V o lu me T h i rt y , N umber 5
House of the Seven Gables or House of the Seven Dwarves?
Beaumont’s enigmatic Gatehouse is for sale. By Irene Borgogno A small, enchanting structure is nestled in the woods near the old Mansion entrance on Old Gulph Road. Roofed with slate and constructed of roughhewn grey stone, the Gatehouse looks like the setting for a tale from the Brothers Grimm. Snow White should be standing in the doorway, welcoming the seven dwarves as they return home from the mines. Photo by Richard Stephens The real-life early history of the Gatehouse MULTI-GABLED GATEHOUSE, as seen from Old Gulph Road comes from a brief document, “Before Beaumont,” mansion staff. The Gatehouse was undoubtedly one of written in 1991 by Elizabeth Converse Huebner, these structures but presents a small mystery. According a grandchild of William L. Austin. In 1903, the Austin to Eric von Starck, son of the most recent resident, the family moved from Philadelphia to a Rosemont mansion late Annette von Starck, the structure was never intended on County Line Road. Prompted by a false rumor as a gatekeeper’s residence. There is no evidence to supabout planned changes to the local railroad track, port or contradict his claim. Mr. Austin acquired 100 acres on Gulph Road and built Mr. Austin died in 1932, leaving a financially a new mansion called Liseter Hall in 1912. The family depleted estate. Staff was reduced to two: a hired hand to took up residence in 1914. care for the grounds and animals, and a cook, Gyda, who Several tenant houses were constructed for Gatehouse continued on page 4 GETTING INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, Deborah Bishop displays a Christmas cracker under construction. A while later, at dinner with friends, Deborah distributed her finished works—which worked just fine, according to those dining nearby. Barbara Pottish led the class for a dozen residents in the Arts and Crafts room. Photo by Paige Welby
Photo by Lynn Ayres
THE HANUKKAH MENORAH shines doubly bright reflected in a mirror, as it has shone in the Club Room in other years. This year the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve share the same date, December 24.
Letter to a Christmas Angel
Christmas. It’s supposed to be fun, festive and full of hope. As I sit in my room with the television on mute, I think about all the friends that are no longer here to celebrate with. I think about family that I no longer have. I miss my former home and wonder who is decorating it now. I shift in my chair and cringe as I remember that I am confined to this chair, at least for now, and start to feel sorry for myself.
The next day I get an invitation to an event down the hallway inviting me to find out who my Christmas Angel is. I suddenly have something more to look forward to! As I sit in my room, I find I am no longer thinking about losses, disappointments and doubts in my life. I am looking forward to an upcoming holiday event and truly enjoying the season of Christmas. I am thankful to this Christmas Angel.
Suddenly there is a knock on my door and the receptionist walks into my room with a stack of mail and a gift-wrapped item. Who could be sending me gifts? I ignore the mail and slowly open the package and the card attached; it reads: “Here is a small gift just for you. Signed, Your Christmas Angel.” I smile, suddenly curious who this Christmas Angel might be.
This is the fourth year for the Christmas Angel program. Each year both staff and residents campus-wide are asked to volunteer to be Christmas Angels, and they are never difficult to find. Each angel is paired with a resident in Personal Care or Health Center and asked to provide notes of encouragement and holiday wishes throughout the month of December. At the end of the month all are invited to a Christmas Tea where the identity of the angels will be revealed. It is always a happy engagement and one I look forward to seeing every year! Thank you to all who have volunteered this year!
As the day goes on I forget about the card and I go about my daily routine. The next day another gift and another card again signed by the Christmas Angel. Throughout the next few weeks the gifts and cards collect each carefully signed by the Christmas Angel. I find that I have started to look forward to these small packages and notes of holiday wishes.
— Jenny Hadfield Director of Recreational Therapy
COCK-ADOODLE, HO, HO, HO! Irene Borgogno’s chicken is decorated for the holidays, along with five others. In warmer weather, they hold flowering potted plants. Photo by Lynn Ayres 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 Co-Editor Graphic Designer Photo Editor Roving Reporter Events Manager Proofreader
Mary Graff John Hall Marilyn Ayres TJ Walsh Louise Hughes Wistie Miller Caitlin McDevitt Jennie Frankel
Photo by Mary Graff
PETER BINZEN’S FAMILY created a unique and moving display at entrance to the Beaumont Room to welcome residents to his memorial service December 2. Newspapers Peter worked for and books he wrote were heaped on an original paperboy’s wagon given him by The Bulletin, but the crowning touch (oops, sorry, Peter) was his well-worn hat.
Front entrance has had a facelife; now can be seen from the street
the stop signs. In late October, work started at the entrance. Several large and invasive trees, scraggly shrubs and groundcovers were removed. An attempt is being made to salvage a large but badly positioned cut-leaf Japanese maple; it was moved near the Health Center, where it will be nursed along. The large, decorative concrete block engraved MCMII also was removed. A new location is being considered for it, but nothing has been decided. The block is thought to deserve a place on the grounds, just not the prominence of the front entrance. Originally associated with Mr. Austin’s residence in Rosemont, the block came with him to his new residence here, Liseter Hall, now Beaumont’s Mansion. The cleared area has been replanted: Eleven small rounded shrubs (boxwood variety Green Gem) were planted on either side of the driveway in front of the low, curved white walls, and three taller, more open shrubs (leatherleaf viburnum) were positioned on each side to spread upwards from behind the walls. Two large trees, planned for either side of the driveway but not as yet selected, will complete the major plantings. The ground has been covered with sod. The sprinkler system was extended from the mansion to the gate, threading under the several roadway areas to reach this destination. The extension was accomplished with limited disruption to traffic by tunneling under the road surface, not digging through the roadway. Existing lights will be refurbished, and additional lighting may be installed, to dramatize and enhance the entrance.
By Irene Borgogno The Grounds Committee assessed Beaumont’s entrance on Ithan Avenue some time ago and determined that the existing vegetation was both overgrown and tattered. Branches blocked the view of the mansion. The pachysandra looked sickly. Chainsaws and stump-munchers would allow new plantings and a brighter area.
APRIL 2012—overgrown: The entrance is hard to spot from Ithan Avenue. The gateposts, walls and signs are obscured by trees and shrubbery. The monument on the left, always in shade, has patches of algae and is virtually illegible. (Google Maps Street View)
In late summer, shrubby growth was removed from the area on Middle Road near the stop signs, and new sod was installed. This was not technically part of the same project, but it dovetailed with the ultimate goal: a bright, open feeling, with greatly improved visibility at
Photo by Richard Stephens
DECEMBER 2016—tidy, clear, safe: The view of the entrance is now unobstructed, revealing the walls and signs. In spring, the trees will be lush and leafy again, but they will not obscure the entrance and signage as before.
Gatehouse continued from page 1 became an unpaid retainer for Mr. Austin’s widow and two unmarried daughters. The tenant houses were rented for income.
Beaumont at Bryn Mawr began two years later. The Gatehouse was one of the residences available. Mr. Nelson Quick, the first Director of Maintenance, Security and Grounds, lived in the Gatehouse with his wife, Dawn, and their six children when Beaumont first opened. Ownership of this unique unit subsequently passed through the hands of Mrs. Jane McNabb (April 1993); Mrs. Edith Clark (September 1994); Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Mainwaring (February 1995); and Mrs. von Starck (December 1997). According to Eric, his mother would agree to move to Beaumont only if she could BRIGHT LIVING ROOM with Mrs. von Starck’s furnishings, including two tiny chairs for children or live in the Gatehouse, dolls (or Snow White’s dwarves?). and she lived there for the next 18 years. Some accom At some point before his death, Mr. Austin gave modation was eventually needed, such as installation of the Gatehouse to his daughter Anna, who spent summers a chair lift to get to the second-floor bedrooms, but the at her ranch in Wyoming and the rest of the year at Lisebasic structure remained unchanged. The Gatehouse has ter Hall, but she never lived in the Gatehouse. been unoccupied since her death earlier this year and is By the 1960s, Anna and Gyda were the only relooking for a new resident who can appreciate its charms. maining residents in Liseter Hall. During Anna’s annual treks to Wyoming, Gyda would house-sit, but the property was large for one person to guard. In the 1960s a motorcycle gang planted marijuana on the land near the Gatehouse. When she returned from Wyoming Anna evicted these squatters, LARGE KITCHEN has a center island, generous cabinet space but opporand a woodland view. COMFORTABLE DINING ROOM has a All photos by Richard Stephens tunistic pleasant view of the deck and woods. vagrants *** continued to be a problem. Anna died in 1984. The unoccupied 50-acre prop The interior of the first floor is very bright, with erty was acquired by Arthur Wheeler in 1985 and held windows on all sides and rooms connected by open archin trust for the Beaumont Corporation. Construction of ways, allowing unobstructed passage of light and people.
Gatehouse continued on page 5
Gatehouse continued from page 4
MASTER BEDROOM refurnished shows the opposite gable end.
the length of the house), and a bathroom. The ceilings are an amalgam of angles, courtesy of a roof with six gables and one shed dormer. Closets are low but deep, burrowing into the MASTER BEDROOM has windows on three sides. Mrs. von Starck’s four-poster bed areas behind the gable knee walls. was in the middle of the room, as shown here, flanked by a desk and a sitting area at one The extremely large basement gable end and bedroom furniture at the other. is rough and unfinished, reminiscent This level contains a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry of root cellars common at the time area. Stairs lead down to the basement and up to the bedrooms. of construction. It almost begs to The second floor has three rooms (the largest is very spacious and runs become a wine cellar.
Great Danes do good, stay happy on two small meals a day By Sis Ziesing
“Gentle Giant” might seem a more appropriate name for the Great Dane, whose history—while somewhat murky—is generally accepted as having begun in Germany, not Denmark. They are gentle, loving and easy-going. Though powerful, they are usually friendly toward other dogs and other kinds of pets, and are sensitive and responsive to training. They need moderate exercise and soft bedding they can stretch out on. Unbelievably, in spite of their size, their food requirements are relatively small: a scoop of kibble and a third can of moist dog food twice a day.
Photo by Chris Colket
GENTLE GIANTS: Trixie, Dudley and Moose
Chris Colket, Patsy Dushane’s nephew, frequently visits Beaumont with his three Great Danes. It’s quite an experience to run into him in the hallway with one, two or three of these lovely dogs and people milling around, patting them like crazy. Dudley, the eldest at 11 years old and 140 pounds, is a retired therapy dog. He used to be a frequent visitor to the health center and was much beloved. Unfortunately, he is very arthritic now, and has other health issues, so he’s taking it easy. Great Danes only have a life span of 7 to 10 years. Moose, at 10 years old and weighing a moderate 120 pounds, is in the middle of this Great Dane family. He has become deaf but knows sign language. It’s amazing to watch him respond to this. Trixie is the baby of the group at four years old and a whopping 155 pounds. She’s a therapy dog and works at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington. She was accepted immediately because of her excessive friendliness, but Chris had to be vetted for about two months! She was once doggie-sat in Beaumont’s Personal Care, to the delight of a dog lover with whom Trixie spent two hours—on her bed. It is impossible to say enough nice things about these gentle giants and their interactions with Chris and the world around them.
Dogs, plants, books, computers follow Penn alumni couple to join old friends in retirement
The first night, as she was settling in to sleep, she suddenly heard a loud “WHOMP!” on the corrugated tin roof. It was followed by several more loud “WHOMPS.” She was petrified, but she had to know what was going on. She grabbed a flashlight, went outside and played the light on the roof, where she saw a dozen vultures settling in for the night. Frank left Stanford after his first year to join the Navy, to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam. He spent two and a half years teaching science at a Navy school and then returned to Stanford to finish his doctorate. He went to the University of Washington for a post-doc in chemistry, working on solar cells, and then the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, continuing to work on solar cells. He and Irene had kept in contact and met again at their 15th college reunion. Two years later Frank moved to the Philadelphia area to live with her. Over the next 25 years, before retiring, he worked in solar energy, the space program and software development. Irene left archaeology and did clinical research for Johnson & Johnson for 21 years, until her job was relocated, after which she worked for six years as an independent contractor. She and I retired at the same time and resumed traveling together, something we used to do many years before. Frank, Irene and Richard Stephens, who had roomed with Frank at Penn, introduced me to Beaumont. Richard’s mother, Helen Stephens, lived here; Frank and Irene visited, and eventually, at Irene’s urging, I took some tours, attended a few events and moved in. Irene and Frank moved into Villa 7 on Pond Lane last spring with their three dogs: Wrigley, an aged and ailing Maltese (now deceased); Pixel, a white Chihuahua-terrier mix, and Ginger, a 100-pound goldendoodle. Coincidentally, their next-door neighbor, Leslie Wheeler, also has a goldendoodle, though smaller than Ginger, and a little white dog a bit larger than Pixel. They also brought a multitude of plants, hundreds of books, and at least six computers, not including tablets.
By Lynn Ayres I’ve known Irene Borgogno for over half a century. We met in high school and became best friends. We remained friends through the years, although there were times when her life led one way and mine another. Frank Kampas and Irene met as undergraduates in the University of Pennsylvania’s General Honors Program. Irene was a hometown girl from Philadelphia; Frank hailed from Tonawanda, N.Y., near Buffalo. He was attracted to her from the very start, he says, but she was seeing someIrene Borgogno and one else. Irene remained at Penn Frank Kampas for graduate work in archaeology, while Frank headed to the West Coast to go to Stanford for graduate work in physics. As a graduate student, Irene spent three field seasons in Panama and came back with some interesting stories to tell. On her first trip, she acted as camp cook. One evening, she reached into a container of lemons and grabbed what she quickly realized was a rather furry lemon…that moved! It took a few seconds for her to connect the dots: size of a lemon…furry…moving…tarantula! She tossed it to a height that she doubts she has ever since matched. On her second trip she stayed in the family home of her adviser, organizing and cataloging a mound of potsherds. One morning she went to work and discovered an unusual impediment to her activities: a dead horse. All she could think to do was approach her hostess and say, “Doña Olga, there is a dead horse on my potsherds.” On her third trip, Irene stayed alone in an old pilot’s hut in the Canal Zone, still organizing potsherds.
From rearing children to managing a business, Triesters shared careers By Rena Burstein
Sonia and Stanton Triester moved into Beaumont’s Villa 78 in June, after having lived on Bryn Mawr’s Mount Pleasant Road for 40 years. Stan is a
Philadelphia native and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Sonia grew up in Baltimore, graduated from Goucher College, received a master’s in education degree from Johns Hopkins, came to Philadelphia as a graduate student in social work at Penn and then worked at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic for one year. Stan graduated from Penn with a degree in Economics and Finance in 1949, went on to the Law School and then took a position as a real estate lawyer Triesters continued on page 7
Currans settle in on Pond Lane, but keep view of dolphins
was delivered with each log numbered. Ed said it was like playing with his childhood Lincoln Logs all over again. Ed was born in Darien, Conn. Always a creative person, at the age of 19, he moved to New York, where he By Jean Homeier attended the Art Students League and then spent a year at l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He returned to the United Ann and Ed Curran moved to 28 Pond Lane in January, almost a year ago, but after four nights in residence States and came to Philadelphia, where he attended the they were on their way to their home in Hobe Sound, Fla. Wharton School at Penn, then found his calling in the field of advertising. He was Senior Vice President and There they watch pods of dolphin pass their home, which Creative Director at Aitkin-Kynett and Lewis & Gilman, is built on pilings among the mangroves along the Intrawhich merged with Foote, Cone & Belding. coastal Waterway. In addition to using his creative abilities in adver Ann Curran attended Shipley, graduated from tising, Ed has built beautiful furniture and most recently Westover and attended both the Moore College of Art helped design an ingenious plan for the remodeling of 28 and Rosemont College. She has had a lifelong interest in Pond Lane. Like Ann, Ed has a great interest in sports Lankenau Hospital, which was built on land given by her aunt, and she has served there in many volunteer capacities. of all kinds and has long been a multi-engine instrument rated pilot. During the Korean War Ann did occupational Between them, the Currans have five children and therapy at Valley Forge Military Hospital through the Red seven grandchildren. They live here in Haverford and in Cross. Golf, tennis and riding have also been important California, Connecticut, Texas and New York. They also interests, but her most challenging, she says, is managehave two miniature Schnauzers that participated in the dog ment of the Crocker Ranch in Estes Park, Colo., where Black Angus cattle graze. Some years ago the Currans built parade and were featured on Page One in the last issue of the Beaumont News. a log house on the ranch using a packaged version, which Triesters continued from page 6 with the law firm Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis in Philadelphia. They met, as Sonia recalled, “in the grocery store at 23d and Spruce,” married and settled in Center City. A year later they moved to Harvard with their month-old son, where Stan worked on a graduate degree. However, after one semester they returned to PhilSonia Triester adelphia to join Stan’s brother in taking over the David E. Triester Real Estate business after their father’s death. Stan developed it into a national real estate business, and as it became the Triester International Investment Company, Sonia began her career as a manager, and Stan and Sonia’s business lives became a partnership spanning 40 years. Stan bought and Sonia managed a portfolio of real estate that included apartments, shopping centers and office buildings with locations from Florida to California. The Triesters’ two children were educated locally at Baldwin and at Episcopal Academy. Their son is now a professional trader. Their daughter, a former vice president at JP Morgan, is the mother of the couple’s three
grandchildren. Their son-in-law is a “voice-over” actor of considerable distinction. Stan is an avid tennis player and a sports and exercise enthusiast. He arranged for their trips to Olympic games in Mexico City, Los Angeles and Montreal, and in 1980 to Wimbledon, where they witnessed the famous McEnroe/Borg final. He has had a long relationship with the Vesper Boat Club, where he was on the Board of Advisors and aided in its rescue from losing its moorings when memberships declined. Tennis, skiing and horse racing are interests that Sonia has shared with Stan. Stan was on the board of the Hahnemann Cancer Research Center. Sonia is a board member of Penn’s Field Center for Children’s Policy Practice and Research. She is also an avid grower and collector of cacti, unusual examples of which adorn their villa. The villa Stan Triester also contains what Sonia describes as an “eclectic” display: a collection of clocks, art from the student finals at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts including sculpture, paintings and mixed media, and glass from the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show, as well as Oriental bronzes and Old Master prints.
Trip to Independence Seaport Museum turns into a resident’s sentimental journey Article and photos by Louise Hughes, Trip Coordinator
A surprise awaited residents who recently visited the Cruiser Olympia, along with the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Resident Mary Ryan had told the group and our tour guide that her father, who was a medical doctor, donated a chair for the doctors’ exhibit on board the Olympia, but she wasn’t sure if it was still there. Lo and behold, as we got to the exhibit she happily exclaimed to the group, “There’s my dad’s chair! I used to climb on it when I was a little girl.” The Olympia, launched in 1892, is said to be the oldest steel warship afloat in the world.
SICK BAY: Mary Ryan points to the chair that her father, a medical doctor, donated to the exhibit.
ON DECK: front row—Louise Hughes, Leonard Randolph, Joan Thayer, Barbara Stephens, Mary Graham, Mary Ryan, Suzanne Steigerwalt, Sally Randolph, Jane Garrison, Helen Gannon, Joan Yannessa; back row—Richard Graham, Wilson Ross, Richard Stephens, Dr. John Carson.
ARTILLERY: Our tour guide demonstrates how the cannon works.
COLOR CODING: Dr. John Carson poses with a steam release valve, painted red for hot and white for even hotter.
HEADED FOR THE BRIG? Helen Gannon breaks the rules (but not really).
Newsletter, Beaumont Retirement, Bryn Mawr, PA