Volume Twenty Nine, Number 2
Pocket Pool comes to Beaumont
By Bob Herd
In the Herd family, you learn early that you don't "play” pool, you shoot it. The Clark, Herd pocket-pool table in the new Game Room next to the Bistro arrived in June as a gift to Beaumont after 20-plus years in our Radnor home before Sally and I moved to Baldwin in 2010. I remember shooting pool at this table with John Woolford and Betsy Stanton, fellow members of the class of 1951 at Lower Merion High School, when the table was in the basement of the David Hunt family home in Penn Valley. The table was given to me by Mrs. Hunt for Sally’s and my Radnor home. “My children don’t want it,” she told me, “so it’s yours if you can get it out of here in 30 days.” Moving swiftly, I had the table professionally dismantled and re-installed in our home by Lanza Billiards, the same company that installed it here. The table, 9 feet by 4 ½ feet, was built between 1910 and 1915. It came with a large oak rack for pool cues, a small rack for ball storage, a leather shaker and an 8-foot bench from The Union League. The bench was designed for an elevated Pool continued on page 5
Thoughts from a smiling elder
By Mary Graff
BEAUMONT AT BRYN MAWR, Jan. 26 — David Brooks had a column in The New York Times recently under the headline, “Why Elders Smile.” He quotes studies showing that after about age 50, “happiness levels shoot up, so that old people are happier than young people.” “The people who rate themselves most highly,” Mr. Brooks reported, “are those 82 to 85.” Mr. Brooks mentions researchers’ findings about changes in the brain, not having to think [much] about the future, that sort of thing, and goes on with some interesting
Photo by Richard Stephens
SUSPENSE BUILDS as Bob Herd lines up a shot at pocketpool table the Herds have given Beaumont.
thoughts of his own. What he conspicuously does not mention is the recent proliferation of excellent Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). Many of these—with ours at the top of the list, of course—are designed to attract active elders who are prepared to be happy in their retirement, and then to keep them smiling as long as possible right up to the end, when they will be compassionately cared for. As I write now it is the evening of January 26, the beginning of the Blizzard of 2015, and I wish I could share with all the elders and almost-elders out there the view from the picture window in our study. Weather continued on page 5
Beaumont Fund sends staff members to computer school
Resident explorer takes to the halls, finds exotic (and otherwise) watchers at the doors
By Mary Wells Director of Human Resources
By Margie Manlove
Did you ever wonder about education programs paid for by the Beaumont Fund? Well, staff members from every department are very grateful to get much needed computer software training, courtesy of the Fund. We all know that the in-house IT department is very busy, so they cannot possibly train all of the staff on the various computer software programs now in use. We have staff that have been employed here for more than 15 years who have never needed computers to accomplish their work and have no working knowledge of them. So we contracted with Springhouse Education and Consulting Services to provide computer training for 50 staff members in its state-of-the-art building in Exton. Some staff went there very nervous but returned enthusiastic and appreciative. One of the good things about this program is that you can retake it for free during the year if you would like to brush up on what you were taught. What a great return on our investment! Residents should feel free to ask staff which course they took, or any other questions about the training. They will be happy to share their experiences. Because of the popularity of the program and the quality of the training, we are continuing the program through 2015. When they thank us for sending them to the course, we say thank the Beaumont Fund!
Much has been written about the dogs and cats living at Beaumont in both villas and apartments. But there are many other animals at Beaumont worthy of note as they faithfully stand watch at apartment doors. From chickens to tigers, from turtles to bears, who wants to bother with ordinary cats and dogs? (Well, actually I do. A black dachshund has stood outside my door for many years. There is a cat also watching a doorway. He is so fat that I think he is unable to move.) The best known Beaumont animal door watcher is the tiger. He is at least life size and can’t be overlooked by any passerby. I thought he was a he until I saw he/she had acquired a foundling tiger. Where that baby tiger came from is unknown but it is nice to know such a scary animal is caring for a baby. There are other tigers at doorways that are not scary. After all they are just big cats. Surprisingly there are more birds than any other animal: song birds, owls, chickens, geese, a duck, two flamingos, two pigeons and a turkey. How about monkeys? Quite a few. At one doorway at least nine monkeys are hiding in a tree. I guess they can watch all right from there. There are both bears and teddy bears. Two large turtles are at one doorway and a great many turtles at another. The turtles in that crowd are all small so it takes a lot of them.Look carefully as you walk the corridors of Baldwin and Austin. At least one of the following also is to be seen: pig, fish, rabbit, squirrel, possum, fox, seal, whale, lobster, dragon and dragonfly.
In Memoriam Jane Dearnley January 16, 2015
Bennett Blum January 19, 2015
Members of the Beaumont Community extend deepest sympathy to their 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
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.
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
Leaks? Dust? Wrinkled sheets? Aphids? Brock presides over all! By Joan Roberts Though his title has changed, the name of Brock Nichols has been familiar to most of us since his arrival at Beaumont in August of 2008. As Director of Housekeeping and Laundry services, he coordinated the teams of employees who care for the public and private spaces occupied by the residents of Beaumont. In his new role as Assistant VP of Operations, he oversees not only Housekeeping and Laundry, but also the Maintenance and Grounds departments, for a total of 42 staff persons, with the help of the new Brock Nichols digital WorxHub system described in the January issue of The Beaumont News. He reports directly to Beaumont President Joe Peduzzi. Brock came to Beaumont with some experience in coordinating teams of employees. He worked as the district manager of a company that contracted out housekeeping and laundry services to health care facilities for teams of 10 to 12 employees. Prior to that, at age 16, he had a summer job working in a commercial laundry at a 450-bed nursing facility in Royersford, Pennsylvania. Other past jobs have included cooking at a restaurant at age 14, the “usual stint” at McDonald’s, working at a bowling alley and selling real estate. Brock was born and reared in Pottstown, where he still lives with his wife, Tina, a teacher, and his two children, a 3-year-old son and a 17-month-old daughter. Since starting work at Beaumont he has earned a bachelor’s degree in technical management from DeVry University, an MBA from Rosemont College, and his state license in nursing home administration. He says that one of the most satisfying phases of his work at Beaumont took place during the new capital construction and renovation project. Despite foot surgery that had him off his feet and on crutches for three months, he helped coordinate the activities of the architects, the construction company, and the board and staff of Beaumont. He says that he particularly enjoyed working with the different teams and committees of residents. In turn,
Photo by Rose-Marie Pringle
ONE LUMP OR TWO? Mary Schnabel costumed herself appropriately for recent tea-party event staged by Dining Services Director Rose-Marie Pringle in the Music Room.
it was Brock’s timely progress reports that provided a glimmer of hope (and humor) to the residents amid the often unsightly mess of the work in progress.
From newcomers to neighbors Wolfsons bring varied interests to Baldwin Apartments
She says that one question she loves to wrestle with is, “How can I sell something?” She loves being a public relations person trying to sell ideas. One of the ways she has used her PR skills is in getting people to attend religious education programs at the Main Line Unitarian Church in Malvern. Bertram and Lorle often drive into the city, where they enjoy the city’s music, theaters and arts. They both say they particularly enjoy meeting people.
By George Hollingshead
Bertram and Lorle Wolfson, new residents in Baldwin, are highly interesting people for at least six reasons. Bertram, an active full-time attorney dealing in trusts and estates, brings an unusual philosophy to his meetings with clients: “The law says, ‘Thou shalt not.’ But I say, ‘Life is a ‘Thou shalt!’” A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law, he sees his work as empowering, encouraging people to dream alternatives in their lives and helping them realize their dreams. Bertram himself founded Resources for Human Development in Lower Merion for needy people like the homeless and mentally disabled. That organization has now been copied in 15 states. From childhood, Bertram and Lorle Wolfson he has been a sailor. He says sailing has taught him to be responsible for both the equipment and the people on board. He says that for him sailing is a kind of metaphor for life. The winds and the waters are always changing and to sail you have to be ready to accept these changes. Therefore, he says, “I do not mind change at all.” Lorle was born in Austria. Just before World War II began to ravage Europe, she and her family fled to England and then to a refugee encampment in Cuba before getting a visa to come to the States and eventually to Bryn Mawr. With that background it is not surprising that Lorle volunteers with the nonprofit Nationalities Service Center, 1216 Arch Street in Philadelphia, which works to settle refugees by finding them housing, meeting their medical needs and gathering the many supplies needed to furnish a home for those who have nothing. Lorle studied at Pembroke and then at Boston University. Finally she earned a master’s at Drexel in interior design.
Generations of memories enrich Beaumont
Joe Peduzzi, our president, and Jean Homeier, a frequent contributor to these pages, have been working on a series about the parents or other relatives of current residents who preceded them here. This is the first of the series. By Joe Peduzzi and Jean Homeier Shortly after Beaumont opened its doors, Christl and Otto Patzau, the parents of Lorle Wolfson and in-laws of Bertram Wolfson and Frank Boyer, moved to a beautiful apartment with a view all the way to Taylor Hall at Bryn Mawr College, where Christl had been on the staff of the Child Study Institute. Christl felt that arches between rooms had an important softening effect, and thanks to architect Frank Boyer, whose late wife was Marietta Patzau, she was able to accomplish this. (Debora and Jim Zug now occupy Apartment 317, where the Patzaus lived. Debora says the two arches are still there, though she’s not sure about the view.) Otto Patzau was ill at the time and unfortunately unable to play a part in the life of the community. Christl, on the other hand, swam every day and enjoyed long walks on the Beaumont campus and in the neighborhood, activities which had been an essential part of her daily regimen since her youth in Vienna. She enjoyed her many friends here and continued throughout her life to play a major role at the Nationalities Service Center, assisting immigrant families settling in Philadelphia, as her daughter, Lorle Wolfson, does now.
Pool continued from page 1 view of the traditional green felt that covers the table’s slate surface. The table was manufactured by my great-grandfather, James G. Herd, who emigrated from Dundee, Scotland, in County Angus, to Philadelphia in 1871 at age 17 and settled in a Scottish neighborhood in Kensington near Front and York streets. There he joined Thomas Clark and began manufacturing billiard and pocket-pool tables in a three-story building at 2419-25 North Front Street, where they traded as Clark, Herd Mfg. Co. Upon the death of Clark in 1916, James and his three sons (including my grandfather, John J.) operated the business. An old catalog shows eight models, some very ornate, others with plain lines like the Beaumont table. Clark, Herd became a leading company in Philadelphia not only for sales but also for service, especially when it came to repairing rips in the green felt. However, with the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919, prohibiting the sale of alcohol nationwide, including bars and pool halls, and the financial crash of 1929, the demise of pool table manufacturing for residential use was very quick. The Clark, Herd company went out of business in the late 1920s.
Weather continued from page 1 There’s quite a lot of snow on the ground already, though nothing like what the TV newscasters are gleefully reporting is yet to come. What’s special about the view from our villa is that one of Beaumont’s snowplows is keeping the roadway clear. A little red motorized snowblower is zipping in and out of driveways, keeping them clear. A man with a shovel and a portable snowblower on his back is across the road, keeping a neighbor’s sidewalk clear. (Our sidewalk is already clear.) In a little while the doorbell will ring, and it will be one of Beaumont’s after-hours drivers, stamping and shaking the snow from his boots and hood, delivering our dinner. We ordered it this afternoon from the maître d’ in the mansion up the hill, where nine separate full-service dining rooms, open at almost any hour anyone would want to eat, will be waiting for us to choose from when we again feel like venturing out. If, when the time comes, we feel like dressing for dinner, there’s the paneled Oak Room, the original dining room used by the railroad baron who built the mansion, or the Green Room, which was his family’s living room, with wonderful moldings and an exquisite, ornate marble fireplace. The other dining rooms are all different; less formal, each with its own character. The Bistro has huge TV screens, a bar and an en suite poolroom. (Tonight we’re having cream of crab soup, grilled Cornish hen with peaches and a port-wine sauce, herbscented rice, and stir-fried broccoli. There were plenty of other choices, but that’s what we both felt like tonight. The dress code for tonight is PJs and bathrobes. We’ll supply our own wine, but we could have ordered that delivered too, and our Wine Committee knows its grapes.) Of course there are all the other amenities you would expect in a high-end CCRC, and this one is unique in the country for being owned and run by its residents. We are beautifully exercised, amused, stimulated and cared-for as well as elegantly fed. Many are not even retired—they’re enjoying a sort of medium-relaxed pre-retirement. But back to me, an 83-year-old elder with a slightly older husband, and our main reason for smiling at this moment—as we have smiled during all of our almost 10 years here. Up and down the East Coast TV anchors are shouting bad news about the oncoming Blizzard of 2015, and home owners are glumly eyeing their shovels. We are sitting cozily in our study, watching the snow fall and NOT HAVING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! You’d smile too, Mr. Brooks.
Photos by Richard Stephens
AT LEFT: Bob sees result of his shot. ABOVE: Joan Stuart uses a bridge to line up hers.
Dumpster-diving Doc explains how he started By Dean (Doc) Snyder
Dumpster diving is a skill I began practicing at the ripe old age of plus-or-minus 14. I lived on a family farm, and after completing eight years in a one-room school I successfully tested eligible to enter high school—only there wasn’t one in my school district. That meant I could pick any one in the area provided I paid tuition and could get myself there and back. I wanted to go. (My mentor, a teacher at my school, was also my uncle Millard Gladfelter, who later became president of Temple University.) Luckily a childless young farming couple in need of a hand offered me a job, but how to get there was an issue. It was a two-mile commute and the morning milking came early. But as fate would have it I happened upon a town Photo by Louise Hughes dump and a bicycle. DOC INSPECTS a find and considers its possible use. When I got the bike home it appeared to be in running order except for a brake.Not a problem. I just improvised. control the downhill speed. (Who needs a rear brake Immediately I removed the front fender and I was set. anyway?) Well, almost. These days I dive for anything that I might retrofit for In my day shoe lasts were a must. Equipped with an the greenhouse, carpentry shop or vegetable garden. I also inventory of harness leather, my father fit my work shoes collect empty cooking-grease pails for future maple sap with new leather soles and I had brakes. That is, with a little storage, as they are made of food-safe plastic. practice I had brakes. Conclusion: Dumpster diving is in my genes, though Simple. When approaching a down-hill slope, just lift I’ll wager the mutant has not been passed along to any of one leg and place the leather- soled shoe against the inside the Snyder extended family. I can testify that there are no of the fork of the front wheel and apply enough pressure to genetically modified Snyders.
WONDER WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE OAK ROOM? “A thorough facelift,” according to Marian Lockett-Egan, House Committee chairman, who says she expects it to re-open soon.
Photo by Richard Stephens
Napoleon: As the people of Elba knew him By Betsy Stull
Photo by Louise Hughes
ANOTHER LEAP INTO THE DIGITAL FUTURE: Jackie Holness, who wears many hats in the Health Center, presides at the loading dock over shredder-bound medical records that have been looming large in her tiny office.
Christmas continued from page 8 approach two lionesses sleeping under a tree to about 50 yards before they sensed us and loped off the other way. We watched two large groups of elephants, 34 in all, strolling along. Two cheetah eying some impala. An impala giving birth. Four lion cubs playing around a mother. A lioness stalking some zebra and missing when she attacked. Spectacular. That night we resumed our Christmas Eve celebration with Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, and we sang about eight carols we had brought with us. Then the staff sang a carol about the Messiah and Bethlehem in Swahili, those being the only two words we could understand. And then we went to our cots and slept, just as Dylan Thomas says.
Napoleon spent only a short time on Elba, nine months in 1814-1815. I have been to Elba many times, having a summer home there, and am always impressed with the thought Napoleon gave to accommodating his staff and improving the lives of the people whenever he found a means. He had a principal residence at Villa dei Mulini, on the promontory of Portoferraio with a wide view of the port and any activity on the sea, and a summer home outside the town, at the Villa San Martino. Both his homes are now museums. He maintained an army of 1,000 soldiers and sailors for whom he provided housing, clothes and weapons, and even produced a theater by converting an old church with three tiers of seats. Although he ruled as governor for only 300 days, he thought of many ways to better the lives of the 12,000 inhabitants of the island. Wheat was not grown on Elba, so he planted chestnut trees in order to provide flour for bread. He improved agricultural methods, built roads and had work done to drain the island’s marshes, revised the legal and educational systems and expanded the iron mines. Also, he introduced olive groves and renewed the granite quarries, which were opened in Imperial Roman times and continue to this day. The flag of Elba, white with his bees in a red stripe, was designed in 1814 by Napoleon. The people liked him then and they still do.
Photo by Jim Zug
DEBORA POSES in outhouse for the family (and BN) record.
Photo by Jim Zug
INSPECTING A TERMITE MOUND in Tanzania with guide Chagamba (from left) are the Zugs' son, Jim Jr.; Debora, daughterin-law Rebecca and grandsons Collier, 9, and Livingston, 11. Jim said Chagamba "was wonderful with the boys."
A Christmas to remember: Tenting in the Serengeti with 'basic' amenities By Jim Zug
fine. Except when it rained. The safari operator had said there might be a touch of rain in December. But it happened to pour on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in two-hour dumps with high winds blowing the water horizontally. So, Christmas Eve we had a glorious four-hour morning walk in the savanna amid all the wonderful animals, in the sun. But then after lunch in the camp, we had the first huge rain. We stayed in the mess tent playing Christmas Bingo (images of the Christmas season rather than numbers) as the rain blew in horizontally and about 2 inches of water flowed through the tent under our feet. On returning to our tents after the rain burst, we discovered that the wind had blown water through the air vents and anything on the floor was damp or wet. Camping is such fun. It cleared, so dinner was beautiful and we read Henry van Dyke’s 1896 fable The Other Wise Man around the fire after dinner. We planned on other readings and some carol singing, but the rains returned, so there we were back in our tents at 7:30. Flaps down, so dry. But the tents have no headboards or ceiling lights, so reading was a challenge. That was our Christmas Eve to remember. Christmas Day dawned sunny, so another glorious morning walk. Among the highlights, we were able to
A couple of months ago The Beaumont News solicited unusual Christmas stories. Here is ours, from 2014: We spent eight days over the holidays on a tented safari trip to the Serengeti in Tanzania. This was a trip with our son, his wife and two grandchildren ages 11 and 9. The first four days were a walking safari in a private part of the huge Serengeti, completely alone with our own portable tent party. We had a mess tent, a kitchen tent, three sleeping tents, a shower stall and an outhouse. This was “standard” tenting, as opposed to the luxurious permanent tented camp we enjoyed in the lower Serengeti, where the huge annual migration of wildebeest and zebra takes place, for the last four days. All is fine with the standard tenting arrangements, except when it rains and except for sleeping comfortably. Our tent measured 7 by 7 feet. We know that because the two cots were 7 feet long and filled that dimension of the tent. The cots were 2 1/2 feet wide with a 2-foot aisle in the middle, filling that dimension. The cots were not saggy, which was good, but they were instead very hard. So, sleeping involved lying on your back until your lower back ached, then turning on your right side until your right shoulder ached, then turning on your left side until your left shoulder ached, then repeat. Were we a bit old for this??? Although basic and rustic, the accommodations were
Christmas continued on page 7
Newsletter, Beaumont Retirement, Bryn Mawr, PA