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Volume Twenty Seven, Number 9

November 2013

Hard-working managers keep fee increases low again

By Mary Graff

A monthly fee increase of 2.8 percent for 2014 has been set for residents in apartments, villas, Personal Care and Skilled Nursing (the Health Center). According to a chart included with the agenda distributed before the annual budget presentation Oct. 15, the 2014 increase is only slightly higher than the 2.5 percent increase last year and only somewhat higher than the previous two lows, 2 percent each in the 1999 and 2010 budgets. The three highest increases were 8 percent in 1990 and 7 percent in 2002 and 2005. Dolf Paier, chairman of the Finance Committee and of the ad hoc Capital Budget continued on page 2

New CEO, well traveled, sees Beaumont governance model as the ‘wave of the future’ By Peter Binzen

Joseph J. Peduzzi loves to travel. “It’s one of my passions,” he told an interviewer. He has traveled over much of Europe and other parts of the world from Moscow and Stockholm to the Holy Land and Italy, home of his ancestors. He has visited the Caribbean and last year saw him in Australia. He was booked for a cruise in March 2014 from Singapore to Hong Kong, followed by a land tour of China. But our new CEO has scrubbed that trip and won’t be cruising anywhere for a while. “I want to get

With champagne toasts and some spirited shoveling, Beaumont’s Capital Project construction season began last month with a target completion date of May 2. Groundbreakers, from left: Chairman Don Trachtenberg, CEO Joseph Peduzzi and Finance Committee Chairman Dolf Paier. Photo by Louise Hughes ingrained in the Beaumont Family,” he said. Joe had been running retirement communities in California for more than a decade before Beaumont’s Search Committee chose him after a national hunt. He wanted to return to the East to be near his parents, who still live near Pittsburgh, where Joe, an only child, grew up. “My roots are here,” he said. Beaumont’s strong reputation as a retirement community owned and run by its residents attracted him. “That will be the wave of the future,” he said. “The baby boomers will want more involvement.” Joe said that Continuing Care Retirement Community residents of tomorrow “don’t want to run the place, but they want to have significant input on the decision making.” Before he took over, Beaumont’s board voted to CEO continued on page 3


Budget continued from page 1 Project Committee, emphasized that “considerable time and effort” had gone into keeping the increase below 3 percent. This was an important goal of the budget process, he and other managers stressed, in view of the highly competitive market in our area. An equally important goal, they also emphasized, was continuing to enhance the amenities that help keep residents happy while helping Beaumont maintain its superior position in the marketplace. “We believe that most of our competitors will have fee increases higher than 3 percent,” Dolf said. (Results of a comparison study of monthly fee rates are available in the Front Office, along with other budget details.) Highlights of an analysis of the increase presented by Susan Kendra, Chief Financial Officer: • A 3 percent increase in salaries and wages for staff, “to provide a competitive salary and benefit package for employees.” Beaumont will continue to offer health insurance to full-time employees, she said.

Ned Madeira honored by The Legal Intelligencer

Edward (Ned) W. Madeira Jr. was among 27 Pennsylvania lawyers selected by The Legal Intelligencer for its first Lifetime Achievement Award and honored at The Legal’s 170th anniversary dinner in Philadelphia in June. Mr. Madeira is chair emeritus and senior counsel with Pepper Hamilton, having been with the firm since 1953. He served as chair of the firm’s Litigation Department from 1982 to 1992, vice chair of the firm from 1989 to 1992, and co-chair of the firm from 1992 to 1994.

Eavesdropping Grandma considers blowing the whistle By Barbara O’Brien

The brave new world of communication gimmicks which makes it possible to talk, show pictures of yourself, and connect to millions of others is actually quite irritating to me, as I am forced against my will to eavesdrop on many people whom I do not know and wouldn’t like to know after I have overheard many of their conversations and find them extremely rude in their seemingly unconscious invasion of what today’s cool people call my space. Recently, standing in line at the Acme, which is not exactly a private space, about five of us were “witnesses” to a long drama; a young woman who seemed to be calling an intimate friend, giving more than chapter and verse recitation of a quarrel she had had with her hus-

• In the health services departments—Skilled Nursing, Personal Care and the Wellness Center (the department formerly known as Outpatient)—a staffing trend to replace Licensed Practical Nurses with Registered Nurses as vacancies occur has been continued into 2014. An electronic medical record system is under way, and a new part-time insurance clerk has been budgeted for the Wellness Center. • A part-time bartender and a part-time server for the new bistro have been budgeted beginning in April, the target date for completion of the various capital projects on which construction has been under way since last month.

Eavesdropping continued on page 3

• A new part-time fitness instructor to help staff the newly expanded Fitness Center when it is completed has been budgeted starting in June.

BEAUMONT NEWS The Beaumont News is published by the residents and staff of the Beaumont Retirement Community, 601 N. Ithan Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

• The Information Technology Department will receive funds for support, service and upgrades and monthly fees related to the forthcoming new villa emergency call system.

Editor Assistant Editor and Production Manager Graphic Designer Photo Editor Events Manager Proofreader Circulation Manager

(A Capital Project update may be included in next month’s issue, along with an explanation of Beaumont board and committee functions which was originally scheduled for this issue.)

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Mary Graff John Hall TJ Walsh Louise Hughes Kim Norrett Jennie Frankel Barbara O’Brien


CEO continued from page 1

firms in Exton, Pottstown and Downingtown. In 2002 spend $4.6 million on a wide range of improvements. he moved to California to head Claremont Manor, a “I think the dollars to be spent on expansion and refurbishFront Porch Community, in Claremont, Calif. In 2008 ment are very consistent with the industry as a whole,” Joe Front Porch selected him to said. “I think the investopen their premier ment will help to assure retirement community, the future success of the Walnut Village, in Anaheim, community.” Calif. That is where he was Joe, who is divorced when Beaumont recruited with no children, owned a him. house in Claremont, Calif., Laurie Small was a which he sold in August. California colleague. In a He purchased a colonial telephone interview, she home in Schwenksville Photo by Kim Norrett described him as “very good in September. New CEO Joe Peduzzi smiled through a “Welcome Joe” dinner with at a lot of things.” He’s looking forward BRCI Board Chairman Don Trachtenberg on his right and BRSI Board “He is a great communi- Chairman John Woolford, who headed the search committee that reto living in the cator but also a good three rousing cheers for Joe. Schwenksville area because cruited him, on his left. John led diners in listener,” she said. “He is adept at handling finances or of the nearby Perkiomen people. He’s very smart with a good sense of humor, even Trail for hiking. “I enjoy the outdoors and every night after at stressful times.” work I walk five miles or so,” he said. She said that when one of the communities was Joe, who was an above average student, graduated from “struggling financially” he did a great job in solving the the University of West Virginia with a Bachelor of Science problem. “He has good taste and is a great dresser,” Small degree in business administration in 1991 and a master’s added. degree in health care administration from the University of Charles Frazier, who was Peduzzi’s boss in California, Pittsburgh in 1993. said simply: “Joe is one of the finest people in For nine years he worked in the health care field for this field.” Eavesdropping continued from page 2 band, full of such remarks as “I could kill him” which she uttered with about as much emotion as if she were discussing the purchase of a bus ticket. I was quite worried until I noticed other shoppers in my line showing every sign of boredom with the young woman’s statements. Maybe they were just focusing on tips on how to kill a husband. We were joined at the end of the line by a young woman who was planning her next week with someone. This call involved a great deal of a very exact schedule: what time she was going to the hairdresser, what time her children were to be picked up at school, what someone should take out of the freezer, which seemed to involve some pretty steely, threatening remarks to someone at the other end. Call ended, she offered an irritated admission to us all that she had been talking to her mother, “who doesn’t always get it.” As I prepared to defend grandmothers as a general species, I became aware that a man in the adjoining line was becoming agitated: Evidently what someone was saying

to him on his phone was NOT acceptable. It was all about catching the market. The unknown caller at the other end of the receiver in the grocery line kept repeating words that were somewhat mysterious to me: hold, over run, the IPO situation, mutual funds, all the while unloading his cart. I was intrigued. Was this one of the many villains dealing in insider trading information? Should I be the whistle-blower who exposed him? On the other hand, my attention was diverted by a very young man in the other lane, who was having a conversation that basically seemed composed of a great many “yeah man”s and the word “cool” endlessly repeated. Now, because of my grandchildren I am making a serious effort to be cool, but I have to say he might as well have been speaking Urdu. At the same time, with all of these distractions, I was trying to think whether I had fulfilled my shopping list. This is just one small story of the invasion of our space, in the station, on the train, on the sidewalk and now even in the air and in public restrooms, where I have learned things I really don’t want to know.

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Mike’s Roundup By Mike Bailey, Housekeeping

As high noon sets, let’s all gather ‘round and hear the news that just went down Ivan in maintenance is a new granddad But for Wellness Center Sue, It’s number four. Lucas Emanuel Osso and Joseph Charest, Congrats and welcome from all of the staff. Two staff sons will soon get hitched, Audrey Walsh’s TJ and Jennie Frankel’s Matt. Spring, summer and fall, seasons we adore We wish babies and almost-weds happy days and more. *** “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.”

Ivan's new grandchild, Lucas Emanuel Osso (top, left), Sue's new grandson, Joseph Charest (above), Jennie Frankel's son Matt (right), with Kirstin Copeland, and Audrey Walsh's son TJ, with Samantha Slusser (top, right), each got engaged recently.

Beaumont Scholarship Award recipients selected for 2013

By Mary Wells, Director of Human Resources

Seventeen staff members received scholarships over the summer in a ceremony that packed the Music Room with families, friends and residents, many of whom had written letters for specific applicants. Funded solely by donations, the Beaumont Scholarship Award was established in 1991 to enable employees to study for undergraduate degrees in accredited programs at recognized colleges or at trade schools. Recipients may receive a one-time grant of up to $1,500 per year; former recipients may re-apply for the subsequent year’s grant. Applicants must demonstrate high standards of

service in resident relations, maintain a good attendance record and exhibit a positive attitude. The winners: From Dining Services: Veronica Cleveland, Megan Cromie, Deron Dixon, Amy Espiritu, Sam Mohan, Ebony Mosley and Roderick Rickets. From Health Services: Megan Henry, Raydeen Leid, Jone Posey and Dana Williams. From Dietary: Keriann Campbell and Krystian Superville. Erikka Cahill (Recreation), Carol Korabik (Human Resources), Bernadette Novitski (Wellness) and Alex Ramirez (Personal Care) were the others.

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From newcomers to neighbors

aroused her curiosity about design, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Moore College of Art and worked at an architectural firm in Malvern doing drawings for some of the many companies then moving into the Great Valley area. Much of Betsy’s retirement has been spent in church activities: serving on the Vestry, starting a Stephen Ministry program and teaching Bible study at St. David’s Episcopal Church. Betsy has three grown children: Owen, born in Munich in 1952, and Suzanna and Paul, born in Poland in 1954 and 1955 respectively, whom she welcomed to her family when they were 5 and 4. There are three grandchildren, two living in Atlanta and one, from Hong Kong, currently living in Los Angeles. After her husband died, Betsy went biking and had the good fortune to meet Peter Abel, with whom she now shares Villa 66.

Returning home to Bryn Mawr after life of travel and adventure By Jean Homeier

Betsy Stull has had a life on the move. She was born in Bryn Mawr, lived in Wayne and Radnor, and moved in 1941 to beautiful Hollystone Farm in Paoli, home to three generations of her family and to which she returned when her husband retired. After graduating from the Baldwin School and attending Sarah Lawrence for two years, Betsy married and moved to a tiny house in Eagle with an outdoor water pump, a coal stove and not much heat in winter—but life was about to change. The Stulls moved to Washington, where Betsy found a job selling “better dresses” at Woodward & Lothrop and finished her bachelor’s degree at George Washington University. When her husband received his Foreign Service appointment, the Betsy Stull ever-interesting and challenging life continued with a posting to Germany in 1950. The next assignment was in the Dominican Republic, followed by a double tour to Poland and then a return to Germany. The Caribbean and European years were followed by both Pakistan and India, where Betsy enjoyed memorable summer holidays hiking and fishing, including a 10-day horseback trek in the mountains of Kashmir. In Pakistan she also participated in a horse show with the Army Horse Guards, notably playing horseback musical chairs. In the family’s three and one half years in New Delhi she traveled throughout the country and learned to navigate the bazaars on her own. (Not all this was quite as idyllic as it sounds, as those were years of India-Pakistan hostilities.) The final overseas station was in the Philippines, where she learned from a Navy Seal how to scuba dive and received an advanced certificate before returning to the U.S. In addition to enjoying tennis wherever she was, she sought to become acquainted with the people and their customs. After her overseas experiences Betsy returned to the farm at Hollystone and moved into an old schoolhouse on the property. Because remodeling this schoolhouse

New villa resident joins Beaumont’s WWII veterans By Jean Homeier

Peter Abel was born in the home of his grandparents on West 11th Street in New York City. He attended grammar school at Friends Seminary, often roller-skating across Fifth Avenue through what even then must have been daunting traffic. Later he graduated from the Loomis School in Connecticut and finished his freshman year at Rutgers before entering the Army in 1943. After basic and advanced training, Peter joined the Ninth Infantry Division on the Belgian front in September of 1944 and was wounded in December near Aachen, Germany. Following his recuperation in a hospital in France, he rejoined the Division in March of 1945 shortly after the first crossing of the Rhine. Later in the month, his battalion of about 120 men captured three villages and several prisoners—then went to sleep without taking the precaution of posting guards. They awoke to find themselves surrounded and were taken prisoner by the Germans. Two weeks later Peter was liberated by the advancing Peter Abel U.S. troops. He returned home to enjoy a furlough and then was sent to Fort Hood, Texas, in preparation for service in the Pacific. Fortunately World War II ended before he embarked and he was

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Residents continued on page 6


Residents continued from page 5 discharged. Back to Rutgers Peter went, completing his undergraduate work in 1948 and Columbia Law School in 1951. Following several years with a New York law firm and Columbia Broadcasting System, Peter, his wife and four children moved to Baltimore where he was employed by Black & Decker. In 1972 he joined TV Guide at its headquarters in Radnor and moved to Rosemont about three blocks from what is now Beaumont. Hiking and especially fly fishing have been Peter’s “extracurricular” interests. The many vacations in the West and in Algonquin Park, Canada, have had such a profound effect on the children that the three surviving young Abels and four grandchildren live in Colorado, Oregon and northern California. Peter’s holidays now involve visiting children and traveling, usually twice a year, to the island of Elba (yes, Napoleon was there) with Betsy Stull. Peter and Betsy are at home in Villa 66.

and carries on the family clothing manufacturing business. Both girls live locally. Bernice graduated from Penn and got married a year later. She became interested in making jewelry and, along with her artist daughter, Ellen, has turned that interest into a business. She continues to make and sell necklaces. The first thing she said to me when we met for lunch was, “I am very upset because I just tried to call my stringer and his phone is disconnected.” When I asked what a stringer was she answered, “Oh, he is a man who works for me.” It took some probing for me to finally learn that a “stringer” is a person who strings beads and other things on necklaces. . .pretty straightforward when you know the context! I first met Bernice when I interviewed her as an applicant for the Docent program at the Art Museum. She was an active and enthusiastic guide for 37 years. She and Jay traveled extensively, collected art and, in her words, “had a good life.” She is looking forward to playing more bridge, meeting more friends and giving more work to her stringer.

From Rittenhouse Plaza to Baldwin, thanks to ‘wonderful children’

A saga for literati: The little book club that could

By Mary Schnabel

Bernice Rosenfeld was a city girl. She and her husband, Jay, a Philadelphia lawyer, lived for 25 years at the Rittenhouse Plaza at 19th and Walnut streets. Bernice continued to live there after Jay died, 10 years ago. It was while she was recovering from a serious illness two years ago that her three children decided she Bernice Rosenfeld should not be living alone any more. Bernice told me that her kids did all the leg work in finding a new environment for their mother. Her younger daughter, Robin Gordon, is in real estate and, along with her siblings, chose Beaumont and a Baldwin apartment as the perfect place for Bernice’s next home. “I saw Beaumont, liked it and then the children took over,” she said. “The next time I visited, the place was transformed and ready for me to move in. I have wonderful children.” Besides Robin there is Bernice’s son, Jimmy, and her older daughter, Ellen Sall. Jimmy lives in New York

By Rena Burstein

A long-standing book group I have been a member of for nigh onto 20 years has been slowly edging out of existence. Loss of membership (as people have died or moved out of this area) is one factor; reduced mobility another. Following our summer recess this year, the possibility of graciously closing out the group arose. The “farewell” gathering took place on a recent Monday. Two of the five members could not attend. The remaining three plus my husband, Eli (who had just come back from a doctor’s appointment), gathered in our apartment around a bottle of fine Merlot, some nibbles and a table covered with books and pages of book lists. Among those pages were several that bore the titles, year by year, of the books we had read over the past 15 years. As we looked at these pages, recollections and comments began to flow. From its beginning, the intent of this book group had been to choose books through which we could experience, and perhaps gain some insight into, a variety

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Books continued on page 8


In praise of our housekeepers, seen and unseen

Housekeeping personnel: Brock Nichols, director Darryl Dick, assistant director

By Mary Schnabel

Michael Bailey

This is somewhat of a love story. It will also be a short story, because the subject is so recognizable to all residents there will be no reason to lengthen it. It is about our Beaumont Housekeepers. Those 29 young, and some not so young, men and women who come to us once a week or as needed to work their magic, or work out of sight in the laundry. It’s a magic that is done, not just to our apartments and villas, but to our minds and spirits as well. Our Housekeepers become a part of our lives through the intimate contact they have with us in our most personal space. They know us sometimes as well as our families do; they know when we are tired, discouraged, happy or sad. In so many little ways they help us over our tough times and give us extra comfort or encouragement to help us feel good again. In addition we have the feeling they are happy to see us, as well. No wonder we are so glad to welcome them into our homes! It’s hard to miss this corps of workers. They are everywhere on the campus. We see them in the halls, moving from apartment to apartment, or on the roads, heading for the villas, or in the public rooms. The ladies who clean in our homes come pushing their carts, the symbols of their jobs. Carts that are so loaded with the tools of their trade it’s hard for us to make sense of them. Upon their arrival, if we are at home, we spend a minute to catch up from last time . . . a bit of personal chatter. Then it’s down to business. All it takes for them is a knowledgeable glance around to see what’s needed to be done today, right now, for us, their special residents who are expecting them and waiting for their help. For their names, see box at right. They know us by name, all of them do! They are exceptional and beloved. They also know how much we count on them, depend upon them and enjoy their presence in our lives. We hope they read this and realize it is a tribute as well as a sincere thank-you from the grateful men and women for whom, once a week, they do the work that lightens our lives.

Howard Barron Daniel Beard Sulan Booker Elizabeth Brickle Sharon Caliste Donald Coward Larry Dwyer Stephen Gallagher Joy Gooden Renee Gorman Mensla Gweh Abeba Hailu Marquita Henry Anne Hill Feven Kassahun Nonh Keokanya Tishaun Peterson Hulet Samuels Ingrid Scott Nicole Stevens David Tyler Ingrid Valentine Stephanie Wharwood-Green And in the Laundry: Marta Aviles Virginia Lopez Kelly Phasavath Shingara Singh Marcus Taylor

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At Beaumont, it’s never too late By Sis Ziesing

They walk together. They eat together in either her house or his. They rest and nuzzle together in selected areas. They enjoy each other deeply and are endlessly patient with one another. They are obviously a perfect match. I bet you think I’m describing people, but I’m not! These are two adorable dogs who live at Beaumont. A few years ago, Norma and George Fabian moved into a villa on Pasture Lane with their dog, Eloise. Some months later, Patsy and Ron Fraser moved into the villa across the street from the Fabians with their dog, Max. Eloise, a 6-year-old rescued dog, has a somewhat confused ancestry—possibly chow, basset, Samoyan, maybe Korean something, but this mixture produced a lovely looking dog. Ten-year-old Max is an aristocratic Havanese, but neither their different social backgrounds nor the fact that she’s bigger than he is deterred him in the slightest. One look at Eloise and he fell madly in love. She, in turn, instantly showed her undying affection for him. Every day, Max and Eloise look out the windows of their respective villas and whine and cry until they are reunited again. They have even picked up each other’s behavior patterns—for instance Max now thinks he’s a hunter, which Havaneses aren’t! They enjoy the walks that Norma takes them on through the woods. They nap together on George’s bed and on his favorite lounge chair. They love the treats that are provided for them at the Frasers. Eloise has a voracious appetite, so when

Photo by Charles Mostoller

Patsy Fraser, left, with Max, and Norma Fabian, with Eloise, take a walk.

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it’s dinner time it seems somewhat necessary to feed Max in the bathroom with the door closed, away from his beloved. But, hey, even the most perfect love affair might have the teeniest spats. The biggest joy of all is that the Fabians and Frasers now have two dogs instead of just one, and what fun it is that they are so crazy about each other. They’ve found dog heaven on earth! It’s never too late to fall in love, as these families well know. Books continued from page 6 of different cultures and nationalities. Naming this goal Diversity, we traveled the globe. Over the years we selected classics, best sellers and books that touched the personal memories or cultures of individual members of the group. The list included African-American (Cane River, The Price of A Child), Bosnia (The Bridge on the Drina), Sri Lanka (Cinnamon Gardens), Armenia (Sandcastle Girls) and for all of us, U.S. history (many, including Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville.) Among the classics we read, many of which I recall with pleasure (or at least fondness) were works by Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, Willa Cather, Dostoyevsky, Thomas Mann, Boris Pasternak, Marcel Proust, Leo Tolstoy and Edith Wharton. On this Monday we scanned the lists and enjoyed recalling our favorites and the blessed few which we disliked or hated. Opinions didn’t always coincide then either! Three authors had made it onto our lists more than once: Dava Sobel, Geraldine Brooks and Salman Rushdie. Ray Bradbury’s double entry was his masterpiece, “Fahrenheit 451,” which made the list in 2003 and again, to be re-read, in 2010. That look back at our “history” was a pleasure for the three of us—two retirees and one high school teacher. But what about those other lists on the table, and the books which were brought as offerings for consideration? The trap was set! In high spirits we decided to read A Singular Woman, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother and meet once again next month to talk about it. Following immediately was, the question about what to do about Thanksgiving and our usual December “break.” It looks as if the three of us will continue meeting. We will welcome anyone else who would like to participate and possibly become addicted.

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