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rhode island

The Best Years of Your Life

Still Cruisin’ • Smooth Sailing in Newport • Keeping Roads Safe • Riding in Classic Style


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hen I was moving into a new apartment in Boston, I went into Best Buy on the hunt for a reasonably priced TV. Soon enough, I picked one out and made myself look helpless until a salesman in a blue polo meandered over. “I’ll take this one,” I said, pointing to the shelf in front of me. The TV was within my reach, but it was too heavy, so I was going to need them to carry it to my car. “What kind of car do you have?” I froze. “I know this...” I thought. I have to know this. I can’t not know this. But sure enough, I blanked.

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May 2010 1944 Warwick Ave. Warwick, RI 02889 401-732-3100 FAX 401-732-3110 Distribution Special Delivery PUBLISHERS Barry W. Fain, Richard G. Fleischer, John Howell EDITOR Meg Fraser megf@rhodybeat.com MARKETING DIRECTOR Donna Zarrella donnaz@rhodybeat.com Creative Director Linda Nadeau lindan@rhodybeat.com photo editor Darcie DiSaia darcied@rhodybeat.com WRITERS Susan Contreras, Don Fowler, Don D’Amato, Matt Holmes, Joan Retsinas, Kevin Worthley, F. Steele Blackall III, Mike Fink, Meg Chevalier, Cynthia Glinick, Joe Kernan ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Donna Zarrella – donnaz@rhodybeat.com Carolann Soder, Lisa Mardenli, Janice Torilli, Suzanne Wendoloski, Gina Fugere Classified ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Nicole Egan – nicolee@rhodybeat.com Sue Howarth – sueh@rhodybeat.com PRODUCTION STAFF Matt Bower, Joseph Daniels, Brian Geary, Lisa Yuettner A Joint Publication of East Side Monthly and Beacon Communications. PrimeTime Magazine is published monthly and is available at over 400 locations throughout Rhode Island. Letters to the editor are welcome. We will not print unsigned letters unless exceptional circumstances can be shown.

“A blue one,” I said, flashing a smile at the salesman, thinking he would find me charming. He didn’t. And I will never forget that moment. It sounds crazy, but it’s a true story. The car was a hand me down from my family, and because I didn’t really care what it was - as long as it got me from Point A to Point B - I legitimately didn’t know what make or model it was. That pretty much summarizes my interest in cars. I would much rather spend my money on my living space or my social life than a set of shiny wheels, which begs the question, why dedicate an issue of PrimeTime to four-wheeled beauties? Well, I might not love cars, but plenty of my readers do, and if there’s one thing that I love writing about, it’s the things that other people feel passionate about. Whether it’s interviewing someone about their job, or writing about a non-profit’s tireless mission, other peoples’ passion creates a tangible excitement. It’s hard not to get caught up in it. That was definitely true for this month’s edition. In this issue, you’ll meet some Rhode Islanders who take the term “car lover” to a whole new level. Eat. Sleep. Work. Cars. That’s how they live. In our Q&A, you’ll hear from a very specific subset of car enthusiasts, while Bruce Palmer shares some insight into the mind of a car fanatic. Check out his garage on the cover - a picture is worth a thousand words. This issue also offers some advice on what to look for if you’re in the market for a golden oldie, courtesy of our publisher, Richard Fleischer, who is a classic car buff himself. On more serious notes, Kerry Park discusses the ins and outs of health care reform in Rhode Island, and we have a new writer in our midst - Cynthia Glinick. After an introduction to the topic last month, she will be covering issues important to the gay and lesbian community, and in particular the aging segment of that community. And if you’d rather ride the waves than the freeway, check out one of Rhode Island’s hidden treasures, the International Yacht Restoration School. I couldn’t believe this amazing building was in my own backyard and I had never heard of it. You get to see boats being crafted up close, and I even got to see a 19th century schooner that has a story all its own. If you are in the Newport area on June 5, I would highly recommend checking out their launch day and graduation to see the site yourself. You’ll be happy to know that I finally figured out what kind of car I drive - a Ford Escort. I’m still not sure what year it is...but I can tell you with all certainly that it is blue. Happy trails.

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cruisin’ IN THIS ISSUE Riding in style.......................................................... 4 Bruce Palmer lifts the hood on a national phenomenon Idolatry of the car.................................................... 6 Don Fowler shares his four-wheeled experiences For the love of cars................................................. 7 A Q&A with the Corvette Club of Rhode Island Cruising the market................................................ 8 A guide to buying a classic car On the water........................................................... 15 Newport shares its rich maritime history Reviving that first car love.................................. 17 One woman’s hunt for the car of her dreams

PLUS PEOPLE & PLACES Doer’s Profile......................................................................................................................10 Glimpse of RI’s past.....................................................................................................22 Diving right in.....................................................................................................................24 SENIOR ISSUES Future of reform...............................................................................................................11 She still has a voice......................................................................................................19 FOOD & DRINK Feeling the Flavor...........................................................................................................17 LIFESTYLES Gay and Gray.....................................................................................................................18 That’s Entertainment....................................................................................................20 What do you Fink?.........................................................................................................21

Meg Fraser editor

Hit the road again next month, but this time for a little R&R. June is our annual travel issue, and we’ll tell you about some gems by air, wheels and water.

ON THE COVER: Bruce Palmer (Photo by Darcie DiSaia)


b y meg fraser

Riding IN Style 4 | PrimeTime

May 2010


st i l l c r u i s i n ’ Pulling into the West Greenwich driveway of Bruce Palmer, it’s not hard to guess what he’s all about. On the left, a Woodie Wagon is partially covered up. On the right, a vintage truck has its hood up. In total, the property is home to 12 cars in various states of glory or disrepair. “Everybody has a hobby,” Bruce says with a shrug. In the early morning, you can tune in to Bruce on 100 FM The Pike. He heads off for the office about 4:30 in the morning, but that’s okay by him, because by 11 a.m., he’s back at his favorite spot the garage. “This is where I spend most of my life. I could live in this garage if I had to,” he said. On the walls around him, photos of cars past and present are mounted next to road signs and accolades from car shows. A road stripe divides the garage, which is currently home to Bruce’s prized possession, a 1970 white Torino. “When they bury me, I’m going in this car,” he said, thinking for a second before adding, “and if I buy one more car my wife is going to bury me.” In Bruce’s defense, she knew what she was getting into. His love of classic cars goes back to his childhood growing up in Philadelphia, and snowballed from there. Riding alongside is his passion for classic music, which he plays on the radio, and listens to in his garage. “I started working on one car at a time. It wasn’t long before there were three cars. By the time I came to Rhode Island, it was up to four and it kept growing and growing,” he said.

That’s putting it mildly. In his collection, Bruce boasts a 1969 Fastback, a 1970 Cooper Cobra and a 1959 Plymouth Station Wagon. Outside of the garage-protected elite, the works in progress came to Rhode Island for as cheap as $50 on Web sites like eBay and Craigslist. In that respect, technology has been a godsend for collectors like Bruce. Buyers are able to check out merchandise from all over the country and see photos before making any commitments. Enthusiasts use Web sites and message boards to find out about cruise nights and car shows in their area. But when it comes to technology in the auto industry, Bruce says there’s a lot to be learned from the past. “Today, all cars are almost identical. I pop the hood and I don’t know where anything is,” he said. That’s saying something, because in his home workshop, Bruce does most of his own repairs. It’s taken him years to navigate the engines, and he’ll admit he doesn’t know everything, but cars today don’t have the same style and simplicity he appreciates in his car collection. Although Bruce sees that appreciation waning in younger people, he isn’t too worried just yet. He has enough events to keep him busy year-round. Car nights have exploded over the last two decades, and he says car lovers can no longer be described as a cult trend. Now, he said, it’s a movement. “It’s much more than a bunch of rag tag guys that get together every weekend and meet at the donut shop,” he said. “In the average weekend during the middle of summer, you could have at least two or three cruise nights going on within 70 miles of each other. It’s really become a national phenomenon.” n

I started working on one car at a time. It wasn’t long before there were three cars. By the time I came to Rhode Island, it was up to four and it kept growing and growing

Photos by Darcie DiSaia

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st i l l c r u i s i n ’

by don fowler

The Idolatry of the Car It is all Henry Ford’s fault. What was wrong with the horse and buggy? They took our ancestors from the farmhouse to the general store, and to church on Sunday. Why did Ford have to spoil everything by creating the biggest idol since the Golden Calf? Why do people - especially men - idolize cars? There are special sections in newspapers, plus numerous magazines, all related to the automobile. A car is nothing more than a way to get from point A to point B…and back; just like a stove is a way to cook dinner. But we don’t idolize stoves, brag about the latest model or lift their hoods to gaze at their inner parts. My father owned a Ford with running boards and a rumble seat. Neighbors would gather to stare at the motor and beg for a ride. When it broke down, he would get out his tool kit, make me hold the flashlight for what seemed like eternity, and fiddle around until it started. When it snowed, he put on chains. When the windshield fogged up, he used a towel to clean it. When it ran out of gas, he filled it from a can in the trunk. I remember my first car - a used ’55 Chevy, with fins! If I had it today, it would be worth a fortune. The owner would take it to the carousel in Riverside or the A&W in Greenville, where hundreds of fanatics would gather to drool at its beauty and listen to Ronny and the Daytones singing “GTO” over the loudspeakers. When I was a teenager, I never cared what was under the hood, as long as

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it had a front seat - without an armrest - so I could take my girlfriend to the drive-in or the “submarine races.” Drive-ins didn’t go out of business because of the multiplexes. They ceased to exist when car manufacturers added that darn armrest and made individual seats. Car idolatry continues today. People pay big money to go to the annual car show at the Rhode Island Convention Center, where they stare at cars they could never afford. Country singers praise their “Little Red Rodeo” and “Hot Rod Lincoln.” Everyone has to have a GPS, with a sexy voice that tells you when and where to turn; not recognizing that a new bridge was built over the Providence River, it takes you right into the water. What was wrong with the old AAA trip tic? You don’t even need to turn the radio dial anymore. Just talk to it. I know I’m in the minority, but to me my automobile is nothing more than a vehicle to get me to the doctor’s office, senior center, sporting and arts events, restaurants or a visit to friends and relatives. When I get where I’m going, I park it, and don’t allow anybody to look under the hood. It is a beige Toyota that looks exactly like a dozen other cars in the parking lot…and that’s fine with me. n

May 2010


QUESTION&ANSWER

st i l l c r u i s i n ’

by M EG FRASE R

For the Love of Cars It was more than four decades ago that Rhode Island Corvette owners decided their hobby deserved some serious attention. So in 1964, they formed the Corvette Club of Rhode Island, which puts out a monthly newsletter, the Vette Set Gazette and is a gateway to countless car shows and cruise nights around the region. Vin Capone joined the group in 1973 and has been the president for the past seven years. He has traveled as far as San Jose, Calif., to meet other car enthusiasts and if there’s one thing he’s learned about the car community; it’s more than a hobby - it’s a lifestyle.

When did you first become interested in cars?

I think I first realized that I liked cars when I was in the ninth grade. Someone let me sit in a little red Corvette and it was all over after that. In 1973, I bought a brand Corvette and used it as my every day driver for seven years.

Why the Corvette?

The Corvette is the American sports car. It’s always been fun to drive and I like the old ones as much as the new ones, which are beautiful. I own three (a ‘74 convertible, a 1956 National Award winner and a 1953 limited edition).

What’s so different about cars made back then?

The technology is so much more advanced today than it was then, but it’s just the classic look of the body styles that I love. It’s interesting to see all the developments through the years. I think most people who are into cars can appreciate the beauty of most vehicles. As much as I think corvettes are the prettiest, we do have an appreciation for the other makes and not just American, but some of the ones manufactured overseas.

Tell us about the Corvette Club Of Rhode Island.

We meet monthly and in order to be a member of the club you have to own a Corvette. We do a very large show every year; this year we’re at Diamond Hill State Park on August 1st where we expect to have 250 Corvettes from all over the New England area. The Corvette Club also has dinner socials every month, we go on cruises every month and we have two to three functions that are very well attended.

May 2010

What do you get out of the membership, personally? Friendships blossom out of it. We have 150 active members. The Corvette Club community in New England also has a web site where we advertise each other’s events and pass it out to individual members.

Do you think the love of old cars is waning?

Just the opposite; many of our members are younger and very active in the club. It has never waned. The interest is really getting more and more. I can see a long-term growth in the hobby.

What do you look for when buying a car?

Pretty much completeness. If I’m going to be doing the restoration, I don’t want to have to go find parts all over the place. I have done that, though. I like to do the work myself, but many people want to buy a complete car that they don’t want to do much work on. Either way, you really need to have a good, honest garage to do repairs. When I was restoring my ‘56, I became very friendly with a fellow who was doing the mechanical work. He ended up being my best friend, and he has classic cars also. n For more information on the Corvette Club of Rhode Island, visit www.corvetteclubri.com. •

CALE N DAR OF EVE NTS • • • • • • • • •

Memorial Day to Remember Mayor Lombardi and the Town of North Providence invites all Rhode Islanders to come out for the annual Memorial Day Parade, Celebration and Memorial Service on Monday, May 31. The parade begins at 1 p.m. at North Providence High School and ends at Governor John A. Notte, Jr. Park, where a festival will take place.Features food vendors, train rides, music & more. Noon-6PM. Free. For more information call the Recreation Department at 233-1445. Standing up for Seniors Paula Bradley, Field Liaison for Congressman Patrick Kennedy for the past 16 years, and active volunteer with many senior organizations, will receive this year’s Outstanding Senior Advocate Award from Senior Services, Inc., a multi-service agency serving older residents of Northern Rhode Island, at its sixth annual Spring Gala on May 18 at Savini’s Restaurant in Woonsocket. Tickets are $30 and ads in a commemo-

rative booklet are available. Call 766-3734 or e-mail sr_ serv_inc@hotmail.com for more information. Historical Happenings in Newport The Newport Historical Society will host Rabbi Deborah Prinz speaking on Chocolate in the Colonial Period on Thursday, May 6, at 6 p.m. in the Colony House on Washington Square. Admission is $5 per person, $1 for Newport Historical Society members with current membership card, attendees will complete the evening by sampling chocolate. This program is sponsored in part by the Newport Hyatt. That same week, the Historical Society’s Museum & Shop at Brick Market will host a trunk show the evening before Mother’s Day with Newport designer Jessica Hagen-Hill, owner of Jessica Hagen Fine Art + Design. The show will feature jewelry with a vintage flair. The show will take place on Saturday, May 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 127 Thames Street at the foot of Washington Square. For additional information, contact Elizabeth Sulock at 846-0813 or at ESulock@newporthistorical.org.

PrimeTime | 7


Cruising the Market

A Guide to Buying

The list:

• Decide what basic model of car you are interested in. There is a big difference between a Mustang and a Triumph. • Ask yourself how you intend to use the car. Is this a sunny weekend occasional car or do you look forward to driving a daily classic? Some cars, Mercedes for example, were built like tanks. They can survive very high mileage and daily usage. Other cars need regular low mileage tune-ups. Others suffer from non-use or are more subject to rust. • Join a car club. No matter how scarce the car, there will be a club supporting it. Seek out experts. Find out what you are getting yourself in to. • Get a book. There has been something written about everything; if not in a book, then in a car magazine. Most magazines are archived electronically. Find it and read it. • Once you have decided on a model, decide on specifics. The more popular the model, meaning the more made, generally the more specific you can be. Also, some cars were simply made better then others and consequently there will be more on the market now. Mercedes built a lot and built well. They can be reasonably priced. Not so with an Aston Martin of the same vintage. Think of this the same way you would think of buying a new car. Many things you take for granted today were optional 40 years ago; heaters, radios and roll up windows come to mind.

• Decide on the ideal car; manufacturer, model, year, mileage, options, color, condition, number of owners and documentation you’d like to have. Then decide on what you will compromise on and what you will hold firm on. • Be honest with yourself. What are your capabilities when it comes to repair? What can you handle and what do you need to send out. I look at three areas of an automobile: body work, interior work and mechanical work. If I’m looking for a particular model, I find a mechanic who knows it well. If I can’t find someone locally that can help me, I won’t by the car. • Check out insurance. Will you want to have a full policy on the car through your normal carrier or one for limited usage? Classic car insurance companies offer tremendous savings if you fit the criteria. • Find a source of parts before you settle on the car. Most British cars are great hobby cars and you can have virtually any part of any size delivered overnight by a variety of suppliers. Some German and Italian cars along with many American cars are just as easy. But that rare automobile that they only made for one year...parts can be impossible to find and may need to be custom made at great expense.

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st i l l c r u i s i n ’

a Classic Car • Come up with a budget. Car clubs, auction and Web sites and other owners in general are great sources of value guides. Once you have a budget, reduce it by 20 percent. You will spend 80 percent on the car and 20 percent fixing the things that are wrong. Most of the cars I’ve bought have been online. Remember even though they may show you 20 wonderful photos, it’s the 21st that they didn’t post that you really needed to see - hence my 20 percent rule. • Start looking. The rarer the car, the wider the search. Local Rhode Island-based car clubs are a great source of classic cars. Hit some shows and talk with people. Car classified sections are now electronic and linked to other papers across the country. Web sites, eBay, magazines, even used car dealers specializing in classics are all over the country. The good part is with enough time you will probably find what you want. The bad part is there’s nothing like parting with a lot of money for a car you’ve only seen in pictures. For a super high-end car you’re certainly going to fly out or drive to the owner to see the car. For a sub $10,000 car, however, I’ve done all my looking through photos and negotiations over the phone. • Finally, take your time. Plan on six months or longer. In almost all cases, the journey is half the fun. You will meet some great people, see some great cars and eventually you’ll be driving a classic. n

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PrimeTime | 9


DOER’S PROFILE by J OAN R ETS I NAS

Anthony Ballirano Making Roads Safe Eight years ago, Tony Ballirano retired from the Rhode Island Department of Mental Health Retardation and Hospitals. After 41 years, it was time for a change. But his schedule today is just as packed as when he worked as an administrator in the Division of Financial Management. For 15 years, Tony has been volunteering with AARP’s Driver Safety Program, first as an instructor, later as a trainer, and, since January, as State Coordinator. Not surprisingly, on most days of the week, he is working on this program. To date, hundreds of Rhode Islanders have taken his class. And though he has three grandchildren, it’s his wife Eleanor that has the time to babysit. For Tony, being a Driver Safety Program instructor marks a general mission to help his community. He sees the classes as important to improving older drivers’ skills. Those skills can save lives - both of the drivers and the passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. “The life I save may be my own, my daughter’s, my grandchildren’s,” he said. The participant could be “a relative, a friend, a former colleague.” When he is not immersed in AARP’s Driver Safety Program, Tony may be working with the Knights of Columbus. He is a past Grand Knight, the current Scholarship Chair, and treasurer at Bishop Hickey Council in Riverside. He is a fourth degree Knight, a Faithful Navigator, the newsletter editor, and a member of the Assembly Color Corps

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with the St. Pius X Assembly. On behalf of the Knights, he solicits money for a range of community endeavors. Sundays at 7:45 a.m., you will find Tony at Mass at Saint Brendan’s. He is the head usher and a member of the team that counts receipts. In the fall, he is working on the bazaar. When his two daughters were in school, he was a head adviser for CYO. Tony didn’t train to be a community volunteer. This Providence native, a graduate of Central High School, earned a degree in accounting and finance from Bryant University, then an MBA from Providence College. He earned a certificate in Hospital Accounting and Financial Management from Indiana University. He also served in the Army. Along the way, he decided that it wasn’t enough just to earn a living – he had to help others. “God has given me talents. I want to make use of the gifts He gave me,” Tony said. So on a typical day, he gets in his car and drives to his volunteer-obligations. He traces his zeal to his religious faith. “I hope when I pass away my God will take into consideration the good accomplished with the talents He has given me,” Tony said. “As a human being, we all do good things and bad and hopefully my merits in life will overcome the bad.” n

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May 2010


P E O P L E A N D P L A C E S Into the Fast (and Slow Lanes): Driver’s Education Redux

AARP sponsors Driver Safety Program classes throughout the nation. Designed to re-acquaint seasoned drivers with the rules of the road – some that they know implicitly, some that they once knew and some that are new – the half-day sessions lead from 5 to 50 attendees through the ABCs of driver education. For instance, the “pull over” rule is new: if a car is stopped with a police/rescue car on the side of the road, a driver must move into the left lane. If that is not possible, the driver must slow to as safe a speed as possible. Too many roadside drivers and helpers have been killed because people didn’t move over. The fines run to hundreds of dollars. AARP instructors repeat admonitions about defensive driving, driving at night and using cell phones while driving. In Rhode Island, the classes cost $14 – with a $2 discount for AARP members. In return, drivers age 50 and older may get an annual discount (good for 2 to 3 years) on their car insurance, as well as the assurance that they are safer drivers. Classes generally run for four hours, held at community centers around the state. For a schedule of classes, contact ri@aarp.org.

Volunteer Instructors Needed

The classes sponsored by AARP depend upon volunteer instructors. There is no one prototype for an instructor. Instructors have included retired teachers, administrators, engineers and police officers. Another volunteer will act as trainer; in fact, that trainer is willing to act as a mentor and sit in on your first session. If you are interested, contact Barbara Peters at 248-2671, or bpeters@aarp.org.

May 2010

senior issues b y kerry park

The Future for Reform In Rhode Island, where the percentage of our population aged 65 or older is the sixth highest in the nation, the new health care legislation is bound to have widespread impact. With nearly 200,000 tapping into Medicare and roughly 70 percent of our nursing home population dependent on Medicaid, the changes could be jaw dropping. If you’re lucky enough to avoid hospitalization or long-term care, you’ll likely benefit from health care reform’s emphasis on wellness and prevention. Nearly 200,000 elderly Rhode Islanders can expect to reap the benefits of free annual exams and preventive measures like cancer screenings and blood pressure tests. Also, for the next several years, seniors whose prescription drugs are covered by Medicare will pay less year after year for the cost of their prescription drugs. Medicare patients who fall into the “donut hole” coverage gap for prescription drugs covered under Medicare will be eligible for a

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$250 rebate in 2010. Beginning next year, seniors in the donut hole will receive a 50 percent discount off brand name prescription drugs and a 7 percent discount on generic drugs, which will increase by the same amount every year thereafter until 2020. These benefits may not apply to everyone equally, however. Those with incomes of $85,000 or more a year could find themselves paying more for doctor appointments and prescription drug coverage. Overall, Medicare funding will shrink by as much as $500 billion over the next decade. Medicare Advantage plans are being trimmed substantially, and stand to lose $132 billion over the next 10 years. Premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are therefore expected to rise, although these plans may decide to deal with their losses by cutting benefits rather than imposing substantial premium increases. A variety of Medicare changes to home health, hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities will vastly change the way providers deliver services. Health reform is expected to assist hospitals and physicians, by reducing the number of uninsured people seeking treatment. In the skilled nursing REFORM – PAGE 21

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Scandinavian Retirement Center The Scandinavian Retirement Center a nonprofit Assisted Living Community, is located at 50 Warwick Avenue in Cranston. The name reflects the heritage of its founders, but today they are an inclusive community that welcomes people of all faiths and ethnic origins. With just 35 apart- Dr. Malcolm Ekstrand and Ms. Eve Ellinwood enments in the Assisted Liv- joy a cup of coffee in the kitchen of one of the ing Community, it allows new respite suites at Scandinavian Home Retireresidents and staff to come ment Center in Cranston. to know each other well. Bonds of friendship and trust grow easily, and residents are able to balance the level of privacy, socialization, independence and support that fits their personal lifestyle and needs. Each apartment is individually climate controlled and features a kitchenette with dining area, private bath with sit-in shower, and a walk-in closet. Our spacious one-bedroom apartments feature large living rooms and bedrooms. A grand dining room, library, atrium, and other cozy gathering places create an environment that is as comfortable as any home. In addition, all areas are barrier free and totally accessible. Scandinavian Assisted Living Community also offers Respite Suites for those who may need a short stay while their primary care giver is unavailable. Respite Care allows your loved one to be surrounded by attentive staff and know that they are well fed, secure, and with people who care. The assisted living community is part of the larger Scandinavian Home family. The Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation facility and Assisted Living Community are attached and therefore allows residents to age in place. The mission of the Scandinavian Home is to provide a continuum of excellent health care to individuals through their stages of life in a warm homelike environment where resident dignity and quality of life are emphasized. Some of the services at Scandinavian Retirement Center include: Meal Service • Three delicious, home-cooked meals a day with a choice of entrees • Elegant dining area •Late morning self-served continental breakfast cart • Meal trays to apartments by request • Picnic style bag lunches upon request Transportation • To medical appointments (residents can still visit their own doctors in the community) • For weekly banking, shopping, library visits, and postal services locally  Health Care & Personal Assistance • Medication Administration • Follow up with personal physician as needed • Licensed nurse on site 7 days a week • Assistance with activities of daily living • An Enhanced Program is available for those who need more help on a daily basis • Housekeeping and laundry services • Priority admission to the Scandinavian Nursing Home for qualified stays In addition, residents of Scandinavian Retirement Center enjoy a rich cultural and social life. Activities include trips to theaters, restaurants, concerts, movies, and religious services (There is a chaplain on staff and St. Paul’s Catholic Church is right next door). To keep fit, exercise programs which include yoga, meditation, physical and massage therapy, and Wii games are available. If residents want to keep in touch with friends, surf the internet, or just play solitaire they can use the It’s Never 2 Late computer system. Small enough to be personal and responsive to every resident’s needs, yet part of the larger Scandinavian Home family, the Assisted Living Community is living at its best for men and women seeking support, security, and the comforts of home without worries. For more information or to schedule a visit, call the Director of Resident Services, Tai Sodipo, R.N. at 461-1444. You can also visit the website at www.scandinavianhome.com. May 2010


g n i v i Le x po Time Together

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PrimeTime | 13


Get in the game at

Ocean State Senior Olympics Next month will mark the 33rd anniversary of the Ocean State Senior Olympics. Started in 1977 under the direction of Dolores Casey Bergeron and Anna Tucker of the Department of Elderly Affairs. The games will be conducted on several dates, at multiple locations, with Rhode Island College serving as the epicenter of the action. Men and women over the age of 50 are eligible to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in the 2010 events. Athletes can compete this year in archery, 3-on-3 basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, lawn bowling, 5K road race, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, triathlon and volleyball. The games are a qualifying site for the 2010 National Senior Games. The registration and entry deadline is Tuesday, June 1, with late entries accepted based on the event and the month in which it has been scheduled. Registration is $30, and $35 for out of state residents. To enter the Senior Olympics, or for more information, contact their hotline at 383-9585 or email the Games Coordinator at mlyons@weei.com. Registration materials are also available online at riseniorolympics.org.

The events that are currently scheduled are as follows: JUNE 5: • Basketball, 10 am. at RIC • Swimming, 12 p.m. at McDermott Pool JUNE 6: • Archery, 10 a.m. at RIC • Cycling, 2 p.m. at North Kingstown at Route 2 • Track and field, 9 a.m. at RIC SEPTEMBER 12: • Road Race, 10 am. at Goddard Park

14 | PrimeTime

May 2010


b y meg fraser

Water

st i l l c r u i s i n ’

on the

Tucked into Newport’s Thames Street is a large brick mill building. Things seem quiet from the outside. There is little signage to give away what is housed inside. But weave your way past a few office doors and the space gives way to an expansive overlook. It smells like sawdust as you approach the railing, and looking down at the room below, it is clear why. A couple dozen men and women are sawing and sanding several rows of handcrafted wooden boats. It’s the International Yacht Restoration School, a hidden gem in the historic waterfront city that gives Rhode Islanders an up-close look at the industry that has long defined the Ocean State. “Wooden boats are really beautiful,” Susan Daly says as she looks at the students below. “They’re like old houses; there are some people who really prefer the craftsmanship.” Daly is one of them. As the vice president of marketing at IYRS, she has seen many students come through the two-year program who share her passion for the water. Daly grew up in what she describes as a “very hardcore sailing family” and has raced competitively her entire life. Bobby Delnickas considers himself more of a power boater, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing the program, which follows an intense five days a week schedule. Sanding down the side of a beetle cat, Delnickas stands out from the other students. Unlike most of his peers who came to IYRS straight from high school or a brief stint in higher education, Delnickas has already done the whole school thing. In fact, at 66 years old, he’s retired from a long career in surgical sales. “After I retired, I was building boats for recreation at home,” he explained. There was just one problem. “They kept sinking,” he quips. The rows of beetle cats in the workshop, on the other hand, look sturdy. Once they’ve been rebuilt, Daly says they would sell for about $11,000 each. The IYRS restores boats that have been donated, though, and isn’t looking to turn a profit. It’s all about job training, which is more important than ever. “The recession has had an impact on the industry, but the more important change would be more on the job options for the graduates, as is true in other industries,” Daly said. Through its connections with employers in the boating industry, IYRS tries to make those options a reality for students. Delnickas isn’t necessarily looking for a second career, but he will sell some of his creations. The best part for him is the lack of pressure. He’ll build a boat or two a year, keep a few for himself and sell the spares. But when it comes down to it, Delnickas is just looking to enjoy retirement and spend more time on the water. “It’s relaxing,” he said. “I love the water. It changes so much...it changes color, it changes depth, it changes violence. Every day it’s a completely different ocean.” The school also provides services to the public. In addition to leaving the facility open for visitors, IYRS hosts educational and boat-building seminars that are available to non-students. In the building in the back, guests can check on the progress of the restoration of an 1885 schooner, the Coronet. “This just has an amazing history,” Daly says, circling the ship next to rows of artifacts salvaged from its inner quarters. “She was a floating mansion. The whole idea is to take her back to what she was.” Crossing the white stone yard that separates the historic restoration from the newest class of boat-builders, Daly says that the Yacht Restoration School is an important piece of Rhode Island’s history. The students come there for different reasons, and the visitors come from different places, but the thread that ties them together is an appreciation for the coast. “I think the main thing is they all have a love for the water. It’s a little bit romantic,” she said. “This is for everyone to enjoy.” The International Yacht Restoration School will host its annual launch day and graduation on Saturday, June 5, which is open to the public. For more information, visit www.iyrs.org or call 848-5777. n May 2010

Photos by Darcie DiSaia

PrimeTime | 15


Seniors get swept away by Ocean Tides Senior Games Spring is in full swing, and so are the Rhode Island Ocean Tides Senior Games. The competition kicks off this month, and runs all the way into the fall. Organized in part by the non-profit group, Gray Panthers of Rhode Island, the Ocean Tides Senior Games are members of the Rhode Island Senior Agenda Coalition, the Rhode Island Forum on Aging and have been endorsed by the state?s Department of Elderly Affairs. The purpose of the Games is to encourage activities that keep men and women over the age of 40 active and healthy. This year, events will cover swimming, 5K and 10K road races, golf, basketball, track and field, race walk, tennis, triathlon, bowling, 5K and 10K cycling, table tennis and sailing. Visit www.riotsg.org for more information. The events that are currently scheduled are as follows: MAY 23: Road race, walk/run at Colt State Park MAY 24: Golf at Swansea Country Club MAY 27: Bowling at Lang Lanes in Cranston MAY 29: Mens Basketball at Roger Williams University MAY 30: Cycling at Colt State Park JUNE 5: Table tennis in Manville JUNE 9: Bowling at Dudek Lanes in Warren JUNE 13: Swimming at Roger Williams University JUNE 19: Tennis at Mount Hope High School JUNE 26: Track and field at Barrington High School JULY 10: Sailing at the Bristol Yacht Club AUGUST 14: Triathlon at Bayside Family YMCA •

CALE N DAR OF EVE NTS • • • • • • • • •

Songbook Series Continues The Trinity Church Ministry of the Arts American Songbook Series will perform at the Cathedral of St. John on May 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. The cathedral is located at 271 North Main Street in Providence, and admission is $20. The show will cover music of The Andrew Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, the Gershwin’s and more. Call 274-4500 for details. 16 | PrimeTime

May 2010


b y marie hopkins

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Reviving That First Car Love It’s a car buff’s dream, to locate and restore an old car back to its youth and beauty, and maybe capture some of our own youth in the process. When Enid Kagan got her first car in the early 1960s, she was just 20 years old. This fall, more than 40 years later, she wanted to be driving that same car again. Enid first saw the car in a television advertisement while she was living in Providence. The new 1964 Pontiac LeMans was luxe. “I can remember that commercial still,” she says, “there was a wild cat and it kept circling on and around the car.” Enid set her mind to it and bought herself a two-door cherry-red convertible from Steingold Pontiac in Pawtucket. The car had a “hydra-matic” transmission instead of manual, and boasted a modern push-button radio. At $3,000, full sticker price, she had to finance it, but she had a good federal job, so she took on the payments and drove the car off the lot. “I didn’t know enough to haggle over price at the time,” she recalls. Enid drove the car for eight years. In 1967, at age 23, she left Rhode Island for Los Angeles, and remembers what a great car it was to have at the time, being young in the sun in a red convertible in Tinsel Town. It’s no surprise she recalls it fondly. She also took it cross-country twice, taking old Route 66 on the way out to L.A. and a northern route on a different trip. Kagan eventually sold the car in L.A. to a co-worker. David Turner paid her $250 in 1972 when she was about to move to Scandinavia. Turner kept the car on the road as his main form of transportation for many years; he put in a second engine, changed it over to disk brakes, even painted it blue. When Turner at last moved on to another car, he parked the Pontiac in his driveway taking it out for a spin only on occasion. The car sat for a long time. Kagan lived in Scandinavia for almost a decade but kept in touch with her American friends. When she returned to Rhode Island in 1981, her friend David still had the car in his possession. “He had plans to restore it,” says Kagan. “I got to go visit the car when I visited L.A.,” she says. “I got to ride around in it, drive it. It still looked good.” Kagan hasn’t been back to L.A. in seven or eight years. She and Turner call each other on their birthdays. In March 2007, Turner called Kagan to wish her a happy birthday; he casually mentioned he might list the Pontiac on eBay Motors. They talked some more, said goodbye. But when Kagan returned the phone to its cradle, it dawned on her; maybe this was fate. Maybe the car had sat and waited for her. She called Turner back. “The car can’t go to anyone else.” Two years of haggling passed before the two struck a deal. Kagan figures maybe Turner’s heart wasn’t really ready to sell. “He wouldn’t name a price, I had to look it up in a price guide.” Kagan did her research too. She got another friend to take photos, and had Turner list everything that was wrong. She needed to know exactly what she was getting into. The car wasn’t so hot anymore; the parchment colored leatherette seats were split open, the dashboard cracked in multiple places, the body badly rusted with dents, it had no glove box. Eventually the two agreed on $3,500, quite a bit of appreciation when you consider the age and condition of the vehicle. Kagan lost no time in making arrangements. She had the car shipped in a covered transport truck. The trip took nearly two weeks and cost $1,700 but it ensured the Pontiac’s safe return to Rhode Island. Though Turner backed the car onto the transport truck himself, no one was able to drive it off the truck and over to Kagan’s home; the brake fluid had leaked out during the journey, and the vehicle no longer had any brakes. Not one to get her feathers ruffled, Kagan had the car towed to her house. When asked what she thought of the car upon its arrival, she says she was a bit shocked. “I saw the photos, but the car was in rough shape.” She called Turner to ask where the passenger seat was. “It’s in the trunk.” Kagan had made arrangements for a local mechanic, who also happened to be a friend of the family, to help her restore the car. Last year, he showed up at her home with a flatbed truck and hauled the car away to be worked on. He got it up on a lift and told her it wasn’t all that bad. Though she’s put quite a bit of money into restorations, the car is once again cherry-red, and all the bodywork has been completed. And then this fall, the long arduous task of completing the interior renovation has at last begun. Having previously worked at the Registry of Motor Vehicles back in the ‘60s, Kagan had been able to snag herself the perfect plates, “EK-20.” She says she’s seen those plates since, so there is no way to get them back, but she has registered the car. Since 1964 Enid has owned a Saab, another Pontiac and now drives a Subaru. And when her first love is ready for the road, Enid promises to only take it out on nice days and take a photo of her behind the wheel. That’s when they both will relive their youth. n

May 2010

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The Drive to Find the best burger

A good burger is certainly on a short list of my favorite foods. While preparing for this column I was struck by the many visions of burger Americana. Starting from the hamburger’s debatable origins around the turn of the last century, through the drive-in and diner era of the Norman Rockwell-esque 1950s, and up to the fast food and drive-thrus of today. Even more recently, gourmet burgers, alternative meat burgers and ultra expensive fine dining burgers have made their way into the mix. The classic hamburger, the common family outing to the burger joint and the enthusiasts’ drive to find the world’s best burger are all seared into the mystique and history of American comfort food. There are numerous accounts of who served the first hamburger. All take place in the late 1800s. All seem fairly plausible to me and I’m sure it’s a fierce debate in certain circles. Possible birthplaces include Tulsa, Okla.; Athens, Texas; New Haven, Conn; Seymour, Wis.; Erie County, N.Y. and Akron, Ohio. This is quite an array of people and places claiming to be the creator of the modern hamburger. It just goes to show how important this food is in our culture. I mean, how many people out there are spending time and money to prove they invented airplane food? I would also be remiss if I neglected to name the famous restaurants and chains we associate so closely with. The fast food list with varying qualities and regional appeal includes White Castle, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, Burger King, Sonic, In-NOut, Fatburger, Red Robin, Jack in the Box and Roy Rogers. These names, along with countless other local drive-ins, are where the seeds were sown of our nation’s love for the ground beef patty in a bun. The chain restaurants of the mid-range variety (Friday’s, Applebee’s, etc.) tend to serve a slightly larger patty and bun than fast food. Most independent restaurants, taverns, pubs, brasseries and diners offer their own version. Even fine dining has joined the fray. Bison burgers, Kobe burgers, Crab and Lobster burgers, burgers of braised short ribs and foie gras, the options are almost endless when dining out. While at home, and with a moderate budget, the possibilities are just as endless. For my money, a burger has got to be beef. So we’ll stick with that. You can buy whichever leanness you prefer as your body and diet require. I prefer 80/20 or 81/19. This means 20 or 19 percent fat. I find that these numbers yield the best flavor without becoming overly greasy. Since it’s your burger, let’s add some flavor. Start with worcestershire sauce. It depends on how much ground beef you have, but for recipe purposes, per 1 pound beef, 1 tsp worcestershire. I like garlic and onions, so add a pinch each, granulated (dry) or minced (fresh) garlic and onions. Always use salt, and kosher salt is best. Add a dash of Tabasco too. Just mixing all these by hand into the ground beef will be simple but flavorful. You can add anything else you like, just try to keep extra moisture content low, or your burger will fall apart. A good homemade burger is not flat; unless you want it well done, it should be fatter in the middle. Cook it quickly on the outside to sear in the juices, and then turn down the heat to cook to desired temp. Never press the burger, unless you want it well done, because you will lose much of the juice and flavor. FOOD – PAGE 23

PrimeTime | 17


gay & gray

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What’s in a Name? Tell me what you think these people have in common: Alexander the Great. Lord Byron. Richard the Lionhearted. Francis Bacon. Caligula. Queen Anne. If you said they are all historically great statesmen or leaders you’d be correct. Now what about these people: Marcel Proust. Thorton Wilder. Virginia Woolf. Herman Melville. Colette. May Sarton. Famous authors, right? And now this grouping: Pope Benedict IX. Hans Christian Anderson. Janis Joplin, James Dean. Leonardo DaVinci. Dusty Springfield. That’s a little harder to categorize, but if you said they are all still famous names you’d only be half right because the fact is, everyone mentioned has identified as or lived their lives as gay or bi-sexual. If I were to list every single famous gay or bi-sexual person (that we know of) from history here, there’d be little room for much else. And why would I do that? Simply to demonstrate that even though you think you don’t know anyone who’s gay, the fact of the matter is you most certainly do. You just don’t know that you do! And I would go so far as to say that you respect them, befriend them and love them. They are your co-workers, your neighbors and your family. Each month I will attempt to address the varied needs and different aspects of our older and aging gay community. You’d be surprised how much we have in common and perhaps surprised by who we are. Joan Baez. Aaron Copland. Suze Orman. Barney Frank. Meredith Baxter. Ralph Waldo Emerson. Rainer Maria Rilke. Ian McKellan. Alec Guiness. Marlon Brando. Rock Hudson. Amy Lowell. Bessie Smith. Noel Coward. Tennessee Williams. Harvey Milk.

While acceptance of alternative lifestyles is much more widespread these days, there was a time when underground clubs were the only places to socialize and they were often raided by the police. Many older gay men and lesbians today lived through the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City. The conflict was borne out of frustration and the need to be treated with respect. Where are the men and women of that generation now and what have their lives been like? Did the Gay Revolution make things easier or harder? Edna Ferber. Augustus Caesar. Marie Antoinette. Montgomery Clift. Gerry Studds. Angela Davis. Steven Sondheim. Fanny Flagg. Tchaikovsky. Kate Millet. Charles Laughton. Federico Garcia Lorca. As we grow older there are the inevitable health concerns. The questions are no less poignant for the gay or bi-sexual and, perhaps, greater. What does it mean to be gay and in a nursing home? Will the staff treat us with dignity or with scorn? What would it mean not to be “out” or not to be known for who we are? Are there special considerations for older gay people and, if so, why? If all we want is to be treated equally, why we are asking for special considerations? Are we asking for special considerations? Michelangelo. Andy Warhol. Sappho. Montezuma II. Langston Hughes. Margaret Fuller. Peter The Great. Greg Louganis. Billie Jean King. Christopher Isherwood. Joan Crawford. Tallulah Bankhead. ** We are certainly not all famous but we are all older. Are we wiser? Are we special? Is growing older harder for us? Is it easier or more fun? Let’s find out! Join me each month as we explore what it means to be Gay and Gray in Rhode Island. ** all italicized names courtesy of Lambda GLBQT Community Services and Wikipedia.

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May 2010


b y kimberlee alsup

i

She Still Has a Voice When Barbara Jacobs, a passionate therapeutic musician, enters the Lifestyles Room at Somerford Place, an Alzheimer’s Assisted Living community in Roseville, Calif., resident Jerrie Stevens is focused on her pant hem. She is studying silently, in a private world where her mind has been afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Jerrie can no longer carry on a conversation, nor can she understand what words mean. When she is asked to eat, to take a walk, or to join a group, her mind computes only through the body language that her caregivers use. Then Jerrie notices Barbara at the piano beginning to sing; like a light switch, her demeanor changes and she smiles, beginning to follow the tune she hears, happily singing along. After a few moments, Jerrie walks to the piano, where she serenades Barbara like a songbird. Her voice is clear, strong and graceful, as she sings the song Barbara is playing on the piano with the clarity and joy of a young woman. For Barbara, Jerrie and folks like her testify to the notion that music is a unique tool that can reach people with various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Though research shows that the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient indeed shrinks and

May 2010

can no longer make new memories, the musical memories that are held in one’s long-term memory bank can be rekindled for those that are given the opportunity to sing. Jerrie responds surprisingly well when engaged in music therapy, which Barbara teaches twice a month at Somerford Place. Ken, Jerrie’s husband of 54 years, is sure to join Jerrie during the classes, as their days of singing together are revived. In fact, Ken chooses to visit his wife specifically during Barbara’s class, since this is his opportunity to reconnect with Jerrie while singing together. Researchers have discovered that the teen

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years starting around the age of 14 are when musical preferences and memories are formed. In his book, “This is Your Brain on Music,” Daniel Levitin writes, “we tend to remember things that have an emotional component because our brain and neurotransmitters act in concert to tag as important the memories of these emotionally charged years of self discovery.” Therefore, people with Alzheimer’s disease can often sing songs they heard during their teen years, even when they can no longer remember the names of their own children. Since the music Barbara plays is generally from the 1930s to the 1950s, it appeals to her audience and easily taps into their emotional long-term memory banks, allowing them to sing. “Music that speaks to you and pulls on your emotional heart strings is the best kind, both mentally and physically,” Barbara said. “Brain chemicals produced during singing help to maintain our emotional balance, even during stress and disease. I believe music is wonderful medicine for us all, and this is apparent as I observe Jerrie and other Alzheimer’s residents while they sing.” Barbara’s sing-along music programs, which she has been presenting for the past 15 years, can be seen as a catalyst that temporarily unlocks MUSIC – PAGE 25

PrimeTime | 19


that’s entertainment!

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Dining Out-the Healthy Way One of the great pleasures of life is dining out. Living in Rhode Island, with a leading culinary institution in our backyard, and a multicultural population, the restaurant choices are enormous and varied. It is easy to settle for a pizza, Chinese, fish and chips, or fast food, while we should be thinking about foods that are good for us. The Rhode Island Department of Health and Johnson and Wales University want us to think beyond the ordinary and make healthier choices when we do dine out. To learn more about that approach, I participated in a daylong seminar at Johnson and Wales where chefs from 12 local restaurants formed six teams with culinary students and prepared “culinary creations” from fresh grains, fruits, meats, vegetables, herbs, spices and a variety of delicious, healthy food items. Each team had an hour and a half to decide what to cook, which ingredients to add to the meat or fish they were given, and prepare a healthy but tasty dish. We watched them prepare their meals, and then came to good part: We sampled all of them, including ostrich breast, duck, sea bass and rabbit delicacies. With the emphasis today on reducing obesity and providing a healthier diet,

The Wright’s Farm Tradition

restaurants are adding “healthy meals” to their menus. The hustle and bustle in the kitchen was a learning experience for not only the chefs, but those of us who watched with awe as the teams chopped, diced, boiled, peeled, carved, seasoned and combined ingredients into creative, nutritious dishes. Restaurants participating included Gregg’s, Chelo’s, the Pinelli Marra Restaurant Group, Dave’s Market,Local 121, Gracie’s, Nick’s on Broadway, El Rancho Grande, La Laiterie, and Persimmon. All of these restaurants have made an effort to buy local, fresh ingredients and add healthy options to their menus (without sacrificing flavor and taste). Healthy dining is a wise choice, and thankfully the Department of Health, Johnson and Wales University, and a growing number of restaurants are leading the way. Check them out.

Founded by the Galleshaw family in 1972, Wright’s Farm is the ultimate Rhode Island dining experience, with their famous all-you-can-eat family style chicken, salad, macaroni and French fries. At $10.95 a person, it is one of the biggest bargains in Rhode Island. We went on a Friday during Lent, and there was still a wait to be seated. Groups of 10 or more can make reservations. We had 10 hungry people and were seated as

We have celebrated our granddaughters’ birthdays at Wright’s Farm every March for 10 years. This past year, we celebrated their 18th and 21st birthdays, a time for a special party. Where did they want to go? Wright’s Farm. The popular Burrillville banquet facility seats 1,023 people in six dining rooms.

soon as everyone had arrived. The efficient waitperson immediately brought fresh rolls and butter to the table, and brought pitchers of soda (Beer, wine and mixed drinks are also available). The service is fast - no cooked to order need here, as everyone, except the few who order the more expensive steak, is eating the same thing. The tasty salad made with the Farm’s own dressing, arrives like all of the food, family style. FOWLER – PAGE 22

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May 2010


what do you fink?

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Driving Around Pointlessly You can’t get classical music in Rhode Island anymore. The Massachusetts stations cut us off. I had a CD player installed in my car; oh, it originally came with the device, but a thief ripped it out years ago. Right in my own driveway! And took my favorite, and rare, Smithsonian recordings of real genuine Gypsy music from Romania. I e-mailed the Institute for a replacement, but they haven’t responded to my appeal. The more gadgets you get, the harder it is to reach anybody. Sometimes it’s a nice pastime just to cruise around and gather your thoughts and take note of pretty houses, or the front yard nature-glimpses they offer as you gaze through your windshield. A robin in or out of season. A pair of elegantly quiet mourning doves that match the colors of the good ground, brown but with bright yet subtle pastel tones. Everything changes all day long and into the twilight. I call it “driving around pointlessly,” for self-mockery mixed with a touch of snobbish pride. Well, I have acquired - as a gift from an old friend, a former college roommate - a boxed set of the great radio programs, the comedies, of the early glory years you could dial to find (and watch the tubes warm up and glow, if you were patient), when the remnants of vaudeville took to the airways courtesy of some sponsors. Really, my story starts here. The Jack Benny show was totally superb. It mixed melancholy and merriment, not unlike the essays of James Thurber. Jack celebrates his 39th birthday, alone and forsaken...or so he thinks. He sinks into a lonely seat at a theatre that shows “The Horn Blows at Midnight,” but the show packs some hilarious surprises. As usual, Rochester steals the laughs and has all the fun. Jack was witty without ever saying anything the least bit amusing, just taking the brunt of the jibes from his guests. That one took us on a long journey on Route

95. I mean it kept us company on the long highway. The others on the CDs I listened to alone, by myself, on shorter jaunts about town and nearby countryside. Eddie Cantor’s voice was deeply familiar to me, and his guests, Tommy Dorsey doing, “There Are Such Things” and Dinah Shore articulating “When the Lights Go On Again,” add the same note of wartime sadness and hope to the idea of comedy.

I loathe and detest canned guffaws and artificial sympathetic sighs and look down my nose at mass enthusiasms Don Ameche and Frances Langford bring a touch of acerbic realism in the post-war period when they play “The Bickersons,” who aren’t that nice to each other, somewhat like those noir movie reminders that peacetime is seldom-to-never peaceful. I’ve been gripping my steering wheel among my errands throughout the afternoon with the stack of radio reminders piling up in a heap upon the passenger seat beside me. I listen rapt to the voices of old friends like Henry Aldrich and Fibber McGee and Chester Riley and Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton. “Duffy’s Tavern” contains an attack on elite classical music: it reminded me of how the popular culture of stage, screen and radio appealed to the lower middle, not the upper middle, classes. The common folk got a kick or a tickle in the funny bone out of the troubles and disappointments of the years of depression and the duration of wartime separations. And the mild satire against the rich, the famous, the establishment. When those lights did come on again, the Zenith floor models shrank and you began to have to get behind the dials and stick shifts to listen to the hit parade or giggle at the adventures and misadven-

REFORM – and rehabilitation field, however, where the consumer base is reliant predominantly on Medicaid and Medicare, the benefits of reducing the number of uninsured will have little effect. Moreover, the resources necessary to deliver these services will be greatly reduced. Medicare payments for nursing home care will be cut by around $14 billion over the next decade. The architects of health reform expect the nursing home industry to shrink during that period, so that the cuts can be accommodated by attrition, rather than by cutting back on care and services. The success of that plan will rely largely on whether or not health care reform is successful in shifting some of the nursing home population to community-based care. Critics question the feasibility of moving large numbers of nursing home residents who require 24-hour care into the community. Nursing home residents who require physical or occupational therapy will be helped by the extension of a rule that permits an exception for nursing home residents to a “cap” on therapy services that would otherwise apply. This rule was only extended through the end of 2010, and will need to be revisited at the end of this year to ensure that patients continue to receive the therapies they need based on medical necessity. The home and community-based care sector will be greatly expanded by May 2010

tures of The Great Gildersleeve or Fred Allen and his mostly Mel Blanc characters along Allen’s Alley. (Mel Blanc, whose puck-like voice could play any cartoon character at all, or sound effect, designed his tombstone which reads simply, “That’s all, folks.”) Now, I like to present myself as, and believe myself to be, a foe of manufactured responses. I loathe and detest canned guffaws and artificial sympathetic sighs and look down my nose at mass enthusiasms. Until it’s all gone with the wind, and then I desire to have it all back again, to contemplate and enjoy. I’m one who prefers a postcard to an e-mail and the quiet of solitude by my own hearth, to a ringing telephone - don’t even own a cell phone at all and wouldn’t know how to use one. I even went so far as to take a radio out of my own car just to have the pleasure of silence as I went about my business. But I salute the Smithsonian for turning my vehicle into a museum of the America that was. And isn’t any more. For the moment, I’ll close with a celebration of the episode in “Our Miss Brooks” since I too - like Connie - teach English. Even though she is swimming in a lake with her colleague from the high school, Mr. Boynton, as played by, of all people, Jeff Chandler, they still call each other “Mr.” and “Miss.” Excuse me, I’m heading out, I think, for my afternoon coffee, to listen on the way to Charles Boyer chatting with that bratty, saucy puppet Charlie McCarthy and maybe also catch the voice of Burt Lancaster terrifying William Bendix from “The Life of Reilly.” Everybody was young; I was a boy and now a radio in my vehicle brings back phantoms and friendly ghosts. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of May: “When sea-winds haunt your solitude...” Those springtime breezes speak with the voices of Gracie Allen, Portland, Mary Livingstone and Don Wilson! n

health care reform. Programs like Community First Choice, which provides federal matching dollars for states to offer government subsidized home care services, and the CLASS act that creates a voluntary long-term care insurance program covering all facets of long-term care, are aimed at opening up opportunities to receive care in the least restrictive environment. But ramping up the support services to adequately and safely address this growing need will take time and effort. Hospitals may stand the most to gain by reducing the number of uninsured but pressure will be applied through health care reform to address quality control and reduce re-admissions. And like nursing home care and home health care, hospitals will have to adjust to the changes brought on by the bill while at the same time absorbing the cuts inherent in reform. It will be a balancing act for some time. These provisions and others in the health care reform bill make it increasingly important to think about potential health care needs in advance. One thing is certain; the changes brought on by health care reform will require vigilance on the part of consumers. Seniors in particular will benefit by thinking about best and worst case scenarios now, rather than when they’re in the midst of them, so they can make informed choices when facing what the future holds. n PrimeTime | 21


a glimpse of rhode island’s past h i s t o r y w i t h don d ’ amato

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Anthony / Sprague Feud For many years, Henry B. Anthony, the Providence Journal and the United States Senate were compatible bedfellows with the Mill owners in the Pawtuxet valley. In time however, Henry B. Anthony and William Sprague, one of the nation’s leading textile manufacturers, clashed bitterly over politics, money and influence over voters. Before it was over, “boss” Anthony brought about the downfall of Sprague’s $21 million empire. Much of the history of 19th century Cranston and Warwick is centered on the textile mills. In Rhode Island’s Pawtuxet Valley, a few very powerful families owned the mills and mill villages. These people, such as the Laphams, Rhodes, Spragues, Lippitts and Knights, ruled the mill villages like medieval barons, amassing great wealth and controlling the economic, political and social lives of all in the state. Two of the most powerful of these mill owners were the Sprague and the

Knight families. Like the aristocracy of Europe and Asia, they were able to pass their power and wealth to their heirs for nearly a century. The Sprague farmers Some of Rhode Island’s most interesting and powerful men and women during the 18th and 19th centuries went from modest landowners to controllers of huge textile empire. These were the members of the Sprague family. From the time of William the farmer who first came to Rhode Island, to that of Senator William Sprague and his wife, Kate Chace Sprague, they changed the small villages along the Pawtuxet River to mill towns and made an indelible impact on the history of Rhode Island and of the nation. Like so many other early settlers, the Spragues came from England and settled in Salem and Hingham, Mass. According to the excellent histories compiled by Gladys W. Brayton, Har-

old M. Taylor, Lydia Rapoza and other members of the Cranston Historical Society, by the late 17th century they had moved to Providence and, by 1712, owned land along the Pocasset River in what was eventually to become Cranston. Many of the male members of the family from the earliest times in America bore the names William and Amasa, causing historians a bit of concern at times. In addition to identifying them by generation numbers, I shall try to give them titles and dates to hopefully avoid confusion. Farmland and sawmills The Spragues were prosperous farmers during this early period and they also ran a gristmill and a sawmill along the river. William Sprague (1), farmer (d. 1795), married Isabella Waterman of another pioneer Providence family and, according to Cranston historian Harold M. Taylor, William was in possession of the property “3 1/2 miles

southwest of We y b o s s e t Bridge, on Pocasset River.” Mrs. Brayton tells us that this is the area upon which the Sprague Mansion and the Cranston Print Works s t a n d today. She says it is presumed that he built the original farmhouse on the site in 1790, for his son William Sprague (2) (b. 1773-d. 1836) the miller, who was approximately 17 years old at the time. William Sprague achieved national prominence as a Civil War hero, Rhode Island Governor, multimillionaire and United States Senator. During the 1860s, Sprague was probably as well known to Rhode Islanders as Lincoln was to Illinois constituents. Thousands of immigrant workers relied on him for their daily sustenance. n

FOWLER – Before the serving bowls are empty, the shell macaroni, chicken and fries arrive. When the serving dishes are near empty, more arrives, and the food keeps coming until you say “Enough!” The sauce, or gravy, is Wright’s own recipe, and it is good. Even better are the French fries, piping hot, crunchy, and very tasty. So tasty that they are addictive. They won’t tell you their secret, but you won’t find any better ones anywhere. The main attraction is, of course, the chicken. The tender, juicy meat falls off the bone. Want more dark meat? Just ask. Ice cream squares or cakes are extra, or in our case you can bring your own personalized birthday cake. They will cheerfully supply the plates and forks. Wright’s Farm is open Thursday and Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., plus most holidays. Take Route 95 north to 146 to the Route 102 exit. Travel north for four miles to Inman Road. You can’t miss the sign. For reservations (10 or more), call 769-2856. Under 10, you just have to take your turn, but the fast service turns over the tables at a rapid pace.n 22 | PrimeTime

May 2010


FOOD – Topping possibilities are endless. Cheeses, veggies, condiments or anything goes, as long as you can fit it in your mouth. Choices for bun is yours as well. I prefer a fresh bulky roll. If you love a good burger like I do then you are probably hungry like me right now! As with most foods I give advice about, please remember… What I like is not necessarily the same as what you like. No one can cook for you better than you. Accept advice, try new things and don’t fret if you make mistakes. Just learn from them, and have fun. Cooking professionally is stressful; cooking at home shouldn’t be. Cooking with foods

you like and friends you love creates memories of a lifetime. Matt Homes is the Executive Chef at the Barking Crab in Newport. For more on his cooking, visit www.feelingtheflavor.com or www.barkingcrab.com. n

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Unusual Art Throughout the entire month of May, the Newport Art Museum will host Esther Solondz, whose rust portraits will be available for viewing during regular hours from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. It is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue in Newport. For more information, visit www.newportartmuseum.org or call 848-8200.

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CLUES ACROSS 1. Former CIA 4. Unhappy 7. Don’t know when yet 10. Party men & women 12. A braid 14. A scrap of cloth 15. Calypter 17. Swiss river 18. A baby’s father 19. House decor 22. Magical incantations 23. Thigh armor 24. Dick & Jane’s dog 25. Ph____ - pictures 26. Armed conflict 27. Expression of doubt 28. A collection of facts 29. Average golf scores 31. Raised railroad 32. Vestment gown 33. Boats for Noah 35. Western state 37. Primp 39. Celestial body 41. Steps for limited space 45. Tee____ - conical tents 46. Foray 47. Big-eyed scad genus 48. An automobile 49. Curved segment 50. “____e and Sensibility” by Austin 51. Brew 52. Black or Mediterranean 53. A digital tape recording of sound May 2010

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CLUES DOWN 1. Moonfish 2. Flies alone 3. Sags or droops 4. Short bouts 5. ____ Ladd, actor 6. Afghan language 7. Windows over doors 8. Scout acheivement insignias 9. Turkish leader titles 11. Noctambulists 13. Exam 16. On a boat or ship 18. Perturbations 20. Far beyond the norm 21. Vietnamese currency unit 28. Hindquarters 29. St. ____ girl, brand of beer 30. Communion tables 33. Earnest or urgent request 34. A very large body of water 36. Mended 38. Mediation council 39. Weaverbird genus 40. Ethiopian lake 41. Prevents harm to creatures 42. Bur____ - joint sacs 43. Prong 44. Formerly (archaic)

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b y william geoghegan

Wherever he swam, at Warwick’s McDermott Pool or at others around the state, Win Wilson always found himself helping people out. They would ask him to watch them swim. He would give them tips. A masters swimmer with tons of competitive experience to his name, Wilson usually gave good ones. Now, he’s giving his tips to everybody. Over the course of 18 years, a little bit at a time, Wilson worked on a book. It didn’t always go smoothly, but Wilson stuck with it. He thought he had something to offer: a lifetime of swimming stories and swimming knowledge. In November, he published “Good Swimming.” It’s billed as a book for beginners and experienced swimmers alike, built on the belief that technique and training can always be improved. Wilson hopes it helps people, whatever they’re trying to improve. “If I didn’t think the knowledge was useful,” Wilson said with a chuckle. “I wouldn’t have worked on it for 18 years.” There’s certainly a lot of knowledge. Wilson, who now lives in Providence, is 83. He’s been swim-

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Diving Right In

ming most of his life. In college, he swam for Brown. After that, he dropped swimming for a while, picking up skiing and tennis. But in his 40s, he found his way back to the pool. And it wasn’t just for fun. Wilson started competing in United States Masters Swimming events, and as he says, “I did pretty well with it.” In 30 years of competition, he won over 150 championships. National titles, world titles - Wilson did it all. Along the way, he started sharing what he knew. Pretty soon, everybody was asking. Wilson considered McDermott his home pool, and he often found himself standing beside it, watching starts and turns and techniques. “It was almost like I was a parttime coach,” Wilson said. He started

toying with the idea of writing. He’d been a fundraiser at Brown and was the vice president for development and community affairs at Women & Infants’ Hospital. Writing a book would be something entirely different, but he decided to give it a try. One of his masters teammates was Massachusetts author John Jerome. Wilson put some early thoughts on paper and sent them to Jerome. “It came back all marked up,” Wilson said. “He said, ‘It’s good, but you need an editor.’” There was encouragement, too. “He told me, ‘This is an important book,’” Wilson said. That was enough of a spark for Wilson to keep going. For a while, he planned on scrapping some of what he had done and co-writing the book with Olympic gold medallist Donna de Varona, whose son attended Brown. It proved difficult, though, to fit collaboration time into their schedules. The book sat for a while. It was tough to find a publisher. In the meantime, Wilson was diagnosed with prostate cancer. That was more than a decade ago, and Wilson is still battling it. Last summer, he had to fight as hard as he ever had. “I wasn’t sure I was going to make it,” he said. But he did, and he decided the book couldn’t wait. He put the finishing touches on it, got de Varona to write the foreword and self-published it. He’s spending time now marketing it. “I think there are a couple of things that could have been better, but I’m

pretty happy with it,” Wilson said. In the foreword, de Varona had a little more praise. “His delightful vignettes never fail to present an important point, both in swimming and occasionally in life itself,” she wrote. “It is a pleasure to recommend ‘Good Swimming’ to anyone wanting to learn more about this unique sport.” Wilson said he’s happy that the book is finally out there; his poolside advice now has a home on bookshelves and a much wider audience. He thinks the tips can be useful for anyone who’s swimming, from competitive tri-athletes to kids to adults who just want to get in shape. As for Wilson, the cancer is persisting - “That’s the way life is,” he says - but he’s still going. If anyone needs advice, he’ll give it. Then he’ll take a few laps. It won’t be like it was before, when he was winning races left and right. But it’ll still be Good Swimming. “Good Swimming” is available for purchase at goodswimming.com, amazon.com and the Brown bookstore.n

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A Real ‘Ladies Man’ Running until May 16, the Granite Theatre will stage “The Ladies Man” at their Westerly location. The show is billed as “a hilarious bedroom farce with unexpected twists and turns that will have you rolling on the floor laughing.” For tickets, call 596-2341 or visit www. granitetheatre.com. Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Gamm Tom Stoppard’s show, “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” will make it’s Rhode Island debut at the Gamm Theatre at 172 Exchange Street in Pawtucket. The show runs from Wednesday through Sunday, and will end its run on May 30. Call 723-4266 or go to wwww.gammtheatre. org for details. Trinity Gets Serious Trinity Rep Theater will perform “The Syringa Tree” until May 30 at 201 Washington Street in Cranston. The show is about a 6-year-old girl growing up under apartheid, who must confront the cruel reality of a world she does not understand. The show follows young Lizzie over the years as she comes of age and makes her own way in the world. www.trinityrep.com or call 351-4242

classifieds JUNK CARS Trucks & heavy equiptment. Cash paid! $175 & up. Free same day removal. 743-7446.

Back on the Water The annual tradition of Rhode Island Lighthouse Cruises and Harbor Tours returns this May, leaving from Quonset Point in North Kingstown. The 30-mile cruise takes guests past 10 islands and 10 lighthouses, with a complete tour of Newport Harbor. The cost is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $14 for children ages 2-12 and infants ride for free. For more information, go to www. rhodeislandbaycruises.com or call 295-4040. The Cider House Rules Black Box Theatre at the Artists’ Exchange will perform “The Chider House Rules” from May 5 to 23 at 50 Rolfe Square in Cranston. The show tells the story of one man and his journey to find acceptance and happiness. Ticket information can be found at www. artists-exchange.org or by calling 490-9475.

MUSIC – minds that suffer from Alzheimer’s. Her piano playing and reminiscing between songs engages her audience and stimulates long-term memories, while bringing happiness to those participating, even the listener. Somerford Place believes that music is key to helping residents have a quality experience in their day. Even if they don’t remember the music once class is over, their demeanor shows less agitation, anxiety and frustration. As class comes to an end, Jerrie can be seen smiling, more alert and seemingly more content. Indeed, she still has a voice. Barbara has created a series of musical programs on DVD that can be enjoyed by families in their home setting. For more information, visit her Web site at www.frontrowseatvideos.com, or e-mail her at barbara@customvideosf.com. Kimberlee Alsup is the community relations director for Somerford Place.n

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May 2010 PrimeTime  

Still cruisin': the car issue

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