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Grandparents and fond memories go hand-in-hand
ust the words “grandma” and “grandpa” evoke memories. That’s why we paired grandparents and making memories together as the themes for September’s issue of Forever Young. Whether it’s the aroma of cookies in the kitchen, a fishing trip or a hug, many of us have fond memories of our grandparents and hope our grandchildren feel the same. Grandparents also connect us to the larger world, our place in the family and how we came to be where we are. For many Boomers, our grandparents were the immigrants who came to this country and made our lives in America possible. My maternal grandparents lived in Tsarist, Russia, in a small town called
SHELLEY KOPPEL ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
Pilover Podolia, a shtetl, or village, where Jews were allowed to live. My grandfather, a scholarly and gentle man, was conscripted into the Russian Army. When he was forced by fellow soldiers to walk naked through the snow because of his religion, he and my grandmother packed up their belongings and made the overland trip to a port and a ship that would take them to America. The quota for Jews had been filled See MEMORIES, Page 10
ON THE COVER Andy Stefanek/Staff photographer Johntavious Render, 6, of Titusville gets a push from his great-grandmother, Janet Adams. Ms. Adams and her husband have custody of Johntavious and are raising him for their granddaughter.
North Brevard County
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Grandparents raising grandkids find support assistance, recreational activities and resource information to grandparents and other relatives who are raising children where the parent is not present. The reasons for that absence range from drug and alcohol abuse, neglect, abandonment, incarceration and military deployment, although the latter is not as large a factor as it was. The children range in age from newborns to 18. “We pick them up from birth at jail until they go off to college,” Ms. Sterling said. “We have a grandmother raising six grandchildren younger than 4 from three different daughters. We have nine great-grandparents. The youngest grandparent is 38, and we have one that’s 86.” For most of the grandparents, raising grandchildren is not how they expected to spend this time. “They’re living on fixed incomes,”
BREVARD – The numbers are staggering. Nearly 2.7 million American children are being raised by a grandparent or other non-parental relative. In Florida, the number is about 164,000. In Brevard County alone, 13 percent of county children are being raised by someone other than their parents. These numbers come as no surprise to Mary Ann Sterling, director of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren of Brevard County. Her organization has 700 members. “We are raising 8,500 of Brevard County’s children,” she said. “Our support group is the largest in the state of Florida.” The nonprofit organization provides support, advocacy and legal
Podiatric Physician & Surgeon
inherited. Out of the larger group of study participants, 675 participants (31 percent) with hallux valgus and 154 participants (7 percent) with pes cavus were identified. The average age of these participants was 66 years, and 57 percent were female. An analysis using statistical genetics software revealed that hallux valgus was inherited in approximately 39 percent of the women and 38 percent of men in the study. They also found that 89 percent of the participants under the age of sixty inherited the condition. In the subjects with pes cavus, 68 percent of the women and 20 percent of the men in this group were found to have inherited the condition. And, surprisingly, of those under the age of 60 with pes cavus, 99 percent of the women and 63 percent of the men were found to have inherited the condition.
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Mary Ann Sterling Director of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren of Brevard County Ms. Sterling said. “They had planned to retire, and they’re back to soccer games and teens. There’s Twitter and Facebook and some of them don’t even know how to turn on a computer.” Raising grandchildren brings legal issues for many people. “Without a Power of Attorney or custody, you can’t take the child to the doctor or enroll him in school,” Ms. Sterling said. “The Power of Attorney has to be prepared by an attorney. You
hire an attorney to get custody. That costs money. We go for grants because we need funds for these services.” Ms. Sterling got involved in this cause when she began raising her own grandson. At one of his ballgames, she found other grandparents in the same situation. Since then, the number of grandparents has skyrocketed. The organization accepts financial contributions, and baby supplies are particularly needed. “You may pick them up from prison at 2 a.m.,” Ms. Sterling said. “You have to put them in a dresser drawer.” In addition to emergency supplies, the group tries to arm grandparents with information. “We try to give them information about services that are available,” she said. “With more information you can See SUPPORT, Page 7
If Simple Cremation Is Your Preference.....
YOU MAY HAVE INHERITED YOUR BAD FEET Foot disorders might be passed down from one generation to the next, according to new research. Foot disorders are common among adults – affecting 20 to 60 percent – and can often cause mobility limitations. One foot disorder, hallux valgus, occurs when a person’s big toe (called the ‘hallux’) angles towards his or her pinky toe (a condition called ‘valgus’). Another disorder, pes cavus (more commonly called high arched feet), is where the bottom of the foot is overly-arched and hollowed- even when bearing weight. Researchers recently looked at the link between hallux valgus, pes cavus and heredity as a part of the Framingham Foot Study – a study that examined common foot disorders and the functional limitations they cause in 2,179 participants from 2002 through 2005 – to evaluate whether these common foot conditions are
“We are raising 8,500 of Brevard County’s children. Our support group is the largest in the state of Florida .”
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N. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS
ideal way to save memories By Shelley Koppel Associate news editor
BREVARD – Laura Irsfeld has always been creative. “I have the creativity gene,” she said. “I did collages with photos and made gifts. I’ve always focused on photos and preserving memories. Even in high school, my best friend and I made photo collages. I made them as gifts and my friends wanted me to teach them.” Today, Ms. Irsfeld is an independent consultant with Close to My Heart, a scrapbooking and stamping company. The company was founded 25 years ago and its products reflect the growth in scrapbooking as a hobby. “People are trying to get back to their roots,” Ms. Irsfeld said. “Even with a bad economy, my scrapbookers find a way. They’re willing to skip eating out, but this is my ‘me time.’” Ms. Irsfeld said that people enjoy commemorating special events, such as birthdays, family holidays and Christmas, but she has also has scrapbookers who are doing “Heritage” albums, one for each child, to leave as heirlooms. There are as many styles of scrapbooks as there are scrapbookers,” Ms. Irsfeld said. “The sky’s the limit. You can layer, there are interactive pages where you can do voice recordings, and a lot of people do memorabilia like ticket stubs. Some people like a lot of accessories and a thicker album.”
Among the accessories people use to decorate their scrapbooks are unusual items such as fancy staples and paper clips. “Office supplies have been tweaked,” Ms. Irsfeld said. “There’s also glitter, pins, acrylic stamps, buttons, ribbons and wording, as well as stickers and crystals, to add bling. There’s a great machine, the Cricut cutting system, that uses cartridges to cut letters, shapes, titles and headings. At A scrapbook page, provided by Laura Irsfeld of Close to My Heart, a Brevard-based my sessions, I bring scrapbooking and stamping company. There are many different styles of scrapbookthe machine and the ing abailable, and imagination and creativity are limitless. scrapbookers bring the cartridges.” feld said. “It’s all on the computer. when they grow up.” One of the newest trends in the Ms. Irsfeld said that scrapbooking Our company prints it out and sends scrapbokking field is digital scrapit in a two-page layout. It takes a lot can be intimidating to a beginner booking. of the brainwork out. They can make because of the large number of “It’s the way I see the industry one layout and order copies. It’s nice choices. going,” Ms. Irsfeld said. “There are “Some love the look but have no if they want to do one layout and photos floating around on social idea where to start,” she said. “Kits tweak for different copies.” media. What are people doing with While scrapbooking remains large- come with color-coded papers. You them?” ly a female pursuit, some men have can combine kits and papers. Twice Close to My Heart has come up a year, there’s a new Idea Book. Don’t joined in. with Studio J, free online design soft“My dad has joined the craze,” Ms. be afraid to get started. Once you get ware. Scrapbookers can create layIrsfeld said. “He’s saving their retire- started, it’s very fulfilling and rewardouts online and then have the comment memories and trips while my ing.” pany print it out. For information about Laura Irsmom is making scrapbooks for the “They’re trying to grab the tech grandkids. It has their pictures, activ- feld’s workshops and products, visit crowd, to be able to upload pictures ities and birthdays. She’s making one the website www.laurascoastalcreinto a layout of your choice,” Ms. Irsfor each grandchild. It will be a gift ations.com or call (321) 626-0055.
N. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS
New technology brings families together By Shelley Koppel Associate news editor
MELBOURNE – When families are far-flung, technology sometimes helps to bring them closer together. Grandparents quickly become skilled in the latest and greatest technology to keep in touch with the grandkids and other relatives. Linda DeAngelis, who works at Brevard Community College’s Career Center, communicates with 5-yearold grandson Zander in Orlando with an iPhone and FaceTime. “I usually see him once a week, but that may be on the weekend,” she said. “On Monday, I call, and I can see him. It’s just like ‘Skyping,’ but it’s on the phone. We talk about what we’ll do when he comes over and he shows me something new. It’s nice to see him. It’s like the future we dreamed of when we were growing up. It only works with someone else who has FaceTime on an iPhone, but it’s a good way to stay together.” Bill Warden of Indialantic is a retired physician. When his grandson, Skyler, in Tampa, was having trouble with his schoolwork, Dr. Warden became a long-distance tutor, using software from GotoMeeting. It
gave Dr. Warden long-distance access to Skyler’s computer. “Skyler had his textbooks on CD and DVD,” Dr. Warden said. “If we were going to study math, he’d load the CDs onto his computer and send me an invitation to link up. By accepting the invitation, I took over his computer and had access to his textbook. We could look at the same page at the same time. It was particularly helpful for math and science.” To enable the pair to talk, they used the Magic Jack device advertised on television. “We could plug it into the computer and it became a computer telephone,” Dr. Warden said. “We’d hook it up and work for an hour or two at a time. We could visually identify the material and talk in real time. It worked out well.” Dr. Warden is pleased that Skyler’s grades improved and he made the Honor Roll. Now, a year or so later, he is entering his sophomore year at Jesuit High School in Tampa, a school for which Skyler had to pass entrance exams. Dr. Warden is also pleased that the time spent talking and problemsolving brought the two closer together.
“While we were working, we’d go off on tangents,” he said. “We’d talk about how the real world works and why it’s important to learn this. He even told me that he felt much better about himself after he started doing better. I found it very rewarding.” For Ms. DeAngelis, technology helped ease the pain of her mother’s death. Last winter, her mother was seriously ill in Pennsylvania. Ms. DeAngelis went to visit for a while, but had to return to work. “She was going downhill,” Ms. DeAngelis said. “My brother visited her in the nursing home. He would hold up the phone, and I could talk to her. She was on her deathbed, but I was able to talk to her just before (she died). It was heartbreaking to be so far away, but nice that I was able to be there, thanks to modern technology. It made a difference, and I am grateful for it.”
Photo courtesy of Linda DeAngelis
Linda DeAngelis uses a popular phone application, called FaceTime, on her iPhone, to communicate with her 5-year-old grandson, Zander.
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N. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS
Grandmother’s stories are not for bedtime Associate news editor
VIERA – Grandmother Anna Flowers Brotemarkle tells stories, but they’re not the kind you’d tell the grandkids at night. As Anna Flowers, she is the author of four true crime books. She was recently interviewed for a new show on A&E, “Killer Profile,” that will feature the case of serial killer Bobby Joe Long. The murders he committed in Tampa in the 1980s were the subject of her second book, “Bound to Die.” The writer spoke recently from her home in the Indian River Colony Club about writing true crime, a pursuit she didn’t begin until she was 55. Ms. Brotemarkle began her writing career as journalism major at the University of Maryland. Her first writing jobs were covering society events, the only positions on newspapers open to women.
S U D O K U P U Z Z L E
“I wrote for the society pages first and I didn’t like it,” she said. “I got less pay. Then I got crime beats and did freelance magazine articles.” Ms. Brotemarkle’s husband, David, was in the military, and while she continued writing, her first priority was raising her daughter, Belle, and son, Ben. It was, ironically, Belle’s work at the office of the State Attorney that brought her mother back to an interest in crime. Belle Brotemarkle was just out of law school and was an intern, working on the trial of Gerald Stano, who was accused of murdering 41 women in Central Florida. Her mother sat in on the trial and the case resulted in her first book, “Blind Fury,” published in 1993. “He was a bad seed from the beginning,” Ms. Brotemarkle said. “He loved to kill chickens and small animals.” For her second book, Ms Brotemarkle turned to another Florida serial killer. “Bound to Die,” published in 1995, is
the story of Bobby Joe Long and a tale of cooperative police work and detection in the days before DNA testing. “It was a classic case of detection before DNA,” Ms. Brotemarkle said. “The police did wonderful work. I Photo Courtesy of Anna Flowers went up to FBI headquarters in Anna Flowers takes a break, with film Producer Phil the Hoover Build- Nobile, during her recent on camera interview for the ing in Washing- new A&E television show this fall, called "Killer Profile." ton. It was one of the first cases I of the murders, he was raping and knew of where there was a task force killing at a rate of about one woman per that worked together.” week. Mr. Long, who sits on death row, was “He had a lot of head injuries,” Ms. convicted of murdering women he picked up in Tampa in 1984. At the time See STORIES, Page 7
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N. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS
Networking with other researchers, genealogists
ne of the best and least used resource in genealogy is networking with other researchers who working on are same family. For some reason, genealogists are reluctant to contact others and ask for information. There are so many ways of doing this. You will make contact with long lost relatives, find new ones, make friends all over the world, and with email, you have the ability of controlling the contact. They won’t be showing up on your doorstep unless you invite them. Over the years, I have met cousins I never knew, or just strangers researching the same name. Some
Support From page 3
make better choices. You don’t think there’s anyone out there, but there are others.” Ms. Sterling said the research indicates that children raised in a family placement do better than those in foster care. “Our grandparents do so well,” she said. “Our logo is a tree. We’re trying
Stories From page 6
Brotemarkle said. “He was known as a serial rapist first, but when that wasn’t stimulating enough, he started killing. At the trial, he showed no remorse. He spat at reporters and grinned.” After writing about two serial killers, Ms. Brotemarkle turned to something only a little less grisly: a double murder in an antique shop north of Ocala. That book, “Murder at Wayside Antiques,” was published in 1999. Afterward, she was in demand as a speaker and authority on crime and criminals. In the late 1990s, Chris Sizemore, the subject of the book and movie “The Three Faces of Eve,” and a South Carolina resident, asked Ms. Brotemarkle to look into the case of Sue Logue. In 1943,
people I have met in person, some I have talked with on the phone and some I just email from time to time. We have exchanged stories, photos, copies of Bible records, and get to know about each other The idea is to trade family data and help each other put the puzzle pieces together. I sometimes go several years without hearing from
someone, then make contact and find they have made a discovery that makes a huge difference in my research. I may find something to pass on because I know it fits in their line, but not mine. There are so many ways of finding these new friends I can only mention a few in this column, but you can use your own imagination. Talk to relatives you already know, go to family reunions, ask about others in the family that are doing research. You can contact the local library, history or genealogy society, and ask about anyone that knows your family line.
In a small town, or with unusual names, I have even used the phone book. You would be amazed at the results I get! Look up the name and call someone at random. The worse that can happen is that they will hang up. Explain that you are doing family research on their surname and ask if they have anyone in the family that has the family history. One lady immediately gave me the name and number of someone writing a book on our family. On another call, the gentleman was so interested, he told me to call back
to keep the family stable so that children know who they are. We know that children fare better with stability. Most seem to flourish. We have kids making the honor roll and all-star teams.” The organization holds meetings of its support group throughout the county. Meeting locations and times are available at the website. Calls to 211 will be referred to the group’s Warmline.
Ms. Sterling said that the problem is not confined to one socioeconomic group. It reaches through all levels of society. The common thread is a desire to give grandchildren as stable and loving start as they can. “We kiddingly say that we’ve lost the right to die,” Ms. Sterling said. “We have to get them to an age where they can take care of themselves.” For more information about Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, call
(321) 848-8006 or visit the website www.grandparentsraisinggranchildren.org. Donations are welcome and can be made through PayPal via the website. Donations of infant supplies are always needed. Editor’s note: Statistics in this story come from the U.S. Census Bureau, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children Raising Grandchildren of Brevard County.
she became the first woman to die in the state’s electric chair. The result of her extensive research was “Wanton Woman,” published in 2008. “It was still very isolated up there,” Ms. Brotemarkle said. “Sue Logue was wellknown and I found some of the principals still alive. I got insights I couldn’t have gotten from the records. It was the perfect case for me at the time.” Ms. Logue, a lover of the late Senator Strom Thurmond earlier in his career, was executed for hiring a hit man. In a convoluted story, Ms. Logue, a co-conspirator and the hitman were all arrested and sentenced to death. “She would not be executed today,” Ms. Brotemarkle said. “She was a woman ahead of her time and she was tried on her reputation for being promiscuous. A lot of women were jealous of the freedom she gave herself. The
evidence was circumstantial and she didn’t have her own lawyer.” In a twist that no writer could have imagined, Ms. Brotemarkle learned that then-State Senator Thurmond, a captain in the Army Reserve, was sent to bring Ms. Logue from the penitentiary to the execution site. While the chauffeur drove, he and Ms. Logue had one last tryst before she was delivered to her fate. Ms. Brotemarkle’s husband, David, died in 2008, just after “Wanton Woman” was published. After taking some time off, she is continuing her husband’s research into her family’s long history as seafarers. She is also a jazz musician and enjoys playing her guitar and banjo and singing with the Zebra Band at the Indian River Colony Club. Ms. Brotemarkle’s daughter, Belle
Schumann, who sparked her mother’s career, is a judge in Volusia County. Her son Ben is the executive director of the Florida Historical Society. Her two grandsons are grown. For many, it would be time to retire, but Anna Flowers Brotemarkle is preparing commentary for “Bound to Die,” to bring the case up-to-date for a new edition. She ends the interview with a light reminder of what she told her daughter Belle when she began her true crime writing career and Belle was in the public eye. “I really hope I never write anything that will embarrass you,” she said. “But I was here first.”
GENEALOGY BRENDA K. SMITH
See GENEALOGY, Page 10
For more information about Anna Flowers Brotemarkle, visit www.annaflowersbooks.com.
N. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS
Current ‘ENSO neutral’ conditions similar to 2004 Remember Frances and Jeanne?
i everybody. Since the last update, things have really started to change in the tropics. During the months of June and July, most of the activity had been centered with systems forming close to home. In other words, the storms were born in close proximity to the coastline. Storms of this nature usually do not have enough time to get wound up because they are born so close to land. In August, things begin to make a dramatic change. One look at a satellite loop of Africa will detail an ample supple of thunderstorms and waves moving across the Continent toward the Atlantic. The parade is constant and the waves that have the most convection are the most likely candidates to be our next named system. Some will survive and others might encounter things like
STORM TRACKER JOE ZELENAK
vertical wind shear and/or dry air from Saharan Dust and will simple fizzle out like a dud firecracker. The ones that survive can often create a lot of anxiety as we track them across the ocean. Storms that form far out in the Atlantic are often referred to as “longtrackers” or “Cape Verde storms.” These cyclones will often take a week or longer to make their track across the ocean. These are the most feared of all storms. Cape Verde storms have a nasty reputation of gaining strength rapidly and sometimes blossoming into Category 4 or 5 hurricanes. Fortunately, a certain percentage of these systems will recurve out to sea before making landfall. Often times, that recurve comes way too close
for comfort. A good example was Hurricane Floyd, which created the largest evacuation in peacetime history. Other times we are not so lucky. Hurricanes tend to be steered by high pressure ridges, which are present every summer. As troughs move across the northern United States, a weakness will develop in the ridge that will allow the storm to recurve to the north. If that weakness develops near your location, you are going to get a hurricane. In addition, sometimes the leading edge of a ridge will drape right across the center of Florida. This was the case in 2004. Both Frances and Jeanne were steered into us by a high-pressure ridge that was draped across our region almost all summer. If this scenario develops, you become a central target for almost every bullet that is shot at you. Another factor that can influence storms is whether we are under the influence of El Nino, a warming of the
ocean off the coast of South America, or La Nina, a cooling of the waters, one or the other condition occurring every four to 12 years. Right now we are in ENSO neutral, which means that neither is playing a part in our weather. This was also the case in 2004 when Florida was hit from almost every angle possible. So far, we have been protected by both a ridge and by dry air, vertical shear and a high-pressure ridge. This ridge is helping to keep storms well to our south. This has been the case for Ernesto, Florence and Depression 7. I expect these conditions to change as the month progresses, and we must all be ready when it does. As I have said many times before, be sure you have a plan and a hurricane kit ready. Be prepared and be safe. For more information and tropical updates, visit us at http://www.hometownweather.net.
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N. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS
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BREVARD County 10 N. HOMETOWN NEWS
From page 7
SUDOKU PUZZLE ANSWER
the next day The next night they read me all the family history in their Bible. I recently sat at the kitchen table while the wife cooked dinner and her husband called the neighbors, asking questions about my family The Internet is a wonderful place to pick up fellow
Brenda K. Smith BrendaKSmith@prodigy.net
Memories From page 2
for the year, and my grandparents had to go to Montreal and wait until the quotas opened up. My grandmother was pregnant with twins, my aunt and uncle, and it was hard to find a landlord willing to rent to them. My aunt and uncle were born in Montreal and eventually, the next year, my grandparents were able to come to the United States. They settled in the Bronx, New York, where other family members and friends from Pilover had already settled. When the play “Fiddler on the Roof,” came out, my mother and aunt wanted to take my grandmother. She said she didn’t need to see it because she had lived it. For me, the courage that let them leave their home behind made my very existence possible. Those relatives who stayed behind in Europe, including the great-aunt for whom I am named, were killed by the Nazis. My grandmother would show me pictures and when she’d point to a cousin, she’d say, “Hitler
killed him.” It was personal to her. I am very grateful that she told me these stories. Today, storytelling is still an important way to preserve memories, but it is not the only way. We have computers where we can share photos in real time and scrapbooks to preserve memorabilia. We can keep up with family and friends with a click. It has brought family and friends and, indeed, the world, closer. Sometimes family is not close at hand. Many grandparents only see their grandchildren during short trips. For many of them, working with local young people is a way to be a surrogate grandparent, sharing your life and experiences with a child. At the other extreme, Florida has growing numbers of grandparents, who are raising grandchildren. This is a trend throughout the United States and means that for many grandparents, retirement means soccer games, teacher conferences and teen angst. We hope you enjoy this issue of Forever Young. As always, we welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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researchers. There are so many sites where you can put your own queries as well as find queries from others that may be of help. Genealogists love to help each other, and will often refer you to someone else if they can’t help you. Almost anywhere you research, you are going to find names and addresses or phone numbers of someone else working on that same surname. You may be able to help each other, or you may not, but you will never know until you make contact. Even if you can’t connect at the moment, someday one of you may get a break that can help the other Researching alone is like working in a vacuum. The more you share with others, the more you will receive.
(born from 1946 to 1964)
are the Fastest growing demographic in Florida!
N. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS
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132 Special Notices
275 Misc. Items
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805 Apartments/ Condos for Rent
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