March 2018 Maine Seniors Magazine

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Page Crowley (daughter)

Senior Power Inside: • Jean Saunders—Senior Friendly Saco • Warm Mineral Springs—Fountain of Youth • Jo Ann Clough—Strong at Any Age • The Fying Finn ...and so much more!

SURVIVOR Bob Crowley


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Publisher's Note


David. S. Nealley


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Catherine N. Zub Lois N. Nealley Mark D. Roth Shelagh Talbot


Victor Oboyski Joe Sawyer


Marching into Warmer Weather!

Christine Parker Kimberly Reid Ellie Stengal Tallus Miles Linda Coleman Leonard Russell Jim Gorham A. Peter Legendre Judy Legendre Roseanne Bolduc Stephanie Lachance Clyde Tarr Diane Nute Jim Nute Paul Conley Laurie A. Poirier


Dr. Len Kaye Jane Margesson Shelagh Talbot Ellen L. Spooner Hunter Howe L​arry Grard Chloe Jon Paul LC Van Savage Brad Eden


Shane Wilson

In Maine we learn how to be survivors. Staying active with both body and mind is critical.


t is more than appropriate, therefore, that the oldest winner of the CBS reality TV show Survivor is a man from Maine. We also know that it is not just about winning, but how we play the game that counts. So in addition to winning $1,000,000 as the “survivor”, our Maine senior, Bob Crowley won an additional $100,000 as the“player of the season”. Read the article and see why Crowley is a winner in our book. In keeping our minds active, books can play an important role. They also make for great gifts. Hunter Howe elaborates on this theme in his From the Porch column. I enjoyed it very much and it compels me to share with you a story about when I first received an adult book as a gift. One of my Dad's good friends gifted me his Black's Law Dictionary because at 14 years old, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. The inscription on the first page read: To David Nealley with best wishes, from his senior partner. Herb Ginn, Christmas 1975 Ever since, the phrase "senior partner" has been of great importance to me. It connotes one with credential, experience; one to look up to and learn from. I have kept that book with me over the years and it now sits on a bookshelf in my office. One could speculate as to how it may have influenced Maine Seniors Magazine, yet one thing is for sure… I have a profound respect for the contributions of all of our senior partners.


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—David S. Nealley, Publisher

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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MARCH 2018 • 2




The Featured Contributor for this issue is Larry Grard.


arry has more than 40 years of experience as a reporter and editor with Maine newspapers. He spent his first 25 years in sports, and then switched gears to become a news reporter.He lives inWinslow with his wife, Lisa, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus. They are the happy parents of two daughters, Ashley and Kendall. A 1969 graduate of Winslow High School, Larry majored in journalism at Northeastern University, and then at the University of Maine, where he became a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Larry found his first job in journalism as a sports reporter at the Lewiston Sun-Journal, in the mid-1970s. He remembers that job as the most enjoyable and rewarding of his career. Newspapers

were beginning to make major changes in coverage and design at the time, and sports reporters were just beginning to cover girls’ sports, soccer and more. Football and basketball were his favorites. A lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, Larry considers – after his friends and family – the 2004 season as the highlight of his life. That’s when the Sox defeated the Yankees for the American League pennant and broke “The Curse of Bambino” by winning their first World Series since 1917. Larry’s first article with us was on “Swisher” John Mitchell, of Waterville, a true Prime Mover. Mitchell was perhaps one of the best high school basketball players of Maine ever. (See Winter Issue) Larry’s contribution in this issue is a story on Bob Crowley, the oldest winner of the CBS reality show Survivor. We are proud to have Larry’s passion for sports related and general interest people stories, in the pages of Maine Seniors Magazine. We are glad to have Larry on board. MSM

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MARCH 2018 ISSUE 2 Publisher's Note


3 Featured Contributors: Larry Grard 5 Prime Mover: Bob Crowley


14 Prime Mover: Jean Saunders

Page 14


21 Health Treasures Special: Mineral Springs


37 Sage Lens: You Can Be Strong


41 Just Pondering: The Bottom Line


43 Special: The Flying Finn


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46 Legacy: U.S. Equity Markets

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61 From the Porch: The Mysterious Aunt Nell

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MARCH 2018 • 4


PRIME MOVER • Bob Crowley Bob Crowley and his daughter Page

MAINE'S WINNER Bob Crowley, a true Survivor • BY LARRY GRARD

Bob Crowley is a perfect role model for Maine’s senior power.


decade ago, at age 57, he became the oldest winner of the CBS reality show “Survivor” and the $1 million that went with it. Bob also won an additional $100,000 as the “player of the season”.

“Before (Survivor), after and now, we’ve always been on the same page,” Bob’s wife, Peggy said. “It’s not like one was against the other. We’ve always believed (the Survivor money) was a gift for both of us, not just for Bob.”

“We realized how fortunate we were,” Bob remembered telling his wife back in 2012. He had suggested back then that they should pinpoint something for Maine people with the winnings. The couple had owned the property around Runaround Pond, site of the challenge, for years. Then they bought the big farm across the road in 2013, and moved there from South Portland. They built a number of cozy yet rustic yurts - The Maine Forest Yurts - scattered on the property for deserving veterans to stay in and de-stress.“We wanted a winter campground, and we wanted to do something for nonprofits in Maine, such as veterans,” Bob recalled. That was also the beginning of the Durham Warriors Challenge, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit. This challenge, a remarkable

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PRIME MOVER • Bob Crowley

imitation of the “Survivor,” show, made its fifth and final run at the Crowley’s expansive property in Durham in 2017. It all began when Bob met John Vataha of Arizona, a big Survivor fan, during a Hearts for Reality fundraiser. “He was looking to buy land in Carolina for a Survivor-type event and we were introduced,” Bob said.“It was like a match made in heaven. We started planning that first challenge for 2013.” Bob and Peggy were of one mind when it came to establishing the Survival Challenge, and wanted to make it the best it could be. They were no strangers to fund-raising; having raised money across the country for such causes as Habitat for Humanity, Breast Cancer Awareness and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Peggy and daughter Page worked in tandem to organize the large cadre of volunteers that would be necessary to plan a four-day event, which included feeding and housing volunteers, building the props and devising the games. When volunteers began arriving in early June, they cooked three meals a day and

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provided housing for them at the farm. On the final day, after the winner had been announced, they hosted a lobster feed for 180 people, including the contestants. “I was sort of the ‘pretty face,’” Bob grinned.“I would do some of the building and some of the organizing.” Once the first Durham Warriors Challenge was completed in 2013, the Crowleys, local volunteers, and people associated with Survivor, would begin organizing the next one – the four-day

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“Survivor: Gabon,” in 2008. He holds both associate and bachelor degrees in forestry from the University of Maine and a Masters of Education degree from the University of Southern Maine. Crowley was first mate on a research boat for the Smithsonian Institution in Canada, an entomologist for the USDA and president, vice president and chief negotiator for his local teacher's union.

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PRIME MOVER • Bob Crowley

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event replete with well-organized games leading to a tribal council choosing the winner. Contestants paid $250 for the right to win the “The Bobster” - a trophy made of lobster shells, and named after Bob. “This kept Survivor in me!” exclaimed Bob.“It kept me in touch with the other contestants and fans. I really enjoy the friendships that have developed.”

Nicole Jordan of Georgetown, Maine hasn’t always been so lucky – she is permanently disabled from neck and back injuries serving with the Army at Fort Hood, in 1995. But Nicole, who was the first veteran invited to stay at the Maine Forest Yurts in 2013, is grateful as she can be for that chance. She’s gone back regularly and recently spent four days at one of the yurts during the blizzard of January 4, 2018.

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“It was amazing with the blizzard,” said Nicole, who was there with her service dog. “That made it even more fun. We had plenty of wood in the cabin. I went out with the dog sliding down the hill, and took photographs. I’m always in lots of pain. But at the same time, you have got to live. You can’t just be in a ball, and not exist.” She had come originally for the Durham Warriors Challenge in 2013 and found herself helping Peggy Crowley with food preparation, and other chores. It meant the world to her that she could not only receive the benefits of staying in one of the yurts, but also assist the Crowley’s in making the challenge a success. Last year, she drove the shuttle bus from the farm to the challenge grounds. AMERICAN-MADE QUALITY LOWER PRICES THAN IMPORTS. Available at many fine dealers throughout Maine including...


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“I love to give back because they have given so much to me,” Nicole said. “It has been enlightening for me.” She will return for a stay at a yurt in March 2018 with her son Daniel, who is serving in the Air Force. Two days after the last volunteer left their property, the Crowleys would begin planning for the next challenge. “We did it for five MARCH 2018 • 1 0


PRIME MOVER • Bob Crowley

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years and it was really successful and worked very well,” Bob said, “but it was incredibly time-consuming. We met wonderful people, and developed great friendships.”

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The Crowley family poses during a Durham Warriors Survival Challenge. From left are daughter Page, son David, wife Peggy, Bob Crowley, and John Vataha

Peggy concurred. “I loved it when it was happening,” she said. “This whole place became its own community. But there’s largely relief that it’s over. This is freeing both of us up to do other things with our time. It became too successful!” she admitted. Crowley and his family – wife Peggy, daughter Page, and son David – remain committed to charitable giving and have raised money for veterans, Special Olympians, people associated with the Center for Grieving Children of South Portland and others to stay free of charge at the Maine Forest Yurts in Durham. Although the Survivor Challenge is no longer held on their property, Bob Crowley and his family will continue to raise money for free stays at Maine Forest Yurts by helping with fund-raisers at AMVETS in Harpswell and other events in the area. Recently, in exchange for some expertise Bob lent L.L Bean in setting up a yurt, he secured a $1,000 donation to his Durham Warriors Project.

Crowley and his family remain

committed to charitable giving and have raised money for veterans, Special Olympians, people associated with the Center for Grieving Children of South Portland and others to stay free of charge at the Maine Forest Yurts in Durham.

Happily, other Survivor enthusiasts have worked hard to create a successor to the original Durham Warriors Survival Challenge. A five-day Survival Challenge is scheduled for June 20-24, 2018 in Macomb, Illinois. Crowley will make promotional appearances for the event, and solicit money for the Durham Warriors Project, which now maintains the yurts for visiting vets. “My mother and father were both veterans,” Bob explained. “They brought me up to show gratitude for what veterans have done. I just wanted to say ‘thank you.’ I’ve been a lucky person all my life. MSM MARCH 2018 • 1 2

PRIME MOVER • Jean Saunders



This former hospital administrator

brings passion and a remarkable skill set to advance age-friendly initiatives in Saco. Jean in her Saco Age-Friendly office at the Saco Community Center

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hen I was first approached by Maine Seniors Magazine to write a March Prime Mover column, it didn’t take long for my colleagues to suggest which innovative Mainer would be just the right person to profile for this issue. As our readers know, this section is devoted to highlighting the service and accomplishments of older individuals who make a difference in their community. As you will soon learn, Jean Saunders, a 60-year old resident of Saco, is effectively working with municipal and community leaders, town planners, local residents and even students to advance effective age-friendly initiatives in Saco. As the Chair of the Saco Age-Friendly Committee, Jean’s approach to creative, innovative solutions has already resulted in local improvements with longterm benefits. To those who know Jean, her drive to create positive change is not surprising. What may come as a revelation, however, is how she got here. Jean Saunders is a native of Winslow, Maine, the middle child of four daughters whose French-Canadian parents ran a small grocery store. As a teenager, Jean dreamed of going to college and working in the field of health care. She saved as much money as she could by working long hours (and perhaps this was the start of her interest in beautifying open spaces) in the Winslow cemetery. “I saved money by digging graves, mowing lawns and painting fences,” she beamed.“It built character!” MARCH 2018 • 1 4


PRIME MOVER • Jean Saunders

True to her passion, Jean became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) during high school by attending the Waterville Vocational school during her senior year, but she was determined to enter a nursing program. She was accepted at arguably one of the most prestigious universities in the county—Columbia University—and graduated with dual Masters degrees in Nursing and in Public Health. After a one-year fellowship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Jean was hired as an Assistant Director of Nursing at a medical center just outside of New York City. “My nursing specialty was as a Perinatal Clinical Specialist,” she explained. “At the time, this facility had a terrible problem with overcrowding. Women who were new mothers would often spend their entire hospital stay in a hallway as there was not enough room to accommodate them in hospital rooms. They would have to go into a patient’s room nearby to use a bathroom and were forced to care for their newborns on a stretcher in the hallway.” The facility had already hired an architect to make necessary renovations, but the plans didn’t include LDRs

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(labor/delivery/recovery rooms) which Jean felt was essential. Undaunted, Jean drew up her own blue prints and impressed upon the facility the need for certain upgrades.“Great change can be difficult, but the health and well-being of the patients young and old was the most important thing,” she said. “Ultimately, I convinced them.”

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Jean was also instrumental in cross-training nursing staff so that new mothers and their infants were discharged and sent home within 24 hours and then visited in their own homes by a nurse that had cared for them in the hospital to ensure a smooth transition home. By 1991, Jean had met her husband, David, and they were starting a family. The quiet of Maine beckoned. “Maine called me home,” she says. In 2001, the family moved from Biddeford to Saco. David had established his own company, Saunders Electronics, in the Saco Industrial Park, and Jean accepted a position at Maine Medical Center (MMC) as the Clinical Projects Manager. By 1998 she was serving as the Cardiac Services Administrator and had to make a difficult decision. Now with two young children and a newborn, Jean stepped away from MMC and her medical career to raise her family full-time. Fast forward to 2013 when Jean first read about the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities (NAFC) and, specifically, the aging in place work that was just beginning in Yarmouth. With her background in health care, Jean was particularly interested to learn how to help individuals stay in their own homes and age successfully with support from the community. She volunteered with the Yarmouth initiative and helped to conduct a community needs assessment, one of the first steps

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Designing a Symbol Thornton Academy student, Reece Saunders (no relation!), won the design contest for the Saco Age-Friendly logo.The following is his statement about how he incorporated the various elements of the town into his design:

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recommended by NAFC.“Age-friendly or livable communities have walkable streets, housing and transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities,” she explains. “It is so important to find out from each community what it is they want and what services they need. The age-friendly opportunities in any given community are going to be as varied as the community itself.” She brought back everything she learned to Saco and began to solicit the help of key collaborators and formed a steering committee which included the new Mayor-elect Roland Michaud, Rene Menard, the Headmaster of Thornton Academy, a member of the Rotary, the Executive Director of the United Way for York county, and many more. Under their guidance, Saco received certification from AARP as a member of the NAFC and applied for a grant from AARP to do a community survey which they conducted from June-November of 2016.

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“I want to thank the Age-Friendly Saco Steering Committee for giving me the chance to create the logo that they will use to highlight to all citizens that Saco is an ideal community for senior citizens to reside. I have lived in Saco all of my life and I wanted to incorporate an iconic piece of scenery that would represent the city of Saco in one design. So I decided to showcase Saco Island which is filled with lots of Saco’s historic and well-known landmarks.This includes the bridge that spans the Saco River which is the first thing people see as they come from Biddeford to Saco’s Main Street. I also included the old Saco mills where my grandparents and many others worked to create goods and to boost Saco’s economy. Another important landmark I included was the Saco train station, whose significance comes from its ability to bring travelers from across New England to our compassionate community that cares for the well-being of all of its citizens young and old.”


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When Saco completed the survey, an early priority need that emerged was "communication and better access to information for older community members. “The committee is preparing a resource directory and will work on matching home repair contractors with older residents who could use a bit of help,” she explains. “We hope in the future that both high school and college students might be able to help with outdoor tasks such as leaf raking, snow shoveling and dog walking.” There is also the possibility of building the work into existing student service organizations. Another wonderful project with Thornton Academy was that the school sponsored a contest to design a logo for Saco as an Age-Friendly community. The steering committee voted on the students’ ideas and selected the current design which includes the motto "Age-Friendly Saco: A Community for a Lifetime." The committee feels the logo is a strong representation of all the history surrounding Saco, but it also serves as an appropriate emblem for the exciting plans to come that will help residents age in place through a multigenerational approach. “We know our older residents and millennials basically want the same things!” says Jean. “We want to work continuously to bring the different generations together to learn from each other.”

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Saco has now joined with Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach, sister age-friendly communities, to begin to address their collective transportation issues, a common concern for many Maine towns. The three communities are also working with their local fire departments to implement a fire, fall and fraud prevention program and hope to establish a “friendly neighbor” visiting program to help offset potential isolation in Saco’s more far-flung neighborhoods.

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Setting the Standard.

I have to laugh at what Jean says next: "We want to do a lot more and we're just getting started!” MSM

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Jean Saunders is nurturing groundbreaking initiatives that will have a lasting and meaningful impact in

It strikes me, as I continue to hear Jean’s ideas, from the burgeoning collaboration with Habitat for Humanity to build raised garden beds for the city, to the Healthy Places: Healthy People grant the committee applied for in collaboration with the University of New England (UNE) Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition, and the partnership with a local Medicare expert to help area residents review their health care plans, that a pattern is at play. The same motivation that propelled a young hospital administrator to draw up blue prints to improve conditions for mothers and newborns in a Long Island facility is serving Saco well some thirty years later. The mother who gave up a career so that daughter Katie (now a third-year medical student at UNE), Allison (a first-year medical student at Columbia University) and William (a sophomore at Boston University majoring in aerospace engineering) could find their footing is now nurturing ground-breaking initiatives that will have a lasting and meaningful impact in Saco and far beyond.

Call today and say you saw us in Maine Seniors Magazine.



The property has a large bathhouse with lockers, a lovely walkway with touches of the place’s past, and a nice gift shop where you purchase your ticket.


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BY SHELAGH TALBOT • PHOTO BY CURT BOWEN town of North Port, Florida famous for its restorative waters. People flock from all over the world to luxuriate in the 87-degree pool, enriched with over 50 minerals. This Maine snowbird had to see and experience it for herself, so that’s just what I did this past January. When I arrived at the spring it was a breezy, cool day by Florida standards, I’m guessing the air temperature was around 65 degrees. The property has a large bathhouse with lockers, a lovely walkway with touches of the place’s past, and a nice

Legend has it that in the early 1500s, Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon was charged with finding the fabled Fountain of Youth.


A frieze of a Calusa warrior in the garden at Warm Mineral Springs. Talbot photo

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e is purported to have traveled for many months around Southwestern Florida searching, and even established a small colony of about 200 people near Estero. Urged on by legend and some Indian guides who promised to give him directions, Ponce and his fellow explorers trudged endless days and endless miles through thick forest and swampy lands, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Instead of finding the spring, they were ambushed by a Calusa war party. The Indians shot Ponce de Leon and many of his group with poisoned arrows. As a result, the small Spanish settlement was disbanded, and Ponce later succumbed to his wounds aboard a ship bound for Cuba.

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gift shop where you purchase your ticket to enter the spring ($20 dollars for an out-of-state resident for the day). Once in my bathing suit I walked to the water’s edge— almost a perfect circle because it used to be a vast sinkhole. Centuries past, land was transformed and the sinkhole filled with water. Fast-forward to the modern day, and not much has changed since the spring was originally opened to the public back in the early 1960s. There’s a large clock on one side, two lifeguard stations and numerous green plastic chairs scattered on the grassy slope surrounding the pool. The outer ring of the water is cordoned off with plastic floats, because the center section is very deep. With three flags flying above the clock and people sitting and chatting in groups, it looked very festive indeed. I could hardly wait to hop in the water! And you don’t need to hop – on either side of the pool are railed

Juan Ponce de Leon – explorer who sought the Fountain of Youth. Talbot photo

walkways so you can just ease yourself in. I noticed that most of the people floating around wore large straw hats festooned with fake flowers. Hmmm – were the hats required? I decided to ask one of the lifeguards. “No,” he smiled. “Many of these folks are from Russia and Eastern European countries. They are concerned about the bright sun – they like to wear hats when in the water.” I stepped down the walkway and entered the delightful spring. It was just heavenly! A gentle current flows in the pool, probably because about 20 million gallons a day surge up from vents deep below the surface. Because of the minerals, I discovered I was delightfully buoyant. I bobbed around the circumference like a happy cork and then decided to see what the center of the pool felt like. There was a bit more current there because of the vents, which I was told are about 220 feet below the surface. I was astonished to see tiny fish

Ceramic plates decorate a wall of the bathhouse at Warm Mineral Springs. Talbot photo 23 • MAINE SENIORS

MARCH 2018 • 2 4

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The flags flap in the stiff breeze above the clock on one side of the spring. Talbot photo

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The entrance to the bath houses at Warm Mineral Springs. Talbot photo

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I paddled around some more and chatted with a couple from Maine. Paul and Jane Colbeth had been coming to the mineral springs for years. “We love it,” she said. “I definitely notice it helps my arthritis and Paul has a skin condition. He has fewer problems when we come to the spring.” Paul nodded.

A stately tree on the grounds of Warm Mineral Springs. Talbot photo

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She was right – her skin was silky soft. I hoped the water would do the same for me. I floated on and spoke with Reinhart, a gentleman from Austria, who was so taken with the spring and its positive effects that he bought a house in North Port to be nearby.“I come every day!” he proclaimed.“It saved my shoulders. The doctors were going to operate on me but by spending a few weeks in the springs I was healed. I believe it was the special minerals in the water,” he added. I asked him if he comes every day. “No,” he said. “Just a few times a week. But you have to stay in the water for at least two hours for it to be effective. And don’t shower until the next day.” I resolved to remember and glanced at the clock. I’d been in the water for about 45 minutes.

come to the spring.”

with bright emerald stripes swimming around. How could they survive with all those minerals? What a remarkable place! I decided to talk with some of the swimmers about why they come to the spring. My first conversation was with a woman from Romania who told me she has been coming to visit for 35 years. “It’s made me young again!” she exclaimed, grinning from beneath the brim of her large hat. She held up an arm.“Feel my skin!’ I did.“Soft and nice, eh?” she asked.

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Enjoy the ride to Maine. “There’s something special about these minerals,” he said. “I feel like a million bucks after being here!” I spoke to a number of others, including a gentleman from Russia, and two women from Czechoslovakia. They all agreed: it was worth the long trip just to enjoy the healing waters. And, they all claimed they were much better health wise. Hmmm.

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Reinhart from Austria chats with a woman from Roumania as they float around in the springs. Talbot photo

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Visitors relaxing on the lawn surrounding Warm Mineral Springs Talbot photo

A Retirement Community in Coastal Blue Hill, Maine

After a little over two hours I was ready to get out. The air still quite crisp still, I toweled myself off rapidly and hurried to get into dry clothes. I did notice that my skin was remarkably smooth, and I had a general sense of well-being. I wondered what a regimen of three times a week would be like. If those people I spoke with were correct, maybe this is the Fountain of Youth after all! Just in case, this snowbird would like to fly south every year to find out. To learn about this treasure, added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places back in 1977, go to professional diver Curt Bowen’s insightful website: He provided the fabulous shot of the spring taken from far below the surface. His website speaks to the fascinating history of the original sinkhole, which contained bones of long-extinct animals and ancient humans before becoming the possibly healing and incredibly refreshing pool that it is today. MSM


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Jo is convinced that the key to

growing old successfully is to keep moving—just keep moving. She encourages everyone to be

involved in something physical.

You can be Strong

record at just 110 pounds in her age class (50–69 years old). The most she has been able to squat (bar and weights on shoulders, squatting with butt below knees, then standing)—308 pounds! In Las Vegas, three years ago, she ran her first half marathon and combined that with participation in the bench press and deadlifting competition. She has competed elsewhere as well (Monroe, Louisiana) and at multiple venues in Maine including participation in the Maine Games and competitions in Westbrook. She has also been a judge at meets. Jo recognizes how important the support of her long-time trainer (and owner of LA Training and Gym) Louie Morrison has been in her success.


Jo Ann Clough is a role model supreme. At 70 years of age she lifts weights, cross trains, flips tires, does burpees, pullups, and pushups, and more, some three days a week at the gym.


hy you ask? Well, she enjoys the way it makes her feel and ensures she won’t have “flabby old lady arms.” An added benefit is that her husband of 38 years likes the way she looks. Put simply, Jo likes to keep fit because it is personally satisfying and rewarding both physically and emotionally.

So, you are probably thinking that Robert Clough, her husband and a cardiac/thoracic surgeon, was the driving force behind her commitment to exercise. Not at all. In fact, just the opposite. It has been Jo who has served as a positive influence for Robert who did not exercise consistently when they first met but now subscribes to a regular regimen of physical exercise at the urging of his wife. Being a committed athlete at 70 does not mean that that Jo doesn’t enjoy the better things in life. That includes traveling a great deal, sharing a good bottle of wine at night with her husband, and keeping up with the life adventures of their son and daughter, 37 and 34 years of age respectively. Jo is convinced that the key to growing old successfully is to keep moving—just keep moving. She encourages everyone to be involved in something physical whether it is walking the dog, climbing stairs rather than taking the elevator, etc. She also points out that there are added benefits to working out at a gym, which include meeting people and keeping your mind active.

Life is good here.

An operating room nurse by training, Jo has since retired from that job but certainly not from life. She started powerlifting before her 50th birthday and admits she wishes she had started even sooner. Before that, she certainly enjoyed a variety of sports as an adult including downhill and cross country skiing. Jo has participated in a multitude of powerlifting competitions. In Reno, Nevada she deadlifted 320.6 pounds and set a world

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Why did Jo agree to be interviewed for my column this month? That’s easy—if she can inspire someone else to adopt an active lifestyle, it will have been worth it. “It’s never too late”, maintains this active elder. Her recommendations include combining balance exercises with lifting weights two to three times a week combined with some cardio (running, bicycling, etc.). Additionally, she encourages everyone to be mindful. Don’t smoke and don’t succumb to the use of performance enhancing drugs. Jo likes to show women that you can be strong and don’t need to look like Charles Atlas. She especially appreciates women approaching her and telling them that exercise and being physically fit is good for you. What’s next for Jo? Well, she is currently training for a half marathon to be held in Key West, Florida. At 70 years young, you can be sure that Jo has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. And, I know she would say the same for you and me, encouraging us to stay active and strong! MSM

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Cy, my swell neighbor, drove me to Portland in his electric Chevy “Bolt.” Although I knew the car had a range of 238 miles or so, I feared we’d have a malfunction and slide to the breakdown lane on 295 in Falmouth. Then, I’d miss my appointment and have to endure the dastardly prep all over.“No worries,” Cy uttered. That said, when we turned into the parking lot, I said I felt relieved. He asked me if that was colonoscopy humor.




After checking in, a smiling male nurse escorted me to the ondeck waiting room where I lost my undies; then he put the IV in—too late to Bolt. Smiling nurse two entered and asked me several hundred questions, finishing with this, “Did you bring your will?” Huh? Trying to hold back the sarcasm, I responded, “Will I need it?” She countered,“Always good to have one on you.” I wanted to flash an Archie Bunker frustrated eyeball gesture, but the lady meant well.


I lay under a thin sheet wearing a skimpy hospital gown, underneath t-shirt and socks. That’s right, no undies. And, no dignity.

Smiling nurse one returned and said, “Sorry Mr. Clark, we’re running behind.” Behind? Was that an insider colonoscopy joke? Darn, now I had to pee. Smiling nurse three pushed the curtain aside and wheeled me into the procedure room. The doctor who’d performed numbers three-five, asked how I was doing? My cynical side conjured up some nasty retorts, but again, I caught myself. I was some glad he didn’t ask if I wanted the Standard or Deluxe.


y heart pounded, eyes darted, and strange people glanced my way as they passed the partially closed curtain to my claustrophobic room. Irritated, I wanted to toss them a middle finger. I thought, come on, let’s get my sixth colonoscopy over with. Back in the early 1990s, due to family history, I found myself in a high-risk group for colon cancer. Naturally, the thought of a five foot or so tube inserted into the old tushy prevented me from undergoing the procedure, which reminded me of something right out of Popular Mechanics; that is until my competent doctor’s words grabbed my intellectual attention. “Waldo, it’s the smart thing to do.” He had me. After my first colonoscopy, my cautious gastrologist placed me on a three to five-year schedule depending on whether he found polyps or not. The day before my sixth, I drank, in a number of doses, a 64-ounce bottle of lime Gatorade with a deadly laxative mixture


stirred in, often referred to as “poop juice.” Ya know, the Prep Hype is just that. Nothing hurts, but it’s darn annoying. Yes, I faced an action-packed day, dashing to the john in my Nike running shoes. It’s quite a moving experience.

Before I knew it, I woke up back in the on-deck room. The doctor hustled in—he’d found 2 polyps but they looked noncancerous. “See you in three, Waldo.” Oh no, three years. But, I figured better safe than sorry.

Comedian Dave Berry captured his adventure with, “After taking the nuclear laxative … you’re going to want to have seat belts installed on the toilet.” Hmm, I wondered if astronauts felt like this on blast off.

After cookies and OJ, I greeted Cy; although I felt fine, I wobbled a bit from the “funny gas.” We “Bolted” for home and a welldeserved breakfast.

During the prep period, I dreamed, no lusted, for a double cheeseburger laced with onions and mushrooms, lathered in Heinz Ketchup, followed by a huge slice of moist cherry chocolate cake, a Hemingway “Moveable Feast.” Instead, I sucked on lemon ice chips and dabbed at wiggly orange Jell-O.

Maine Seniors, humor aside, don’t avoid a colonoscopy. They’re not a big deal. Hey, as my doctor advised so many years ago, “It’s the smart thing to do.” And, it makes for riveting cocktail conversation. No butts about it.



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SPECIAL been off that 90-meter jump in Berlin, and I really wanted to try it. So I said to Reggie, ‘What the h***, let’s do it!’ I went and got my jumping skis and boots and loaded‘em in the back of Reggie’s van.” Their plan was to first head for Rumford to take some practice jumps on the 60-meter jump there. Then on to Berlin!

The FlyingFinn Many Finnish immigrants settled in the part of Maine where I grew up.


inns have a proud tradition of excelling at cross-county skiing and ski-jumping. We lived near the mountains and the ski areas there. A lot of kids, including me, and many Finnish kids, learned to downhill ski. When my friends and I arrived at the high school as freshmen, we became the nucleus of a strong ski team. That was when I met Mike Seilonen. He had gone to the other middle school in the district. We ended up at high school together and quickly became friends. Mike was blond, blue eyed, and fair skinned. Frankly, his ears stuck out quite a bit. Sometimes I’d kid Mike about looking like a photo negative of Donald Duck. Mike’s usual response was to start talking like Donald Duck. He was one of the ski team’s jokesters. Ski jumping was the most important thing in Mike’s life. This guy wanted to fly. He was our best jumper, hands down. Hundred foot leaps were routine for Mike. He dubbed himself the Flying Finn. I lost track of Mike after we graduated, but I bumped into him at our 10-year high school reunion. He told me a ski-jumping story.“I was at home trying to get over the flu,” he began.“Then Reggie Kimball and a few of his Bethel buddies showed up. They wanted me to come with them to Berlin, New Hampshire ‘cause there was a jumping meet that day. I was still pretty sick but I’d never 43 • MAINE SENIORS


They got to Berlin a little late. There was a bunch of paperwork to fill out, so they only had time for one practice jump before the meet began. Mike said he’d never been so excited in his life as when he was climbing the steps to the top of the jump.“When I got to the top and turned around, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” Mike said reverently.“There it was. The inrun to the lip of the jump, the landing hill, and the outrun at the bottom with a lot of people there. It was all right there.” Mike pulled on his bib over his sweater and re-tightened the laces on his boots. His turn came up quickly. Mike moved over and put his skis in the tracks in the starting gate. The starter dropped his flag. Mike pushed off from the gate and started down the inrun, gaining more and more speed. “It was great! I felt perfect!” Mike practically shouted.“And when I hit that lip I timed it perfect! And then I was flying! Flying! I really got out over the front of my skis! I felt great! I wanted it to never end! “Maybe that’s why I didn’t pull it in fast enough to land,” Mike said more calmly. “I ended up landing on my nose and going face first down to the bottom, snow flying everyplace. I was wearin’ dungarees, and when I hit the transition at the bottom of the landing, I just kind of dug into the snow. And I wasn’t wearing a belt. So my pants and my longjohns, everything, gets ripped off down to my knees. And there I was, sliding face first and bare-a**ed down the outrun, with all kinds of people there for the meet laughin’ at me. The worst part was, I had so much snow in my pants that I couldn’t just pull‘em up. I had to stand up and dig enough snow out of my pant legs so I could pull‘em up and get‘em back on.” That was Mike’s first jump. Undeterred,Mike started up the stairs again.He was fearless. Getting hurt never even occurred to him. It had been embarrassing, sure, but what was more important, a little embarrassment or flying off the biggest jump he’d ever been on in his life? A murmur went through the growing crowd when Mike’s name

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and bib number were announced. This was that guy. But Mike wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. He might be crazy, but he wasn’t foolish. And besides, this jump counted. He had to land and stay upright. “So I thought I’d better play it smart,” Mike said. “I was gonna pay a little more attention to control, and to sticking my landing.” Mike pushed himself off and sped down the inrun.“I hit it good. I got a good takeoff,” he told me.“But I wasn’t gonna land on my nose again. So I pulled back early to land it.” Unfortunately, he pulled back too early. “I landed hard on my butt and heard this big ‘crack!’ right behind me. When I finally stopped at the bottom, the back of my left ski was broken off about 20 inches behind my foot.” Mike still got a nice round of applause from the onlookers, but none of the Bethel Boys would let him use their skis and he had to scratch out of the meet. “I was a little bummed on the ride home,” Mike allowed,“but I had jumped farther than I ever had in my life! That sure wasn’t bad.” A story worthy of Mike Seilonen, the Flying Finn.

MSM MARCH 2018 • 4 4





Joel West

Thomas Duff

Winter Update on U.S. Equity Markets

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In the September 2017 issue of Maine Seniors,

we wrote that, despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) recently hitting 22,000 for the first time, we thought we were in a “bull” market in U.S. stocks that likely had many more years to ‘run’.



eaning we thought U.S. stocks would trade higher over the long term. Now, just a few months later, the DJIA has hit 26,000, or gained an additional 18% in very short order. Given the rapid price increase, many participants are wondering; should I sell now or is it too late to get in? It depends. For investors with the appropriate risk tolerance and time horizon, we continue to think the bias in the

equity markets remains to the upside and investors should favor equities over fixed income. Here is why. We believe the stock market is very effective at pricing in the future, be it positive or negative. Since President Trump’s electoral victory, the DJIA is up well over 40%. We believe this price increase is telling us that the economy is improving and better economic times lie ahead. This has been reflected over the past year by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) revisions in excess of 3%. It wasn’t too long ago that noted economists, such as Paul Krugman1 opined that 3% GDP growth wasn’t even possible, but it is here now.2 In the September 2017 issue we suggested that policy makers would find common ground to work with President Trump, yet MARCH 2018 • 4 6



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Speaking to fixed income (aka bonds), which have long been a staple of retirees for predictable income, we see more challenges ahead. Interest rates in the U.S. have generally fallen over the past 35 years. A savvy investor would prefer a higher coupon payment or interest payment, than a lower one, all else being equal. This has created a“bull market” in fixed income as generally there has always been a self-interest to support the tailing prices. However, interest rates appear to be headed higher as the economy is improving and inflation begins appearing. Further, President Trump has nominated Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is responsible for setting the base interest rate. Observers feel as though Mr. Powell is more “hawkish” than Ms. Yellen implying that interest rates may rise even more quickly than anticipated.4 While fixed income remains an important part of a diversified portfolio, we believe there will be a tougher market for fixed income investors overall, than there has been in years past.

“HILARIOUS!” The New York Times, Associated Press, The Examiner, The Record

even we were surprised at how quickly Congress worked with President Trump to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 before year end. No piece of legislation is perfect and neither is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, but in our view this legislation was a significant improvement to the tax code, and the cutting of the corporate tax rate was long overdue. More specifically, the reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21%, makes the United States more competitive with the rest of the world. And we’re already seeing benefits in the economy from the tax cuts. For example, AT&T announced shortly after the passage of the legislation that they would pay approximately 200,000 US employees a one time, $1000 bonus and additionally invest an additional one billion in US capital expenditures, directly attributing the move to the tax reform package.3This type of announcement of increased investment has been repeated several times since and we expect the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will provide a tail wind to an already improving economy. 47 • MAINE SENIORS


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The equity markets continue to rise, the economy continues to improve. For investors with the appropriate risk tolerance and longer time line, equities should generally be favored over bonds, with the understanding that while we believe higher equity prices lay ahead, there will undoubtedly be volatility to the downside, surprises and turmoil along the way. MSM

You’re as Lucky as the Irish when You Subscribe to

MAINE SENIORS Magazine! Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Thomas Duff and Joel West and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. All opinions are as of August 7, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Duff and Associates,470 N Main St, Brewer Maine 04412, 207-989-6082, is not a registered broker/ dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Raymond James is not affiliated with Maine Seniors magazine. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Holding investments for the long term does not insure a profitable outcome. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss. Inclusion of indexes is for illustrative purposes only. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index and index performance does not include transactions costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s result will vary. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stocks of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The price-earnings ratio, or P/E, is a common measure of the value of stocks. It shows the relationship between a stock’s prices and the underlying company earnings. In very general terms, the higher the P/E ratio, the more likely the stock is to be overpriced. Fixed income investments such as bonds may involve risks including markets risks if sold prior to maturity, credit risk, reinvestment risk and interest rate risk. There is an inverse relationship between interest rate movements and bond prices. Generally, when interest rates rise, bonds prices fall and when interest rates fall, bond prices rise.

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If properly handled, processed, and prepared, wild game has no equal on the plate, or for nourishing the soul.

Wild game has always been a staple in my family’s diet, and I process all my own wild game including venison. I have a full set of butchering knives, a vacuum bag sealer, and an electric grinder. Processing a Maine deer is not an easy task and if done right, with no waste, it can take one person a full day if not longer. It’s often a social activity as well when friends get together to help, and everyone brings home some prime cuts. There is a level of satisfaction that is hard to describe when providing sustenance to yourself and family, from field to table. I make sure to age my venison and steaks are always cut thick. I also keep a couple roasts for the slow cooker. Certain cuts are used to make venison jerky, and venison burger is outstanding for making burgers, meatballs, meatloaf and chili. I usually grind some of the deer burger with pork fat to add additional flavor and moisture. Game birds, such as woodcock, wild turkey and ruffed grouse are also on our wild game menu and are a culinary luxury. These birds are lean and healthy with none of the dyes, steroids, and 49 • MAINE SENIORS

chemicals found in domestic fowl. They have a distinct yet subtle taste as compared to often-tasteless store bought poultry, the exception being woodcock, which are an acquired taste like whiskey, a stout beer or a potent cigar–you either relish them or abhor them. If not overcooked, game birds in general make for excellent and healthy table fare. Wild game often gets a bad rap as being gamey and tough. Being left to linger in warm weather is usually the cause for gaminess. Too many deer steaks have been fried to the consistency of shoe leather, and too many game birds are overcooked and rendered unpalatable. I’m certain there’s an emotional component to why people find wild game unpalatable; some are simply more comfortable shielded by the anonymity of cellophane wrapped store-bought meat. I can usually sway the naysayer if I can get them to try my grouse smothered in apples and grape jelly dish, or persuade them to try a bowl of my venison chili. I admit to occasionally tricking guests with wild game disguised as domestic fare. After the initial surprise they are usually demanding seconds. If anyone else has avoided“tag soup” this year or was lucky to receive some gifted wild game, here are a couple of recipes to try: MSM

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SIMPLE VENISON POT ROAST (SERVES 4–6)           

2–4 lb shoulder or neck roast 4 medium potatoes 3 medium onions 4 large carrots 4 celery stalks 1 package of fresh mushrooms 5 garlic cloves 10 oz. can mushroom soup mix 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce 1 cup red wine salt & pepper



am very fortunate not to be eating tag soup this coming year. (“Tag soup” is a term used by deer hunters who didn’t get or “tag” their deer.) Even at 60 years old, between the bow seasons and rifle season I procured enough venison to last us a good spell and will be able to gift some to friends and relatives. There’s something very reassuring about having a stocked freezer to start off a new year, and the savings on the grocery bill doesn’t hurt either.

Featured Recipes

Season roast with salt and pepper and place in a large roasting pan. Chop up potatoes (skin on), onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic into chunks. Scatter vegetables around and on top of roast. Mix soup mix with 3/4 of a can of water and pour over roast along with red wine. Add Worcestershire sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours, turn down heat to 300 degrees and bake an additional 2 hours or so. The result is a hearty and tender roast.


Ruffed Grouse (Partridge) 4–5 apples, preferably tart McIntosh grape jelly salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS: Slice apples into wedges and cover bottom of baking dish with 3/4 of the slices. Salt and pepper plucked or breasted grouse and place on top of apples. Spread the rest of apple slices on top of grouse. Add 4 good size dollops of grape jelly over grouse and apple slices. Cover and bake for 1-hr at 350 degrees. Take cover or foil off for last 10 minutes to brown. Best serve with wild rice and fresh tossed salad.

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Community at Home

Avesta Housing’s Noble Mission


have also heard stories of older individuals becoming more isolated as they age with some even in danger of falls, loneliness and depression, malnutrition and many other concerns. Often, when these challenges arise, concerned family members or friends may not know how best to help. After all, we can all take care of ourselves, right? Unfortunately, the answer may be “no.” I recently sat down with Dana Totman, President and CEO of Avesta Housing, a non-profit organization whose mission it is to provide quality, affordable homes for people in need. Eligible applicants may include whole families or individuals with disabilities, but more than half of the applicants for a home in one of Avesta’s 87 developments are older adults.“Many people find that they either outlive their assets or that taking care of a home (which itself may be quite old) has become overwhelming for them,” Dana told me. “Our hope is that people will contact us to get on our waiting list long before they need us, but that doesn’t always happen.” Avesta’s properties are truly impressive. Although they are concentrated in Southern Maine, Avesta has developments

as far north as Rockland in Knox County and Pittsfield in Somerset County. They also serve several communities in New Hampshire. Each apartment is built with a noble idea in mind: Every resident deserves to age with dignity and this means having a clean, safe apartment that is part of a community. Home does not mean alone. “We offer many activities and services at each location,” Dana explained.“People know each other and can spend time together. Gardening, art classes, group meals, exercise and writing memoirs are just some of the ways our residents can interact and enjoy their lives as a community.”


Mainers are known for their indomitable spirit. Ever since moving here in 2011, I have heard about Maine people’s fierce drive for independence and self-sufficiency.


Aging in Place Specialist Tim St. Hilaire shows the author how to install a bathroom grab bar, often a key element of safety for older adults.

Dana Totman and Resident Mary Hamblen in Gorham

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With a long waiting list and thousands in need of their services, Dana knows that some applicants, at least for now, must remain in unaffordable and sometimes unhealthy homes. In these cases, Avesta works with community leaders and family members to connect at-risk individuals with local resources such as wellness visits and Meals on Wheels. “We do everything we can to ensure the safety of every individual who contacts us,” he says. Eligibility requirements and information can be found at www. I asked Dana if he could tell me about a current Avesta resident who has had a happy experience living in the community housing development. Unable to hide a smile, Dana mentions a Gorham resident named Mary, now 96. Mary has been in her apartment for over 20 years. She dresses herself with great care very day. Her apartment, he says, is immaculate and she is proud

Avesta Housing is a non-profit

organization whose mission it is to provide quality, affordable homes for people in need. to welcome anyone in for a visit. She knows everyone in the building and takes part in just about every group activity. As her eyesight is starting to fail, Mary is pondering a move to one of Avesta’s assisted living facilities, but for now she is content to stay where she is. Mary is a perfect example of someone not just aging in place, but thriving in place, thanks to this remarkable opportunity arranged through Avesta. Before I leave his office, Dana takes me to see the Avesta Board Room. It is lined with photographs of adults young and old, children, and entire families. They are all Mainers who have found a home to call their own. “We like to keep these pictures right here where we can see them,” he says. “They remind us every day why what we do is so important.” MSM

MAINE SENIORS: Across all Social Media

Got the Luck ‘o The Irish? Every month we


a 1-year Subscription! Find our Special Thankful Thursday Posts to Enter!

MARCH 2018 • 5 2

Chloe's Corner

Chloe's Corner 6. Keep the Pity Party short: Okay…so have your pity party once

in a while but set the kitchen timer to 20 minutes and then let go. 7. Yesterday…today…tomorrow: The only thing required of

you is not to fritter away today because you’re afraid of tomorrow or plunging into sad memories of the past. You have 24 hours at your disposal, so make it special!

Not getting older... Just getting

8. Enjoy a happy Second Childhood: Make a list of kid stuff

you can do and then DO it! It may even help close some old wounds of an unhappy childhood.


9. Be the CEO of your joy! Don’t depend on others to create

your happiness. That’s yours. When you take charge of your needs and wants, you won’t be depending on others. As someone once said: “You can be happy or you can be miserable. It takes the same amount of effort.”


10. Believe in miracles! Is it a coincidence or a minor miracle?

Read Squire Rushnell’s book, When God Winks at You, to find out more.

Getting older certainly beats dying young but there are some primary considerations to examine.


irst of all, do you look at life through wide-angle lens or microscopic vision? Often we see a giant, scary step instead of a tiny, manageable step. So… take that next right step. As for the things we do, it’s better to focus on the kind of things we engage in – not the number. The question to ask yourself is simply this: How meaningful is this activity for me? Does it bring joy into my life? Is there a magic formula for a balanced, peaceful life? Yes. I found it by following the advice of a wise Indian guru who once said that man is a house with 4 rooms: the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. The problem is that he tends to stay in only one of those rooms each day, whereas he should be visiting all four of them each day. I try to visit those 4 rooms each day and it has had an amazing effect on my life! Now, here is your tool kit to make it work for you! Use these 12 “handy helpers” that will enable you to enjoy the aging process. 53 • MAINE SENIORS

11. Tackle the “younger Me” and the “nostalgic Me”: This 1.Ditch the h-word! Deep resentments, bitterness, and hatred

requires down-sizing and getting rid of stuff you no longer need or use. It allows you to release the past and to be open to the future, making room for new and exciting things. 12. Write your Gratitude List. I wrote mine using all 26 letters

of the alphabet! Now the rest is up to you ‘cause you’re not getting older…you’re just getting better! MSM

lead only to a miserable life and you remain the victim. 2. Cash or credit? You can live an abundant life by knowing

that what you want isn’t always what you need. Are you paying late fees on your credit card? Pay on time and avoid the late fee. Keep an empty gallon jug in your bedroom and drop your coins in it. On New Year’s Eve, see how much you saved!






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Regina Brett writes,“You aren’t going to convince me and I’m not going to convince you so let’s agree to disagree”. (A quote from her husband).What has worked extremely well for me is to say: “Look, I hope to be part of the solution. I don’t want to be part of the problem.”

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in the blink of an eye. Having a strong faith helps you see the light of a “now” instead of the darkness of “what next?”

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Their total state and local income taxes are $8,000. With the standard deduction now set at $26,500 they would not realize the full benefit of the charitable contribution if they receive the required distributions as cash and then write checks out to their colleges. However, if they arrange for a direct transfer of their RMD to the college’s investment accounts, they would still get to take advantage of the full standard deduction of $26,500 AND not include the $24,000 in IRA distributions in their taxable income.

…For most taxpayers over 70, is a better way to donate to charity BY BRIAN BERNATCHEZ, CFP®

If you are set up to receive your RMD automatically this year and you plan to make a sizable donation to charity, you may want to turn off the automatic payment and consult with your financial adviser or IRA custodian to learn more about transferring some or all of your required distribution to the charity. Currently your IRA custodian is not required to specifically identify the QCD on your 1009-R form, so you will want to make sure to inform your tax preparer that you performed a QCD.

With the passage of the new tax law

at the end of 2017, my first thought when I sat down to write this article was to focus on a discussion of all the major changes in the new law and the strategies seniors can use to minimize their own tax bill.


s I started my research I was reminded of a pledge I made to myself after attending a professional conference about 15 years ago. I would always come back from the conference with 15 or 20 great ideas for our firm and usually would look back a year later having only partially implementing a couple of them. I now force myself to narrow the list of 15 or 20 great ideas to just one or two that I bring back to the office to be fully implemented during the following year.

It is in that spirit that I have selected just one strategy for charitable giving that I think will be most beneficial to both the readers of Maine Seniors Magazine and your favorite charities. The Big Change—Major Increase in the Standard Deduction

Under the new 2018 tax law, the standard deduction for married couples age 65 and older is $26,500 and the deduction for state and local income taxes is limited to $10,000 for those who itemize their deductions. Therefore, many charitable contributions will provide limited or no tax savings to the donor because their standard deduction will exceed their total itemized deductions. 55 • MAINE SENIORS

If you are over 70 ½ and have an IRA or retirement plan, here’s how you can still help your favorite charity and get the full income tax deduction for yourself…. QCD—Qualified Charitable Distribution

IRA’S and retirement plans which have pre-tax dollars in them… almost all do… require you to begin minimum distributions (RMD’s) which are based on life expectancy, when you turn 70 ½. Those distributions grow each year as a percentage of the account value and are taxed as ordinary income. Using a QCD, the IRA owner can directly transfer all or a portion of the required distribution (up to a maximum of $100,000 per year) to a charity and that amount is not considered taxable to the IRA owner.

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Let’s look at an example to show the benefits of the QCD:

Randy and Helen are both retired professors who want to participate in their college alma maters’ capital campaigns. They are each required to withdraw $12,000 from their IRA’s in 2018.

The QCD is a powerful tax strategy if you are over the age of 70, have charitable intent, and have an IRA. The value of the IRA to both your family and your charity can be further leveraged by naming the charity the beneficiary of the IRA’s for the amount you want them to receive at your death instead of any of your other assets. Your family and your charity will both benefit from using this strategy because unlike your children who would owe income taxes if named beneficiary of the IRA, the charity will pay no income taxes. If you leave non-retirement assets to your children, they will receive a step up in cost basis on any gains on those assets… a win/win for your family and your favorite charity! Please consult with your financial adviser or your CPA about the potential benefits of using the QCD—Qualified Charitable Distribution to benefit both you and your favorite charities in 2018. MSM

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Nash, Frida Kahlo, Teddy Roosevelt, Joan of Arc, Jascha Heifetz, Marie Curie, Fred and Ginger, and Pavarotti …for starters. So many more are deserving and yes, they’d all be invited. Ah, can you just imagine those thrilling conversations? Debates? There I’d be, sitting on my large silk cushion, seeing and hearing it all, joyfully immersed in the glory of their opinions and words, personal stories and accomplishments. Can you imagine anything more sublime? Frankly, neither can I.

My Bucket List in the

Great Beyond

My fantasy BL would have us all dining on fabulous foods, lots of chocolate of course, and very good wines, and the rules would be that there are no rules except that the conversations must never end. No subjects would be taboo. Every guest could bring a guest as long as they all kept the conversations alive, informative, inspiring, mind expanding, and incredibly brilliant.


Thus, as you can see, my Bucket List will have to wait, for many years I hope.

I have a Bucket List and I’ll bet you do too. You know, it’s the list of accomplishments one tries to fill out before one corks off.


nly in my case, I’m scheduling my Bucket List to happen after I cork off. You’ll see from the rest of this story that it actually can only happen then, presupposing of course that there is an afterlife awaiting us.

So here’s my BL. (To save key strokes, that’s what I’ll be calling it going forward.) I only want one thing, but it’s kind of a big one. I want to own and live in a huge apartment in Paris, overlooking that famous tower of course, with floor to ceiling paintings, books, objets d’art and lots of Art Deco, given to me by all the great painters, authors, poets and sculptors ever, and I want the floor of my Parisian digs strewn with fabulous Asian carpets, piled with huge silken down-filled cushions where everyone would sprawl and sit and cogitate on worldly, artful, deep things. Very deep things. In my BL, it would be in the 1930s, I’d want to hold gatherings every Saturday afternoon at my salon which, of course, would be in great demand. In fact, to be invited to my salon in Paris would be on everyone else’s BL. The attendant group would consist of

Or do I?

the following people, and this list only barely scratches my BL’s surface. (A couple of these folks are still alive, but are still allowed on my BL.) Here’s the rather lengthy list: Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Grandma Moses, Gertrude and Alice, Vincent Van Gogh, Ray Charles, Jesus Christ, Oscar Wilde, Count Basie, Dorothy Parker, Noah, Cleopatra, Harpo Marx, Charles Kuralt, Harriet Tubman, Tom Selleck, Socrates, Zelda Fitzgerald, Michelangelo, Margaret Chase Smith, Margaret Mead, Hoagie Carmichael, Theda Bara, Mark Twain, Amelia Earhart, Jonas Salk, Jimmy Stewart, Mel Torme, Leonardo da Vinci, Lena Horne, Jack Kerouac, Noel Coward, Beverly Sills, Bette Davis, Isaac Newton, Mother Theresa, Irving Berlin, George Washington Carver, Gregory Peck, Mozart, Thomas Jefferson, Ella Fitzgerald, Coco Channel, Stephen and Tabitha King, The Gershwins, Pavlova, Louis Armstrong, Maria Callas, Jack Kevorkian, Rosa Parks, Cary Grant, my mother, Dian Fossey, Julius Caesar, Messrs. Tesla and Edison, Joan Crawford, Ogden


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        

of the Border Brunch

Nutritionists counsel us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.


hey neglect to mention, however, that it is also—in my opinion—the most Gordian task one confronts in the course of daily life. Birthday dinners, holiday parties, wedding receptions, and other festive occasions pale in comparison to planning, preparing and serving even a modest breakfast.

Any fastidious chef knows that timing is everything when it comes to breakfast. Juice and fruit should be served cold; coffee, toast or muffins, eggs, bacon or sausage, waffles or pancakes, and hash browns should be hot; butter, softened so that it spreads easily . . . and, if you’re entertaining house guests, your table should be set properly—a la Martha Stewart . Now, all of the aforementioned issues can be achieved if you have many servants or, at the very least, multiple pairs of hands. If not, achieving perfection is simply not doable. To 59 • MAINE SENIORS


complicate matters even further, breakfast is traditionally an early morning meal. So . . . If you aren’t a “morning person”— and many of us definitely are not, breakfast is not on your early morning to-do list. We owe the solution to our dilemma to our neighbors “across the pond” who, in the late nineteenth century followed their early morning hunts with a relatively hearty meal. This late breakfast/early lunch, being entirely neither—or both, was dubbed “brunch”. The trend quickly spread throughout the United States. So there you have it! The perfect choice for any late morning/ early afternoon get together­— following a morning walk in the park, several runs down the slopes, or, for you “snow birds”, a round of golf. One of my favorites is a variation of the common egg casserole with a little kick. Prepare it the day before and sit back and enjoy your morning. MSM

1/2 lb. chorizo 1 small red onion, chopped 1 can of chopped green chilies (4 oz.) 4 cups frozen hash browns (Southern-style) 1 8 oz. package Mexican-style shredded four cheese 8 eggs, beaten 1 cup half and half cream 1 1/2 cups whole milk Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS: 1. Cook chorizo and onion over medium heat until brown. Crumble chorizo. Add chilies and potatoes and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. 2. Add half of the cheese to chorizo/potato mixture, stir, and set aside until cool. Then, pour cooled mixture into greased 9x13 inch baking dish. 3. Combine eggs, cream, milk, salt, and pepper and pour into baking dish over chorizo/potato mixture.

Out with the OLD, in with the NEW.

4. Top casserole with remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until center is set. 6. Serve with salsa. 7. Suggested menu: orange juice, fresh fruit cup, corn muffins, and South of the Border Brunch Casserole.

Buy, Sell or Trade. This book does it all.

8. Buen provecho! (Enjoy!)

207-623-1411 MARCH 2018 • 6 0


The Mysterious









Barbara W. Tuchman said, “Books are the carriers of civilization.


ithout books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in a sea of time.” I pose a question, when was the last time someone gave you a book? Two gifts make me happy, wine and books. Unfortunately, too often, wine selected from the bargain shelf by a penny-pincher tastes accordingly, so books get my preferred nod. To point, John Lithgrow said, “Books make great gifts because they’re something you love that you can share.” And Garrison Keillor,“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” In particular, I enjoy the adventure of browsing the dusty/musky stacks in a used bookstore, sniffing the varied scents of coffee, chocolate, smoke, earth, hoping for a special discovery, a gently weathered find, perhaps for me, perhaps for a friend. In the late 1970’s, on a quiet side street in Boston, I discovered such a bookstore. I found a treasure, “Boston, The Place and The People,” copyright 1903, by M.A. DeWolfe Howe (my last name). A few years later, I found “We Happy Few,” copyright 1946 (my birth year), by Helen Howe. Turns out, she was DeWolfe Howe’s daughter. Neat. Over the years, my pursuit 61 • MAINE SENIORS



of “Howe” authors continued. I uncovered another, “Call It Treason,” copyright 1948, by George Howe, a cousin of Helen. Then, I found “Here Lies” about epitaphs, copyright 1900, compiled and edited by a W.H. Howe. As I thumbed through this book, a newspaper clipping slipped out, the title,“Brevity on a Tombstone—Wives and husbands.” The epitaph read, Here lies my wife Here lies she Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Good stuff. An aside, George Bernard Shaw, referring to his “mock” epitaph, wrote, “I knew if I stayed around long enough, something like this would happen.” Finally, my sleuthing yielded“The Eleventh Hour in the Life of Julia Ward Howe,” copyright 1911, by Julia’s daughter Maud Howe. All these cherished“Howe” books lie side by side on a book shelf in my library. I’m often asked why I buy books. My standard answer with an Andrew Crowley quote,“Build yourself a booknest to forget the world without.” And, it’s why when I gift a book, I hope the book gives them comfort as well. Many old books harbor long forgotten secret surprises: pressed flowers, underlined phrases and sentences, notes in the margins, photos, recipes, stickers from the bookstore where the book was originally sold, bookmarks, and my favorite, stain marks from food, drinks, other. In one, I found a 1914 stamp which I believe is from Russia. Many old books show owner possession with decorative bookplates also known as an ex libris label (from the books of or from the library of ) posted inside the front cover. However, it’s a hand-written inscription scrawled inside the front cover that grabs my attention. They ignite my imagination, like this one, “Merry Christmas, from Aunt Nell.” I wondered who she was and what her life was like?

“Books relieve me from idleness, rescue me from company, blunt the edge of my grief. They are the comfort and solitude of my old age.”

Remember, books outlive the owners. They have a never-ending life cycle, traveling from one reader to another, a living time capsule of sorts, a reader connection from a period of time to another. In some books, I’ve seen this, “Note to a future owner.” How intriguing. And, like I did with my “Howe” collection, think about gifting a book that has your friend’s last name on it. Another suggestion, on the last page of the gifted book, write this: “Oh, you actually finished it—call me to get together for good conversation and cheap wine.” More important, we want that last page to leave our friend satisfied, sad the story is over. Think about that, your friend loves the book so much, that upon finishing it, she feels like she’s lost a friend, and then thinks fondly of the friend who gifted it. One example of the power of books.

How Confident are You in Your Financial Future?

Montaigne wrote, “Books relieve me from idleness, rescue me from company, blunt the edge of my grief. They are the comfort and solitude of my old age.”

Serving our clients for over 30 years

Books connect and hold the world together. They’re one of the world’s riches, the ultimate value, not of material, but of the mind. More important, a gift from the heart. MSM Joel West Joel WestAdvisor Financial Joel West Financial Joel WestAdvisor Financial Advisor Financial Advisor

Tom Duff Duff President & BranchTom Manager Tom Duff President & BranchTom Manager Duff President & Branch Manager President & Branch Manager

One downside, I’ve learned from booksellers that previous owner’s inscriptions generally reduce the book’s value, especially a collectible. I understand that, but I still like to find a written gem. When gifting a book, consider writing your own inscription, a heartfelt message, a quotation, a quip, or even a bit of wit. The receiver will appreciate the originality and thought. Date and sign it. It makes the gift more endearing as well as everlasting. 63 • MAINE SENIORS

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