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October/November 2009 Vine-covered wall photo by Becky Hart

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Great Falls’ Louise Mitchell Stays On Track By Bernice Karnop Louise Mitchell started running at age 48. “I pretty much started from nothing because I hadn’t done anything while I was raising my three children,” she says. She ran half a block, then walked half a block, until she could run a whole block. That year she entered her hometown Great Falls Icebreaker’s one mile fun run. She thought the race would never end. Twenty-nine years later, Louise runs four or five miles every day, enters about 12 races a year, and completed her 15th Marathon this March. She took first in her category, running the 26.2 miles in five hours and 31 minutes. “I run to win,” she says, but not because she has a competitive streak. “I have a streak to do my best.” According to Louise, life consists of different stages, and during this stage of her life, she runs and teaches piano. “We’re so involved raising our children in that stage of life, and then that’s done. It’s your turn, but you don’t know what to do at first. Finally, you just kind of get out there and do it.” Looking back it’s not surprising that what Louise did was run. It’s something she enjoyed in her earlier years, and two of her children ran cross country in high school. Louise grew up on the farm homesteaded by her grandparents near Kalispell. She was born during the Great Depression, but they feasted on vegetables from the large garden and enjoyed plenty of eggs and milk from the cows and chickens. They had pigs, and grew wheat and barley. Her dad harvested Christmas trees and logged during the winter. During World War II when things were rationed, they fared well with what they raised and what they couldn’t have didn’t matter. She walked a mile and a half to the Half Moon school from first grade through eighth. For fun the children rode sleds down the Half Moon hill and ice skated on Piano teacher Louise Mitchell found her the Whitefish River. In summer, rhythm in music and running. She believes they swam in it. On the 4 th of July they all that playing the piano and running require similar determination and perseverance. “I went to the community picnic don’t want a dull life,” she insists. [Photo by in Kalispell and every year the American (Continued on page 62) Bernice Karnop]


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Many people worry that wearing a hearing aid will make them seem old, but it’s the untreated symptoms of hearing loss—misunderstanding people, frustration, feelings of isolation, withdrawing from difficult situations—that are more likely to make others think someone is ‘‘old’’. Not only are the Touch hearing aids very small, but they also have many features to assist people with hearing loss manage situations in which following conversations is difficult, such as in restaurants and crowds. As with most hearing aids, they can be programmed to match a person’s pattern of hearing loss. They also turn down background noise and ‘‘listen’’ to the environment and change settings to ensure the best hearing result, without the wearer needing to change programs.

HEARINGLife clinics are offering FREE road tests and home trials of the Touch hearing aid at all of their clinics. For your nearest clinic see above. Kelly Marrinan received her Doctor of Audiology degree from the Arizona School of Health and Science. All forms of health insurance are accepted including: Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Worker’s Compensation, Sterling, TriWest, Veteran’s Affairs, Lehrerleut Huetterite Benefit Plan, Lion’s Club, United, and many more.

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Thanks For Helping Us Remember Thank you so much for bringing back memories of our children. My husband and I are in our 70s. We thought we would write and thank you. My wonderful Mom, who is 91-years-old and lives in Great Falls, sends us articles from your paper all the time. We enjoyed the article in “Remember When” about the Grandma saying she had eyes in the back of her head. I said the same to our kids. One day I was sitting in the chair and felt my hair moving. I looked around and my 2-year-old son was looking for my eyes. My older daughter laughed. We also enjoyed the article about “The Old Expressions.” I remember telling my kids some of these phrases. One of them being “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” It was wonderful raising them. Because of your paper, we have thought of all the great memories. Thank you so much. Mimmie and Bill Aken Yuma, Arizona

Tools And Tool Board Interesting I just got done reading the April/May issue and so enjoyed it - cover to cover. I will probably be a regular from now on. I actually got this issue from a friend who thought Donald Green’s story would be interesting to me. My husband and I have a small, independent hardware store in Bridger and tools, of course, are pretty important to us. Our store isn’t very old, but it is in a pretty old building - once housing Baldwin Lumber/Hardware and Aldrich’s Hardware and Lumber. It’s not a fancy building, but it does have a history! Would it be possible for you to give us some contact information on Mr. Green? I would like to purchase one of his “tool boards” if he has one he could spare. The farmers around here (and maybe even some of the kids)

would probably enjoy seeing something like that here in the store. I’m sure my husband would get a kick out of a “board” as well. Thank you for any help you can give. Annette Anderson Anderson Value Plus Hardware Bridger

How About A Little Perspective? The end-of-life counseling provision proposed and unlikely to be in the final healthcare overhaul bill provides an interesting glimpse into the American way of looking at things. My 87-year-old mother recently flew up to Alaska to visit. She came by herself, although with help here and there - she has never been able to get a boarding pass out of a touch-screen machine. Virtually all my peers have long since lost their parents, so it was with humility and a profound acknowledgement of my good fortune that I took Mom to a nearby lake every day and walked the mile-long perimeter trail with her. She is still a reasonably good conversationalist, if you talk and listen patiently. A friend’s mother, a dear soul who I have known for years, recently made the trip up here for her 90th birthday. She is frail by comparison, still getting around on two artificial hips with the aid of a walker, but alert, if sometimes cranky. While it is always difficult to scrabble around in another person’s mind, neither of these brave women seems at all obsessed by the prospect of death. As I watched the contentious healthcare town-hall meetings on television, the look I saw on the faces of people in their forties and fifties was fear. I would guess they are afraid of their parents’ dying. Maybe they are very close, dependent, even. Or, not close enough but still hoping for the connection that hasn’t yet happened. I came across an AP story on the internet to-

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Kathy G. Earle Reverse Mortgage Consultant Phone: 406-543-2642 Cell: 406-240-1695 kathy.earle@wellsfargo.com Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2009 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. #65653 8/09-11/09

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 3

Montana Senior News A Barrett-Whitman Publication

P.O. Box 3363 • Great Falls, MT 59403-3363 406-761-0305 or 800-672-8477 FAX 406-761-8358 www.montanaseniornews.com email: montsrnews@bresnan.net The Montana Senior News is published six times each year in February, April, June, August, October and December at 415 3rd Avenue North, Great Falls, MT 59401 and is distributed free to readers throughout the state of Montana. The mail subscription rate is $8.00 per year (6 issues). The Montana Senior News is written to serve the reading interests of mature Montanans of all ages. Readers are encouraged to contribute interesting material. Views expressed in opinion stories, contributions, articles and letters are not necessarily the views of the publisher. The appearance of advertisements for products or services does not constitute an endorsement of the particular product or service. The publisher will not be responsible for mistakes in advertisements unless notified within five days of publication. All copy appearing in the Montana Senior News is protected by copyright and may be reprinted only with the written permission of the publisher. Advertising copy should be received or space reserved by the 5th of the month preceding the month of publication.

Jack W. Love, Jr., Publisher/Editor Colleen Paduano Kathleen McGregor Angie Erskine Becky Hart Peter Thornburg Sherrie Smith

Production Supervisor Advertising Sales Advertising Sales Advertising Sales Graphic Artist Distribution Admin/Production Assistant

Contributing Writers Bob Campbell Connie Daugherty George Engler Clare Hafferman Sue Hart Kim Thielman-Ibes Gail Jokerst Bernice Karnop Craig Larcom Liz Larcom Michael McGough Dianna Troyer © 2009


PAGE 4 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

day, by Annie Hung. She was reporting the recent typhoon in Taiwan that dumped 80 inches of rain in 48 hours, killed 500 and left 7,000 homeless. “Among the survivors was 67-year-old Huang Jih, who walked hours to safety across the rugged terrain, carrying his mother on his back. Now he was worried about how he could support his family of seven,� Hung related. “I have lost all my things,� his 102-yearold mother Tseng Jih told ETTV, crying on her makeshift bed. “What am I going to wear when I die?� Sounds like someone needs some end-of-life counseling. Don Chenhall Ward Cove, Alaska

Single Payer Is The Way To Go! Last year shortly after the election, I attended the President-Elect’s Helena meeting to discuss the state and future of healthcare. The clear message of the citizens assembled was that employers do not belong in the business of providing access to healthcare; it’s enough of a challenge to manage their actual business. The only way to assure quality healthcare for all Americans is to implement a single-payer system that can contain costs, allow individuals to choose their own doctors, hospital, and other healthcare providers, and integrate holistic wellness modalities and individual responsibility to make informed lifestyle choices. The recent and current furor is nothing but posturing and political distraction funded by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. All those millions should be paying for prevention, research, health education, and needed care instead of buying legislators and enlisting a new breed of know-nothings.

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Can You Afford Retirement? The Montana Financial Education Coalition is a group of dedicated organizations (including AARP, Commissioner of Banking and Financial Institutions, Montana School Board Association, MSU Extension Service, the Federal Reserve, and others) working to assist Montanans with financial information. We are offering three, free public seminars Can you afford retirement? from 1-5 pm and 6-9 pm as follows: â&#x20AC;˘ Great Falls - November 3 at Central Christian Church, 1025 Central Avenue â&#x20AC;˘ Helena - November 4 at Gateway Center, 1710 National Avenue â&#x20AC;˘ Bozeman - November 5 at Best Western GranTree Inn, 1325 North 7th Avenue Hear from a variety of experts regarding: â&#x20AC;˘ Social Security and Medicare â&#x20AC;˘ Medicaid Eligibility and Recovery â&#x20AC;˘ Investments, Annuities, Other Products, and fraud â&#x20AC;˘ Estate Planning and Trusts â&#x20AC;˘ Long-term Care Considerations â&#x20AC;˘ Reverse Mortgages Seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so please call Ben Marks, Rural Dynamics, Inc., at 406-454-5703 to reserve your seat. Jolene Bach Communications Director Rural Dynamics Incorporated MSN


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Remember when entertaining ourselves seemed a lot easier than it is today. We didn’t need cell phones, computers, or video games. We went outside and used what was available to us in our everyday world – making up games as we went. Our winning Remember When contributor is Lucille Lewis of Helena whose story Games We Played reminds us of a simpler time when games were invented and not given to us. Thank you and congratulations to Lucille, the winner of our $25 Remember When prize. Remember When contains our readers’ personal reflections, contributions describing fictional or non-fictional accounts from the “Good ol’ Days,” or reflections on life in general. Contributions may be stories, letters, artwork, poetry, etc. Photos may be included. Each issue of the Montana Senior News features the contributions deemed best by our staff. The contributor of the winning entry receives a $25 cash prize. We look forward to receiving your contributions for our December 2009/ January 2010 issue. Mail your correspondence to Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403; email to montsrnews@bresnan.net; or call 1-800-672-8477 or 406-761-0305.

Childhood Games Submitted by Lucille Lewis, Helena I remember these games as if it were yesterday. It’s a gift to have a good memory as you grow older. It was a warm evening and a group of kids gathered on the front stoop of our tenement building, ready for some mischief. In those days toys were scarce. Instead, our creative minds invented games. “How about playing Post Office,” Jake called out. All agreed and quickly a postman was picked. The first letter was for Mary. It was special delivery and had to be picked up at the post office at the back of the hallway. Mary lost no time picking up her mail. Guess what? It was for three kisses! Well, the game kept going until all the mail was delivered. This was a very popular game which turned into a frequent pastime. The creative minds of us children came up with still another game called Ring-A-Leeveeo. There was a jail keeper who had to search for the escaped prisoners and bring them back to jail. The jail keeper shouted “ring-a-leeveeo” whenever one of us was caught and brought back to jail. He could have a

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helper. Guess where we found places to hide? The coal bins in the cellar were the favorite ones even though it was dark, dusty, and scary. We had a lot of explaining about the dirty clothes to our parents. Another place to hide was three stories up. The rooftop was an exciting hideaway. Lots of stairs to

climb, but we were young and energetic. It took a long time to catch all the prisoners, but it was fun. We were living during the depression years. The kids were from various ethnic groups, Italian, Irish, Polish, Norwegian, etc., and we all got along. To this day I will never forget those wonderful games. MSN

A Very Distinguished Rooster By Bill Beckett, Great Falls I suppose that to you I look like any other rooster. But you must admit that I do stand out in this yard. My claim to fame is not because of my looks, but my lineage. My mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and all of my female antecedents had a special talent that is evident in one of my daughters. She will follow my mother, who is retiring, and take her place on the faculty of the local univer-

sity where she will teach a course in the medical school. I can already hear you asking,“Do you expect me to believe that? After all she’s only a chicken. What on earth can a chicken teach those aspiring young doctors?” As I said, she has a special talent. She will be teaching those future M.D.s how to write prescriptions and sign their names. Do you think they learn those skills without instruction? MSN

Habitat For Humanity Is Helping Put A Roof Over Someone’s Head The Holiday Season and winter can be a bittersweet time of the year. But for the many families Habitat for Humanity has been able to house since our founding, there is joy and thanksgiving for the ability to share in the American Dream of owning their home. The stability of simple, decent, and affordable housing changes the lives of everyone involved. There are many needs in life but Habitat for Humanity addresses the most basic of those needs… decent housing. Through the generosity of businesses, organizations, foundations, churches, and individuals, Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout Montana build houses in partnership with volunteers. Families who have been living in poverty housing work alongside volunteers to build the homes. Then they purchase the house at $0 profit and 0% interest from Habitat. However, the work of Habitat is far from finished in Montana. Our communities have hundreds of families living in poverty housing. Many of those families are working on their sweat-equity and setting aside money for closing costs now, in hopes of building their home in 2010. We depend on the generosity of the Montana community to make that happen. You can help their dream come true! By helping a family build a stable home, the children win! By adding homeowners to a neighborhood, the neighborhood wins! By removing the worry of housing, the family wins! Please consider a gift to Habitat for Humanity this Holiday Season. For more information call 406-652-0960 or visit www.billingshabitat. org. MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 11


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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Of the roughly 250,000 words in the English language, only about 6,000 are words composed of four letters â&#x20AC;&#x201C; despite the 456,976 possible combinations of four letters. Our winning contest is from Lola Arvidson of Lincoln whose Four Letter Words quiz puts â&#x20AC;&#x153;Four Letter Wordsâ&#x20AC;? in a positive context. Thank you, Lola. Congratulations to Carol VanKeuren of Billings who submitted the winning answers to the Old Expressions quiz that appeared in our August/September 2009 issue. Thank you, Carol. Two $25 cash prizes are awarded from the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Contest Cornerâ&#x20AC;? in each issue of the Montana Senior News. One prize goes to the person who submits the entry that our staff selects as the featured quiz or puzzle in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Contest Cornerâ&#x20AC;? for that issue. Be creative and send us some good, fun, and interesting puzzles! The second $25 prize goes to the person who submits the most correct answers to the featured quiz or puzzle from the previous issue. When there is a tie, the winner is determined by a drawing. Please mail your entries to the Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403, or email to montsrnews@bresnan.net by November 10, 2009 for our December 2009/January 2010 edition. Be sure to work the crossword puzzle in this issue and on our website www.montanaseniornews.com.

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Four Letter Words Submitted by Lola Arvidson, Lincoln Below we have a selection of words, phrases, and descriptions. The answers that go in the blanks are all four letter words. You will have to think differently to get these answers. We hope you enjoy this quiz and good luck.

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1. _____ gammon 2. A horse has a shaggy _____. 3. Of _____ and men 4. Every good castle needs a _____ around it. 5. The back of the neck is called the _____. 6. _____, France means courteous, friendly, etc. 7. An evergreen tree is a _____ and means to long for. 8. A yard scratching tool used in autumn is a _____. 9. Evil Knievel loved driving motorcycles up a _____. 10. Some like to cook, some like to ______ 11. Motor, speed, fishing, duck, sail, or tug _____ 12. Carrot, upside-down, or chocolate _____ 13. _____ is great to cover with stir fry.

Answers To â&#x20AC;&#x153;Old Expressionsâ&#x20AC;? 1. d 2. l 3. h 4. m 5. j 6. e 7. o 8. a

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Girl Scouts

of Montana and Wyoming Building girls of courage, conÂżdence, and cKaracter, ZKo maNe tKe Zorld a better place.

Girl Scouts of MT & WY 735 Grand Ave, Billings, MT 59101 1.00.73.53 Â&#x2021; ZZZ.gsmZ.org

14. Dorothyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s _____ slippers (color) 15. A blood vessel that carries blood to the heart is a _____. 16. Trouble walking? Use a _____. 17. Canaveral, Kennedy, or _____ Code 18. A soccer ball in the net is a _____. 19. A horned farm animal with a beard is a _____. 20. A camelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best feature is its _____. 21. A good exercise, especially for boxers is _____ rope. 22. BMX, 10-speed, or Mountain ___ __ 23. To inflate a flat bike tire you use a _____. 24. Spice, Hay, Deer, or Clearance _____ 25. Gene Kelly was just a singing in the _____. 26. Wax or _____ (get smaller) MSN

Answers to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Summer Cluesâ&#x20AC;? August/September 2008 - Page 6


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Affairs of the Heart By Myles Mellor

Across 1. Mel Gibson movie set in Scotland 7. Stylish 10. CD’s partner 12. Romantic affair 14. Do something risqué… (2 words) 17. U.S. equivalent of the AA 19. Hamlet’s verb 20. Building addition 21. Trendy 24. “My heart went ___, when I crossed that room,” Beatles 26. Queen Ankhesenamon’s king 27. Read only, for short 28. ___ Maria 30. Left hand, for short 31. The most heart-felt movie of all time starring Leonardo DiCaprio 33. Wife’s favorite list (2 words) 35. Card game 36. Can’t be too rich or too ___ 37. Hacker’s target 38. Physical activity good for heart health 42. Event controller 43. Atlanta locale 45. Chased by boys 47. Best number for tea? 49. Main artery to the heart 51. This in Paris 53. Bird with bladelike bill 55. Small child 56. Deepest feelings, as to pull on 61. Topeka locale 62. Marion, of Sherwood Forest

63. Tropical vacation destination 65. Sense of fashion 66. Alice in Wonderland’s hearts character 67. What everyone is looking for, with the Down 1. Wedding partner 2. Maggie May singer, first name 3. Back to Black singer, first name 4. Love and Kisses singer, first name 5. ___ your heart out! 6. Most well-known Shakespeare lover of all time 8. Essential to a long and happy life (2 words)

9. Is unfaithful (2 words) 11. Romantic couple 13. “__ Lady __,” Bob Dylan 15. Recede 16. U.S. southeast state, for short 18. Words wisdom 22. Fruit, sometimes 23. __ __ dollar? (2 words) 25. “Bed-in” lady of Lennon fame 28. Colony insect 29. Engineering Corps, abbr. 30. 1979 Cars tune (2 words) 31. “Wild ___, you make my heart sing,” The Troggs 32. Rhymes with heart 33. Bring into agreement in feeling or second part melody 34. Never to be forgotten princess 39. Ten __ (band) 40. Goals essential to living 41. You and me 44. Natural cholesterol reducer 46. Diamonds, slang 48. Unwanted conflict 50. Symbol, like a ring at a wedding 52. Dollar 54. Fashionable 56. Sexy 57. ___so, Dustin Hoffman character 58. Black or neck? 59. Cocktail mix ingredient 60. ID number, abbr. 64. Goes with behold

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 13


PAGE 14 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

We are fast approaching the holiday season and with it come social events, family gatherings, and bringing in the New Year. Send us your letter today and start looking for that new companion to accompany you this holiday season. To those who wish to respond to any of these personal ads, simply forward your message and address, phone number, or email address to the department number listed in the particular personal ad, c/o Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. We will forward your response, including your address, phone number, and/or email address to the person placing the ad. If you answer an ad in this section, there is no guarantee that you will receive a response. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to the person who placed the ad. Please make sure you submit your correct address plainly printed so you can promptly receive responses. Respond to the ads in this issue and also sit down now and prepare your own ad to run in our December 2009/January 2010 issue. There is no charge for this service and your ad may bring a breath of fresh air to your heart as well. Responses to personal ads appearing in this column can be submitted at any time.

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However, to place a personal ad, the deadline for the December 2009/January 2010 issue is November 10, 2009. 66-year-old (young) woman, widowed 3 years, after 46 years of marriage. 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122; 5 1/2â&#x20AC;?, brown hair, brown eyes, 160 lbs, non-drinker, non-smoker, and no drugs. Own my own home. Love animals, long walks, and gardening. Looking for the same in a gentleman in the Butte area. Reply MSN, Dept. 26101, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWM, retired, 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;, 185 lbs, NS, and no drugs. I would like a compatable as can be mate with a romantic side. I can be flexible. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m financially secure, and like art, movies, reading, camping, hiking, sports, health clubs, traveling, as well as quiet time. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also a Montana man. Looking for someone between 50 and 60. Send me your address, phone number, and photo. Hoping youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re attractive and average weight. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m attractive and fit. Please reply and I will answer right away. We can talk and maybe it will lead into a letter. Reply MSN, Dept. 26102, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a country gal, slim, attractive, tall, spiritual, fun-loving. I enjoy outdoor activities, togetherness, romance, cooking, many interests, and love traveling. Would like to meet a warm, caring gentleman, 55-70, romantic, intelligent, active, honest, secure, and a sense of humor. Looking for love/companionship, relationships need time to build. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not seeking a place to live, financial gain, or to be a housekeeper or nurse. Will consider relocating. Non-smoker, no drugs,

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 15

and very light social drinker. Reply MSN, Dept. must have a good outlook on life. I will answer all 26103, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, letters. A picture would be nice. I am divorced and Great Falls, MT 59403. in my early 60s. You can be my Christmas present. Reply MSN, Dept. 26105, c/o Montana Senior I am a male in my late 70s, non-smoker, non- News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. drinker, and no drugs of any kind. I like traveling, golfing, dinner out, fishing, and watching TV. LookI am a partially retired male, white, 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;6â&#x20AC;?, 140 ing for a lady companion close to my age or early lbs, NS, no drugs, who likes to travel back roads, 80s to enjoy life with me. I will answer all letters. go south in the winter, dancing, hiking, bicycling, Reply MSN, Dept. 26104, c/o Montana Senior boating, and just enjoying life. News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Please write so we can meet for coffee or lunch. I live in the Bozeman, Butte area. Please send WANTED: one good man, Christian values, in picture, if possible. I will travel to meet you. Reply eastern Montana. 60-years-old and up, someone MSN, Dept. 26106, c/o Montana Senior News, who loves God, outdoors, farm, or city life. You Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. MSN

Montana to Snowbirds: It Is Important where the 2010 Census Counts You!

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that time of year. Those lucky ramblers fondly known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;snowbirdsâ&#x20AC;? will be packing up and heading to warmer climates for the winter. Just around the time for their return, the 2010 Census questionnaires will be mailed. The official word from the 2010 Census is these dual-state folks should answer the questionnaire that is sent to the home where the majority of their time is spent. If you reside in two places equal parts of the year, or if you have no permanent address, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be counted where you are living on April 1, 2010. Montana officials want to remind fair-weather fans that it is a big deal where you are counted. Over $400 billion dollars is allocated to states and communities based on Census Bureau data. Not being counted adds up to approximately a $1,000 annual loss to that area, and over the 10 years until the next census, that translates to $10,000. Communities rely on financial assistance for programs for the elderly, libraries, hospitals, youth

services, and education. The Census numbers also affect state redistricting - how many seats Montana gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Census Bureau reminds everybody that gone are the days of long, time-consuming forms. The new census questionnaire has been shortened to only ten questions and takes less than ten minutes to fill out. Not only is it quick, it is completely safe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While your personal information is confidential and protected by law,â&#x20AC;? ensures Cathy Illian, the census director of the ten-state Rocky Mountain region, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is also sealed for 72 years. After 72 years, the data is released with the primary use being that of genealogy research. This research helps to build a bridge to your children and grandchildren.â&#x20AC;? The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and is a civic duty, like voting or being on a jury. It is your right to be counted. MSN

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PAGE 16 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

By Connie Daugherty The Surrounded by D’Arcy McNickle, University of New Mexico Press; Albuquerque; 1993 First published in 1936 and re-released in 1964, 1977, and again in 1993 in its 8th printing, D’Arcy McNickle’s first novel, The Surrounded has been chosen for this year’s One-Book Montana. It is full of symbolism and depth that cry out for group discussion - a book that you cannot read and keep to yourself. The story is as powerful and as significant today as it was in 1936. It is the story of different cultures struggling to live together and of one young man, with his feet in both worlds, struggling to understand his past and establish his place in the future of his aspirations. The Surrounded has been acclaimed as one of the best portrayals of Native American Reservation life ever written. But it is much more than that. It is a story of family and loyalty, of history and change. It is a story for everyone who has ever come in contact with ideas different from their own. McNickle’s characters and writing style are so naturally presented that you find yourself lost in the world he creates. There is a rhythm to the entire book - a story-telling rhythm that could easily be accompanied by drums beating or guitars strumming. It is captivating and intriguing. And in the silence that follows after you put the book aside you realize the strength and heart of the story. The Surrounded is set on the Flathead Indian Reservation in a thinly disguised St. Ignatius. Although it is a story of the Salish people, there “are elements which will be recognized as belonging to the… tribes from Hudson Bay southward,” says McNickle in a forward. It is a well-researched story, but also a personal story skillfully woven into a single tale. It is told from the perspective of Archilde Leon, a young man - half Salish, half Spanish, and totally himself. “He had come home this time because it would be the last time. When he went away again - this he knew - he would not return.” Archilde is the youngest in his family, the only child who has successfully ventured off the reservation into the white world. His Spanish father, who lives in the big ranch house, hopes that Archilde has returned to take over the ranch. His Salish mother, who lives in the small cabin out back of the big house, hopes he has returned simply because he loves her.

“When you came home to your Indian mother you had to remember that it was a different world…. There would be fishing, riding, climbing a mountainside - those things you wanted to do one more time…. Then wherever he might go, he would always keep the memory of these things.” Going away was something he would not talk about with his mother, just as he would not talk about the fiddle playing he loved to do, about the audiences or the money he earned. Instead he would behave as he knew she wanted - he would join her world one last time. He would participate in the feast she organized; he would listen to the old stories one more time. Archilde’s mother occupied a place of distinction in the tribe. She was the daughter of Chief Running Wolf…. More than that, she was a woman whose opinions were valued and they were given only when sought.” With Archilde’s Spanish father it is different. Max has spent the majority of his adult life on this reservation land; he has worked hard and developed one of the most successful ranches in the area. He is known by all; but, while not hated, not exactly respected either. “He had lived among them, had married one of their women, but had kept apart always. And they had learned not to hang around his ranch.” Tribal family and friends would come to the small cabin by the creek where the old woman lived, but they all stay away from the big ranch house that belongs to Max Leon. When they gathered for the feast, Max “would lie in bed swearing at the noise and wondering what it signified, whether the voices were sad or happy.” Archilde is a part of both these people and a part of the society in which he has grown up. Archilde loves his father - he has accepted his world as much as his mother’s world. He sleeps in the big house when he comes home. He has established a place for himself playing the fiddle in his father’s world, even though his father would rather he come home and take over the ranch. But it was Max who first sent Archilde out into the white world - to an Indian boarding school far from his home, a place where he could learn how to live in the world beyond the reservation. There, at the school, Archilde discovered the violin and the music he came to love. “He was listed as a printer’s apprentice, but he learned next to nothing about printing. With the other boys he studied music, and on Sunday afternoons drank tea and ate sweet biscuits… it was a strange romantic custom… and there were other strange, but wonderful things.” So Archilde is back at the ranch on the reservation for a brief visit before he gets on with the life he discovered and with his own dreams. His brief visit is extended, however, by the needs of his family and his sense of family duty. He tries to help, to “bring peace and order into the lives of his relatives…. Whatever he did, he felt that he


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remained on the outside of their problems. He had grown away from them, and even when he succeeded in approaching them in sympathy, he remained an outsider…. He saw no way of changing it.” Still he keeps trying - out of loyalty, out of a love, out of longing. Much in the same way that he stubbornly tries to rescue an old starving bay mare and her colt that he discovers. The more he spurs his big white horse in her direction, the more she runs away. Still, Archilde is determined. “It was infuriating, yet he couldn’t stop.... He had to show her kindness in spite of herself.” It is that trying, frustrating though it is, that keeps him home longer than he intended. And during that stay his perception of his family and of himself does change, his life does change. He comes to understand the meaning of Snie´l-emen. D’Arcy McNickle (1904-1977) was himself half Indian, half white. He was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. He was a distinguished anthropologist and writer of several histories of various American Indian tribes. He was the founding chairman of the Anthropology Department of the University of Saskatchewan and the founding director of the Newberry Library Center for the History of the American Indian, as well as one of the founders of the National Congress of American Indians. While he lived in the “white world,” he never lost touch with his Native American roots. The Surrounded was his first novel, and remains a classic of books about Montana by a Montana author - an absolute must read. MSN

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As a senior, you know there is no shortage of places to donate your money. Though you want to give, making sure your generous donation is given to a trustworthy, effective organization is often hard to know. You can be assured a gift to the University of Montana Western will be put to good work! Montana Western is the only public college in the country offering a unique program called Experience One (X1). In X1, students take (and professors teach) one class at a time for three hours a day, five days a week for three weeks before moving on to the next class. This results in more in-depth, personalized learning and greater retention of knowledge and skills among our students. It also allows for more real-world, practical learning and research projects uncommon in undergraduate institutions. Experience One is a common-sense approach to education that means our students truly understand what they learn. And with only 15 students per professor, our students can depend on an old-fashioned teaching technique called personal attention. Your gift to Montana Western will make all the difference in the lives of those students. Please contact us at 800-487-1933 or www.umfoundation.org to learn more about the Montana Western difference and how to donate to our foundation. MSN

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Auto Aids That Can Help Drivers By Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, I have heard that there are different gadgets or devices you can buy for your car that can help drivers. I have lost a lot of flexibility over the years and have a hard time getting in and out of my car, and my wife struggles with arthritis in her hands that causes her some problems too. What is available that can help keep us mobile? Stiff Driver Dear Stiff, There are many gadgets and devices on the market today that can help make driving easier and safer. Here is a breakdown of some popular budget-friendly products that can help with a variety of needs. Mobility and Flexibility - Each year in the U.S., an estimated 37,000 people age 65 and older are injured by simply entering or exiting their vehicle. If mobility problems or limited range of motion is hampering your ability to get in and out of your car, look over your shoulder, back-up or merge into traffic, or even reach for your seatbelt, here are some items that can help: • Handybar: This portable support handle inserts into the U-shaped striker plate on the doorframe and helps with getting into and out of the vehicle. • Car Caddie: This is another type of portable handle that hooks around the top of your door window frame giving you something to hold onto while getting out of the car. • Swivel seat cushion: A round portable cushion that turns 360 degrees to help drivers and passengers rotate their body into the car. • Panoramic (or wide-view) rear view mirror:

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These attach to your existing rear view mirror to widen your rear visibility and eliminate blind spots so you can see traffic without significant neck or body rotation. It also helps during parking. • Convex (or wide-angle) side view mirrors: These attach to the existing side view mirrors to improve side and rear vision. • Easy Reach Seat Belt Handle: This is a sixinch extension handle that attaches to your seat belt to make it easier to reach. Arthritic Hands - Drivers who have arthritic or weak hands may find the tasks of turning the ignition key to start the car, or twisting open the gas cap to fill up difficult and painful. Items that can help include an easy-to-grasp key holder, which is a small handle device that attaches to your car keys to provide additional leverage making it easier to turn the key in the ignition or door. And for help at the pump, a gas cap turner makes removing the gas cap a breeze. Another comfortable add-on is a steering wheel cover that fits over your existing steering wheel to make it larger and easier to grip. Sensitivity to Glare - Aging eyes usually become more sensitive to glare. A fantastic item that can help is the Sun Zapper Glare Shield – a device that clips right on to your existing sun visor to remove sun glare without obstructing vision. It also comes with a special sliding shield that lets you block extra-bright glare spots. Small Drivers - Most people shrink a little as they get older (due to gravity and osteoporosis) and for those who were small to start with, it can be difficult seeing over the steering wheel, or reaching the pedals without being too close to the airbag. Solutions include getting an orthopedic (wedge-shaped) seat cushion that supports the


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

back and elevates you a few extra inches to help you see. Or foot pedal extensions that allow you to reach the gas and brake pedals while keeping you 10-to-12-inches from the steering wheel. These cost around $200 and need to be installed by a professional. Shopping Tips: All of these items (except the foot pedal extensions) cost under $40, and can be found online at a variety of locations. Some good shopping points include Amazon.com, Dynamic

Living (888-940-0605, dynamic-living.com), ActiveForever (800-377-8033, activeforever.com), and AutoSport (800-953-0814, autosportcatalog. com). Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www. savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. MSN

Remembrances Of The Kennedys In Montana By Bob Campbell When John F. Kennedy was running for president in 1960, he assigned his 28-year-old youngest brother Teddy to manage his campaign in Montana. At Miles City, the Eastern Montana Fair and Rodeo was in full swing and Teddy was dressed as a Montanan. A cowboy challenged Teddy to ride a bucking bronco and Teddy thinking it would help the campaign, accepted the challenge. The first few seconds riding bareback produced a good picture but he quickly hit the ground in a cloud of dust. On election night, the Kennedy brothers were anxiously watching the returns and it was announced that Montana had voted for Richard Nixon. Jack turned to Teddy and said, “If you had stayed on that bronco longer we would have carried Montana.” As first lady, Jackie Kennedy was introduced to Flathead cherries, and she was so delighted she had four cases sent to her each summer. After 42 years in the United States Senate, Ted Kennedy distinguished himself with a legislative record praised by historians and leaders of both political parties. The members of the Kennedy clan shared a dedication to public service, and unlike his two older brothers, Ted Kennedy was able to live a full life during which he created social

changes that benefited us all. Five years after Jack Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Ted was called upon to give the final words at the funeral of his brother Bobby, assassinated in Los Angeles in June 1968. His words will never be forgotten: Like it or not, we live in times of danger and uncertainty. That is the way he lived, that is what he leaves us. My brother need not be idealized in death more than he was in life; he will be remembered as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, and saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us, and what he wished for others, would someday come to pass for all the world. As he said many times in many parts of this nation, to those he touched, and those who sought to touch him: “Some men see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not?” Watching the passing of the Kennedy brothers’ contribution to our political achievements, we can only hope our younger generation will take the time to appreciate the accomplishments of this remarkable family. MSN

Book Review Of Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die? Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, New York City, 2003 Reviewed by Clare Hafferman Sometimes you can find a real gem at a book sale. It might be a favorite from your childhood you thought you would never see again, an edition you wanted for your reference shelf, or an old-fashioned Mother Goose you could use for a baby gift. So if you take note of the title of this book review, Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die? - Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous and Noteworthy, you will wonder why I did not put it back in the pile. This is a huge trade-size paperback of 560 pages by an unknown writer (at least to me), but I used up half of one night reading it. To give the author credit, Tod Benoit is an excellent descriptive writer with attention to detail. From digging for the facts of these burials and cremations, he is able to reveal to us many things we might not have known. With a friend, Benoit began this adventure by trying to locate Jack Kerouac’s grave in Lowell, Massachusetts, after they had visited some of the bars Kerouac had frequented as he drank himself to death. For Benoit and his friend this turned into a long complicated search with a lot of detours, but eventually they located Kerouac’s grave.

Benoit decided there had to be an easier way. He began in 1992 to keep a list of famous people who mattered in one way or another to him, or who might have been a mote in the public’s eye at one time. He compiled an extensive record of

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several hundred well-known deceased folks - 700 in all with 450 included in this book. Benoit says all of us are unique in the realization that though we are mortal, we hope to achieve something for which we can be remembered. That desire is reflected in our cemeteries and the attention given to visiting and decorating gravesites - every tombstone a reminder to someone. Best known for commemorating the dead were the Egyptians with their elaborate coffins and secret burial tombs. Simpler were the Plains Indians who elevated the body up into a tree to dry out in the wind and avoid predators. The Chinese buried soldiers of the Emperor in mass graves and American pioneers found

a spot along the trail to leave an unmarked site. Most readers are aware of people they admire, dislike, or would like to imitate – historical figures, comedians, authors, musicians, movie stars, or just an ordinary Joe or Jill who captured their attention. Benoit has described eleven categories beginning with Gen-X Standouts and ending with Notable Figures from History. In between are the Sports Heroes, Television & Film Personalities, the Greats in Literature, Philosophy & the Arts, among others. With each name is a biography, some shorter, some longer. Elvis Presley, the Tupelo, Mississippi native, rated two and a half pages, as his family, friends, and publicists continue to keep his name afloat for the money it generates. Marilyn Monroe, with her death never fully resolved, was buried in Westwood Memorial Park in Santa Monica, California. Her one-time husband, Joe DiMaggio, had flowers delivered to her crypt every week. Marilyn’s photos are still included in pictures of the most beautiful women in film and her face is featured on a U.S. Stamp (as is Elvis’s). A dress she wore in Some Like It Hot was featured in an Antiques Roadshow segment and is estimated to be worth many thousands of dollars - if it ever makes it to an auction house. One wonders if so much attention is paid to these long-dead personalities, how great was the pressure when they were alive? Some could take it. Of those who could not, quite a few entertainment personalities exited assisted by drugs and alcohol - Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Chris Farley, and Billie Holiday, for example. Belushi was buried under a large boulder marked “Belushi” in Abel Hill Cemetery in Chilmark, Massachusetts, but his family supposedly had his remains moved to prevent gawkers from disturbing the site, but nothing has been proven. One example of stability and longevity was George Burns. Devastated by his wife Gracie’s death when she was 62, he disappeared from the TV screen until he replaced the ailing Jack Benny in The Sunshine Boys and won an Academy Award in 1975. From then until he died at the age of 100, George punctuated his soliloquies with cigar smoke and closed each performance with, “Goodnight Gracie.” Asked for his advice on life in general, Burns told the interviewer, while he puffed his cigar and sipped a Martini, “Fall in love with what you do for a living. I don’t care what it is. It works.” In a note of quixotic humor, George’s butler and friends sent him into eternity wearing a dark blue suit, a light blue shirt, and a red tie, with his toupee in place. They put cigars in his pocket, included a watch Gracie had given him, his ring, and money in his wallet so that wherever he ended up, he could play bridge. Among other odd bits of information, some of the famous are buried or their ashes interred in cemeteries where those who visit must have a key - a gated community of sorts. Humphrey Bogart’s ashes remain at Forest Lawn Memorial where a Golden Key of Memory gains entry. In the fraternity of the departed who wanted no recognition are Cary Grant and Fred Gwynne (best known as Herman Munster and as the opinionated southern judge in My Cousin Vinnie). Cary Grant died of a stroke at 82, asked for no services of any kind, was cremated, and his ashes were given to his fifth wife, Barbara. Fred Gwynne wanted no plaque or gravestone at the Sandymount United Methodist Church in Sandville, Maryland. In the cemetery behind the church and near the back is a distinctive brown Shannon stone. About twenty feet in front and to the left of the stone, Gwynne is buried with only grass above him and no marking at all. Despite the inherent sadness of the subject, Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die? is an interesting read. You will learn about the lives and idiosyncrasies of the famous, infamous, and noteworthy – how they began, what they accomplished, and how their lives ended. A revised copy will be out this fall. MSN

Squanto - Before The Pilgrims

By W.E. Reinka Remember the stories from childhood about the first Thanksgiving and Squanto the Native American who befriended the Pilgrims? Unlike many tales that prove to be myth (George Washington and the cherry tree, for instance), it turns out that Tisquantum or Squanto, as he became known, really did become a valuable friend to the Pilgrims. But, that is far from the most extraordinary aspect of Squanto’s adventurous life. Relatively few people today have traveled six times across the Atlantic Ocean. Yet in an era when most Europeans rarely traveled far from home, Squanto crossed the Atlantic Ocean six times before he even met the Pilgrims. In 1605, fifteen years before the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth Rock, George Weymouth, an English captain, was scouting New England resources on behalf of some English merchants. Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, was one of the Native Americans Weymouth took back to England. Sources differ on whether Weymouth brutally kidnapped Squanto or merely enticed him with


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food to go along on the voyage to England. Likewise, no one knows how old Squanto was at this time, but he was probably about fourteen. In England, Sir Fernando Gorges, a wealthy merchant and trader, took Squanto under his wing and taught him English. Nine years later, Gorges sent the homesick Squanto back to America on one of his merchant ships. In a twist of fate Hollywood might find hard to believe, just before Squanto got back to his village, a treacherous English sea captain kidnapped him a second time. After throwing Squanto and other captured Native Americans in the ship’s hold, the captain sailed to Malaga, Spain where he tried to sell his human cargo into slavery. Fortunately, Squanto’s luck was not all bad. Local Spanish friars intervened and freed the captives. Squanto lived with the friars for a couple of years and took instruction in Christianity. But, his adventures were far from over. In 1618, Squanto was back in England, sailing aboard a British ship for Newfoundland. After returning to England from that voyage, Squanto was reunited with Sir Gorges who sent him back to America - and finally home. What a sad homecoming. When he finally returned to his village, 14 years after he first left, he found skeletons everywhere. Where 2,000 Patuxets once thrived, not a single soul had survived a great sickness. Dejected, Squanto went to live with the Wampanoag tribe and its leader, Massasoit. In March of 1621, Massasoit dispatched the English-speaking Squanto to negotiate a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. Talk about perfect timing. The Pilgrims gained a treaty, and equally important after their desperate first winter, Squanto’s friendship. Just as we learned in childhood, Squanto really did show the Pilgrims how to plant corn with fish as fertilizer. He also showed them how to catch eels and served as interpreter on trading expeditions with Native Peoples. So valuable was Squanto that on two different occasions, Pilgrims intervened to save his life including once when other Indians kidnapped him. Governor William Bradford called him “a special instrument sent by God.” Squanto would probably agree that God does indeed work in mysterious ways. MSN

Hurrah For The Fun By W.E. Reinka “When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.” That opening line from a poem in 1883 by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley evokes autumn with a nip in the air, pumpkins ripe for carving, and corn shocks bundled for feed. But farmers will tell you that pumpkins, like other types of fruit, do not keep after they’re caught in heavy frost. Fruit? Yes, pumpkins, like tomatoes, are technically fruit because they grow from blossoms. Come Halloween we don’t care if they’re fruit or vegetable so long as they’re scary - or jolly - or whatever the mood of your jack o’lantern. They’re part of Halloween fun because as Illinois poet Carl Sandburg reminds us in Theme in Yellow, deep down everyone knows that the scary jack o’ lantern is only fooling: “…Children join hands/ And circle round me Singing ghost songs/ And love to the harvest moon; I am a jack-o-lantern/ With terrible teeth And the children know/ I am fooling.” Pumpkins are grown around the world. The word “pumpkin” originated in the Greek word “pepon” which means “large melon.” The French added their accent and turned it into “pompon” before it crossed the English Channel to become “pumpion” and finally the American colonist had the last word by changing it to “pumpkin.” The jack-o-lantern has Celtic roots. According to Irish legend, a wily character named “Stingy Jack” double-crossed the devil not once, but twice. When Jack died, he was too disreputable to make it into heaven. But, after being double-crossed twice by Jack, the devil wanted nothing to do with him anymore and sent him away from the gates of hell. Ever since, Jack has been wandering the night with only a burning coal placed in a carved out turnip, to light his way. Irish legend called him “Jack of the Lantern” which was abbreviated over the centuries to Jack o’ Lantern. Tradition spread to England and Scotland. People started carving scary faces into turnips, potatoes, or huge beets, to scare off evil spirits. When the American Colonists found pumpkins waiting for them on these shores, they became perfect jack-o-lanterns. Thank the American Colonists for

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pumpkin pie, too, which started when they cleaned the pumpkin, filled the insides with spices and honey and baked it the hot ashes of a fire. “Hurrah for the fun Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie! Pumpkins’ orange color shows that they’re loaded with beta-carotene. Scientists theorize that beta-carotene offers protection from all kinds of diseases and helps fight the degenerative aspects of aging. The seeds are chock full of good stuff, too. Bake a sheet of seeds sprinkled with oil and

salt and let the grandkids have at them.

My Wife Louise’s Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe 1. Thoroughly wash fresh seeds, removing all traces of pulp. 2. Spray a cookie sheet with oil 3. Spread seeds in a single layer across cookie sheet 4. Salt 5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until starting to brown 6. Stir seeds once half way through toasting MSN

When It Is Time To Downsize, Make Money On Your Unwanted Treasures

By Jim Miller Selling off old items that you do not want or need anymore is a great way to downsize, de-clutter, and pad your pocketbook. Here are some top options to help you pedal your stuff. Online Selling - If you have the time and access to the Internet, the best way to get top dollar for your old unwanted possessions is to sell them on the World Wide Web. Online selling provides literally millions of potential customers, so your odds of getting more money for your stuff is much greater than you would get at a garage sale or through a consignment store. While there are lots of sites that will help you sell your stuff, the two biggies who draw the most visitors are Craigslist and eBay. Craigslist - If you are not familiar with Craigslist.org, it is a huge classified ads site that serves more than 550 cities and attracts some 50 million visitors each month, and it is free to use. It works just like putting an ad in your local newspaper. You list the item you want to sell including a brief description (pictures too) for the price you want. Interested buyers will then contact you directly via email, and the rest is up to you. Larger items that are difficult to ship sell well on Craigslist like furniture, appliances, exercise equipment, and even vehicles. eBay - With around 85 million active members, eBay.com is by far the biggest selling site on the Web. Almost anything can be sold on eBay. The downside however is the fee they charge. eBay charges a non-refundable listing fee between 10 cents and $4 per item, depending on the asking price. And if it sells, a closing fee of 8.75 percent of the sale price up to $25, with a declining percentage paid on larger sells. eBay can also help if you do not have the time, or do not want to do the selling yourself. Just go to ebaytradingassistant.com where you can find a trading assistant in your area who will do everything for you. They


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typically charge between 15 and 40 percent of the selling price. Another large selling site you should check out is Amazon.com (it charges sales fees too) which is great for selling old books, CDs, and DVDs. Easy To Use - If you have concerns about learning how to maneuver these selling sites, you will be happy to know that they are all pretty userfriendly and offer step-by-step instructions. Once you sell a few items, you will feel like an old pro. You also need to know that if you are planning to sell a lot of items, a digital camera is a must. Pictures are essential to selling on the Web, and a digital camera makes it easy to transfer your

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peal to you, have a garage sale (see www.yardsalequeen.com for tips), or see what your nearby consignment store will sell for you. While neither of these options will make you as much money as the Web, they are still great ways to get rid of old stuff and make a few bucks in the process. And the stuff that does not sell can always be donated to a charity for a tax deduction. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www. savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. MSN

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

When Caregiving Ends: Tips On Adjusting By Lisa M. Petsche It is easy for caregivers to become isolated because of their relative’s need for continual care, whether it is practical help or supervision. For instance, they may have to give up a career or volunteer work in order to provide full-time care. Over time, caregivers may lose touch with friends because the heavy demands of caregiving limit their time and energy for nurturing relationships and their ability to get out of the house. All too easily, they become disengaged from supportive social networks and stress-relieving leisure activities. When the person they have been caring for

dies, caregivers are challenged with finding a new sense of purpose and new activities. They may also face the challenge of learning to live alone - some for the first time. Loneliness and feelings of emptiness may be difficult to overcome. If you are in this situation, the following are some tips that may help. Be kind to yourself - Give yourself permission to feel all the emotions that surface, including resentment, relief, and guilt. Recognize that there will be good days and bad days. Prepare a list of things to do on the bad days — small indulgences to give you a lift as well as tasks or projects that will give you a sense of satisfaction. Look after your physical health. Eat nutritious meals, get adequate rest, and exercise regularly. In addition to safeguarding your overall health, these measures will also help ward off depression. Take things one day at a time so you do not get overwhelmed. Nurture your spirit - Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a journal, chronicling your journey of self-discovery and growth. Nurture your spirit by doing things that bring inner peace, such as meditating, praying, reading something uplifting, listening to music, or spending time in nature. Get a pet. Cats and dogs provide companionship and affection and give you a sense of purpose. Get busy - Get out of the house every day. For example, go out to buy the newspaper rather than have it delivered to your home. Enjoy a cup of java or tea at a local coffee shop while you read. Space out errands over the week. Do banking in person rather than online. You never know whom you might meet when you are out. To further combat isolation, consider joining a dinner club, fitness center, or exercise class. Offer to chauffeur grandchildren, nieces, or nephews to extracurricular activities. Find out their sports schedules and attend as many games as possible. Sign up for an adult education course or lessons that interest you - for example, gourmet cooking, pottery, or modern jazz. Be sure to check out available programs at the local senior center or recreation center as well as those offered by educational institutions. Learning something new is energizing and boosts your self-confidence. And you might make new friends in the process. Get involved in your community. Volunteer for a neighborhood association, charitable or environmental cause, animal shelter, or political campaign. Some former caregivers like to give back in some way to an organization that helped them and their relative, such as the Alzheimer’s Association or Cancer Society. Look for a job if your health is good, especially if you are concerned about finances. Cultivate some solitary pastimes. Take up crossword puzzles, woodworking, scrapbooking, writing, or sketching. Learn to enjoy your own company. Reach out - Take the initiative in calling friends and relatives to talk or get together. Instead of waiting for invitations, extend them. Suggest a regular time to get together for coffee or lunch. Plan a trip to visit loved ones who live far


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

away. Do nice things for others, especially those who are also going through a difficult time. This takes your mind off your own situation, boosts your selfesteem, and strengthens relationships. Find at least one person you can talk to openly and who will listen and empathize with your situation, such as a close friend, spiritual leader, or mental health worker. Join a bereavement support group. If it is hard to get out or you prefer anonymity, try an Internet

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 25

forum instead. If feelings of isolation persist, you might take in a boarder, share accommodations with a relative or friend, move to a senior living community, or relocate closer to loved ones. Don’t make such a major decision hastily, though - give yourself plenty of time. Lisa M. Petsche is a clinical social worker and freelance writer specializing in eldercare issues. MSN

Soft Landing By Nancy Rush My Mom, Lorine, died at age 96 on August 29, 2009. With her wishes known, plans made, good communication with her five daughters, and the support of valued health professionals, her death was a soft landing. Thirty years ago the plans began. Lorine and my Dad, George, who both enjoyed foreign travel, had decided to purchase portable cremation insurance - just in case. Then, as a new retirement community was being developed in their neighborhood, they put their names on a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a reserved covered parking space. This housing choice required long-term care insurance, so they had physicals and were approved for it. Dad lived to the age of 72. Then the cremation insurance was used, and our family spread his ashes in the mountains where my parents liked to camp. Mom moved into the completed retirement apartment where she resided for 14 years. For the next two years, she lived there in assisted living. Last year, Mom moved to be near my older sister, first in an assisted living facility and then in a nursing home for 6 months. Her long-term care insurance and her retirement income covered her expenses. Mom had rehabilitation services in the nursing home. Until a few days before her death, she did physical therapy. She also was working with a speech therapist who alerted the family to the likelihood of aspiration pneumonia only four days before Mom died. Telephone discussions confirmed to us that she preferred no further hospitalization, so the nurses and her doctor shifted her treatment to comfort care. Three of my sisters were with Mom on her final day. The nurse described the signs of death and they decided to sit in shifts with mom. It was not long until the nurse observed signs of impending death and confirmed the end was near. Two of my sisters held Mom’s hands and prayed together as her life ended. We had made prior arrangements with a local mortuary, and the local coroner certified Mom’s passing. Everyone was gentle with Mom and supportive of our family. We five sisters and other family members gathered for a memorial service, and with legal permission from the county, we spread Mom’s ashes September 11, 2009 at the same place where we had spread Dad’s ashes - in the mountains they loved. This was a special date for both my parents. Dad was born September 11, 1911, and Mom and Dad were married September 11, 1943. Careful planning, good communication, family cohesiveness, and supportive professionals are a good formula for death to be a soft landing. Nancy Rush RD, is Program Manager for Community Health Education in the Central District Health Department, Boise, Idaho. MSN

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PAGE 26 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Geriatricians in Short Supply and Dwindling Daily. Low Pay, High Demands Holding Back Interest in the Specialty derly is expected to fall to one such doctor for every By Tait Trussell, Senior Wire There is a drastic shortage of doctors who 4,254 older Americans by the year 2030, when specialize in the illnesses of the elderly. And the baby boomers join the contingent of old folks. Geriatricians, after earning their medical defuture looks even bleaker. Look at the statistics. There is one geriatri- grees, complete a three-year residency program in cian for every 2,546 Americans age 75 and older, either internal medicine or family medicine before entering a geriatric mediaccording to the American Because of the projected increase cine fellowship program. Geriatrics Society, which is in older Americans, the ratio of This training gives dedicated to the health of geriatricians to the elderly is expected older Americans. to fall to one such doctor for every 4,254 them clinical competence in the physiology of agWhile there were 7,128 older Americans by the year 2030, ing: illnesses common to board certified geriatricians when baby boomers join the the elderly, atypical cases in the U.S. last year, the contingent of old folks. of illness in seniors, the country has even fewer board certified geriatric psychiatrists, only 1,596. functional assessment of these patients, the treatA geriatrician, as you may well know, is a ment and management of seniors in acute care, medical doctor who is specially trained to meet long-term care, community-based and home-care the unique health needs of seniors. Illnesses, dis- settings, and the assessment of cognitive condieases, and medications tions of the elderly. Geriatric psychiatrists must complete a fourcan affect older people differently from younger year residency program in psychiatry before going adults. Compounding into a fellowship program in geriatric psychiatry. In the 2007 academic year, there were 468 the problems, of course, is the fact that older pa- geriatric medicine first-year training slots and only tients typically have mul- half were filled. For the same year, 136 geriatric tiple health problems psychiatric fellowship training slots were available and take several medi- and again only half were filled. The problem is that the number of doctors encations. A gerontologist, on tering geriatric fellowship programs fell from 167 the other hand, is a in 2003 to only 91 in 2007. The majority of physisocial scientist with a cians who go into geriatrics have attended medical PhD in gerontology and schools outside of the United States. The same works in the academic trend held for psychiatric fellowship programs. Add to this the fact that geriatricians’ comstudy of aging and the social problems of older pensation is much lower than that of most other medical and surgical specialists. adults. What are the reasons for the continuing Because of the projected increase in older shortage of doctors who specialize in treating Americans, the ratio of seniors? First, in recent years a declining number of geriatricians to the el-

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MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 27

U.S. medical graduates have been going into internal medicine and family medicine, the two fields that are the source of applicants for geriatric fellowship programs. Second, not only do geriatricians generally earn less money, but they also have less predictable work schedules than those in other medical specialties, such as dermatology, plastic surgery, radiation oncology, and emergency room medicine. Third, in many areas of the country, Medicare payment rates for doctors are lower than reimbursement rates from commercial insurance companies. And Medicare reimbursement for mental health services are discounted even more. Medicare, of course, is the major source of reimbursement for those in geriatrics. Fourth, Medicare fees to doctors are based on an “average” visit. But since geriatricians deal mainly with the oldest seniors, they spend more time with their patients than other doctors do with younger seniors. Since time is money, geriatric physicians are not as fairly reimbursed as are other doctors. Dr. Sharon Brangman, a member of the American Geriatrics Society, explained that to relieve the shortage of geriatricians, “Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers need to provide higher compensation for physicians who have certification in geriatrics and specialize in elder care. For the short term there should be incentive programs for medical students to go into geriatrics... such as loan forgiveness.” She also said, “Medicare needs to shift from a solely acute medical care model to one that also includes coverage for chronic medical care and coordination because people are living longer with more chronic illness.” As for caretakers of frail seniors, Dr. Brangman called for coordination with the U.S. Administration on Aging and local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association “to help create training programs for senior care... with funding from the state or national level to help create curriculum.” Roughly three million people work in direct-care jobs, mainly with the elderly, as nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides. Experts project a demand for one million more caretakers in the next decade. MSN

The Truth About Penguins Submitted by Julie Hollar Did you ever wonder why you never see dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica? Did you ever wonder where they go? Wonder no more. It is known that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird that lives an extremely ordered and complex life. Penguins have a very strong community bond, and they are very committed to their family and will mate for life. Penguins also maintain a form of compassionate contact with their offspring throughout their lives. If a penguin is found dead, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice and snow using their vestigial wings and beaks until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried. The male penguins then gather in a circle around the freshly dug grave and sing, “Freeze a jolly good fellow….” MSN

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PAGE 28 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Day of Atonement By W.E. Reinka I was flipping through my calendar when I spotted Yom Kippur on one of the pages. Not being Jewish, the only thing I knew about Yom Kippur was that it came in the fall because one year, the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax refused to pitch a World Series game on it. I now know that Yom Kippur is a high Jewish holiday known as the Day of Atonement. Heady stuff, atonement. It’s a tough assignment because we can’t atone for anything until we accept our share of the blame for something. That’s almost against our nature. Back in 1961 we called it “junior high” and it ran from grades seven to nine. Ninth graders, some of whom were sprouting whiskers, towered over us seventh grade boys. Forget ninth graders, most seventh grade girls towered over us. In the sink-or-swim seas of Wilson Junior High, we had the self-esteem of plankton. Then we discovered a girl I’ll call “Linda Bort.” When we changed classes, screams of “Bort! Bort!” heralded Linda’s approach. Then she would emerge in the hallway ahead, walking with her chin high through a gauntlet of boys trying to shove

each other into her. Linda’s crimes, if you will, were her withered left arm, frizzy hair, and a face that squeezed into a pointed nose. I’d like to tell you how I intervened; how I lectured Linda’s tormentors. But I didn’t. I joined the mob. Close to 50 years after junior high days, I’m burdened by shame for having taunted Linda Bort. My treatment of Linda is even sadder given that before marching off to Wilson, I attended Garfield Elementary which sat on the wrong side of the tracks in our blue collar town. It was no place for thin-skins. Garfield housed what the district then called the “special ed” classroom where administrators grouped together physically and mentally challenged kids. However, in a rite resembling honor among thieves, the sarcastic hordes that filled Garfield’s other classrooms kept the “special” kids off-limits from their remarks. At Wilson kids gave back as good as they got when trading barbs that could pierce alligator skin. But Linda was due no payback - she never said a word to us. How desperately we must have wanted to build ourselves up by putting her down. I now lament the unimaginable pain we caused

her at an age when every unattributed chuckle had us checking our backs for “Kick Me” signs or open flies. A while back I tracked down Linda Bort’s address on the Internet. I snail-mailed her a note explaining that she wouldn’t know me by name but that I was one of the boys who used to torture her in the halls. I didn’t ask for her forgiveness; that would be letting me off too easy. But I did apologize. I did not expect her to write back and she did not. My brief study of Judaism shows that Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement between people and God, not between one person and another. When we sin against another person, we’re supposed to reconcile with that person before Yom Kippur. I don’t kid myself that my apology helped erase Linda’s scars. You might even say that I wrote it as much to ease my pain as hers. Have I reconciled my behavior toward her? It doesn’t feel like it. But by acknowledging my part in her pain, I hope I’ve taken that first small step toward atonement. W.E. Reinka may be reached at wereinka@ ix.netcom.com. MSN

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By Lynne Wells Walding, Senior Wire How old were you when you found out the truth about Santa Claus? I was nine! Yes, you read right! I know, I know, there are nine-year-old college freshmen out there! I’d like to think it’s not that I was slow-witted, but rather that my family was so convincing. Every Christmas Eve, my brother, Larry, took me for a long walk. And, every year – doggone it – we would just miss Santa’s visit. Not being a total dweeb, I finally got suspicious of that routine. Perhaps I expressed those doubts to my family. Because, when I was seven, we took our usual walk. When we got home, I was sure we had just missed him – as usual – but, lo and behold, he had not come yet. Mother assured me that he was just running late. She tucked me into bed, with a promise that she would awaken me when he arrived. I made her cross her heart. True to her word, a couple of hours later she woke me. “He’s here!” she whispered. Yeah, right! I’d been warned about this little ruse. It would be Daddy, all dressed in a red suit, and wearing a fake beard. Imagine my surprise when I walked, sleepy-eyed, into the living room to see Daddy, and a rotund gentleman in red, chatting about the weather. “Oh, there you are, Sleepyhead. I’m sorry I’ve been missing you every year. My, my! You’ve grown,” the jolly, fat man

said to me, as though he’d known me all my life. He sat down, motioning for me to sit on his lap. I don’t know where Daddy found him – but he was the real McCoy. No soft pillows to shift around under his red suit; which was a beautiful silky material with luxurious fur on the collar and sleeves. And, no fake beard! Everyone laughed when I put my face almost against his to pass judgment on his lustrous facial locks. One by one he took our toys from a big black bag and spread them under the tree; moving as though he had all the time in the world. Larry and I were chomping at the bit. Then, Santa apologized that he would not be leaving by the chimney. “Having a little back trouble,” he explained convincingly. As soon as the door closed behind him, we were on the toys like “ducks on June-bugs”. Mother brought our attention to the sound of sleigh bells in the distance. Whoa, this guy was good! And, I was hooked for another year! In those days – at least in our neighborhood – most folks bought or cut live trees and left them out for Santa to decorate - while the kids slept. We did things differently. Mother said Santa had so much to do, that it would be nice if we helped by decorating our own tree. We usually did that on December 23. How times have changed! Nowadays, most trees are store bought, and they begin appearing the day the Halloween decorations vanish. I think it all started when those pitiful-looking fake trees hit the market. Competition demanded that each merchant get his fake trees out first. Then came the aluminum trees. Oh dear, I tried that once, as a young working girl. My sophisticated phase! The next spring, it - along with the pink plastic ornaments - went for one dollar in a garage sale. As my ninth Christ-


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

mas neared, I was still defending Santa’s existence. Hadn’t I met him up close and personal? The only child in a class of 23 who believed, I approached my mother with “the” question. “Mother,” I said, “I have to know the truth. Is Santa Claus real?” “Let’s have a glass of milk, some cookies, and talk about it,” she said. My heart sank. That meant only one thing. I was, indeed, the class moron, and she was about

to gently confirm it. But, after hearing her out – I didn’t feel stupid. I felt very wise and kind of grown up. “Flesh and blood, he is not,” she began. “Santa Claus is the very spirit of giving! Children keep him alive in their imaginations, and parents keep him alive in their hearts. Selfishly, perhaps, because absolutely nothing makes a mother or daddy happier than to see their child smile. We want that giving spirit to always live in your heart. And, when you

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 29

are a mother, you will pass it on.” She was crying. I was crying. But, not because I was sad. Francis Pharcellus Church could not have said it better! Ms. Walding is a columnist, novelist, and clock smith, who resides in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas. Contact Lynne at senior. momentum@ymail.com. MSN

Dog Days By Dr. Michael R. McGough By the third day, Rex was driving me nuts. He could not get comfortable, which was becoming a source of great discomfort for me. I had questioned my decision to “dog sit” numerous times, but I had agreed, so I would see it through to the end. Art and Louise were private folks. We had been neighbors for years so there was a great deal of mutual respect and we were friends, but we also respected each other’s privacy - probably one of the reasons we remained good friends over so many years! When they traveled they would often ask me to keep Rex and I usually did. When they returned, I always got a box of taffy, pound of fudge, or aromatic candle from the Grand Canyon. Generally, Rex was not a problem. Our backyards touched, so he was familiar with me and always seemed comfortable. This time there was something unusual in his behavior. At one point, I snapped at him, “Rex, that’s enough. You’re makin’ me nuts!” The dog looked at me with troubled eyes. For a minute, I thought he might be sick. Not able to make me understand, he slowly walked across the kitchen floor, laid down by the screen door and looked at Art’s house. I got the sense that the dog was thinking, “This guy just doesn’t understand.” He was right I didn’t. Louise was a faithful postcard sender, so after three days when I did not get a card, I began to wonder if everything was okay. Since they were on the road and without a cell phone, contacting them was not an option. Then it dawned on me; I had no idea where they were, or when they were coming back. I realized that they had not told me. That was a bit unusual, but no real problem, they never stayed away more than a week. Art was fussy about his lawn and trusted its care to no one. In the early evening of the fourth day, I got a call that pretty much explained everything. It was Louise. After asking how I was and if Rex was any problem, she explained that Art was recovering nicely from hip replacement surgery. I was floored. I told her that I assumed that they were on a trip. She laughed and explained that Arthur did not want anyone to know. She said, “You know how private he is about such things.” Rex heard me use her name, and in something much faster than a flash, the dog was beside me nervously alternating between a standing and a sitting position. Rex wanted information. He needed to know about Art. Rex obviously could not talk, but I got the message loud and clear. Getting down on my knees, I looked the anxious dog square in the eyes and I said, “Art’s fine - he’ll be home on Friday.” Giving my words a few seconds to sink in, Rex dropped his head, walked back across the kitchen floor and stared across the yards at Art’s house. On a hunch, I opened the screen door and the dog walked slowly across the yards. I followed. He took his time as he walked You may qualify for free assistive telephone equipment through the around the house, checked everything, watered a Montana Telecommunications Access Program! small shrub, and then headed back to my place. Once inside, Rex took a drink from a bowl next to the door, laid down and went to sleep. And there MSN was no question this dog was sleeping because F Yes, I want to learn more about MTAP! The Montana Telecommunications he snored, loudly. That was the first real rest he Access Program (MTAP) provides Name: ____________________________________ had had in days. The poor dog was exhausted, FREE assistive telephone equipment but comfortable. Over the next three days, Rex to those who qualify, making it easier Address: __________________________________ to use the phone to do business or was decidedly more relaxed and much more like City: ______________________________________ keep in touch with family and friends. the dog I knew. I know dogs cannot talk, but this convinced me that they sure can listen. State: _____________ Zip Code: _______________ Equipment available through On Friday, Louise called to tell me that she Phone: _____________________________________ MTAP includes: would be bringing Art home during the afternoon. x Amplified (louder) telephones I asked if I could do anything and she said that if I Return form to: MTAP x Captioned telephones P. O. Box 4210, Helena, MT 59604 could bring Rex over after she had Art in the house x Loud bell ringers and sitting down, that would be great. x TTYs (text telephones) When I took Rex home, I saw something that x Artificial Larynxes touched my heart. Almost as though this dog knew x Much, much more! that Art could not take one of the usual, jump-upand-greet-your-best-buddy welcomes, he walked over, licked Art’s outstretched hand, breathed a loyal dog’s sigh of relief, and calmly lay down beFor more information just mail us this form or call toll-free:1-800-833-8503 side Art. Once again, all was right in his world. Montana Department Public Health HumanServices Services In an instant, I had a new appreciation for the Department of Publicof Health and and Human phrase, dog-like loyalty! Happy Dog Days! MSN

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PAGE 30 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Billings Catholic Schools Ensuring Faith-based Education For All

At a time when tuition dollars and parish subsidies are no longer sufficient to keep Catholic schools in the black, more and more administrators are establishing foundations and endowments to help balance the budget. The Billings Catholic Schools Foundation was established in 1973 to ensure the continuation of quality, faith-based education in Billings for years to come. Our forefathers would be proud of the community they were so instrumental in forming. The downturn in the economy has had an adverse affect on Billings Catholic School families. Roughly 46% of the families currently either receive tuition assistance through the tier program or endowed scholarships. There has been a dramatic increase in scholarship applications and the number

of teary-eyed moms who say that without help, their children will not be able to stay in the system. The dream of faith-based education is in jeopardy! Growing the endowment is essential to keeping tuition affordable. By doing so, the Foundation is able to increase the funds available to the schools on a yearly basis. Donors can help keep the dream alive by making a year-end contribution. Each gift benefits every child every day and helps maintain the high quality education that is synonymous with Billings Catholic Schools. Please call Janyce Haider today at 406-252-0252 to help you decide which gifting opportunity best suits you and your family. MSN

Sisters By Sharon Gratton Hanson I was born into a family of four girls, in which I was number three. The pecking order goes like this: Leâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Lawne Mae (Lonnie), Dorothy Patricia (Patsy), Sharon Lee (Me), and Beverly Eileen (Bev). Being the oldest, Lonnie was often given charge of all of us and took her role of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bossâ&#x20AC;? quite seriously. This caused a considerable amount of friction between my oldest sister and me. We never got along any too well during our growing up years and she somehow misunderstood my name to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;Suchabrat.â&#x20AC;? I know this to be a fact because she repeatedly yelled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You

are Suchabrat!â&#x20AC;? The pressure of being put in charge came to a head one Saturday night when Mom and Dad were at their weekly pinochle party and Lonnie just could not get things at home under control. (Translation: we younger sisters were being total brats.) Lonnie threw her coat on over her pajamas and loudly announced that she just could not take it any more and we would never, but never, see her again. She grabbed a box of Wheaties out of the cupboard and tucked it under her arm, then dramatically exited through the back door. Beverly began to cry. I went into a panic because it had finally happened. I had tormented my big sister so much that she ran away from home, and I was gonna be in big trouble when Mom and Dad got back. Patsy assured us that Lonnie wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stay gone, then we all ran to the kitchen window by the alley and peered out into the darkness to see if we could tell which direction our sister had gone. There she was, sitting on the Mormon Church lawn across the alley. Either it was cold out there or she was trembling in fear of all of the bats that were doing fly-bys right over her head. It did not take her too long to run back home and beg us never to tell that she had attempted to run away. We made a Sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Pact. And, of course, we broke it. Patsy was the type of person that everyone wanted to emulate. She was funny and flirtatious, positive and perky, gutsy and gregarious, smart and sassy. I do not think she ever met a person who did not feel like they had just met their next best friend; and it always seemed everything she ever tried to do, she did with excitement and determination. She was not one to fail at what she attempted. She had such cool friends, but she was never too cool to acknowledge her little sister and let her tag along on occasion. I remember when she taught me to ride bike, a skill I just knew I could never master. As long as she was holding onto the seat and running along behind me, I felt safe, secure, and confident. When I turned to look at her, she was gone and I realized I was on my own! The wheels of the bike began to wobble until Patsy yelled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can too do it, Sharon. You are doing it. You can ride that bike!â&#x20AC;? Patsy was good like that, at making people believe in who they were and what they could do. EWS&"&PDF0Patsy was mischievous, did some off-the-wall things, and always got away with them. I would try the same thing, it would not go well, and I would be caught. Like ringing doorbells and attempting to steal crab apples, or putting coffee grounds in her corncob pipe and lighting them. I inhaled deeply and ended up coughing and spitting coffee grounds for a week! Why did it seem so funny and cool when Patsy did it? I wanted to be my sister, Patsy, but realized that it could never happen. We were two totally different personalities and I would have to figure out who I was and be myself. Bev was our baby sister and she was the comic relief of the family, without really meaning to be. She would say and do the funniest things and it endeared her to all she met. Once, when we were traveling to the west coast, Beverly had fallen asleep in the back seat with her legs tucked under her. We were coming to a restaurant and Mom woke Beverly up. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wake up and put your shoes on, Beverly, we are going to stop and have lunch.â&#x20AC;? 0LEASE#ALL/UR-ONTANA#LINICsOR Beverly woke up, was silent for a moment or two, then started to cry, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But, but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put my shoes on. I cannot find my feet! I lost my legs!â&#x20AC;? she wailed. Beverly was so tenderhearted and generous that it sometimes worked against her. She would find herself reduced to tears over unintended cruelty. Like the time she came home crying because she was on her way to Catechism, and some little boys taunted her and asked if she was going to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Doggiechism.â&#x20AC;? I would have just punched


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

them, but Beverly felt crushed at this taunting remark. Being her older sister, I often teased Beverly to the point of torment, and yet felt a need to protect her. There was the time that Beverly charged through the back door after school, breathless from running and visibly frightened. “Those kids are being mean to me again!” she lamented. I demanded to know what kids and told her if they did it again to run home fast and get me, I would set them straight. The very next day she ran home fast, got me, and told me they were still standing around on the corner. “You go tell them. You set them straight, Sharon.” We tore out of the house with Beverly hot on my heels as she shouted, “Here comes my sister! You‘ll be sorry!” Approaching the corner, I realized just who “those kids” were. They were the tough, older bunch of kids in town. The ones nobody ever stood up to for fear of what would happen! I tried to be invisible and turned around to slither home, but my little sister kept yelling, “There they are, Sharon! That’s them. You go tell ‘em, Sharon! Hey! Where you goin’? Aren’t you gonna tell ‘em?” I yanked Beverly by her arm and told her through clenched teeth to shut up; I could explain when we got inside the house. Even the bravest

of sisters cannot do some things. Not even in the name of love. Life went on. My oldest sister and I continued to fight. I continued to try to figure out how to live life as Patsy did. My baby sister kept making us laugh. I took for granted that it would always be as it was. Then Lonnie went off to college and we did not see her too often. In August after her first year of college, Lonnie got married to Phil and left home for good. I could no longer take for granted that life continues down the same path forever. I cried myself to sleep with the realization that I could not recapture childhood, there would be no going back and undoing the way Lonnie and I had related to one another. Through my tears, I silently vowed that I would never again do anything that would hurt my sister, Lonnie. Just after Christmas that same year, Patsy married Gordon and they left for Fargo, North Dakota, where Gordon was going to college. There was no holding back the flood of tears after their car pulled out of sight. My rock, my source of encouragement, the sister that I idolized was gone from my life and I was focused on my loss rather than on thinking of the happiness she had found

Where To Turn For Help in Hard Times By Joan Riley, Senior Wire Are you one of those people, or do you know of one, whose rosy future, fine retirement residence, promising part-time job, and fat 401(k) recently morphed into foreclosure, unemployment, and poverty - and you just don’t know what to do or where to turn? Well, there is some help available. There are still a few shreds of our woefully inadequate “social safety net” left out there, but you will have to dig to find them with states’ own poverty rising and benefits being slashed. For affordable housing, check with your state’s Area Agency on Aging office or website for referrals to subsidized rentals, and with HUD (www. hud.gov) programs like the one requiring you to pay one-third of your adjusted income for rent, or giving you a voucher to use anywhere. Get on the waiting lists of any programs or housing developments for which you qualify near home or in any area where you are willing to move. Check for any statewide programs through their local office or online. They administer numerous senior aid programs; including in-home support services, help to pay caregivers (or you) for care of an invalid family member, payment of your part B Medicare, Medicaid programs, and others a social worker can relate to you. Check with your telephone and electric companies for incomebased discounts on telephone and electricity. You may be surprised at the ways you can qualify for assistance, even if you still have a home.

Each program has different requirements. In some states, for example, you can lower your income by buying a medigap policy. And if you already carry a medigap policy you cannot afford to keep, read it carefully. A clause in your policy may let you put it “on hold” while you use Medicaid for a few years. A low-priced car, ongoing medical or job expenses, furniture, or prepaid burial expenses usually do not count. Check and then check again through different sources. My neighbor was once told that she did not qualify for Medicaid programs because of her assets, chiefly an IRA and 401(k). She only learned years later that after her mandatory distributions began at age 72½, her state no longer considered the IRA/401(k) assets, even though they were still counted by SSI, the federal program which supplements low Social Security payments. Check out food stamps, and other food programs for which you might qualify. If you are conducting an online search and have some specific or complex question, www.ask.com can often be the best search engine to use. Please do not hesitate to seek the help you need. Remember, you supported these services via your taxes all your working life. Readers are invited to submit questions about 55-plus work opportunities. Questions should be addressed to Joan Riley, johall_95531@juno.com. Joan Riley is a California editor, teacher, and writer specializing in senior affairs. MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 31

and the life she had ahead of her. How could we possibly function as a family when half of us was gone? Three years later, I left the nest. I do not know if Beverly felt a sense of loss being an “only child” then. I always felt she rather enjoyed it. It must have been awfully quiet at home, with no sisters there to tease her. Although we were each in a different location and had our own lives to live, we knew we would be getting together periodically to laugh, love, catch-up, and have good times. And if we could not get together, there was always a way to communicate. Lonnie and I ended up being the best of friends throughout our adult lives. She still takes the role of “Boss” seriously and is a source of wisdom and great strength. Although Pat and I did not see each other too often (there were eight years between visits once), I continue to be amazed by her and she continues, mostly by the way she chooses to live, to be a source of encouragement for me. Bev still makes me laugh and warms my heart with her genuine tenderness and generous spirit. I have to admit, I do still tease her. The bonds of sisterhood have grown stronger over the years and across the miles. Because of our shared beginning, my sisters and I will always be family. We will move on, one by one, to join our parents and share laughter, love, and good times in our Heavenly home. You can be sure of it! MSN


PAGE 32 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

RV Driver-Navigator Teamwork

By Bernice Beard, Senior Wire Do you have RVing friends who nitpick and criticize one another’s driving or navigating? Has your own yearned-for RV journey ever become a scrimmage with hurt feelings and grudges? Here are road-tested tips that help the driver and the navigator work as a team. Driver - The good driver: • is licensed to drive. • is rested physically and mentally. • is familiar with the vehicle’s being driven before the trip. See the operator’s manual, articles such as GoRVings’s RV Driving Tips (www.gorving. ca/rvingtips.asp) or books such as Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro by Lorrin Walsh. Take an RV driver’s course such as Dick Reed’s RV Driving School, held at various locations. • takes time to look at the oil pressure, water temperature, and fuel gauges and knows how their readings affect the vehicle. • makes sure the RV is regularly serviced and kept in good mechanical condition. • knows and observes the rules of the road such as rights-of-way, stop signs, traffic lights, and speed limits. • is aware of his or her surroundings while driving and of possible weather changes such as fog and snow. Navigator - A good navigator: • resists telling the driver what to do and instead, describes in a mild, clear manner what needs the driver’s attention. For example, if the turn signal continues to blink after the driver changes lanes, the navigator can say, “Our blinker is still blinking.” • knows how to read a road map. The legend shows what the different symbols mean, such as interstate and federal highways, scenic routes, rest areas, and exit numbers. For lessons in map reading, see the U.S. Geological Survey site’s “What Do Maps Show?” (http://interactive2.usgs.gov/learningweb/teachers/mapsshow.htm). • knows how to use the global positioning system (GPS) if available. • keeps in a container near the navigator’s seat road maps, tour books, atlases, a campground directory, and a truck stop directory so they’re handy when a question comes up. The navigator can use a yellow felt-tip pen to highlight the next day’s route on the road map to help him or her readily follow the route and give information to the driver. The navigator should also keep the map folded to the relevant section. • has, at hand or posted nearby for the driver to see, route numbers and related cities to be traveled that day. • gives the driver exit numbers and other travel information. • does not panic when lost but looks at the map, asks for directions, or uses the GPS. • can share the driving (if trained). Even drivers who say they like to drive appreciate a respite from a full day behind the wheel. Team Spirit - Include some no-travel days in your itinerary. Crowding too many miles or activities into the time available can cause fatigue and irritability. Here are other ways to fortify the team spirit in your RV travels: • Together, decide how much cash to take along. A day or so before the trip, withdraw that amount from the bank and divide it evenly between you. This protects the cash if one person should lose some, and it gives both


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

people a feeling of independence. • Let go of any grudges. Be aware that sometimes drivers or navigators are too tired to talk. • Be a team member. Think of ways to ease a situation or to make the other person comfortable. • Look at the bright side of situations. • Remember to say thank you. Everyone likes to be appreciated and thanked. Thank the driver for the day’s safe trip. Thank the navigator for finding the campground. Thank the one who cooks, hooks up, or does laundry. • Overlook your companion’s habits that bother

you. Tell yourself that no one is perfect. A good navigator cannot know precisely where all the Wal-Mart stores and low overpasses are. A good driver may misjudge the width of the entry rails leading to a tollbooth. Yet with teamwork, they graciously forgive the errors, encourage one another, and travel together in good humor. Bernice Beard is the author of the At Your Own Pace series of RVing books, including 301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier, and More Fun. For additional information and tips that make life on the road more carefree, visit www.rvatyourownpace.com MSN

Cycling Smarts (NAPSI) - These days, more and more Americans are trying to save money and energy, and improve their physical fitness, by taking to the road on bikes. For the common cyclist, it’s a good idea to learn how to keep a bike working and in top shape. To help the country’s 96 million bike riders, there’s a new book by bike repair experts Dennis Bailey and Keith Gates: “Bike Repair & Maintenance For Dummies” (Wiley). This guide explains how to handle repairs at home and on the road. You’ll see how to extend the life of your bike, increase your riding comfort and improve safety. Here are just a few tips from the book:

Thoughts to ponder

Submitted by Julie Hollar While I sat in the reception area of my doctor’s office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist’s desk, the man sat

• Pay attention to the road in front of you when you ride. Your goal is to avoid obstacles such as rocks, potholes and other hazards that, if you hit them, could result in a bent rim or other incident. • Instead of jumping or riding across a curb - which could damage your rim or even cause you to crash - dismount and walk your bike. • Shift into your lowest gear before you reach the steepest section. Trying to shift when you’re barely moving puts a lot of strain on the chain. • If you have to go over a bump, raise yourself off the saddle to lessen the impact. The book is available at all major bookstores or you can go online at www.dummies.com. MSN there, alone and silent. Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother’s lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man’s, he said, “I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too.”

Table Tennis, Anyone? (NAPSI) - Once the staple of church basements and family rec rooms, table tennis has emerged as the latest craze of both the Hollywood elite and small-town America. Even the Obamas are playing the new national pastime. Why the sudden resurgence of a game that has been around since the 1880s? For overstressed and overscheduled 21st century families, table tennis provides an opportunity to bond while getting some exercise. For families, it provides an activity that transcends generational differences in tastes and interests. Actress and table tennis enthusiast Susan Sarandon was reportedly introduced to the game by her teenage son and soon became obsessed by it. For families with grandchildren, table tennis gives kids the confidence to test their physical prowess against their parents in a venue where they can be competitive and win. And for parents concerned about their and their children’s fitness, table tennis provides an activity that gets the whole family moving with health benefits that include: • Cardio and aerobic workouts • Enhanced reflexes • Improved hand-eye coordination

• Low risk of injury. According to industry experts, during the past two years, table tennis participation has grown 25 percent. No doubt that growth has been helped by the game’s new hip image, with its coolness factor solidified by its appearance in an episode of Entourage. Table tennis fans in the entertainment community include George Clooney, Edward Norton, Matthew Broderick and rap star 50 Cent. Table tennis hit a new celebrity high when it was revealed that President Obama purchased a Tournament Series Table Tennis Model from Stiga for the White House. A personal purchase by the president, it is in keeping with the Obama family focus on fitness and spending time together. “Table tennis is the perfect way for a busy executive like the president to spend quality time with his friends and family,” said Nick Martin, product manager, Stiga. “With its fast pace, the game, which is often called the ‘brain game,’ requires total mental concentration, and because it can be played by people of varying skill levels, it is a great family game.” So next time you hear the president shout, “Yes, we can!” he may be exhorting his table tennis partner to smash the ball. MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 33


PAGE 34 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming Build Tomorrow’s Leaders The Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming Remaining true to these lyrics, the theme of Girl Scouts has not changed since it began in serves girls ages 5-17 throughout Montana and 1912. Throughout the years, Girl Scouts have Wyoming. We offer dynamic programs such as been challenged to discover a sense of self leadership and self-esteem, community outreach and education, environmental and values, connect with others “Make new friends, awareness, financial literacy, in healthy relationships and team but keep the old, health and wellness, science, building activities, and take action to technology, engineering, and make a difference in this world. one is silver and math (STEM), the arts, and travel. The Girl Scout Leadership Exthe other’s gold.” By investing in opportunities for perience is about taking practical steps to influence and empower the future leaders Girl Scouts, all girls are allowed to continue the of tomorrow, to lead today. As girls build courage, traditions to “make new friends, but keep the old,” confidence, and character within themselves, they while building a legacy for the next generation. are able to reach out and inspire others to make MSN the world a better place.

Good News for Those Who “Do Good with Wood” Nominations Wanted - You or your organization may be awarded a $5,000 cash grant (NAPSI) - Reality TV shows and DIY programs featuring home makeovers and doing good in the community have never been more popular, but one contest has encouraged and rewarded that kind of volunteerism since 1992. It honors people who “do good with wood,” improving their neighborhoods by donating their wood-finishing and woodworking skills to a worthy cause. Winning entries through the years have been inspiring. A formerly homeless man now mentors at-risk youths in his furniture refinishing and repair business; a guild of woodworkers uses their wide range of woodworking skills to improve the lives of special-needs children by building wooden holiday toys; and a group of high school students designed and built a fanciful wooden boat in a classroom to improve literacy among grade-schoolers. These are but a few examples of woodworkers and do-it-yourselfers of all skill levels that have been recognized by the Minwax Community Craftsman Award for improving the lives of others. Once again, handy people who help build a better community through wood finishing and woodworking could soon see additional rewards beyond the gratification that comes from helping others. Entries are now being accepted for 2009’s Award, with top honors going to one grand-prize

winner and two runners-up. The grand prize is a cash grant of $5,000, a supply of Minwax woodfinishing products and a working consultation with author, television personality and wood-finishing expert Bruce Johnson. Runners-up receive a supply of Minwax products. Additionally, a special recognition award and cash grant of $2,000 will be presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her community by working with wood. Who Can Enter - Eligible participants include individuals, community groups, schools and associations that engage in an activity that involves, but is not limited to, wood finishing and woodworking. The deadline for submission is Dec. 31, 2009 and winners will be announced in the spring of 2010. All eligible applicants are encouraged to enter by writing a summary of recent woodworking projects that have been completed for the purpose of enhancing their community and helping others. Photos are optional but encouraged. Contest entries can be submitted at minwax. com, e-mailed to minwaxcca@brushfireinc.com, or sent by mail to Minwax Community Craftsman Award, c/o Brushfire Inc., 2 Wing Drive, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927. For more information, visit minwax.com. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 35

MON TANA

AUTUMN 2009

SENIOR LIVING GUIDE

TM

Ă? Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the patient in Room 213... Her name is Helen. Ă? Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your mother and grandmother. A quilter. An active church member. A blue ribbon baker. Our friend and neighbor.

Please visit us online to see all of our services as well as what makes us special in Montana.

In Billings, Montana: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let Our Community Be Yours.â&#x20AC;? t*OEFQFOEFOU-JWJOH t"TTJTUFE-JWJOH 4PMPNPO"WFt#JMMJOHTt  tXXXXFTUQBSLTFOJPSDPN

t3FIBCJMJUBUJPO t4IPSUBOE-POHUFSN Skilled Nursing Care t.FNPSZ$BSF8JOH t"DDFQUJOH.FEJDBSF 1SJWBUF Insurances and Medicaid UI4U8t#JMMJOHTt  twww.valleyhcc.com t3FIBCJMJUBUJPO t4IPSUBOE-POHUFSN Skilled Nursing Care t.FNPSZ$BSF8JOH t"DDFQUJOH.FEJDBSF 1SJWBUF Insurances and Medicaid $FOUSBM"WFt#JMMJOHTt  twww.billingshealth.com

In Western Montana:

We Care Because You Care. Respite Care â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Helpful Resource By Karen Powers

What is Respite Care? If you are being the main caregiver at home for a spouse or a parent, you are on call for that care 24 hours a day. As a family, you have decided that the long term goal is to provide care at home. But, what happens when you need a break, want or need to go out of town, have surgery or health needs of your own? How do you manage that and still have the care provided for your spouse or family member? Skilled nursing facilities have long been prepared to assist families with short term stays and care for just such instances. When can you use Respite Care? t The Winter Months â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Families and caregivers planning to be gone for the holidays? Another season of shoveling snow, icy sidewalks and roads keeping you housebound? Moving into a community for the winter months or over the holidays is not uncommon. t Surgeries or Medical Treatments â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Respite care can handle the care of your loved one while you recuperate.

t A much needed break â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Being the sole caregiver can take its toll; take a week off before it starts to negatively impact your relationships or your own health.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Discover how good life can be.â&#x20AC;? t*OEFQFOEFOU-JWJOH t"TTJTUFE-JWJOH 0ME'PSU3Et.JTTPVMBt  twww.villagesenior.com t3FIBCJMJUBUJPO t4IPSUBOE-POHUFSN Skilled Nursing Care t.FNPSZ$BSF8JOH t"DDFQUJOH.FEJDBSF 1SJWBUF Insurances and Medicaid 4PVUI"WF8t.JTTPVMBt  twww.villagehealthcare.com

How much does it cost? Most respite stays are offered up to 7 days, longer stays can be negotiated. t 7"#FOFĂŤUTNBZQBZGPS up to a 35 day stay in a skilled nursing facility. t .FEJDBJE#FOFĂŤUNBZQBZGPS stays up to 7 days multiple times of the year in skilled nursing facility. t .PTU4LJMMFE/VSTJOHBOE Assisted Living communities have a daily rate available for respite stays.  -PDBM4LJMMFE/VSTJOHBOE Assisted Living Communities can offer respite care services â&#x20AC;&#x201C; call one today!

t3FIBCJMJUBUJPO t4IPSUBOE-POHUFSN Skilled Nursing Care t.FNPSZ$BSF8JOH t"DDFQUJOH.FEJDBSF 1SJWBUF Insurances and Medicaid &#SPBEXBZt.JTTPVMBt  twww.riversidesenior.com t3FIBCJMJUBUJPO t4IPSUBOE-POHUFSN Skilled Nursing Care t.FNPSZ$BSF8JOH t"DDFQUJOH.FEJDBSF 1SJWBUF Insurances and Medicaid SE"WFt.JTTPVMBt  twww.hillsidesenior.com t3FIBCJMJUBUJPO t4IPSUBOE-POHUFSN Skilled Nursing Care t.FNPSZ$BSF8JOH t"DDFQUJOH.FEJDBSF 1SJWBUF Insurances and Medicaid /UI4Ut)BNJMUPOt  twww.valleyviewestates.org

We Care Because You Care.


PAGE 36 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

What do you know about Chiropractic? Dr. Jeffrey Fife D.C. Back In Action Chiropractic, Helena When it comes to healthcare here in Montana, you have many options to help you meet your individual needs. One option that is often overlooked is chiropractic care. October is National Chiropractic month and a good time to educate people about chiropractic. As a chiropractor and a chiropractic patient, I realize what many of you may be missing. I have found that people often do not understand what chiropractic has to offer. The term chiropractic means, “hands on healing”. Chiropractic healthcare by design is noninvasive and does not involve drugs or surgery. It is the responsibility of the Chiropractic Physician to help you put your body in the best position to heal itself. Chiropractic focuses on the nervous system and how it interrelates with the musculoskeletal system. The nervous system is much like a power plant. The control center is the power plant (brain), the spinal cord is like the high voltage lines from which the individual power lines (nerves) branch off to go to individual homes (organs and muscles in the body). Because the spine protects the spinal cord, much of what a chiropractor does involves the spine. When something happens to disrupt power lines, the items that require electricity in our homes do not work until the power is restored. As with power lines, when something happens to interrupt the communication from the brain to the individual body parts, problems can result. Although the organs or muscles may function, they do not function at their optimal level. When the problem causes pain, we will generally seek relief. Pain is one method our bodies have of letting us know something is wrong. Unfortunately, we do not always experience pain; it can be muscle weakness without pain or other organ systems that are not functioning properly, such as our respiratory or digestive systems. Care for these types of problems is often delayed because the person hopes it will go away. If you are already a chiropractic patient, you understand how chiropractic care can help you. For those of you that have never visited a chiropractor, please read on. When asked, most people believe that chiropractors are “back doctors”. The most common areas for treatment

are the back and neck. Back and neck pain can be caused by trauma, arthritis, disc injury, overuse etc. Regardless of its cause, pain prevents you from living the best quality of life. Manipulation or adjustments of the vertebrae in the spine can restore proper function of the joints and reduce the irritation that ultimately results in pain or lack of function. Other complaints I frequently see in my office involve shoulders, feet, knees, elbows, and hips. As in the spine, improper alignment of these joints can cause pain or interfere with proper function. For example the joints in the foot, if not moving properly, can cause pain in the knees, hips, and spine (particularly the low back). Immobility in these joints will change the way you walk, which can affect the joints in the ankles, knees, and hips. I have found some very interesting statistics from a comprehensive study published by Muse and Associates on the use and effectiveness of Chiropractic care on Medicare costs. The study compared those who used chiropractic care to those who did not. Some of the benefits realized by those that used chiropractic services included fewer claims per capita, lower average payments to the providing doctor per claim, and fewer return visits for further treatment. The study concluded, “These results strongly suggest that Chiropractic care significantly reduces per beneficiary costs to the Medicare program currently and could potentially save even more in the future.” What this means to you is fewer trips to the doctor’s office whether that be your M.D. or your Chiropractor. The only reason for fewer trips to the doctor is better health. What can you expect from a chiropractic visit? Like any visit to a health care professional, the first visit will include a thorough history and consultation. If your case is not a chiropractic case, you should be referred to an appropriate practitioner. If chiropractic is appropriate, the next step is an examination and x-rays when appropriate. Your chiropractic physician will then develop a treatment program specific to your condition. Although chiropractic philosophies differ among practitioners, I advocate a more integrative approach to care, especially as we get older. As we age, we tend to develop more complex problems that involve the various systems in our bodies. It is important that we seek appropriate care for our specific problems. Regular checkups from your Chiropractor as well as your Medical Doctor are critical to your long-term health. Most of the problems I see in my office are straightforward and can be resolved with a few treatments. For the cases that involve multiple systems, I refer as appropriate to orthopedists, general practitioners, neurologists, podiatry, biofeedback, acupuncture, Rolfing, massage therapy, physical therapy, and others. I encourage all who read this to seek out a chiropractor in your area and discuss your specific issues and concerns. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 37

A Caregiver's Guide to Dealing with the Tough Legal and Practical Issues

By Vaughn E. James Every 71 seconds someone develops Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, and as many as 5.2 million people in the United States are living with this disease according to the Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association. Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, the most common form of dementia in people age 65 and older, is a heartbreaking disease. Its symptoms - memory loss, impaired judgment, personality changes, erratic behavior, and difficulty communicating - are not normal signs of aging. No one knows exactly what causes Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, though genes and lifestyle both play a role. The Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advisor: A Caregiverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide to Dealing with the Tough Legal and Practical Issues (AMACOM; $19.95 Paperback) is an invaluable resource for families facing the daily challenges and uncertainties of this disease. A noted authority on elder law, Vaughn E. James has counseled many clients affected by Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as well as friends, neighbors, and relatives. Combining his professional expertise and personal experience, the author helps patients in the early phases of Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and their loved ones prepare for the legal and ethical dilemmas that come with the devastating diagnosis and progression of the disease. To put a human face on the formidable projections, James introduces each problem in an engaging, true story. As he drives home through real-life scenarios, â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you are dealing with family members who have Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, legal assistance is needed sooner rather than later.â&#x20AC;? Empathetic and pragmatic, The Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advisor clearly explains how Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sufferersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; unpredictable mental state compromises their competency for making important legal, financial, and medical decisions. To protect patients and caregivers from court battles, bankruptcy, and other nightmares, James offers straightforward advice on critical topics, including: â&#x20AC;˘ Estate planning, covering why all Stage I Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patients need to create a power of attorney, a last will and testament, and a revocable living trustâ&#x20AC;Ś and the how-to essentials. â&#x20AC;˘ Advance directions - documents ensuring that an Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s healthcare and end-of-life choices will be respected by family members, caregivers, and medical practitioners. â&#x20AC;˘ Guardianship - when to consider appointing a legal guardian for an Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patient and what the candidate should know about the procedure, expense, and responsibilities. â&#x20AC;˘ Legal liability, exploring a range of cases - from breech of contract to assault and battery - and who pays when an Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s victim becomes a perpetrator.

Answers to your questions about the 2009 flu season and swine flu Provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) When is it expected that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine will be available? The 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine is expected to be available in the fall. More specific dates cannot be provided at this time as vaccine availability depends on several factors including manufacturing time and time needed to conduct clinical trials Will the seasonal flu vaccine also protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu? The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu. Can the seasonal vaccine and the 2009 H1N1 vaccine be given at the same time? It is anticipated that seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccines may be administered on the same day. However, we expect the seasonal vaccine to be available earlier than the H1N1 vaccine. The usual seasonal influenza viruses are still expected to cause illness this fall and winter. Individuals are encouraged to get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it is available. Who will be recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine? CDCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine

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â&#x20AC;˘ Long-term care insurance, weighing in on when investing in these private contracts pays. James also compares the therapeutic value and costs of different housing options for Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patients - staying at home, moving in with adult children, assisted living, and nursing homes - and highlights the potential legal impact of moving an Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patient across state lines or the U.S. border. Culminating with a focus on self-care for caregivers and a glimpse of promising new medications, The Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advisor is a vital book for everyone struggling to live and make peace with this dreaded disease. About the author: Vaughn E. James is an attorney and professor at Texas Tech University School of Law specializing in elder law. In addition to teaching about the legal aspects of Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, he frequently speaks at seminars and counsels clients and loved ones. In the past 10 years, eight people close to him have developed Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or exhibited Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-like symptoms. The youngest of these afflicted is an older sibling, diagnosed before the age of 50. He is also a minister of religion and has often counseled parishioners on related issues. Professor James lives in Lubbock, Texas. MSN


PAGE 38 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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when it first becomes available. These target groups include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months While supplies last… and 24 years old, and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher • Administered by certified risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic clinical pharmacists health disorders or compromised immune • Walk-ins are welcome systems. • Shots are available We do not expect that there will be a 9am-8pm, M-F shortage of 2009 H1N1 swine flue vac10:30am-3:30pm, cine, but availability and demand can be weekends unpredictable. There is some possibility that initially the vaccine will be available in • Medicaid / Medicare accepted limited quantities. In this setting, the committee recommended that the following groups receive the vaccine before others: Your Inside Albertsons on East Broadway pregnant women, people who live with or Vaccination Center Mis soula care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children 6 months through 4 years of age, and children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions. The committee recognized the need to assess supply and demand issues at the local level. The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these target groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone ARE YOU AGE 65 OR from ages 25 through OLDER AND INTERESTED 64 years. One thing that apIN HELPING TEST A pears to be different from VACCINE FOR seasonal influenza is SWINE FLU (H1N1)? that adults older than 64 years do not yet appear c[ZXi^djh9^hZVhZHeZX^Va^hih!E8l^aaWZ to be at increased risk XdcYjXi^c\ hZkZgVa Hl^cZ ;aj kVXX^cZ of 2009 H1N1-related gZhZVgX]ig^Vahl^i]^ci]ZcZmi&'bdci]h# complications thus far. CDC laboratory studI]ZhZ ig^Vah l^aa Vhh^hi ^c YZkZade^c\ V ies have shown that no kVXX^cZi]ViXVcWZjhZYidXdbWViHl^cZ

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Planning for the end of life can be both rewarding and difficult Provided by National Cancer Institute Thinking about and planning for the end-of-life can be a difficult time for patients and their families. Each person will have unique needs and will cope in different ways. This time is easier when patients, families, and healthcare providers talk openly about end-of-life plans. For many patients and their families, this can be a time of personal growth. These events often give people the chance to find out more about themselves and appreciate what is most important to them. This article discusses care during the last days and last hours of life, including treatment of common symptoms and ethical questions that may come up. It may help patients and their families prepare for the kinds of decisions that may be needed during this time. Making end-of-life plans can lower the stress on both the patient and the family.

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children and very few adults younger than 60 years old have existing antibody to 2009 H1N1 flu virus; however, about one-third of adults older than 60 may have antibodies against this virus. It is unknown how much, if any, protection may be afforded against 2009 H1N1 flu by any existing antibody. Therefore, as vaccine supply and demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people over the age of 65. Do those that have been previously vaccinated against the 1976 swine influenza need to be vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 influenza? The 1976 swine flu virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus are different enough that it is unlikely a person vaccinated in 1976 will have full protection from the 2009 H1N1. People vaccinated in 1976 should still be given the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Where will the vaccine be available? Every state is developing a vaccine delivery plan. Vaccine will be available in a combination of settings such as vaccination clinics organized by local health departments, healthcare provider offices, schools, and other private settings, such as pharmacies and workplaces. Are there other ways to prevent the spread of illness? Take everyday actions to stay healthy. • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcoholbased hand cleaners are also effective. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way. • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures. These measures will continue to be important after a 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine is available because they can prevent the spread of other viruses that cause respiratory infections. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

When treatment choices and plans are discussed before the last days of life, it can lower the stress on both the patient and the family. Knowing the patient’s wishes can help make it easier for family members to make major decisions for the patient during a very emotional time. It is most helpful if end-of life planning and decision-making begin soon after diagnosis and continue during the course of the disease. Having these decisions in writing can make the patient’s wishes clear to both the family and the healthcare team. End-of-life planning usually includes making choices about the following: • The goals of care (for example, whether to use certain medicines during the last days of life). • Where the patient wants to spend his or her final days. • Which treatments for end-of-life care the patient wishes to receive. • What type of palliative care and hospice care the patient wishes to receive. Palliative care relieves symptoms and can improve the quality of life for patients and their families. The goal of palliative care is to improve the patient’s and the family’s quality of life by preventing and relieving suffering. This includes treating physical symptoms such as pain, and dealing with emotional, social, and spiritual concerns. When palliative treatment is given at the end of life, care is taken to make sure the patient’s wishes about treatments he or she wants to receive are followed. Choices about care and treatment at the end of life should be made while the patient is able to make them. In addition to decisions about treating symptoms at the end-of-life, it is also helpful for patients

to decide if and when they want this treatment to stop. A patient may wish to receive all possible treatments, only some treatments, or no treatment at all. These decisions may be written down ahead of time in an advance directive, such as a living will. Advance directive is the general term for different types of legal documents that describe the treatment or care a patient wishes to receive or not receive when he or she is no longer able to communicate their wishes. The patient may also name a healthcare proxy to make these decisions when he or she becomes unable to do so. Having advance directives in place makes it easier for family members and caregivers when very important decisions have to be made in the last days, such as whether to give nutrition support, restart the heart, help with breathing, or give sedatives. When the patient does not make choices about end-of-life care, or does not share his choices with family members, healthcare proxies, or the healthcare team, treatment may be given near death against the patient’s wishes. As a result, studies show that the patient’s quality of life may be worse and the family’s grieving process may be more difficult. Hospice programs provide care given by experts on end-of-life issues. Hospice is a program that gives care to people who are near the end of life and have stopped treatment to cure or control their cancer. Hospice care is usually meant for patients who are not expected to live longer than six months. Hospice care focuses on quality of life rather than length of life. The goal of hospice is to help patients live each day to the

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 39

fullest by making them comfortable and relieving their symptoms. This may include palliative care to control pain and other symptoms so the patient can be as alert and comfortable as possible. Services to help and support the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families are also an important part of hospice care. Hospice programs are designed to keep a patient at home with family and friends, but hospice programs also provide services in hospice centers and in some hospitals and nursing home facilities. The hospice team includes doctors, nurses, spiritual advisors, social workers, nutritionists, and volunteers. Team members are specially trained on issues that occur at the end-of-life. After the patient’s death, the hospice program continues to offer support, including grief or bereavement counseling for family members. MSN

Serving : Billings (406) 294-0785 Bozeman (406) 556-0640 Butte (406) 494-6114


PAGE 40 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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New Studies Show Importance Of Inflammation In Health Risks Seen In Rheumatoid Arthritis Two recent studies emphasize the importance of inflammation in the increased cardiovascular health risks observed in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). One study found that people with RA suffer a greater risk of heart attack than people without the disease due to the chronic inflammation that can affect blood vessels feeding the heart. Researchers also found that people with RA who took a TNF inhibitor alone or in combination with methotrexate decreased their likelihood of having a heart attack by 80 percent – compared with people with RA who took methotrexate alone. Another study focused on obesity, a wellknown contributor to cardiovascular disease, as a contributor to the cardiovascular health risks seen in people with RA. Fat tissue is known to produce proinflammatory chemicals. The chemicals released by fat tissues could worsen systemic inflammation and increase the cardiovascular risks of people with RA. “These studies reinforce the Arthritis Foundation’s commitment to encouraging people with arthritis to work closely with their rheumatologist to develop treatment plans that control arthritis pain and reduce the risks of serious complications seen in the disease, including cardiovascular disease,” says John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “It is imperative people understand the impact of medications, diet and exercise on their total health.”

The new studies showed that those who were obese and had RA were less likely to achieve remission than those with RA who were at a healthy weight. Overweight and obese people with RA who took an aggressive combination of DMARDs also achieved remission at a lower rate than those at a healthy weight who took the same drug combination. For anyone living with RA, the Arthritis Foundation offers tips for preventing and managing arthritis, including: • Understanding types of therapies • How to stay active • Ways to control weight For a complimentary copy of the Arthritis Foundation’s “Rheumatoid Arthritis” brochure, which includes the latest information on treatments and self-management techniques, contact the Arthritis Foundation at 406-600-4649 or visit www.arthritis.org. MSN

Thoughts to ponder Submitted by Julie Hollar As I was nursing my baby, my cousin’s six-yearold daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breastfeed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing. After mulling over my answers, she remarked, “My mom has some of those, but I don’t think she knows how to use them.” Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. “In ten years,” I said, “you’ll want to be with your friends and you won’t go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now.” Carolyn shrugged, and said, “In ten years you’ll be too old to do all those things anyway.” MSN

Local doctors are looking for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients to help evaluate an investigational RA medication.

Let’s work together in the struggle against

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.

To learn more, please contact:

ResearchWest, Inc. 1-406-755-1460

www.CinemaTrial.com

Rheumatoid Arthritis can have a great impact on your quality of life. Although there are many RA medications currently available, not all work well for everyone. Local doctors are now conducting CINEMA, a clinical trial evaluating an investigational medication for RA that will be used in combination with an already approved RA treatment. To pre-qualify, you must be: UÊ Ìʏi>ÃÌÊ£nÊÞi>ÀÃʜvÊ>}iÊ܈̅Ê>V̈ÛiÊ,]Ê UÊ ÕÀÀi˜ÌÞÊÌÀi>̈˜}ÊޜÕÀÊ,ÊÜˆÌ…Ê methotrexate (MTX), AND UÊ ,iViˆÛˆ˜}ÊiÌ>˜iÀVi«ÌÊ­ ˜LÀi®) or adalimumab (HUMIRA®) injections. Qualified participants will receive study medication and study-related medical evaluations at no cost. Reimbursement for time and travel may also be provided. Study information by Quintiles, Inc. 0304091200


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

How's that big toe feeling?

Provided by the Arthritis Foundation-Rocky Mountain Chapter Gout is a form of arthritis that causes sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling of joints. It usually affects one joint at a time, but gout can become chronic and affect several joints. Gout usually occurs in three phases: â&#x20AC;˘ Sudden joint pain and swelling that usually go away after five to 10 days;

â&#x20AC;˘ A period of no symptoms at all, followed by new, sudden attacks of gout; â&#x20AC;˘ After a number of years, if left untreated, persistent swelling, stiffness and mild to moderate pain in one or more joints can occur. Gout can affect people differently. Some people have one attack and never have any other joint problems. Others have frequent, painful attacks along with joint stiffness and damage. Gout attacks usually develop quickly. The first gout attack often occurs at night. Attacks may last a week or less and disappear completely. If the disease is not controlled by medications, attacks may occur more often and last longer. An attack of gout can be triggered by joint injuries, drinking too much alcohol, surgery or sudden severe illness, taking certain medications for high blood pressure, crash diets, chemotherapy, and eating foods high in purines. The most common joint that is affected by gout is the large joint of the big toe. According to a recent article published in Arthritis Today, researchers have a few theories about why gout often strikes the big toe first. One is that toe joints often sustain injuries, so therefore, are more susceptible. Another theory is that cooler temperatures help the uric acid crystals to form, and big toes, being the farthest points away from the heart, are two of the coolest points in the body. Certain foods can raise uric acid levels because they contain purines, which metabolize into uric acid. Foods to avoid include large portions of meat and seafood, sardines and anchovies, organ meats, and alcohol, especially beer. But half of all gout cases do not involve the toes. Some people experience their first painful gout attack elsewhere in their foot or ankle or even in their knees or elbows. Treatment for gout must be tailored for each person and may have to be changed from time to time. Medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and Colchicine have been used to relieve the pain and swelling of an acute gout episode. Talk to your doctor about all medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements. Gout can be controlled and even prevented if it is diagnosed correctly, appropriate medication is taken, and diet and lifestyle changes are followed. MSN

Eat Your Way To Fewer Wrinkles

By Tait Trussell, Senior Wire They are everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nightmare: Wrinkles! Many women are looking for a face-lift in a bottle. Hence, drug store shelves - not to mention TV commercials - are loaded with products that promise to make your skin look young and more beautiful. The American Society for Nutrition released a study using data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, where researchers looked into associations between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025 women ages 40 to 70. Dermatologists conducted clinical examinations of the skin. Skin-aging appearance was defined in the study as having a wrinkled appearance, senile dryness, and skin atrophy (thinning). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cigarette smoking is a well established independent risk factor for facial wrinkling and skin aging,â&#x20AC;? the researchers noted. Skin aging was found significantly in older women. No surprise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women

Do you suffer from

GOUT ATTACKS? Local doctors are now conducting a medical research study in gout to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of an investigational medicine.

If you have gout, you may be eligible to participate in the RE-SURGE study, evaluating an investigational medicine for preventing acute gout ďŹ&#x201A;ares in select patients. Researchers are interested in determining the effectiveness and safety of the investigational medicine when used in combination with FDA-approved medicines commonly used for gout treatment. To be considered for participation in the RE-SURGE study, you must: t #FZFBSTPGBHF  t )BWFBIJTUPSZPGHPVUBOE are at risk of gout ďŹ&#x201A;are, t #FBCMFUPPSBSFBMSFBEZ receiving treatment with urate-lowering therapy (such as allopurinol), AND t /PUDVSSFOUMZCFFYQFSJFODJOHBHPVUnBSF

Re-

The investigator will work with you to determine whether you qualify for the study, using a more comprehensive list of criteria. QualiďŹ ed participants will receive study medicine as well as study-related medical evaluations at no cost. Reimbursement for time and travel may also be available. To learn more, please contact:

ResearchWest, Inc.

1-406-755-1460

Study Information by Quintiles, Inc. 0227091200

PAGE 42 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

with a wrinkled appearance, dryness, and thinning skin were more likely to be white, have lower family income, be postmenopausal, have higher exposure to the sun, and be less likely to be physically active.” Although vitamin A has long been said to have anti-wrinkle properties, and is used commonly in the cosmetics industry as a topical anti-wrinkle agent, clinical trials have failed to show this effect at least when taken orally, the study said. The researchers found that taking vitamin C and linoleic acid fought wrinkles. Linoleic acid is found in soybean oils, green leafy vegetables, and nuts. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, fruit juices, and tomatoes. Current dietary recommendations promote higher consumption of fruit, vegetables, and fish. “Therefore, a benefit of skin-aging appearance from aspects of a healthy diet, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, may motivate people (with wrinkles) and improve current promotions for healthy eating.” This is said to be the first study to examine the effects of nutrients rather than supplements on skin-aging appearance. Now, do over-the-counter wrinkle creams really reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles? This depends on a number of factors. A host of wrinkle creams and lotions sold in drug stores and department stores promise to reduce wrinkles and prevent or reverse damage caused by the sun. But do they work? Some research suggests that wrinkle creams have ingredients that may diminish wrinkles. But many of these ingredients have not undergone scientific research to prove

their benefit, according to the Mayo Clinic. Mayo says there are some common ingredients in these anti-wrinkle creams: Retinol. This is a vitamin A compound and is the first antioxidant to be put in nonprescription wrinkle creams. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals, Mayo explains. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles. A prescription topical treatment, called tretinoin, is approved by the FDA for treating wrinkles. Hydroxy acids. They are synthetic versions of acids from sugar-containing fruits. These acids are exfoliants. They remove the upper layer of old dry skin and stimulant the growth of new skin. Coenzyme Q10. Mayo says it is a nutrient that helps regulate energy production in cells. Copper peptides. They stimulate the production of collagen and may enhance the action of antioxidants. Kinetin. It helps the skin retain moisture and stimulates the production of collagen. Tea extracts. Green and black tea are said to contain compounds with antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. Green tea extracts are commonly found in wrinkle creams, says Mayo. Sad to say, but “you’re likely to need to use the wrinkle creams once or twice a day, for many weeks before noticing any improvement. And once you discontinue the product, your skin will likely return to its original appearance,” according to Mayo. So, it may well be what you eat more than what you dab on your skin that has the most beneficial effect. MSN

Physical Therapy Attends To Much Of What Ails Us Most people are familiar with the term, but what is physical therapy? Physical therapy is a type of treatment you may need when health problems make it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. It helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level. The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks and activities easier. For example, it may help with walking, going up stairs, or getting in and out of bed. Physical therapy can help with recovery after some surgeries. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy for injuries or long-term health problems such as: • Back pain. • Tendon or ligament problems, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, a meniscus tear, or plantar fasciitis. • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. • COPD. • Spinal stenosis. • Parkinson’s disease. • Multiple sclerosis. Physical therapy may be used alone or with other treatments and can be performed at a clinic, hospital, nursing home, your own home, or in a sports or fitness setting. Your physical therapist will examine you and make a treatment plan. Depending on your health problem, your therapist will help you with flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and/or balance.

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First, your therapist will work to reduce your pain and swelling. Then he or she will probably focus efforts to increase your flexibility, strength, and endurance. Physical therapy almost always includes exercise. It can include stretching, core exercises, weight lifting, and walking. Your physical therapist may teach you an exercise program so you can do it at home. In addition, your physical therapist also may use manual therapy, education, and techniques such as heat, cold, water, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. Treatment may cause mild soreness or swelling, which is normal, but talk to your physical therapist if it bothers you. In securing the services of a physi-

cal therapist you will want one who is licensed and with whom you feel at ease. You’ll also want a therapist who has experience with your health problem. Physical therapists can specialize in: • Muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones. • Nerves and related muscles. • The heart and blood vessels. • Lung problems and breathing. • Skin problems, including wounds and burns. • Cancer-related problems. • Treatment for children, older adults, or women. When choosing a physical therapist, consider whether your doctor can suggest one, whether a referral is needed and whether your health insurance will pay for physical therapy services. MSN

Answers to Your Questions about Diabetes By Tait Trussell, Senior Wire While the world focuses on diabetes in November, here’s what the experts say. About 20 percent of the 24 million Americans with diabetes are age 60 or older. The number affected has increased by 3 million in the past two years, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Diabetes, however, “can be prevented with a lifestyle that includes optimal nutrition, physical activity, and weight management,” said James Hill, PhD, president of the American Society for Nutrition. “We recommend higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, healthy dietary fats, and plant foods to improve blood chemistry and reduce body weight.” The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has made an important discovery: An intensive lifestyle intervention that includes medical nutrition therapy, weight loss of five to seven percent, and exercise is more effective in preventing the progression from prediabetes to diabetes than drug therapy alone. Here are some questions and answers regarding the Diabetes Prevention Program: Q: What is Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)? A: People with IGT have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet diabetic. The condition is diagnosed using the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) consisting of fasting and drinking a special solution.


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Q: For a person with IGT, what is the risk of developing type 2 diabetes? This is the most common kind. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin. A: As many as ten of every 100 persons with IGT will develop diabetes each year. Q: How many people have IGT? A: About 16 million people in the U. S. have IGT, according to a national health survey. Q: How do diet and physical exercise work to prevent diabetes? A: Obesity and a couch potato lifestyle increase the risk of both insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is a disorder that targets tissues - muscle, fat, and liver cells - so they fail to use insulin effectively. The pancreas tries to produce more insulin. But gradually it fails. Q: What are the goals of the Diabetes Prevention Program’s intervention? A: To achieve and maintain a weight loss of seven percent with healthy eating and to maintain physical activity at least 150 minutes a week with moderate exercise, such as walking or bicycling. Q: What dietary advice did participants get in the studies of the effects of diet and exercise? A: They were asked to lower fat to less than 25 percent of their intake of calories. Lifestyle changes more effectively reduced diabetes risk than did metformin (a drug used to treat high blood sugar). Lifestyle changes worked particularly well in people aged 60 and over. Q: Do the DPP interventions affect the risk of cardiovascular disease, an important cause of death in people with type 2 diabetes?

A: DPP researchers are still analyzing data and conducting more studies to determine whether the interventions affected the atherosclerosis, which causes heart disease. Q: What plans are there to get the information about the DPP to the public and healthcare professionals? A: The American Diabetes Association is developing clinical recommendations for healthcare professionals and will provide guidance on how the results of the DPP can be applied to individual patients. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a jointly sponsored initiative of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more than 200 private and public organizations, has begun a program to disseminate material and intervention strategies derived from the DPP. This work is initially focused on developing tools that healthcare providers and people at risk for the disease can use to make the “modest lifestyle changes that have proven successful in preventing the onset of the disease,” the report said. Q: Were there any deaths or serious injuries in the study resulting from the metformin treatment or the lifestyle changes? A: A total of 14 DPP participants died during the study. The rate of deaths was lower than expected based on the overall U.S. population, the researchers said. Moreover, there was no significant difference in the number of deaths in the placebo group. Q: Are diet and exercise beneficial even

Growing Younger Every Week, Every Month, All Year By Rick Osbourne, Senior Wire When working with kindergartners, the experience of growing a little bit stronger every week, every month, all year long in front of your friends and teacher who celebrate each success with high fives and congratulations, is about all that most of them need to learn to love doing pull ups. In the process of learning to do pull ups they also learn confidence, relentless persistence, and to immunize themselves naturally against obesity for life because kids who can do pull-ups are never obese. Adults Growing Younger - When working with adults the experience of growing stronger week after week, and month after month also represents a consistent return on their investment of time and effort, which motivates them to continue investing. And like kids, adults who can do pull ups are also never obese. But unlike kids, there is another twist that applies to adults as they begin to hit the ages of 40, 50, 60, and up. I am Younger This Year Than I Was Last Year - By virtue of growing functionally stronger week after week; adults are actually growing physiologically younger week after week, month after month, all year long. Done correctly, at the end of the year almost anyone (male or female, black or white, Democrat or Republican, Christian or Muslim) can honestly say, “I’m younger this year than I was at this time last year. And if I continue with this program, next year I’ll be younger still.” Turning Back the Physiological Clock - Yes you can actually turn your physiological clock back and medical testing of factors like your resting heartrate, max VO2, functional strength, and flexibility will literally confirm that you are physiologically younger this year than you were last year at the same time. If you play your cards correctly over several years you could legitimately say,

“I’m physiologically younger than I was 3, 4, or 5 years ago,” and medical doctors would agree wholeheartedly. Not Available at the Cosmetic Counter - But this fountain of youth is not available at the cosmetic counter, the hairdresser’s or the beauty shop, the Internet, on TV, or even the plastic surgeon at any cost. This priceless experience can be earned by dedicating a little time, say ten minutes a day, to growing tangibly stronger every week, every month, and all year long. Growing Younger is Unappealing to Kindergartners – Now, I confess that growing younger week after week, month after month, and year after year holds very little appeal to kindergartners, all of whom want to be like their older brothers and sisters or their moms and dads. But for those moms and dads who would absolutely love to turn the physiological clock back and have a chance at youth, the opportunity is there for the asking. In the words of the immortal George Bernhard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we get old. We get old because we stop playing.” Play your cards right and Mother Nature’s physiological clock will most likely be very kind to you. Carpe diem. Rick Osbourne has spent 17 years as a physical educator and coach. He can be reached at Osbourne.rick@gmail.com MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 45

after diabetes develops? A: Research has clearly shown that diet and exercise help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood lipids in the short term. They should also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. A recently launched clinical trial will assess how they affect heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular-related death in people with type 2 diabetes. MSN


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What can you do to prevent breast cancer? Provided by the National Cancer Institute To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor. Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer. Scientists are studying different ways to prevent cancer, including: • Changing lifestyle or eating habits. • Avoiding things known to cause cancer. • Taking medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep canPrevention starts with early detection. cer from starting. Breast cancer is a Stroke ß Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm ß Peripheral Vascular Disease ß Venous Insufficiency disease in which maGet screened for all four of these vascular diseases in just one hour. lignant (cancer) cells All our screenings are pain-free and non-invasive. Screenings are form in the tissues of the performed by a registered vascular technologist and reviewed by a breast and is the second only to skin cancer as licensed physician. Results in two weeks. the most common type of cancer in American Call (406) 860-1813 to women. The number schedule an appointment. of new cases has in2800 Central Ave., Suite A, Billings, MT creased every year over Located in Rocky Mountain Vein Clinic the last 30 years. Breast Learn more at bigskyultrasound.com Pe a c e o f m i n d . . . p a i n - f r e e ! cancer is second to lung

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cancer as a cause of cancer death in American women. However, deaths from breast cancer have decreased a little bit every year for the past several years. Breast cancer also occurs in men, but the number of new cases is small. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors such as smoking, being overweight, and lack of exercise may help prevent certain cancers. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. NCI’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool uses a woman’s risk factors to estimate her risk for breast cancer during the next five years and up to age 90. This online tool is meant to be used by a healthcare provider. For more information on breast cancer risk, see Estimating Breast Cancer Risk: Questions and Answers or call 1-800-4CANCER. The following risk factors may increase the risk of breast cancer: • Estrogen (endogenous) - Endogenous estrogen is a hormone made by the body to help develop and maintain female sex characteristics. Being exposed to estrogen over a long time may increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen levels are highest during the years a woman is menstruating. A woman’s exposure to estrogen is increased in the following ways: 1. Early menstruation: Beginning to have menstrual periods at age 11 or younger increases the number of years the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. 2. Late menopause: The more years a woman menstruates, the longer her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. 3. Late pregnancy or never being pregnant:


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Because estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy, breast tissue is exposed to more estrogen in women who become pregnant for the first time after age 35 or who never become pregnant. â&#x20AC;˘ Hormone replacement therapy/Hormone therapy - Hormones that are made outside the body, in a laboratory, are called exogenous hormones. Estrogen, progestin, or both may be given to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries in postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries removed. This is called hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormone therapy (HT) and may be given in one of the following ways: 1. Combination HRT/HT is estrogen combined with progesterone or progestin. This type of HRT/HT increases the risk of developing breast cancer. 2. Estrogen-only therapy may be given to women who have had a hysterectomy. It is not known if this type of HRT/HT increases the risk of breast cancer. â&#x20AC;˘ Exposure to Radiation - Radiation therapy to the chest for the treatment of cancers increases the risk of breast cancer, starting 10 years after treatment and lasting for a lifetime. The risk of developing breast cancer depends on the dose of radiation and the age at which it is given. The risk is highest if radiation treatment was used during puberty. For example, radiation therapy used to treat Hodgkin disease by age 16, especially radiation to the chest and neck, increases the risk of breast cancer. Radiation therapy to treat cancer in one breast does not appear to increase the risk of developing cancer in the other breast. For women who are at risk of breast cancer due to inherited changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, exposure to radiation, such as that from chest x-rays, may further increase the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who were x-rayed before 20 years of age. â&#x20AC;˘ Obesity - Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have not used hormone replacement therapy. â&#x20AC;˘ Alcohol - Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The level of risk rises as the amount of alcohol consumed rises. â&#x20AC;˘ Inherited Risk - Women who have inherited certain changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a higher risk of breast cancer, and the breast cancer may develop at a younger age. The following protective factors may decrease the risk of breast cancer: â&#x20AC;˘ Exercise - Exercising four or more hours a

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 47

week may decrease hormone levels and help lower breast cancer risk. The effect of exercise on breast cancer risk may be greatest in premenopausal women of normal or low weight. Care should be taken to exercise safely, because exercise carries the risk of injury to bones and muscles. â&#x20AC;˘ Estrogen (decreased exposure) - Decreasing the length of time a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breast tissue is exposed to estrogen may help prevent breast cancer. Exposure to estrogen is reduced in the following ways: â&#x20AC;˘ Selective estrogen receptor modulators â&#x20AC;˘ Prophylactic mas9/5`6%*534,%!2.%$ tectomy 9/5(!6%"2%!34#!.#%2 â&#x20AC;˘ Prophylactic oophorectomy 4(%&)2344().'9/57!.4 â&#x20AC;˘ Fenretinide )34/,%!2.-/2% The following have 4(%,!344().'9/57!.4 been proven not to be )34/7!)4 risk factors for breast cancer or their effects on breast cancer risk are not known: â&#x20AC;˘ Abortion â&#x20AC;˘ Oral Contraceptives â&#x20AC;˘ Environment â&#x20AC;˘ Diet â&#x20AC;˘ Active and passive cigarette smoking â&#x20AC;˘ Statins Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Clinical Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why our goal is to trials are taking place in many parts of the country. 3%%.%70!4)%.43 Information about clinical 7)4().7/2+).'$!93 trials can be found on the National Cancer Institute Your top priority is learning more website at www.cancer. about your diagnosis and treatment options. gov/clinicaltrials/finding/ Our top priority is you. treatment-trial-guide. Get More Information From National 4(%,%!$).' Cancer Institute. For %80%243). more information, U.S. #!.#%22%3%!2#( residents may call the !.$#!2%&/2 National Cancer Insti-/2%4(!. tuteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (NCIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s) Cancer 9%!23 Information Service toll free at 1-800-4-CANCER 4(!6%.5%./24( 35)4% 7 "),,).'3 -4 (1-800-422-6237). MSN   (/#.2#/-


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Headed To Spokane? Visit Hayden Lake Where North Idaho Millionaire’s Fairy Tale Turned Dark By Bernice Karnop The names of Lewis and Clark are familiar all over the Northwest, but have you heard of F. Lewis Clark? He does not leave the same kind of mark as the explorers with the same names, but he made quite a splash in his day. The summer home Clark built in 1912 on Hayden Lake in the Idaho Panhandle was the most expensive house in Idaho at that time. Its 15,000 square feet of space was big enough for more than a dozen ordinary homes to fit into and rattle around. Lewis and his wife Winifred spared no expense for this dream castle. They imported crystal chandeliers from Czechoslovakia, hand painted wall paper from France, marble from Italy, and rugs from the Orient. They built seven bathrooms, nine fireplaces, a ballroom, billiard room, and a library. They brought slate from England for the roof. In addition to the house, they built a superintendent’s cottage, a gatekeeper’s cottage, and another three-room cottage, along with a plethora of other buildings such as a barn, garage, garden shed, icehouse, blacksmith shop, and woodshed. He even had tennis courts, a chicken run, and dove cote. F. Lewis Clark’s story sounds like a fairy tale. He grew up in Maine, the son of a well-to-do businessman, who may or may not have named his son for the leaders of the Corps of Discovery. After graduating from Harvard, Lewis Clark traveled west, settling in Spokane in 1884. He bought land there and, with F.E. Curtis, built the largest flour mill in the Northwest. C&C Mill produced 600 bushels of flour a day and even shipped it overseas to England and China. After only six years he was ready to move on. He sold his interest for a reported $200,000 gain - much more than it sounds in our present inflated economy - and invested in real estate around the fledgling city of Spokane. According to Cort Conley in Idaho

for the Curious, the land he bought in 1885 for $960 was worth a million by 1905. He continued making big money, investing in, among other things, mining interests in Idaho’s Silver Valley. He and Winifred, whom he married in 1892, built a monstrous showpiece home in Spokane before they started their summer place on the shores of Hayden Lake. In 1907, Clark took his custom built sailing yacht and a crew of 16 to England to compete in regattas. He won cups in every race he entered, and along with the prizes, he won the right to hobnob with royalty. The fairy tale continued with time spent with Kaiser Wilhelm from Germany, Prince Henry from Prussia, and King Alfonso from Spain. If fairy tales came true we’d end the story here with “and they lived happily ever after.” It seldom works that way. Lewis began having health problems. Like the kings and princes he met in Europe, he hired a private personal physician. The couple began spending winters in California. On a stormy January evening in 1914, he took Winifred to the train station in Santa Barbara for a trip to San Francisco. Then he told his chauffeur he wanted to walk the mile back to his hotel. He never made it. They found his hat on the beach near the city wharf. City officials searched the water for his body but no more sign of him surfaced. In spite of a hefty reward, no credible information surfaced either. Winifred returned to Honeysuckle Lodge at Hayden Lake, where she kept lights burning in the windows for him. Newspapers speculated that he took his own life but what really happened to him remains a mystery to this day. The tragedy doesn’t end with his death. The Clark fortune disappeared. The Spokane mansion was sold, and the bank foreclosed on the villa in Hayden Lake. Winifred moved, first to an apartment in Spokane and then to Massachusetts to be near their only son. Two months after the move, she died. The mansion was used by a number of groups but finally it was deserted, vandalized and left to nature’s ravages. It was scheduled to burn in a

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county fire department exercise in 1988. But with the kiss of the proper prince, the Sleeping Beauty awakened. Current owner Monty Danner and his associates bought it in 1989. He restored the massive home and opened F. Lewis Clark’s Honeysuckle House as the elegant Clark House Bed and Breakfast inn. Today guests can stay in the Clark House and dream of the opulence and tragedy of the man behind the original structure. Clark House also offers elegant gourmet dinners, and a place for intimate weddings, business retreats, and similar events, by reservation only. MSN

Visit Revelstoke British Columbia By Bernice Karnop If you think you have seen Western Canada’s Parks because you have been to Banff and Jasper, it is time to think again. You will be surprised at what you find further west at Glacier National Park and Mount Revelstoke National Park in British Columbia. These are in the Selkirk Mountains that form the Columbia Mountain system and are calculated to be twice as old as the Rockies. This 80-milewide wedge of rugged peaks stretches north from the U.S. border for about 200 miles. The Selkirk Mountains may get 59 feet of snow in the winter and are extremely popular with expert skiers. The area is well known for heli skiing where, rather than riding a lift, helicopters drop skiers off on high mountain ridges so they can ski the silent wilderness back to a determined pick-up spot. But you do not have to be an expert skier to enjoy this special pocket of British Columbia in the summer. Mount Revelstoke National Park - Mount Revelstoke National Park was established in 1914 largely because of the meadows filled with a startling array of wildflowers. Other fascinating flora includes the world’s only temperate inland rain forest. You can take the Giant Cedars Boardwalk and walk past old-growth western red cedar and western hemlock that have grown here for 1,000 years. Mount Revelstoke National Park is home to a small herd of threatened mountain caribou, as well as, grizzly and brown bear, mountain goats, cougars, and scores of smaller animals and fascinating birds. Did I mention banana slugs? This is the eastern boundary of their distribution as well. The Meadows to the Sky parkway offers the best access to the high country in the area. This narrow mountain road, which boasts more than a dozen steep switchbacks, opens in stages as the snow disappears. It ends with the Meadows to Sky Trail. Here you will notice hosts of gnarled trees that illustrate how difficult it is to survive in this climate. Throughout the Park, short trails, day hikes, and backpacking trails lead to lakes, summits, and spectacular vistas. The Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk offers an interpretive stroll through swampland rich with animal and plant life. At the right time of year, you will experience the bright yellow skunk cabbage flowers and understand how they got their name. There are no services or campgrounds in Mount Revelstoke National Park, but the Park entrance is barely outside of the town of Revelstoke, where you can find whatever you need after a day in the mountains. Glacier National Park - Glacier National Park, 45 miles east of Revelstoke, contains the highest peaks in the Selkirks and glaciers, of course. The Rogers pass section of the Trans Canada highway passes through the northwest corner of Glacier National Park. This spectacular mountain drive rivals any other on the planet. There’s a nice visitor center on Roger’s Pass with videos and displays explaining the natural and human history of this place. To get to know the area, get out on the trails and enjoy the scenery. Revelstoke - Tucked into a valley between the Selkirk and Monashee Mountains, this town blossomed in the wilderness when the Canadian Pacific Railway established itself here in the 1880s. You can see the Victorian homes and businesses on a self-guided tour. Brochures are available at the visitor center. During July and August you’ll find free live entertainment in the heart of the historic downtown at the Grizzly Center. Also downtown you’ll find all manner of locally owned shops to delight the hearts of the shoppers in your party. You will be tempted by clothing, wool, sporting goods, art, and more. Restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs for every taste and budget are easy to find when you’re ready to sit down. Other attractions you should visit include: • The Railway Museum - It is easy to get on track with this collection of antique rolling stock housed in a museum built to resemble a Canadian

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Pacific railway shop. You will learn how they built the railroad through this rugged country and see a beautifully restored CPR steam engine from the 1940s. • The Fire Hall Museum - A restored 1923 Bickle fire engine is one of many fascinating artifacts here. • The Revelstoke Museum - Historical items will pique grandchildren’s curiosity and your memory! • Forestry Museum - This award-winning museum tells the history of forestry near Revelstoke and in British Columbia. • The Revelstoke Hydro Dam - A self-guided tour and the lookout at the top of the dam make this a worthwhile stop. Day trips from Revelstoke include: • The Enchanted Forest, between Revelstoke and Sicamous, turns a fascinating old-growth forest into a fairyland of delightful wee houses and people that will delight you as well as the grandchildren.

• Enjoy a therapeutic soak at Canyon Hot Springs resort in Albert Canyon east of Revelstoke, and Halcyon Hot Springs resort south of Revelstoke at Nakusp. One last bit of trivia. Did you know that the Canadian province of British Columbia borders four U.S. states? - Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Alaska. MSN

Buffalo Bill Made It All Possible - Historical Center in Cody

Article and Photo by Jack McNeel Two buffalo, full mounts, look down on you as you enter the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody. It seems so symbolic; the buffalo, Buffalo Bill, the town of Cody. If ever a town was built around the name and reputation of one man it must be Cody, Wyoming. Several states have museums about western life and western art that transcend the typical museum. Montana has the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. In Oklahoma City, it’s the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center stands in that same category for Wyoming. All are incredible museums, beautifully done, with amazing collections of western art and history. Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody became one of those “larger than life” individuals who carved a reputation almost beyond belief and lived the epitome of a colorful life. He started at age 11 as an ox-team driver. Over the next 30 years, some of his activities included joining the gold rush to Pikes Peak and becoming the youngest Pony Express rider. He became an infantryman and later a government scout and shooter to provide buffalo meat for railroad workers. It’s said he killed 4,280 buffalo in

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eight months and gained his title “Buffalo Bill.” He guided the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia on a hunting trip and guided General Crook into Indian Territory in Wyoming. During that time, he began appearing in stage plays, the start of a lengthy career in entertainment. He staged a big celebration for North Platte in 1882 that some now call the start of rodeo in the U.S.. His Wild West Shows began touring the country in 1883. Later he spent two years touring Europe with lots of cowboys and Indians, shooting demonstrations, and general “wild west entertainment.” The town of Cody was established in

1895 with Buffalo Bill one of those most involved. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is actually five separate museums under one roof – but only one entry fee that’s good for two days. You can spend all your time in one if that’s your desire, or visit all five. Many people find it takes a second day to view it thoroughly. The museums include one dedicated to Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Those historians intrigued with early western history and particularly the role that Cody played, will find the collection in this section truly amazing. There are many samples of clothing he wore during his Wild West Show plus numerous posters from that era. There is jewelry given him by Grand Duke Alexis and many personal items from his family and him. You can learn both about his public life and his personal life. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show ran for 30 years and served to educate the eastern states and Europe, about western U.S. life in those years before movies or TV would serve the same purpose. The museum and its collection serve as a research center for those studying Cody’s life as well as entertaining and educating the general public. The Cody Firearms Museum will give you a look at “The most comprehensive assemblage of American firearms in the world.” Thousands of guns are exhibited. Serious gun collectors will find that one day is not time enough to peruse and study the collection. Even for those not into guns, it’s an amazing exhibit. In 1976, the Winchester Collection was sent from Connecticut to Cody. The museum was dedicated in 1991 and this collection has been

the center piece of the Firearms Museum since that time. The museum also provides collectors with information about individual firearms. There is a price for this service and interested gun owners should contact the Records Specialist for information. A third museum is called the Plains Indian Museum - a place to view and study the culture, history, and traditions of the American Indians of the Northern Plains, primarily the Lakota, Cheyenne, Shoshone, Crow, and Arapaho. The collection is nationally significant and displayed beautifully. Some of the clothing is shown on manikins walking or riding horses, sometimes pulling travois. One display shows a teepee with a youngster alongside, a kettle over a fire and a woman working on a buffalo hide stretched between poles while the viewer looks down from high above. Much of the collection dates to the period of 1880 to 1930, the “early reservation period,” although more contemporary items from tribes located outside the Northern Plains region are included. The fourth museum is dedicated to western art, The Whitney Gallery of Western Art. Its 50th anniversary will be celebrated in 2009 and various renovations and a new artist’s studio are planned. The gallery contains many major paintings by early artists, the same names you may know from Montana’s C.M. Russell Gallery including art by Russell himself and Remington, Paxson, Wyeth, Sharp, Proctor and many others, plus more contemporary artists like Scholder and Bama. The fifth, and most recent museum, is the Draper Museum of Natural History which opened in June of 2002. Beautifully arranged with circular display areas leading downward, visitors can learn about wildlife of the west with whole mounts of numerous animals ranging from grizzly and elk down to small species, all presented in a way to show their interrelationship with other species and with humans. It’s informative without being overdone so visitors learn while being entertained. And don’t overlook the many life-size or larger bronzes located throughout the grounds around the Historical Center. Sacajawea, Buffalo Bill, and Crazy Horse

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 51

plus such animals as elk, moose, and bear – 21, all artfully displayed. This is a Museum/Historical Center not to be missed. MSN

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Note Changes in 401(k) and IRA distribution rules The Internal Revenue Service has provided guidance for retirement plan administrators, plan participants, and retirees regarding recent legislation affecting required minimum distributions. The Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 waives required minimum distributions for 2009 from certain retirement plans. Generally, a required minimum distribution is the smallest annual amount that must be withdrawn from an IRA or an employer’s plan beginning with the year the account owner reaches age 70½. The 2008 law waives required minimum distributions for 2009 for IRSs and defined contribution plans (such as 401(k)s) and allows certain amounts distributed as 2009 required minimum distributions to be rolled over into an IRA or another retirement plan. Notice 2009-82 provides relief for people who have already received a 2009 required minimum distribution this year. Individuals generally have until the later of Nov. 30, 2009, or 60 days after the date the distribution was received, to roll over

the distribution. The notice also provides guidance for retirement plan sponsors. It contains two sample plan amendments that plan sponsors may adopt or use to amend their plans to either stop or continue 2009 required minimum distributions. Both sample amendments provide that participants and beneficiaries can choose to receive or not to receive 2009 required minimum distributions. Also, both sample amendments allow the employer to offer direct rollover options of certain 2009 required minimum distributions. Plan sponsors may need to tailor the sample amendment to their plan’s particular terms and administration procedures and must adopt the amendment no later than the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2011 (Jan. 1, 2012 for governmental plans). MSN

Tax benefits available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act As part of a larger effort to increase the awareness and use of tax benefits available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), the Internal Revenue Service has announced the availability of a vast array of products that help explain several tax benefits currently available to American families. With time running out to qualify for some of the recovery benefits, the IRS has unveiled new YouTube videos, radio public service announcements (PSAs), and multi-lingual informational flyers that provide basic information for taxpayers. The items are available on IRS.gov for partner groups, the media, Web sites and other organizations whose audience could benefit from the new tax changes. These products are in addition to earlier IRS efforts on YouTube (www. youtube.com/irsvideos) and iTunes to increase public awareness about the tax credits. The IRS.gov official Web site also contains links and complete information about ARRA at www.irs.gov/recovery. The PSAs are in English and Spanish in either 30-second or 60-second formats. The flyers and posters are in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese. Topics covered include: • The first-time homebuyer credit, which provides a maximum $8,000 tax credit to people who meet eligibility requirements and complete the purchase of their homes before Dec. 1; • The American opportunity credit, which expands education tax credits to $2,500 for tuition and a change in 529 plans allows for the purchase of computers for college use; • The energy credit, which expands to a maximum of $1,500 for certain energy-saving upgrades; • A new deduction for the sales or excises taxes paid on the purchase price of new vehicles; • The Making Work Pay tax credit, which many American workers received in April through reduced tax withholding in their paychecks. The Making Work Pay credit is $400 for single taxpayers and $800 for married taxpayers who meet certain income guidelines. However, some people, such as working spouses, workers with two jobs, pensioners, some Social Security recipients and dependents, should check their tax withholding to ensure they are not having too little withheld. MSN

Thoughts to ponder Submitted by Julie Hollar Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children. One day I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her needle. “No, no, no!” she screamed. “Lizzie,” scolded her mother, “That’s not polite behavior.” With that, the girl yelled even louder, “No, thank you! No, thank you! No, thank you!” MSN

2728 Colonial Dr PO Box 6013 Helena MT 59604 lindac@mtnwestbank.com www.mtnwestbank.com Office 443-4381 ΠCell 439-6528

LINDA COCKHILL

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PAGE 54 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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Use Separate Trusts To Protect Inheritance for Children from Former Marriage By Jonathan J. David Dear Jonathan: My wife and I are setting up a joint trust. Now we have to move assets into that trust in order for them to avoid probate. One of our concerns, however, is that once we move the assets into the trust, do we give up control? Also, if we want to sell an asset, such as our house, does that become more complicated when it is in a trust? Jonathan Says: I assume that you and your wife will act as co-trustees of your trust. If that is the case, then you give up absolutely no control by moving the assets into the trust. If there comes a time when you and your wife are no longer acting as co-trustees of the trust, then you give up control in the sense that whoever is acting as trustee of your trust is charged with the responsibility of managing the trust assets on your behalf. Transferring assets to a trust does not compli-

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cate the sale of those assets down the road. For instance, if you transfer your home to your trust, and then you decide to sell the home, instead of you and your spouse being the sellers of the home in your individual names, you would be selling the home through the trust as co-trustees of the trust. Dear Jonathan: My wife and I set up a joint trust a few years back. The trust provides that upon the latter death of the two of us, that our assets will be divided equally among our respective children. Each of us was married before and have children from our first marriages and we want to make sure that they are all treated the same. If I were to die first, are my children protected? In other words, does my wife have the ability to change any of the terms of the trust at my first death and leave my children out? It is not that I do not trust my wife, I am just curious as to what her rights would be, as well as what my rights would be if she were to die first. Jonathan Says: If you and your wife set up a typical joint trust, then the trust would only become irrevocable, i.e., unchangeable, upon the death of the second one of you to die. As such, at the death of the first spouse to die, the survivor of the two of you could change the terms of the trust, i.e., change the beneficiaries and/or what each beneficiary would receive from the trust. If you are concerned about this and want to make sure that there is no way your children, or if she were to die first, her children, could be disinherited if the surviving spouse changes the terms of the trust, then you may want to consider having each of you set up separate trusts, in place of the joint trust you currently have. Each separate trust could provide for the surviving spouse during lifetime, but indicate that upon the surviving spouse’s death, that the balance of the trust assets are to be distributed to or held for the benefit of that grantor’s children. Further, since each separate trust would become irrevocable upon the grantor’s death, the surviving spouse would not have the ability to modify the trust and re-direct the assets to his or her own children. I recommend that you meet with an estateplanning lawyer who can review your concerns more carefully and make recommendations on how to address those concerns going forward. Good luck. MSN

out of Medicare and their health care. And we’d like to add you to the family. We are very proud of the fact that our clients like how we do business. We hope we can provide the same caring service for you.

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! e i P s a Easy Don’t wait until it’s too late to include your favorite nonprofits in your will. Regardless of whether you have a lot to give or just a small slice . . . with proper planning you can remember your family, friends and the nonprofit organizations which mean a lot to you. Learn more about leaving a gift of any amount at:

www.legacymontana.org Your gift builds the future.


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 55

U of M Foundation Puts Education First

The University of Montana Foundation’s mission is to ensure UM’s excellence, access, and affordability through a public/private funding partnership. We rely on the generous and committed alumni and friends who invest in The University of Montana. Everything you can witness on campus today has been touched by our visionary philanthropists. We are grateful to those who are helping higher education improve our world. Because of private support, UM students, professors, and staff can stay focused in an environment of excellence. And gift planning plays an important role in the continuation of their vital work. The Office of Gift Planning has the ability to provide you a full array of

gift planning options. We are licensed to provide annuities, will act as trustee of charitable remainder trusts, and can assist you in several lifetime gifts such as real estate, personal property, and securities. We can accept gifts through your estate, as a beneficiary of your will or living trust, as well as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy. To learn more about supporting The University of Montana through a planned gift, please contact Theresa Timms Boyer, Director of Gift Planning, via phone at 800-443-2593 or email GiftPlanningUMF@mso.umt.edu. Visit our website at www.umt.edu/umf/plannedgiving. MSN

Legacy Montana Combining Chartiable Forces It is human nature to put things off, and unfortunately, some of the most important things are the ones we put off the longest. Like thinking about whether our favorite charity will continue providing healthcare, clothing, shelter, food, open space, art works, care for animals, library books, equal justice, after school activities, varied educational opportunities, preservation of our heritage, and care for our aging population.

Legacy Montana is a group of 50 nonprofit organizations whose goal is to raise public awareness about the importance and ease of leaving a gift to charity. Gifts may come in the form of cash, property, insurance, an investment, or a percentage of an estate. Gifts of any size can make a huge difference - they do not have to be large. Leaving something to your favorite charity does not mean your children, spouse, or friends

are left out. Wills and trusts can be written to make sure all your wishes are honored. For more information about participating charities, and to learn about people who have made bequests to charities, please visit www. legacymontana.org or call us at 406-543-5387. Before making such an important decision, be sure to speak with your attorney or financial advisor, and with your children and spouse. MSN

2010 Open Enrollment For Medicare Prescription Drug And Medicare Advantage Plans Begins November 15th Medicare Encourages Beneficiaries To Review And Compare Their Current Coverage Provided by the Medicare Rights Center The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today is reminding people with Medicare that from November 15 through December 31, 2009 they will be able to make changes in their health and prescription drug coverage for 2010. Because some beneficiaries will see changes in their plans’ costs and coverage, it’s important that people with Medicare review the coverage and costs of their health or drug plans for next year. Beneficiaries can go to www. medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, with or without drug coverage, or a Medicare prescription drug plan. Those beneficiaries who are satisfied with their current plan do not need to

do anything to remain in that plan in 2010.” For beneficiaries enrolling into Medicare Advantage (MA) plans only, they can make one change in enrollment - enrolling in a new plan, changing plans, or disenrolling from a plan - between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2010. However, the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period cannot be used to start or stop Medicare drug coverage, or to enroll or disenroll in a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan. Everyone who has Medicare drug coverage under Part D or the Medicare Advantage should review their drug plan options for 2010, advises the Medicare Rights Center, to ensure that they will have drug coverage that best meets their needs next year. MSN


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Even people who are currently happy with their plan need to review their options. They should not assume their plans will remain the same in 2010, as most plans change their costs and benefits every year. Between November 15 and December 31, people with Medicare have the right to change their Medicare private drug plan or enroll in one for the first time. Medicare drug coverage is available only through private insurance companies. People who have Original Medicare can enroll in a “stand-alone” plan, which offers only drug coverage. Most people who get their Medicare benefits through a Medicare private health plan - such as an HMO or PPO must get their drug coverage as part of the health plan’s benefit package. Premiums, annual deductibles, co-payments, covered drugs (formulary) and participating pharmacies vary from plan to plan. In early November, those who currently have Medicare drug coverage (Part D) should receive materials that show how their plan’s costs and benefits will change in 2010. Plans are required to send out the materials,

STONE CHILD COLLEGE R.R. 1 Box 1082 • Box Elder, MT 59521 (406) 395-4875 • (406) 395-4836 FAX

Stone Child College is a tribally controlled college on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. Located in Rocky Boy, Montana; home of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. Stone Child College is an equal opportunity junior college offering both educational and technical programs. The college has been reaffirmed for Accreditation by the Commission of Colleges and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. Degrees Offered:

Associate of Arts Degree General Studies Human Services

Associate of Science Degree Business Computer Science Applied Science

Certificate Programs

1 year - Construction Technology, Customer Relations, Accounting/Information Management, Business 2 year - Pre-Engineering Assistant

For more information contact the college or visit us at www.stonechild.edu

“Making our Dreams Happen with Academic Excellence, Culture, and Commitment.”

called an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), by October 31, 2009. People who have not received their ANOC packet by November 15, 2009 should call their plan and ask them to send it immediately. The ANOC contains important information that will help people decide whether or not to stay in their current plan. First, make a list of the medicines you take, the dosages and how much you currently pay. You should also note which pharmacies you use. Then find out whether or not your plan will cover the drugs you take next year. Check your ANOC, but keep in mind that plans are required to send you only a shortened list of covered drugs (formulary). It is important that you call your plan and ask them to confirm the information you have. Be sure to ask them if they will cover your drugs at the doses you need, and whether there will be any coverage restrictions (quantity limits, step therapy, or prior authorization) that will require your doctor to ask for special permission before the plan will cover your medicines. Also find out if your co-pays will change. If your plan will no longer cover a drug you are taking or is imposing a new restriction, you have the right to appeal. Ask your plan if you can receive approval to have the drug covered for 2009 before the end of this year. Plans are required to do one of two things for their members whose drugs will not be covered in 2010. (1) They must provide a temporary supply of the drug at the beginning of the year, and notify you that you must either switch to another medicine that is on the formulary or get an exception to continue taking the drug, or (2) They must, before January 1, 2010 work with you and your doctor to (a) switch you to an alternative drug that is covered by the plan, and (b) process your request for an exception should that alternative not work for you. Ask your plan which option they follow (they must follow one option for all of their members), and ask them to explain their transition policy to you. Once you have reviewed your current plan, review other options that are available in your area. If there is a cheaper or better plan available, now is the time to switch. The Medicare Drug Plan Finder tool at www.medicare.gov will list your options. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE to review options and get details about the plans in your area. Some questions to ask are: • Does the plan cover all the medications I am taking? • Does the plan require that I get special permission before it will cover the medication I need (such as prior authorization or step therapy)? • How much will I pay at the pharmacy (co-payments or coinsurance) for each drug? Be aware that certain drugs may cost a lot even if they are covered, so check prices carefully. • How much will I pay in monthly premiums and annual deductible? • Can I fill my prescriptions at the pharmacies I use regularly? • What happens if I go to pharmacies that are not in the network? • Can I get prescriptions by mail order? For a list that includes these and more questions to consider, go to www.medicareinteractive. org/page2.php?topic=counselor&page=script&sl ide_id=1204 Always call the plan to confirm the details before signing up. People with limited incomes (monthly income of less than $1,301 for singles, $1,751 for couples) and few assets (below $12,510 for singles, $25,010 for couples) may be eligible for Extra Help, a federal program that helps pay for some or most of the costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage. People whose income or assets are above the limit may still qualify, because certain types of income and assets may not be counted. Applications for Extra Help are available through the Social Security Administration. People who have Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or a Medicare Savings Program (MSP) automatically qualify for Extra Help, and do not have to apply. The Medicare Rights Center offers the following resources, at no charge, to help people choose a drug plan that best meets their needs: • Medicare Interactive Counselor: www. medicareinteractive.org. This free, online educational tool provides consumer-friendly information about Medicare benefits, rights and options, including: • Explanations of the different types of Medicare private drug plans • Advice on how to compare your Medicare private drug plan options • Questions to ask before joining a Medicare private drug plan • Tips on how to avoid marketing fraud • State-specific healthcare information • Telephone Counseling - Consumers who prefer to speak with a counselor can call the Medicare Rights Center’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-333-4114. Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9 am - 5 pm (Eastern Time). MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 57


PAGE 58 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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Larry and Marilee Gomoll Bring the World Home to Montana

Article and Photo by Bernice Karnop Larry Gomoll, 69, retired to Great Falls in 2000 and now teaches science at Stone Child College in Box Elder. He started life in that area, spending his early years on a farm out of Loma, and graduating from high school in Fort Benton. It is common for people to circle back to their roots when they retire, but for Larry it has been a big circle - one that wraps around the globe. Larry’s “Forrest Gump philosophy of life” says that you live life in pieces, each section with a start and a finish, but strung together like beads - separate but connected. His early trips weren’t long. For example when news came over the radio that World War II ended, other activity came to a halt as they hurried to the field to tell the men the good news. “We drove so fast over the summer fallow I bounced up and down like crazy,” Larry recalls. There was, of course, the trek to the one-room country school each day school. The only long trip was when the family drove to Minneapolis for Christmas one year. When Larry finished high school in 1958, he visited the recruiter in Great Falls and took his first airplane ride to Butte where he joined the Air Force. After training as a surgical technician, they sent him to Montgomery, Alabama, where just a short time earlier, Rosa Parks had shaken the South when she refused to move to be segregated on a city bus. This Montana kid who was 9 years old before he first saw a black person, did not understand the turmoil over race. On Easter, Larry and his roommate, who was black, went to church. “They wouldn’t let him in, so we both left,” he says. Larry went to the Philippines and served as a school nurse in a military dependent’s school. He would have liked to stay in the Air Force, but

during this time of relative peace, promotions were rare. In 1962, Larry started college at Seattle Pacific where he met his future traveling partner, Marilee. They graduated and got married on the same day. With a sense of adventure, they signed twoyear contracts to teach in Guam. “This was exciting to us, but not exciting to Marilee’s parents,” Larry admits. After a honeymoon stop in Hawaii, they arrived in Guam in the middle of the night. The apartment they expected to move into was not ready. A family with four children kindly took them into their home, a discarded World War II Quonset from Harmon Field. It leaked like a sieve so the newlyweds rigged a shower curtain to keep their bed dry. To top it off, there was no door on this “honeymoon suite.” “Those are wonderful memories,” Larry says, laughing. Their two-year contracts stretched to 15 and their two boys were born in Guam. The cultural differences and other challenges gave Larry the opportunity to innovate, for which he was rewarded with Teacher of the Year honors. One year he was recognized by Look Magazine. Guam is only about 200 square miles in area, and is 30 miles long but Larry and Marilee did not feel claustrophobic. They traveled to nearby islands, and as Marilee explains, “It was more open


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

than a big city is here.” After they left Guam, the Houston based oil company ARAMCO, hired Larry to teach at its American School in Saudi Arabia. At the time, ARAMCO was the largest oil company in the world with more than 70,000 employees. Over their 19 years in Saudi Arabia, Larry never had a day he didn’t want to go to work. He pitched in to mentor extra curricular activities like student council and yearbook. With ARAMCO’s encouragement, Larry and Marilee set up a non-profit travel group and led more than 75 trips to places like China, Russia, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, and Europe. “The more you travel, the more you want to travel, “Larry says. “There is no better education than travel.” Their first trip to China in 1977 took place shortly after it opened to visitors. Women, all with their hair in braids, wore Mao jackets, black shoes, and no make-up. The roads were filled with trucks and tens of thousands of bicycles, but only an occasional car. The couple returned to China 15 times over the years, witnessing the phenomenal changes that were taking place in that country. China is one of their favorite destinations, along with Russia, where they led ten trips, and Egypt. In 1990, the Gomoll’s took a group of people to Oberammergau to see the Passion play. Larry picked up the morning paper and saw that Sadam Hussein had invaded Kuwait. They wondered, would he continue into the Saudi oil fields? When they returned to Saudi Arabia, the United States military forces were pouring in. Feeling the troops were under prepared, the ARAMCO camp invited soldiers into their homes for dinner, to wash clothes, and call home. They took caravans of Suburbans to the desert with soft drinks, ice, hotdogs, and other American fare for the troops. “We estimate that we came in contact with half the troops who came to Saudi Arabia,” Larry relates. He and Marilee later published the Desert Dog Experience, a book

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 59

chronicling the events. “It was the first time Americans have been that close to a war since the Civil War,” Larry says. “It shows the involvement of 900 American and other expats who paid out of their pocket to do this.” The private printing went to hundreds of people who worked in it, and to the Library of Congress, George Bush’s library, and more. The book includes, among other things, letters from George H. W. Bush, General Schwartzkof, and other notable people. In 2000, Larry and Marilee left Saudi Arabia in accordance with regulations that require foreign workers to leave during the month they turn 60 and returned to Great Falls. In six months, Larry was bored with retirement. He taught part-time at the College of Great Falls, he volunteered as a docent at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and he became the director of the Community Concert Association. About three years ago, he started teaching biological sciences at Stone Child College on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation. “I love everything about it,” he says, including the success he has had writing grants for the college. Larry integrates his experiences overseas into his classes today. Instead of taking people to different countries in the world, he brings the world to them. MSN

Public Awareness Damage Prevention Homeowners protect yourself from injury. Before planting trees, shrubs, installing fences, mail boxes or whatever excavating activities you are doing, make a call to your one call center. In Montana, call UULC (Utilities Underground Location Center) at 811 at least two business days before you dig, auger, or move dirt in any way. Year to date, homeowners have damaged numerous gas facilities. Remember for your safety and to minimize expensive repair bills, call to have your gas facilities located prior to any digging.

Awareness of Hazards and Prevention Measures If you come in contact with a natural gas pipeline leak take the following steps: • Abandon any equipment being used in • Leave the area immediately or near the suspected leak • Move to a safe location and then call • Warn others to stay away when possible Energy West 406-791-7500

Leak Recognition Learn the warning signs of natural gas pipeline leaks • A rotten egg smell • A hissing sound • Dirt spraying in the air • Bubbling in a pond, creek or river • Dead or dying vegetation

Leak Response

What to do when a leak occurs • DO NOT attempt to extinguish a • DO NOT light a match, start an engine, use a telephone or cell phone, natural gas fire turn on or off light switches, or do • Call 911 anything that may cause a spark • DO Not attempt to operate pipeline equipment

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Assure that fuel-burning appliances are installed, maintained, and used properly and safely. That includes having an annual inspection of heating and venting equipment by a “qualified heating and plumbing shop” prior to the heating season, and the use of a carbon monoxide alarm that meets current standards.

Additional Information If you need addition information call Energy West 406-791-7500


PAGE 60 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Galerie Trinitas Is A UGF Campus Jewel Article and PHoto by Bernice Karnop Galerie Trinitas, which preserves the artwork of Sister Mary Trinitas Morin, is a delightful treasure tucked into the campus of the University of Great Falls. Although it might take a bit of effort to find it, those who see the work of this creative woman, say it is well worth the effort. Sister Trinitas was a French art professor at the college for nearly 33 years. She used many different media, and excelled in every one, according to her students. It is difficult to point out her greatest masterpiece because she was so prolific and so good at everything she did. Some people think her best work was her final project for her master’s degree at Catholic University, Washington, D.C. Even now, the sculpture looks modern although it was created in 1952. It is a brass and stained glass piece showing Christ and John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The work was written up in the Washington Post at the time, according to docent, Helen Flaherty. Others think her masterpiece is the seven “Mary, Mother of Sorrows” stained-glass pieces with copper wire and gilded metal. They line the corridor between the Chapel and Galerie Trinitas Opposite the stained glass is a long wood and

metal mural made of odd-shaped mill ends of balsam wood interspersed with tooled brass, painted with colored lacquer. This piece tells the history of the Sisters of Providence in the Northwest. Sister Trinitas’ artwork in the UGF Chapel leaves many breathless. Most noticeable is the crucifix behind the altar. She carved this fourfoot piece from Montana tamarack, and highlighted it with a background of 11,000 small tiles that reflect the light like cut gems. The 14 Stations of the Cross in the Chapel are carved from white applewood. The wood was once the ends of the old pews in the first Columbus Hospital Chapel. A series of stained glass windows hang behind the loft depicting Christ surrounded by his Apostles. An additional stained glass window of the Last Supper hangs in the east front window. Sister Trinitas was given a year free of teaching duties in 195960 to work on the chapel. She died in 1965 at age 57. In 1993, Bishop Malone of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings named the chapel “Trinitas Chapel.” She had close ties with the Archie Bray Foundation, had the first kiln, and taught the first Telecom courses in a Montana art department. A number of excellent pottery pieces are on display in Galerie Trinitas. Sister Trinitas was born in 1908 in Minnesota, but came to Missoula as a young child. Her father was in the lumber business. She made him a whimsical ceramic piece of Paul Bunyan and Babe his Blue Ox that is on display.


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

A tabernacle that was in the Centerville church was carved from a tree trunk and lined with painted white satin. She bought silver and gold by the sheet and formed lovely chalices and patens. She incorporated family jewelry into them including wedding and engagement rings and other precious gems. The Stations of the Cross displayed in the Galerie Trinitas were originally outdoors in woods in Issaquah, Washington. These copper panels from the Anaconda Company were painted with enamel and the figures were outlined with wire. The Galerie also contains examples of Sister Trinitas’ framed calligraphy, oil paintings, watercolors, and fabric art. The late Dorothy Thornby is responsible for getting the ball rolling to preserve and display Sister Trinitas’ work. Thornby was a weaver and recognized the value of the weaver boards Trinitas made as samples. She was able to gather a number of them, and the patterns and colors are

amazing. Early in her life, Trinitas used weaving as therapy for people with mental disorders. One board shows how they unraveled white cotton socks and wove them into beautiful textured pieces. Thornby began organizing the collection in 1979 and Galerie Trinitas opened in 1994. The Galerie is a project of the University of Great Falls and the University Guild. Individuals may join “Friends of Trinitas,” a group organized by the Guild, to support the Galerie. The Trinitas Galerie is open Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 3:00 p.m. There is no admission charge but donations are appreciated. It is on the University of Great Falls campus, 1301 20th Street South. Look for the tall bell tower and enter through the Chapel. The Trinitas Chapel and hallway with her art is open even when the Trinitas Galerie is closed. For more information, call 406791-5292. MSN

One Can - Great Falls Community Food Bank

How many cans of food would it take to build the old Anaconda stack? What about the Milwaukee Station or County Courthouse? Maybe if these were smaller scale replicas of the actual structures… any easier to guess? Canstruction® is just the event to see engineering landmarks and many other creative designs using only canned food. At the end of the event, all the food is donated to the Great Falls Community Food Bank, an organization with a 27-year history of feeding those in need in our community. On February 19-24, 2010, the Great Falls Community Food Bank will hold the 5th annual Canstruction® showcasing the efforts of dedicated teams building structures entirely from canned food. Canstruction® is an international program sponsored by the Society of Design Administration that allows local winners to compete and receive recognition worldwide. So what does this mean to the Food Bank? Food - and lots of it! In the past four years, more than 54,000 pounds has been brought in through Canstruction®, enough to provide over 42,000 meals to seniors, adults, and children in Cascade County and surrounding areas. To be a part of this unique event, form a team or volunteer by calling the Great Falls Community Food Bank at 406-452-9029. Or, just stop by Holiday Village Mall in February to see these amazing structures and great example of how One Can fight hunger! MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 61


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Great Falls’ Louise Mitchell Stays On Track Legion held foot races. The winner received a shiny round silver dollar. “I always won. I always got the money,” Louise says with a chuckle. A neighbor taught Louise to sew and she loved making dresses for herself, her mom, and her sister. She can still count the dresses she owned. “I had one for school and one for church,” she remembers. They did not have much, but what they had, money cannot buy - a carefree life. Louise’s Aunt offered to pay for her to take piano lessons. “I didn’t have much else. I knew it was a great advantage and I was determined to learn to play the piano,” she says. Gas was rationed, so before her Saturday lesson, she walked five miles to the La Salle Station, stood in the middle of the tracks and flagged down the Galloping Goose. She gave the conductor a dime for the fare and rode into town. After the lesson she might do some shopping for her mom, or visit her grandmother before taking the train back to La Salle and walking the five miles back to the farm. Her parents sent her to Sacred Heart Academy in Missoula for high school. Here she continued her piano lessons and played at St. Frances Xavier church and at St. Richards in Columbia Falls. She loved to run. The Nuns at the boarding school told her that it wasn’t very lady like to run up four flights of stairs. “I did it anyway,” she admits. After high school, Louise attended the College of Great Falls and received her teaching certificate and later her degree in education. In Great Falls she met and married Fergus Mitchell in 1954. After he finished his degree at St. Louis University, they moved to Anaconda, where he worked for the Anaconda Company. Since their policy didn’t allow married women to teach school, she started giving music lessons.

- continued from cover

When the Anaconda Company pulled up stakes, the Mitchell family came back to Fergus’s hometown, Great Falls. Louise taught school and piano. According to Louise, piano takes determination, just like running. “It expands the brain and keeps you from getting Alzheimer’s.” After teaching 50 years, Louise is still taking new students. She started running for her health. Her mom and sister had high blood pressure at an early age. Louise’s blood pressure is normal, and her heart rate is between 48 and 56. She has no trouble with her joints and feels her arthritis in her hands only when the weather changes. She does stretch and lift weights every day to strengthen her knees. Louise races in Great Falls, Helena, Dutton, Fort Benton, and Choteau. She runs the Bloomsday in Spokane and the Moonlight Run in Lethbridge. Her March Marathon was the P.F. Chang Rock and Roll Marathon in Phoenix, Arizona where a different rock and roll band every two miles added to the fun. The Mitchell’s daughter and granddaughter, who live in Phoenix, cheered her on. She’s also done Marathons in Texas, where their two sons live. The notebook in which she keeps notes on each race is filled to the covers. Her best time was four hours and 50 minutes at the Valley of the Sun Marathon, a few years ago. She qualified to run in the Boston Marathon, but says it’s too costly for her. Marathons still on her radar include ones in Alaska and Seattle. If you see someone listening to tapes while they are running, it’s not Louise. She’s concentrating on improving her form and her running skills. A friend helped her when she started running, but she’s never had a professional trainer. She learns a great deal from Runner’s World Magazine. She isn’t even thinking about quitting. “I will run ‘til I can’t,” she says, pointing to a friend who is still competing at 81. In addition to a collection of medals weighing more than she does, Louise has won mugs, plaques, walking sticks, book covers, and more. But, none means more to her than those silver dollars she won at the 4th of July picnic when she was a kid. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

Jammin’ with Pat Sharp Article and Photo by Bernice Karnop Dancing and music helped many early Montana settlers stick it out through harsh times. But in a time when dancing in the country school has been replaced by watching Dancing with the Stars on television, it’s refreshing to know that there are places to go where you can still feel that dancing spirit. Where? Well, grab your sweetie and head over to the Eagles, Elks, or Moose Club in Great Falls when Pat Sharp and the Accordion Band are playing. They rotate through these clubs and more, playing songs from 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. The Accordion Band, which includes banjos, guitars, a saxophone, and a harmonica, stands ready to welcome new players. “With us, it’s always a jam,” says Pat. “We want to play danceable music. Someone calls out the name of a song and we just play.” At a recent gig at the Eagles, couples crowded the dance floor and listeners filled the chairs and tables. Pat can’t remember when jammin’ wasn’t part of her life. Her family farmed a remote place on the Marias River near Dunkirk and music kept loneliness at bay. Her dad taught her to play the accordion. Her mom taught her the C, F, and G chords on the piano and she took off from there playing by ear. Her dad also played the piano and the trombone. When winter prevented their getting out, the family could warm their long evenings jammin’ around their own fire. At Dunkirk country school, Pat cranked out the Battle Hymn of the Republic and other songs on

the old pump organ while a dozen other children in all eight grades belted out the words. She attended boarding school in Great Falls for the upper grades. In seventh grade at St. Thomas Academy she took a year of piano lessons and learned to read music. After high school she attended nursing school at the old Columbus hospital and received her RN degree. “Whenever I was down in the dumps I’d go down in the recreation room and pound on the piano for an hour or two. It has always been therapeutic for me,” she says. Music is therapy for others as well, according to Pat. “There’s something deep within us that music activates,” she says. Every week she plays at skilled nursing centers in Great Falls. “You feel like you’re making them a little more alive, or that you have made a difference in their day,” she adds. Her dad was 87 years old when they attended one outdoor jam where people slept in campers, tents, or cars for a week and jammed all their waking hours. He got out his harmonica and started playing with a group and refused to quit as the clock ticked toward midnight. A few years later, when he was past 90, he got himself out of the camper and into his wheelchair to play at another of these jam sessions. A great way to learn is simply by playing with a group, insists Pat. You learn rhythm, and new and better ways to play a given song. A friend from Shelby, where she lived a good share of her life, taught her to play the variations of chords that put wings to her music. (Continued on page 75)

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Wow! It’s Palau! The Crown Jewel of the Pacific By Sandra Scott, Senior Wire With snow and cold just around the corner, maybe it is time to consider a tropical getaway to warm those joints. Imagine a group of islands that look like they have been untouched by the hand of man and yet have resorts and services that are top notch. Palau, in the western Pacific Ocean and part of Micronesia, only has a population of 20,000 but offers wonderful

adventures. 1. Early history: The Belau National Museum, the oldest museum in the Micronesian region, is the perfect place to learn about Palau from the authentic full-sized men’s meeting hall (bai) to displays connecting the culture of Palau to other Pacific Island nations. 2. Mysterious past: At the northern end of the island of Babeldaob are ancient monoliths left by the early Palauans. The locals believe the monoliths may have supported a huge bai. Besides the 37 stone monoliths, Palau is home to other mysterious stonework. 3. The war: It is hard to imagine the horror that took place on the serene islands of Palau during World War II. The Palau WWII Memorial Museum recalls the Battle of Palau, called “The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific.” Palau is a memorial site for both American and Japanese troops. Many of the military installations, such as the airstrip, are still intact. 4. Riverboating: A short and informative jungle trail lined with fern trees, wild orchids, gorilla arm trees, and canon ball trees leads to Ngerdorch River and the riverboat. On the walk, learn about the Noni Tree, which can “cure anything.” On the river cruise through a mangrove forest, catch site of a Palau fruit dove, bush warbler, rustycapped kingfisher, and even a crocodile. 5. The reefs: Learn about the reefs and its denizens at the Palau International Coral Reef Center. Their aquarium features a series of both outdoor pools and marine tanks that highlight the variety of habitats and marine life found in Palau. It gives an inti-

mate firsthand look into the diverse world of the coral reef. 6. Jellyfish ballet: Join one of Sam’s Tours to Jellyfish Lake, one of the Underwater Wonders of the World. In a landlocked saltwater lake, snorkel with thousands of delicate pink stingless jellyfish that seem to be performing an underwater ballet. Getting to Jellyfish Lake requires a short but steep hike up, then down a rocky path, but it is worth it. 7. Dive in: Palau is all about diving. The Rock Islands, a collection of beautiful foliage-covered isles are surrounded with waters that are home to a diverse Technicolor paradise of fabulous drop-offs, blue holes, breathtaking reefs, and an amazing variety of fish. Few places in the world can compare to the variety and density of underwater life found in the waters around Palau. 8. Go fish: Fish ‘n Fins offers fishing trips daily with local fishermen who know the right time and place for fishing. Trolling, casting, bone fishing, bottom fishing, and spear fishing trips are available. Catch the great prizes of the ocean such as blue marlin, yellow fin tuna, sailfish, barracuda, and wahoo. 9. Sense of wonder: The eco tour starts with sipping an energizing tea that prevents heat stroke then slathering the soft white part of a sprouted coconut on exposed body parts as sun and bug protection. Kayak through the amazing mangrove stopping at a mystifying site created by the Taro Goddess. End with a lunch of locally inspired specialties. 10. Giant money: Carp Island Resort is a sanctuary to frigate birds, white egrets, and a variety of additional birds. After kayaking, hike a jungle trail to see Yap s t o n e m o n e y, the world’s largest money. There is so much to see and do. Take a cooking lesson at Fish ‘n Fins. Have a spa treatment at Palau Royal Resort’s Mandara Spa. Enjoy a folkloric show at Palau Pacific Resort. For more information, check www.visitpalau.com. MSN

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Pack Light for Your Travels with Audio Books By Helen Gallagher, Senior Wire There’s a whole new world of digital technology today, including lightweight gadgets that make it easy to enjoy audio books, especially on the road. Let’s take a look at today’s audio books and the devices you use to listen to them. Audio Books - Instead of tapes or CDs, most audio books available today are in a MP3 format, which creates high-quality digital files. You can download MP3 files from the web and listen on your computer, or copy the MP3 files to your handheld device. With all audio books, you easily control the volume, pause, start, and stop with buttons on the MP3 player, whether you’re walking through the gardens of Paris, or floating along the canals of Amsterdam. Audio Players - E-book readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle, are costly devices (approx. $350) that allow you to read books on a handheld screen instead of paper. But audio books continue

to attract a strong readership among those who enjoy listening to a book while traveling, or when reading is fatiguing. Audio Book Resources - Audible.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, offers audio book downloads on a monthly subscription basis. Unlimited downloads are $14.95/month. The subscription covers a wealth of magazine, newspaper, and radio pieces too. Civil War Traveler - American history buffs can download audio tours of notable battles of the Civil War at www.civilwartraveler.com. Many of these rich resources are narrated and timed to accompany you on a driving or walking tour. All of their recordings are free. Here are just a few examples, as listed on their website: Learnoutloud.com offers thousands of audio books, many of which are free. Their travel audio books are versatile, and far more exciting than a traditional tourist guidebook. Narrated explana-

tions of a town’s culture, history, and amenities provide colorful commentary. Their “Ride With Me” series includes narration that correlates with the freeways you’re driving. Check your local public library for new books in audio formats, either on CD or as MP3 files. Most public libraries offer free downloads of audio books, which you can do from home, or during your travels, wherever you have access to an Internet connection. LibreVox.org has over 2,000 free downloads of audio books recorded by volunteers and available in multiple languages. All are from books in the public domain. Today, you have the convenience of taking all your favorite books when you leave for vacation, at the beach, or riding across the country. You can listen to your books anywhere, and drown out much of the world’s external noise with a lightweight headset or earbuds. MSN

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An Indoor Friend By Clare Hafferman Americans must be nuts about their dogs and cats â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or Petco wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be among us with all the bells, whistles, chewy toys, scratch pads, cans of special food, back-scratchers, and flea powder. As a gardener - pet owner or not - could you imagine being really fond of a special plant that has given pleasure to the person who cares for it? There is a story here, so push back the recliner, put your feet up, and I will fill in the background. About twenty-five years ago, my husband, Bob, was working in a downtown office when a young woman came in looking for a job. Noting that his area had no living plants, she returned later with a Hoya that was just beginning to vine. When Bob left that job and went into business for himself, the Hoya followed him home. Before the land rush, we then moved from a rented part of a 100-year-old house, bought a lot on the west side of town, and as we could afford it, Bob started building the house in which we now live. One of our sons helped us and I took on a second career as a painter - which is why I have not touched a brush again in years. The Hoya came with us and hung down from a wrought-iron holder in front of a south facing window â&#x20AC;&#x201C; protected from the hot sun by a shade. Because a Hoya takes its time in blooming, its care is like the advice you give your children, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Patience is a virtue.â&#x20AC;? Also known as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;wax plant,â&#x20AC;? the blooms are light pink circles that exude a waxy liquid and have a wonderful odor. Some people find the scent overpowering, but I have always liked flowers that announce their presence with a good smell. This Hoya has smelled for 25 years! When we bought this lot, there was an old garage and a junky-looking one-bedroom house in the back. The junky house was re-fitted and became a rental, and the greenhouse room turned into one of those blessings in disguise. It has a concrete floor, windows on two sides, two skylights above, cabinets from a yard sale, and elevated benches filled with dirt. In the fall I lay bunches of whatever I am drying in the benches. There are a couple of tiled squares next to the benches that are usually crowded with seed envelopes. I had an old radio/phonograph until it quit this year. I have to replace it so I can warble as I work. The Hoya has twined, vined, and bloomed every year. I have repotted it three times, since this is a plant that likes to be tight potted. This may sound like a reprobate relative, but simply means it likes itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own pot. Then four or five years ago I bought a variegated Hoya, whose leaves are green or light pink and edged with light and dark shades of pink. Early this summer and thought, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you going to do anything or just sit there?â&#x20AC;? Then in July, patience turned into virtue and some beautiful blossoms developed from small, dark wine-colored circles and became dark pink hanging flowers. I do not give either plant a lot of attention, which is another point in their favor. If you like house plants for decoration and the fact that they re-cycle our air, a Hoya fills that requirement. The thick leaves keep them from drying out, and a finger in the soil should let you know when to add water. I mist them occasionally and when they bloom, I add some Schultz houseplant fertilizer to water and dose them every two weeks. If you cut off part of a vine, dip it in rooting powder and then pot it up. Be patient again, and eventually it will make you a baby plant. Later this fall I intend to get one of my hefty grandsons to hoist my 25year-old resident Hoya, take it out to the compost pile, break the pot, separate the strands and roots, and start over with two divisions. I will give one away and hope the keeper goes on as long as I do. Even your favorite dog cannot match that record. MSN

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On The Road With Charles Kuralt Long-awaited debut on DVD October 27, 2009

The beloved Emmy®-winning series, On the Road with Charles Kuralt, Set 1, makes its longawaited debut on DVD from Acorn Media on October 27, 2009. Award-winning journalist Charles Kuralt has been a household name for decades with his On the Road segments, first airing on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, and, then as the first host of the CBS News Sunday Morning. Beginning in 1967, he and his small CBS television crew crisscrossed the nation in a motor home, avoiding the interstates to meet the ordinary people on America’s back roads. The resulting vignettes became a beloved touchstone of American culture for more than 20 years and remain deeply meaningful, touching, and truthful. This DVD 3volume boxed set includes 18 episodes with a total of seventy-seven On the Road pieces (www. AcornOnline.com, $39.99). Warm, avuncular, and unquenchably curious, Charles Kuralt found everyone interesting. For 20 years beginning in 1967, Kuralt wandered America’s byways in search of the unusual and the overlooked. He and his small crew logged more than a million miles and wore out six motor homes. For his homespun vignettes of everyday life, Kuralt won an Emmy® and two Peabody Awards. He traveled through all 50 states, talking with MCT COMMUNITY THEATRE

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horse traders, worm hunters, singing mailmen, and sharecroppers who put nine children through college. He reported on an elderly man who fixed bicycles for local children, and a woman who talked to Canadian geese. No topic was too small, no person too insignificant. Collected into episodes by the Travel Channel in the 1990s, Kuralt’s On the Road pieces celebrate his passion for the local, the quirky, and the unsung. The pieces featured in Set 1 include: Golden Gate Bridge Workers, Super Shoe Salesman, 80-Year-Old Cook, Roadside Shangri-la, The Circus Bandleader, Whistle-Stop Ride, Toothpick Artist, All-Night Library, Life on the Bayou, Bullfighter, Shipbuilders of Maine, Interstate 80, Greek Sponge-Fisherman, Bishop of Spokane, Cadillac Ranch, Abraham Lincoln’s Hometown, One-Room Schoolhouse, Covered Bridges, Turkey Trot, Kite Man, 104-Year-Old Man, Chicken Man, Man Who Waves at Traffic, Pothole Festival, Greenup H.S. Cheerleaders, Crop Artist, Bike Messenger, South Dakota: Cowboys of Deadwood, among many others. DVD 3-Vol. Boxed Set: 18 episodes (77 pieces) - Approx. 378 min. - SDH subtitles. Special Features: About On the Road, Road Updates, and biography of Charles Kuralt. SRP: $39.99 MSN

Quick And Budget Friendly Party Tips (NAPSI) - For your next gathering, here are great tips to save time and money: Use Electronic Invitations. Online invitations come with stylish designs, easily tracked R.S.V.P.s and no postage expenses. Have a Potluck. Asking your guests to bring their favorite dishes to the party adds variety and intrigue. If you are planning a sit-down dinner, invite your guests to each contribute a course - such as a salad, appetizer or dessert - and you prepare the main course. You can even request the recipes ahead of time and prepare copies to give out as favors at the end of the night. Have a 3 “D”s Party: Dips, Drinks, Desserts. Many guests would prefer to party over dips, drinks and desserts. Making a few different dips takes less time than preparing other recipes and adds a lot of variety to your party. Round out your 3 “D”s menu with a signature cocktail. Serving one classic drink will save money and time - no need to prepare individual drinks all evening long; just mix up one large batch. End it all with delicious dessert. Keep the dip theme through dessert, like chocolate fondue. One of the year’s most popular dips is Buffalo Chicken Dip. Save time and effort by making this dip with Swanson® Premium Chicken. Don’t waste time cooking and shredding chicken when you can use Swanson®, which is made with only white chicken breast, precut into chunks. Check out the recipe: Frank’s® Redhot® Buffalo Chicken Dip 1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 2 cans (9.75 oz. each) Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast, drained ½ cup Frank’s® RedHot® Sauce ½ cup blue cheese salad dressing ½ cup crumbled blue cheese Assorted fresh vegetables and/or crackers 1. Stir cream cheese in 9”-deep pie dish until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, and bake at 350º for 20 min or microwave on high for 5 minutes until hot and bubbling. Stir. Serve with vegetables and crackers. Tips: Substitute ranch dressing for blue cheese dressing and shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese for blue cheese crumbles. Keep it warm in a slow cooker. MSN


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Where Are They Now - Alan Young?

By Marshall J. Kaplan The other day, I was in a bookstore where I noticed a book Mr. Ed and Me. On the cover was Alan Young as Wilbur Post and of course Mr. Ed. I thought to myself, “Where is he now?” Alan Young was born in Northern England on November 19, 1919 and moved to Vancouver, B.C. when he was 13 years old. He started to write comedy and at 17 had his own radio show, The Alan Young Show broadcasting from Toronto. Shortly thereafter, he moved his radio show to New York and signed a contract with 20th Century Fox, which brought him west to Hollywood. Alan made his film debut in Margie (1946), opposite Jeanne Craine. Although he had the comedic skills and personality, Alan lacked that certain star quality. His time at the studio lasted 4 years. Then television came along. It was in this new medium where everything clicked for Alan. In 1950, he wrote and performed in a CBS pilot. By 1951, The Alan Young Show had won two Emmy awards. TV Guide did a cover story on Alan and hailed him as “the new Chaplin.” The show ran for three seasons because Alan did not want to renew for a fourth — he wanted another shot at film stardom. Alan signed movie contracts with both Paramount and Howard Hughes. He made one picture for each studio — both financial disasters. As Alan relates, “You only got two

chances in those days. If they thought you had something, they’d try twice, but two strikes and you were out!” In the late 1950s, he packed his bags and moved back to England where he wrote and performed on various television programs. Again, nothing seemed to be clicking. Returning to the U.S. in 1960, he went to MGM and co-starred in the classic The Time Machine. Due to the film’s success, he was offered the series Mr. Ed, a concept that captivated him. The show’s premise was simple enough; a bachelor architect has a talking horse who will only talk to his owner. The show lasted from 1961 to 1965. Today, it runs in 27 countries. Alan decided to retire from show business at a young age. He took an eight-year hiatus, eventually returning to Broadway in 1973. In 1974, Alan started a long-term relationship with Disney studios where he still does cartoon voices. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 75

Jamin’ With Pat Sharp - continued from page 63 When Pat and her husband, Jack, retired to Great Falls, she started the Jammers at the Senior Center. She thought they needed a bass guitar, so she bought one and took a class in adult education to learn how to play it. She loves the adult education classes and has taken several sessions in fiddle. This spring she tackled Excel spreadsheet on the computer. The Accordion Band puts words to its music as well. About four years ago, Pat bought some tapes and a training book and taught herself to yodel. She practiced for a year before she was willing to yodel in front of anyone, but today Yodel Sweet Molly is one of the Accordion Band’s most requested songs. At 77, some might think that they’ve learned enough, but not Pat. In the summer of 2008, she and Jack took their camper and spent three months in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island in Canada. She found the music museums telling the story of Scottish and Irish music fascinating. “It’s actually more pure than what you hear in Ireland and Scotland because the people on

those islands were more isolated than the people in Scotland and Ireland,” says Pat. She also learned about a jamming tradition called a Kitchen Party. After supper neighbors bring their instruments and play in someone’s kitchen. The instruments aren’t fancy. An Ugly Stick, for example, is a broomstick with bottle caps nailed to it and a rubber boot attached to the bottom, which they bang on the floor for rhythm. Pat learned to play another homey instrument, the spoons, while she was there. She plays them sometimes when she sings with the Swinging Seniors. Alone or with a group, Pat makes music 24 or 25 times a month at different venues in Great Falls, drawing couples to the dance floor and restoring rhythm to the soul of elderly persons in nursing homes. Happily for them, Pat Sharp just keeps on jammin’. MSN

The Laws of Ultimate Reality Submitted by Jim Meade The sun comes up every morning and it sets every evening. Doesn’t it seem that patterns exist in the way the world works that are as predictable as the sun? Following are some of these Laws of Ultimate Reality. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you will have to pee. Law of Gravity - Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner. Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers. Law of the Alibi - If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire. Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you changed to (works every time). Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you do not want to be seen with. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine will not work, it will. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach. Law of the Theatre - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last. MSN

it’s not too late for five very important dates

Five Outstanding Concerts for only $60

THE LOWE FAMILY

STRINGFEVER

DANIEL RODRIGUEZ

BUTCH THOMPSON TRIO

BOSTON BRASS

Musical review direct from Branson Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 • 7:30 pm

Direct from London with unique stringed instruments Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009 • 7:30 pm

The “Singing Policeman” of 9/11 fame Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 • 7:30 pm

Jazz trio from Garrison Keillors “Prairie Home Companion” Sunday, Mar. 28, 2010 • 3:00 pm

Encore brass quintet presentation Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010 • 7:30 pm

Five-concert tickets available at the Mansfield Box Office, Great Falls Civic Center, by calling 406-455-8514 or on-line at http://ticketing.greatfallsmt.net • Additional concert information available at www.gfcca.org

Great Falls Community Concert Association • The Best Entertainment Deal in Town


PAGE 76 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009


Montana Senior News Oct/Nov 2009