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Culpeper Times • April 26-May 2, 2018
VIEWS The dance of life THE MARSHALL PLAN
In his posthumously published memoir in 1964, Ernest Marshall Conner Hemingway described the lasting impact of the city of lights, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” On Saturday, that feast of the heart and spirit moves to Culpeper. This year’s 10th Senior Prom, sponsored by Aging Together will be held at Culpeper Christian School this Saturday (April 28th) from 2-5p.m. The school is located at 810 Old Rixeyville Road. This year’s theme is “April in Paris.” Never doubt the rejuvenating power of a great time spent with friends. The magic of a good song can
provide a shot of youthful vigor on the dance floor regardless of age. Over the last ten years I have covered the senior prom and I have many fond memories of the event. Great memories include putting my camera and pen aside and dancing the twist with Pat Kosalinski, a friend from the Culpeper Silver Club and my yearly interview with the ever-bubbly Freda Tarza, of Warrenton. Tarza is the perfect ambassador of fun for this event and she’s been the life of the party for eight-outnine years I’ve covered it. She is a whirlwind of energy. She dances to every song and even manages to teach other attendees how to limbo, twist, waltz or swing. “I believe we should all just dance, dance, dance,” said Tarza last year. “Don’t wait for the golden years to arrive, get out there and enjoy the golden moment. The time to have fun is now.” Sadly, this year I will not be able to attend due to another nostalgia-
centered event—my 32nd high school reunion at Fishburne Military School. Despite my absence I wanted to fully endorse the senior prom---mainly because I’ve witnessed its magic. Music and dancing provide a glimpse of a momentary heaven where aches, wrinkles and years retreat for a few precious hours. Notable highlights are sure to include the positive energy of the prom’s host Pastor Brad Hales, the crowning of a king and queen - plus music, dancing, light refreshments and door prizes. The prom is also a free event for senior citizens ages 50 and better. In its history the Senior Prom has grown in popularity among senior citizens in the five-county area. The dance organized by Aging Together is supported by families, individuals and businesses. The event is also a true labor of love for the Culpeper Town Police and volunteers from all the area’s senior groups.
This year’s sponsors include the Culpeper Star Exponent, Hope InHome Care, Home Instead Senior Care, Grace Retirement Village, The Arbors of Culpeper, Visiting Angels, Heartland Hospice and New Century Hospice. Large groups of seniors from Culpeper Parks and Recreation’s Silver Club, Culpeper Senior Center, churches and assisted living residents usually attend this event. According to past attendees, one of the best things about earning an advanced age is the power of perspective and the wisdom to know a good time when it presents itself. Most attendees carpool to the event with friends and there will be many opportunities to meet people from other senior-oriented groups and clubs. Give your date a call or go meet some new friends at this popular Culpeper event. For more information call Aging Together at 540-829-6405 or email them at email@example.com
The Key to Specific Bequests ESTATE STEWARDSHIP
Picture a major, metropolitan city with bright Katherine Charapich lights and people busily going about their lives. There are the smells of pizza – you know the kind, where one slice barely fits on the paper plate and if you don’t fold that plate just right the cheese begins to slide . . . There are the sounds of taxi horns, and people yelling greetings. There is a hum that never stops. Without identifying the location, so as to provide some anonymity, a recent speaking engagement prompted a story that encompassed such a setting within a bustling city - where people live in close quarters, and there is a beauty that rises from the lives that become intertwined. One could say, “it was one of those ‘aha’ moments,” when something in the course material comes alive for an attendee. During the seminar, I had just transitioned from giving an overview of estate planning documents to
examining the structure of a last will and testament, when a gentleman eagerly raised his hand. As soon as he began to speak, his accent captivated the twenty-or-so in attendance. The gentleman said that as I was talking about specific bequests of tangible personal property, meaning the items that we can touch and which we may convey or bequeath to a particular person or entity, the discussion reminded him of a story in which he played a fairly major role. The story involved this gentleman who lived in a building nestled within the city, and who had the privilege of witnessing the friendship that grew between neighbors in adjoining apartments - an older adult lady and a woman not yet entering such a season. One can imagine that the building may have been a high rise with many rent-controlled apartments, where perhaps the landlord remained a little scarce, and the neighbors were not just dependent upon one another, but truly enjoyed each other’s company. As the story goes, the two ladies became very good friends - picture the shared cups of coffee, the quiet
moments perhaps no longer so remote. Especially important, when there were adult children who never came to visit the older adult lady; not a note, not a call. Whether two, three, or more – the number is not important here. The poignancy is in the life lived without those to whom one gave life. Time passed and the older adult lady became ill, and eventually she had no fight left; her departure was a graceful one. Unbeknownst to those who were her friends, the older adult lady had prepared to pass on her meager belongings with dignity. This lovely lady, who towards the end of her life built memories on her own without the help of her children, made a specific bequest in her last will and testament – leaving a piece of furniture, and the contents therein, to the woman next door who had become her friend. Perhaps that piece of furniture was all she had to leave, those elements of the story we do not know. What can be shared is that there was no devise or bequest to any of the children. And, when the non-descript piece of furniture was delivered to the
neighbor, inside a drawer was a key with a note attached. The note instructed that the beneficiary give the key to the very gentleman who was in the audience of my seminar stating, “he’ll know what to do with it.” Looking over the worn piece of furniture gave no indication of the magic within. As this gentleman got down on his knees, peered underneath, shined his small flashlight from corner-to-corner, there it was . . . a secret compartment, and the key was a perfect fit. A thank you contained therein for a friendship when one may have been most needed – a compartment filled with gems that glittered, worth millions one said. True friendship is priceless – this story is about principle. A simple specific bequest made in a Last Will and Testament may speak volumes where no voice previously stood. Plan ahead. Protect what is yours. Give thanks as appropriate. Write a beautiful verse. Katherine S. Charapich, Esq., operates the Estate Law Center, PLLC in downtown Culpeper. Call 540-812-2046.
April 26, 2018