20 A D LI O E H SU 15 IS Y
V o lu me T wen t y N i ne , N umber 8
Photo by Louise Hughes
JOHN LLOYD, SANTA-LIKE in his workshop, raised about $2,500 for the Beaumont Fund selling products of his craftsmanship in wood to Christmas shoppers. See story on Page 13.
SALLY HERD, FLOWER COMMITTEE-OF-ONE, at work on tiny Christmas trees destined for proliferation throughout Beaumont. For anyone who doesn't already know, Sally is the lady who does almost all of the floral arrangements we enjoy in changing progression throughout the year.
News alert from Information Technology: 'New, cool things' coming in 2016!
Evelyn Rosen wishes 'Happy Hanukkah' to everyone who passes her door
Photo by Louise Hughes
By Robert Catalano, IT Director
Beginning in January, Beaumont will have a Resident Portal. The computer savvy [See Page 15] will immediately recognize this as exciting news, heralding a lot of new and cool things, without further explanation. To explain further, nevertheless: You will be able to create your own individual page or website with information about yourself, a profile with as much information about yourself as you IT continued on page 15
If youâ€™ve wandered past my apartment (306) you may have noticed the electric Hanukkah with its eight bulbs, one additional light illuminated each evening, and the dish of chocolate coins beside it. I illuminate the Hanukkah each night to commemorate the miracle occurring after the Jews regained the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Greeks in the second century BCE. After they regained their holy site, the Jews wanted to dedicate the Temple by lighting the menorah, the candelabrum with nine vessels for oil. They found holy oil, however, for one day only. Hanukkah continued on page 7
Beaumont Writing Group has fun, faces future bravely
Two more scholarships are awarded
Greg Martin (Maintenance) and Tutu Suah (CNA, Health Center) received Beaumont college scholarships this year, but not in time for October’s Beaumont News story about the scholarship winners. Expecting to receive state subsidies for their tuition, they did not apply for the Beaumont scholarships, and thus were caught short when they learned that the subsidies were no longer available. They turned to Beaumont, which accepted their late applications.
By Mary Schnabel
The Beaumont Writing Group has resumed its meetings, after a summer-and-early-fall vacation. With the addition of several new members, the group now meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the month in the Club Room, 10:30 a.m.to 12 noon. The history of this Beaumont activity began 15 years ago with a group of residents who just wanted to try their hand at expressing themselves on paper. The last remaining member of the founding group is Margie Manlove, who has shepherded the endeavor ever since. Traditionally, members write whatever they choose. Some use the opportunity to engage in flights of fantasy, others have been successful in applying the discipline of a bi-monthly meeting to write memoirs. Even memoirs that get published! One of the first challenges of the new season, and a favorite of us writers, is this: A number of random words are given…having nothing particularly to do with each other. The charge is we each must write, in 15 minutes, a paragraph or two using all the words. Pencils and pens are brought out, quiet settles over the tables and thinking caps are adjusted. Reading the results of our endeavors is always fun and funny. This year, out of the corner of my eye I witnessed a startling new feature. Lynn Ayers, one of our new members, calmly opened her laptop and typed away at her creation. It was a sobering thought to realize that technology has caught up with the Beaumont Writing Group and in no time at all we pencil pushers will also be bringing our computers to the meetings!
Message from the Grounds Committee
Next time you take a stroll through the Greenhouse Courtyard you will find something new. Thanks to the generosity of the Jenkins Arboretum, black labels have been attached to the recently planted trees. Enjoy your walk. — Nancy Harris, Chairman
In Memoriam Elaine Mastroianni October 3, 2015
John B.M. Place November 7, 2015
Sarah Narrigan November 12, 2015
Ruth Jenkins November 14, 2015
Mary Wolferth November 29, 2015
Ian M. Ballard November 30, 2015
Lea Bolling November 30, 2015 Members of the Beaumont Community extend deepest sympathy to their families and friends.
IN A MEMORABLE MOMENT, SANTA (Housekeeping's Howard Barron) gives Operations Chief Brock Nichols a hug on the dance floor at the Staff Christmas party.
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 Roving Reporter Events Manager Proofreader Circulation Manager
Mary Graff John Hall Ginny Rivers TJ Walsh Louise Hughes Wistie Miller Kim Norrett Jennie Frankel Barbara O’Brien
Photo by Houskeeping's Yalonda Phillips
Diggers solve mysteries of our geothermal wells Text and Photos by Richard Stephens You may recently have noticed the Beaumont Grounds crew digging up lawns around the campus. That work is preparatory to refurbishing our geothermal systems. Thirty years ago Beaumont was one of the early adopters of such systems for residential heating and cooling. There is one cluster of wells and a distribution manifold for every cluster of five—in a few cases four or six—villas. They circulate water down as much as 500 feet to where the earth is a steady 55°F. That water is used by the heat pumps in each residence as a heat source in winter or cooling in summer, reducing the cost of keeping our rooms comfortable. The system has worked well, in the main, but problems are becoming more frequent. Prudence has dictated examining each system to replace aging components. Since the wells and manifolds were installed concurrently with villa and apartment construction, and before landscaping, they have not all been easy to access. The first two photos show the uncovering of the deepest manifold and pipe system. The manifold is six feet down, just outside the front door of Bob and Carole Morgan’s villa, and directly underneath the site of what used to be a fairly large dogwood tree. The last photo shows a new manifold ready for installation. The cluster of wells it connects to extended under another tree that had to be removed—a very large white pine. Congratulations are due our guys for their excavatory enterprise and expertise!
The pipes under a Dogwood Tree.
Opening the manifold for the first time in 30 years.
Note: The new manifolds will be replaced at a rate of two a week. They will be set much closer to the surface to avoid a repeat of these adventures on the next refurbishment 30 years from now. 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 email@example.com and mgraff@BeaumontRetirement.com, or hand in at the Front Desk.
New manifold awaiting installation.
Austin hive aces spelling bee
By Horatio (Funky) Wagnalls
The First Annual Spelling Bee played out in the Beaumont Room on Nov. 12. The Austin hive (i.e. team or squad), the Wanna Bees, bested three strong hives
from Baldwin (Bees’ Knees), Beaumont Staff (the Stingers) and the Villa Villains. From an observer’s viewpoint there appeared to be no drones in any hive as all members buzzily contributed. The competition was keen but friendly. A large and enthusiastic audience cheered lustily for their favorite hives. Each hive had either three or four members. The Maître Bee (President Joe Peduzzi) read the word as well as a definition and a sample sentence.
The contestants were allowed 30 seconds to write the word on a whiteboard and hold it up for all to see. Two judges, Helen (DeeDee “You need to improve your handwriting!”) Ballard and Peter Abel, kept the time and determined whether a word was correctly spelled. (The judges were carefully selected for their objectivity and their ability to tell time.) The words, which had been painstakingly chosen by two Word Wizards, Dr. Richard Stephens and Deborah Bishop, wearing turbans Richard had brought home from a recent trip to Morocco, were presented on ascending levels of difficulty. All hives started strong, but near the middle of Level Two, Austin surged to the lead as the other three hives misspelled words and were stung. Two stings and the hive was heaved. The final word, which stung out the valiant Baldwin hive while being nailed by the Austin Wanna Bees, was logorrhea. The judges were seen taking a long, hard look at their crib sheets before ruling on the accuracy of the spelling. The audience was stunned by the difficulty of the word and Austin’s success. However, everyone recovered in time to keep things humming and swarm to the rear of the Beaumont room for wine and cheese. The Spelling Bee was created, planned and organized by the Queen Bee, Mary Schnabel, who also served as prop girl and publicist (and how!). Although the Queen Bee was the glue and backbone, she was ably assisted by Joan Thayer, Vern Stanton and many other residents and members of the Beaumont staff. Thanks to all! And keep the buzz going!
Peter Abel assisted with the reporting.
WORD WIZARD DEBORAH BISHOP, handing out jars of honey to runner-up Baldwin Bee's Knees, answers a question from Ginny Rivers. Behind Ginny are John Gregg (left) and Michael Churchman. WATCHERS (from left): Barbara Pottish, Eloise Gretz and Grace Driscoll cheer on their hives. MARY SCHNABEL, "QUEEN BEE" of the First Annual Spelling Bee, displays her prize for planning and organizing the event, which was a smash hit. Her prize was a large stemmed goblet, the stem striped yellow and black, "Queen Bee" and a small bee painted on the bowl. WINNING Austin Wannabees (from left, Marvin Weisbord, Caroline Kemmerer, Peter Binzen) toast their success; Substitute Dean Snyder sits behind them.Their prizes: honey-filled mugs swarming with (well, you know.) BABY BEE Emma Szoke, 14 months, daughter of Accounting's Kristin Szoke, lends a hand with stuffed bees used in scoring. MAĂŽTRE BEE Joe Peduzzi exhibits his protective cover. Photos by Louise Hughes
Fellow author at Beaumont reviews Ginny Rivers' book, Prelude to Genocide; gives it high marks By Peter Binzen
Beaumont’s most recently published author, Virginia Gavian Rivers, has written a powerful historical novel focused on violence in Erzerum, Turkey, the ancient homeland of Armenians in 1895. This part of the world is little known by Americans, but as a principal trade route it has been fought over by Turks and Russians, Muslims and Kurds, often at the expense of Armenians. Armenia became the first Christian state in 301, and its people remained Christian during centuries of Turkic-Muslim dominance. But as nationalist fever spread through Europe in the 19th Century, Armenians found themselves under attack from larger forces.
Photo by Louise Hughes
AT HER BOOK LAUNCH, author Ginny Rivers and fellow resident Marv Weisbord performed a two-minute dialogue dramatizing the disagreement between Armenians and the Turkish government about the deaths of Armenians in 1895 and 1915. Rivers says that Turkish officials deny government complicity in these events. Above, Ginny (as the Armenian) and Marv (as the Turk).
grandmother spent excruciating hours in a coffin-like box to get out of the country. Border guards in both Turkey and Russia failed to detect the subterfuge. In an interview, Rivers said that her grandparents' family in Erzerum was comfortably off with a house that had 25 family members living under one roof. She has a picture of the house, which later became a school. Rivers said she was “conceived in Russia and born in the United States.” Her father, Sarkis Petros Kavafian, came to this country in 1919-1920, alone. (He changed his name to Gavian when he was naturalized.) While earning college and graduate degrees in the States, he met her mother, the former Ruth Wood, who was born in Massachusetts and earned a doctorate in economics at Columbia University. Ginny’s father, a skilled machinist, worked for many years as a tool-and-die maker; her mother was an educator and author of high school textbooks. As parents, they took their son, Peter, to the Soviet Union for two years in the ’30s before returning to Massachusetts. Their daughter, whom everybody at Beaumont calls “Ginny,” graduated from Adelphi Academy, in Brooklyn, New York, in 1953, and from Bryn Mawr College in 1957. In 1959 she married Richard Rivers, a graduate of Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Richard Rivers was a lawyer with the Dechert firm and with Campbell Soup before joining the Berwind Corporation, where he was corporate counsel. He was with Berwind for 25 years before taking early retirement. Dick died in November 2013, just before his
Prelude to Genocide: Incident in Erzerum
Virginia Gavian Rivers Archway Publishing 2015 Prelude to Genocide describes in harrowing detail the violence in eastern Turkey, particularly Erzerum, in October 1895. Among those killed was an uncle of Rivers’ father. Set off by a protest in Constantinople in late September 1895, the government retaliated with military and paramilitary attacks in villages, towns and cities where Armenians were most populous. An estimated 100,000 Armenians fled to Russia, Greece and other countries. These incidents—as Turkish officials term them—preceded the murderous rampage against Armenians that began throughout Turkey in 1915. The earlier slaughter has not got the attention it deserved. No writer is more qualified to tell this story than Rivers, whose 80th birthday was December 8. Descriptions of what happened were supplied by close relatives including her father, who was born in 1899 in a city then under Russian rule. He described how the family was rescued by a Muslim neighbor just before the violence began. Yet the uncle was killed in the rampage, and why that happened is one of the book's central questions. Later, Rivers’
80th birthday. They had two sons, Matthew and Stephen, and a daughter, Jessica. Ginny has five grandchildren, the youngest of whom, a boy named Garen, was adopted from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Ginny was on a path to a doctorate in experimental psychology at Bryn Mawr, but stopped with a master’s because, she said, she felt research was “too far removed from what was happening in the world.” She left Bryn Mawr College in 1960 to write for a weekly newspaper, the Main Line Times, and said she loved being a news reporter. When babies started arriving in 1964, she worked freelance for the paper as well as assisting in psychological research part time. In 1980 she returned to school, to Temple University, for a graduate course in journalism. This led to a job at Girard Bank in marketing and internal communications. Girard was acquired by Mellon; she was internal communications manager when she left in1988 to write the book that has just been published. “It took 25 years,” she said. In that span her family moved three times. Their most recent home, near Ricketts Glen State Park, is now for sale. The Internet has greatly simplified research for writers, but there was no Internet for Ginny Rivers. Her father was alive when she started the project, and she had long conversations with him. She spent hours talking with an aged Armenian cousin and considerable time in libraries—at Bryn Mawr and Penn, Ludington Library, the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress. She traveled widely. To Kars, in Russia, where her father was born. To Trebizond on the Black Sea, and to Erzerum and other cities in eastern Turkey which figure prominently in the book. To London, which has a large Armenian population and extensive documents relating to British-Turkish diplomacy about "The Armenian Question." Her book includes a glossary, which is very welcome. Without it, few readers would know the meaning of hamidieh or hannum or Hunchak. Prelude to Genocide is extremely well written. In 386 pages, there is not a single cliché. At least not one that I found. All the sentences parse. That’s not to say the book is an easy read. I found it difficult to keep track of all the characters with such names as Khalil and Khadija, Ehsan and Huru. But Rivers is telling a very important story and in my opinion she tells it brilliantly.
Photo by Louise Hughes
EVELYN ROSEN with the Hanukkah display, including chocolate coins and an invitation to passersby to help themselves, in front of her door.
Hanukkah continued from page 1 But miracle of miracles, the oil lasted for eight days! A year later, the festival of Hanukkah was established to thank God for the miracle. Some time after this, coins and then chocolate coins were given on each day as gifts: some say to pay teachers; others say to reward children for studying Torah. No matter what the reason, I hope you have enjoyed the sight and sweetness of Hanukkah, at 306 and on the mantel in the Clubroom. Happy Hanukkah. — Evelyn Rosen BlueInk Review called the book “a moving story of survival;” Foreword called it “powerful . . . well researched. . . heart-wrenching . . . a book that explores the very question many have wondered for generations: What is the cause of man’s inhumanity to man?” A recent article in PhillyVoice (March 24, 2015) called Peter, now retired, “one of the city’s most distinguished mid-century journalists.” His most recent published book was a biography of an iconic Philadelphia mayor, Richardson Dilworth: Last of the Bare-Knuckled Aristocrats.” — Mary Graff
Daughter of Kingie and Hoff Dolan turns gold into a new kind of treasure for schoolgirls in Tanzania, wins award for leadership By George Hollingshead
Imagine a small group of 12-year-old girls, living in extreme poverty, sometimes with not enough to eat, walking to a school each day where there are 70 or more students in a class and few books or even places to sit. But one day these same girls are offered a chance to attend a quality boarding school—far from their homes, but where there are enough teachers, books, furniture, sports and other activities, with three nutritious meals a day. By the time they finish, these Swahili-speaking Tanzanian girls will have learned not only English, and the usual academic subjects, but also communication skills, how to run a small business, how to mentor others, poultry farming and organic gardening. That is the goal of the SEGA (Secondary Education for Girls’ Advancement) School in Morogoro, Tanzania, and its Education for Life program, founded by Pauline (Polly) Dolan, daughter of Kingie and the late Hoffman Dolan. The school recently was recognized as a “Changemaker School” by Ashoka East
Africa, an organization that calls itself “the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide.” The announcement said SEGA was “leading the
A letter from Polly's mother
way for change in Tanzania.” Polly went to Africa more than 20 years ago. She worked for CARE, first in Uganda and then in Tanzania. She married John Dixon, a South African gentleman with a doctorate in geology, who was working for a consulting minerals exploration company (and with whom she now has a daughter, Martha. Polly invested in gold in 2007, prior to the global economic crash and the consequent increase in gold prices. Her investment paid off enough to enable her to finance her dream of helping the young girls she found often orphaned, poor, exploited, and living in unsafe conditions. Girls were getting a free education until they were 12 years old, but were rarely able to continue beyond that point, burdened by household tasks, caring for younger siblings, or early pregnancy. With her investment proceeds in hand, Polly went looking for land to build a high school for girls. At the same time, her sister Tracey (of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania) began forming a non-profit organization, Nurturing Minds Inc., to help support the future school. In 2008 the first students arrived to take their places in a borrowed space, while a team of people in the United States (now Nurturing Minds) began fundraising to help support these efforts. In 2010 came the opening of the first high school building. Today there are just under 200 students with a staff of 12 teachers, a headmistress, Polly as executive director and three American volunteers. Polly says the school is 100 percent supported by donors, some of them as sponsors of individual students, but the long-term aim is to become self-sustaining through campus businesses. In the meantime, SEGA has been fortunate to receive USAID funds for construction of the buildings, while more than 1,000 other individuals and small foundations and organizations, including the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, support the school’s operating costs. The students run a poultry farm with 3,000-plus chickens, selling eggs to the local town, and grow vegetables for the school kitchen. Plans for the future include a student-run hotel with space to host conferences. It is clear that Polly Dolan cannot stop dreaming. Wonderful.
When I was driven into SEGA School on my recent arrival in Tanzania, I was in awe of how large it was, with 20 buildings, and how beautiful the setting was, with the Uluguru Mountains in the background. The girls all gathered around and sang a welcoming song to me, which was very heartwarming. They were such a happy group and seemed to love the school. The girls seem to come out very high on their national exams, which is remarkable as few of them spoke English when they came to SEGA., where they are taught in English. They all spoke Swahili, which is what my daughter, sonin- law and granddaughter speak when necessary. They have an organic vegetable garden, from which they feed the students, and hundreds of eggs a day which they sell to the local Kingie, with guide, in Africa markets. The raising of chickens and selling the eggs is probably the first experience the students have had in running a small business. Morogoro, where the school is located, was a small rural town with little traffic when Polly first saw it and bought the land. Now it is a large city with dreadful traffic. Tanzania is probably one of the safest countries in Africa, but problems exist—which of course is what happens in any very poor country, which they all are. Upon seeing the school I realized more than ever the enormous amount of work that is involved in building and running a school. It takes a great deal of effort from a great many people, including the board members, the staff and many volunteers from all over the U.S and England. — Kingie
Zugs visit Israel and Jordan, return 'moved and awed' by what they learned
Our last stop in Israel was two nights in a kibbutz up north in the Golan Heights, 5 miles from Syria and 8 miles from Lebanon. From there we visited the holy sites around the Sea of Galilee. It was very moving to see the area where Jesus spent his three years of ministry. By Debbie Zug Two of our children and a husband flew home from Jim and I flew to Israel in September with our three Israel, but our eldest daughter joined us for the visit into adult children plus one of the sons-in-law. We had been Jordan. The day we crossed the King Hussein Bridge to Israel twice before, but wanted to have our children into Jordan was the day the violence started erupting in experience this fascinating country. We think it is one Jerusalem. So we just made it through the Old Jerusaof the most interesting countries in the world, and our lem sights in time. middle daughter is a minister, so we thought she would There were two special highlights in Jordan. especially appreciate seeing One was a visit to Kings the holy sites. Academy, a 9-year-old, Rather than recite the brand-new boarding school usual sites, letâ€™s start with near Amman, founded by a special day visiting the King Abdullah and modWest Bank. We passed many eled after Deerfield, which Jewish settlements and then he had attended. He had crossed the checkpoint into persuaded Eric Widmer to Ramallah. With an Israeli car retire as head of Deerfield and driver, it took only about and organize the school: 10 minutes to pass the check600 students, co-ed, 80 perpoint; it would have been cent American faculty, an longer for the other checkamazing story in the Arab point for the Palestinians. world. Its students come In Ramallah, we visited a from 20 countries, and all 160-year-old, co-ed Quaker go on to college, mostly in TRAVELING BY CAMEL: Jim and Debbie Zug, their school in the middle of the the U.S. daughter Laurie and a friend. West Bank city. The school has 1,300 students, The second special highlight was lunch with the Kindergarten to 12th grade, all Muslim, not one one Jordanian we knew in advance, Kerim Kawal, the Quaker! The facilities were very basic, but the education former Jordanian Ambassador to the U.S. (2003-08), was perhaps the best in the West Bank. Our son is a whom we knew through Eisenhower Fellowships headQuaker and he knew the head of the school through quartered here in Philadelphia, where Jim was on the her visits to their Meeting in Wilmington to raise board. We went to his house thinking we would be havfunds. Because of the funding pressures, she lives in the ing lunch with Kerim and his wife, Luma, but instead U.S. most of the time and runs the school by skyping! found 30 Jordanians thereâ€”CEOs, technology industry While in Ramallah, we also visited a Seeds of Peace trade association leaders, government ministers. office, which recruits 20 Palestinians each year to attend Kerim runs eight different businesses, but has been a summer camp experience in Maine, which one of our asked by the King to work with other business leaders, granddaughters attended a few years ago. The camp industry associations and government ministers to make features campers from areas in conflict, like Israel and recommendations as to how Jordan can accelerate its Palestine. rate of growth to absorb the 1.5 million refugees on its Viewing the wall that the Israelis have built separatnorthern border. Kerim is doing this full time. ing Israel from the West Bank was most disturbing. Jordan is the safest of the Arab countries, I believe; It reminded us of the Berlin Wall back in 1974 when the King is beloved for his vision, and he is seeking to we lived in Germany, but its tentacles encroach deeply move the country to a constitutional monarchy. into Palestinian life. Israel and Jordan continued on page 11
From Dublin to Bryn Mawr, new Austin resident has done a lot of moving
Getting to know Lisa Burkholder: new Resident Care Coordinator
By Sis Ziesing
Lisa Burkholder, our new Resident Care Coordinator, sent an introductory note and a survey to all our residents shortly after she joined the Wellness Center staff in July. As Resident Care Coordinator she provides support on a number of Lisa Burkholder topics for individuals in independent living, and is a general resource for non-medical needs. Lisa offers opportunities for residents to discuss important topics and engage in activities related to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. She has already met some of us and hopes to meet the rest in the near future. Lisa grew up in Marlton, New Jersey, the middle child in a close family. Her father is a health administrator at Jefferson University and her mother is now working toward an RN degree at Burlington County
By Rena Burstein
An Irish lass has joined us at Beaumont. Helen Gannon was born in Dublin, attended a boarding school and went on to St. Mary's College before leaving Ireland. Her husband, Frank, was Irish also. Their families were great friends and Helen and Frank grew up always knowing each other. Love did not bloom until after college, however. Frank, at that point, had gone to Montreal to work for a pharmaceutical company and Montreal was where they were married. They lived there for Helen Gannon two years, then off to New York City to get Frankâ€™s doctorate at Columbia. An invitation to work for Merck Sharp & Dohme in Philadelphia arrived before the degree, however, so he took the job. Then back to Dublin for Frank to start his own company (which didn't work out). Back to Wayne to be with Wyeth. Talk about moving a lot! In later years, they moved to a condo in Haverford. Frank died five years ago; Helen moved to an apartment in Austin last June. Helenâ€™s job years included working for Radio Free Europe (she loved sending patriotic messages to Communist countries), in the Art Department at N. W. Ayer, and operating an antique shop in Wayne in partnership with a friend. She has served on committees of the Sedgeley boat club and her condo association. Helen has a son, Ronan, and a daughter, Jane, who to her delight live locally and have presented her with five grandchildren. Tennis, sailing and going to the opera have been favorite leisure-time activities. It was a pleasure to meet this Irish lass in her cheery yellow apartment.
Lisa Burkholder continued on page 14 Israel and Jordan continued from page 10
Jim sat next to the founder and CEO of the worldâ€™s leading iris eye recognition company, and I sat next to the newly arrived deputy U.S. ambassador to Jordan whom Kerim was helping introduce around. Petra, of course, that "rose-red city half as old as time" (as the poet John William Burgon called it), is a major highlight for a trip to Jordan. Just amazing: 15,000 Nabateans living 2,000 years ago in a stonecarved village, which prospered as a major trading center for the region, the red hues of the sandstone changing as the sun moves through the day. One of the seven man-made wonders of the world. The second day I rode a horse, donkey and camel around the site (because of my plantar fasciitis), while Jim and our daughter did two 1000-meter hikes to special places. And we spent the following night in a tented camp in the desert of Wadi Rum, land of Lawrence of Arabia, with its own special hues. We all came away from this visit awed by so many beautiful, moving historical and religious sites. And a much greater appreciation of the complex political situations.
She calls it 'playing' with clay, but results are professional and on display here By Marilyn (Lynn) Ayers
As children, we probably all played with clay, a great outlet for youthful enthusiasm and creativity. Long ago, after attempting numerous lumpy horses and lopsided bowls, I decided that my talents must lie elsewhere. But for Beaumont resident Leslie Wheeler, abundant talent and love for working with clay is evident in her pottery, which is currently being exhibited in the Beaumont Room. The daughter of Beaumont founders Cally and Artie Wheeler, Leslie has Leslie Wheeler been an enthusiastic potter for many years, and has created a studio in her villa. Leslie has worked with a wheel, but now does hand-building with the coil or slab method. She calls it “playing with clay” because the hands-on experience is fun. The slab method involves rolling out a slab of clay in the same manner as rolling out pie dough. The flat slab is then cut and shaped. The coil method involves rolling clay by hand into
a long snake, much like rolling dough to make certain homemade pastries, pasta and pretzels. The coils are cut to the desired length, formed into a loop, and the ends sealed together. Then a second loop is built on top of the first, a third on top of the second, and so forth. Potters smooth out the layers of coils as they go along. The coil method was used throughout the Americas until Europeans introduced the wheel, and it is still used by their descendants today. Leslie uses 266 stoneware, which turns dark chocolate when fired, as opposed to terra cotta red or porcelain white. She likes the dark rock clay as a backdrop to the glazed areas. How does she put it all together? I’ll use the large leaf bowl (below) in her exhibit as an example.
She started with a metal mixing bowl and lined the inside with Saran wrap. Next, she collected leaves with pronounced veins, which she rolled onto thin pieces of slab clay to imprint the image. She trimmed the clay to the shape of the leaves and arranged them around the inside of the metal bowl. She filled holes and gaps between the leaves with coils or “buttons” of clay and smoothed the inside. When the clay was “leather hard,” she removed the bowl from its mold for its first firing in the kiln. The final steps were the glazing and second firing. Leslie painted on the glaze. The inside was fully covered, but on the outside, she wiped it off with a sponge to emphasize the veins of the leaves. Other pottery in Leslie’s collection was made with the coil method, which allowed her to create a number of different shapes. Once the coils were smoothed, she decorated the pottery with a knitting needle before firing and glazing. Leslie’s exhibit in the Beaumont Room includes some of the work she’s liked best. Be sure not to miss it.
Resident's woodworking skills pay off for Beaumont Fund
He makes homes for feathered guests
John Lloyd, whose pre-Christmas sale of his works in wood raised about $2,500 for the Beaumont Fund, became interested in woodworking when he took shop in the fourth grade at Episcopal Academy. The skill came naturally to him, as his mother was an artist and his great-grandfather was a painter and woodcarver of some note. At the sale, the Beaumont Room was filled with many of his small end tables, picture frames, trays, coasters and wooden Christmas ornaments. Christmas shoppers commented especially on the various breeds of dogs which he had inserted into some of his table tops! This sale of John’s work was inspired by the generosity of a fellow resident, Bruce Mainwaring, whose Matching Challenge Fund benefits the Beaumont Fund. John’s first effort in his fourth-grade shop class was to make the bow part of a bow and arrow. The Western American Indians used the wood of the Osage orange tree because of its flexibility, and so did John. This tree did not grow in our eastern states until the 19th Century. Lewis and Clark brought the seeds back with them after their expedition and gave them to the parishioners of old St. Peter’s Church here in Philadelphia to plant. Because of its large thorns, many farmers began to use the Osage orange as natural fencing to enclose their cows and horses. Out past Valley Forge and Exton and beyond you can still find these fences, now grown to become tall trees. They bear a large round green fruit called Mock Orange, which you can often find lying beside country roads.
You may have seen the attractive birdhouses made from gourds that are for sale in the Gift Shop. They are the creation of Dr. John Carson, who moved to Beaumont six years ago but has been making birdhouses for twice that long.
By Marilyn Ayers
By Wistie Miller
He grows the gourds at his villa, but Beaumont has a short growing season for gourds, which prefer full sun. Tall trees and abundant shrubbery create more shade than is desirable, but gourds are survivors. One “volunteer” sprouted near a bush in his front lawn and used it as a trellis to reach for the sun—not easy, since there is a tree there, too. However, the determined vine has produced a mature gourd, waiting to be harvested. Turning gourds into birdhouses is a yearlong activity, which is mostly inactivity. Dr. Carson harvests the gourds in October, and they spend the winter drying out on newspaper on the floor of his basement. In August, he scrubs the gourds, drills the entrance holes, and removes the seeds. He gives the new birdhouses two coats of Thompson Water Seal and three coats of polyurethane. The entrance hole is sized to attract wrens and chickadees. Dr. Carson’s instructions are to hang the houses 10 to 12 feet high in mid-March and take them inside by Labor Day. They can’t survive the harshness of winter. Before putting them out again in the spring, be sure to remove all previous nesting material. His instruction sheet includes “Beaumont Made – Beaumont Grown” and ends with “Free seeds to interested growers.” Any takers?
BRYN MAWR DAY in town was a warm-weather event, and Marketing Director Audrey Walsh was there, pitching in.
Photo by Carol Korabik
Beaumont's Financial Strength: some further explanation By Peter Binzen Questioning Beaumont officials after the October Community Budget Meeting gave me a clearer understanding of Beaumont’s financial strength. Beaumont borrowed $4.6 million for capital projects in August 2013. Two years later, the debt has been reduced to $3.177 million. Beaumont paid off $1.423 million. Several prepayments have been made in addition to regular quarterly payments. Beaumont moved its investment holdings from Haverford Trust to Vanguard. The change was made not because of a disappointing return from Haverford but because Vanguard’s operating expenses were lower. Vanguard is known for keeping costs down. Beaumont expects to save $15,000 to $20,000 a year as a result of the switch. The Town Meeting report said that of Beaumont’s investment in Vanguard, 48% was in bonds and 52% in equities. Overall, investments held in all accounts are 80% equities and 20% bonds, in line with Beaumont’s investment policy. Four years ago, Beaumont invested $320,000 in two gold funds. The price of gold was then near its peak. Gold prices fell. The gold investment was recently sold for $190,000, a loss of $130,000. Our well-qualified Finance Committee felt they would recoup the loss faster by reinvesting in a Vanguard Bond Fund. The Future Residents’ Club’s list of people interested in buying one of Beaumont’s villas or apartments is at an all-time high. At the last count, 441 people had put up $1,500 each to get on the list and enjoy our amenities in the meantime. Investing has its ups and downs (and we have been fortunate to do well), but Beaumont’s good health is indicated by the rising numbers of people willing to pay for a place on that list.
Lisa Burkholder continued from page 11 College. Lisa graduated from Cherokee High School, where she ran track and cross-country. She went on to Princeton University on an athletic scholarship and graduated from Princeton as a psychology major in 2010. In May, 2014, she received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. Lisa has worked at the Penn Memory Center at the Institute on Aging and at the Alzheimers Association, and she plans to continue working with a supervisor from Penn towards an advanced social work license. She has had experience as a liaison between home care agencies and patients, which is one of her roles here at Beaumont, and with a wide range of issues around the aging process. The survey that Lisa prepared and sent to all residents was well received and produced a good response. As a result she plans to initiate several programs and discussion groups. Lectures scheduled for 2016 include such topics as Cognitive Fitness for the Aging Brain and Self Care and the Family Care Giver. She looks forward to becoming more acquainted with Beaumont and its residents and to understand further the social services we want and need. Lisa is interested in research and sets high standards for herself and others. Among other standards she sets for herself are in running marathons—which she does regularly, having run four half marathons (13.1 miles) in the past. She ran her first full marathon (26.2 miles) Nov. 22 in Philadelphia. Lisa can be found in her office, which moved recently to Room 11 in the Health Center.
Photo by Dede Shafer
JIM AND DEBBIE ZUG beam their appreciation at Episcopal Academy ceremony presenting Jim with Episcopal’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni award. The program referred to his multi-talented prowess in sports, principally squash, from school to the present day; in the worlds of business finance and of non-profit boards and committees, and—as we at Beaumont can affirm—at playing the organ.
And speaking of financial strength, Beaumont’s financial wizards announced at the meeting that they had been able to hold the 2016 fee increase down to 3 percent, same as 2015 and less than the 3.4 percent increase the year before.
IT continued from page 1
network resources. “Virtualization began in the 1960s, as a method of logically dividing the system resources provided by mainframe computers between different applications. Since then, the meaning of the term has broadened.” We will be upgrading our internal email server to keep our communication process up to date, and allow us to provide all residents with their own Beaumont email addresses if they so wish. One other big project coming next year is automation of our entire Accounts Payable process, now dependent on paper and pen.
care to share. You will be able to upload pictures, share information, sign up for events, make reservations and eventually check your meal balance. You will be able to check on your maintenance requests, accessing Operations to see time lines and updates on requests you have submitted. (This will be private, between you and Operations only.) Available in addition to Channel 99, the portal will also have resident and administration directories, menus, lists of activities, minutes of meetings—the list is endless, and will expand over time as we add things. Access to Robert Catalano, IT Director all this will be by any device that can connect you to the Internet—computer, iPhone, iPad, or whatever might lie in the future. (Residents who have so far resisted buying one of these devices might wish to reconsider.) We will also be installing new server Infrastructure, the brains of Beaumont’s computer system. This is what makes almost everything in Beaumont run. It controls Answers on Demand (AOD), which is the software that runs Beaumont. All our company information goes through AOD: Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Human Resources, Operations, Payroll, the Point of Service (POS) system that orders your food and tallies meal balances. It runs our health care system, our Internet and WiFi, our phone system, and you name it. Our servers are all about 5 years old, and we have 15 physical machines. We will be deploying a virtualization project that will provide us with the latest operating systems and adequate space to make our internal systems run as fast and efficiently as possible. This will improve our billing, POS and administration systems generally to help us help you as fast as possible. This will also prepare us for EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and other medical advances in the years to come. To quote from Wikipedia: “In computing, virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, operating systems, storage devices, and computer
The IT Department is working on a monthly (approximately) series of explainers attempting to clarify the often arcane nature of the language of Geekery. What, for example, do Geeks mean when they say “It’s in the Cloud”? That’s first on the list.
How computer savvy are we? By Ginny Rivers
Compared with our age group nationwide, are Beaumont residents tech smart? Are we as well equipped in digital terms, physically and mentally, as others like us? Our president, Joe Peduzzi; our Information Technology manager, Robert Catalano, and the News team all wanted to find out. We surveyed our residents and compared the results with a telephone survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2013 and 2014. The comparison placed us (now hear this!) well above the national average, although on a comparable level if adjusted for education, income and age distribution. Note: Only 141 Beaumont residents returned the surveys, although each household got one in either digital or paper form. Results showed that 110 Beaumont residents or 78 percent of respondents, used the Internet. That compares with 59 percent of the 1,526 persons surveyed by Pew. Nationwide, however, among seniors with annual household income of $75,000 or more, 90% were Internet users. Other results: Fifty-three Beaumont residents own or use an electronic reader; 72 use iPads or other tablets; 119 have and use a cell phone or smart phone. The Pew report found, unsurprisingly, that youth, income and education matter when it comes to owning these devices.
From frightful to thankful to jolly, Beaumont celebrates
COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, STARTING UPPER RIGHT: Residents Giuliana Calabi and Jean Bodine decorate pumpkins for Halloween; Carol Korabik (left, Human Resources) and Jennie Frankel (Front Office) show off their witches' stockings; Chefs prepare holiday turkeys; Marlynne Clothier (left) and Tony Starr learn how to make Christmas crackers (those things that go pop), and turkey sculpted by Chef John Bauer presides over Thanksgiving table. Photos by Louise Hughes
Newsletter, Beaumont Retirement, Bryn Mawr, PA