Volume Twenty Eight, Number 10
Despite rising costs, Beaumont budgeters hold their own By Mary Graff
By Richard Stephens, Green Committee member
Photo by Richard Stephens
FLOWER LADY has her work room back! Sally Herd, forced to rescue her materials from dust generated by Beaumont’s recent construction and renovation projects, filled the Herds’ apartment— even the bathrooms—with flowers, leaves, vases and miniature Christmas trees. Then came the job of dusting off each leaf and petal with tiny brushes. Sally’s arrangements continued to grace our public spaces throughout construction with no signs of stress, however, and now here she is, back in the lower-level Flower Room, getting ready for Christmas. Merry Christmas, Sally and Bob!
Christmases away from home: Uganda, Hong Kong, La Jolla. . .
We all are familiar with the wonders of Christmases at home, but what about Christmases in far places? Ginny Rivers emailed our globe-trotting residents asking for their memories. Here, very slightly edited, are the replies.
A 3 percent increase in the monthly maintenance fee for villas and apartments was announced at last month’s annual community-wide budget meeting. This announcement— good news, at a time of rising costs— was followed closely by an assurance from President Joe Peduzzi that Beaumont “continues to remain fundamentally strong and financially sound.” Finance Committee Chairman Dolf Paier praised everyone concerned with budget planning this year for holding the increase down to 3 percent, while maintaining quality, compared with 3.4 percent last year. “Considering the many increases management was required to address,” Budget continued on page 8
More than 20 years ago our daughter Polly was working in Uganda for the World Wildlife Fund. We went over for Christmas and it was far different from any Christmas we had ever seen. No real Christmas trees. You would see a person carrying or dragging a branch of a tree down a dirt road to their home as their Christmas tree. Somehow they would find a few things to put on Holidays continued on page 4
Carter Fergusson honored
This is in answer to last month’s letter signed “Grumpy.” Grumpy complained that “How are you?” was replacing better and more traditional greetings such as “Hello,” or “Good morning,” or “Nice to see you around,” with perhaps a wave in passing. Grumpy, you are dead on. Three such greetings this morning. Not one paused for an answer. A friend would have said, "How is your broken toe this morning?" A friend in a hurry would have said: "I'm late for Oscar. Talk to you later." A familiar face, name unknown, might have said: "Beautiful day.” "Keep warm.” "Wear a coat."
Carter Fergusson, Beaumont resident and former president of the Merion Cricket Club, was honored at the October Champions Dinner at the 2014 Delaware Investments U.S. Open squash tournament played at Drexel University. U.S. Squash has long had a Grand Masters Honor Roll honoring past great champions. This year, it was renamed the A. Carter Fergusson Grand Master Honor Roll. While Carter won many squash tournaments in his long career, perhaps his most amazing accomplishment is that he played in 62 consecutive national singles tournaments from 1948 to 2009, when he was 86. That is the ultimate grand master. And furthermore his wife, Dudy, attended for 55 straight years in that streak. Carter played squash at Haverford School and at Yale, where his team won two national championships. Then he played on the squash circuit until his late 30s, when he started playing in the age-group tournaments. He was inducted into the College Squash Association Hall of Fame in 1994.
Please sign me:
On Thanksgiving Eve it was raining, snowing, blowing and freezing. My sidewalk and driveway were treacherous. Along came Mark Hritz, Jake Bean and Kurt Mueller with plows, salt spreader, salt, sand and shovels. Working all evening, they cleared away the snow and made the roads, driveways and sidewalks safe for all of us. Thank you, all three!
The BN is published monthly 10 times a year, October through July. Contributions are welcome, provided they are the contributor’s own work. The deadline for each issue is the 10th of the preceding month. E-mail to Mary Graff at firstname.lastname@example.org and mgraff@BeaumontRetirement.com, or hand in at the Front Desk.
—Ann Louise Strong
Artists Dario Scholis and I want to express our deep appreciation to Beaumont, its residents and staff, for the gratifying response to the exhibition of our artistic expression and the works we displayed, as well as for the wonderful comments we received. Thank you!
Christine Phillipps November 22, 2014 Members of the Beaumont Community extend deepest sympathy to her family and friends. 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 Editor Associate Editor and Production Manager Assistant Editor Graphic Designer Photo Editor Events Manager Proofreader Circulation Manager
Mary Graff John Hall Ginny Rivers TJ Walsh Louise Hughes Kim Norrett Jennie Frankel Barbara O’Brien
House Committee chairman made her first dress at 8 — from a seed sack on her father's farm
In addition to raising their four children and keeping house for the family, she helped on the farm in busy times—“like all good farm wives.” Tired of the farming chores, her husband started a grain business and Marian kept the books. As the business grew, Marian’s involveBy Peter Binzen ment in the business increased to full time, working the front office and interacting with the farmers. In a retirement community of the long-time affluent, This experience was quite helpful when a medical many from precincts along the Main Line, Marian crisis put her husband in the hospital for three months Lockett-Egan stands out. during the busiest harvest season of the year. Obtaining A self-described “depression baby” of the 1930s, she a cash-flow loan from the bank, Marian was in business. grew up on a Kentucky farm in a hardscrabble region that She proved to be good at negotiating with farmers for lacked electricity until she was 8. She the price of their harvest and then negotiating with such walked more than a mile to a small giant companies as Ralston and Quaker for purchase of school where all 12 grades the grain. The companies were unaccustomed to dealwere taught in a single room. ing with a young woman, untrained in business skills, Families lacked spending money, but Marian was a fast learner. “I shipped 40 carloads of and by today’s standards they would have been considered desperately poor. grain that year and made a good profit,” she recalled. “Business was in my blood.” But poverty was not a word in her Her husband’s health improved and he returned to lexicon. the business, but things were never the same. She filed Her family had a “huge garden” with an abundance of seasonal vegeta- for divorce at the age of 30 and after 15 years of marriage, took her four children and set out on her own. Marian Lockett-Egan bles and fruits in addition to the wild blackberries and hickory nuts available for the picking. Her Her first job as a “single mom” was as the traffic manager and bookkeeper at a tiny radio station. She father’s farm supplied them with “cow’s milk and butter, chickens for eggs and eating, pigs for butchering and always loved the work but knew she needed more education to Farm continued on page 6 a calf to fatten for beef.” Surplus produce was sold to purchase such staples as sugar and coffee. The young girl helped with the farm chores, working with her father and grandfather, cultivating the fields from spring to fall. Most of all she enjoyed driving the tractor and working with the prize mules. Active in 4-H Club, she won the State Dairy Food Demonstration at the age of 13, having learned to make cottage cheese and to cultivate her own bean sprouts to use in salads. At the age of 8 she made her ABOUT THIS PICTURE, Marian explained: "It was in an album my first dress, from a patterned feed sister-in-law had done for a Christmas present. . .Of course we were in Sunday sack. Loving to sew, she made her picture-taking clothes and the aunt with the camera was visiting! I'm about 8-9 first coat at 12. Her life changed years old and my brother, on my grandfather's prize mule (which I used to drive dramatically, however, at the age working in the fields), is 3-4. My grandfather is looking on. of 15. She married a farmer who was 22.
Holidays continued from page 1 it (no electricity, so no lights) and that was the extent of their decorations. You never saw any Christmas decorations anywhere. An acquaintance who also worked for WWF came to the hotel to have dinner with us on Christmas; the day was also brightened by an email from Tony Starr. One of Polly’s jobs then was teaching the fishermen to build mud stoves so they would not cut down trees for firewood to dry their fish. She has stayed in Africa for 25 years now and has started a school for girls in Tanzania. She has married a South African and has a beautiful little 8 ½-year-old. —Kingie Dolan
Our only Christmas not in our own home or in one of our children’s was in 1996. We were visiting our daughter, who was working as a physician in the American Medical Clinic in Moscow while her husband was doing research for his doctoral thesis. They had brought along their 2-year-old daughter. Moscow was still a hardship post and they wanted to get away, so we met together in Kandersteg, Switzerland, at the Hotel Ritter. The hotel was full of returning guests who came each year to enjoy the special Christmas decorations and festivities. Even though we were not at home, we felt caught up in the Christmas spirit. We did a lot of Nordic skiing and hiking and had a wonderful family time. —Jim and Debbie Zug
It was a warm day in Hong Kong, with light breezes coming off the South China Sea. As we picnicked in the garden, we chatted with our 3-year-old Asian American granddaughter about the Christmas play we anticipated that evening. Later on we thoroughly enjoyed the Nativity play in the Anglican Church, and the players with darling Chinese faces speaking the Queen’s English. In Japan, Christmas is quite commercial. New Year’s is the big celebration, and the hustle and bustle in preparation is quite exciting. Houses are decorated indoors and out with pine, bamboo and plum. Pine stands for inner strength, bamboo for longevity and plum for beauty and optimism at times of adversity. Christmas in Nuremberg, Bavaria, centers around the old city square, which is dominated by two churches. Every building is highly illuminated. The square is filled with market stalls that are open until 10 p.m. Fair amounts of plum wine, bratwurst and beer are consumed. The square itself goes back to the time of Martin Luther, who changed the gift-giving from December 6, St. Nicholas Day, to December 24. — Minney and Ted Robb
We once took the children to London for Christmas and New Year’s. We’d always watched the Mummers’ parade here and were interested in comparing it with the British New Year’s parade. On New Year’s Eve our hotel featured a Scots band in full kilted dress, and daughter Meg, 18, got to wield the band leader’s baton for part of their concert. She loved leading the band! Holidays continued on page 5
What are the chances?
It was Christmas Eve 1974 in the British Virgin Islands. The Dornbergers, with four little darlings from 6 to 16, departed in a small runabout from Beef Island to Marina Cay. We dined, danced, wassailed and got back to the wharf to find our rental car stolen. There had never been a key; you just had to cross the wires. So, full of rum punch, we six staggered home in a torrential tropical downpour. Soaked to the skin, we caroled all the way. —Liz Dornberger
By Wistie Miller Two weeks before Christmas last year I happened to be doing my marketing at the Acme in Narberth rather than at my usual one in Bryn Mawr. As I was loading the shopping bags into my little red car, “what to my wondering eyes should appear” but an unattended cart nearby with a pocketbook but no owner. My first inclination was to turn it in to the store manager. On second thought it occurred to me that being so close to Christmas there might be more cash than usual in it which could tempt even the most honest of persons. I opened the wallet to see if there was any identification. Believe it or not it belonged to a Beaumont resident! Only the delight on her face could have exceeded mine when I hand-delivered her early Christmas present. What are the chances? If anyone reading this has another human interest story to tell, I would love to hear about it for a future issue.
Holidays continued from page 4 The next day’s parade was far more orderly and staid than our Mummers’ Day event, but we had a wonderful experience. —George Miller It was the night before Christmas in Hong Kong. It was 1957. My husband, our two small children and their amah, Hue, had come up from our embassy in Saigon for a little R and R. There was a water shortage in Hong Kong, with water in our hotel only every other day. The trick was to get back to our room on water days to bathe ourselves and do some laundry before the tap went dry. Bathing accomplished and the children tucked in, we went to a restaurant to dine with Chinese friends. I remember the slowly circulating fans, the dark walls and the floor of small white tiles. We sat at a long table. I felt at that moment that I had never sat at a table with so many beautiful people: the tall, handsome, northern Chinese men and their lovely wives. They were exiles from China hoping for their country’s turn away from Communism. There was Peking duck, a very large fish on an oval platter, various vegetable dishes and for dessert a huge yellow mango. We went home late, stuffed stockings for the children and slept until Christmas morning. —Louise Carter I used to live in La Jolla, California, in the wintertime, and, although it was repeated annually, I never got over seeing the parade of boats totally immersed in Christmas lights, stem to stern —while I was sitting on the dock in shirtsleeves. —Alan Tripp
Christmas in the French Alps? An invitation not to be regretted! Reservations to fly to Geneva were made. Transportation to the Tignes ski area was arranged. But how could we add to the festivities? Having been given a smoked turkey, I felt that it would provide a new taste experience for our Parisian hosts. Also, some Domain Chandon would give us a chance to show off Napa Valley’s progress in producing decent sparkling wines. The bird was frozen, the wine acquired and a large cardboard box found for transportation of the aforesaid items. Travel day arrived and said box was packed, taped and tied. It was not pretty. On arrival in Geneva, an airport through which I’d passed many times without incident, luggage, including the box, was gathered. Immigration was a non-issue. However, as I passed the customs desk, an official with a very bored expression waved me over and asked, “Qu’estce que c’est?” My French vocabulary was not the best but I responded, “Un grand poulet fumé et deux bouteilles de champagne Américain.” At that, there was a short pause. Then, with that look of disdain that the French have long practiced, the official raised his right hand and dismissed me with a flick of the fingers. Yes, the turkey was enjoyed, the wine was given a grudging “acceptable” rating and the skiing was excellent, as expected. However, it is the act of dismissal that remains clear to this day. —Birch Clothier
Carrying on the tradition
It was probably 30 years ago that we added Christmas Eve and Christmas to our usual Christmas vacation holiday in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The song Feliz Navidad was being played everywhere. After taking the children for their requested treat of hamburgers at the U.S. military base, we visited the local Episcopal Church in town. Later we went to a local restaurant for a dinner of goat stew—delicious in the opinions of the adults and one of the three kids; not the others. It was a memorable Christmas, although we missed our familiar Christmas traditions. —Ginny Rivers
My friends’ mother traditionally had an open house for Hanukkah (Dec. 16 to 24 this year) featuring homemade latkes. Many guests were recruited to help grate potatoes in the kitchen and man the frying of these traditional pancakes. In the other room, young people were spinning a dreidel, the top that symbolizes “a great miracle happened here.” The miracle was that the pancakes never burned! —Eta Glassman
Farm continued from page 3 advance in business. On borrowed money, she attended Murray State University for one semester. It was all she could afford but it was enough. Her courses in English, typing, speech, broadcasting and business machines helped her land a job in Nashville as a trainee in a media department. She met a “wonderful woman director who mentored me, trained me and took me under her wing. “She has remained a lifetime friend in spite of the fact that I married the agency Creative Director and moved to Philadelphia.” Her next step was Lewis & Gilman and then, in 1972, the Scott Paper Company. She hit her stride at Scott and gained recognition in professional agencies. She became the first female president of the Television Radio Advertising Club and the first female member of the Association of National Advertisers Television Committee. She also became the first female trustee of Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia. At Scott, she managed an in-house staff of five and an advertising budget of more than $20 million. She attributed the eventual breakup of marriage No. 2 to the fact that her career was moving ahead while her husband's was faltering. She remained single for 10 years before marrying Douglas Egan in 1981. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who later became a railroad executive. Theirs was a happy marriage, Marian Lockett-Egan said, with lots of travel, tennis and staying at their condo in Florida. It was in this period, from 1985 to 1988, that Lockett-Egan won a battle with cancer. She was not expected to live, and she counts her survival against high odds as her greatest accomplishment. Doug Egan died in 2001 and seven years later his widow moved to Beaumont. As Chairman of Beaumont’s House Committee, Lockett-Egan has been in charge of decorations, furniture and carpeting. She has strong opinions and doesn’t hesitate to express them. “Some people love my ideas and some people hate them,” she acknowledged. She notes that “sometimes I haven’t got my way.” As an example, she cited architect Frank Boyer’s idea to widen a doorway between Baldwin and the Commons area. “I was adamantly against it, and he kept pushing it,” Lockett-Egan said. Finally the committee voted on Boyer’s idea. The vote was six for it and one against. The no vote was cast by Lockett-Egan. When the job was completed, successfully, she told Boyer and the Committee: “You were right and I was
wrong.” The most controversial recent issue confronting Lockett-Egan’s committee was in the selection of a painting of Rittenhouse Square to be hung in the Mansion reception room over the reception desk. Lockett-Egan said the goal was to choose a painting that would appeal to younger residents while maintaining “the distinctive look of the Mansion.” At first the House Committee split 4-4 to purchase. One of the no votes opposed the $8,000 purchase price. A group of donors came forward to pay for the painting at no charge to residents. The gift of the donors, approved by the Committee and the Board, was hung over the Reception Desk. That was an instance of Marian Lockett-Egan’s getting her way. She usually does.
Would-be artist picks up (sort of ) where she left off By Mary Graff
When I was 5 years old and in kindergarten, I drew a chicken. It had a somewhat evil look in its eye, but I took it home and my parents loved it. They even saved it. Clearly, I had a great future. I would grow up to do for chickens what Thurber did for dogs, or even maybe eventually what Stubbs did for horses . . . Then my sister, three years younger, discovered what she could do with my crayons and colored pencils besides break them and smear them on big sister’s belongings. She was good! She is still good, and even sells what she does, out there in California where she lives and makes money. Unable to compete, I turned to the written word. Years passed, and professional artist Josephine Winsor—sister-in-law of Beaumont residents Jim Winsor and Wistie Miller—was persuaded to start a drawing class in our new Arts and Crafts Studio. I signed up for it! There were two sections, one that met on four successive Mondays and one on Thursdays, each time for two hours. Each neophyte artist was issued two soft (7B) pencils and a big or medium-size pad. Art gum erasers were available, though Josephine discouraged their use. During these sessions we learned about “values,” “value contrast,” the importance of edges, shapes (“scribble scribble and then a round thing, scribble
Drawing continued on page 7
Doc recalls 'Bushy;' reveals a soft spot in hunter's heart
days, eating only the sunflower seed. Acorns powered by a slingshot were not a deterrent, and the pop of bursting balloons attached to the feeder barely distracted that big gray who was gaining weight by leaps and bounds. Words could not describe Witt’s feelings toward that big gray until the arrival of a lone mourning dove. Doves, you know, mate for life. And while they are seed eaters, they prefer feeding on the ground. Old gray and the bachelor dove developed a plan for survival. As the gray scratched the portals of the feeder the seed would flow out. As it did, Bushy would capture the sunflower seeds before they reached the ground, allowing the millet to fall to where the dove was waiting for Bushy to serve dinner. Age and circumstance changed Witt, who was truly impressed by the unlikely, spontaneous, symbiotic relationship between a gray squirrel and a mourning dove. Once an avid squirrel and dove hunter, he now unabashedly fell prey to anthropomorphic influences. He will now not eat anything that has a name.
By Dean (Doc) Snyder Beaumont’s Doc Snyder, who sometimes writes in the third person as “Witt,” told readers last month what to do about squirrels preying upon their bird feeders. “Do not waste your time trying to outsmart the squirrel,” Doc advised. “Eat him.” Here are some more of Doc’s (Witt’s) thoughts and recollections on the subject. Witt eats squirrel because it’s good, and until he bumped into “Bushy” there had never been anything vengeful about his desire to eat squirrel. Witt’s first encounter with “Bushy” occurred some years ago while he was target shooting with his slingshot armed with acorns. At first the target was a pesky chipmunk who would scramble for cover each time an acorn launched from the second-floor balcony of Austin went whizzing by. In due time the practice of launching acorns became a form of amusement for Witt and a source of food for “Chippy.” As time went on the little guy would hunt down the acorn, pick it up, examine it then stuff it into one cheek. That done he would wheel around, stand on his haunches and beg for another acorn. Satisfied, an acorn in each cheek, he would usually end the session for the day. But at sunset every evening target practice would resume, and Chippy would gather two more acorns for his winter larder. You guessed it! One day “Bushy” showed up and Chippy disappeared. Now, any fate could have befallen Chippy. He could have encountered one of Beaumont’s resident red foxes. He could have wound up in a snake’s belly or have been taken out by a regular Beaumont visitor, the red-tailed hawk. Witt, though, from circumstantial evidence, was pretty sure it was Bushy. And Bushy morphed into “that damned gray squirrel who took out Chippy,” one day to become the main ingredient of Witt’s favorite pot pie (assuming a lot of improvement in Witt’s aim). About that time Bushy showed a side to his character not seen before. In sheer unabashed defiance of a squirrel-proof bird feeder down-range from Witt’s apartment, that damned squirrel broke the code and single-handedly started destroying two pounds of feed every three
Drawing continued from page 6 scribble and then a round thing . . .”), how to make objects appear to be behind (or in front of ) other objects, and so forth. Josephine also told us, emphatically, that our drawings did not have to look exactly like the objects she had assembled. Callie Wheeler was the star of the Monday class. Everything she drew clearly took its inspiration from whatever Josephine put out there and was lovely to look at besides. John Woolford claimed to have drawn a rabbit (on purpose? by mistake?) though I never saw it. I tried to reconstruct my chicken but hid it quickly when Josephine came around. Josephine is a really good and down-to-earth teacher. With her good-hearted encouragement I did OK until I confronted the fourth and final still-life. It contained a cascade of white flowers, bunches of leaves, a gorgeously draped purple scarf, and a silver bowl reflecting these objects. “Why, Mary,” my good friend and classmate Carolyn Aller exclaimed as she inspected the result of my efforts at the end of the class, “you’ve drawn a tree!” I have not given up. If Josephine comes back to offer another class, as I think she might, I’m going to sign up for it. In the meantime, I’m going to practice my chickens.
"IT CERTAINLY WAKED ME UP FOR THE PLAY," Jeanne Cortner, left, recalled after being unexpectedly swept up into the arms of Times Square's Naked Cowboy during a trip to New York to see the play A Delicate Balance. To walk off a big lunch before the play, Jeanne and friends accompanied other tourists wandering into the territory now occupied by the guitar-playing street performer and, as Jeanne also recalled, a number of underdressed women. "I didn't want to make a scene," she said, "so I just laughed." Budget continued from page 1 he said, the planners did, “in my opinion, an excellent job.” Chief Financial Officer Susan Kendra pointed to a necessary 27 percent increase in the combined Food and Dining services budgets for 2015, as compared with the 2014 budget, as a major problem for the planners. The increase in expenses for those departments, she said, “is being driven by raw food costs and labor costs.” Susan said she and the other planners “anticipate a balanced budget, with total revenue increasing by 4 percent Photo by Helen (DeeDee) Ballard to satisfy total expenses which are also expected to increase 4 percent.” From a competitive standpoint, Dolf added, Beaumont has held its own with other retirement communities in their budgeting for next year. “We believe,” he said, “that most of our competitors will have fee increases in the 3 percent range and have heard of one that will have a 4 percent increase next year.” Joe outlined plans for the future including: • Improving and expanding Health Care services. • Addressing technology needs. • “Developing a delivery system of care and supportive services to allow residents to age in place,” that is, to stay in their villas or apartments under circumstances that might otherwise require stays in Personal Care or the Health Center. Joe also announced the promotion of Brock Nichols, Director of Housekeeping and Laundry Services, to a new position as Assistant Vice President of Operations. [More in an upcoming issue about Brock, whose performance as chief coordinator of Beaumont’s recent capital construction and SMILING TRIUMPHANTLY, Jim Zug holds a pot of renovation projects has been much admired.] Joe said Brock his own making during a recent visit to a ceramics factory will report directly to him. Yet to be announced, Joe said in Sicily. Known at Beaumont as a champion at squash and after the meeting, are changes within the Housekeeping and playing the organ, but described by his wife, Debora, as Maintenance departments as a result of Brock’s promotion. "very unartistic," Jim nevertheless stepped up when the owner asked for a volunteer to try operating a potter's wheel. More information about the 2015 budget is available in the Front Office. The result? "Very nice!" said Debora.
Newsletter, Beaumont Retirement, Bryn Mawr, PA