MARTIN County HOMETOWN NEWS
MARTIN County HOMETOWN NEWS
Pets are good for body, spirit
have always had pets. From small turtles and those goldfish we won at school fairs to a parakeet and then cats and dogs, animals have always been part of my life. While mine have been rescue animals, they have often rescued me as much as I have them. I had a cat named Marmalade, who looked as though he’d stepped in a pot of jam. He died six months after my husband, and I had such a sense of not being able to keep those I loved alive. It was irrational, but it was there. I had another cat, Memory, and the two of us looked a little lost. One day, I walked into the vet’s office. He often had rescue animals for adoption. One of the vet techs found an abandoned cat with a large sore on its neck. I took one look at him, and he came home with me. I named him Tickety-Boo, after one
ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR SHELLEY KOPPEL
of my English husband’s expressions. When things were going well, he said they were Tickety-Boo. I called him “Boo.” I closed “Boo” in my office at home, so he could get the lay of the land before he met Memory. He disappeared behind the desk and shelves. I put out a litter box, food and water. The next morning, the food was eaten, the litter box used and there was a dead water bug on the floor that I didn’t think committed suicide. I would sit at my desk each day, See SPIRIT, Page 7
ON THE COVER Photo by Mitch Kloorfain/chief photographer
Joel Rossen, Stuart veterinarian, opened a pet food bank to help those struggling with day-to-day pet costs.
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MARTIN County HOMETOWN NEWS
Horsin’ around How one woman teaches kids about Florida life
By Shelley Koppel Associate news editor
INDIANTOWN — A lot of girls dream of being cowgirls, but Iris Pollock Wall is the real thing. The Indiantown native, now 82, is the subject of the new children’s book, “Iris Wall, Cracker Cowgirl,” by Carol Matthews Rey, a secondgrade teacher at Warfield Elementary School in Indiantown, with illustrations by Eldon Lux. “My own opinion is that Crackers are a culture,” she said in a recent phone interview. “They’re inland people, with generations in Florida. Many have ties to the land in catfish or cattle. Cracker people are usually country. The dictionary says they’re ‘poor white trash,’ but Webster didn’t know everything.” Mrs. Wall said she thought Crackers came originally from Georgia and became Florida Crackers when they crossed the border. “They might not have schooling, but they were far from ignorant,” she said. “They knew how to improvise and do without.” Mrs. Wall said that Indiantown, where she grew up, was a special place. “I was born in Indiantown and knew every soul that was born here,” she said. “We’ve been practicing ‘it takes a village’ all my life. They were ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ when they moved in. If they lived here their whole lives, they were ‘aunt’ or ‘uncle’ and if they were old, they were ‘grandma’ and ‘grandpa.’ It made no difference if they were related; they got into it if you’d done wrong. If one of us had a need, everyone rallied.” In 1948, 18-year-old Iris Pollock
Photo courtesy of Iris Wall
Iris Wall, known as the ‘Cracker Cowgirl,’ riding one of her horses. Mrs. Wall was born and raised in Indiantown and took to ranching when she was married in 1948 to Homer ‘Cowboy’ Wall. married Homer Wall, whom everybody called “Cowboy.” They ranched together and raised three daughters. “I was crazy in love with Homer, and he loved me just the same,” Mrs. Wall said. “There was plenty of heartache and sorrow and not
always enough money, but we had a good time.” The Walls were successful at ranching and eventually branched out into the lumber business. They also bought the Seminole Inn, an Indiantown landmark. In fact, they bought it three times.
“We bought it in 1975,” Mrs. Wall said. “It still had the original furniture and bathrooms at the end of the hall. I said, ‘Lord, Homer, what are we going to do with a hotel?’ We found out it was hard to run.” See HORSIN’, Page 8
MARTIN County HOMETOWN NEWS
New store hopes to help pet owners keep pets STUART — For many people, feeding pets and providing them with veterinary care has become a challenge. In difficult economic times, people sometimes have to give up beloved pets because they can’t afford to feed them. Joel Rossen, a Stuart veterinarian, has dreamed of opening a pet food bank for about 18 months. “I’ve been trying to get them a place to get food and get them through hard times,” he said. “I’ve been trying to raise money to buy food. A close friend in Boca has a shelter there that gets support from a thrift store. I thought that opening up a thrift store would be a good way to support a food bank.” Dr. Rossen has found space for his thrift shop, Family Pet Food Bank, at
200 S.E. Seville St., in Stuart. He is paying the rent out of his own pocket for now. “That was the only way to make it happen,” he said. “In the beginning, we’ll be open Friday-Sunday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. By October, we’re hoping to be open six days a week. “We need volunteers to run it, and while we do have three rooms of stuff at the thrift store, it’s not enough for ongoing inventory,” he added. “We’re also very much in need of a big box truck, so we can go pick up donations. It would be wonderful.” The thrift store accepts furnishings and home goods, gently used clothing and pet supplies. Cash donations are also welcome. Dr. Rossen grew up in St. Louis and has been in Florida for 20 years. He moved to Martin County in 2004. “We barely got there in time to buy See STORE, Page 9
Photo by Mitch Kloorfain/chief photographer
Joel Rossen with a gray scottish fold cat and his assistant Laura Macintosh. Dr. Rossen opened the Family Pet Food Bank that has been a feat 18-months in the making.
By Shelley Koppel Associate news editor
Watch out for toxic levels of garlic in your pet’s diet
S U D O K U P U Z Z L E
“The toxic effects (of garlic) are caused by allicin attacking the red-blood cells.”
AMY COUSINO OWNER OF THE CAT’S MEOW CAT CLINIC
Amy Cousino Owner of The Cat’s Meow cat clinic each clove or toe. And garlic has been used in cuisine over for more than 3,500 years, first recorded by the Greeks. As to the rose reference, this is a misnomer, since it is from the liliaceae family known as the lily family and the genus allium. Allium is Latin for garlic. Other plants that are alliums are onions, leeks, scallions, shallots and chives. Sulfur compounds in garlic include allicin, also known as diallyl thiosulfate or DATS. Allicin is toxic (poisonous) when eaten by dogs, and cats are even more sensitive to it.
But how much does a dog or cat have to eat to experience toxic effects? A formula is known and the amount can be calculated to the gram. Toxicity can be caused by eating lots of small amounts over time, or eating a large dose once. The toxic effects are caused by allicin attacking the red-blood cells. The hemoglobin, oxygen-carrying protein, clumps and causes cell rupture. When enough red blood cells rupture, anemia ensues leading to low oxygen content of the blood (hypoxia) and the death of the dog or cat. Prior to death, a dog or cat can
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experience symptoms of weakness, then trouble breathing (dyspnea), followed by collapse and blue gums (cyanosis) with an increased heart rate. In some cases, garlic toxicity can be more subtle causing vomiting and diarrhea, reddened skin (contact dermatitis), asthma or even stomach ulcers (gastric ulcer and perforated ulcer). Have you fed your dog or cat anything with garlic in it? And if your answer is yes does your dog or cat have any of the symptoms or diagSee GARLIC, Page 7
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arlic is commonly added to dog and cat food, dog and cat treats, and gourmet dog and cat foods. Why? I don’t know. But what I do know is that if you would write a letter, email or tweet to the companies making these products that soon they would remove garlic because high levels of it can be toxic to your pets. Ready. Set. Write! Haven’t you ever wondered whether it is safe to feed garlic to your dog? And how about garlic found in cat food, cat treats and gourmet cat foods? Supplements can also contain garlic. It’s about time that you know the truth about feeding dogs and cats garlic, also known as “the stinking rose.” The stinking rose certainly does stink of sulfur compounds found in
From page 3
working and talking to Boo, even though I couldn’t see him. He needed antibiotics for the sore, but since I couldn’t apply it, I crushed it and added it to his food. One day, a little white face and pink nose peeked out at me. I said, “Hello.” When he saw me move closer, he disappeared again. This went on for several weeks. A few times, he seemed as if wanted to come out, but
Garlic From page 6
noses I have mentioned? To avoid the possibly fatal consequences of garlic toxicity, one must be conscientious about the foods one is feeding their dog or cat. This includes processed pet foods and pet supplements such as arthritis supple-
he changed his mind at the last minute. Still, I talked to him. After a time, I didn’t even feel silly talking to my computer screen. Eventually, enough of him peeked out that I was able to touch him. He was under a dresser and I stretched out on the floor, sticking one hand under the furniture to stroke his head. He seemed to like it, but wouldn’t let me closer. Then one day, Boo appeared. He batted my leg as I walked by and ran away. I left the door open and went
into the other rooms. He met Memory and the two of them seemed to get along. Boo had found a home, and I had found Boo. We were both very lucky. Today, pets are often found in unusual settings. Dogs visit nursing homes and hospitals. Often, a resident who hasn’t responded to anything else will respond to an animal and begin talking about a dog or cat they once had. Dogs are used in reading programs, too. Children who are having trouble
ments, vitamins and flea products purported to prevent fleas. Some people foods that have garlic hiding within them include bouillon cubes, soup, spaghetti sauce, hot dogs and even some cheeses to name just a few. When in doubt just read the label and look for garlic. All forms of garlic are toxic including fresh garlic, garlic oil and garlic powders.
Many forms of garlic are used in a myriad products specifically made for dogs and cats. William Shakespeare wrote of garlic in “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” “Eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.” He knew that garlic was stinky. When it comes to feeding dogs and cats, “the stinking rose” really does stink.
MARTIN County HOMETOWN NEWS
reading will sit down with a dog and read to the animal. With the focus off the child and with a partner who is cuddly and non-judgmental, the child is often able to relax. Reading skills improve. In this issue, you will meet people who love animals and share that love with others. Many have multiple pets because they are a bit like potato chips. You can’t have just one. Shelley Koppel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Cousino is a veterinarian and the owner of The Cat’s Meow Cat Clinic in Sebastian. She is also the author of a dog food/cat food cookbook “How to Ccook for your Pet,” which can be found at www.strategicbookpublishing.com/howtocookforyourpet.html.
For a mini-list of foods that are safe or not safe to feed pets, send an email to email@example.com.
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Horsin’ From page 4
The Walls sold the hotel, but the new buyer couldn’t make a go of it and Homer bought it back. The same thing happened again and the Walls bought it for the third time. “We really fixed it up, and our middle daughter, Jonni, said she’d run it,” Mrs. Wall said. “There are only 28 rooms and you’re lucky if
FOREVER YOUNG you break even. It’s an old building and we just love it. It’s Indiantown.” Homer died in 1994, after a marriage that lasted 47 years. Mrs. Wall still runs the 1,200-acre ranch, raising Brahman, Angus and the crossbred Brangus cattle. She was named Florida Woman of the Year in Agriculture in 2006, but what she enjoys most is bringing groups of secondgraders around the ranch, giving them a taste of what life used to be. 038328
“We bring them to the ranch and teach them about the land, cattle, marshes, swamps and what a cow is,” Mrs. Wall said. “There’s very little written about it for children and every kid wants to be a cowboy or cowgirl.” To make the experience even more meaningful for the children, Mrs. Wall bought an old handwringer washer, and an old box of soap. “We put up clotheslines and the young ‘uns love to wash, rinse and hang them up. They pump water out of a hand pump to fill up the tubs. It’s the funniest thing how much they love the washing.” The children also learn about play time, long before the era of video games. “We have a big old cotton rope and they play tug-of-war,” Mrs. Wall said. “They play kick-the-can, pop whips and roast marshmallows. I’m amazed at kids who have never roasted marshmallows. When the teachers first bring them out,
they’re afraid they’ll get hurt. I say, ‘let ‘em run.’ Kids need to just play and use their imaginations.” Mrs. Wall still spends time in the woods she loves, even though her daughters worry about her. “The kids bought me a cell phone, but it’s been on the counter the whole year,” she said. “I go out into the woods and if I get stuck, I go to the road and hitch a ride. It drives my kids nuts.” Mrs. Wall is pleased with the book about her life and hopes it will help children understand a time when life was simpler and people relied on themselves and those around them. The only quibble about the book has come from her greatgrandson, Josh. “He said there was a big mistake because there was no ‘John Deere’ on the wagon,” she said. “Iris Wall, Cracker Cowgirl,” by Carol Rey, is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
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Diner serves nostalgia, great food firstname.lastname@example.org
MARTIN COUNTY — It’s hard to top the retro-diner concept: comfort food at incredible prices. But in Stuart, one restaurant that was actually in business in the now “retro” era of the 1950s and ’60s is showing how a master does it. Charley’s Flashback Diner, “a family tradition since 1955,” is a great choice for a simple but excellent meal that’s fast and fresh. Its staff is friendly, efficient and alert. On a recent visit, every employee encountered, from the busboy to the servers, manager and owner, offered a smile or greeting, and nothing unwanted lingered on the table. The restaurant has a reputation for
serving the best burgers in town, and it’s well deserved. Made with fresh Angus, their patties are generous, juicy, charbroiled to order and the sandwiches require two hands to hold. The quality of the beef creates the kind of supreme burger that easily sells for nearly twice as much at other establishments. Flashback burgers start at $5.29. The breakfasts, too, set Charley’s Flashback Diner apart. With 31 varieties, its array of omelets alone could intrigue a breakfast lover for weeks. Mouthwatering, hot-off-the-grill specials add to the jammed menu. Giant Belgian malted waffles with See DINER, Page 10
By Samantha Joseph
From page 5
a home and be hit by (Hurricane) Frances,” he said. Dr. Rossen has been a vet for many years and has seen many people struggle to take care of their pets. He offers a pet vaccination clinic at the thrift store on the first Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. “A lot of people are torn apart financially,” he said. “They can’t afford to keep their pets. Maybe, we can do a lot of good. The other organizations, which provide rescue, find animals a home. I want to keep animals in the homes they’ve got. Then, some other animals in a shelter can be adopted.” Ultimately, Dr. Rossen hopes to have his food bank, as well as the thrift shop. “My idea, and I haven’t discovered if we can make it work, is not only to have a thrift store, but a pet food
MARTIN County HOMETOWN NEWS
store, with prices similar to other stores,” he said. “The big difference is that we can create a following, and if they buy from us, the profit goes to feeding hungry animals and not to a corporation. “You can come to us and participate in the welfare of your own pets and those of others,” he added. “I think it’s a viable business plan. If it’s successful, I’d like to take it throughout the state.” Right now, Dr. Rossen is seeking volunteers with a variety of talents. “I’m looking for fundraising and public relations ideas,” he said. “I want an expert in extreme couponing, and we can have classes. I’m looking for ways to accumulate dog and cat food for very few dollars. I want to build a team of people who have the desire to help.” For more information or to volunteer, call Dr. Joel Rossen at (772) 2830235 or visit the website wwwpetfoodbanks.org.
From page 9
SUDOKU PUZZLE ANSWER
powdered sugar come with ham, bacon, and link or patty sausage for $6.99. A Southern slam platter serves up two biscuits halves smothered in homemade sausage gravy with two eggs prepared any style, two bacon strips and sausage links, plus a choice of home fries, grits or oatmeal for $6.49. The super slam has two pancakes and
three each of eggs, bacon strips and link sausages, while fruit slam offers two pancakes, large eggs and fresh fruit. It’s easy to get breakfast for less than $3 from 6-11 a.m. every day, when the restaurant runs its sunrise specials. The meal includes eggs, fries, grits or oatmeal with toast, biscuit or English muffin. “People come back all the time and tell us the food is good. That’s the biggest reward any restaurant can get,” said Stephanie DiSalvo, who manages the restaurant with her brother, Charley. Ms. DiSalvo, a former banker who spent 25 years in her previous career, has helped with training, bringing new ideas and trimming the menu. The friendly culture is apparent, and the food is homemade, prepared by Chef Tommy Carter. The restaurant has also seamlessly merged the old and new to offer customers the best of the nostalgic and today. It offers its iconic model train that travels on a track overhead to images of icons, such as Barbie, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Betty Boop, Mickey
Staff photo by Samantha Joseph
Charley’s Flashback Diner has been serving up good food since 1955. Pictured from left to right are server Thresa Taft, administrator Stephanie DiSalvo and server MJ. Mouse, the Ford Model T and the Beatles. There’s even a counter where guests can sit for a soda pop and slice of cherry pie, served à la mode. But the menu also has “lighter fare” with reduced calories and some international favorites, including the fajita salad served in a crispy edible bowl.
“People come just for that,” Ms. DiSalvo said. Charley’s Flashback Diner is located at 3259 S.E. Federal Highway. It opens daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on Sundays and Mondays, when it closes at 2 p.m. For more information, call (772) 2861983.
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