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Brevard County • December 2011

A monthly publication celebrating the active lifestyle of Florida’s boomers

Changing how we gather One woman’s solution to getting the family together during the holidays

One family’s tradition of service Page 4

ID theft: The ‘gift’ that keeps taking Page 17

Page 12



December 2011

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December 2011




A special time of year arrives Associate news editor

Sleighbells ringing and White

Christmases are the stuff of memories, but not of life in Florida. Still, while it’s fun to recall holidays past, it’s also fun to make Brevard County

Phone (321) 242-1013 Fax (321) 242-1281 Classified (321) 242-0442 National Accounts Manager Michele E. Muccigrosso Inside Sales Director Pat Snyder

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difficult. Experts from area hospitals and counseling centers have suggestions for making the holiday season a peaceful time and a time of hope. “The Nutcracker Ballet” is a tradition at this time of year and several of the editions of “Forever

Linda Grover of Melbourne Beach trims the tree belonging to Sun Harbor Nursery during last year’s Junior League of South Brevard’s 26th annual Festival of Trees at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts. The holiday event featured adorned trees from top designers, entertainers and a holiday marketplace.

Published monthly by Hometown News, L.C., 1102 South U.S. 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34950 Copyright © 2011, Hometown News , L.C. Steven E. Erlanger Publisher and C.O.O.

new traditions with our “Florida families,” as one expert described it. In this issue, there is a serious story about coping with the holidays. For many, far from families, perhaps financially challenged, the holidays are not what they once were. If there has been a loss, this time of year can be very

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December 2011

From left to right: Dave, Alan, Ben, Irene, Gloria (Dave’s wife), Leah (Dave’s daughter), Side, Sherri (Sid’s wife), Emily (Sid’s daughter). This photo was taken at the dedication ceremony for Ben Abramowitz’s father at Fort Monmouth.

Photo courtesy of Ben Abramowitz

Family shows generations of service By Shelley Koppel Associate news editor

MELBOURNE — The story of Chanukah is the story of religious tolerance and the fight for freedom. More than 2,000 years ago, a small band of Jewish fighters fought the much larger Syrian Greek army. Under the leadership of Mattathias and his eldest son, Judah Maccabee, the Jews reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem and won the right to practice their religion. Four generations of the Abramowitz family know something about defending freedom, as well. Ben Abramowitz of Indian River Colony Club in Melbourne is

the second generation of soldiers his family has produced. His father, Reuben, came from Ukraine by way of Ellis Island. When Reuben’s father, a union organizer, was murdered in 1907, young Reuben enlisted in the Army to support his mother and siblings. When he retired as commandant of the European Signal School, the field house at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey and the Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Ga., were named in his honor. Ben Abramowitz was born at Fort Monmouth and always knew he would be a soldier. “I was born on an army post,” he

said. “I grew up during the Second World War. My father was then a noncommissioned officer and I lived in Germany until I was 13. I always wanted to be a soldier. I respected what he did. I was one of the few who knew what he wanted to do at two.” In 1947, while the family was still in Germany, young Ben had his bar mitzvah in the synagogue his father had the German government rebuild after the war. Just as in the Chanukah story, the synagogue was rededicated for Jewish worship. Ben Abramowitz went on to

study at Virginia Tech and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry. He applied for flight school and was accepted. He was stationed near Fort Riley, Kan., and a rabbi in a nearby community invited him to a Passover Seder. He met Irene in April and they were married in June. Ben Abramowitz went on to have a distinguished military career, with two tours in Vietnam and service at the Pentagon. He eventually taught leadership and ethics courses at the Command and General Staff College. That was not, however, his greatest legacy. See SERVICE, Page 20


December 2011

CALENDAR First Friday Art Walk First Friday Art Walk is a free event on the first Friday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Eau Gallie Arts District on Highland Ave, Melbourne. All art studios and galleries in the Eau Gallie Arts District will remain open for a free gallery walk featuring exhibit openings, demonstrations, refreshments, and music. For more information, call (321) 7520463.

Saturday, Dec. 3 Reindeer Dash 5k and Jingle Bell Walk Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host the ReCreate Your Life 5k Race Series. The first race is the Reindeer Dash 5k and Jingle Bell Walk will take place at the Viera Regional Community Center in Viera.




The pre-registration fees are $14 per runner and $11 per walker. Day of race fees are $18 per runner and $12 per walker. For more information, or to register, call (321) 433-4891.

The Parade of Dolls The Parade of Dolls, and exhibit of hundreds of dolls, is coming to Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 2309 Holder Road, Mims, from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Included will be antique dolls, Kewpie dolls, Barbies, foreign dolls, Raggedy Anns – to see, learn and enjoy. These dolls are not for sale. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children. For more information, call (321) 2681301.

Viera Lions Free Diabetes Screening and Rummage Sale The Viera Lions will be having a rum-

From page 3

Young” feature stories about area productions. At the Riverside Theatre, there is a ‘Nutcracker’ featuring the music of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, for a “Swingtime Nutcracker.” In Martin County, seniors who attend the Council on Aging’s day center will narrate the story and students from Florida Arts and Dance will dance excerpts from the ballet in an inter-generational celebration. This time of year is also the celebration of the Jewish festival of Chanukah, and some of the area rabbis have discussed what the holiday means. Then there are the fun stories, the heart-warming stories, the stories that make us feel good. Again, while you receive one edition of “Forever Young” in your county, all of the editions are available online at our website I invite you, as always, to see what is going on with your neighbors. There are different stories in each edition and you might enjoy reading them all. We love to hear from our readers and hope that you are enjoying “Forever Young” as much as we are enjoying putting it together for you. All of us send holiday greetings to our readers and hope that you have a blessed and happy holiday season.


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December 2011

Woman uses horses to help heal

Volunteer Amanda Spitery with ‘Pepsi.’ To get into the spirit of the holiday season, the horses and barn are decorated with lights, tinsel and antlers for the horses.

By Shelley Koppel Associate news editor

ROCKLEDGE — The animals wearing colorful antlers in December at Harmony Farms aren’t reindeer, but they bring gifts. They are horses used in equestrian therapy, helping people with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities to find success and joy in a world that often pushes them aside. Harmony Farms is the brainchild of Pam Rogan, who started it with a friend in 1992. “I moved here from New York in 1991,” she said. I had worked for Hartford Insurance for 20 years and I didn’t have to work. I was looking to do volunteer work and I wanted to work with chil-

Photo courtesy of Pam Rogan

dren and animals. We felt there were no alternative therapy programs for people with disabilities.” Harmony Farms is a non-forprofit organization that provides equine-assisted therapy and activities for people with disabilities. Under very strict safety guidelines, riders of all ages learn to challenge themselves. The youngest rider at the farm is 4 and the oldest, 85. Clients are referred to Harmony Farms by physicians and other health care providers. “In 1992, you were hard-pressed to get a doctor to sign a release,” Ms. Rogan said. “Now, the majority of clients come from physicians and therapists.” See HORSES, Page 18

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Holidays present challenge for many By Shelley Koppel Associe news editor

VIERA — For many people, the holiday season brings to mind family and friends, the aroma of baking, the fun of buying and wrapping presents for the kids. For many in Florida, families are far away, money may be tighter and it sometimes just doesn’t seem worth it to prepare when it’s just for one or two. “It can be difficult for seniors,” said Kathy Ridner, care manager for One Senior Place in Viera. “Brevard County is a beautiful place to retire, but families are fragmented. An aging senior starts to have health problems and can’t travel. They find themselves alone. Finances contribute to the challenge.” For those who must celebrate the holidays alone, Ms. Ridner said that changing traditions can help. “You can make new traditions,” she said.” Invite the neighbors. You can scale back decorations and meal preparation. Have carry-out or go to a restaurant. Reach out to neighbor and church communities. If you’re in a senior community, there are activities. Redefine the definition of family. Family comes in all shapes and sizes.” Ms. Ridner mentioned a couple

Calendar From page 5

mage sale from 7:30 a.m. – noon at the NW corner of Viera Blvd and Murrell Road in Viera (look for our white tent in the parking lot area between Beef O’Bradys and the corner gas station). There will be free diabetes screening at the same location from 8 a.m. – noon. People should fast for at least one hour prior to being tested for diabetes screening. They will also be collecting used eyeglasses and hearing aids. For more information, contact Mary Ann Bullock at (321) 757-0238.

Behind the Garden Gate The Cocoa-Rockledge Garden Club is sponsoring “Behind the Garden Gate” garden tour from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

who lived on a block with a young family. The children’s grandparents lived out-of-state, so the couple became “adopted grandparents” and shared events with them. Ms. Ridner also said that volunteering is a good day to cope. “It feels better to do something for someone else,” she said. “Get an angel from a tree, donate a coat or food, serve a meal at a soup kitchen if you’re up to it,” she said. “It’s hard sometimes. People get a little bit stuck because it feels sad and it feels and looks different. Start to find joy in smaller things. It’s not about spending $200 on gifts. It’s about the feeling and the thought. It’s shifting the definition of what makes us feel joy.” Marilyn Cromer counsels those dealing with grief at VITAS Innovative Hospice, a community partner of One Senior Place. She said that it’s important to plan for the holidays, especially for those who have suffered a recent loss. “Set realistic goals,” she said. “Understand that this year will be different. Allow others to provide support. Of you did all the running around in the past, give yourself permission to ask for help.” While you may not be able to do all the things you used to do, it’s

important to establish new traditions. “Try to avoid canceling the holidays,” she s a i d . “That will make you f e e l worse. “If y o u Kathy Ridner always had 20 for dinner, perhaps does a breakfast buffet or go out to eat. Help someone else. There are senior places that offer a meal. Help others who don’t have a place to go.” “If this is the first time around for the holidays after a loss, honor the memory of the loved one. You can light a candle or talk about special memories. “The first year after a significant loss, the first holidays, anniversaries and birthdays are intense. Think in advance of how to honor and remember the loved one. That tends to establish a tradition. Do it again

next year.” One idea Ms. Cromer suggests to children and adults is a memory box. “You can decorate it and write little notes about the loved one or put in photos or things symbolic of them. Pull it out if you’re feeling lonely. If granddad loved to go fishing with you, the memory of going fishing may give a moment of pleasure. Other suggestions include honoring the person’s memory with a donation to a favorite charity or doing simple things that gave you pleasure as a child, like stringing popcorn or making construction paper rings to decorate a tree or the house. It’s important to understand that even with planning, a loss is sad. “Give yourself permission to feel said,” Ms. Cromer said. “Sadness during the holidays is so pronounced because we see so many looking happy. It’s OK to be sad or angry. We try to say there’s no one way to grieve that’s right. It’s what works for today.”

Tickets are $12 if purchased in advance and $15 on the day of the tour. Tickets may be purchased at Lazy BZean Coffee Company and Deli in the Merritt Square Mall, Carousel Florist on North Courtney on Merritt Island, Rockledge Gardens, Eau Gallie Florists, The Bath Cottage in Cocoa Village and the Java Coffee House on Cocoa Beach. For more information, contact (321) 338-7059.

a full-course dinner with a choice of prime rib, champagne chicken, or vegetarian selection. A cash bar will be available throughout the evening and music will be provided by DJ, Dave Parker. Please make reservations early. To make a reservation or more information, please call Carol Sweeney (321) 6398186.

Saturday, Dec. 10

Sunday, Dec. 4 GFWC Viera Woman’s Club holiday dinner and dance The GFWC Viera Woman’s club is once again happy to sponsor an evening of dining and dancing at the Holiday Inn Viera, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. The cost is $35 per person and includes

Monday, Dec. 5 Whale Monitor Training The Right Whale Monitor Training by the Marine Resources Council will be at the Satellite Beach Public Library, 751 Jamaica Boulevard, Satellite Beach, at 6 p.m. For a complete schedule, call 1(888) 97WHALE or go to Open to the public.

For those wishing for help in coping during the holidays, there are support groups that deal with loss. For more information, call Kathi Ridner at (321) 751-6771 Or Marilyn Cromer at (321)752-2534.

Humane Society Benefit at PetSmart To help kick off the holiday season, PetSmart, 1800 Evans Road, Melbourne, will be hosting pet photos with Santa from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All pets are welcome. Photos are $9.95 each and come with a collectible holiday frame with your PetSmart PetPerks Card. For each photo purchased, $5 will go to benefit the Central Brevard Humane Society to be used to care for the homeless and abused animals of Brevard. For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 6363343 or visit





December 2011

Puppeteer educates, entertains PALM BAY — Twenty-five years ago, Dawn Rice was a youth leader at her church in Wisconsin. She was working with teens and she wanted an activity they could get involved in. She began making puppets. As she became more skilled, she began performing in church. Today, her Praise Puppet Productions entertains and educates young and old alike as part of what she calls her “puppet ministry.” Ms. Rice is a sales consultant for Avtec Homes and has returned to school to study psychology for work in drug rehabilitation. Still, puppets are a calling. “I love making puppets,” she said. I pur-

chase some, but I love to make them because it gives them character. There’s no one like them. It’s just like a person. There’s one like you.” Ms. Rice is self-taught and she loves teaching others the art of puppetry. She is teaching a child as young as 3 and several 11-year-olds. “I think it’s a wonderful art,” she said. “I don’t want it to get lost. It’s a great way to teach children. They absorb and learn. It’s not intimidating. I do Christian puppet shows in church. It’s directed at the kids but the adults get more out of it.” She has also entertained the adults at Joe’s Club, a day center for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and given shows on safety for the police

medical directory

Photo courtesy of Dawn Rice

Dawn Rice and one of her 300 puppets that she uses to do shows for children and adults alike. Mrs. Rice has done shows at Joe’s Club, a day center for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and shows on safety for he police department.

See PUPPETEER, Page 21

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December 2011

Calendar From page 7

Jess Parrish Medical Foundation announces golf tournament fundraiser The Jess Parrish Medical Foundation Golf Classic will be held at the Sherwood Golf Club in Titusville. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The tournament will have a modified scrambled format. Proceeds will benefit the Parrish Early Care and Education program at The Children’s Center in Titusville. The PECE program provides high quality developmental and educational care in fully inclusive classrooms where typically developing children and those will special needs learn together. The cost per player is $75, which includes lunch and chances at awards and prizes. Sponsorships are available. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office will host a ball drop at 1:30 p.m. Tickets for the ball drop are $20 each for a one in 250 chance to win up to $1,000. Winners need not be present.




For sponsorship or event information, call The Children’s Center at (321) 2640855.

adult. For more information, please call (321) 952-3443.

Melbourne Light Parade

Sunday, Dec. 11

The Melbourne Light parade starts at 6 p.m. at 912 East New Haven Avenue, Melbourne. The parade route begins on Hibiscus and Babcock Street going south along Babcock Street to 192/New Haven Avenue, continuing east along Strawbridge Avenue and ending at Waverly Place and Strawbridge Avenue. For more information, call (321) 5441777.

Breakfast with Santa Come out and enjoy a great breakfast buffet at 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at 1502 Pt Malabar Boulevard, Palm Bay. Take pictures with Santa and participate in games (Parents and Grandparents are advised to bring your camera if you would like a picture of your child with Santa). Tickets are $3 per child and 12 and under, $5 per adult, and children 2 and under are admitted free with a paying

‘Searching for the King’ dramatic Christmas Musical The First Christian Church of Melbourne (Disciples of Christ), 2010 South Babcock Street, Melbourne, will present an InterFaith Choir Christmas cantana at 2 p.m. People from local area churches have combined their voices in an effort to sing praises to the Lord in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. A love offering will be taken at the end of the cantana. For more information, call (321) 7236831.

“Starry Night” Concerts The stars will shine for the Melbourne Municipal Band’s annual holiday concert this year with three special performances at two different locations. Music lovers will be able to attend the


‘Starry Night’ concerts on Dec. 14 and 15, at 7:30 p.m., at the Melbourne Auditorium. On Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. the concert will be held at the Scott Center at Holy Trinity Episcopal Upper School, 5625 Holy Trinity Drive, North Melbourne. All concerts have free admission and tickets are not required. The concerts are a charitable event for 4 The Kids of Brevard and the South Brevard Sharing Center. Concert attendees are invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item. For more information, call (321) 7240555 or visit

Friday, Dec. 16 A Charlie Brown Christmas “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be presented by the Satellite Beach United Methodist Church, 450 Lee Ave., Satellite Beach. The play will start at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16 and at 4 p.m. on Dec. 17. Admission is free. For more information, contact Ellen Laye at (321) 799-0741.



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December 2011

Trends and opportunities in consumer hearing


oore’s law, is the effect coined back around 1970 by Cal Tech professor and entrepreneur Carver Mead, when observing that the size and price of a transistor halved every two years. The effect of this ‘law’ has brought us everything from the iphone and Droid, to huge flat screen entertainment centers that festoon our walls with ever greater frequency, offering life like, life sized color images and the sounds of all things imaginable.

During this same period, hearing aids have evolved from the rather simple class a, b, or d amplifiers of our parent’s time, to ultra miniature, open platform, audio computers. The top of class today are even equipped with broadband, ultra low powered radio transceivers piggy backed right on board, making them capable of connections with such as your TV, cell

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requisite visit to any professional, or licensee, excepting their phone, or Internet screening system. While this announcement drew immediate warning from “The Better Hearing Institute” regarding do it your self hearing aid fitting, it drew much more than that, in the form of a cease and desist letter from the attorney for the International Hearing Society (IHS) and angry letters threatening further actions, by the Academy of Doctor’s of Audiology (ADA and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). However, regardless of how loud these professional associations howl, the handwriting is on the wall. Greater consumer choice, value and hearing are here now for those who want to go through the current system and more and more avenues are opening to the consumer everyday that make better hearing easier and less expensive for everyone.


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phones, lap tops and other electronic devices. As this inter device communications capability proceeds with the logical development of both operational and interface software, one of the key ease of use restraints currently plaguing our `entire industry, that of issuing programing and operational instructions to the devices, will be greatly simplified. Soon, several manufactures will be offering devices with programing applications utilizing existing, open platform programing tools and available RF technology. This will allow discreet, secure, wireless access, programing, communications with and control over all manner of ear level devices, all with inherent audio and visual signal processing capabilities of a degree only dreamed of in the past. As this newer, more consumer friendly equipment becomes available, 685686

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December 2011




Christmas pig roast about family as much as food


or me Christmas has always been a time to enjoy family and lots of good food. As I look back over the years I must say I have fond memories of each and every one. But a few standout. One that I treasure happened in the middle 1980’s when my younger sister Linda, her husband and two sons moved west of DeLand to a little spot called Paisley. If you are not familiar, it is a very small rural outpost about five miles west of the St. Johns River that is completely surrounded by the huge Ocala National Forest. Their new home was situated on a very large and hilly lot. At that time, Linda and I had lots of extended family living around Central Florida and we decided to try and get them all together for a holiday pig roast. As roast master it was my job to go up to Pierson to buy a fully dressed hog of nearly

LAND LINES DAN SMITH 100 pounds. It was fun going to the country slaughterhouse to pick out our pig and spend a few moments with the man who had raised it. At my insistence it was to be the men who would do the cooking. First, I dug a long shallow pit and covered it with steel bars. Some of the others went into the forest and brought back truck after truck of hard wood. The night before Christmas Eve, we began by building a giant bonfire. As the wood burned down we shoveled the hot coals under the pig and readied ourselves for a long night. To do this job properly the hog must be slow cooked with lots of love and attention.

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The key to the whole thing would be my secret recipe barbeque sauce of which I concocted about four gallons (you can never have too much sauce). As the night began, my helpers numbered about 10 but as Linda’s well-fortified homemade eggnog started to take effect, the men began to look for a spot to curl up and nap. Around midnight the cracklins (pig skin, for you city folk) reached crispy perfection and we all eagerly dipped them in my delicious sauce and ate our fill. Having regained our senses somewhat, a TV-VCR set up was brought out and we all watched one of the earliest versions of “A Christmas Carol.” As we hissed and booed Scrooge and cheered for Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim we poured whiskey all around, foregoing the eggnog this round. Now, for a big time pig roast like this to be successful the animal

must be turned regularly. That task required four men to each grab a leg and make the flip. Unfortunately, by 2 a.m. there was only a quarter of that number awake — me — and I was becoming undependable. A couple hours later, my first cousin Randy woke up long enough to stagger over and fall onto the picnic table, dumping out the entire four gallons of prize-winning barbecue sauce. As the sun came up, we were all asleep and the pig was getting cold. Along about 10 a.m. of Christmas Eve we were able to give the pig a couple hours of concentrated attention and the part that wasn’t burned seemed to be cooked pretty well. That afternoon all of the womenfolk began to show up with their delicious side dishes and desserts. That evening we all ate outdoors and most agreed that the hog had See LANDLINES, Page 16

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December 2011

Change is good! (usually) ROSE’S ROOM ROSE PADRICK

the back when our team scores. Most symptoms of ‘THE CHANGE’ are now treatable to a certain extent, shortening the late night hours spent fanning ourselves with the freezer door considerably. Holidays may be one constant in our lives, but the way we celebrate has certainly come a long way. When my children were young we usually had the big family day at our house. Due in large part to the fact that I was usually absent from the family meetings where location was decided, my husband’s family would converge in the morning, cousins usually began running and screaming in all directions just about the time

Macy’s parade began, we would be finishing the last piece of pie (for the moment) just as the game came on, then coffee and more pie during half time. As my family aged and grew with the addition of “significant others”, the arrival of my grandchildren and new sets of in-laws, we re-invented our celebrations as necessary. I began serving a brunch on the holidays. We all brought something for brunch and my children could spend half the day with us then be free to enjoy turkey and trimmings with the other side of their families. Contrary to popular opinion, (usually from the other side of the families) I did not arrange things this way to have the pleasure of my grandchildren’s company when they were awake and bright in the morning, not tired and cranky later in the afternoon. Nor was it my intention to be the Grammy who loves them the

most by filling them with hand/turkey cookies or gingerbread men just to send them to their other grandparents. (But I have to admit the words “favoritist Grammy in the world!” did spread a special kind of warmth throughout my sleepdeprived soul, as did the nap that I was now able to grab later in the afternoon). But still we grew. None of us have homes large enough to accommodate 45 plus people and still have room for all the cousins (second and third generation now) to run and scream, so we once again became harbingers of change. Our latest change-vention is a huge gathering in a nearby park. We are blessed to live in a place that lives up to the title “The Sunshine State,” so renting a pavilion at any of the beautiful parks in Brevard works out See ROSE’S, 14

Veterans Memorial Center & Plaza A Tribute to All Veterans 400 S. Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island 321-453-1776 HTTP:// Visit our website to see our Monthly Newsletter. Hours: 8:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. A Veterans Benefits Officer is available from 9:00 a.m. till 12 Noon, Monday through Friday. Visitors are invited to visit our displays including the Hall of Honor where memorial photographs of veterans including several Medal of Honor recipients, the colors of participating Veterans Organizations and museum military artifacts are displayed. A tribute to 9-11 includes artifacts from the World Trade Center set on our surrounding waterfront grounds.

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imes change, dress changes, Even ‘THE CHANGE’ has changed. I know some of us (usually the men-folk) yearn for the ‘Old Days’ when things were simpler (For them!) but I don’t think I would have fared very well at all. I cannot picture myself in a woolen bathing suit rushing home from taking the kids to the beach so I can have a homecooked lunch waiting for my husband when he gets home from the polls… while fighting hot flashes … During prohibition…. Families have certainly changed; when I go to my grandson’s high school football games I find myself surrounded by my son, his younger children, his beautiful new wife, her children, my ex-daughter-in-law, her new husband, their new daughter and my son’s ex-mother-in-law. Each and every one of us is standing, yelling and slapping each other on

December 2011





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December 2011

Rose’s From page 12

Photo courtesy of Rose Padrick

The Padrick clan at this year’s ‘Thanksmas” celebration. Rose Padrick, author of Rose’s Room, is pictured in the center in pink.


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wonderfully. Our favorite place so far is Kars Park. The pavilions are near the playgrounds, which is excellent for all the little ones and one Grammy who has to stop playing every once in a while and be a grown-up, but sneaks back the first chance she gets. Since gathering my large brood into one place at one time has become akin to herding cats, especially during the holidays, we now celebrate THANKSMAS. Plastic Thanksgiving and Christmas tablecloths surround the handembroidered linen masterpiece left to me by See ROSE’S, 15


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December 2011

Rose’s From page 14



behind a bush, it didn’t really happen. Actually there are some things that never change in this life, and I wish them on each and every person reading this. The warm, sweet smell of a tired little child who has laughed and played so long that he falls into an exhausted slumber in your lap; the feel of cool grass between your toes when you shed your shoes to cool off after running a full 10 feet before someone steals the ball away from you, the lovely peacefulness that permeates your whole body when you look around and realize there is no place in the whole world you would rather be. Happy Holidays to all, wherever and however you celebrate them!!!!!!!!!

Rose Padrick is a Brevard County resident who grew up in Merritt Island. She’s written numerous columns and short stories published in various area newspapers and magazines and is currently awaiting publication of her children’s book, “Sparky’s Adventures.”

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my mother. My brother’s old fashioned biscuit warmer holds storebought dinner rolls; shorts and tennis shoes are better suited to flag football games than white shirts and ties. The annual Padrick “Oldsters vs. Youngsters” volleyball game (the youngsters won this year! That’ll teach my kids not to let me play on their team!) has replaced sitting on the couch, yelling at football players on the small screen. There are special challenges to having the traditional dinner outside, away from stoves and microwaves, but it’s always a learning experience. You can’t blow out Sterno (my eyebrows should grow back in a month or so). If you bring canned cranberries, you really should bring can openers. If a mom doesn’t actually see a Grammy pass the third piece of chocolate pie to the child sitting


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turned out OK, considering the cooks’ lapse in sobriety and hence, attention. No one but me seemed to mind that there was no sauce. Right at the top of the hill on Linda’s property grew a Florida cedar tree over 30 feet tall. Each

family had brought a strand of colored lights from their own tree and we strung them on the big cedar. When it was completely dark we plugged it in amid “oohs” and “aahs.” Later we were told it could be seen for miles. Of course, the women began to sing Christmas songs and the hungover men tried to join in as well as they could. It was certainly a Christmas to remember. Sadly, my sister Linda, who was a true baby

December 2011

boomer (born in 1947), passed away in 2003. But memories like these of that crazy pig roast keep her in our hearts — especially during the holidays. These days family is still so important this time of year. My wife Lana and I center our holidays around our daughter Shayla’s beautiful 8-year-old, our granddaughter Delayna. We would like to wish a merry Christmas to you all. Please enjoy each other while you can.


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Awareness is key to protecting your identity during this holiday season For Hometown News

Imagine getting a phone call informing you that someone has used your name and Social Security number to apply for a credit card, or receiving a collection notice in the mail for a delinquent account that isn’t yours – but is attributed to your name and home address. Every day, consumers find out someone is illegally using their personal information to make purchases and open new financial accounts, like credit cards and loans. Undetected, identity fraud can lead to difficulties in applying for a mortgage, loan, new credit card or bank accounts – even if you’ve had great credit for years. The road to recovery may be a long, aggravating journey, especially when you

Online: When creating passwords, don’t use information that easily could be linked to you – like your birth date, Social Security number, phone number, or the names of family and pets. Using a mix of numbers, letters, and characters to create your password makes it harder for others to guess. Change your passwords every 30 days, and use unique passwords on each site you access. Whether you’re providing financial information for a loan or placing an order online, be sure the site you’re using is secure. Look for a URL that begins with “https://” and has a “closed padlock”

symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your browser. Using and regularly updating anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer can also help to safeguard your information from identity theft. Never email personal information, such as account numbers or your social security number, to anyone, not even to yourself. Offline: It’s a smart practice to review credit card and bank statements as soon as they arrive to ensure that all activity on your accounts is accurate. U.S. consumers are entitled to one free credit report a year from the three main credit bureaus. Regularly reviewing your credit report lets you see if there are any interactions with companies See ID, 21


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On a typical day, Ms. Rogan and her team of certified therapeutic riding instructors might have an autistic child, a child with Down syndrome and two with cerebral palsy. The lesson incorporates games, therapy, stretching and a fun period,” Ms. Rogan said. “It’s one of the better activities for autism. There is social interaction with the horse and

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the riding instructor. “It requires attention and focusing while they are learning how to ride. You see parents in tears when they see the child giggle. They’ve never heard that.” There are special challenges for riders with physical disabilities. “If they’ve been in a wheelchair all day, there’s a back rest and a foot rest,” Ms. Rogan said. “Few muscles hold them. We take them out of the chair and put them on a horse. There is no back or arm rest and they have to start using core muscles. “If they can’t sit, we use a waist belt. The only type of disability we can’t handle is a quadriplegic. We hate to turn people away.” For Pam Rogan, who has loved horse all her life, this is a dream come true. She grew up in Brooklyn and asked for a horse every Christmas and birthday. Now she has them and she has the joy of seeing them help children smile. “When you see an autistic child hug you and thank you, you can’t

replicate it anywhere,” she said. “We see it every day. Horses don’t judge and they don’t ask questions. Kids and adults with physical disabilities say that no one else will give them a chance or let them try. We challenge them to do more. They can’t control their own bodies, but they can control a 1,200-pound animal.” This is the holiday season, and Harmony Farms gets into the spirit on Dec. 4 from 1-5 p.m. with its annual Blizzard, an open house featuring games for children, pony rides and a chance to mingle with farm animals decked out in holiday attire. For a small fee to raise money for the facility children can help decorate the barn, feed the horses or have their pictures taken with an animal. Harmony Farms is located at 5300 Stadium Parkway, Rockledge. For more information about the facility or the Blizzard, call (321)631-9433 or visit the website

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Census research can unearth family info A BRENDA K. SMITH

As you work your way through each census, you will find differences in the spellings of names, family members will come and go, and the family will move around the country. Each census taker had his own style. Some used only initials, some used only a first name regardless of which name is preferred. Each family should be followed all the

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way back through the census every 10 years, picking up children, parents, brothers and sisters, in-laws and any other relatives that show up in the household or neighborhood. From 1790-1840, the census only named the head of the household, and gave the number of people living in the house. From 1850 forward, each member of the household was named, with their sex, age, and place of birth. Each census became more complex, asking more questions, adding relationships, occupations, parents’ places of birth, number of years married, number of children given birth to, and other pertinent clues. Starting with the 1930 census, and working backward, you should look at your family, taking down all the information given and looking at the neighboring families. Often, other family members are living nearby, and these need to be noted, also. If there are other families with the same surname, they are

possibly parents, brothers, uncles and cousins. John’s father may be living next door to him, and in his household is grandma or grandpa. Viola!! You have three generations laid out on one or two pages. As you work your way through each census, you will find differences in the spellings of names, family members will come and go, and the family will move around the country. Each census taker had his own style. Some used only initials, some used only a first name regardless of which name is preferred. Sometimes the correct name is used, the next time it will be a nickname. Ages also will change from census to census. Use this information as a guide and not as absolute fact. The first order of business is census work. Information gathered here will make the rest of your research much easier. Brenda Knight Smith Treasure Coast Genealogical Society

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The U.S. government has conducted a household census in every state, every 10 years since 1790. The census records from 1790-1930 can be searched by the public except for 1890, which was destroyed by fire. They are arranged by states and then by counties, and then in, many cases by towns or districts. Some states also took their own census in odd years.. The 1850-1880 census records include a separate mortality census listing everyone who had died in the previous year. There are also slave census records for 1850 and 1860. Many researchers ignore these records completely, or only look at one or two records for their family, assuming they have learned all the facts they need.



ftering collecting as much information as possible on your ancestors by interviewing relatives, finding pictures, documents, tombstones, etc., it is time to get down to some serious genealogy research. One of the first resources that is the most important and easiest to find, is the federal census.


December 2011

Service From page 4

Photo courtesy of Ben Abramowitz

Dave, Jake and Ben Abramowitz at Jake’s commissioning at West Point in 2009.

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Ben and Irene Abramowitz had three sons, Dave, Sid and Alan. Dave attended the Air Force Academy and became an Army aviator. Col. David Abramowitz rose to chief of staff for the Iraq Assistance Group and is inspector general for Forces Command. He’ll retire on Feb. 1. Sid Abramowitz served in the Reserves for eight years and was called to active duty for Desert Storm. Alan was in ROTC and began his career in the Signal Corps. He transferred to the Judge Advocate General Corps after earning a law degree from Florida State. In 1990, Dave Abramowitz was commander in the same German town where Ben had celebrated his bar mitzvah so many years

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ago. Dave’s son, Jacob, had his bar mitzvah in the same synagogue. Jacob Abramowitz went to West Point, and received his commission in Air Defense in 2009. Sid’s youngest child, Alex, is at Fort Benning, taking airborne training. He will be with the 82nd Airborne, the division in which his grandfather served. After his career in the Army, Ben Abramowitz taught for 22 years at the University of Central Florida. In 2006, at the age of 72, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach leadership and ethics at Ostroh University in Ukraine. He went to his father’s hometown and found his birth certificate. He also serves as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Four generations of Abramowitz soldiers have served this country. They have kept alive a tradition of fighting for freedom that is at the heart of the Chanukah story.



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sending you an alert if there is certain activity that could indicate identity theft.

you haven’t contacted or accounts you didn’t open. If a bill or statement you regularly receive doesn’t arrive as scheduled, follow up with the sender to find out why. Use a paper shredder to shred any documents with account numbers, your social security number – even your address. It will help deter “dumpster diver” identity thieves from obtaining your personal information. Never carry your Social Security card or number in your wallet or purse. When writing checks, avoid listing your Social Security number, telephone or driver’s license number, if possible. Another way to help safeguard yourself is to subscribe to a program, such as TD Insurance’s ITAC Sentinel® Plus, that offers to help protect you from identity theft by monitoring your accounts and personal information for you and

Puppeteer From page 8

One last tip: If you or anyone you know may have fallen victim to identity theft, contact the three major credit bureaus right away — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Doing so will let them place a fraud alert on your credit reports and help to ensure that no more fraudulent activities take place. Then, close the accounts that you think have been jeopardized. File a police report and contact the Federal Trade Commission immediately to file a complaint, so they can record the fraudulent activity and work with other agencies to track down thieves. Following these tips may help prevent a dreaded call or piece of mail that tells you your information is being used by someone without your permission. Hermes Alvarez is vice president, Personal Lines, TD Insurance .

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department. One of her favorite puppets is Felicia, a life-sized puppet with big, black curly hair. “I wear her head,” Ms. Rice said. “I have to use a remote control for her mouth. I can’t talk live because of the fan in Felicia’s head because it gets so hot. I have to use prerecorded material because a live microphone would pick up the fan.” Ms. Rice loves to do Christmas shows and Felicia has a holiday outfit. This year, though, is a bit different. Ms. Rice’s husband had a heart attack and is unable to help her. What she needs for Christmas this year are some volunteers to help put on the shows. “It’s hard to find volunteers to help,” she said. I need at least three good helpers to do a professional show. They need to be able to give time at least


once a week, be open to direction and be able to lift their arms over their heads for as much as seven minutes. One of my 11-year-old students thought he did it for 10 minutes and it was only about a minute and a half. Finding volunteers would be awesome.” Ms. Rice has 300 puppets and she buys their clothes at Goodwill. She is always on the lookout for size 3T. “My husband says they’re better dressed than he is,” she said. Ms. Rice, who is a member of the Orlando Puppet Guild and the Puppeteers of America, is also an illusionist and magician. Puppetry, however, remains her first love. “I do it as a puppet ministry,” she said. “God gave me a gift and resources to purchase puppets. “I do it to share the art and the message.” she said. For more information about Praise Puppet Productions, call Dawn Rice at (321) 720-2525.


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December 2011

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ommon sense plays a huge role in the prevention of heartburn and indigestion, but all of that goes out the window when you sit down to a holiday dinner. Indigestion and heartburn come with over indulging over the holidays but holiday binging doesn’t have to cause pain if you plan your meals using some digestive soothing herbs. Incorporating herbs into the meal provides natural relief preventing the gas and bloating that comes with being as stuffed as the turkey.

Herbs can be added to vinegars for salad dressings; I like to make my vinegars about 3-4 weeks earlier for a stronger flavor using herbs like rosemary, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon grass or lemon peel in either wine vinegar or cider vinegar depending on the meal or the herbs. You can also add herbs to soups, salads, vegetable dishes, in potatoes, stuffing, rubbed onto the turkey or


THE HERB CORNER even in deserts. Fennel can be used in breads rice, soups or in vegetables. In the book “Back to Eden” Fennel is said to be useful for gas, an overly acidic stomach, cramps and spasms. Basil is good for reducing the acidity in tomato sauce that can cause gas and pain for some. Anise is great for an overly acidic stomach caused by eating too many sweets. My Grandmother must have known this because many of her cake and cookie recipes included Anise. Ginger is one of the oldest known stomach healing remedies and one

of my personal favorites. I always have crystallized Ginger in my kitchen and I munch on it throughout the day. It’s a mild bitter so it helps to stimulate digestive enzymes making nutrients more absorbable plus its volatile oils have carminative actions helping to dispel gas and bloating. Ginger also tastes good in soups, vinegars, gingerbread, pies, cookies, ice cream and in ginger ale. Rosemary helps to calm the digestive system reducing the amount of gas that is produced. It can be used in vinegars, potatoes, soups, breads and in butters. Cinnamon is a nice carminative herb that helps to calm the muscular lining of the digestive tract easing gas and bloating. Cinnamon tastes nice in ciders, pies, and cookies and mixed with sweet potatoes. Some other herbs that could be used for preventing indigestion are

Cecilia Avitabile is the owner of The Herb Corner and Learning Center in Melbourne. She has a Master of Herbalism degree from the Australasian College of Herbal Studies and is a member of the American Herbalist Guild.

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coriander, oregano, thyme, marjoram, turmeric, cumin, sage, cloves and cayenne. And why not prepare a nice mulled cider using 1gallon cider, 1cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons allspice, 1teaspoon whole cloves, 1teaspoon ground ginger and 1-3 cinnamon sticks simmered for at least 15minutes. After strained it can be served hot garnished with orange slices. Get creative this year with your meal, not only will it taste good but your guests won’t have regrets on how much they ate.


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Lic# EG13000159

*$99 customer installation required. 36 month monitoring agreement required at $35.99 per month ($1295.64). Form of payment must be automatic through a checking/savings account or credit card. satisfactory credit history required. Offer valid for homeowners only. New customers only, cannot be combined with any other offer. Taxes and local permit fees required. Certain restrictions may apply. Other rate plans available. Expires 12/31/11

of Cocoa Beach 14 20th Street

Clean • Secure • Military Discounts Available



2 Months FREE Rent by December 31st Ask Us For Details

• *Offer based on unit availability on new rentals by new customers only. This offer is only valid with presentation of this coupon upon rental. Offer excludes applicable administration and insurance fees. Not valid with any discount offers. Offer has no cash value. Features vary by location. Void where prohibited. See Manager for details. ©2010 Extra Storage Space LLC.


December 2011






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130 Entertainment



December 2011

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Helping folks to connect with the sounds of life and living for over 20 years from the heart of Historic Downtown Melbourne

720 E. New Haven Ave., Suite 12 Historic Downtown Melbourne

Walk-ins Welcome 9:30 am-Noon Monday-Friday

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One woman’s solution to getting the family together during the holidays One woman’s solution to getting the family together during the holid...