September 2018 Maine Seniors Magazine

Page 1


Patsy Leavitt

Giving Back

Donato Tramuto

Also Inside: • Hilda Wardwell at 95 • Blueberry Cake • The Pesky Porcupine • Church Supper ...and so much more!

Patrick Dempsey


September 8, 2018

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David. S. Nealley


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AARP Maine is proud to co-sponsor the following debates: Gubernatorial debates: October 23, 2018 | 7-8 p.m. WVII ABC | 7 Fox | 22 Bangor November 1, 2018 | 7- p.m. WGME CBS | 13 Fox | 23 Portland co-sponsored with the Bangor Daily News US Senate debate: October 30, 2018 | 7-8 p.m. WGME CBS | 13 Fox | 23 Portland co-sponsored with the Bangor Daily News

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Maine Seniors Magazine is published in the State of Maine by Maine Seniors Magazine, L.L.C. in association with Maine Media Consulting, L.L.C. All information herein represents the views of individual writers and their understanding of the issues at hand, and may not represent the views of the Maine Seniors Magazine, its management, or editorial staff. For more information about Maine Seniors Magazine, visit


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Publisher's Note

Happy Maine Seniors Day!


eptember is a special month for seniors in part because Maine Seniors Day is the second Saturday of every September. This year it falls on the 8th. This month is also special because it reminds us of the “September of My Years”. To borrow some lines from the Sinatra song –

Publisher David S. Nealley

One day you turn around and it's summer Next day you turn around and it's fall And all the winters and the springs of a lifetime Whatever happened to them all? As a man who has always had the wandering ways I keep looking back to yesterdays 'Til a long-forgotten love appears And I find that I'm sighing softly as I near September, the warm September of my years. It seems to be a somewhat nostalgic season. As we reflect, we should think of all of the things which we have done, as well as those things we would like to do. Celebrate being a senior citizen and know that in Maine we value our senior partners. At Maine Seniors, we know the value of seniors to our community way of life here in Maine. Not only does Maine have the highest volunteer rate in the nation due to its senior population, but it is also considered a generous state because of the philanthropy from our senior citizens. To all of our Senior Partners, thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Happy Maine Seniors Day!

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SEPTEMBER 2018 • 2

MAINE SENIORS • Contributors


very talented contributors!

Casey Johnson won a blue ribbon (first place) and a red ribbon (second place) for her art work (above and below)

Recently at the Topsham Fair, Paulette Oboyski won a red ribbon (second place) and a white ribbon (third) place for her crochet works.

Victor Oboyski won a blue ribbon for his great photo of a lobsterman (pictured) which had been used in MAINE SENIORS Magazine.

A big CONGRATS to our team members! 3 • MAINE SENIORS

Page 35

SEPTEMBER 2018 ISSUE 2 Publisher's Note


5 Prime Mover: Donato Tramuto


13 Prime Mover: Patsy Leavitt

Page 5


23 Prime Mover: Hilda Marjorie Wardwell

Page 13


31 Sage Lens: All About the Senior Expo


35 Health Treasures: The Dempsey Center


45 The MAINE Point: Maine Seniors Day:

Let's Celebrate! • BY JANE MARGESSON

47 Just Pondering: The Whistle Blower


49 Residential Review: Stonewood Cottages

at Bartlett Woods • GUEST ARTICLE

53 A Trail Less Traveled: The Pesky Porcupine


57 Outdoors: The Brook Trout

Page 23


59 Food for Thought: Absolutely Delicious

Blueberry Cake • BY ELLEN L. SPOONER

61 From the Porch: The Church Supper


Page 61

SEPTEMBER 2018 • 4



Tramuto Changing Lives for the Good

Bob and Sandy Bahre Photo by Fred R Conrad


You would never know Donato Tramuto’s difficult past from looking at him – a trim,

successful CEO and philanthropist who is both thoroughly engaging and deeply compassionate.


ecently, Donato was in Hampden, Maine at the Good Shepherd Food Bank to award a $50,000 grant from the Tramuto Foundation. The money will go to the purchase of a cold storage unit at their new Hampden facility. It is Good Shepherd’s plan to make sure all Mainers have access to food by 2025 that inspired Donato to act. “It is exactly what we love, these aspirational goals that can make the world a better place,” he said.“And it's going to happen, not by doing great things, but by doing little things that have the capacity to drive great 5 • MAINE SENIORS

change. This is why it was really a no brainer for the Foundation Board to select this organization as our partner.” This aspiration to make the world a better place has been Donato’s driving force since he was a small child. He came from a large and loving Italian family – his grandparents having immigrated from Potenza and Sicily, Italy to Dunkirk, New York. Theirs was a bustling household indeed - Donato had four brothers and a sister. His father had a small children’s clothing shop which, for a time, supported the family. But, things changed. Big shopping malls overtook the‘Mom and Pop” family businesses – his dad was forced to close the shop and return to a grueling job at the local steel mill in their hometown. At the same time, Donato developed a nagging and painful earache, but the family was struggling and distraught that their patriarch, grandfather Joseph, had been shot and nearly killed

PRIME MOVER • Donato Tramuto

This aspiration to make the world a better place has been Donato’s driving force

since he was a small child.

by a robber and the family business had closed down due to shopping malls entering the area. It was also a tumultuous time for our country—President John Kennedy, beloved by Donato and his family, had been assassinated.“At first, they dismissed my change in behavior as a natural reaction to the traumatic events,” Donato wrote in his popular memoir, Life’s Bulldozer Moments: How Adversity Can Lead to Success in Life and Business.“I had been a very good student but suddenly my grades nosedived… My speech became garbled… once it was apparent, my parents took me to doctors and sought out specialists. It was too late. My hearing loss was profound and permanent.” Donato became

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Donato at 5 years old SEPTEMBER 2018 • 6

PRIME MOVER Donato's parents' wedding

withdrawn and depressed. As he wrote in his book,“I was a sad, bullied, lonely little kid.” He references a bulldozer in the title of his memoir because those awful moments in life, when you have no power to resist terrible events, are life-altering, similar to when a bulldozer knocks down and destroys one house, only to smooth the ground for a better home to be built. His childhood was filled with those moments: loss of the family business, his loss of hearing, then the loss of a beloved brother and sister-in-law. Donato made the conscious decision to rise up after those crushing losses and carry on while he was still a child. When he was only 11, he wrote an encouraging note to his parents and carefully placed it on the pillow of their bed: “The sun is going to shine again… we are going to be OK.” This important life decision guided him as he grew. He would not give up, nor would he lose track of his desire to make the world a better place. Robert F. Kennedy became his personal hero; he studied him, read everything he could find that Kennedy wrote and aspired to be a person of change like his hero was.

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PRIME MOVER • Donato Tramuto

When Donato was only 11, he wrote an encouraging note to his parents “The sun is going to shine again…we are going to be OK.” It was still a difficult path. “I failed the fifth grade,” he said. “And, I was rejected from every single college I applied to because they thought I had a disability. But, when you see me today you kind of ask well, did this really happen? That’s why I want people to hear my story. I want them to know that life wasn’t always what it is today… and I always said when I got my hearing back that I would do some good.” At the time, Donato wasn’t sure how he would do “good” in the world, but as a young man with his hearing partially restored through surgery, he began working as an executive in the health field. He became very successful and while at UnitedHealth,

he and his co-workers conceived the i3 Aperio Drug Registry, which they launched in 2005. They used the company database to analyze the experience of their customers with specific prescription drugs in order to expose or uncover potential health hazards and bad drug reactions. With partners, Donato later created a new company, Protocare, in Los Angeles. He found himself flying all over the country and once again, experienced a crushing “bulldozer moment”. It took place on that infamous day, September 11, 2001. This is what happened: “My two friends and their three-year old son were staying with us in Maine, and were flying back to Los Angeles,” he said. “I had been on that flight every single week for about seven years. But, I had a toothache and went to the dentist the night before. Because of that, I changed my flight not to go out on September 11 but to go out on September 10. My friends and their little son did not change their flight and lost their lives when the second plane hit the South Tower,” he paused, the memory still fresh after all these years.“So, I think for me it was another bulldozer moment that knocked me down, but I wasn’t

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Take A New Direction

going to get angry and I wasn’t going to have hatred in my heart.”

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With the understanding that life can be so fleeting and wanting to honor his friends’ memory, Donato formed the Tramuto Foundation to help individuals and organizations like the Good Shepherd Food Bank achieve their educational and healthcare goals. In the past 17 years, the Foundation has distributed more than $1 million in grants to organizations working to make the world more just and fair and also to provide annual scholarships for graduating high school seniors. Three years later, in 2011, he was struck by a startling statistic: in our lifetime one billion people will die having never had access to a health care worker. To address this issue and expand his mission on a global scale, he launched Health eVillages, a non-profit partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, which provides state-ofthe-art mobile health technology in the most challenging clinical environments, including Africa, Haiti and the United States. Currently, as CEO of Tivity Health, Donato oversees Silver Sneakers®, the nation’s leading community fitness program

PRIME MOVER • Donato Tramuto Ripple of Hope Award

Donato and Ethel Kennedy

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A Commitment to Seniors Joanne Bean, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer of Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine recently shared some exciting information regarding the senior population in Maine and Donato Joanne Bean Tramuto’s ongoing support in their establishment of the school’s Institute for Integrative Aging. Joanne met Donato Tramuto at the annual Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging last year. “It was the fact that we attended the summit and met Donato,” Bean explained.“He connected us with the people he knows nationally, and that helped our plans to develop the Institute for Integrative Aging.” That meeting was memorable for her.“Donato Tramuto definitely gets involved!” she stated.“His leadership in orchestrating the Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging was critically important.” Saint Joseph’s honors an ongoing commitment to seniors as well as youth and has strived to address, in Bean’s words,“all of the needs for an aging community.” They have a wonderful health center with an incredible swimming lap pool, fitness equipment, a lighted outdoor turf field and track, as well as a network of cross country trails that winds across the 474-acre grounds. They host Farm-to-Table Dinners in the newly renovated Normandy-style Stone Barn and are helping to strengthen the local food system through a mix of traditional and hydroponic farming. The Institute for Integrative Aging will utilize many of the programs already in place. Saint Joseph’s holds to the vision that their campus can become a learning destination.“Our president, Jim Dlugos, is always saying we need to be ‘the convener’ for learning opportunities,” Bean explained.“And, we’re looking at the multi-dimensional aspects of aging—the physical, the nutritional, the social, the intellectual and the spiritual.” Future plans involve building homes for seniors so they may live on the beautiful campus and become a vibrant part of their community. For more information on The Institute for Integrative Aging, visit Saint Joseph’s College online at, or call (207) 892-6766. To learn about Tivity Health, Inc. and upcoming summits, visit

SEPTEMBER 2018 • 1 0


for older adults. The program has been around for more than 25 years and is available to more than 15 million older adults through many Medicare Advantage plans, as well as Medicare Supplement carriers and group retiree plans. Donato likes to quote Mark Twain who once said that the two most important days in one’s life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. For him, finding his personal“why” was that life-changing moment on September 11th. “I think that came a little bit later for me because I always knew it was there after losing my hearing, but I think the shock of losing our friends… and almost having been on that plane, it was the catalyst for me,” he said. “When I look back at the last 17 years, it’s amazing because my life has been the most enriched in those recent years. I’ve been very fortunate professionally in terms of my success, but I don’t measure my life by that… I measure my life by the ability to make the world a better place and that has MSM brought me more happiness than anything else.”

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PRIME MOVER • Donato Tramuto

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Caring for the Least of These BY CATHY GENTHNER


PRIME MOVER • Patsy Leavitt

The founder of the Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center in Buxton believes health care is a human right.


urse Practitioner Patsy Thompson Leavitt, 62, of Buxton, grew up learning and seeing that people deserve health care, regardless of their ability to pay. Leavitt learned by example from her father, Dr. William Thompson, whose residencies included Maine Medical in Portland. Thompson served as a surgeon in the Korean War, where he treated U.S. soldiers as well as poor Korean villagers. It was in Korea where he served alongside fellow Dr. Richard Hornberger, the author of the MASH novel. Thompson encouraged Hornberger to get his book published, which turned out to be a very successful career move. Throughout his career, Thompson worked as a general surgeon but was known as a “generous surgeon,” reaching out to poor families in need in rural Maine, the homeless on Cape Cod as well as Native Americans on Montana reservations. He not only advocated for universal healthcare as a right, but put his convictions into practice by providing medical care for free and supplementing his income by taking up odd jobs to support his wife and six children. “When I was a young girl, we lived in Pittsfield, Maine where dad served as the town doctor. This was before the advent of Medicaid and Medicare and so many people were poor there,” said Leavitt.“Dad was always willing to give them a helping hand and he never forced anyone to pay, if they couldn’t. Many people would pay with potatoes or apples. In order to pay the mortgage and buy food for us, my dad worked for our neighbor digging ditches to make ends meet. For this reason, my dad has always been an advocate for ‘socialized medicine’ or what we would call ‘universal healthcare.’ I grew up understanding that this was the way things should be and that reaching out to help others was part of adult life.”

SEPTEMBER 2018 • 1 4

PRIME MOVER Patsy’s father William Thompson, a general surgeon, was known for his generosity to those in need and never charged for services from those who couldn’t afford to pay. He was in the navy during the Korean War and was friends with the author of MASH.

Leavitt learned this lesson well, attending Boston College where she majored in nursing. It was while she was there that she had the opportunity to observe the work of a nurse practitioner in a community health center serving the poor in the inner-city. “From that moment on, I knew I would become a nurse practitioner. I admired this woman’s independence and impact on the lives of those disadvantaged patients,” said Leavitt. Before becoming a nurse practitioner, Leavitt worked as a registered nurse for 20 years, mostly in the emergency department before working in administration. While working full-time, she went back to college and earned her Master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine in 1990. “After finishing my master’s degree, I worked a few more years as an administrator. I was on a trip to Wyoming one day and went out for a hike. I looked over the mountains and got to thinking about my life. I realized I had gotten off track from my dream to become a nurse practitioner,” said Leavitt. “When I returned

Take A New Direction

Away from Shoulder Pain “Patsy’s accomplishments as a

volunteer are many. It is difficult to focus on any single contribution or accomplishment. They have all made a difference and directly impacted the lives of the center’s patients,” 15 • MAINE SENIORS

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York - 15 Hospital Drive


PRIME MOVER • Patsy Leavitt

home, I quit my job as an administrator and went back to school to fulfill that dream. That was a little over 20 years ago now.” Obtaining the nurse practitioner license was the catalyst for a series of events. In 2003, Leavitt established Leavitt’s Mills Free Health Center, with the assistance of her husband Pat. She was able to obtain grants and gifts to be used for medical equipment, office equipment as well as a free building in Buxton, given by the Dearborn family. “Patsy’s accomplishments as a volunteer are many. It is difficult to focus on any single contribution or accomplishment. They have all made a difference and directly impacted the lives of the center’s patients,” said Marcia Bergman, a member of the grant writing team for the clinic. “Access to services has directly impacted all patients, improved so many lives, created so many smiles, uplifted many spirits, built self-esteem, improved the management of chronic illnesses and made it possible for patients to remain employed and contributing members of society. It has never been a ‘hand-out but a hand up,’ to use a cliché.”

Dr William Thompson: The inspiration for Leavitts Mill Free Health Center

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SEPTEMBER 2018 • 1 6


Patsy teaching a patient about exercising

Patsy at the Marsh

The clinic was named for a grist and saw mill that existed in the 1700’s, a few miles away on Leavitt’s Mill Stream, as well as Patsy’s family connection. The mill owner, Joseph Leavitt was an ancestor of Patsy’s husband, Pat. When Pat’s brother Tom passed away the year the clinic was being started, the decision was made to dedicate the clinic to Thomas Leavitt. Once the building and name were in place, it was time to fill the clinic with clinicians and support staff. “Some like-minded nursing friends of mine helped me put together all of the clinical protocols and procedures and I started to recruit volunteers. That part wasn’t very hard as some friends I knew from various connections stepped forward to help,” said Leavitt. “We now have a wonderful group of very reliable 17 • MAINE SENIORS

PRIME MOVER • Patsy Leavitt

volunteers including several retired schoolteachers (they make wonderful office assistants as they are detail-oriented) nurses, and nurse practitioners.” The clinic also provides valuable field experience for nursing students at the University of Southern Maine and has provided clinical preceptorships for social work students, dental students as well as observation opportunities for pre-med students. Leavitt works as an assistant professor of nursing, where she teaches those enrolled in the RN and NP programs. “My teaching job as a professor is my ‘day job.’ I have been so fortunate because it is the nature of academic work to be able to combine teaching with clinical practice,” said Leavitt.“Teaching students is really about learning for me. As I prepare to help students to learn – I learn as well. Similar to my approach with patients, I see myself merely as a catalyst to help them understand

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and interpret the vast amount of healthcare knowledge and apply it in clinical settings. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the students’ energy and willingness, not only to support the clinic’s work, but to reach out into the community and improve health, such as offering training sessions for our spring fun run.” Leavitt is a faculty member in the school of nursing along with Cheryl Sarton, who is also a board member for the clinic. “Patsy embodies what good health care providers should strive for. She is a knowledgeable and compassionate provider who feels strongly enough that everyone deserves health care that she has run her own free clinic for several years,” said Sarton. “She cares for individuals but also for her community.”


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Leavitt also believes the key to a healthy life is for people to become involved and responsible for their health.“As important as health care itself is, helping people to realize their own health potential is even more fundamental. As a nurse and a nurse practitioner, I am educated to help people achieve the highest


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level of wellness for themselves. This does not mean that we can cure every disease they may have, though if we can, we do. It also means that we help people live with chronic disease, chronic pain, chronic sorrow and other realities of life the best that they can.” Leavitt also believes it is important to be involved in the community. She plays the flute in the community band and at the North Congregational Church in Buxton where she is a member. “Music has been a part of my life since I was a child. It started when we would sing in the car during family trips because my parents refused to buy a car with a radio back then. Like many kids, I took up a band instrument and set it down when I went to college. Twenty years later, I joined a community band,” said Leavitt.“My favorite part of playing is taking the music into longterm care facilities and participating in community events, such as a concert in the park. Not only does playing music satisfy my own creative impulses, it simply feels good to see people enjoying themselves.”

Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett congratulate Patricia Thompson Leavitt from the Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center for being selected as the 2018 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award grand prize winner. During the June 12 luncheon, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation awarded $275,000 in grants to 26 New England nonprofits. The Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center received a $25,000 grant in honor of Leavitt’s volunteer efforts. (photo courtesy of Eric J. Adler/New England Patriots)

Leavitt’s commitment to healthcare as a right for all continues to drive her to make it more available to more people. Since the clinic started in 2003, it has served over 1900 people and has a patient roster of 250 people, mostly from York and Cumberland Counties. “Access to healthcare should be available to all regardless of income or social status. Like my dad, I am an advocate for government-sponsored healthcare for all persons,” said Leavitt. “I have told many people that clinics like ours should not have to exist. I would be thrilled to no end to be able to shut our doors and ‘declare victory.’”


Your next home.

Until that day, the battle for the right to health care for all marches on as does the need for volunteers and donations. If you are interested in volunteering or donating, or are in need of healthcare services, please, visit Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Care is available at no cost for anyone who does not have insurance (i.e. Mainecare, Medicare, private insurance) and there are no income guidelines. MSM

Helping people find their home for 60 years. 75 Western Ave • Augusta, ME 207.623.1123 •



Hilda Marjorie

Wardwell An Adventurous Spirit BY SHELAGH TALBOT

Ninety-five-year-old Hilda Marjorie Wardwell has never been one for just sitting around and doing nothing


er long life has been regularly enriched by adventures and experiences that keep her young, inquisitive and grateful for each day. She is an inspiration to those who know her, and certainly to this writer, who was fortunate enough to meet her recently.

sister would be so mad at me! I was happy from the moment I opened my eyes and she wasn’t fit to live with until she had eaten breakfast,” she said with a chuckle. “I was a little girl with a big voice. I sang all day long.”

She was born Hilda Banks, on June 1st, 1923 at the Lying-In Hospital on Essex Street in Bangor, Maine. Her father was a dairy farmer with a milk route and the family, including an older sister, shared their home with Grandmother Page, who had a strong, caring influence on Hilda for all her growing-up years.

Another of Hilda’s early memories was helping her dad get the hay in – she’d be astride one of the big farm horses that pulled the hay wagon– singing of course – and considering herself an important helper. Her dad never discouraged her and she enjoyed being useful around the farm.

Her early memories include a big love of music. “Singing! When I was little I sang all the time. I’d wake up singing and my

When Hilda attended church every Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Bangor, the Choir Director Bill Cupp couldn’t help


PRIME MOVER • Hilda Marjorie Wardwell

but notice the pint-sized kid with the big voice and a finely attuned ear. “It was thanks to Bill Cupp, she said. “He had me sing from my head down, not my throat up and we discovered I had a really nice contralto voice.” She smiled at the memory.“He was most interested in me – and so excited when I produced that tone. I was fortunate that I was gifted with a really strong voice. It was always there when I needed it.”

Hilda Wardwell as a younger woman

To this day she still sings in the choir sometimes.“I sing soprano now,” she said. “I’ve found that my strongest voice is in a higher register.” Much in demand for her rich vocals, she was a soloist in area churches for years. When Hilda was 74, she toured England, Scotland and Wales with the Clearwater (Florida) Chorus.“We sang at practically every church in England,” she laughed.“It was such a wonderful experience.” She recalls strolling around one of the towns in Scotland late into a summer evening. “It was exciting and so far north there was plenty of light – it didn’t get dark there until 11 p.m.,” she grinned.“That was the only day on our trip when it didn’t rain!”

SEPTEMBER 2018 • 2 4


Hilda had originally planned to become a nurse, but because she had graduated from high school when only 16, she was told she’d have to wait a year before continuing her education. Her Grandmother Page stepped in and strongly suggested she continue her education by going to the Maine School of Commerce (now Husson University). “At first, I wasn’t sure I would like it. I thought business courses would be really dry,” she said. “But then I discovered that I really loved shorthand and I was great at typing because I had about seven years of playing the piano under my belt.” A Mr. Carson, who taught salesmanship, noticed her. He thought she’d make an excellent teacher and offered her free tuition if she would teach. That’s how she met her husband Ernest, a school principal. She did become a teacher and one day over the usual teacher’s lunch, he happened to be sitting across from her. “He looked across at me and he said, ‘Why, you’re a cute little thing! I’m going to marry you!’

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PRIME MOVER • Hilda Marjorie Wardwell

and I said, ‘Fat Chance!’” she laughed. “He was 10 years older than I and he smoked, so when he asked me out, I said I don’t date anyone who smokes. He said, ‘I’ll give it up then!’ and he did! So long story short, we eventually married and were together for 50 years until he died.” Hilda and Ernest had three children, Linda, Bruce and John. In addition to her love of family and music, Hilda is a fan of the outdoors. She has climbed Mount Katahdin, in her words, “many, many, many times” and just a few years ago, in her early nineties, took a two-mile trek down the Hunt Trail with some friends. SEPTEMBER 2018 • 2 6


She also loves to play golf- in fact, that’s where she met her second husband - and she still plays twice a week with the Bangor Women’s Golf Club. She’s an honorary member in the league and also plays at Traditions Golf Course in their Tuesday league.“There are 36 of us girls,” she said.“Its such fun! At my age my contemporaries either aren’t able to play or are gone, but I’m very lucky. I don’t usually feel tired after a round. We’re not the greatest but occasionally we hit par or get a birdie. I love being out there.” At a recent Traditions’ Tournament, she placed second and was recognized for being “closest to the pin”. During winter months Hilda plays regularly in Largo, Florida, her winter home.


PRIME MOVER • Hilda Marjorie Wardwell

If the weather is inclement, Hilda has all kinds of indoor activities to keep herself sharp. She’s relentless with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Cryptograms and Jumbles, as well as an avid bridge player, both in Bangor and at her winter home. According to her friend Robin Ashe, Hilda plays in a summer contract bridge group in the Bangor area as well. “Definitely, Hilda is a master bridge player and loves this hobby!” Robin declared. Hilda also excels at sewing, cooking, and hooking rugs. She still does a lot outside - growing bountiful gardens with vegetables and flowers. Oh, did I mention she knows how play the trombone? Hilda has ‘pickle parties’ almost every year where her grandchildren and any number of neighborhood kids learn to put up pickles from the cucumbers in her garden. “They look

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forward to that party as well as my annual‘Cookie Pie Party’. The cookie pie resembles a fat pumpkin, with orange icing and green trimming on the top,” she explained.“As a further enticement we always give away surprises.” As Hilda forges on with her busy life she imparted some wisdom regarding her continuing success. “You have to be grateful first and foremost,” she said. “And don’t be afraid to try new things. Every day can be an adventure if you have the right attitude. I don’t have time for holding grudges and dwelling on problems. My grandmother taught me that.” She paused and smiled.“Take each day as it comes and think about the positive – appreciate the gift of every day that you’re given.” MSM

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All About the Senior Expo and Today’s Active and Educated Older Consumer BY DR. LEN KAYE

I just got back from touring the Senior Expo organized by the Eastern Area Agency on Aging and, boy, was I impressed! The place was buzzing with activity.

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here were some 80 profit and not-for- profit vendors and hundreds of inquisitive older adults and their relatives touring the organizations’ table displays with critical eyes and thoughtful questions. It was an eye-opening experience for a number of reasons including seeing up close and personal the number of organizations that cater to the needs of older adults and their families in one way or another and the large number of individuals who are potential consumers of the services and products that were being displayed and marketed. An event like this one, once again, highlights the buying power of older Mainers and the exceedingly wide range of goods and services that they are interested in knowing more about. Probably not coincidentally, the Senior Expo is held every May which, after all, is designated Older Americans Month.


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Eastern Area Agency on Aging, says she has observed increasing numbers of those in attendance each year are caring for their parents.

Do you hit the skip button?

You name it, the Expo had it. Organizations providing health care services, home care, specialized housing and living accommodations, insurance and legal expertise, volunteer opportunities, transportation services, and much more. I had the opportunity to chat with a number of the estimated 800 to 1,000 attendees over the course of the day. Bob from Orono talked about his later years providing an opportunity for him to reinvent himself. He believes strongly in lifelong learning and he meets regularly with friends at Dysart’s. While he missed last year’s Expo, he was glad he came this year. One thing he definitely wanted to do this year was to drop off some of his unwanted medications at the prescription drug disposal table at the entrance. Joslyn, a 64-year-old from Old Town, talked with me about how much she enjoys working with people at her church and how busy her schedule is. In fact, she had to miss a class in jewelry making to attend this year’s Expo. She also loves to travel to exotic places and is very much involved in raised bed planting. One of the tables organized by the Eastern Area Agency on Aging provided attendees the opportunity to have their photographs taken with hand-held signs indicating how they stay engaged as they age. Carol from Brewer stays engaged by regularly walking her dogs. Bob from Orono stays engaged by practicing his golf swing. Barbara from Orono simply likes to try something new whenever she has the chance. Greta, Debbie, and Bonny, from Bangor, Bangor, and Hampden, respectively, are obviously close friends and they like the chance that the Expo provides to socialize with others at the same time that they are able to find all the information they could want under one roof. They agreed you can’t have too much information about what’s available in the way of help in the community.

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I bumped into Teague Morris, Outreach Director for United States Senator Angus King while I was there, and he agreed the Expo is a great place to put your finger on the pulse of housing, nutrition, health care and many other issues that impact older people’s lives. This is where he learns what older adults are worried about, what services and programs are most important to them, and generally what is on their minds. It became increasingly clear to me while I was there that the longevity economy (the marketing of goods and services for older adults) is alive and well in our state. Clearly, organizations are working hard to be responsive to the needs and wants of older adults by offering services that are innovative, high quality and personalized. And many older adults are asking the tough questions in terms of the cost of services and products and whether they will be adaptable to meet their individual needs. Yes, today’s older adult is an educated consumer and companies and organizations are treating them as such. This year Hannaford was a major sponsor of the expo. Carl, a pharmacy district manager and Andrew, a store manager, agreed

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To learn more, contact us at 207-299-5358. the Expo provides a great opportunity to talk about their brand and pharmacy services more specifically. They are delighted to support the community through outreach in this way. Their table was brimming with complementary reusable bags, pill boxes, and refrigerator magnets. They were also distributing a cooking guide for tasty and healthy eating on a budget called “30 days on $200” which was sponsored by Hannaford Supermarkets, in partnership with the Biddeford Department of Health and Welfare. Dyan Walsh, executive director of the Eastern Area Agency on Aging, says she has observed increasing numbers of those in attendance each year are caring for their parents and looking for services that can support their efforts and make their work less difficult. She thinks the Expo provides a terrific opportunity for

friends to get together who haven’t seen each other for a while. She also finds that there are new vendors every year and, as a result, there are always new services to learn about. One vendor of home care services emphasized that today’s older adult wants flexible hours in terms of the availability of assistance in the home and people delivering the services who are well trained and going to be respectful and extremely sensitive to their individual needs. Today’s consumers are also price conscious and comparison shop when it comes to deciding on purchasing a wide range of goods and services. It was obvious as well that organizations understand that older adults had better be treated with respect or they would be turning to a potential competitor for the same or similar service. Of course, the number of bags, pens, candy, and other goodies that were provided by many of the vendors were also appreciated by attendees who invariably left the Expo with bags loaded to the brim with such items along with, no doubt, helpful information and materials describing the areas services that are available to make life better for older adults and their families. MSM

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 HEALTH TREASURES Dempsey Center Staff with Patrick Photo by Beth Comeau





It would be very easy to write about the

accomplished, well-known actor and Lewiston native, Patrick Dempsey as a Prime Mover for this magazine.


ut it is the creation of the Dempsey Center of Lewiston, Maine and the work he has done with the center that make him and his organization shine.

The Dempsey Center was founded by Patrick and his sisters, Mary and Alicia, in March 2008 in honor of their mother, Amanda Dempsey, who died in 2014 of complications due to ovarian cancer. They formed this center in order to give back to the community in which their mother received cancer treatment. 35 • MAINE SENIORS

The moment that clients enter the center, they are met by the smiling, friendly and welcoming staff in a beautifully decorated and homey atmosphere. The center provides free cancer support, education and complementary therapies, such as massage, regardless of where patients and families live and regardless of where patients receive treatment. Patrick Dempsey relates, “When we were dealing with my mother’s cancer diagnosis we were so grateful for the doctors and medicine treating her disease. But we also recognized the need for quality of life care, both for my mother, and for our family of caregivers. The work we do at the Dempsey Centers complements cancer treatment through a personalized, holistic and integrated approach. Using evidence-based practices, we support the whole person: body, mind and spirit. We also support

HEALTH TREASURE • Patrick Dempsey Center

The Dempsey Center was

founded by Patrick and his sisters,

Mary and Alicia, in March 2008

in honor of their mother, Amanda Dempsey, who died in 2014 of

complications due to ovarian cancer.

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their entire community of caregivers because it’s important to recognize that a cancer diagnosis impacts not only the patient, but also their loved ones.” There are many services available to patients and their families at the Dempsey Center. Some of these include: • Massage therapy • Reiki • Acupuncture

550 College St. • Lewiston, ME • 207-786-7149

Hannaford Demo Kitchen Class Photo by Cindy Giovagnoli, 2016

SEPTEMBER 2018 • 3 6


Kerry Irish, Dempsey Director of Professional Services

can point you in the right direction with our

WHEN'S IT HAPPENING, a calender covering 17 days of events updated weekly.

Phyllis Benoit, Dempsey Center Volunteer.

Private one-on-one consultations and classes are also available in the following areas: • Nutrition • Setting personal health and fitness goals and exercise classes • Selection of wigs and headwear • Navigation consultations about financial resources and cancer-related concerns Counseling Services: • Healing Tree youth and family services - Healing Tree counselors are trained professionals in the areas of childhood and adolescent development, family dynamics, and parenting through cancer. • Short-term therapeutic counseling for individuals and families impacted by cancer • Support groups • Grief and bereavement counseling │


HEALTH TREASURE • Patrick Dempsey Center

Kerry Cox Irish is the Director of Professional Services for the Lewiston Dempsey Center. She is one of the founding members and was intimately involved in the creation and development of the center. She says, “About half of our clients are 55 and older. We find that sometimes seniors have less cancer support and are dealing with other illnesses and reduced resources. The Dempsey Center has a robust care team to assist our clients (free of charge) with services such as a cancer resource navigator, transportation assistance and counseling services. It is a great blessing to work with the clients who walk through our door. Many of our clients wind up being volunteers.” Dempsey Center Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Small informs,“Our volunteers are engaged in a broad scope of skilled positions to assist in our service delivery; open volunteer roles are posted on our Dempsey Center website.” Phyllis Benoit, a dedicated Maine senior, began volunteering at the Dempsey Center six months after she retired as a marketing administrative assistant for an insurance agency. She joined the center right after it first opened 10 years ago. She has Patrick Dempsey & Pat White been a breast cancer survivor for 18 years. She volunteers a few days each week and one evening a month. She has assisted in many of the various functions of the center. Currently, she co-leads the caring cards volunteer group. Phyllis stated, “We can always use volunteers to help us create such gifts as knitted, crocheted, sewn, and quilted items for the clients.”


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Pat White is a recent cancer survivor and a client of both the Dempsey Center and the Livestrong at the YMCA programs. She attests, “The Dempsey SEPTEMBER 2018 • 3 8


Yoga at The Dempsey Center Photo by Cindy Giovagnoli, 2016

Center had a tremendous impact on my recovery. The moment I was diagnosed with breast cancer my oncologist referred me to the Dempsey Center. After an informational orientation at the center, I began to participate in all sorts of activities. The first class that I took was the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ class. A cosmetologist showed our class how to apply makeup. Everyone in the class received a cosmetic bag full of products donated by various cosmetic companies. It was so much fun. I have also enjoyed cooking classes. The instructors taught us how to prepare healthy meals and snacks for ourselves and our families. Reiki and massages are also available at the Dempsey Center. Best of all, these classes are free of charge for cancer patients and their caregivers. The one class that was so beneficial for me was Yoga. Our instructor, Tish, is so dedicated and passionate. She made the class fun and exciting.” Wellness for Life Coordinator, Tish Caldwell, is a certified cancer exercise specialist who helps clients establish personal health and fitness goals for which she provides ongoing support. 39 • MAINE SENIORS

Tish explained that the Dempsey Center has partnered with the YMCA of Auburn Lewiston and the YMCA of Southern Maine community health and fitness centers to offer Dempsey Center sponsored memberships. A physician clearance is required to join. Another example of a health and fitness resource is the Livestrong Program at the YMCA. This is a free, 12-week, research-based physical activity and well-being program designed to help adult cancer survivors reclaim their total health. This small group program meets twice weekly for 75 minutes and includes a complimentary membership for the cancer survivors and their partners at participating YMCAs during this session. “Tish also referred me to the Livestrong Program at the Casco Bay YMCA,” Pat White continues, “This program is fantastic. Our personal trainer, Jill Keimach, creates workout programs for each of us. The Dempsey Center and the Livestrong Program have made me a healthier and stronger person emotionally and physically. Not to mention all the wonderful new friends I have.

HEALTH TREASURE • Patrick Dempsey Center I highly recommend these programs to all cancers patients and their families and caregivers no matter what the distance traveled.” Livestrong at the YMCA Trainer (Casco Bay YMCA Branch), Jill Keimach adds, “Having the opportunity to work with the Livestrong participants has been immensely rewarding, which makes my job seem like the best on Earth. Each participant brings something unique to their fitness and wellness journey here at the YMCA of Southern Maine, which is completely surrounded by positivity and fun. They always seem to sneak a few laughs in during their workouts.” Christopher Darus, M.D., from Maine Medical Center Gynecologic Oncology recommends,“I encourage my patients to utilize services at the Dempsey Center and participate in the YMCA Livestrong program. I have found both of these

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programs incredibly helpful for gynecologic cancer patients and their families. The Dempsey Center has been a great resource for many of my patients who live in the Lewiston area. The recent merger with the Cancer Community Center in South Portland will undoubtedly be a synergistic victory for cancer patients throughout the region. Livestrong has been a very effective program for many of my patients following their cancer treatment.” The 2018 Dempsey Challenge

The Dempsey Center is able to offer free services thanks to grants, donations and fundraising through the Dempsey Challenge, which is the center’s largest fundraiser and one of the biggest events in the Lewiston-Auburn area. The Dempsey Challenge takes place on September 29-30, 2018. Activities include a run/walk race, a cycle race, and a run/walk/cycle race among many other donor-sponsored family activities. Every dollar raised by Dempsey Challenge participants directly benefits the Dempsey Centers, allowing them to provide free

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Top:Jill Keimach, Livestrong Leader at Freeport YMCA Bottom: Dr. Christopher Darus, Photo Courtesy of Maine Medical Center Gynecologic Oncology

HEALTH TREASURE • Patrick Dempsey Center

services to anyone impacted by cancer. For more information, visit As of January 1, 2018, the Dempsey Center has officially become an independent tax-exempt nonprofit organization. On July 1, 2018, the Cancer Community Center of South Portland merged with the Dempsey Center under the Dempsey Center’s name. The merger will result in greater access to quality of life programs in central and southern Maine at no cost to individuals and families impacted by cancer. Maine is fortunate to have generous and dedicated people like the Dempsey family, the staff and volunteers at the Dempsey Center, Livestrong at the YMCA programs, and all the cancer healthcare providers participating in these programs. Patrick Dempsey and his family are owed a great debt of gratitude for providing the impetus for a program that assists patients and families affected by cancer.

HOME Your Senior Real Estate Experts Call Us To Assure A Smooth Move Molly McGuire 207.415.2563 Susan Lelansky 207.415.0271 295 Ocean House Road Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107 Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ©2018 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT 250777NE_1/18 LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

Dempsey Challenge Run Walk Photo by James Carpenter, 2016

SEPTEMBER 2018 • 4 2


Patrick Dempsey at the Dempsey Challenge Photo by Dustin Williamson

Thank you to Patrick Dempsey and his family for promoting such a generous and selfless way to help your fellow Mainers! MSM For more information: The Dempsey Center Headquarters, at 29 Lowell St. in Lewiston 43 • MAINE SENIORS

04240 Headquarters Phone: 207-795-8250 Dempsey Center at the former Cancer Community Center, at 778 Main St. in South Portland, 04106 South Portland Phone: 207-774-2200 Email: • Webs:

HEALTH TREASURE • Patrick Dempsey Center

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A volunteer driver with ITNAmerica assisting a Maine client. Photo courtesy of ITNAmerica

Maine Seniors Day:

Let's Celebrate! I am delighted to begin my September column with a reminder that September 8th (the second Saturday of September) is Maine Seniors Day.


s always, in honor of all our older residents in Maine, I hope you will take this opportunity to give your parents and grandparents an extra hug and thank the older residents in your community for their passion and dedication. The oldest state? Let’s celebrate!

Giving back is a huge part of Maine communities everywhere. If you follow our age-friendly features, you’ll know that Maine has far more communities advancing age-friendly initiatives than any other state. Many of the programs are volunteer run and examples include the improvement of outdoor spaces 45 • MAINE SENIORS


in Raymond, Blue Hill, and Readfield, and the installation of ADA-compliant devices in Saco to enable those in wheelchairs to reach the beach. In Gardiner, innovative sidewalk design options are being considered while in Eastport, an installation for musical instruments in a local park will be available for all residents and visitors to enjoy. These six communities received AARP Community Challenge grants in 2018 to help get their projects underway. Volunteers in Maine also enable older adults to remain in their own homes through important safety programs. Take, for example, the small army of volunteers who work with the American Red Cross in Maine with their home fire safety program. You can call (207) 874-1192 x113 or visit www. to ask for a volunteer to stop by your home. The volunteer will examine your existing smoke alarms, install news ones as needed at no cost, and even work with you to


Giving back is a huge part of Maine

communities everywhere. Maine has far

more communities advancing age-friendly initiatives than any other state.

create a home fire escape plan designed specifically for you! This can be particularly important for those with mobility concerns. As September is also National Disaster Preparedness Month, this is an excellent time to contact the Red Cross volunteers. Another major concern we hear about in Maine, in large part due to the rural complexion of our state, is transportation. Some older and at-risk individuals have a hard time getting to their medical appointments or grocery stores because they simply don’t have an affordable way to get there. One option is the non-profit Independent Transportation Network (ITN). ITN volunteer drivers provide a dignified option for Mainers Be front and center for these great shows!

The Kingston Trio Sat., Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

American Red Cross volunteers in Maine installing free smoke alarms. Photo courtesy of American Red Cross in Maine

who need a ride, and the program continues to expand. While ITN’s roots are right here in Maine, the program provides reliable transportation options for older adults in many parts of the country. In fact, this remarkable program celebrated its one-millionth ride this past April! If you or someone you know needs transportation assistance, please visit for more information. No matter where you live in Maine, there are ways to celebrate our volunteers and older neighbors on Maine Seniors Day and every day. Follow us on Facebook @aarpmaine. Let us know how you plan to spend the day this year, and please share what you are doing in your community. We look forward to hearing MSM from you!

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The Whistle Blower


F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go.”


ear readers, my sacred responsibility as a wordsmith and observer of the nonsensical remains to proclaim the abhorrent spewing of overused words, those that assault our minds and cause us to cuff our ears. I call them “worn words.” They’re often used by unprepared national television commentators, repetitious word thieves with undeveloped thoughts. I consulted the Urban Dictionary for an appropriate definition: “Something lame, dead-ended, a dud, insignificant; especially something with high expectations that turns out to be average, pathetic, or over-hyped.” Say, sure sounds like some of our long-winded politicians, lots of words, no meaning. Get the point? I checked Robert Fiske’s The Dimwit’s Dictionary. He says, “Dimwitticisms” are worn out words and phrases: they are expressions that dull our reason and dim our insight … the more we use them, the more we conform---in thought and feeling—to everyone else who uses them.” Sensible Mainers might call these worn words conversational fodder. Literary lawyers call them word malpractice. That 47 • MAINE SENIORS

said, as a proud card-carrying member of the Word Police, I’ve identified the latest annoying phrase that needs to be arrested and sent to the Word Prison. No rehabilitation, only a life sentence. Nothing Burger. This bland Boring Burger comes with no added ingredients such as ketchup, onions, and cheese. It’s plain and over-done. It tastes like, well, Nothing. Yet, it’s found on all the trendy verbal menus. It’s like listening to the slow-motion lyrics “They Call Me Mellow Yellow” versus the sizzling sound of Mcfadden and Whitehead’s,“Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.” I ask, where’s the indignant public outcry over these wrecking ball words and phrases that spread with rapid disease-like speed? Nothing Burger has the smell of mothballs about it, an antique phrase that’s been hanging in the closet and retrieved on occasion. According to the SF (San Francisco) Gate, Nothing Burger was “likely first popularized in the early 1950’s by a Hollywood gossip

columnist named Louella Parsons to describe a person or an idea that’s essentially a whole bit of, well, nothing.” In addition, Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown used the term in print in the 1960’s and 1970’s. OK, I know what you’re thinking, there goes old Waldo the Whistleblower, a word party-pooper, taking away the personality of our language. Now, now. Before you request that our publisher banish me to the far Aroostook woods, remember, words matter. I draw my evidence from two highly regarded books on writing usage. Gary Provost, Make Your Words Work, said, “Each sentence you write should smell fresh when it arrives in front of the reader … not pulled from a shelf in a sentence warehouse.” Theodore Cheney, Getting the Words Right, said, “Worn words all belong to the ancient clan of the worn: clichés, catch words, hackneyed expressions, trite words and expressions, slang, colloquialisms, and obscenities.” Nothing Burger deserves a eulogy, and then to be buried deep in a discarded word tomb, left for discovery years later by a learned Word Archeologist.

I held my breath. “What’s that, some kind of social disease? Sounds like a subject for a Dr. Phil show. And, what’s the remedy, pop a pill, join the Hair Club for Men, or converse with my imaginary pal, Purvis?” Bert was clearly agitated. “Maybe you’re over-analyzing this. Maybe your ego’s bouncing along the ground like a deflated balloon.” I know, another lousy response. He stood, started to walk away, then hesitated.“Thanks for listening.” I wondered how many other seniors felt the same frustration as Bert, something to say, few listening. Selective introverts turned into tentative introverts with guarded tongues. As the world piles things on, we struggle to think well of ourselves, for recognition. And, I wondered if more seniors needed to come out of the age conversation discrimination closet. After all, isn’t it important to want others to listen to us? Maine writer Holman Day once said, “But the listener must be wise to understand.” MSM

That said, I hope you don’t look at this column as a Nothing Burger!

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He turned towards me. “Years back, I’d walk into a room full of folks, put my hand out, and engage in many meaningful conversations.” “Kind of like a politician without the meaningful part, huh?” My attempt at humor, like stepping on a dog turd, stunk. He banged his fist against the bench. “Have I suddenly become a sad sack senior muttering, blabbering, and rambling incoherently? Maybe it’s my Old Spice and I smell like my grandfather did? That’s it, I’ll upgrade to Polo, whiten my teeth, wear Ray-Ban sunglasses, and toss the flannel shirts.”

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“Not the flannels, you’ll lose the L.L.Bean modeling job.” Another turd. “Listen Waldo, I know something about the art of conversation. Remember the old adage, A bore talks mostly in the first person, a gossip in the third, and a good conversationalist in the second. What do you think?” “You’re probably a victim of age conversation discrimination.”


207-725-8769 SEPTEMBER 2018 • 4 8


Stonewood Cottages at Bartlett Woods

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ocated just minutes from the heart of Rockland, Maine, you will enjoy being within a "stone's throw" of a thriving seaside town. Rockland is enlivened by the arts, an exciting dining scene, world class golf and sailing, tennis, hiking, and skiing. At Stonewood Cottages, vitality and comfort are hallmarks. The Stonewood Cottages Cooperative is dedicated to providing the perfect combination of independence and lifestyle services, making it easy for residents to live just as they want. Residents love being part of this active neighborhood in a natural setting while also having access to all the amenities available at nearby Bartlett Woods. Meals, transportation, and weekly activities are available to enjoy. Or set out on an adventure! Easy day trips include shopping in Boston, scenic tours in Bar Harbor, and skiing in Maine's Western Mountains. 49 • MAINE SENIORS

"Midcoast Maine, and Rockland in general, have become real estate hot spots" says marketing manager and realtor Melanie Trott. "Stonewood Cottages gives those seeking independent retirement living options an affordable opportunity to be in this very desirable area of coastal Maine where real estate inventory can be hard to come by, without sacrificing comfort and convenience." Life at Stonewood Cottages offers the best of both worlds: a quiet, residential setting coupled with all the conveniences and benefits of in-town living. Rockland’s charming downtown offers acclaimed restaurants, shops, galleries, museums, and theater. Spring through fall, the broad harbor bustles with historic schooners and pleasure boats. Throughout the year, ferries travel to Penobscot Bay’s storied islands. Whatever the season, there’s always something going on. "There's no mystery why people flock to this area. Rockland, Maine, has experienced a "renaissance" of sorts. The restaurants are varied and alive year-round, the arts community is vibrant and health care is nearby. The real estate here has become so


Life at Stonewood Cottages offers the best of both worlds: a quiet, residential setting coupled with

all the conveniences and benefits of in-town living.

attractive that those looking to move here can often be hard pressed to find options," reports Melanie. Rockland, Maine was voted 2017's "Best Place to Live" by Down East Magazine. The locals know that living in Maine's vibrant seaside city of Rockland leaves little to be desired. Voted Lonely Planet's 2018 " #6 Best Place to Visit in the USA", it's no surprise that this little Maine city packs quite a bit along its harbor front and business districts. Arts, entertainment, and the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, world class seaside golfing and skiing, are just minutes from your front door at Stonewood Cottages. Melanie says " Stonewood Cottage residents range in age (all 55+ of course) and generally stay pretty active. It is a great place to make friends and get involved in the community as little or as much as one wishes. Being just a mile from Rockland's Main Street activities makes it easy to get to town. Having a quiet, country-feel location, makes it easy to unwind." Cottages for Sale

Thanks to a well-planned neighborhood layout, the cottages offer the convenience of entrances close to the driveway and in the garage. Each cottage is also situated to allow for the best possible views of the park-like grounds. Stonewood Cottages Cooperative consists of 14 cottages to keep things peaceful and traffic to a minimum. Pricing is attractive with cottages ranging in price and under $200,000 (Summer 2018) As a shareholder of one of the fourteen Stonewood Cottages, owners enjoy the perfect combination of independent living and easy access to everything going on next door at Bartlett Woods Retirement Community. Join exercise classes, attend lectures and concerts, and use the library. There is also an open invitation to purchase gourmet meals in the Bartlett Woods SEPTEMBER 2018 • 5 0


Stonewood Cottages Cooperative consists of

14 cottages to keep things peaceful

and traffic to a minimum. Pricing is attractive with cottages ranging in price and under $200,000 (Summer 2018) dining room. Your cottage will have a living room, two bedrooms, 1-1⁄2 bathrooms, a four-season sunroom, private deck, kitchen, and attached garage. And the best part is . . .you will never be bothered with lawn maintenance, leaf raking, snow shoveling, or trash removal—leaving you free to focus on your priorities. Sewer, water, and property taxes are also included in the monthly homeowner’s fee, which is one of the best values in Maine. " A cooperative structure is a bit different than a condo association, but many get the two confused," says Melanie. " A cooperative structure, like Stonewood Cottages at Bartlett Woods, offers owners a chance to purchase a ‘share’ of the cooperative (a cottage) while enjoying the benefits of shared maintenance and costs to keep expenses lower for everyone. While not as common in Maine, cooperatives are found in many large cities around the country." MSM If you’d like more information or would like a tour of the Stonewood Cottages, please call 207-593-2530 or send us a note at info@



SEPTEMBER 2018 • 5 2


The Pesky Porcupine These dawdling and seemingly non-threatening creatures can be destructive and even deadly.


he Common or North American Porcupine is a fascinating creature but is also maligned and persecuted–sometimes for good reason. This lumbering and lackadaisical critter is a common sight for those of us who venture off pavement into the Maine woods. Given their dawdling behavior they valso make up a fair share of the road kill we all encounter.

One of the largest rodents, the porcupine is known for its spiny coat of upwards of 30,000 quills. These quills vary in size and are barbed and shallowly embedded in the porcupine’s muscles. When a porcupine is alarmed the quills are pulled upright in a defensive position and are released upon contact. Despite myth, 53 • MAINE SENIORS


porcupines can’t fling quills, so they can be approached quite closely. The tapered and hollow quills have a banded natural coloration that Native Americans often use to decorate clothing and baskets and create beautiful jewelry.

Porcupines have a propensity to chew through the bark of conifers or softwood trees to get to the inner cambium layer. This is called girdling and exposes the tree to disease and insects and sometimes death. This was considered egregious enough back in the early 1900’s, during the logging boom, some states in Northern New England, including Maine, instituted bounties on porcupines. An enterprising woodsman could collect from thirty to fifty cents per animal when presenting body parts proving the demise of a “Quill Pig”. To this day too many porcupines can compromise the value of private woodlots. Porcupines don’t limit their destructive nature to trees. They are


So, carry a multi tool with pliers when hiking with your dog, and if you come across a waddling mass of spiny quills, quickly leash your dog and head the other direction.

the bane of remote camp owners because they chew through plywood, gnaw porch railings, camp tools, canoe paddles and anything that has a trace of salt, particularly items handled by a human’s sweaty hands. It’s not uncommon to come upon an antler shed and find it’s been chewed on by a porcupine for the salt found in the calcium and phosphorous. You can’t completely begrudge them, since like a beaver, their two front incisor teeth grow continuously so there is no end to their gnawing in order to keep them at a proper length. Despite its formidable armor of spiny quills, the porcupine still ends up as an occasional meal. Fishers are particularly adept at

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avoiding the quills and dining on porcupines. Other predators, like coyotes and foxes, have figured out how to get a porcupine onto its back exposing its belly, and then killing and eating it. Young inexperienced predators will sometimes get a mouthful of quills and suffer as a result. Unfortunately, domestic dogs are the most susceptible to the grim consequences quills can inflict, with bird hunting dogs topping that list. This month, upland enthusiasts will be in the woods training and prepping their dogs for the October bird hunting season and keeping a wary eye out for porcupines. Dogs don’t generally need to kill and eat wild animals, but many still have a prey drive. The waddling form of a porcupine elicits a reaction in dogs that inexplicably causes them to attack or harass porcupines. Some seem to develop a grudge against them and get quilled time and time again. The barbs on the quills are angled backwards in such a way that once poked through a dog’s skin they work their way in deeper and deeper. A dog can look like a veritable pincushion after such an encounter, with a face, muzzle and the inside of the mouth covered in quills.

Bird hunters routinely carry a hemostat or a multi tool with pliers to pull out quills in the field. In most cases the quills can all be successfully removed without any consequences. But sometimes the dog is so uncooperative and the quilling so severe that a trip to the vet is necessary. Even quill extraction surgery under anesthesia doesn’t always find every quill or quill fragment. That’s when they can migrate inwards and puncture muscle and internal organs and cause infections and abscesses. Eyes can be lost and even death can result. My spaniel Cash was quilled and required surgery to remove a cluster of fully embedded quills in his chest. I found two migrating quills weeks later that I was able to work through the skin and remove. So, carry a multi tool with pliers when hiking with your dog, and if you come across a waddling mass of spiny quills, quickly leash your dog and head the other direction. Otherwise you may end up with a hefty vet bill and the potential for serious consequences to your dog’s health. MSM

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the Brook trout We’re up to camp. My eight-year-old son, Nat, is

an early riser. The sound proofing in the camp is nonexistent, and as I hear him stirring around 5 a.m., I know I need to keep him occupied so as not to disturb his mother and older sister. We get dressed quietly and head down to the beach.


aturday had been sunny and warm, but a cold front had come through overnight and now clouds are scudding along in a brisk breeze coming down the lake. It’s not much of a morning for cooking pancakes on the fireplace by the shore, so I ask Nat if he’d like to go brook fishing. He quickly agrees. The kids had been catching sunfish on the beach for a few years now, and last summer I’d introduced them to brook fishing. Nat in particular enjoyed scrambling over rocks and under logs to get to a spot where he could wave a worm before an unsuspecting fish. Brook fishing is not boring because you keep moving. You find a hole that looks promising, and either there’s a fish there, or there isn’t. Either way, you’re soon on the move again, perfect for an eight-year-old boy. 57 • MAINE SENIORS


I tiptoe back in the camp and get Nat’s and my rubber boots that we’d brought along. We sit on the edge of the deck and replace sneakers with boots. Then we pile in the family mini-van with a couple of fish poles and the worms we’d bought yesterday. We head for the brook, which is halfway out to the main road. When we’re out of the car, I attach a couple worms to the hooks and apply bug dope to Nat and myself. I lead the way into the woods, heading upstream. It’s still May. The brook is running high. The ground is wet. The leaves aren’t fully grown out. The ferns are barely beyond the fiddlehead stage. Skunk cabbage dominates the low areas by the brook. I come to the first promising pool and get Nat set up in the upper corner. Offering him a few words of encouragement, I go a bit further upstream to cross and then drop my own line from the other bank. I’m working my way down the pool when suddenly Nat shouts, “Dad! I’ve got one!” “Well, pull him in!” I reply, hurrying to reel in my line and cross back to Nat’s side. Nat reels in his line and moves the fish toward the side of the brook as I reach him. It’s a trout, and it looks like a pretty good


“You sure did, Sport!” I reply. ”Nice job!”

Nat hadn’t been much of a fish eater, but he ate that whole trout after I removed the spine and as many bones as I could.

I dispatch the trout and grab some dry leaves that overwintered on a small beech tree beside me. I insert leaves and trout in a bread bag that I’d brought to serve as a creel, tying it to my belt loop.

one. Nat pulls it up on the bank at his feet as I arrive. Then things happen fast. The trout spits out the worm and squirms back toward the brook. Nat throws his pole and dives for the fish, grabbing it just as it reaches a small pool at the foot of a spruce tree. There’s a few seconds of squirming and splashing by boy and fish. Nat emerges with a big smile and a trout clutched in both hands. His pants are mud up to the knees. His sleeves are wet up to the elbows. But he’s got his fish! I quickly come over to take the fish off his hands and move away from the brook. I hold it up to the measure I have on my rod. It’s a keeper, a good seven inches. “I caught it! I caught it!” Nat shouts.

We move farther up the brook. I catch a little five-incher and then one that’s nose touches the six-inch mark on my pole. Nat’s attention is starting to wander, and he’s wet. It’s time to head back to camp. Nat is both embarrassed and proud as I tell his mother how he dived in the brook to catch his fish. He accompanies me down to the lake where I clean our trout at the corner of the beach. We head back up, and I get the iron skillet out. We don’t have salt pork, so I pour a little vegetable oil in the skillet and fire up the gas stove. I coat both trout with corn meal, and pretty soon I present Nat with a plate with his trout on it, now cooked golden brown. Nat hadn’t been much of a fish eater, but he ate that whole trout after I removed the spine and as many bones as I could. Trout that size are finger food. He came brook fishing with me several times that summer, but that was his only dive to catch a fish! MSM

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Absolutely Delicious

blueberry cake


“When any lagged behind, the cry of ‘blueberries’ was most effectual to bring them up.” –HENRY DAVID THOREAU


owhere do Thoreau’s words ring true more passionately than in the state of Maine. Each year we await the harvesting of Maine’s bountiful blueberry harvest while contemplating the variety of ways we will enjoy this most delicious fruit--jams and jellies, blueberry muffins, turnovers, tarts, juice and wines, and of course, our own State of Maine Dessert, blueberry pie. Why do we have such a great fondness for blueberries? First of all, because they taste great, can be in stores year-round—fresh, frozen, or dried—and they are so versatile. They can be used in dishes we prepare for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and definitely make a great snack.


More importantly, however, blueberries have been called a “superfood”. They are loaded with all the good “stuff” and not much of the “bad”, especially raw wild blueberries. A cup of blueberries contains approximately 85 calories, 25 percent of the daily recommended requirement for vitamin C, 14 percent for fiber, 11 percent for iron, tons of antioxidants, no salt, no saturated fat, and no cholesterol. (Let’s not discuss sugar.) As a result, according to the experts, blueberries are thought to provide numerous health benefits. Imagine that, something so mouth-wateringly delicious that is actually good for us and that we are encouraged to eat! So, put down that jelly donut and grab a cup of blueberries. I keep fresh blueberries in the fridge year round for my grandchildren. Fill a small plastic cup with Maine blueberries and you have the perfect portable healthy snack. Use blueberries as garnish on jello, pudding, cakes, even salads. Toss a handful of blueberries into your morning yogurt or granola. Here’s one of my favorite blueberry recipes. I don’t recall where it came from, but it’s really yummy. Try it. MSM


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The Church Supper BY HUNTER HOWE

Writers utilize the fundamentals of pacing

to accelerate the story, to just move it along, or to slow it down. Readers need these intended changes of “speed” within the framework of the story.


ermans deftly maneuvering their Mercedes hurtle along the Autobahns, Vermonters driving Subarus relish the relaxed calm of windy, open country roads, and Romans on colorful mopeds delight in darting in and out of congested lanes in slow-paced city traffic. Most of us enjoy the “speed” of the various sport venues such as the fast pace of hockey, the fast and deliberate pace of soccer, and the slow pace of golf. During our early years as well as our working years, we drove down the Highway of Life enduring all sorts of road conditions, the straight and even, the hills and the valleys, and the times we felt stuck in a traffic jam. Most seniors reflect on how quickly the years have passed. For most, it probably felt like driving in the left lane, the fast lane of life, like driving in our western states with higher speed limits. With age and wisdom, however, we desire to travel in the slower right lane, making haste, slowly. When possible, we prefer cruise control. And like the turtle, we get there, at our own pace. 61 • MAINE SENIORS

We control our pace leaving the toll roads behind, taking more off ramps, and exploring the byways of life. We reach crossroads and do not obsess over the direction. We’ll find our way. We understand the foolishness of letting all those little irritants annoy us. At some junction in our lives, we realize it’s the little things that matter, tackling life, in emotional moments of simplicity. Kurt Vonnegut said,“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were big things.” In April, I noticed an ad for a church supper down the Harpswell Road from Brunswick, at the Elijah Kellogg Church. Rather than the traditional beans, the supper menu included corned beef and cabbage, carrots, soda bread, salad, drinks, and dessert, all for the bargain price of nine bucks. Sign me up! I decided to organize a group of folks from my “active” retirement community. My pitch, good home cookin’, good cause (support the church coffers), good companionship, and good conversation; an easy night out at the old church homestead in scenic Harpswell Center. My sales pitch fell flat, a big turd, a turkey, a strike out in the ninth inning to end the game. Geez. You’d think I asked them to row out to Monhegan Island in rolling seas or camp in the insectridden far reaches of northwest British Columbia or ride smelly camels in the sweltering Sahara sands. Eyes rolled, followed by blank stares and uneasy silence.


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SEPTEMBER 2018 • 6 2


Rudyard Kipling wrote,

“Delight in the simple things.”

Like an old-fashioned church supper. I’ll admit, I was “some irked.” I pouted. Then, I decided I’d go alone, that is until I prodded three others who reluctantly agreed to accompany me. We arrived at the church right after the scheduled advertised time, opening the door to a large well-lit hall already filled with hungry folks digging in and to the aroma of heavenly comfort food. We worked our way down the long, inviting food table. All the servers smiled warmly and slapped our plates full of swell, tasty-looking tidings, no skimping here. All good. A church member escorted us to one of the few empty tables. During our meal, several others stopped by to say hi. Another fetched our desserts. All good. One of my previously reluctant friends said, “This church has personality.” She nailed it. We left the church feeling quite satisfied. My coerced group thanked me for urging them to go, sheepishly apologized for giving me a hard time, and agreed they’d look forward to the next supper. I thought about all those other folks who chose not to come along and what they’d missed.


And, I thought about what R.Y.S. Perez, in his I Hope You Fall in Love: Poetry Collection, wrote: “I love the simple things: coffee shops, books, and people who try to understand.” Let’s include an old-fashioned church supper. There’s more. Several weeks later, a lady friend (who’d attended the church supper) and I headed down the Harpswell Road again. We parked next to the church, in the Harpswell Historical Society Museum lot, crossed the street, walked a short distance on a dirt road, and hiked two of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust trails, Hackett and Minot. After that, we stepped over a stone wall into a cemetery bordering the main road; most of the gravestones dated back to the 1800s. Here, we caught a glimpse of the local history. Finally, we checked out the old Cattle Pound. All this because we’d gone to the church supper. Mehmet Murat ilden said,“Let me tell you something big: Give importance to little things.” I suppose that when we learn the importance of living for all those special simple moments that fuel our soul, we’ve reached a major milestone in how we travel through life—we’ve learned to find the right pace that works for each of us. Each spring, we fertilize our fields and gardens and delight in watching the fruits of our efforts grow. When we fertilize our own lives with a controlled pace of simplicity, we grow and bloom as well. Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Delight in the simple things.” Like an old-fashioned church supper. MSM

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