VOLUME TWENTY SIX, NUMBER FOUR
Improving the trail: Grounds folk strike gold! By Mark Hritz Last year’s storms took a toll on the Wheeler Woods trail. Record rainfall washed most of the wood chips from the trail, dislodged trail liners and created a large washout near the pond. What to do? We filled in the large washout with No. 4 rock ballast. We used approximately 4 tons of softball-size stone as a base for the trail and installed an 18-inch black drainage pipe where the water crossed the trail. Several drainage pipes were installed in key areas to guide rainwater under the trail. Residents and staff put in many hours of hard work to make this happen. But the trail was not yet safe for travel. Finding the right material for the trail surface confronted us next. Staff and members of the Grounds continued on page 2
Photo by Grounds worker Jake Bean Spring came early last month, apparently undaunted (though perhaps rushed a little) by the recent stop-and-start weather. Our valiant Grounds crew, of course, was not far behind: Here Kurt Mueller rakes part of the trail through Wheeler Woods, preparatory to resurfacing.
Meanwhile, as residents rejoiced in early spring flowers blooming out of doors last month, a different story was unfolding in a windowless, dank storage room in the Austin garage.
A mushroom farmer’s lament By Dean Snyder
Some months ago I secured a stockpile of freshly cut hardwood logs, and following all the instructions, I purchased Shiitake mushroom spore from a supply house in Oregon. Painstakingly, I drilled 1,300 holes in said logs and plugged each one with a dowel impregnated with Shiitake spores. With great pride and optimism, I announced to all, Shiitake by Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving passed and there were no Shiitake in sight. I was still optimistic. Christmas passed. Hope still reigned, but still no Shiitake. Then, finally, there was one. One! There is still only one lonely mushroom and I have no idea whether or not it is a Shiitake. The thing is just bite size, and guess what will become of Snyder’s lonely little mushroom? continued on page 2
With loving care, Dean Snyder followed directions for nurturing the mushroom crop he expected to spring from the 1,300 holes he drilled in specially ordered hardwood logs. Photo by Louise Hughes
Grounds . . . .
continued from page 1
and Green Committees set out on a quest to find a screen to keep the size of the concrete bits uniform. material that would be attractive and easy to walk on With this we struck gold; the new material is working and stay in place. Woodchips have not proved satis- very well. The only problem we’ve encountered so far factory, as they usualis that the material ly wash away during may require some heavy rains and rolling to compact the become an ongoing stone and make the maintenance problem. surface smoother. The first attempt to It is delivered in 22replace the woodchips ton loads by a large was with “screenings,” dump truck, and so a by-product of the far we have taken quarry industry, a delivery of approxigray, very coarse mately 10 loads. The stone grit. The material trails are 80 percent is attractive and easy complete and are to work with. open for travel. Staff Photo by Ann Louise Strong Unfortunately it is has started to replace Resurfacing for easier perambulation through the woodland wonders are (from expensive, and it still left) Pat Nardizzi, Mark Hritz and Kurt Mueller. the trail liners and will washed out in areas soon be putting woodwhere there was water moving. chips on top of the stone base as a test trial. Areas At the suggestion of a fellow landscaper, we tried an that are not prone to have water problems will be inexpensive product consisting of old highway con- wood-chipped. We expect the trail to be 100 percent crete that has been pulverized and sent through a complete by late spring.
Mushroom . . . .
continued from page 1
Guess again. Mrs. Snyder claims suddenly that she is allergic to Shiitake and will have no part of it. Furthermore, she is unwilling to share my despair over a crop failure. Alas! What is this world coming to?
Among the hidden wonders of Beaumont in the spring are the camellias in Anna Roberts’ atrium.
Dr. Snyder, known to most of us as a veterinarian and naturalist, has farming (on a rather larger scale) in his background as well. For 15 years he operated Angus beef cattle ranches in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Photo by Ann Louise Strong
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Behind scenes, ‘Big Three’ star in dining production By Mary Schnabel
Fritz introduced me One of my favorite to the rest of the Big assignments is to Three, Marcus and write about an area of Angelo. They looked Beaumont that is little like a friendly team known to our resiand assured me, in dents. Therefore I was answer to my quesdelighted when tion, that no one is Louise Hughes, our boss . . . each sees Trip Coordinator, told what is to be done me about a group of and pitches in and young men who work does it. At my request in our kitchen. I was they took me to the skeptical at first. The kitchen. All of them kitchen has been the wear black clothes subject of articles (which show less before. The Chefs, dirt), aprons and Tableside Dining, takeblack-and-white outs, private parties, Photo by Louise Hughes striped caps, over a have all been mentight, hair-covering tioned in past issues of Smiling despite a job not everyone would love are the kitchen’s self-styled “Big Three:” From left, Fritz Lubin, Marcus Taylor and Angelo McFadden. helmet. the Beaumont News. I have seldom been so impressed! What these But Louise was insistent that I meet and talk to Fritz Lubin, who, with his teammates, Marcus Taylor and young men do every day is so far beyond just the Angelo McFadden, do indeed have a job that is cleaning of the tableware, it is staggering. In addition to scraping and dishwashing all the unknown and unsung. They are, among other things, the Beaumont dishwashers. Little did I know, when I above, every piece must be returned to the area from met with Fritz a couple of weeks ago, the monumental which it came. The dishwasher is run three times a day and empscope of the work they accomplish in that kitchen. It was an intriguing idea: I thought of all those plates, tied three times. All pots and pans that do not fit in the dishwasher— cups, saucers, glasses and cutlery that have to be most of them— are washed and scrubbed by hand in recycled through the dishwasher every single day! Later, when I expressed amazement at the amount the pot sinks. Fritz explained to me that the Big Three are also responsible for all the food that arrives from the suppliers usually daily. “Everything that comes in to the Every single eating utensil in kitchen, we touch,” he boasted. Fritz took me into the pantry where all the canned Beaumont ends up in the same goods, spices, etc. are kept. When a new order of kitchen dishwasher, run three canned tomatoes arrives, for example, they take all the existing cans of tomatoes off the shelf so that the new times a day, through a cycle of order will go to the back. “Sometimes when we get a big order, the whole floor 180-degree water. of the pantry is full of cans and bags while we restock and rearrange the shelves.” The same is true of the refrigerators . . . big room-like affairs where they keep of volume “The Big Three” as they call themselves the fish, meat and other perishables rotated and cared have to face from the Grill Room and the Mansion for. Fritz suggested that we skip that part of the tour Dining Rooms, Fritz corrected me. Not only those two because it requires a layer of warm clothes. So now, when you see a large bin of china being areas, he said, but also the employees’ dining room, the Health Center and Personal Care. And the latter moved to or from the various dining areas in two serve three meals a day. Every single eating utensil Beaumont, transported by a young fellow in a cap, you in Beaumont ends up in the same kitchen dishwasher, are encountering a member of the Big Three . . . withrun three times a day, through a cycle of 180-degree out whom every aspect of our dining experience would be impossible. water. 3
Knowing your neighbor–with a little help By Ann Robb Smith
would be especially helpful to have residents wear name tags at some of the larger Beaumont events. One of the couples interviewed, while enthusiastic about the name tags, raised a separate but important issue related to the law recently signed by Gov. Corbett to require a driver’s license with photo ID in order to vote. Since they no longer have cars or current driver’s licenses, they will have to go to a designated office to acquire an authorized ID with photo so they can vote. This will not be too difficult for Beaumont residents who have generous transportation available, but for others not so lucky, it could prove daunting. The vast majority of female residents interviewed said they approved. Comments included “Yes,” “Great,” “Good,” and “Helpful.” One lady declared that wearing name tags was “Hilarious!”
For those of us who read (but do not always remember) our Weekly Reminders, or did not attend the latest community meeting, it was a surprise to discover name tags in our mail boxes accompanied by a bright yellow notice: Name Tag Week Begins–Monday, March 12 Ends–Friday, March 16 For those of us who are shy, it was reassuring to read: Participation is Optional! Obediently carrying out an assignment from the Beaumont News, this reporter conducted a poll, random and definitely not of Pew Research Center caliber. In all, 25 residents (out of about 300 or so) were interviewed. Some interviews were very brief, others took place at greater length. Participation was slim in the beginning of the week, but as more people started wearing their name tags, increased healthily by the end of the week. Men were generally less enthusiastic than the ladies. One gentleman, who did not want to wear his name tag, said that to him, name tags should be used only to allow admission into certain restricted places such as penitentiaries or nuclear facilities (heaven forbid!) or into special events such as conventions or college reunions. Since Beaumont is a place where people and visitors are welcome, name tags do not seem to be needed, he added. Another gentleman had a different take. He thought that name tags were a good idea and suggested that they be worn once a week, maybe on Fridays, and it
continued on page 5
Wearin’ the green on the Lattice Porch Beaumont celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with one of Louise Hughes’ special coffee socials, this one with pots of gold she made at home, festive leis like the one sported here by Dr. Clayton Kyle and an emerald crown for Patricia Fraser, whose birthday it was. Photos on this page by Louise Hughes
Sweet harmony has singers feeling ‘like being in college again’ By Rena Burstein
In just two years, the Beaumont Singers choral group has grown from a sign-up sheet in April 2010 to a committee of four to a popular feature of holiday concerts and other events with more than 30 performers. Even their rehearsals attract an enthusiastic audience. Members of the original committee were Bruce Mainwaring, Bob Morgan, Carole Morgan and Mary Yurchenco. They met formally for the first time in the fall followiing the posting of the sign-up sheet. As a need for professional guidance was felt, Jason Bizich, the Director of Choral Studies at Harriton High School, became the conductor and Lou Carol Fix, organist/pianist, became the accompanist. The group blossomed as members report feeling “like being in college again,” while Jason encourages and
challenges them enough to achieve results beyond their expectations. One enthusiastic singer, soprano Gretchen Mitchell, a choir singer since the age of nine, says that the group has improved markedly since the first year. She has observed that as members got to know one another, the group became more cohesive and more confident. The core group of those with some choir experience provides leadership for new or inexperienced members. All agree that singing exercises the brain and helps reduce stress and that making music in a group is fun! New members are always welcome; no auditions necessary. The next concert will be on May 1.
An exciting early life
“Heil Roosevelt,” much to their amusement. Nine years later, having joined the U.S. Army of occupation from 1947-1950, I was sent back to Germany. I wanted to see what the war years had done to Germany besides the total destruction of its major cities. So I looked up the little town of Ettlingen and the small hotel where we had stayed as children, which was mercifully undamaged. I went down to the bar and, sure enough, a few of the past patrons were there, a bit older, a bit thinner and definitely poorer after their lost war. I barely recognized any of them and they certainly didn’t recognize an American G.I. like myself. We got into conversation and I bought them lots of beers. I asked them where were all the pictures of Hitler and the other famous Nazis which used to hang there in the bar? Where were the uniforms and decorations they used to wear? What had happened to the street signs outside called Adolph Hitler Strasse, Herman Goering Platz, etc., etc.? They totally denied everything I said, just as if it had never occurred and said that I was completely mistaken. This was, of course, how most Germans behaved after the war. It didn’t surprise me at all. Then one particularly drunk patron leaned over to me and whispered “Heil Roosevelt.”
By Philippus Miller, Jr.
In 1937, when I was nine, my parents moved to Oxford, England, from Devon, Pa., for about twenty years. My father, an Egyptologist at the University of Pennsylvania, was offered a similar position at the University there. During the summer months he and my mother would travel in Europe and he would continue his studies at the University of Munich. My sister and I stayed nearby with a German family at a small hotel in Ettlingen, not far from Karlsruhe. It was an exciting time that summer of 1938. The Nazi party was in power with, seemingly, the enthusiastic approval of most of the population. The Hitler youth wore special uniforms with little daggers and toy guns and often drove in little tanks. This was far more enticing to a nine-year-old than the rather dull boy scouts uniforms back in England. My sister and I would occasionally dress up in these Hitler youth uniforms. Some evenings in the bar downstairs the patrons would stand me on a table and try to make me say “Heil Hitler.” As a very blond, Aryan-looking child, this American thoroughly enjoyed all the attention but I would only say
Neighbor . . . .
Name Tag Week. Some residents wanted both first and last names printed in large letters instead of just the first names; others recommended printing names on both sides of the tag, as the tags tend to flip over [this suggestion has been implemented by the provision of an optional second tag]. Some complained that the length of the cords was awkward and difficult to adjust around the neck. Several residents asked, “Why? Why have a Name Tag Week?” One long-time resident had an unabashed answer to that. “I heartily approve,” she said, speaking for many, “because I can’t remember names!”
continued from page 4
“If you need to remember who you are,” she said, “all you have to do is turn your tag upside down and there’s your name. If you want to remain anonymous, just turn the tag over to the blank side and nobody will know you !” Another lady, a little less convinced of the value of name tags, said it made her feel as if she were in kindergarten and had to be watched over. There were a number of suggestions for the Residents Services Committee, which sponsored 5
Book Club choice reveals connection to ‘Uncle Max’ By Peter Binzen
ished novel, The Last Tycoon, with The Great Gatsby and short stories after Fitzgerald’s death. He believed in the book from the outset and constantly reassured the nervous author. Uncle Max was one of two older brothers of Margie Manlove’s father, Charles C. Perkins. And Uncle Max’s wife was first cousin of Margie’s mother, Emily Saunders. Margie remembers Uncle Max as a man of few words. Although his exchanges of correspondence with famous writers have been published in half a dozen books, he was known for his silence in person. The editor wrote well but his spelling was atrocious. Although an early supporter of Ernest Hemingway, he kept writing his name “Hemmingway.” “His secretary corrected his spelling,” Margie said. Uncle Max traced his ancestry to William Maxwell Evarts, Secretary of State in the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes, and to Charles C.
On April 10, 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote an anguished letter to his editor, Maxwell E. Perkins. The subject was his novel, The Great Gatsby. “The book comes out today,” Fitzgerald said, “and I am overcome with fears and foreboding. Suppose women didn’t like the book because it has no important Max Perkins women in it, and critics didn’t like the book because it dealt with the rich and contained no peasants… Suppose it didn’t even wipe out my debt to you—-why it will have to sell 20,000 copies even to do that! In fact all my confidence is gone. I’m sick of the book myself—I wrote it over at least five times.” Fitzgerald had reason to be worried. First reviews of The Great Gatsby were mixed. The New York World dismissed it as “a dud.” The Brooklyn Eagle’s review, finding not a trace of irony, romance or mysticism, concluded that “the boy” (Fitzgerald was 28) was “simply puttering around.” Priced at $2, the first printing of 20,870 copies of The Great Gatsby sold out but the second printing of 3,000 copies did not. Unsold copies of the second printing were in the warehouse when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack at age 44 in 1940. He died without knowing that The Great Gatsby, following re-appraisal of Fitzgerald’s work, would become the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated and studied 20th Century work of American fiction. More than 10 million copies of the book had been sold by the year 2000. Among those who recently read or re-read The Great Gatsby were members of the Beaumont Book Club. At our March meeting, virtually every member weighed in with an opinion of the book. There was virtually unanimous agreement that it was beautifully written and fun to read. If not the finest work of fiction by an American author, many book club members rated it near the top. As the meeting drew to a close, Margie Manlove, the group’s leader, spoke up. She noted almost in passing that Maxwell E. Perkins, the storied editor not only for Fitzgerald but for Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Taylor Caldwell, and other outstanding writers in the last century, was her “Uncle Max.” Malcolm Cowley, writing in The New Yorker in 1944, considered Perkins “The nearest thing to a great man now existing in the literary world.” He said that “Legends are clustered around him like truffles around an oak tree in Gascony.” It was Perkins who sparked Gatsby’s great revival by persuading Scribner’s to publish Fitzgerald’s unfin-
The editor wrote well but his spelling was atrocious. Although an early supporter of Ernest Hemingway, he kept writing his name “Hemmingway.” “His secretary corrected his spelling,” Margie said. Perkins, a prominent Bostonian and founder of the Boston Museum of Art, whose family fortune was made in the “China trade.” “The Evarts’s were Republicans and the Perkins’s, Democrats,” Margie said. Uncle Max grew up in Plainfield, N.J., but moved his family to New Canaan, Ct. in 1924 (when Fitzgerald was struggling with Gatsby). He had five daughters to whom he wrote letters with his own wonderful pencil sketches while he was working in New York and they were vacationing in Windsor, Vt. As a girl, Margie Manlove played with her first cousins in Windsor. “We had wonderful vacations there,” she said. Her father, Charles C. Perkins, was a Philadelphia lawyer and her mother was a daughter of the founder of the W. B. Saunders Co. Margie graduated from Bryn Mawr College in June of 1943 and one month later married Warren Kluber, continued on page 7
From newcomers to neighbors Experienced grandmother found Beaumont with the help of her daughter By Barbara O’Brien One of the newest arrivals at Beaumont is Mrs. Jane Toomey, who, when I interviewed her, had only been here two weeks and had the feeling we’ve all experienced—a bit dazed, but happy to be here! Jane grew up and went to school in Scranton, Pa. She attended the University of Connecticut, and married a young man in the Navy. After World War II, the Toomeys settled in Coventry, Ct, where Jane spent 65 years feeding and supervising eight children. Coventry is a small historic town, the birthplace of Nathan Hale, and has a tie with Coventry, England, where two young Toomeys spent a month in the summer in a student exchange. Her husband, James Francis Toomey, was in computer sales, and Jane became a paraprofessional in the second grade of her local elementary school.
Although she misses C o v e n t r y, she has moved here to be near three of her children. One of her daughters was visiting Jane during my visit, and she told me that after a great deal of careful research, she recom-
mended Beaumont to her mother. Jane loves crocheting, reading, and traveling. Jane is also one of the most experienced Beaumont grandmothers: She has eleven from 32 to 7!
Uncle Max . . . . continued from page 6
an officer in the wartime U.S. Navy. In July, 1944, Lieutenant Kluber was killed in a blimp crash, leaving his wife and two-week-old son. They stayed with Margie’s parents in Bryn Mawr for three years until she moved into a home in Gladwyne. In June, 1949, Margie married Dr. Francis R. Manlove, a Temple graduate who was trained in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Manlove later taught at Temple while Margie worked for 30 years at the Owl, a used bookstore on the Bryn Mawr campus that raised money for scholarships. The couple moved into Beaumont 17 years ago. Dr. Manlove is now in the Health Center. “He’s a great story teller,” Margie said of her 99-year-old husband and father of their four children.
IN MEMORIAM Catherine Ogden – February 28 Joan Garner – March 6 Jean Kirk – March 8 Blair Ives – March 10 Laurence E. Earley, M.D. – March 13 Elizabeth Uhlig – March 20 Members of the Beaumont Community extend deepest sympathy to their families and friends.
The deadline for the May 2012 issue of the Beaumont News will be April 12. The News publishes 10 editions a year from October to July. Please sign your story and either turn it in at the front desk or better, if you can, e-mail it to Mary Graff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep a copy for yourself! For back issues, please go to our website, www.BeaumontRetirement.com 7
The verdict: “It tasted just like maple syrup!” Top: Devie Andrews (blue coat) and Dr. Pauline Foster (back to camera) watch and listen down at the Pond last month as Dr. Dean Snyder explains the tapping of maple trees. Middle: Louise Hughes, co-host with Dr. Snyder of this first-time-ever rite of spring at Beaumont, bottled “Doc Snyder’s Maple Syrup” for all participants, which all enjoyed over French toast sticks with orange juice as Dean continued his explanations. Bottom (left): Grounds worker Pat Nardizzi assists at cooking of the sap as Nancy Harris (dark coat) and others look on. Bottom (right): From left, displaying their souvenir bottles, are Tony Starr, Gloria Stickel and Barbara Murphy. Photos by Louise Hughes