im Antonucci’s column for this issue reflects on his first six months here as CEO of Kendal on Hudson. Norman Sissman tells the story of the remarkable Frank Lloyd Wright community, Usonia, that is right here in our town of Mount Pleasant. Sue Phillips interviews our Director of Resident Services and Communication, Ellen Ottstadt. Bill McFeely reviews an admirable new history of the United States. Martin Smolin explores how memories of our childhood can affect our later lives and can change as we age. Anne White’s poem muses on reactions to our mortality. Muriel Fox gives us a mini-biography of one of our Founders, Jane Beers. Gene DuBow considers aspects of what he calls the malady of Increasing Old Age (IOA), and some ideas for dealing with it. Pat Taylor describes Kendal’s program for interns from Pace University’s College of Health Professions. Finally, Tom Kramer lists some axioms, undoubtedly learned over his years of experience, for achieving better market performance.
Our cover photographs were selected and processed by Arthur Brady. On the front cover, Arthur captured the Little Red Lighthouse under the Big Gray Bridge (otherwise known as the George Washington). Inside the front cover is a photograph I took some years back when we were traveling down the Amazon River in Peru; we stopped at a small village and this happy girl came over to show us her pet baby monkey. Inside the back cover is a landscape captured by Jane Hart near Swan Lake in the nearby Rockefeller Preserve. On the back cover is another spectacular Hudson sunset, recorded by Anne White. Norman J. Sissman
Journey with Jim Friends, it is hard to believe it has been six months since I started here at Kendal on Hudson, and now seems like a good time to thank all of you for what’s been accomplished so far. While you have mourned the retirement of your revered original leader, many of you have also reached out to get to know me in the halls, at coffee, and in numerous meetings. You are helping me learn more about the practice of the Quaker values that attracted me to Kendal. Many of you continue to give time and talent to contribute to the vibrancy and excitement of KoH. Thank you for the wonderful, valued relationships that we are beginning to form. Thank you also for helping to create ways that the administration, the Residents Council, and, all of us can work together toward common goals and partnerships. One of the partnerships is the One Future Committee. The OFC was created by the Council as an ad Hoc committee; thus by definition, it is finite. The committee was developed to work on a master planning process connected with the KoH Board Strategic Plan, alongside a facilitator, staff, and residents, so that we can together set goals for our community going forward. It is a committee made up various residents, some here from the beginning, some new, some heads of various committees, plus the Executive Committee of the Residents Association and, members of administration. When its work is finished, it will be disbanded. We will continue to keep residents informed of the committee’s work, and begin involving all of you in future meetings. The KoH staff has also had to adapt to a new leader and has worked hard to deal with several critical issues we were facing as a community, among them staff vacancies and marketing. I want to applaud the staff for what it has accomplished since my arrival. The leadership team worked on a new recruiting process to address the problem of thirty-nine open positions in our nursing center, dining area, and housekeeping. The processing time of new hires was cut in half and, as of today, there are only six open positions being actively recruited. This big accomplishment of the leadership team positively affects the residents’ quality of life and our bottom line, plus it cuts down on current employees’ stress levels as they enjoy fewer extra shifts and can enjoy a more balanced personal life. In addition to all of this good work, KoH received a five-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in recognition that we have met industry high standards of care, strong fiscal practices, and programming in operating a senior living community. With help from an outstanding consulting firm, Sage Age, the marketing department structure was redesigned, resulting in more sales this year’s first quarter than in any previous first quarter. Our Lunch & Learn Series has increased attendance by 60% and has added an average of five to eight new tours after each presentation. The marketing department has reached out to neighboring communities, resulting in a significant increase in our waitlist. It appears that, for the first time in recent years, we may use up our open inventory by the end of 2019. Many thanks to so many staff and residents who are helping me settle in. I look forward to getting to know many more of you, and learning and working together to maintain and enhance our community going into the future. Jim Antonucci, CEO 2
Overheard in the Bistro Here is another in my occasional series on interesting historic sites in our neighborhood. This one is about Usonia, a housing develoment in nearby Pleasantville, designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The history of Usonia is a dramatic story of how a group of idealists realized their dreams of establishing a utopian community in the face of formidable obstacles. It began when a Manhattan engineer, David Henken, visited an exhibition of Wright’s architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in the early 1940s. He was so impressed with it that he quit his job, and went to study architecture for two years at Taliesin East, Wright’s home and school in Wisconsin. After his return to New York, Henken found himself in the midst of a group of young New Yorkers who yearned to live in a more rural, more aesthetic, and less expensive setting than Manhattan. In 1947 the group acquired, at an auction, ninety-seven acres of undeveloped land in Pleasantville. The $23,000 (approximately $218,000 in today’s currency) purchase was the basic step that propelled the group toward the realization of their dreams. Henken persuaded Wright to design the development. Wright divided the land into 47 circular plots of about an acre each and agreed to design no more than five of the houses himself, although his approval of all the other individual designs, mostly by his former students, was required. The principles of the design were those that Wright had been advocating for decades: individual affordable houses constructed of natural materials, blended unobtrusively into their natural environment, and owned by a cooperative that espoused openness, tolerance, and collegiality. Wright’s philosophic principles underlying all his designs were based on the ideas of three mid-nineteenth century American thinkers and writers, Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman.
Frank Lloyd Wright's original site plan for Usonia in Mount Pleasant Difficulties arose almost immediately, the most significant of which were financial. The group seriously underestimated the cost of building basic infrastructure – a drainage system, a water supply, roads, and electrical grids. The American post-World War II boom in construction pushed prices for materials and labor steadily higher than anticipated. Wright, at age eighty, was more of a curmudgeon than ever; he frequently delayed responses to inquiries and was dismissive of some of the designs of his former pupils. He likened the roof of one of the designs as a “bald pate with eczema”; he replied to one owner who complained that the ceiling of his bedoom was so low that he had to walk in it stooped over, by opining that bedrooms were not 3
designed for walking. No banks would offer mortgages to a cooperative. Pleasantville authorities were flummoxed by the unorthodoxy of some of the site’s features – for example, they couldn’t “deal” with round plots of land (these were eventually modified to form adjacent polygons). Some of the leaders of the cooperative, incuding Henken, were so rigid in their principles that they were reluctant to compromise ideals for practical reasons. Moreover, a few individuals who assumed multiple roles — designer, owner, and contractor — found themselves with intrinsic conflicts of interest. But the cooperative, augmented by new recruits, gradually progressed toward its goal; innumerable meetings, some characterized by heated interpersonal conflicts, addressed the obstacles one by one. When difficulties arose with contractors and workmen (some of whom called the project “Insania”) the young urban owners frequently spent their weekends in Pleasantville doing construction work themselves. Some anonymous members contributed to a slush fund to be drawn on by those most in need. After cooperative ownership of each house was replaced by individual deeds, the Knickerbocker Federal Savings and Loan Bank began to approve mortgages. By 1958, the full complement of forty-seven homes had been built and occupied, and facilities for group activities such as a picnic ground, a swimming pool, and a children’s nursery, had been completed. The goals of Wright’s design were realized. Fences and hedges were prohibited. The houses exemplified Wright’s esthetics. They were single story and built of wood, brick, and natural stone. Few had basements or garages (only carports). Most roofs were flat, with cantilevered eaves. Most had radiant floor heating. In their interiors, many of the furnishings and fixtures were designed by the architects. The houses emphasized common spaces with large windows to “connect” those inside with the outside environment. Most significantly, the struggles of the group to achieve its goals, motivated by strong idealism, created unusually strong bonds of friendship and camaraderie among its owners and their families; these ties have remained strong throughout the subsequent decades of Usonia’s existence. Its fiftieth anniversary in 1994 was attended by more than two hundred and fifty family members and friends. A booklet created for that celebration is filled with testimonials to the importance of the community in its inhabitants’ lives. The group also worked hard to counter persistent rumors that Usonia’s owners were rich radical socialists; most founders were young, relatively poor couples. Many reached out to the wider village; one owner became a beloved teacher in the Pleasantville High School. Usonia contains the first letters of the phrase, United States Of Northern America, into which an “i” was inserted to make the pronunciation more euphonious and to bring the term closer to the word “utopia”. Wright used it to designate all his designs for accessible housing. Although he made his fame and fortune designing large homes for America’s affluent, and landmark buildings such as the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, he had since his early years advocated the building of homes and communities for “ordinary” people. This Pleasantville Usonia is the largest and most successful of his attempts to realize this goal.
As I was formulating this column, I was delighted to discover that a relatively new Kendal resident, Rita Benzer, had lived with her family in Usonia for over fifty-five years. Rita kindly provided me with many documents, including an extensively illlustrated book about Usonia’s history, written by one of its founders, Roland Reisley. Rita answered many of my questions about daily living in Usonia. Best of all, she called Mr. Reisley and arranged a tour of the area and of the interior of his house. In early April a small group of Kendal residents drove to Usonia, were shown many of the homes by Rita (the most surprising feature, for me, being the hilliness of the site), and then were welcomed into Mr. Reisley’s home. Reisley, a bright, spritely ninety-five-year-old who owns one of three houses there designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself, talked to us for over an hour about Usonia’s history and details of the architecture of his home. His affection for his home, for Frank Lloyd Wright, and for Usonia, was deep. He then took us for a walk through the house and demonstrated some of its admirable feaures: a geometric design basis, construction almost entirely of wood (cypress for the paneling, teak for some of the furniture), stone (including three large fireplaces, one each in the gathering room, a study, and a bedroom), and glass (some panes of which were anchored directly into the stone). Wright’s intentions to blend the inside with the beautifully landscaped outdoors was achieved with large windows and the building’s site, nestled into the slope of a steep hill. Mr. Reisley also countered the impression of Wright as difficult to work with. The architect, with whom Reisley and his wife met personally many times, was flexible and totally accommodating in responding to the couple’s many requests for change. This amiability was sustained when the Reisley’s three children required an extension of the house five years after its original construction; this contained additional bedrooms, and a lower level to accommodate Mr. Reisley’s study, photographic darkroom, and wine collection. Over the past seventy years. Reisley has been active in a national oganization devoted to preserving Wright’s buildings across the country. Usonia is an impressive historic gem in our backyard!
Norman J. Sissman
The Broad World of Ellen Ottstadt Now that Ellen is Director of Resident Services and Communication and, as such, part of the management team here at Kendal, we need to understand as much as we can about the person who is most closely connected to residents here and most directly responsible for major aspects of our daily lives and well being. Born and brought up in Yorktown, Ellen was the youngest of four children in what she describes as an “idyllic childhood in a place where kids could be kids,” going camping each summer for two weeks and traveling up and down the East coast or across Indiana in a pop-up trailer with her family. Her parents both worked full time, her mother as a church secretary and her father as a manager of repair personnel at Otis Elevator. After Ellen completed Yorktown High and West Chester University in Pennsylvania, and after her marriage and the birth of two daughters, she worked for NAC Re, an insurance company in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she was a purchasing agent. Then she and her family 5
moved back to Yorktown where they became very involved with the St. Andrew's Lutheran Church. Although her marriage broke up, Ellen’s two daughters flourished: the elder, Samantha, graduated with a Master’s degree in journalism and later became an assistant to the CEO of the TriState Girl Scouts, and the younger, Summer, is now a junior at the University of Tampa, majoring in marketing and communications. Ellen then worked for about twelve years at Yeshiva University in New York, first as executive assistant to the Chief of Staff, and then to the President. During that period, Ellen’s mother developed dementia and required increasing attention. When I asked her how she managed these many demands, her relaxed response was, “You do what you have to do and make the best of the situation. I’d drop my kids off at school, drop my mother off at an adult day care center, and then go to my job. And I tried to continue as a youth leader at church conferences. I went to three Lutheran Youth Gatherings; and twice, after Hurricane Katrina, I went to the South to help clean and rebuild parks there.” Explaining how she came to Kendal, Ellen said she had not had any experiences with CCRCs, but reponded to Pat Doyle’s ad for a replacement for Betty Amico, largely because it was close to her home. “After that interview, I worked as Pat’s assistant for two years and then became manager of Organizational Services, which meant that I worked with the Board of Directors, took minutes, and was responsible for all Board correspondence and agendas. I really valued Pat’s close relationship with the residents. I feel lucky to be here. You guys are fun. You’ve been through a lot, worked hard to get here, and are, generally, good people, who are hard to find in today’s world. I’ve had a lot of support from all of you and have learned a lot from collaborating with you. That has helped me move along faster. Perhaps the best way to explain it is: so many of you have a real passion for something — art, music, books, world affairs. My generation is focused on jobs, cars, and other material things, not on what might bring them happiness.” When Ellen describes her current position as part of Kendal’s leadership team with Jim Antonucci, she reels off a daily never-ending series of tasks that can only be handled by someone who is extraordinarily adaptable and moves quickly between ever-changing needs and expectations. As Kendal’s new residents settle in , their “creativity” grows, she says, which is desirable but also creates new demands. Ellen must keep up with these changes. She might be mailing packages, trouble shooting a TV that is not working, helping other departments with residents’ needs, working with Adirondack residents to make sure they feel included, filling in at the Front Desk, or resolving a new problem fully before it becomes more complicated. She also still manages work for the Board of Directors. Ellen is Kendal’s Go-to-Gal who continues to be smilingly helpful and at ease, no matter what!
THESE TRUTHS: A History of the United States by Jill Lapore 789 pp., W.W. Norton & Company After half a century teaching American history, I wouldn’t have guessed I needed a new textbook. I did. Jill Lepore’s These Truths is both new and excellent. This is not diplomatic, military, economic, or cultural history, but good old political history – because at the moment politics matter. Lepore’s familiar story needs a new telling, but she has something even more old-fashioned to achieve: “This book means to double as a civics book,” she says. In fact, my two seminar groups (January and another one in February) used These Truths as a textbook and found it a rich experience to look afresh at the republic’s past. Doing so was almost a civic duty. The history proceeds traditionally, the table of contents not so. Lepore, as if to begin a debate, entitled her introduction “The Question Stated”. It is in itself a learned essay on history. Then she attends to her narrative, beginning traditionally with Christopher Columbus. She allows her story of the European voyager’s arrival at the Indies to prepare us for the conflicts that will be constant in our history. Barely a decade later, slavery casts its shameful stain on our American story. Lepore leaves no doubt as to the centrality of slavery in our history. When, after close to two hundred years of America’s story, she arrives at the Declaration of Independence, she finds the truths of her title. They are not explicitly stated. They are still to be sought. When Lepore tackles the Constitution, we see not lofty fellows in togas but sweat-drenched men at work in a hot Philadelphia summer. Their work, the Constitution, promised rule “not by accident and force but by reason and choice.” When the document was printed in a newspaper so that New Yorkers could study the draft of the Constitution, the publisher included an ad for the sale of “a likely young Negro wench and her child.” “They,” Lepore makes clear, “were not ruled by reason and choice. They were ruled by force and violence.” The clash between upholders of that Constitution and that woman and child is our nation’s story. Lepore is a master of the kind of history I like: populated history. In graceful prose, she gives us thumbnail sketches of a wonderful variety of rogues and otherwise who made our country. Readers whose American history seems to be endless volumes about Civil War battles will be disappointed. The war gets only fifteen pages, on one of which is a Gardner photograph of the corpse of a Confederate soldier killed at Gettysburg. Leading to the war, there is excellent attention to Frederick Douglass, the voice of freedom, as Lincoln searches for his. Lepore traces the growth of Abraham Lincoln’s political mind with his debates with Stephen Douglas and his Cooper Union address. This is Lincoln’s route to the Emancipation Proclamation. 7
In a nice touch, Lepore, aware of the African American gains tragically taken away after the war, weaves the Reconstruction story into that of struggling farmers and wage laborers later in the nineteenth century. She is telling on the conversion by the Supreme Court of the XlVth Amendment from its job of guaranteeing the rights of black citizens into one protecting corporations. The court still needs watching. Lepore knows how our present-day court weakens guarantees of African American voting rights. Not a political actor (he thought) but a frustrated scholar, Stephen Greenblatt and a friend (a historian, by the way) were decrying the state of contemporary politics. Greenblatt speaks: “ ‘What can I do?’ I asked.” His friend answered, “You can write something. So I did.” The result was Tyrant, which told us about Shakespeare’s tyrants, suggesting an unnamed contemporary possibility. Lepore, similarly alarmed, has also taken to words. They must be searched for truths. As we carry the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution before us, we will be fortified to resist those who mock our democracy. The task is not to go back to a golden trust in flawed promises, but to resume the endless quest to realize these truths now and beyond. In her "Epilogue: The Question Addressed", Lepore returns to Jefferson and Franklin’s eighteenth-century divide. If the truths are undeniable under either religion or science, she picks the latter. She even hints at playing astronomer, but These Truths demonstrates that she is just a down-to-earth historian. Lepore shows an almost Puritan trust in the word, not the word of God, but in what we can read, and know. You wonder if she trusts too much in what she and her fellow teachers can achieve using her text. But she is persuasive. The task is an essential one. We must look clearly at the whole of our past to protect our present and beyond. Poetically, the school teacher gives out the assignment. The “new generation” must “forge an anchor in the glowing fire of their ideals. And to steer that ship through wind and wave, they would need to learn an ancient and nearly forgotten art: how to navigate by the stars.” Note: T his is an edited version of the review appearing in the National Book Review
William S. McFeely
Memories My mother died fifty years ago. About to light her yarzheit candle, I was shocked when I was unable to remember what she looked like. I needed to look at a photo to recall her face. You can imagine this upset me very much. How can such an important memory slip away? At Kendal we are familiar with memory loss. Usually names go first, then nouns and places. “I'm having a senior moment.” “It's on the tip of my tongue.” “I'll call you at 2 A.M. when I remember.” But long-term memory seems to survive. I remember the name of my cousin's babysitter's cat. It was “Doughboy.” How is it that I recall such an obscure name and I can't remember the names of a couple who recently moved to Kendal? Of course, there is no one left to confirm that “Doughboy” is correctly identified. Memories pop up almost unexpectedly. My friend, Beth, bedridden at 93, suddenly became angry with her father. She thought he was disappointed with her because she was a girl and he wanted a boy. Disturbing memories of what he said eighty years ago flooded her and she couldn't get over it, although she hadn't much thought about it before. Encountering something that conjures associations of an experience that cannot be remembered may lead to déjà vu, the first cousin of nostalgia. Whereas déjà vu is a somewhat disquieting feeling, nostalgia is anchored by happy personal associations, romance, children's achievements. Music is a very strong trigger of nostalgia and can evoke memories and responses even in severely memory-impaired people. And there are false memories. We used to visit friends every Thanksgiving. A twenty-sixpound-turkey was grilled outside. I distinctly remember their big Newfoundland dog, aptly named “Bear,” snatching the turkey off the grill and running around the backyard with it in his mouth, followed by our friend, grilling fork in hand, trying to catch him. “Bad Bear!” When he finally wrestled it away he whispered, “Nobody needs to know.” Later, everyone said that was the best turkey ever. It was Bear's saliva that gave it special flavor... Never happened? Over the years we had many arguments about whether it did or did not occur. My wife said my memory conflated a similar scene from the Jean Shepard movie A Christmas Story. Could be. Who remembers? False memories are why police line-up identifications and witness accounts of crimes are often the cause of unfair criminal convictions. Max Wertheimer, the Gestalt psychology theorist, demonstrated that memories actually become altered over time. When shown a picture of an interrupted circle and later asked to draw it, most subjects will draw a complete circle. We tend to fill in the blanks to structure our memories. We pick what we think is the most likely picture, story or face when trying to recall what was the actual one. Alfred Adler, Freud's contempory, theorized that a person's first memories were a paradigm for later personality traits. My earliest memory was being in my crib with the sides up so I couldn't get out. My parents were in the next room entertaining a guest. I cried and howled and shook the crib to get attention. False memory? Maybe, but it seems a lot like me today, protesting injustice. Martin Smolin * * * * 9
Misty water-colored memories
What’s too painful to remember
Light the corners of my mind, Of the way we were.
May be beautiful and yet,
We simply choose to forget.
So it’s the laughter
Smiles we gave to one another
Whenever we remember
Of the smiles we left behind, For the way we were.
We will remember The way we were,
The way we were.
(“Memories”, by Marvin Hamlisch, composer and lyricist, from the motion picture The Way We Were)
JANE BEERS IS A STARTER Jane Beers thinks it’s wonderful that Kendal has no social director. “When the residents see a need for a program, we make it happen ourselves.” Jane was a key person responsible for starting our Spotlight weekly newsletter, our Kendal Chorus, our Kendal Bell Ringers, our Trips Committee, and our Welcoming Committee that helps new residents feel at home. She also played a role in the startup of Kendal on Hudson itself. Let’s begin at the beginning. Jane Joralemon was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and graduated from Vassar College, where she earned a B.A. in zoology. She had always liked animals, and originally wanted to be a veterinarian. Jane recalls that she and her best friend loved the idea of a 21st century but never expected to see it! She did medical research during and after her Vassar days. At the National Institutes of Health she nurtured two lovable but naughty charges named Siegfried and Brunnhilde – two-year-old chimpanzees. Jane’s crew was researching the side effects of tranquilizers. The Washington Post featured a photo of Jane with one of her chimps in an article under the headline “Workaday Pinup.” In 1957 Jane married Stephen Beers, a former Navy seaplane pilot and executive for nonprofit organizations. Their happy marriage produced two daughters, two sons, and eight grandchildren. Jane and Steve traveled to all 50 U.S. states and visited many foreign countries, including four years working in Germany where Steve represented the Motion Picture Export Association. She helped to start a small international school in Frankfurt; it’s now a large successful institution. Jane and Steve returned to the U.S. to Irvington and then to Philipse Manor. Steve died in 1996. 10
Over the years Jane has been active in volunteer work, including for Phelps Hospital and the local Junior League. She does needlepoint and a lot of knitting, including baby hats and women’s scarves for Phelps. Her current project is knitting different 12-inch squares for a blanket, using wool she bought while in New Zealand. She also sings in the choir of Christ Episcopal Church in Tarrytown, and recalls running a children’s morning camp for forty children in her old neighborhood over six summers. Lots of paper, glue, leaves, and generally creative “stuff”, topped off with swimming lessons in the Hudson. When Jane heard that a number of people were trying to start a Kendal residence in the Westchester area, she contacted the Kendal Corporation at their headquarters and asked, “How can I help?” She worked with Joan Oltman to launch a “Community Connections Committee.” They held meetings at different locations throughout this area (including New York City) to introduce Kendal, and created a network of involved people with varied interests to help launch it. Each meeting included a speaker on a different relevant subject such as Creating a Library, Recruiting Supporters, and Interior Decoration. The last topic, Design, was a bust. “The speaker had magnificent plans for homes with grand pianos, large overstuffed furniture and fireplaces!” When neighbors heard about plans to create this new CCRC, there was a small nucleus of people who opposed the idea. Jane says: “They didn’t understand. Nobody had heard of CCRCs before. They said ‘It’s a WHAT?’ They warned about a bunch of troublesome old people who would use up local resources and get in the way. They even warned about overcrowded schools until they realized there wouldn’t be children here.” Jane and others tried to explain it all at a couple of meetings. Today, neighbors are unanimous in their gratitude to Kendal residents, who have proved to be valuable citizens of the community. When KoH finally became a reality, the Mary Powell and Clermont buildings opened together. Jane moved in on Day Five – May 19, 2005. Because she owned a dog, she had chosen a ground-floor apartment. In the earliest days, all residents sat at one table and ordered whatever dishes they wanted for dinner. A month later, Jane and Bonnie Hart (now Dietz) started the Spotlight. At first it was just a sheet with useful facts for incoming residents. But, thanks to many others, it has grown into the invaluable weekly newsletter we enjoy today. In 2009 Cobb Stewart moved in, and they’ve become fast friends. They’ve co-chaired the Welcoming and Swap Committees together. Both Jane and Cobb had older sisters who died many years ago. “We are grateful to feel we each have found a new sister.” At the age of 91 Jane tries to walk every day. She is grateful for her general good health. “The move to Kendal was among the best decisions I ever made. I feel very lucky to be here with good friends, superb Kendal staff, food(!), and lots to do.” On her Mac laptop computer cover, she has pasted a quote, which she tries to follow. It was written by Henri Frederic Amiel in 1868: “Life is short, and we never have too much time for gladdening the hearts of Muriel Fox those who are travelling . . . with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” 11
Bittersweet February 13th, dead of winter. Four yellow roses on the shelf, each in its own glass vase with greenery. Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day. Emerging from a screening of Roman Holiday, we share reminiscences — a trip to Venice, piazzas filled with the buzz of neighbors gossiping and buying wine and pasta. Suddenly, we notice those roses on the shelf — four friends gone in seven days — husbands, wives and children left with only memories for valentines. Our conversation turns from Italy to the here and now, recalling trips and talk and dinners shared, love and loss combining, intertwining. Standing face to face with certain destiny, we embrace the urgency of living now, with gratitude and vows to fulfill dreams we talked about but put off to tomorrow. In a favorite cartoon, worried Charlie Brown says: “Some day, we will all die, Snoopy,” and his doggy friend responds with: “Yes, but on all the other days, we won’t.” Holding hands, we turn away, determined to express our love, fulfill our calling, knowing time is pressing, yellow roses a reminder, sweet and bitter, Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Anne White 12
A COMMON MALADY: IOA Waiting for my physical therapist to call me in for my thrice weekly period of physical torture, my reflection showed on the glass door entrance and I realized I, like many others at Kendal, was suffering from the common malady of Increasing Old Age (IOA). While my basic health is good, everything else hurts. It’s a good thing that I don’t live in a country with royalty and that I wasn’t born into a religion which requires the bending of knees. Thankfully, Kendal has elevators. Stairs are the enemies of bad knees. Every day while shaving, I have to look in the mirror. In my mid-to-late-eighties my face has more lines than a map of the NYC transit system. To make things worse, my moustache, which used to have a salt and pepper hue, is now totally salt. Let’s not even talk about the top of my head. I laugh when people of my ilk become offended when the words “senior” or “old age” are used. What would they prefer, “twilight of youth”? A friend of mine used that all the time. He died when he was nowhere close to being young. Since IOA is a very common malady (the most common?), like all such physical ills, shouldn’t there be a cure? Scientists, philosophers, explorers, and almost everybody else have been looking for the Fountain of Youth since Adam’s sacroiliac began to give him trouble and Eve went through “the changes.” What is it they say about insanity: something like trying to do the same thing over and over without a change gives a negative result? Obviously, new thinking and a new direction are needed for dealing with IOA. How about looking for the Fountain of Age? Instead of focusing on staying young with results paralleling the quest the Mets have for trying to be World Series champions (useless), shouldn’t we be trying to be older and better? The gerontologists have got the right idea. Though they tell you they’re trying to restore youth to some degree, what they’re really doing is trying to make old age more palatable. Frankly, I don’t want to be any younger than I am. Some of my younger years were terrible. I laugh when I see ads touting that whatever they’re selling will make you younger and add 10 years to your life. If they would make my 90s or my 100s better, they’d be on the right track. I’m not opposed to investing resources in helping the young and middle-aged extend their lives, but how about us IOA folks? I wouldn’t want you to think nothing is being done. For bad backs, knees, and hips, etc., the days of shipping you off to the orthopedist for surgery are mostly over. Instead, here at Kendal they send you up the hill to the Phelps Pain Center. No cutting. No surgery. A few needles in the affected portion of your aging torso, the injection of some sort of medical Pepsi-Cola (PepsiCola hits the spot…) and, perhaps, you’re better. Give them a few more years of research and then, no doubt, the stuff will be in pill form or you’ll just be able to rub it on like a lotion. Of course, you have to do your own share. If you do any sort of exercise, keep doing it and do more if possible. IOA loves people who kid themselves or who have given up. Sometimes you have to experiment. I walk. I found walking the hills was tough on my knees. After thinking it through, I decided that walking in the Alida Garage suited my purpose. It’s flat. I go back and 13
forth while listening to music in a little player I have. Yes, there are a few fumes but the fresh air outside isn’t so fresh these days. At least in Alida the exhaust I inhale comes from neighbors whom I like, so it’s not so bad. Kendal is doing its share. Instead of having paid help take care of residents every minute of every day, there are twenty-seven committees made up of the “inmates” spending numerous hours attending meetings, deciding on various things that have more direct impact on us than whether we have something called slotted walls on our borders. Your head can explode trying to decide on the issues and counter-issues. The cerebral explosions keep the IOA nics alive. Mental exercises are as valuable as the physical ones. David Bowie once said, “Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” What he is saying is that only when we accept and join in with Increasing Old Age can we have something new in our lives. Maybe you’ll find out you can act and sing like David Bowie. If not, then join me in walking in Alida. Eugene DuBow
THE KENDAL ON HUDSON INTERNSHIP PROGRAM Lisa Wacht, Kendal on Hudson's Health Services Administrator (center), Alisa Pontrelli, Adirondack Case Manager (far right) and Interns (l. to r.) Katie Kennedy, John Arias, and Denise Parra. There are currently eleven students from Pace University who are completing their required internships and field placements at Kendal on Hudson. They are earning degrees at Pace’s College of Health Professions: three in Health Science and eight in Nursing. It is anticipated that an additional student will intern in food services this summer to earn credits in order to become a registered dietitian. The rotation she will be doing is the first of three required for her program at Pace. 14
Though Kendal has had the occasional intern before, the current and much more extensive unpaid internship program began in May 2018 after Lisa Wacht, Health Services Administrator, received queries from Pace about the possibility of their students working with Kendal to earn credits towards degrees. Lisa created intern job descriptions which Pace posted; then she and her health services team went through resumes from applicants before accepting three students for the program. Each will receive a bachelor’s degree in Health Policy and Advocacy in May, as part of the first graduating class at Pace for that degree. Two of them are planning to go into accelerated nursing programs offered at various other colleges. The third, Katie Kennedy, enjoyed her time at Kendal so much she decided to take a part-time job as Ellen Ottstadt’s assistant: she will become a full-time employee upon graduation. Since September 2018, when they started on the 150 hours that comprised their internships, the three students have worked at Kendal every Tuesday. Their learning experience involved conducting one-on-one interviews of Kendal residents in Adirondack and Independent Living, to assess wellness and lifestyle issues; this engendered a healthy amount of paperwork. They also took part in a person-centered wellness program called Vitalize 360. They have worked under the aegis of Lisa during their internships, while also spending time with Alisa Pontrelli, Adirondack’s case manager. Lisa also coordinated the work of the eight nursing students, all of whom will receive Bachelor of Nursing degrees at Pace’s graduation ceremony this month. One of their classes at Pace was Gerontological Nursing, so the interaction with Kendal residents was a valuable experience for them. They went from one-on-one meetings to group activities like the Tuesday Morning Club, and to helping residents at the balance classes conducted by the Fitness Center. Cathy DiSomma and Pattie Munson served as staff liaisons to guide the group through their intern experiences. Cathy and the Kendal fitness team were integral in the completion of this semester’s special project: a Power Point presentation for the Kendal community on the benefit of strength training for seniors. There’s no question that the hands-on experience of working with a large population of our age group added to the overall education of these students. For Kendal it’s a double reward: another way to do good in the community while opening possibilities for future staff prospects.
Helpful Hints to Achieve Better Market Performance 1. If you fail to plan, then you must plan to fail. 2. Being right too soon is the same as being wrong. 3. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. 4. There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots. 5. You wouldn't pick the cheapest surgeon, so why pick the cheapest mutual funds? 6. Hope is not an investment strategy. 7. When the tide goes out you will soon learn who is swimming in the buff. 8. Stocks take the stairs going up, but the express elevator down. 9. Bears make money, bulls make money, but pigs get slaughtered. 10. Bull markets are born under an aura of dire pessimism, and die under a blanket of unbridled optimism. Thomas J. Kramer
Kendal View Staff Editor Norman J. Sissman Managing Editor Pat Taylor Editor Emerita Joan Oltman Editorial Staff Gloria Cooper, Eugene DuBow, Doris L. Eder, Muriel Fox, Edith Litt, Deborah Oâ€™Keefe, Sue Phillips, Bill Smethurst Photography Editors Arthur Brady, Caroline Persell Advertising and Billing Norman J. Sissman Kendal View is published by The Residents Association of Kendal on Hudson, a nonprofit organization in compliance with IRS regulations under 501 (c) (3). It is printed by Heritage Newsletters, Somers, NY 10589. 16
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The Zegarelli dental office has been located in Tarrytown since 1982. We have been serving KoH residents since the Kendal opening day in 2005.
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Jill Zeitlin, MD
Mark Davis-Lorton, MD
Board Certified in Otolaryngology, Specializes in Hearing Services
Adult and Pediatric Allergist
Jessica Comparetto, MA, F-AAA Lucia Khoder, AuD, CCC-A, F-AAA Rebecca Bieker, AuD, CCC-A, F-AAA
358 North Broadway, Suite 203 • Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 Tel: 914-631-3053 • Fax: 914-631-2807
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Phelps Hospital invites you to participate in our free programs for seniors: • • • • • • • • • •
Socialize and learn at Breakfast Club Stimulate your cognitive skills with Mind Games Receive free screenings and health information with Senior Steps Learn about underlying causes of illness with Functional Medicine Keep your balance with Fall Prevention and Tai Chi For information, contact Understand bone loss with Osteoporosis Education & Support Ellen Woods at Gather with your peers at Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group 914-366-3937 or Gain insight into retirement savings with Elder Law Series firstname.lastname@example.org. Navigate health insurance with Demystifying Medicare Search for life’s meaning and purpose with the Spirituality Program Plus, special events throughout the year
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In-home service Tax Preparation & Planning Bookkeeping Filing & Organizing • Bill Paying • • • •
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Your Great Expectations... Can Be Filled.
Wine and Liquor Merchant A few doors from C Town. Free parking in the back away from traffic. Knowledgeable and friendly staff will answer questions and help you select from the largest and most unique display in the Rivertowns. ❖ Competitive pricing and discounts. ❖ I look forward to having you join our many Kendal customers. John Sarofeen, Proprietor
92 N. Broadway, Tarrytown, NY
Westchester’s Finest Clockmaker since 1951
Harnik Bros. J E W E L E R S
Enrico Hair Care, Inc. Enrico Hair Care, Inc. Tuesday Enrico does hair color/cut and styling Mondays Sandra does mani/pedi and waxing Enrico cuts and styles and Tatiana consults on color Wednesday Wednesdays Kim does hair color/cut and styling Hairstyling by Kim Thursday Wednesdays through Fridays Toni does hair color/cut and styling Maria does manicures MariaThursday does manicures and waxing and Fridays once aHairstyling month, by by appointment Toni Fridays Friday Christina does pedicures, manicures and hair. Toni and Andi do hair color/cut and styling
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Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Nonprofit, Nonsectarian. Established 1849
Community mausoleum, traditional in-ground burials, natural burial grounds, private family mausoleums. 540 North Broadway ◆ Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 914-631-0081 ◆ www.sleepyhollowcemetery.org Kendal ad 2018.indd 1
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3/1/18 10:03 AM
Advanced treatment options, leading edge research and expert care – right here in your neighborhood. Whatever your healthcare needs may be, we’ll welcome you into our community of people caring for people.
701 North Broadway Sleepy Hollow, NY 914-366-3000 phelpshospital.org
Kendal on Hudson's Bimonthly Journal