S A N ON JO ITI M D R LE O IA S T PEC
V o lu me T h i rt y , N umber 1
Music Room mystery: Who was 'The Hangman'? Beaumont News tracks him down!
By Marilyn (Lynn) Ayres
The Incident Perhaps you’ve heard rumors about the handwriting on the wall. No, not in Belshazzar’s great hall in Babylon, but right here in Beaumont’s “great hall” — the Music Room. The cryptic message was not written by a supernatural hand in front of hundreds of guests, but quietly scribbled on the plaster just before a new layer of wall covering was applied. And there it remained, keeping its secret, for 28 years.
The Discovery In January, as the Music Room walls were being stripped of their old fabric covering, the message was discovered underneath. It gave the installation date and the names of people who worked on the renovation (see related article on Page 9). Richard Stephens photographed the message and Mystery continued on page 8
Residents to the rescue: Spirit of Community overcame big snow that battered area By Mary Graff
A glimmer of silver lined the blizzard-driven stormclouds over Beaumont in January as residents and staff, almost literally leaping into action, defined once and for all the meaning of community. That word has been used since Beaumont’s founding, 28 years ago, to describe the quality that makes Beaumont special, a standout among its peers. But what did it mean exactly? The Rev. George Hollingshead had asked for a definition at a Beaumont News story conference some weeks before. Coincidentally, the Marketing Committee under Alan Tripp had begun pondering the meaning of community for use in its advertising. Then came the two peak days of Blizzard Jonas. The great adventure, as participants looking
Community continued on page 8
Blanket Coverage Inside
Defining our community................................. Page 12 Drifts can't contain call of nature.................... Page 13 As the blizzard unfurls ................................... Page 14
Photos by Richard Stephens
OUTDOORS, visibility was nearly nil; INDOORS, volunteers Eta Glassman (left) and Marlynne Clothier serve soup and track orders with panache.
IN FEBRUARY, groundsman Kurt Mueller raked up a leafy Valentine's day tribute.
Staff makes WorxHub's first year a success
In Memoriam J. Barton Linvill December 25, 2015
Alfred H. Rhodes February 4, 2016
Thomas B.A. Godfrey January 10, 2016
George Gowen, M.D. February 9, 2016
Margaret T. Keegan January 14, 2016
Helena Crecraft February 27, 2016
Virginia Wood January 29, 2016
Jerome Spiegel March 2, 2016
Marjorie Lott January 31, 2016
Madeleine Wyeth March 3, 2016
Mildred Vetter March 12, 2016
George C. Shafer April 5, 2016
By Brock Nichols, AVP Operations
Members of the Beaumont Community extend deepest sympathy to their families 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 Roving Reporter Events Manager Proofreader Circulation Manager
Photo by Joseph Peduzzi
Mary Graff John Hall Marilyn Ayres TJ Walsh Louise Hughes Wistie Miller Kim Norrett Jennie Frankel Barbara Oâ€™Brien
The year 2015 ushered in several technological advancements here at Beaumontâ€™s campus. One of these initiatives was the implementation and development of computer based preventive maintenance, work order and capital planning system known as WorxHub. This program, spread over the Housekeeping, Laundry, Maintenance and Grounds departments, has allowed Beaumont to perform many preventive maintenance tasks, track and execute work orders and requests and helps us to digitally track and monitor work in locations as to better prevent system failure of vital infrastructure and mechanical components. As of December 31, 2015, the Housekeeping, Laundry, Maintenance and Grounds Departments have completed a staggering 42,709 work orders collectively for the calendar year. Of these 42,000 work orders, 84.6% were completed in two days or less (industry average is 72.0%). These departments have a cumulative average of over 1,000 work orders completed per employee (factoring out administrative roles) with the average work order taking approximately 1.20 hours. The staff of these departments have worked diligently to make this new program a success and have truly embraced this global change to operations with open arms. I am confident that 2016 will bring further enhanced use of this program as we become increasingly familiar with its functionality and the program grows.
Vanguard founder Jack Bogle's advice to Beaumont residents: Be careful!
not to expect the super-high returns of some past years, saying he sees unspecified “risks all over the place.” The biggest risks seem to trace to falling oil prices and slowing Chinese growth, widely blamed for 2016’s unprecedented By Kenneth D. Campbell year-opening market declines. On newly popular exchange traded funds, or ETFs, Vanguard Group’s Jack Bogle, the inventor and Bogle noted they are mostly put in place to cater to Wall defender of index investing, brought his iconoclastic adStreet traders: “There are over 2,000 ETFs—it’s not a busivice on mutual funds to a standing-room-only audience at Beaumont in January. Judging from the sharp questions and ness I’m interested in.” Some ETFs are leveraged through options and other derivatives so they potentially can return reluctance of many Beaumonters to scatter even after the two or three times the daily return of their underlying curtain rang down, a good and hopefully profitable time indexes. “Tell me that’s not what a casino does,” Bogle was had by all. snapped. His appearance was set up by Beaumont resident To the question of how individuals should alloJim Zug, who has known Bogle for many years and served with him on a board several years ago. He invited Bogle to cate their assets between stocks and bonds, Bogle turned Beaumont and together they settled upon a list of sophisti- especially cautious, saying it depends upon many factors cated questions, all dealing with topics of interest to Beau- including age, spending plans, amount of assets, and time mont residents, forming the core of a fireside-chat format. until retirement. He did however strongly oppose allocating any assets to international investments, saying the largest The 91 chairs were quickly filled and numerous residents U.S.-based companies already derive a large portion of their stood at the back or on the sidelines of the Beaumont profits from operations in foreign countries. Room event. His answer to questions of why he keeps going to Jack is a local guy, residing with his wife, Eve, not far from Beaumont. But he’s also internationally famous for work every day at age 86: “This is play. I get to interact with people and I love what I’m doing, being in a bully pulpit.” founding Vanguard and writing 10 books expounding the virtues of investing in low-fee, index mutual funds designed He outlined plans for at least three more books, including a to match results for various stock and bond market indices. history of Vanguard. “That’s a lot of writing ahead.” He and wife Eve still enjoy their home but he His passive “indexing” investment style shuns trying to “beat the market,” which Bogle calls unobtainable for most acknowledged having reserved a spot at Waverly, Beaumont’s biggest competitor, when it came time to retire. To investors most of the time. comments that the Bogles should consider Beaumont given “Vanguard took in $235 billion in new funds last year,” he told his Beaumont audience, “while the rest of the its status as a rare but true co-operative, Bogle replied: “In truth, Eve will make that call.” mutual fund industry lost $20 billion” in assets. At over $3 trillion under management, Vanguard has now displaced * * * Fidelity Investments as the largest U.S. mutual fund com Ken has been scheduled to sign copies of his book pany. Coincidentally, Fidelity ran a full-page ad in major Watch that Rat Hole starting at 5:30 pm Thursday, April 14, financial newspapers a few days after Bogle’s talk proclaimin the Music Room. In the words of an early review, ing, “Why we believe in active management.” “In Watch that Rat Hole, Kenneth D. Campbell intertwines Active-vs.-passive management provokes heated his personal journey from Midwestern newspaper reporter debate and learned treatises within the investment comwith his unique observations as an entrepreneurial New munity, with passive indexers currently winning the battle York investment newsletter creator and editor witnessing for dollars. Or as Bogle put it to his Beaumont audience: the REIT Revolution—his rat hole. With insights into “When everyone is buying pizza, you better be selling pizREITs, or real estate investment trusts—a little-understood za.” And one caution: the author of this piece is employed but pivotal area of business and finance—he provides an by an investment company that shepherds nearly $20 bilinsider’s take on investment styles of 1980s activists, and lion in actively managed mutual funds. wrestles with knotty personal business and stock market Bogle told Beaumont listeners not to expect too questions.”—Kirkus Review catalog listing. much in 2016, estimating 2016 returns for the Standard & Poor’s 500 at about 5 percent, made up of about 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent initial dividend yield and a very modest Ken and Irene Campbell have lived in Baldwin since 2013. capital appreciation. He cautioned his Beaumont listeners Like Bogle, Ken is also 86 and goes to work every day.
Interview with Grill Room's Julia, new U.S. citizen, thrills BN reporter
Chef John, culinary crew juggle meals and kitchen project By Deborah Bishop
By Deborah Bishop with Bobette Leidner Bobette Leidner and I were sent by the Beaumont News to interview Julia Kisia. Here is the interview. Where were you born? I was born in a small village named Kidinye in the western part of Kenya. The date of my birth is March 30, 1957. I was Number 8 of 12 children. I finished my schooling in Kidinye and then went to Canada to study at the Canadian Culinary Art Institute, where I received a diploma. I went back to Kenya and worked at Utalii College in Nairobi for 10 years. My parents were Joseph and Rachel Kisia. They died in 2010 at the ages of 90 and 80. My father was a Quaker. In 1998 a Quaker meeting was held at Bryn Mawr College. Father was invited. During the meeting he asked the president of the college if I could come and cook at the college in order to get exposure to American cooking. The answer Julia at omelet station. was yes. The Quakers paid for me to come for two weeks. After two weeks, I went back to Kenya. Then I wrote the president of Bryn Mawr College asking to come back and cook at Bryn Mawr. Bryn Mawr sponsored me. I stayed for three and a half years. Then the Gulph Mills Golf Club sponsored me. I worked there for three years. After Gulph Mills, I went to work at Beaumont. I have worked here for eight years. I work five days a week. I have Tuesday and Wednesday off. I cook breakfast and lunch in the Grill Room and Health Care kitchen. Monday through Friday I cook dinner for 13 boys at A Better Chance. A Better Chance has a house in Ardmore where these boys live. They come from all over. They go to the public school. They have four tutors and a resident manager. They all go to college. A Better Chance is sponsored by the Ardmore Community. I really love those boys. I think of them as “my boys.” What do you do in your free time? I have very little free time but I do watch CNN and ABC occasionally. I was married and have two sons who live nearby. Eddie is 26 and Leslie is 30. Every July I go to Kenya. I was married this past summer to a
It looks easy when you are very good at what you do. Chef John makes it look easy. I was sent by my editor to interview Chef John Bauer about his installation of Beaumont’s new kitchen floor. What is going on? Well, we are installing an epoxy cement and small pebble floor. The color will be light brick. This type of flooring is long lasting Replacing the kitchen and is mid-priced at floor while keeping up $20,000. The floor will with daily deadlines is be scrubbed every day and power washed a challenge. every second day. Before the new floor is laid, the old floors have to be removed. How are you organizing the moving and cooking? I have a lot of help. We are moving everything that we can into the Bistro and a refrigerator truck. We couldn’t replace the floor in the summer as the truck couldn’t keep the food cold in a heat wave. We have cooked some things ahead and will reheat them. There is a temporary stove in the Salad Bar room and of course, the Grill Room. There will be paper plates, glasses and plastic knives and forks. How did you become a Chef? After school I took courses at the Bucks County Community College and the Culinary Institute of America. I worked at The Ritz on 17th Street, The Bellevue Hyatt and then the Crowne Plaza. I came to Beaumont because my wife and I moved to the Main Line and I liked Beaumont. I have a 15-year-old daughter and a 26-year-old stepson. Kitchen renovation continued on page 5 man in Kenya. In 2009, Beaumont sent Julia to The Culinary Institute of America for a week. In December of last year Julia became a citizen of the United States of America. After interviewing Julia Kisia, I wanted to stand up and cheer!
Marian Lockett-Egan awarded membership in Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame
By Mary Wells
Recently the Beaumont News featured our resident and House Committee chairman Marian Lockett-Egan, who grew up on a farm where she learned to sew at the age of 8, making her own clothes out of feed bags. Now there is reason to add one more accomplishment to Mrs. Lockett-Egan’s long and impressive career— Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame Inductee. Founded in 1962, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is a non-profit organization whose more than 500 members include station owners and executives, management, talent, sales, engineering, ad agency personnel and others at all levels of broadcasting, communications and related fields. In November Mrs. Lockett-Egan joined Philadelphia media legends Bob Pantano of WOGL, NBC10’s Tracy Davidson, WMMR’s Pierre Robert, KYW’s Lauren Lipton and WOGL’s Harvey Holiday, among others, at a ceremony at the City Avenue Hilton. Retired president of her own consulting firm, DMS Communications, a media planning and buying company, Marian provided media services to Hershey Chocolate, ExxonMobil, and the Media School. She says she feels her biggest professional accomplishment during her consulting work with DMS was never losing a client. She began her career in 1964 in Philadelphia, where she worked at Triangle Broadcasting and then moved on to Lewis and Gilman Advertising, where she served as the
Photo by Richard Stephens
Marian Lockett-Egan with her new award.
Associate Media Director. In 1973 she was elected the first female president of the Philadelphia Ad Club. Prior to opening DMS in 1983, she served as Vice President of Media at Scott Paper. In her acceptance speech at the Broadcast Pioneer ceremony, Marian reminisced about her groundbreaking career at a time when women assumed they would remain in the background. “Today,” she said, “women are visible in meetings, on boards and in the executive suite. It was an exciting time in the communication world, and in the advancement of women. I’m glad to have been a part of it.” We are glad that Marian is a part of the Beaumont community. Mary Wells is Beaumont’s Director of Human Resources.
Hitler: What if ?
Kitchen renovation continued from page 4 How many meals do you serve? Somewhere around 300 meals a day, 2100 a week, most everything is cooked to order. I keep all the menus in a 365-page book. I use it for ideas and what was popular. The busiest time of year is the fourth quarter–Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why do the orders arrive at the tables sometimes wrong? I have no idea. The servers are supposed to check the orders when they pick them up. [A new training program for dining staff is in progress—Ed.] In the future, Chef John plans to replace the ceiling and walls of the kitchen. I took a peek at Chef John’s new floor–it looks great!
By Peter Binzen
One day in September, Beaumont was treated to a lecture on “The Remarkable Story of The Lady in Gold,” a painting stolen by the Nazis but recovered after the war. It’s a good story and it was told well by Anne Marie O’Connor. But one sentence attracted my attention. The journalist stated that “Hitler’s art was twice rejected by the Austrian Academy.” That was all. There was no prior reference to the German Chancellor and no later reference to him or his art. I wanted to know more about Adolf Hitler, artist. I asked my daughter, Jenny Cardoso, to dig up something. And dig up she did. She learned that Hitler was born in an Austrian border town in 1889, the son of a customs officer in the Austrian civil service. He was an intelligent but willful child
Hitler continued on page 6
New supervisor's path from Jamaica to Bryn Mawr included stops in Britain, Canada, Belgium and Iraq By Jean Homeier Sheldon Wilson, our newly promoted Bistro Food and Beverage Supervisor, came to Beaumont in 2013 via an interesting route. After growing up in Jamaica and finishing high school, he visited his grandmother and brother in England and on the spot decided to enlist in the British Army. He was only 17, and his grandmother had to sign permission papers—a terrible decision for one who feared for the future of her young grandson. After three months of basic combat training in the Royal Logistic Corps, Sheldon was first deployed in Iraq, then in Northern Ireland, where he was stationed as a peacekeeper during the IRA troubles. Over his 10 years of service he had a variety of duties in Wales, Scotland, Canada, Belgium and France, where he participated in services commemorating D-Day at the Normandy Battlefield and was featured in the British Army magazine, The Sustainer. Honorably discharged, having reached the rank of sergeant, he made a second overseas visit to family, this time to his cousin in Philadelphia. He lined up job interviews but after reading on the Internet that a place called Beaumont was looking for part-time Sheldon Wilson wait staff, he decided Beaumont was where he wanted to be and canceled the other interviews. Here Sheldon chuckled, saying that after 10 years in the British Army he had certainly learned a great many things, but waiting on tables was not one of them! He must have been a quick learner, because after three months on probation he was promoted to full time, and six months later, after another probationary period, he became a supervisor. (Sheldon thanks Rose-Marie Pringle, the Director of Dining and Dietary Services, for assisting him with the skills he needed to keep growing.) Here in Philadelphia, Sheldon met his wife, Romesha, and they are now a family of three with a toddler, Nyla, who recently celebrated her first birthday. His wife works for the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation as well as at Waverly as a Certified Nurse's Assistant. Music is an important interest and Sheldon says that one of the perks of working in the Bistro is to be on hand when Marvin Weisbord and his band perform. In addition he likes to draw, and I hope I can convince him to enter the next residents' art show.
SHELDON AT 17: From a family scrapbook.
Before leaving this interview to check on the Grill Room, Sheldon mentioned how much he liked being here. “It’s all about remarkable service,” he said. “The good people at Beaumont should get everything they need. We take care of them and they take care of us. It’s a family.” Hitler continued from page 5 and a poor student due to lack of concentration. His father died when he was 14; his mother, 4 years later. He went to Vienna hoping to become an artist in architecture, but the Austrian Academy of Fine Arts rejected him. After that, he spent about five years in Vienna, visiting museums and libraries and trying to sell sketches he had drawn. He got by on an orphan’s pension and a small family inheritance. Lonely, isolated and down-hearted, he accomplished nothing and looked back on it as the saddest time in his life. The mayor of Vienna was anti-Semitic and it may have been in this period that Hitler came to blame the Jews for his miserable life. In 1913, he fled Vienna to escape the military draft. However, when war broke out in 1914, he was caught up in the Pan-German Nationalism and anti-Semiticism that swept the country. He joined the German army and, as a private, fought bravely on the front line of major battles. At the time of the armistice, Hitler was in the hospital recovering from a poison gas attack. It was then, in the period after the war, that Adolf Hitler found his voice. He rallied Germans with denunciations of Jews, Communists and the Treaty of Versailles. Adolf Hitler, the failed artist, the somewhat pathetic young man in his 20s, became in a few short years a mass murderer of millions, one of the most despicable monsters in human history. Is it possible that if the Austrian Academy of Fine Arts had accepted his work, life would have changed for him and for the world? I wonder.
From newcomers to neighbors
Former golfer who now plays bridge, Barbara Walsh reared 15 children
Petersons, Dick and Bette, now at home in Villa 82
By George Hollingshead
By Wistie Miller
Barbara Walsh is calm, actually almost serene, smiling brightly, a woman who has given birth to, and cared for, a total of 15 children, involving herself in all their activities. She played golf when she could, and when the last one was through school she helped with golf tournaments for the Leukemia Foundation. After six joint replacements Barbara has given up on golf and concentrates on duplicate bridge. But can you imagine being a parent in a household with that many children who could range from near infancy to 18 years old and keep your composure day after day? Barbara came from a little town Barbara Walsh in western Pennsylvania, Oil City, where in the late 1940s there was a booming oil industry. In the ninth grade she entered the Georgetown Visitation Academy, a boarding school in Washington, D.C., from which both her mother and grandmother had graduated. This year, 2016, she will have the opportunity to attend her 70th class reunion. After graduation she worked for Bonwit Teller. She met Bill Walsh, then a student at Penn Law, and for them it was love at first sight. From the beginning Bill and Barbara talked about loving their big families. Bill came from a family of six children and Barbara from a family of seven, so from the start of their relationship they talked about being parents of a large family themselves. Eventually, with eight girls and seven boys (no twins), they settled in a house in Haverford with 10 bedrooms. The boys were stationed on the third floor and the girls on the second. Fortunately, after the eighth child, there was some live-in help. The Villanova University chapel has played an important role in their lives. The couple married there in 1948, and two years ago, after 65 years of marriage, Bill’s memorial service was held there. Bill used to take the boys to an early Sunday morning mass, after their paper routes, and then returned home so that Barbara could then bring the girls to church. All the children had their chores to fulfill. ( Just think of the laundry duty!) They could trade assignments, but everyone had to participate and all the chores had to be completed. Barbara, living in Baldwin now, smiles when asked
Dick Peterson lived in Boston and Bette lived in Brookline, Massachusetts. They had never met but both headed the same weekend for Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, for a “sitz’n’jibber.” A what, you say? Well I had never heard the word either. It was a young people’s group whose members loved to ski and sail. Dick noticed her immediately. She was wearing a yellow bumble bee jacket and she was jumping moguls! They were married eight months later. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Dick Peterson Dick had graduated from Colby College in Maine and the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development. He subsequently received his Master of Science degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and later took the Advanced Management Program at Oxford (UK) University. Bette had majored in history at Mount Holyoke. She yearned to go out West and was recruited along with two others to help launch a brand new school in Phoenix, Arizona. From a Quonset hut and an existing Board of Trustees but no faculty, they hired 20 teachers, built proper classrooms, and today this private school, similar to Shipley or Agnes Irwin, has over 1,000 students! Along the way Bette managed to obtain not one but two Masters degrees: one from Harvard UniverBette Peterson sity, a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree and the other in counseling and psychology from Arizona State University. She wanted to work with children who had developmental disabilities, children who learned in a different way, outside the norm. She returned to Brookline to be the assistant superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services. Long story short, they met, they married, and Petersons continued on page 13 how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren she has. The answer? 31 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren.
Community continued from page 1 back on it rejoiced in recounting, began about 6 a.m., well before dawn, on Saturday Jan. 23, Day One of the storm. Chef John Bauer and Dining Services Director Rose-Marie Pringle found themselves searching about for light switches in the kitchen. (Usually, when they got there, the lights were already on.) Recently promoted Bistro Food and Beverage Supervisor Sheldon Wilson also arrived early, as did Dietary Supervisor Kerry-Ann Simpson-Patrice. Evelyn Rosen and Marlynne Clothier were in the Club Room watching the snow fall when Rose came by the room a little later. “We asked her how many of the kitchen and dining staff had come in,” Evelyn recalled, “and she told us some really low number and we said “We’ll help,” and all of a sudden people were all around saying ‘I’ll help!’” It was just before lunchtime by the time the Beaumont News interviewed her, and size-4 Evelyn, who normally appears to Photo by Rose-Marie Pringle dance rather than walk, was in the KERRY-ANN SIMPSON Grill Room hefting pitchers of PATRICE was one of the first to turn up for kitchen duty. water in both hands as she spoke.
Mystery continued from page 1 reported that the fabric wall covering had been left free of paste over the writing so that it would still be legible when the fabric was removed. The message was signed “The Hangman.” The signature seemed rather macabre until I remembered that he was hanging wallpaper, not convicts. But who, exactly, was he? Why did he write his message? The Investigation Beaumont News editor Mary Graff wanted to know more. After many years as a journalist and editor, investigative reporting is in her blood. She began by questioning anyone who might have worked here at that time. She tracked down former Beaumont President Joseph Fortenbaugh, questioned him, and received this reply: “Some history for the Music Room. [Beaumont founder] Art Wheeler hired Arthur Shuster and Company, out of Chicago, to do all of the original interior design and furbishing when he developed Beaumont. Shuster, Inc. used people from the Midwest and the East to do the work, and the writing on the Music Room wall probably reflects a little humor for some future generation (you guys) to find when the wallpaper was replaced.” The Witnesses Mary continued her investigation. She now had her first solid clue: the name of the company that had worked at Beaumont. She googled Shuster Inc., was redirected to Shuster 360, and wrote to their Helpdesk. Amy Juelich. Mary received a reply from Amy, who wrote: “Joe is right, ASI did do work in the ’80s at Beaumont. You can find information about them at Arthur Shuster Interiors (ASI). The owner, Stan Shuster, to this day uses photographs of ASI’s work completed at Beaumont as a part of his marketing materials.” She continued: “Out of curiosity, I did reach out to
Photo by Mary Graff
EARLY-BIRD EXECUTIVE CHEF, JOHN BAUER, looks on as Sous Chef Michael Santangelo loads trays for buffet.
“If anyone ever asks me what community is, I’ll say ‘Come to Beaumont and find out!’” Rose was marshaling the first volunteers in a huddle by the Grill Room’s Maître d’s desk. A few words floated out: Rose: “Water, plates, napkins, silverware, wine . . . Serve from the left, take off from the right . . ." Birch Clothier, creating a mnemonic device on the spot: “Lower left, raise right, I can remember that. . ..” Community continued on page 10
Mystery continued on page 9
Mystery continued from page 8
Behind the wallpaper
an ASI installer and can confirm that Gerald [Pyles, the Hangman] did a lot of work for ASI in the late ’80s. He mentioned that if Gerald were still living he’d be at least 100 years old today, so I don’t know how much luck you’d have tracking him down.” Stan Shuster. As one trail dead-ended, another appeared. Following Amy’s lead, I sent a lengthy email to Stan, son of the company’s founder, to explain what we were looking for. He phoned me as soon as he received my message. Stan was on site during the whole renovation and was astounded when he first saw the Music Room. He had never seen anything like it and was enthusiastic about restoring it to its former splendor. He hired local artisans from Philadelphia to restore the faded, neglected murals on the ceiling. Workers spent several months lying on their backs on tall scaffolding to restore the art. They also refinished the beautiful carved woodwork. Stan thought that using downstairs rooms as elegant, individual dining rooms was an inspired idea, but not everyone agreed with his awe of the mansion. The architect wanted to lower the ceilings. It would have made restoration easier, but what a loss it would have been! Fortunately, the founders’ wishes prevailed. Arthur Shuster Interiors specializes in design and construction for continuing care retirement communities. Through the years, ASI has worked with almost 2,000 communities, and some of the ideas from Beaumont have been incorporated in their designs. But Beaumont remains unique: lovely setting, beautiful grounds, and a turn-ofthe-century mansion as the hub of residents’ activities. ASI has used photos of Beaumont in their marketing materials. After the renovation, LeadingAge, a group of not-for-profit providers of care and services involved with the aging, featured Beaumont on the cover of its magazine. Stan doesn’t have any clear memory of Gerald Pyles, “The Hangman,” but he says that it was quite common for workers to “sign” their work in hidden spots. When I asked why he would include his wife in the message, Stan said that maybe she worked here, too. Apparently a number of women were involved in the project. The Future No one now seems to know where to find the time capsule Beaumont’s founders are said to have secreted somewhere, though there is a sealed letter in the Front Office safe, marked not to be opened until Beaumont’s 100th anniversary, purportedly containing instructions. Gerald’s name, however, will live on in the archives of the Beaumont News as well as on the plaster under the coverings on the Music Room wall.
By Marian Lockett-Egan, House Committee chair Imagine the surprise when Music Room renovations uncovered a note hidden behind the wall covering with the date it was installed and by whom! The paper that was removed (if we read correctly the handwriting of someone who signed himself “THE HANGMAN”), was installed by a Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Pyles of West Carrollton, Ohio, on February 22, 1988. That would have been part of the original Mansion restoration. Also discovered were four horizontal laths separating the horizontal stripes of plaster around the entire room. Rick Rogers, our pro who did the restoration work, said he had never encountered anything quite like it, and believes it to have been either a structural support or an expansion strip. We do know from this that the plaster was always a base and never the finished wall covering. Rick has worked with us for years, starting in 2011 when he spent six weeks on scaffolding restoring and retouching the Mansion murals. Twenty-one different shades of gold leaf were used in the process! When the new wallpaper was up, and woodwork lacquer had dried, we reopened the Music Room, using the old furniture until new furniture could be put in place.
Photos by Richard Stephens
BACK AGAIN: Rick Rogers at work in the Music Room.
Doc discovers Mom was right— but how did she know?
By Dean (Doc) Snyder
The time was in the late ’20s and into the ’30s. The place was a farm in southern York County, Pennsylvania, where my mother and her progeny were born. How did she know that come spring it was time for a tonic and a spoonful of garden soil? The tonic was boneset tea to get one started for the summer’s work. The soil? She never told me! How did a woman with perhaps eight years of formal education know that well fertilized garden soil was loaded with all sorts of organisms including helminths? And how could she have possibly known that in an indirect way that bite of soil was good for us? Eighty-some years later (on Sunday August 2, 2015) an article by Sheena Faherty in The Philadelphia Inquirer satisfied my curiosity in part (though not the part about my mother). Under the headline “The Worm Turns,” Associate Professor William Parker of Duke University was quoted as saying, “As far as the big picture of human health goes, it’s pretty much already accepted that when you put helminths back into the ecosystem of the human body, you can resolve allergic and autoimmune diseases.” WARNING: Not just any worm will do! And the chosen worm must be in the tiny larval stage. “People considering self-treatment with helminthes are advised to speak with their physicians,” the article advised. “Some will counsel caution, but others may think it’s worth a try.”
AT THE FLOWER SHOW: That's a waterfall, Doc Snyder seems to be explaining for the benefit of photographer as Marion stands by.
Photo by Louise Hughes
Community continued from page 8 Ann Wood: “Where can I find an apron?” Eventually, Rose: “Now you all have your assignments, we’ll meet back here at 5 pm.” From there on, residents wanting to eat were all but outnumbered by volunteers wanting to serve them, but served they were and in orderly fashion. Marlynne offered an explanation for the orderliness of it all: “You have here people who did serious jobs in the working world and they don’t have to be told how to work the room. You’re clearing one table or taking orders and you know to look around and see what’s needed next.” From the skeleton-staffed kitchen came meals that were as elegant as usual (carved beef tenderloin, seafood thermidor, carved turkey with stuffing and gravy. . .). These meals were served buffet style and eaten in Grill Room and Mansion dining rooms on tables set by residents, and delivered not only to apartment dwellers who asked for deliveries but also through the snow to villa dwellers, who Photo by Richard Stephens opened garage doors to find that PAGE GOWEN, pictured gazing in the Grounds crew wonder out her window on Page 14, threw on different clothes and went to work wait- had cleared paths for ing on tables shortly thereafter. deliveries. Grounds crew members Mark Hritz, Jake Bean and Kurt Mueller had begun work the day before by salting roads and main entrances before the snow began. Once the blizzard was under way they fought on to keep up with it. (Nancy Harris gave them some chili she’d made herself.) Marketing Director Audrey Walsh had volunteered to serve as weekend Manager on Duty (MOD), trading with the scheduled MOD, whose home was farther away, and equipping her office with fold-up cot, warm slippers and a large box containing the present she planned to give her husband for his birthday. She fell twice in the snow while checking on villas, scrambling to her feet, brushing off her puffy white winter coat and trudging on uninjured; then driving when the roads were clear enough, picking up residents and staff (If
Community continued on page 11
Community continued from page 10
Cancelmo, Norma Fabian, Helen Gannon, and others directed traffic and Paula Spiegel and I manned the phones to take down delivery orders and other messages. Bill Graff seeing that every table had crackers (especially his favorites), sugar and other sweeteners, Photo by Mary Graff pepper grinders and Bill Graff and Marlynne Clothier set tables in Grill Room. salt shakers. Sheldon, stately in his usual well-tailored coat and tie, spraying cleaning fluid on the tables and wiping them, polishing every single piece of flatware from the dishwasher and insisting that volunteers follow his example. Health Services VP Lynn Plasha (in slacks and low heels!) doing aide duty, helping wheel-borne residents into the Grill Room. Bert Wolfson described his experience. "For many of us who volunteered to work that weekend, it was a meaningful time: "We bonded together, and it made us all feel part of this community. The esprit de corps was wonderful. Each helped the other without asking. "We newer residents got to know residents we had never known before. "We all got a better understanding of how well organized and well-run Beaumont is. "We appreciated the hard work and dedication of the Beaumont staff that we were temporarily replacing and those still at work. Like a ballet, it looks easy from the outside but there is a lot of hard work behind. "Most of all, I was so proud of Beaumont and so pleased to be resident here. This is the way a community should be. If there is an emergency, those who are able will voluntarily cooperate to solve the problem." Photo by Richard Stephens And so it went. GREG MARTIN, whose Maintenance duties do not normally involve snow, mans up to staff could get to 69th Street, Audrey would pick them up), delivering meals, patrolling the corridors and generally, quietly, being Audrey. “She’s a do-er,” Security Chief Charlie Koch summed up Audrey’s performance that day, “and she has a kind heart.” Charlie's Security colleagues rose to the crisis, as well. On his own, Robert Glace rented a 4x4 to bring himself and John Armenio through the blizzard to Beaumont. But back to residents taking over as staff, and staff all but whistling while they worked over the two days at jobs not included in their job descriptions: “It was fun working together with you guys,” dining staff server Roderick Ricketts confirmed with a nostalgic smile on Monday. Meanwhile, these vignettes to remember: Richard Stephens taking pictures (when he wasn’t serving soup or setting up tables), as did Charley Kurz (when he wasn’t waiting on the diners). Resident John Gregg pouring water and gently telling another resident who was worried about abandoning her table to search for missing companions, “I’ll pour you a glass of water and no one else will have any so others will see that the table is taken.” Evelyn, having left soup and serving to Barbara Benson, Jeanne Homeier, Sanna Steigerwalt, Eileen Ware, and others, while greeters Peggy
a lot of it.
What makes community? One woman's thoughts
Management and Staff: Above and Beyond
Alphabetically, these are the staff members who slept over to be ready for the storm (in the Boardroom, the Classroom, offices, anywhere they could find; or pressed anyone they could find with the right wheels to get them to work on Saturday or Sunday, the two peak days; or put in double or unscheduled shifts to fill in for colleagues still stuck in snow or behind unplowed roads, or otherwise served Above and Beyond.)
By Marilyn (Lynn) Ayres
Before Winter Storm Jonas, 30 or so Beaumont News regulars were asked to think about what defines the word “community.” I have lived here only since last May, but I investigated and deliberated for a long time before choosing Beaumont, and I have discovered a lot more since.
Photo by Charley Kurz
ROSE-MARIE PRINGLE (center), Dining Services Director, smiles happily during Storm Jonas as some of her volunteer workers surround her. On her right: John Gregg and Evelyn Rosen; on her left: Marlynne and Birch Clothier.
What makes Beaumont a community with a clear sense of communal spirit? Common location? Common ownership? Common culture? There is much more to Beaumont at Bryn Mawr than its Main Line location, or even the fact of its common ownership. I never thought I would live in a Main Line mansion — and I don’t, really — yet I do, because the mansion, woods, pond, and other amenities are owned cooperatively by us all. This sentiment was best expressed during the blizzard by resident-volunteer Evelyn Rosen: “This is our home and we have to make it right!” But with ownership comes obligation. When I was talking to Richard Stephens about moving here, he surprised me by asking, “What can you do for Beaumont?” I hadn’t yet considered that this was a two-way street. At a recent Creative Writing gathering, Peter Abel wrote about his family background. Children were expected to do well in school, pursue a worthwhile career, and contribute to society. For “society,” substitute “community,” and you have Beaumont. Thoughts continued on page 13
Tiara Anderson Rocco Arcaro John Armenio Elsie Asare Michael Bailey Howard Barron John Bauer Jake Bean Margaret Biegel Sulan Booker Aniea Bradford Angevin Brailsford Laeah Brown Joseph Chiavari Joann Chow James Conley Donald Coward Maxine DeHaney Patricia Dickenson-Perry Thomas Dougher III Elizabeth Eckrich Katie Fasoldt Samantha Figueroa Oshin Fisher Nakisha Fletcher Steven Flohr Robert Foster Stephen Gallagher Marion Gardiner Robert Glace Tory Gosnell Breyonna Hand-Muir Megan Henry Barrington Hill Marveline Hill Olga Hoosty Tara Hopkins Mark Hritz Lynnette Hudson Andrew Jackson Edward Johnson Richard Kelly Julia Kisia Charles Koch
Rudy Lagasca David Lester Charlene Lewis Johnny Lewis Kristini Marshall-Shemesh Gregory Martin Alicia McCullough Lisa Miller Ralph Mottola Kurt Mueller Brock Nichols Cecilia Nicholson Christopher Okike Paula Ortiz Janice Pearce Jude Phasavath Susan Pidany Donna Pink Lynn Plasha Rasool Prattis Rose-Marie Pringle Margaret Prout Andrea Reeves Roderick Ricketts Marie Sannoh Michael Santangelo Mohamed Sesay Kerry-Ann Simpson D'Amora Simpson-Davis Shingara Singh Vivian Singleton Ellen Slaughter Sindora Stallworth Idriis Stampp Courtney Steer Christine Tarzan Kathleen Techner Domique Tubbs Ingrid Valentine Audrey Walsh Lakeisha Whipple Dana Williams Sheldon Wilson
Thoughts continued from page 12 Another important factor, of course, is common culture. The founders of Beaumont were Main Liners who, while by no means homogeneous, tended to share education, aesthetic awareness, and concern for preserving history. Theirs became the culture of the community. When I was trying to decide if I could even afford Beaumont, one of my friends added something to my list of pros and cons. He said, “You’ll probably find in Beaumont a Photo by Richard Stephens more intellectual DRESSED TO SERVE: Charley and Nicky Kurz in aprons donned for volun- atmosphere than in some other places.” teer duty during Jonas. He was right. Most residents have degrees, even women, who were not often encouraged to seek higher education in the 1940s and ’50s. Many of the men are doctors, and their wives, if not professionals themselves, are docents. Cultural education was part of their upbringing. They were exposed to art, music, and literature from childhood. They appreciate the architecture of the mansion and the lectures and concerts that Beaumont offers. I’ve been delighted to find Beaumont residents and staff very friendly. Everyone I’ve met has been warm and welcoming. I was afraid I might not fit in, but from the very beginning I’ve felt as if I really belong here.
Photo by DeeDee's daughter, Kristin
CONTEMPLATING A WALK IN THE SNOW: DeeDee Ballard and Gadget pause in the kitchen to think about it.
Snow deep, legs short: What's a poor dog to do? By Sis Ziesing The blizzard of January 23rd was hard enough on human beings, but how did various Beaumont dogs fare? I was lucky with my Pug dog, Alfalfa. Looking out my door Saturday morning threw me into total despair, as there was no way he could possibly climb into 3 feet or more of drifted snow. Fortunately I have a two-story villa, and under my deck relatively little snow had accumulated. Joy! Alfalfa's storm comfort station was wonderful. DeeDee Ballard ran into incredible luck with her tiny Chihuahua-Terrier, Gadget, as two granddaughters were visiting from Maine and shoveled. Tilly Bullitt's mother, Laura Bullitt, also had a visiting granddaughter. Gracie Webb's mother, Betty Webb, who was minus a granddaughter, had to shovel. Fortunately Gracie is extra tiny so Betty didn't have to shovel much. Pat and Ron Fraser’s
Petersons continued from page 7 they moved. Dick’s 40-year career in the insurance industry took them to New York and eventually to Philadelphia. However, two weeks of every month he needed to be in London. With their daughter, Wendy, who had been born in Boston in 1975, the Petersons moved to Bryn Mawr. Here Dick became a commuter, either back to New York or back to London. He said (proudly) that during those 28 years he missed only one weekend with his family! Just imagine the scheduling. They are ecstatic new grandparents of twins, a boy and a girl, and of precocious Charlie, aged 8, who came first. The Petersons have moved into their villa at 82 Middle Road and you will love them.
Doggies continued on page 15
her ear and the other with an angry flock of hungry birds battering her with their wings. Very Hitchcockian. As the day went on, I was entertained by the birds’ antics. (No squirrels, though. They elected for a one-day hibernation in their cozy nests.) The juncos, or snowbirds, are my newest feathered neighbors, as well as the boldest. They were the first to wander onto my patio looking for food. The year-round birds knew better, but they eventually suspected that the juncos had discovered some-
BABY, THAT'S SNOW OUTSIDE: Page Gowen (right, peering out) and Barbara Stephens (below, right, helping set tables by a window), stare in wonder and laugh at the show—all in the spirit of the Great Jonas Adventure. Photos by Richard Stephens
Jonas from the inside: One woman's view By Marilyn (Lynn) Ayres Saturday, January 23, 2016: Today was my first snowstorm at Beaumont. (I don’t count the winter wonderland last March when I made settlement on my apartment.) Winter Storm Jonas started last night and was in full swing this morning. It was lovely to look at from the comfort of my apartment, but not everyone was as fortunate. My neighbor Anne Gruenberg has a dog that must relieve himself at regular intervals. He likes to walk around to find the best places to leave his mark, but because of the deep snow, they were barely able to get off the patio. He wasn’t happy but finally gave in to the call of nature. My neighbor Donna Winsor feeds the birds. I saw her shoveling a path from her patio to the feeders as the snow wafted down, swirled around, and piled up. I was concerned and envisioned my two neighbors collapsing face down in the snow, one with a greyhound whining in
thing new and joined the patio explorers. Their proximity aroused every hunting instinct in Dinah, my cat (not to be confused with Donna, my neighbor). Dinah spent much of her time hunched down, chattering at the birds. Her most frustrating prey was an oblivious mourning dove that strutted beside the patio door, right under Dinah’s nose. Mourning doves are lovely and make sweet cooing sounds, but they’re not the sharpest knives in the drawer. The other point of interest during the long hours of snowfall was my small granite Chinese lantern. In the morning, it stood in the garden with its base covered and sporting a tall hat of snow on its roof. Later, the snow Inside continued on page 15
Inside continued from page 14 depth had reached its “hat,” and eventually, the lantern was just an undefined bump in the snow. But the most inspiring part of the day was dinner. The blizzard had closed roads and shut down SEPTA, and Beaumont’s staff was beyond bare bones. What a wonderful surprise to be welcomed by a group of resident volunteers who had taken the initiative to direct traffic, check people in, guide them to their dinner companions, help them through the buffet line, fill take-out and delivery orders and clean up afterward. It was an amazing effort that turned confusion into a very jolly, friendly experience. This was Beaumont community spirit at its best.
Photos by Richard Stephens
Doggies continued from page 13 Max was totally confused, but Norma Fabian persuaded Max to perform. Now we get to a sample of bigger villa dogs. Eloise Fabian, a sturdy mixed breed, loved the snow, so had no problems As many Beaumont News readers may remember, big Eloise and little Max Fraser are the local doggie romance, so she must have been very disappointed in his performance. Top Neilson, Janneke Neilson’s Chocolate Lab, with the help of a thrown ball, created a tunnel for herself that was most successful. Lily Cortner, Jeanne Cortner’s Golden Retriever, used to love the snow, but in dog years she's probably older than most of the residents here. Age diminishes the love of snow, so Jeanne had a heck of a time getting her out. I checked in with one apartment dweller Joanne Earley, mother of Schnauser Emma. She said she had no trouble, just took her down to the garage, where the driveway was plowed just enough.
WRITE A FRIEND, HELP A STUDENT: These note cards, designed by Bobbi Rosen and Richard Stephens, are for sale in the gift shop. Proceeds benefit the scholarship fund that helps Beaumont employees further their studies.
SILENT BEAUTY Far left: Despite the cold, Dolf and Gerri Paier's daughter, Alena, walks Boomer. Left: Mansion atrium dog and tulips defy spring snow surprise on April 9.
Our Great Snow Adventure: Everyone pitched in!
PARTS OF BEAUMONT slowly disappeared as Jonas piled it on. . .and on.
Photos by Jim Luther, Charley Kurz, and Richard Stephens
TEMPORARY MAITRE D' Evelyn Rosen checks in with Helen Gannon as Marlynn Clothier, others line up to be served.
KEEPING THINGS MOVING: Clockwise from upper left â€” Paula Spiegel and Mary Graff take phone orders; Barbara Benson works the room, setting tables; Truxton Gowen (Page's stepson) gives a luncheon concert during the blizzard.
Newsletter, Beaumont Retirement, Bryn Mawr, PA