take it to the next

level,” Branham said. Several new graduate programs, including an online version; the Los Angeles and New York Semesters professional development programs; an entrepreneurship initiative, and a sports broadcasting component have all been developed under her guidance. In her travels, she was often asked whether Newhouse had an online program, which it had not. They eventually created Digital Communications for Media Professionals for those who are midcareer and interested in strengthening their digital skills, Branham said. It has attracted students from throughout the country and abroad, she noted. The LA and New York Semesters allow students to spend a term in these cities, where they have internships during the day and classes in the evenings from adjuncts Newhouse hired in public relations, advertising, journalism, magazine, TV, radio, film and the business side of the media. During her time at Newhouse, she has seen a number of alumni leave and start up their own businesses. Believing there was a need to better prepare students for this career path, she helped to create a center for digital media entrepreneurship to instruct students on how to run a business and to present opportunities for students who might not want to work for a magazine or for a network, and who instead want to start their own business. “We’ve had a number of students who’ve come through and gone off to do that, and have been very successful,” she said. She also helped in creating a sports program component at Newhouse. “ N e w h o u s e h a d t h i s g re a t reputation for all of these sports broadcasters,” she said. SU has turned out the likes of Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Sean McDonough, and Marv Albert, to name just a few. “I just assumed there was a sports program here. I was surprised there was none here,” she said. “But I saw more schools around the country starting sports programs, and I felt that Newhouse needed to do something official because otherwise we were going to start losing students who would go elsewhere.” She has also helped to reshape

Guastavino’s, New York City, Oct. 29, 2015: Lorraine Branham and her husband, Melvin Williams, with Donald Newhouse at the Newhouse School’s 50th anniversary gala. the SU campus by overseeing a major campaign for Newhouse 2, and raised $18 million to do that. When she arrived at SU and was meeting with Rubin, she discussed plans for the project with him. She jokingly asked Rubin why he didn’t raise the money to do the renovation of Newhouse 2. “He gives me this little grin of his and said, ‘I wanted to leave something for you to do,’” she said. The task was a little daunting, she admitted, especially since money had just been raised for Newhouse III, and as such, many alumni and donors were tapped out, she said. But the university was able to secure a naming gift from the family of the late Dick Clark, the entertainment legend and SU alum. In 2014, the Newhouse Studio and Innovation Center opened at Newhouse 2. The facility includes the Dick Clark Studios, the Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation and the Diane and Bob Miron Digital News Center. Perhaps an even greater responsibility is preparing Newhouse students, which number about 1,900 undergraduates, 200 graduate students and about 30 to 35 Ph.D. candidates for roles in today’s media, at a time when technology evolves constantly. “It’s extremely challenging, often frustrating. Everything is changing

so quickly,” she said. “I feel fortunate to have the faculty. We really insist that our faculty stay connected to the industry. We bring people from the industry here and we go out. I’m constantly pushing for us to always be on the cutting edge. One of the reasons I go out to try to raise money is to make sure our students have opportunities, to have new experiences, that we have the latest equipment, that we are able to expose them to people and ideas, and send them places.” But the most crucial point to stress to students is how to be analytical and good listeners, she said. “I feel the best thing we can teach these kids is, in addition to some really hard skills, are the soft skills — to be a critical thinker; to be agile, because we’ll teach you software today that a year from now may not exist; understanding the concepts and how to communicate well. It is our biggest challenge,” Branham said. Students have changed in the 15 years she’s been in academia, especially in terms of their exposure to social media, and that has required teachers to adapt how and what they teach.

Culture of social media

“These kids grew up on social media,” she said. “We have to teach them how to use it in a professional context,” she said. “But now these kids April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


Lorraine Branham and Donald Newhouse with alumni honorees at the Newhouse School’s 50th anniversary gala in New York City, October 2015, when 50 alumni were honored. Directly behind them, from left, are Mike Tirico ’88, who emceed the event, and special honorees Tonia O’Connor ’91, Larry Kramer ’72, Rob Light ’78, Kitty Lun G ’80, and Bob Costas ’74. are really smart; they’re really savvy. They’ve come of age in this digital world and they just take these things for granted. “Now, we can focus on teaching the foundational skills, and teach them how to be a success in whatever areas they decide to go into.” She said it is vital to also show students a variety of ways to conduct research. “We have to teach them there are other things other than Google, and also that you cannot believe everything you read,” she said. “That’s the thing. They just think if it’s online, it must be true,” Branham said. Newhouse has been able to remain competitive, she said, estimating that it receives approximately 5,000 applications for 400 seats in the freshman class. While the school could become larger, administrators don’t want to do that, instead preferring to keep class sizes small. “One of the reasons we are able to do as well as we do is that faculty are really able to get to know their students. It’s really hands-on learning,” she said. She also credits the alumni with much of the success that Newhouse enjoys. “I enjoy interacting with our alum. The school really has great alumni who 28

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really care about the school,” she said. “They come back, they give back. It was one of the things I loved as I was trying to decide if I was going to leave Austin and come to the frozen North. “I was really struck by how dedicated the alumni is to this school. I just felt that it’s such a strategic advantage to have all these people who care so much about it,” she added.

Future of journalism

As she embarks on this milestone year, Branham reflected on her career and where journalism might be heading in the years to come. A 1976 graduate of Temple University, the Philadelphia native had worked as a reporter for several newspapers in that area. She then went to the Baltimore Sun as a reporter, and would go on to become its night city editor. After a couple of years, she was at a crossroads, trying to figure out if she wanted to return to reporting or remain an editor. To help sort this out, she attended Stanford University on a fellowship. She ultimately decided to remain an editor, and went back to her hometown and worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Hoping to one day run her own newspaper, she was advised to better

understand the editorial and business side of the paper. As a result, she took a job as executive editor with the Tallahassee Democrat, which at the time was owned by Knight-Ridder. She would eventually leave Florida and return to Pennsylvania as the assistant to the publisher at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper had recruited her, she said, with the idea that she would one day become the editor. But after two years, she came to realize that wasn’t going to happen. So it was perfect timing when the call came from the University of Texas at Austin, which was looking for a director of its school of journalism. “I just happened to get a call one day from a young woman who was on the search committee at Texas,” she recalled. “The women on the committee were very upset that they had three finalists and they were all white males. The women wanted a woman in the pool, so they said to go find one.” Eventually, the woman got Branham’s name and reached out to her. “I had been an adjunct in the past at Temple. I always liked teaching,” she noted. “I thought maybe I’ll go do this for awhile and I’ll go back to journalism. So I went for the interview,

they liked me and I got the job.” Although Branham has been in the field for decades — both as a reporter and an educator —she is concerned about the future of journalism and how to prepare students. She cited financial pressures, the changes brought on by technology, the public’s view and the White House’s view of the media, entertainment news, and the demise of local newspapers. “We have a president that is seeking to undermine journalism and convince people that journalists are enemies of the people. Our ratings among the public are going down; people often think that journalists can’t be trusted,” she said. “People don’t understand, as they once did I think, how important journalism is to a democratic society, why journalism matters,” she remarked. She often shares with students one of her favorite quotes from Thomas Jefferson. Although he was not necessarily a great friend of the press of his day, he said that if he had to choose between a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, he would prefer the latter. “Nowadays, you actually have in many parts of government, people who do see the press as an enemy,” she said. “It never occurred to me that people might actually challenge the First Amendment, and that there might be courts that would not look an Being a Gentlem The Lost Art of Harold Miller:

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favorably on the First Amendment,” she said. “But as I see the courts being stacked, and people with a certain bent being put in these positions, I worry. Could we become one of those countries that throw journalists in jail? That shut down media and newspapers and other media organizations because they don’t like what they’re doing? It’s very disturbing,” she added. “We’re at a very disturbing time in our history. And it’s not helped by the fact that we’ve lost a lot of credibility with the public, and we really have to work to regain that,” she said. She said part of the reason the public has lost faith is the rise of entertainment and opinion journalism, and the demise of local papers. “People loved their local paper; their local papers covered their local news. The media, for people, has just become this detached organization off in Washington or New York that you don’t relate to anymore, Branham said. “They’re shells of themselves, or they’ve gone away, or they’ve been bought up by conglomerates and people don’t recognize them as their papers anymore,” she added. She’s candid about the future of journalism, but what about her future? “I’m thinking about that now. David was dean for 18 years. I don’t know if I want to be dean for 18 years,” she noted. “I may go back to teach for awhile when I do that.”

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Wendy Meyerson Promoter-in-chief of nutritional supplements and vitamins having the ‘tyme’ of her life By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


perating Natur-Tyme has brought Wendy Meyerson full circle. Meyerson grew up in Syracuse in the shadow of her father, Stan Meyerson, a pharmacist who later founded NaturTyme. Meyerson always felt drawn to work in the retail industry. A confessed “clothes horse,” Meyerson thought it would be retail clothing. In fact, her first job as a 16-year-old was in retail clothing at ShoppingTown Mall in Dewitt. She recalled a manager mentored her on customer service. “Paired with my experience with my father, that was a good foundation,” Meyerson said. She later studied marketing and advertising at Cazenovia College before moving to Houston, where she worked in management in retail


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clothing for 20 years. Anytime she mentioned a health issue to her father, a package containing a supplement would soon arrive on her doorstep, along with her father’s directions as to its use. She came back to the health field when she moved back to the area in 1998 and started working with her father’s businesses. By then, Stan had begun a mail order catalog business, NEEDS, as well as Natur-Tyme. “I did not know about natural health at that time, but I had retail in my blood,” Meyerson said. “I thought I’d be involved in clothing, not natural foods, but I immersed myself.” Per Stan’s encouragement, she studied Earl Mindell’s “Vitamin Bible.” “He said to learn one thing about each item in it,” Meyerson said. “That started my journey.”

The more Meyerson learned, the more she realized that for both her success as a retailer and to improve her health and that of her two sons, she needed to incorporate nutritional supplements, healthful foods and natural products into her life. At first, she didn’t use any products from Natur-Tyme. But now, “I’m 98 percent there,” Meyerson said. “I do attribute my customers to helping me take that journey by spending time with them and hearing their stories of success in making lifestyle changes. It got me saying, ‘There has to be something there.’” She believes that she has experienced resolution of health issues she experienced prior to embarking on her newfound healthful life. She likes an integrative approach that’s balanced.

Meyerson at her store Feb. 25. Photo by Chuck Wainwright April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


“There’s so much technology and advancement in medicine that’s wonderful,” Meyerson said, “but it’s about balance.” She has relied heavily upon her employees’ knowledge, and feels blessed to have workers such as Karen Fisk, who worked with her father and is still with Natur-Tyme 35 years later as a wellness educator. She has known Meyerson for 19 years. “She’s a visionary, which sounds trite, I know, but her father never saw this coming, with the cafe, salon, and other additions to the store,” Fisk said. “She’s always looking to see what the community requires, does right by her employees and entertains new science. “Her father was ahead of his time and always kept his eye on science and traditional medicine. She learned from him.” Fisk said Meyerson “is fun and funny and a little outrageous, which we like.” Her bubbly personality helped her earn a spot hosting “Nutritional Insights” live on WSYR radio for 12 years, interviewing nutritional experts. The experience helped her learn a lot about health. “I wouldn’t put myself on the expert level, but I can find someone who is,” Meyerson said. In 2001, Meyerson purchased the business and has continued prioritizing her household’s health by transitioning to more natural foods and home, health and beauty items. “I feel that I have created a much healthier environment for myself and my family and have learned a tremendous amount about it,” Meyerson said. “I’m certainly still connected to allopathic medicine and all it has to offer. I like to use an integrative approach. There’s a balance.” A self-named “department store girl” regarding cosmetics, Meyerson never thought she would find things at a health foods store that would meet and even exceed her standards for product performance. She has been amazed at the effectiveness of the products at Natur-Tyme.

Process of reevaluation She maintains an extensive supplement regimen, and, as she advises her clients, re-evaluates her supplements to make sure they’re still 32

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Meyerson at her Natur-Tyme store in Syracuse. working for her. “Talk with someone who can help you assess what you’re doing,” Meyerson said. Meyerson enjoys working at the business with her husband, Andy Fox. But it’s hard at times to leave work at the office. “When you’re a small business owner, it’s round-theclock, emotionally, physically and intellectually,” she said. “It doesn’t stop.” While being passionate about health helps Meyerson succeed at Natur-Tyme, it’s been hard to achieve a work-life balance. She watched her father work 18-hour days to build the businesses. “To be ahead, exciting and creative

and keep the attention of the public takes a lot of time,” Meyerson said. “Their attention is being grabbed in so many directions as to where they buy, where they get information, and who they interact with. It gets harder and harder.” In addition to Natur-Tyme, Meyerson runs NEEDS (www.needs. com) from the same building. NEEDS is an internet mail order business her father started almost 30 years ago. NEEDS focuses on chemical sensitivity and chronic fatigue issues. She and and her husband also operate Natural Dispensary (www., a patient fulfillment program for doctors who want their patients to take supplements. Hundreds of physicians across

the country can use the passwordprotected website. Though Meyerson’s father didn’t start Natural Dispensary, “he was way ahead of his time and he trademarked the name,” she said. When husband came into the business after Meyerson’s father died, he developed this division of the business and used the name his late father-in-law had trademarked. Meyerson and Natur-Tyme have weathered a few unwanted changes in the retail world, such as the rise of big box stores and the faltering of many small, independent shops. She believes that staying relevant to her loyal customers has helped Natur-Tyme

thrive, such as using social media and special events to stay connected. She has learned over the years that she can only control what she does in her business, not what competitors do. Meyerson especially loves the marketing and promotion aspects of the business. She plans to host NaturTyme’s 18th annual health fair April 8 at the Horticulture building at the New York State Fairgrounds. The event will feature Daphne Oz and numerous other well-known speakers. “That’s the fun part of the job — to help educate Central New York with new, creative ideas and products,” Meyerson said. “This industry is now

Wendy Meyerson at a Glance Age: 58 Home: Manlius Husband: Andy Fox Children: Two sons Exercise: Daily elliptical training. “It’s easy on my body. I work with a physical therapist so I can get stronger. They’re extremely knowledgeable; I’m very fortunate.” Favorite hobby: Travel, including the Baltic nations, Europe and a trip with the grandchildren to Disney World. Meyerson keeps hundreds of Mickey Mouse-themed items in her office. She and her husband like to travel to Texas to visit her grandson, 5, and granddaughter, 2. Bucket list: They hope to visit Australia someday, and visit more of Europe. Life philosophy: “My husband lives with a chronic condition, so it puts life in perspective. We try to live life to the fullest within those parameters, never knowing what life will bring.” Sense of style: “I never dress down. I try to leave the house put together and looking my best. I’m age-appropriate, but keep on trendS. I have my basics, and like to have some color and fun added to an outfit.” Favorite treat: “My weekly massage helps me let it go and work through the kinks and stresses and get ready to face the next week.” Best girls’ night out: Shopping for clothing. “That’s my release. I try to support the small, local retailers when I can.” Favorite foods: “I’m a fruit and vegetable kind of gal. I am trying

to learn to cook a little bit more. That’s new for me, as I have been intimidated by it. I’m not fancy. I am learning to use some spices and trying to expand my horizons a little. I’ll never be a gourmet chef. I’ll put it that way.” What she is reading: “I’m staying very up-to-date with current events. I’m trying to get a balanced view of everything. I don’t know if it’s possible.” How she gives back: “In 2016, The Wise Business Center asked me to be on the advisory board. At first, I was intimidated by it. I said that at this time in my life, it’s time to start thinking about what I have to contribute, so I jumped in. It’s been a learning experience. I’m still serving on the board as they just asked me to extend my time. I’m trying to teach myself to find ways that I can contribute to the business world. It’s hard to recognize other areas to contribute to the community. It’s not easy. It’s something that requires preparation. “I have to keep questioning myself and validating myself. It’s a new phase and direction. It comes naturally to some people who have been leaders all their life. I’ve met dynamic women and their mission is incredible. The mission of The Wise Business Center is incredible, too, helping women make their vision reality with support and knowledge. For someone who’s been in business and has done things every day that are comfortable, it was time to step outside myself.”

mainstream. It’s not on the peripheral anymore.” She has enjoyed watching complementary medicine grow, mostly through consumer demand. “Hopefully, we have contributed in a small way here at Natur-Tyme,” Meyerson said. “My father has had that vision early on. I hope his legacy has continued on. “In the old days, you went in and your doctor told you what to do. But doctors need conversations and dialogue with patients and patients need acceptance to think outside the box. We’ve come a long way, and we have a long way to go.” She hopes current generation of doctors obtains more exposure to this in medical school to have a more open mind. “I understand they want a science-based approach and hopefully we’re getting there,” she said. Public trust in supplements has wavered in light of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s crackdown on supplement manufacturers in 2015, which revealed that many supplements from among four store brands found at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart lacked the herbs on their labels and often contained fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and wild radish. “As in any industry, there’s good plumbers and good contractors and not so good,” Meyerson said. “We certainly have to do due diligence the same as when we shop for a car or whatever we do.” She encourages people to work with a trusted practitioner or health foods store and to ask questions. “Don’t assume because someone says something it’s so,” she said. “I applaud everyone who is looking to take care of themselves or feel they have a deficit in some area they want to support. That’s positive. But you have to still do your homework and ask questions and educate yourself and work with your practitioner to make sure your pharmaceuticals are good companions to the supplements you’re taking. You have to be smart.” She wants customers at NaturTyme to feel visually stimulated by the store, and to take home some new knowledge so they can take further steps in accomplishing their wellness goals.

April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS




Who Will Hold Your POA? Experts: Be careful selecting a person to hold your power of attorney By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


power of attorney (POA) is a legal document you give an individual who will then be able to make financial decisions on your behalf. The springing power of attorney becomes effective once the person becomes incapacitated, but proving incapacity can take months. Until then, bills can pile up unpaid. A durable POA can be used without proving incapacity. While it may seem easy to simply get joint accounts with your spouse and skip naming a power of attorney, retirement accounts and other financial vehicles aren’t joint. Only the person named can take money out until his beneficiary receives the money upon death. It’s all about trust, according to Mark Buttiglieri, director of social work at Upstate Medical University. Legally, a POA can actually empty your bank accounts. He advises clients to select a trustworthy relative such as a spouse or adult child. Buttiglieri thinks it’s smart to have the attorney hold the original POA for safety. While it may seem more sensible to choose the daughter who’s good with finances, but of dubious character over the son who’s considerate but terrible at balancing his checkbook, Buttiglieri said that character should trump math skills. It’s legal — and generally advisable — to obtain outside help in financial planning as a POA. Selecting a trustworthy child with an untrustworthy spouse may seem unwise; however, only the person named as POA may access the assets. Still, a very controlling and manipulative spouse could force the POA to abuse the person’s finances. The person drafting the POA paperwork can include a provision for


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a monitor to look over the shoulder of the POA. Trust may be why many don’t. People may also feel self-conscious about appointing a monitor to someone they’re supposed to trust. Or that the POA will feel the person lacks trust in the POA’s honesty or ability to make financial decisions. Although abuse of a POA is rare, it can happen. Even a generally honest POA may “borrow” money and become unable to repay it, such as to buoy up a failing business or repay money owed to someone else. It’s ideal to select a POA who’s financially stable as well as honest. “It should be someone you have complete trust in,” said Raymond Dague, partner and attorney with Dague & Martin, P.C., Attorneys at Law in Syracuse. “Pick someone who does not have financial or other obvious problems that would create difficulties in managing your money. I don’t want a chronic alcoholic or drug addict or someone who manages his own money so poorly he’s in deep debt and filing bankruptcy. Clients say they want their oldest son to handle it, so I say, ‘Tell me about him. How does he manage money? Is his marriage solid? Does he have any difficulties? Does he drink a lot or gamble?’ Those could be red flags.” Those who don’t have a trustworthy relative to select Dague as POA can hire an agency or attorney to serve as POA. Though they charge a fee, their insurance covers loss if anything goes wrong.

Dague added that physical distance can also make a difference for someone who’s suddenly incapacitated and needs bills paid. Could the son who lives in California get here in time to pay the mortgage and electric bill? People setting up a POA should also consider a statutory gift rider. Without it, people naming a POA can give them a maximum of $500 total per year. The statutory gift rider permits the POA to transfer money to himself to hold it should the principal need to financially qualify for long-term care. People setting up a POA can choose the amount for the statutory gift rider.

What is a POA A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to sign documents and conduct transactions on another person’s behalf. A person who holds a power of attorney is sometimes called an attorney-in-fact. Powers of attorney are a common estate planning document: many people sign a financial power of attorney, known as a durable power of attorney, to give a friend or family member the power to conduct financial transactions for them if they become incapacitated. People also commonly sign health care powers of attorney to give someone else the authority to make medical decisions if they are unable to do so. Powers of attorney have other uses as well. You might give someone power of attorney to act in a particular transaction if you cannot do it yourself, such as signing documents at a real estate closing when you are out of town. Source:

We invite you to join us in creating a legacy gift through your will or financial plans. Together we can do great things for Central New York. Dr. Michael & Rissa Ratner

For them it’s personal! Upstate legacies: lifesaving and life-changing Mike and Rissa Ratner love kids; it’s that simple. Rissa has been a teacher for 41 years. She could have retired long ago but she sees teaching more as a vocation than a job. Mike recently retired after 40 years as a highly regarded pediatric surgeon at Upstate golisano children’s Hospital. For years, the Ratners have generously supported the Children’s Hospital. With Mike’s retirement, they decided to create a legacy gift with the Upstate Foundation. The gift plan arrangement they selected will pay them income for the remainder of their lives and create a long-term gift that will enable nurses at the Children’s Hospital to continue their education. as Mike puts it, “it’s terrific! You can have your cake and eat it, too!” Both Mike and Rissa have touched the lives of countless children and their families in profound ways. Through a legacy gift to the Upstate Foundation, they will continue to do so beyond their lifetimes. it’s also personal for you since every Upstate legacy dollar stays right here in Central New York to help assure happy, healthy and longer lives for your loved ones, friends and neighbors.

For free and confidential information on how to make a low cost, high impact legacy gift contact, or have your professional advisor contact, John Gleason at 315-464-4416 or email us today at Our legal name is THE UPSTATE FOUNDATION INC. April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS




Life In The

Spotlight The show goes on for lifelong thespian Inez Parker By Payne Horning

Inez Parker is a member of Oswego Players, a local community theater company, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. Parker has been with the group for 60 years. Photo courtesy of Marianne Natoli.


hen Inez Parker reflects on her life, she remembers it not in pieces, but in performances. The feisty, quick-witted 77-yearold loves to recount her time on stage when she was an employee at SUNY Oswego and a member of the Oswego Players, a local community theater company. She bounces from one memory of a show to another, often reciting the lines and even breaking into the songs from performances she delivered decades ago. “Theater has been a huge, huge part of my life,” Parker said. “It’s been fun, and I have loved it.” Although she’s now retired from SUNY Oswego, Parker is still a pivotal member of The Oswego Players. The organization is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year; Parker has been there for 60 of them. She’s a second-generation member. Her father, Norman Manor, drew Parker into the theater when he commissioned her help for his performances. “He had big roles,” Parker said. “My father was a leading-man-type person because he was a handsome man — he looked like Don Johnson — and he would have trouble learning


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lines. So he and I would sit up in my bedroom on my bed and I would do lines with him.” As Manor continued with the Players, Parker developed the itch to get on stage herself. “To see him up on the stage was a thrill — was just a thrill,” Parker said. “I already had the bug when I was a kid because of my father.” Parker says performing came naturally to her, whether it was acting or singing. She joined the Players and participated in productions in high school. Post-graduation, Parker got a job at SUNY Oswego’s Penfield Library, where she would go on to work for 41 years. But the college, rather than the library, turned out to be the best fit for Parker.

Ready for her close up

After working full days at Penfield Library, Parker would stay on campus. That’s when her theatrical career came to life. She was one of the founding members of the Oswego Opera Theatre, serving as both a cast member and the organization’s secretary. The group of professional singers, college employees and students staged dozens of operas, musicals and galas. It was

led by James Soluri, a professor of music at SUNY Oswego who was responsible for bringing Parker from the library to the theater. “I studied with him and I learned a lot from him,” Parker said. “He was a wonderful musician.” Parker continued working with the Oswego Players, but she was “up to her eyeballs” with the opera. That work included starring in, and later coproducing, the group’s annual summer musical, where she formed some of her fondest memories on stage. “I did Cousin Nettie in ‘Carousel’ and it’s one of my most favorite things,” Parker said. “She sings ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and out of the seven performances we did, every night I got a standing ovation. It was thrilling to say the least.” Her other favorite roles include playing Lady Thiang in “The King and I” and Little Buttercup in the opera “H.M.S. Pinafore.” That’s where she got to perform with Craig Schulman, a former SUNY Oswego student who went on to a successful Broadway career. He’s the only actor to have performed the lead roles in “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Les Miserables” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” The two became very close friends.

In addition to the summer musicals, Parker also participated in the college’s dinner theater shows. That’s where she played Momma Morton in “Chicago,” a performance she dedicated to her father because he passed away while she was in rehearsal. “I said to my mother, ‘what will I do?’” Parker said. “My mother asked, ‘What the hell do you mean, what will you do? You’re an actress. You go act.’ And that I got from my father. The show goes on and you go on with it.”

Playing around

When Parker wasn’t doing shows at SUNY Oswego, she would travel to Syracuse to perform with the Syracuse Musical Drama Company. But most of her credits have been with the Oswego Players. Parker has served the organization as an actress, director, stage manager and its longest serving president — 16 years in total. “She’s a real pillar of the Oswego Players,” said Paul McKinney, president of the Oswego Players. McKinney says he has relied on Parker ’s input and knowledge of the organization since he took on the job of president. She’s the oldest active member of the Players, and has served in various positions on the board of directors since her last term as president ended in 2012. Parker says when she’s involved with an organization, she’s involved all of the way. Sonia Berlin, a board member who joined the Oswego Players in 2000, can attest to that. She says Parker devotes hours each day to the organization. “A lot of people have a tendency to come in and do one show for the year and that’s their show and then they’re done,” Berlin said. “But we’re involved with everything.” That includes fundraising, costuming, advertising and running the box office. “If I can’t make a commitment, she’s always there to pick it up,” Berlin said. “If we need someone to meet someone – I don’t care if it’s meet the repair man or someone to check the fire extinguishers – she readily gives of herself any time she’s asked.” Perhaps Parker ’s biggest contribution to the Oswego Players has been as a director. She has directed at least one show for the organization

each year for decades, including many of its blockbuster summer musicals. Several members who direct now first learned the ropes from Parker. “That’s why I do theater, because you can create and make it alive and real,” Parker said. Directing also offers Parker a chance to continue contributing to the Oswego Players productions despite a few challenges as the years have passed. She lost her singing voice in the early 2000s and developed sclerosis, leaving her with two rods in her back. But those obstacles haven’t sidelined Parker entirely. She’s played supporting roles in a few shows and returned to the stage for a leading role last year in the Players’ production of “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” by Neil Simon. “I hadn’t been on stage to have a [leading] role in over 12 years,” Parker said. “And I tell you, it felt just like it did when I was a kid. It was

wonderful. It was so much fun to do.” McKinney directed Parker in the play. He said it was difficult for her to commit so many lines to memory after such a long break from acting. But she “worked her tail off” and it was a success, he said. “I think the best part of that whole experience was to see her on stage again,” McKinney said. “When she’s on stage, the stage lights up. She has many, many fans and followers who look forward to seeing her. People came up afterward to me to say thank you, that’s why they came.” That’s the one part of theater that a lot of people don’t realize, Parker says. You can do anything if you make your mind up to it.


Parker ’s faith is equally as important to her identity. She’s a longtime member of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Oswego.

Quick-witted 77-year-old loves to recount her time on stage when she was an employee at SUNY Oswego and a member of the Oswego Players, a local community theater company. Photo courtesy of Marianne Natoli April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


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It’s where she met her ex-husband John Parker Jr., with whom she had her only child Victoria in 1974. Parker has served as a singer, reader and a Eucharistic minister at the church. She also helps coordinate the fundraisers, including a book sale, spring luncheon and – no surprise – a dinner theater show that she stages at the Church of the Resurrection. She lives for the theater – and even nearly died for it. During a production of “Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad,” Parker’s character was being murdered on stage when the lines between fiction and reality started to blur. “There’s a scene where he tries to eliminate her,” Parker said. “He had this pillow and he was killing me to the music and I turned my head and I started to black out because he had the damn pillow over my face and he was so into it. Thank God the [rotating set] started to turn and I was able to gasp for air.” The experience might have deterred some from returning to the stage, but Parker’s irreverent sense of humor wouldn’t let her see it that way. That’s what makes theatre fun, she says. “The affection I feel for this organization is unbounded. I mean it,” Parker said. “I’m very proud of it.” She admits that the Oswego Players faces its share of challenges, namely that many of the core members like her are older. “I still have energy, and I have people like Sonia who have boundless energy,” Parker said. “But you know, we’ve done it all for so many years. We’re tired. I don’t have the same pizzazz I did and I don’t have the same connections I did.” Parker says the organization needs youth, and the continuing support of the local community. But both Berlin and McKinley say it’s nothing she can’t handle. Parker has been with the organization through tough times before, like when the county and city pulled its funding from the group. Parker, who calls herself the little train who thought she could and did, isn’t giving up. “I will continue with the Players as long as I live. Period,” Parker said. “And I mean that with all of my heart. That is truth. As long as the Lord gives me breath in my body.”



By Aaron Gifford

Rules are Rules! Golf purist explains what a real score is all about


teve McCall is not your typical golf nut. Yes, he loves to play the game competitively, teach the game to enthusiasts of all levels and watch the game whenever he is not playing it. But there is also a place in his heart for, of all things, the rules. “Imagine that,” he said with a laugh during a recent interview. “It’s also called being a fan of the purist form of the game.” McCall, 56, of Baldwinsville, was perplexed by the trend he’s noticed over the years: An abundance of advanced players that don’t know all 34 rules of the game. So he wrote a book with the idea of promoting a cleaner round of golf. He started the project nearly 20 years ago, in between working a fulltime job, raising a family and getting on the course as often as he could. In 2017, “What’s My Score: A Fun Exercise in the Rules of Golf,” was finally published. It’s available on the Amazon website or at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Clay for $11.95. “I guess the rationale behind it was, so many players knew how to swing the club and hit the ball,” he said, “but they didn’t know what to do after they hit it. When you penalize yourself, that’s how you learn.” McCall said the feedback from those who have purchased the book has been great — Barnes and Noble has already restocked it, he said. “What’s My Score” does not read like a typical rulebook. Instead, the publication is one part poetry and one part instructions guide. It has a glossy cover and features penciled illustrations by Kyle Krahl for every hole/chapter. McCall, who is employed as a food broker, may not have realized until he started penning the book that he has an artistic side to him. And while the content is very informative, it’s also

quite humorous. In the preface, for example, the author notes: “Ever since my father told me to keep quiet while a pro was putting (mind you, we were watching the television), I have had this desire and fondness for the game.” Each chapter begins with a collection of rhymes, and then the following page provides a comparison of what the golfer thinks he scored compared to what his score would be if the exact rules were applied. The official regulations of golf are explained in a straightforward manner free of any boring, technical jargon. “I arrive to find my faith strengthened by the Lord. My ball is inbounds by in inch, no less, no more! Just a small issue, as I cannot make a swing. For the white stake is in my way. I’ll just move the stupid thing. I pull out the stake, and it comes out with such ease. And my next shot is so gorgeous, it brings me to my knees. The game of my life, this is definitely, my day. As I tap for an easy par, things are going my way,” reads the first page of Hole 14, which pertains to a 180-

Book by Baldwinsville resident, Steve McCall. It’s available on the Amazon website or at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Clay for $11.95.

yard, par 3 challenge. On the following page, McCall notes that the golfer thinks he scored a 3 on that hole. But his score should really be a 5, due to rule 13-2 — “ball played as it lies.” The rule states that a player is not allowed to move, break or bend anything growing or fixed, including immovable obstructions and objects defining out of bounds, like a white stake. This could also include breaking off a tree branch, or attempting to pat down grass in the immediate vicinity of the ball. The penalty for this infraction is two strokes.

Bunker banter

By contrast, McCall also provides an example where the golfer, on a 379yard par 4 hole, unnecessarily elects to drop his ball to a different spot in a sand trap and take a penalty stroke rather than risk striking his ball into a rake that would otherwise block the shot. “I reach the crime scene, only to discover the rake is so close to my ball, you’d think it was his lover! How can I move this rake without moving my ball? I am in a bunker, and can’t move the ball at all. I’ll take a drop and add one penalty stroke. And thoughts of a great round have turned into a joke.” On the following page, however, McCall notes that under Rule 24-1, the rake is considered a “moveable” obstruction. The golfer could have moved the rake with no penalty as long as the ball was not touching it, and if the ball was not moved in the process of getting the rake out of the way. “Well, that one is pretty simple,” McCall wrote. “Don’t be afraid to ask your competitors for these type of rulings. Great to have a rule book with you as well.” But some of the other rules aren’t as simple. Consider Rule 8-1, which McCall explains using a 175-yard par 3 as an example: April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


“ A l t h o u g h I m a d e p a r, m y opponent made a bird. He’s hitting first, now I’m hitting third. The distance is troubling. What club should I pick? He is hitting his 7, for I see his 6 and his 8. My confidence grows stronger, I can hardly wait!” On the next page, the rule states that the golfer must not give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course other than his partner. Nor can the golfer ask advice from anyone other than his partner or their caddies. The penalty for such an infraction is two strokes. But in this scenario, the golfer was not in breach of the rule because he did not ask his opponent what club he was using; he just made an observation. If the golfer touched his opponent’s bag and, say, moved a towel to get a closer look at what club had been pulled out, that would have been an infraction. The book also notes that even some of the best players in the world aren’t always aware of every rule. Case in point: the 1987 San Diego Open. PGA great Craig Stadler put a towel on the ground before dropping to his knees to take a shot from underneath

low-hanging tree branches, protecting his expensive pants from grass stains. He was unaware of rule 13-2 that bars a player from improving the area of his intended stance or swing — That’s a two-stroke penalty. Stadler signed his scorecard without acknowledging the rule, and was subsequently disqualified. “That cost him $37,000,” McCall wrote, “which is way more costly than a pair of pants.” So just how much of a stickler is McCall for the rules? He won’t confront unknowing rule-breakers on a course if he does not know them, as long as they display general etiquette for not damaging the grounds and not disrupting others around them. If players are betting on holes and making the game competitive, then McCall is more than happy to lend advice about playing a clean round of golf. McCall started golf at the age of 5. He caddied for his mother, Jane, who played competitively and coordinated local junior leagues. He remembers building a two-hole course behind his home as a child and imagining that Pat Summerall was calling his shots. His

father, Tom McCall, a retired General Electric engineer, still plays five days a week at the age of 89. McCall played on golf teams through high school and college (SUNY Fredonia squad captain) and continued his competitive play into adulthood through tournaments, earning the President’s Cup and the club championship at his home course, Beaver Meadows in Phoenix. He still gets out on the course three times a week during the warmer months, and takes at least one annual golf trip down south. His grown sons, Tim and Robert, also play, as does his wife, Diane. With age, McCall has noticed some lower back pain in recent years. He exercises at the YMCA and started taking yoga. “It’s hard, but very beneficial,” he said of the stretches and postures. “So far my practice swing feels better. I’m hoping it will help me.” McCall cherishes the times he can join his wife and sons for a round. Those occasions are special enough where maybe — just maybe —- the golf purist can pretend not to notice “if my wife fluffs the ball on the grass just a little bit,” he quipped.

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life after 55 By Michele Reed


Double Decker Buses, Tiny Trains and Side Trips: Travelers’ Best Friends

hen we were planning our first visit to France, and flying in to Barcelona, a friend from Oswego gave us the best travel advice: “Always use the first day in a new city to take the hop-on, hop-off city tour bus.” We’d never done such a thing before and, frankly, we prided ourselves on our “hit the ground and explore like a local” method of travel – which basically means walking the streets and exploring shops, restaurants and museums we find along the way until our feet give out. But he provided a brochure for the bus in Barcelona and insisted that we try his method. We soon learned that, for adult travelers in a European city, it was the perfect solution. We bought a two-day ticket and used the first day to just look at everything the city had to offer. From the open top deck of a big red bus, we could see famous Camp Nou, which houses the championship FC Barcelona soccer team, the 1992 Olympic village, historic harbor and the castle on Mont Juic. We got great views of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Cathedral, under construction for the past 100 years, and the Modernista creations of architect Antoni Gaudi and his early 20th Century contemporaries. Headphones provided commentary in close to two dozen languages from all around the world. The booklet that came with the ticket gave a description of what was at each stop and coupons for discounted admission to attractions. The next day we were able to plan an itinerary for ourselves, and use the bus to visit places we would never be able to walk to on foot. It was so successful, in fact, that every subsequent trip to Barcelona, when we welcome new visitors to our French home, we take them on the city bus tour and plan our second day of adventures around whatever intrigues them. We’ve seen most of the great sights in Barcelona that way. And at


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Our small group tour gave us a peek at St. Jean Cap Ferrat, playground of the rich and famous, on the French Riviera. Photos by Bill Reed

Our minivan tour winds through the colorful streets of Monaco.

about $35 each for a two-day ticket, it more than pays for itself in the money we save over taxi cabs to get to the more far-flung attractions. The lack of sore knees and blistered toes is just a bonus! Another great find is the little white “train.” We first encountered it in the beach town of Argeles-sur-Mer, where we spent two winters while exploring our options for a more permanent base in France. We thought it was just a feature of that touristy town, but we soon found that our new adopted city of Beziers had one, and so did Nice and Marseilles. Apparently it’s not just a French phenomenon, as we’ve seen the little train on episodes of “House Hunters International” set in Spain and Italy, too. So it must be a southern European specialty. The little open air “train” cars, no wider than an automobile and pulled by a tractor dressed up like a locomotive, are narrow enough to drive right on the twisty medieval streets of the old town. Riders listen on headphones explaining the sights in several languages as the trains take them to the main attractions of each town. In Beziers, the train stops at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi, which links the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, cutting a swath across France. A bridge carries the canal over the Orb River and you can walk its length and marvel at the 17th-Century engineering feat. Beziers Cathedral is another stop on the train tour, and riders can hop off and explore the 13th-Century structure before returning to the center of town. In Nice, the Petit Train took us through the Old Town, where we saw the harbor, the Old City Hall and Opera House. We visited the Colline du Chateau or Castle Hill, a ruined citadel that guarded the city centuries ago. Now a park, intricate mosaics and statuary decorate the grounds, along with secluded glens and an impressive waterfall. The train gives ample time for exploring on foot, including a lookout point with magnificent views of Nice harbor below. We’d never have been able to climb the hill on which these attractions are perched, so for adult travelers, the little train is a definite travel perk. And at about $8 a ticket for a half-day of adventure, it is a bargain to boot. Our final travel tip is the guided side trip. We thought these were only

We enjoy a bird’s eye view of Barcelona — including ornate modernistadesigned ironwork — from the top of a city tour bus. Photo by Bill Reed available as add-ons to cruises and guided bus tours. But we learned that they are available through most cities’ tourist offices, and also on the internet. Your hotel reception desk can arrange a tour and the concierge will have brochures and full information about the options. They usually know which tour is the most reliable and has the best tour guides. We went with one our Nice hotel clerk recommended, through a company called Viator. Our driver picked us up in the hotel lobby and spoke perfect English. He had a lot of knowledge about the local attractions. Our half-day tour from Nice took us to the perfume-making town of Eze, where we climbed the steep hill to the neoclassical 18th-century church. Some of our fellow travelers chose to visit the perfume factory, where fragrances are made from the flowers that grow so abundantly there, and enjoyed the sampling and sales. One elderly man couldn’t do the walking for either outing and the driver suggested a nice café where he could enjoy a croissant and coffee while watching the world go by. Our final stop was Monaco, where we saw the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace, Princess Grace’s tomb in the Cathedral, Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s Yellow Submarine, and the famous Casino at Monte Carlo. The beauty of a small group tour is its flexibility. When I expressed a desire to see the Formula 1 course, our driver, a fellow racing fan, drove

us along the entire route of the famous road race. An added thrill was the fear factor — the minivan clung to the edge of the narrow twisty road as we drove down the Grande Corniche from Monte Carlo, reminding us of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly’s chase scene in “To Catch a Thief.” If you search the internet, you will see that a private tour of this type — visiting the very same sites — will cost you several hundred dollars. But by choosing the small-group option and sharing a minivan with up to eight people, we saved substantially. The entire half-day tour cost us $60 each, and a longer, full-day, version ran $100. There’s the added bonus of meeting some interesting fellow travelers. We shared our ride with a banker and his wife from Boston, a British couple and a retired teacher from Australia. So for adult travelers looking to explore European cities, our best advice is: Look for the big red bus, the little white train and the minivan side tour. Your wallet — and your feet — will thank you. 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. April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


aging By Marilyn L. Pinsky

Don’t Let Our Injuries Define Us


A new way to look at chronic pain

n the last few decades, physical therapy has become an essential part of medical care. It often comes into our lives after an injury or an operation and the goal is to get us back to functioning the way we were before. “The usual role of a physical therapist is to provide hands-on therapy to correct a problem and to teach patients exercises that they should do at home,” said Katherine Beissner, dean of the College of Health Professions at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “Recently, there has been a major change in the way we talk to patients, especially about chronic pain. “Rather than focus on an anatomical cause of pain, we teach the patient about the nature of pain,” she added. Sometimes called pain neuroscience education, this approach reconceptualizes how we think of our pain. “Pain is like a fire alarm telling us that something is very wrong or that we are in imminent danger. This is very useful when we are on the verge of tissue damage (e.g., touching a hot stove) or in the acute stage of an injury. However, there is a major difference in acute pain and ongoing, chronic pain,” Beissner said. “Look at chronic pain as our system going off track — like a smoke alarm that just keeps ringing even though the fire has been put out,” Beissner said. “Our pain system continues to be fired but it is not really serving the purpose of warning us of dangers. Hurt does not always mean that something is going on that can harm us. “As we know from exercising, we can be sore but safe. We shouldn’t always assume that because we are getting a pain signal that something is wrong. Chronic pain is not doing us any good.” Pain neuroscience education helps patients understand that chronic pain 44

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Editor’s note: This is the continuation of Marilyn Pinsky’s discussion with Katherine Beissner, dean of the College of Health Professions at SUNY Upstate Medical University. itself is not necessarily doing damage to the body, but that it is a “pain system problem,” Beissner said. “If you have chronic pain, your doctor might refer you to a physical therapist to learn strategies to reduce pain and fear, improve movement and learn how to change your way of thinking about pain by learning how the nervous system functions,” she said. What an exciting new option for chronic pain sufferers to explore.

Get on your feet! There is not a day that goes by when there isn’t an article about the importance of exercise. Easier said than done. I asked Beissner: “How do you suddenly become an exerciser when you have not been athletic all your life?” “It is helpful to know that there are stages of change, that if you understand them, can get you to the point of exercising,” she said. “When you’re first presented with the option to exercise, there is the precontemplation stage where you won’t even consider it. “Second comes the contemplation change where you’re just giving it some thought. “Third comes the preparation stage and you start to make a plan in terms of where and how to exercise, what to wear, what do you need to buy, etc. And then, before you know it, you’ve reached the action phase where you just do it.” “Then there is the ‘fall off the

wagon and get back on’ stage which is common and should not be looked upon as defeat but as just another stage to be overcome.” What gets people to the contemplation stage in the first place? “Fear is a great motivator,” said Beissner. “For instance, you or a friend gets a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes or heart disease. You have heard the exact same message about the importance of exercising for years, but suddenly you realize that they’re talking about you. This perception of risk can either increase the likelihood of you taking action or you become so afraid that you start limiting what you do. “It is this ‘fear of movement’ that gets you set in sedentary ways that causes problems.” “And when you start feeling some aches and pains from exercising, don’t feel there is something terribly wrong and just stop,” Beissner said. “Look at the pain as a motivator to do more, but maybe do it differently. This is where a good physical therapist or trainer can help.” Beissner said she is an advocate for annual physical therapy exams. “We are not there yet as far as insurance reimbursement goes but in my mind it would be helpful as a prevention tool,” she said. “Go to a professional who works with all age ranges and who will meet you where you are in your exercise journey. Ask them for advice and recommendations for doing exercises differently or for new ones to try.” “If it hurts to do land exercises, exercising in a pool is a good option,” Beissner added. Vitality, an exercise program at the Institute for Human Performance at SUNY Upstate Medical University, or the YMCAs, the Jewish Community Center and other gyms with pools are all good sources with classes and instructors.

druger’s zoo By Marvin Druger

‘Take Me to Crouse’


Blocked intestine means lengthy hospital stay

oung, healthy teenagers believe that they are indestructible. They are filled with youthful exuberance and think they will never encounter any health issues. They don’t yet realize that, as they progress through life, they are very likely to get something that they don’t want. The human body is amazing, but it is unable to function perfectly forever. I have experienced many bumps and bruises along the pathway to aging. Each health experience leaves its mark and we learn something from it. I thought it might be interesting to share my latest health issue with readers, in the hope that the story may help them cope with the realities of aging. One Monday afternoon, I ate a prepared meal from a local supermarket. About an hour later, I had a pain in my stomach and I became violently ill. I thought that food poisoning was at hand. I called my son on the phone and yelled, “Take me to Crouse!” which is a familiar motto in the Syracuse area. The emergency room at Crouse Hospital was packed with people, many suffering from the flu. I patiently waited my turn and was given a CAT scan and X-rays. A number of doctors and nurses at Crouse were students of mine from my general biology course at Syracuse University. One of my former students, a doctor in the ER, said hello and reported that I did not have food poisoning. I had a blocked intestine. While I was lying on a bed in the emergency room, a doctor and an assistant entered. The doctor kept apologizing for some procedure that he was about to do. I didn’t think much about his comment, until he actually did the procedure. It involved inserting a nasogastric tube through my nose down the esophagus to the stomach to drain the stomach and

relieve bloating. For those of you who have had this procedure done, my comments will be no surprise. It was one of the worst experiences in my life. The doctor started putting the tube into my right nostril, but it didn’t seem to work. So, he switched to my left nostril. As he forced the tube through my nose to my stomach, I choked and screamed in agonizing pain. I recall thinking, “What sins did I commit to deserve this?” After the tube was in place, I was put in a hospital room. Intravenous tubing delivered fluids and I stayed there for four days, without eating any solid food at all. Worst of all, I couldn’t talk because of the NG tube in my throat. Talking is what I seem to do best (or most), and I was frustrated at not being able to converse with my roommate on the other side of a heavy curtain. I didn’t say anything to him for four days. (Maybe that was a blessing for him?) There was a large TV and a clock mounted on the wall in front of me. Since I didn’t feel well, I didn’t feel like watching TV. Nor could I read a book.

I did stare at the clock. Several doctors whom I knew dropped in to say hello, and we had friendly, one-way conversations. Other visitors were unwanted, but they came anyhow. My cell phone was constantly ringing with text messages from my family.

No place for lady friend I wasn’t very responsive, but it felt good to feel loved and cared about. My companion visited me, but I told her not to come anymore. I didn’t want her to see her “he-man” boyfriend immobilized with a tube down his nose. The nights were endless. Just when I would start drifting off to sleep, I was awakened by the familiar hospital call: “Time to check your vitals.” Nonetheless, the doctors, nurses and staff very much impressed me. Everyone was friendly, caring and competent. It is a wonderful feeling to know that you are helping another human being. Personally, I would be incapable of April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


eman Being a Gentl The Lost Art of Harold Miller:


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‘Being in a hospital bed for several days dulls your mind. You become listless and bored. You get into a state of numbness.’ working in a hospital to accomplish this outcome. I would be fearful of catching every disease that I encountered. I would be terrified that I would make a bad decision that would kill my patient. I tried to help people through my teaching of science to more than 45,000 students during my career. Everyone can find a way of helping others that fits his or her character and personality, and everyone can enjoy that wonderful feeling of satisfaction. Do something good for someone today and you’ll see. Being in a hospital bed for several days dulls your mind. You become listless and bored. You get into a state of numbness. You feel like life is blurred. Bowel functions finally started returning, but I could no longer stand the NG tube in my throat. The pain and discomfort was such that I could not sleep at all my last night in the hospital. 46

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I watched the clock every minute all night, wondering why the hands of the clock did not move faster. I thought about Albert Einstein, spacetime and his theory of relativity. I also thought, “This too shall pass.” The next morning, the doctor appeared. I said, “I can’t stand this NG tube.” He replied, “OK, we’ll take it out.” I tried to prepare myself for another episode of agony, like what I experienced when they inserted the tube. I closed my eyes and waited in fearful anticipation. There was a very brief choking sensation. “What happened?” I asked, “Aren’t you going to take it out?” “It’s out! It’s in the garbage,” he replied. Wow! What a relief! M y d a u g h t e r- i n - l a w d ro v e me home while I was in a state of exhaustion from not sleeping at all for a full night and from the overall hospital

$15 — 1 year $25 — 2 years

ordeal. When I left the hospital, I had the same feeling that I get after I drive through the Lincoln Tunnel leaving New York City and reach the open highway. Freedom, at last! As an addendum to my hospital adventure, I found out that, while I was in the hospital, my car‘s battery had died in the near-zero temperatures. I had forgotten to ask someone to start the car every day while I was hospitalized. It took a number of days to recover from this hospital adventure. Despite my admiration and respect for people in the medical profession, I want to avoid them as a patient. Unfortunately, the likelihood of illnesses increases dramatically as we move past 55-plus toward the inevitable. A gerontologist told me elderly people should try to avoid hospitals and nursing homes and exercise regularly. My advice to older people is to have as much fun as you can, laugh a lot, and squeeze in as many experiences as possible. There is always more to know and there is always a new adventure ahead.



By Sandra Scott The Stanley was built in 1928 by the same architect who built the Landmark in Syracuse.

10 Things to Do in Utica More than a gateway city


tica is a gateway city to the Adirondacks and 1000 Islands but the area is a destination unto its self. Today the city likes to call itself “The Renaissance City” — a city where new and exciting things are happening. The Hotel Utica has been beautifully restored and designated as a Historic Hotel of America; plus, there are several unique B&Bs like Blueberry Brook. Dine at one of the highly rated farm-to-table restaurants, shop at some of the area’s new boutiques and visit some of the area’s unique places. Be amazed at the variety of things to see

and do.


Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute: There are three components on the site: a museum, a Victorian Italianate mansion and the Pratt Institute (an adjunct of the Pratt Institute’s main Brooklyn campus). The museum has a large collection of internationally recognized works including Thomas Cole’s “Voyage of Life” plus exhibits of decorative arts, watches and stoneware. The Fountain Elms Mansion displays more art and furniture from the Victorian era including unique items

such as a courting candle. Check out the schedule of performing arts and classes.


F. X. Matt Brewing Company: The company is one of the oldest family-owned breweries in the United States. Take their tour, which starts in a beautiful, lavish room decorated with advertising memorabilia including Schultz and Dooley steins that were so successful in advertising Utica Club in the 1960s. Check out the stained-glass window above the door, the desk that was owned by P. T. Barnum, a 5.5-gallon April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS


stein designed by FX Matt II, and the three-disk symphonium (an early version of an English concertina) appraised at $1 million. The tour of the beer-making process ends with beer tasting in the historic bar.

3. A ride on the iconic Adirondack Railroad is a must-do

The Root Farm: The farm is named for dentist Alice Root, who had a passion for equine-assisted therapy. It has grown to include a horticulture center with a hydroponic garden and adventure center for the able-bodied and those with limited mobility. The equine center offers private lessons, adaptive riding, recreation riding, hippotherapy and vaulting. Try out the zip line and rock climbing wall. Unique is the “challenge course.” Its all-weather, all-terrain and all-purpose “action track” wheelchairs allow wheelchair-bound people to go just about anywhere. There is even one that will allow the individual to enjoy the outdoor walk in an upright position.


Utica Zoo: For over 100 years the zoo has been a place to commune with the animals. The zoo may be small but it offers many unique activities including animal encounters. Go inside the lions den, interact with the California sea lions, get up close and personal with the Nigerian dwarf goats and hand feed the red pandas and Najla the bactrian camel. Educational and fun programs are offered year-round. Check out the world’s largest watering can near the entrance. When needed it actually waters the plants.

F. X. Matt Brewing Company is one of the oldest family-owned breweries in the United States. It offers tours with beer tasting in the historic bar.

Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute in Utica is comprised of three components: a museum, a Victorian Italianate mansion and the Pratt Institute. 48

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Adirondack Railroad: A ride on the iconic Adirondack Railroad is a must-do. The most popular ride is the Polar Express but they offer other themed trips along with a variety of rides between Utica and Thendara (just a short hop from Old Forge). The Utica’s Union Station is one of those grand old stations with marble columns built by the same architect who designed Grand Central Terminal. Check out the wooden benches. They have heating ducts in them so travelers in the winter will feel warm and cozy. Some claim the station is haunted.


The Stanley: The Stanley reckons back to the day when movie theaters were called “palaces.” It was built in 1928 by the same architect

who built the Landmark in Syracuse. It is where Broadway comes to Utica but they also host a variety of other concerts and shows. Above the grand staircase (similar to the one on the Titanic) is a magnificent 6,500-pound chandelier that was constructed in Utica by the Meyda Tiffany Company. Tours are available by appointment.


Children’s Museum: Young and old will enjoy learning while having fun at the museum located next to Utica’s Union Station. There is something for everyone from an Iroquois longhouse to a puppet theater to a space explorations exhibit. There are plenty of hands-on activities. The staff offers a schedule of special activities. It is a good place to have a party.


Locavores paradise: Not many places have a food named after them. Utica Greens is a traditional Southern Italian dish of sautéed seasoned greens that first appeared on the scene in the 1980s at Chesterfield Restaurant. There are many variations — all tasty. Many of

the local restaurants are part of the farm-to-market concept including Tailor and the Cook Restaurant. Ocean Blue receives fresh oysters and other seafood daily. The Local Restaurant is housed in the repurposed library – the books are still there.


Unique: Meyda Tiffany offers tours of their workshop where they create one-of-a-kind light fixtures. Join a friendly painting class at Art & Vine, and in the fall watch cider pressed at the Clinton Cider Mill. Looking for an old magazine, book or poster? Stop at Berry Hill Book Shop with more than 80,000 items organized by subject in nearby Deansboro.


Events: Part of the re v i t a l i z a t i o n o f U t i c a includes a variety of events year-round. Celebrate winter at Boonville’s Snow Festival, welcome spring at Bass Pro Shop’s Spring Fishing Classic, and the 15K Boilermaker has been called the country’s best 15K race. Besides performance at The Stanley, the area is home to many musical events.

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Home: 315-468-3598 Cell: 315-256-5993 Web: Email: April / May 2018 - 55 PLUS




By Mary Beth Roach

Ruth Johnson Colvin, 101 Founder of Literacy Volunteers: Changing people’s lives through reading and language Q: You are 101 years of age — how does it feel? A: It’s just a number, and I happen to have a big number. It’s what you do with your number. You have to have an open mind. Q: You will be the commencement speaker at LeMoyne College in May. Can you summarize what you are planning to tell the graduates?  A: The only thing I’ll tell you — because I don’t want to tell you everything — is first of all congratulations. Then I’ll remind them it’s a lifelong learning. Even now, I, at 101, am still learning. Q: What are you still learning? A: You don’t know what you don’t know. You think, ‘Well, I know all about that.’ There’s much, much more out there beyond us. I was not a teacher, so starting literacy work was absolutely a new thing to me. It opened up a whole new career and lifelong learning. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from my mistakes. Take risks. If you don’t take some risks, you never get ahead. And some of those, you’re going to make mistakes on. I find I learn from my successes. I also learn from my mistakes. Q: What of your accomplishments are you the most proud? A: I think I’m most proud of the fact that we’re changing lives, we’re changing students’ lives through the reading and language. I often remind myself you’re also changing the lives of the tutors, including me, because we have opportunities as tutors to meet and talk with people of a different culture, of a different religion, of a different economic 50

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background, different race. And when you work together on a project, you forget about those things. And you learn more about them. I feel we’re one little part working on peace. I’m also proud of the honors. I find they bring awareness to the problem of illiteracy. And they recognize our literacy organization, giving us more recognition and support. Q: What keeps you motivated? A: I’m still teaching. I’m always doing research. The volunteers are wonderful. They deserve the best training. Also the students. They’ve had too many disappointments and discouragements. They need welltrained teachers, too. So, I’m always doing research in better training across the country. Q: You came to Syracuse in the ‘60s. What got you interested in the literacy issue? A: I knew of illiteracy around the world. I was aware of it because I’m a dedicated reader. And I had heard Dr. Frank Laubach. That got me interested in looking locally. When the 1960s census came out and said it’s in my city. Who are they? Why can’t they read? What are we doing about it? I did a little bit of research. Then I went to Syracuse University and talked with Dr. Frank Green. He had me meet with 20 of his Ph.D. reading specialists. That opened a big door for me. There were new ways to do things. And I found at Syracuse University, they were doing it. You have the person tell you what they want to learn. And that’s what I learned — learner-centered. My whole program is not curriculum-centered or teacher-centered. Find out what the student wants and then you have all

Ruth Colvin founded Literacy Volunteers, Inc. in Syracuse 1962, which in 1967 changed name to Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. and, in 2002, merged with Laubach Literacy International to become ProLiteracy. She will be the commencement speaker at LeMoyne College in May. Photo Courtesy of LeMoyne College and ProLiteracy the techniques, you focus on those. Q: You were presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2006. What did that mean to you? A: I was overwhelmed. When they called, I said, ‘Are you sure you have the right name?’ I couldn’t believe it. I was amazed. When I talked to my family, my granddaughter looked it up, and she said, ‘Grandma, there are going to be 10 of you, nine men and you. You are going to be representing all women.’ It’s brought awareness of literacy and the immense problem, and that’s another reason I felt honored and good about it.



• Chest discomfort: pressure, squeezing, fullness or

pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. • Shortness of breath: with or without chest discomfort. • Other signs: breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.

KNOW THE SIGNS OF A STROKE. THINK FAST. F • Face droops on one side A • Arm drift downward S • Speech sounds slurred T • Time to call 911.


OVER 50?


Stay healthy and engaged through OASIS, a community learning center for those aged 50+. OASIS offers classes in the arts, history, technology, fitness, science, travel and more. Start anytime. Enjoy learning and being connected with others. Session class prices range from free to reasonable. Easy access and free parking. OASIS is located at 6333 State Rte 298 in East Syracuse, next to the DoubleTree Hotel, off Carrier Circle.



CNY 55+ #74 April May 2018  
CNY 55+ #74 April May 2018