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COMPLIMENTARY! TAKE ONE! FREE! Graniteware Galore Colors Barbara McFarlane’s World

For more than 25 years, Barbara McFarlane of Great Falls has collected many vintage graniteware coffeepots such as the green, crystolite, and blue ones on the shelves beside her. [Photo by Craig Larcom]

By Craig & Liz Larcom Barbara McFarlane of Great Falls is on the prowl for graniteware kitchen items wherever she goes - and not just any graniteware. She will ignore the blue, white-speckled plates in your camping set because they are still making those today. Instead, McFarlane pursues graniteware made between 1870 and the 1950s. The baked-on, enameled surface was easy to clean, durable, more rust-resistant than the ironware it replaced, and it baked well. As the decades rolled on, the gray kitchenware of the earliest years was joined by graniteware as colorful as the flowers McFarlane grows in her yard. Over 25 years, McFarlane has collected hundreds of graniteware items, including over one hundred coffeepots. Naturally, she also has a few stories to go along with them. And, of course, she has a sixth sense for finding graniteware. Even 15 years ago, this sense was well honed. So it is not surprising that, moments after she entered a house in Great Falls for a rummage sale, she noticed a remarkable piece of dark brown graniteware on the stove. It had a black knob and handle and a gray- and white-flecked pattern that looked like snowflakes. “Oh, do you want to sell that coffeepot?” McFarlane asked. “No, we’ve had that for a long time at the cabin,” the owner responded. Fortunately for McFarlane, a friend of the woman was there that day who had once been inside McFarlane’s home to look at the graniteware. “She’d really give it a good home,” she advised her friend, the owner. The owner hesitated. “I’d have to have five dollars for it,” she said. McFarlane had her five dollars out in a flash, happy to find a unique coffeepot at a great price. “I like the size of it,” McFarlane adds, as she gazes on it today. “I’ll probably use that one next on my stove.” McFarlane uses a graniteware coffeepot every day to brew coffee. “I don’t remember anymore what kind of pot I was using before, some kind of a percolator you plugged in I think,” she muses. “Graniteware is the only thing I use to make cowboy coffee.” McFarlane explains her method “Bring the water to a simmer and dump the grounds in. Simmer it a little bit, dump some cold water in, settle it, and drink it.” Every now and then she switches out the coffeepot that reigns on her stove for another. Not every coffeepot is suitable for (Continued on page 69)


PAGE 2 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Oops!

Let’s Tap Great Falls’ Potential

I was really enjoying the “Inspiration� article by Julie Hollar on pg. 33 (The Dented Bucket) but could not find the continuation of it on pg 71 as indicated - or on any other page. Did I miss something, or did you? B. Grimshaw Amazed by grace

As a candidate for Mayor of Great Falls in the November 2011 election, I am running because I wish to give voters a choice for change. I have lived in this community for almost 40 years, and as an attorney, I mainly do business and estate planning for farmers and ranchers. I am an independent thinker, and am independent of all others in this election. I believe in the unique, untapped potential of this community, and I wish to make a positive contribution by promoting our river environment and bringing back prosperity to Great Falls; by providing open and accessible government; by treasuring, maintaining, and better managing City assets such as River’s Edge Trail, Missouri River Corridor, Natatorium, Golf Courses, Recycling Center, Pools, and Parks; and by stopping the illegal Electric City Power money transfer from taxpayers to Southern Montana Electric. For more information about me or to give me your ideas on how you would improve Great Falls, check out my website “stuartlewin.com,� or call me at 727-8464. Stuart Lewin Great Falls MSN

ED: It looks like we did. The article is continued on the bottom of page 70. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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By Ron Pollack, Executive Director, Families USA You have worked hard, saved what you can, and you think you are pretty well set for retirement. However, as recent stock market fluctuations make clear, a lot can happen to derail your good planning. For example, you might end up needing more long-term care than you expected. If that happens, the good news is that there’s already a safety net out there for you and your family. It’s called Medicaid and it’s the state and federally funded health insurance program that serves millions of seniors, children, and people with disabilities. In fact, more than one in six Americans over 65 relies on it. Unfortunately, there is a big misperception


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

among many people that Medicare pays for nursing homes or home care, but that is simply not the case for most people. Medicare only pays for long-term care in very limited circumstances. In most cases, you’ll have to pay yourself unless you have a longterm care insurance policy. Even if you have that kind of insurance, many policies only cover costs for a limited time or for certain services. With nursing homes averaging over $70,000 a year and home health aides costing $19 an hour, you may soon find that you have used up most of your life savings. Luckily, the Medicaid safety net can help you get the care you need. Over 60 percent of nursing home residents rely on Medicaid, but Medicaid isn’t just about nursing home care. Medicaid also pays for services that help people stay in their homes longer, such as home health aides or transportation to doctors’ appointments. Medicaid pays for some home care in every state, but the coverage of specific services varies. Medicaid does not just help you; it also helps your family. If you’re married, Medicaid includes financial protections for your spouse. That means that if you’re in a nursing home, your spouse can keep some money without affecting your Medicaid eligibility. Thanks to health care reform, after 2014 that same financial protection will apply if you need home care, so the cost of your care won’t impoverish your spouse. Furthermore, because Medicaid covers the cost of your long-term care, your family won’t have to. Your children can keep saving for your grandchildren’s education and for their own retirement. By providing care at home, Medicaid

gives your family members more time for their jobs and families, lessening the stress for everyone. Millions of people and their families rely on Medicaid. Unfortunately, severe program cutbacks are a real possibility, especially in light of the ongoing deficit debate. The U.S. House of Representatives already passed a proposal to make drastic cuts to the Medicaid safety net. Although this legislation did not pass the senate, the threats continue. The latest debt compromise includes the formation of a 12 member “super committee,” and in order to meet their Thanksgiving Day deadline for a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion, Medicaid will likely face the chopping block. Medicaid cuts would inevitably mean less help for seniors who need long-term care. There’s a better way to tackle our deficit than placing the burden on aging Americans and their families. That is by getting rid of tax cuts for the wealthy and closing tax loopholes for corporations - in short, taking a balanced approach to deficit reduction that makes everyone pay a fair share. Dismantling Medicaid and leaving seniors on their own to pay for longterm care would be the wrong way to go. We need to make sure that the Medicaid safety net is there to help you and your family with the high costs of long-term care. MSN

Coalition For Kids – Caring Forever

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 Lynn Hencley Rhonda Lee Peter Thornburg Sherrie Smith

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

The vast Flathead Indian Reservation covers 1.3 million acres in Northwest Montana and is home to the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes. Contributing Writers Native American culture, majestic views, and historical treasures are abunBob Campbell Connie Daugherty Clare Hafferman Sue Hart dant. Kim Thielman-Ibes Gail Jokerst Since its formation in 1999, the non-profit Flathead Reservation & Lake Bernice Karnop Craig Larcom County Coalition for Kids has worked hard to follow its mission that envisions Liz Larcom Michael McGough …a reservation-wide community that is spiritually, mentally, physically, and Jack McNeel Dianna Troyer socially healthy; one that nurtures and provides safe places for children to © 2011 live and grow, and a place where cultural diversity is respected. Yet despite having generated millions of dollars to fund programs to strengthen the community and sustain its youth and family wellness programs the Coalition for Kids realized that it needed a sustainability project if it was to successfully address the challenges facing the reservation community and create healthy outcomes by focusing on culture, You may qualify for free assistive telephone equipment through the community, and customer service skills. Montana Telecommunications Access Program! Thus was born the Big Sky Bistro & Art Bar, known for its coffee shop, restaurant, fine art gallery, consignment gallery, art instruction, art studio Equipment available through space, live music, and its culturally rich environThe Montana Telecommunications MTAP includes: ment. As a long-term, community-supported project Access Program (MTAP) provides Amplified (louder) telephones the Big Sky Bistro & Art Bar does not have a “grant Captioned telephones FREE assistive telephone equipment shelf life.” It naturally provides cultural, community, Loud bell ringers and customer service programs indefinitely for the to those who qualify, making it easier TTYs (text telephones) youth and families on the Flathead Indian Reservato use the phone to do business or Artificial Larynxes tion. keep in touch with family and friends. Much, much more! For information on how you can support this worthwhile project call 406-883-7316 or visit www. frlc-coaltionforkids.org. MSN

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PAGE 4 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Between a raging war, rationed supplies, and hazardous winter conditions, a little girl’s teacher and family pulled together to help her shine like a princess … and that memory reigns on. This issue, our winning Remember When contributor H.E. Mueller of Havre warmly reflects on Christmas time at Chinook Elementary. Thank you and congratulations to Ms. Mueller, 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 2011/January 2012 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. Visit us online at www.montanaseniornews.com.

Princess Elaine By H.E. Mueller, Havre A hush fell over the audience in the Chinook High School Auditorium. As the lights dimmed over the crowd, lights on the stage brightened. Mr. Zimmerman, the grade school principal, went up the steps to the stage, walked to the center in front of the heavy curtains, and welcomed the parents, friends, faculty, and especially the children to the annual Christmas program. He commented that he was especially appreciative of the ranchers and farmers who had to travel roads made hazardous with blowing and

drifting snow that evening. He assured the little children in the audience that the bad weather wouldn’t keep Santa Claus from coming to hand out gifts and candy! Then he announced that Mrs. Hilda Starcher was directing the Christmas play, and she was to be applauded for the time and commitment to an outstanding Christmas production. He asked her to come from behind the closed curtains and take a bow. Shortly after the applause, the curtains opened on a lovely scene … a fireplace, a huge live Christmas tree beautifully decorated, and Princess Elaine sitting in a large chair. It was Christmas, 1944. Fortunately, Mrs. Starcher chose me for the lead in the play. I was ecstatic! My confidence soared, and under Mrs. Starcher’s direction, I learned to project my voice. I had never been given an important role in a Christmas play. Previous roles in Christmas plays usually meant playing “sticks” – beating wooden drum sticks together and on the floor in rhythm to background Christmas music, usually provided by Mrs. Perry on the piano. I quickly learned my lines, and then came the challenge! My mother and father were asked to provide the outfit described by the playwright: “A tiara, a pink satin cape with rhinestones, and a dress made from a soft and flowing fabric with long sleeves, an empire waist with a floor-length skirt,


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

trimmed in lace.” Mrs. Starcher located a tiara from the high school drama department, and my mother agreed to provide the cape and dress. World War II was still raging, and the Battle of the Bulge hit the Allies very hard that winter. In a small town like Chinook, it was almost impossible to buy satin and silk, and when it was available, it was of poor quality. My parents had helped the war effort by buying 10-cent war stamps and managed to fill a book that was worth $5. That money provided the cash to shop in Havre for the material to make the cape and dress. My thrifty and creative mother decided she wouldn’t cut into the satin material to make the cape. By cleverly folding and stitching, she could leave the satin in one large piece for something more practical. Mrs. Starcher removed glitter trim from an old used costume in the drama department, and that substituted for the rhinestones. Mom bought many, many yards of very inexpensive and very thin cotton material and washed it several times to make the material soft and to remove traces of stiffening and starch. She then dyed the material a deep pink to match the cape. I can still see the “Never Say Die, Say Rit” package of pink dye she used. From a distance, you couldn’t see that the fabric was cotton, and with a large amount of material, she was able to make a lovely flowing skirt and long, full sleeves. She used lace and attractive buttons from a couple of old dresses that she purchased from a shop that sold used clothing. We had no electricity during the war, so it was necessary for mother to use the old White treadle machine to sew the cape and dress. At night she would light the kerosene lamp and put it right beside the machine, being careful to avoid tipping the lamp over when she was peddling, moving the material around, filling the bobbin, or adjusting the length of the stitches. She was an excellent seamstress and spent hours making fancy cuffs and hand-made buttonholes. I never tired of trying on the cape and dress. I was giddy with excitement. It wasn’t until years

later that I fully appreciated the time, energy, and money that my parents willingly spent to make certain that I could have the lead in the play! Because of the raging storm, Mrs. Starcher thought I should stay in town and not catch the bus to the farm, in case my parents couldn’t make it back to Chinook for the play. She took me to her apartment, and both she and I were surprised when her husband greeted us at the door. He hadn’t told her he was coming. They kissed, they hugged, and expressed their love. In a jovial, holiday mood, he lifted me high in the air and told me I was beautiful. I felt like a princess. Mrs. Starcher fixed us a bite to eat and then started getting me ready for the play. She used rouge and lipstick and brushed my hair and styled it. I hadn’t had that much attention in a long time! Deep down, I knew that the evening would remain one of the most pleasant memories of my childhood days at Chinook Elementary. The children and the teachers back stage were all dressed up in their Christmas best, or their costumes if they were in the play. Some of the children would peek around the stage curtain, trying to spot their parents. The program was a hit with the people, and to add to the excitement of the evening, from a side door appeared Santa Claus with a huge sack over his shoulder! He was dressed in a red suit and cap with white trim and a wide black belt. He sported a healthy beard and promised the children candy and a small gift as they left the auditorium. During the war, candy was almost non-existent, but the local school administration and the merchants in Chinook provided some colorful, hard Christmas candy and small token gifts for every child in the audience. The magic, of course, was that Santa gave out the gifts and candy! My parents had managed to drive through the snow drifts and were there, along with brothers and sister. An old, faded picture taken with a Brownie camera is the only proof that I have today of that special event in my life. MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 5


PAGE 6 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Cutting Education Funding Handicaps Our Children By Bob Campbell Winston Churchill once said that the government could make no more important investment than providing milk for children. In founding this nation, Thomas Jefferson said that a free people could only keep their freedom if they have free public education for all citizens. This is particularly important considering that the only check on irresponsible office holders is the citizens’ ability to vote them out of office. Education is to ensure that the consent of the governed on Election Day is required before any office holder takes an oath of office and is entrusted with the power to affect our daily lives. Our nation obtained our industrial and educational quality by investing in teachers and schools. No money was better spent than providing each returning WWII veteran with GI Bill benefits to pay for college education. Our educational institutions now attract international students seeking the excellence provided. On September 17, 1787, our founding fathers proposed a new constitution that was narrowly ratified and changed a group of colonies into the

United States of America. Benjamin Franklin was being helped down the steps of Independence Hall when a woman shouted, “What have you given us Dr. Franklin, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A Republic if you can keep it.” Facing obstacles far greater than ours today, that small group of true believers met and overcame challenges that others predicted would end in failure. The free public education gave the states a solid basis to establish commerce while protecting individual freedoms. The 1972 Montana Constitution guarantees the right of all students to a quality public education so we can continue to achieve the educational potential of each person. To insure that Montana educational tax dollars could not be diverted to non-public schools, it forbids the voucher diversion of tax dollars that other states are experiencing. Candidates for public office who advocate cutting educational funding should be soundly defeated in the November 2012 election. Churchill was right, providing for our future generations is the best way to improve the quality of all of our lives. MSN

New Opera Season Opens In Bozeman Since 1979, Intermountain Opera Bozeman has been a premier cultural attraction in SW Montana, garnering patrons from across the state. The productions are a unique hybrid featuring professional singers from top companies and utilizing the best local musicians. The opera season includes two fully staged productions with live orchestra at the Willson Auditorium, 404 W. Main, Bozeman in

Opening Early August

October and May. The 2011-2012 season opens with Hansel & Gretel by Englebert Humperdinck – that is the 19th century German composer, not the 1970s pop star! H&G opened to rave reviews in 1893 and has never fallen out of popularity. “Gretel” will be sung by Audrey Luna who recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut. “Hansel” – a pants role – will be sung by mezzo Lauren McNeese who recently tread the boards of two other prestigious houses: San Francisco Opera and Chicago Lyric. In May, the gorgeous strains of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly will fill the hall. A perennial favorite and a “must see” for aficionados and neophytes alike. Soprano Cynthia Clayton whose voice the New York Times called “warm, affecting… phrased with lyrical suppleness” sings the title role. Ms. Clayton has had leading roles at New York City Opera and Houston Grand. For information, call 406-587-2889. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011 ©2011 Media Services S-8987 OF23954R-1

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 7

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PAGE 8 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Boiling Frogs By: Dr. Michael R. McGough He peaked early and high. By age 35, he was at, or at least very near the top of his profession. The law practice had enjoyed a good reputation prior to his joining the firm. During his first ten years, the practice grew, and its reputation went from good to great. Anyone who knew anything about the firm realized he had contributed a lot. He was as meticulous in his personal life as he was professionally. He was a strong and committed family man, and his personal and professional friendships were a priority for which he always had time. He believed in personal life management and a balance between personal and professional interests. As a result, he took care of himself. He was aware of the benefits associated with a healthy and balanced life style. He was a role model admired by those around him. He had been named a partner on his 32nd birthday. Over the next decade he enjoyed the fruits of his labors. He maintained the relationships he had worked to develop. Some had cooled and diminished a bit, but he attributed that to differences in human nature. The rewards of his practice were plentiful. What had taken five or six twelve-hour days and 51 weeks a year to establish, was being maintained with a lot less time and energy. He assumed that was a good thing, a benefit for a job well done early in his career. In his personal life, he had also become somewhat relaxed. A few extra pounds here and there and a little less focus on the goal of a healthy mind in a healthy body crept in slowly. He was good at what he did, very good in fact. So when opportunities for professional development came along, they were seldom a priority. He just did not see the need. At fifty, he got a wake-up call. He had a bit of a health incident that shook him hard. He recovered nicely. Around that same time, a new lawyer joined the firm. After watching her for a short time,

he saw someone he remembered. The kid was passionate, committed, and focused. She had a nice balance of personal and professional interests, and she was having a positive and powerful impact on the firm. He looked at himself, and he was not at all satisfied with whom he saw. How had it happened? In what year over the last fifteen had it occurred? When had zest turned to complacency? Years ago, his Grandmother, a wise woman with a formal eighth-grade education and a fully earned doctorate in life, had shared a simple story with him. He remembered the story, but now for the first time, he really got the message it carried. She had shared that a frog put into a pot of near boiling water will jump from the pot immediately to save its life. But a frog placed in a pot of cool water that is slowly heated may not jump from the pot in time to save its life. Whether scientifically accurate or not, the message was clear. Potential threats to our wellbeing that are sudden or extreme are easy to notice, and we are generally quick to react to them. Threats that are less dramatic, slower in nature, more insidious, are often far more difficult to recognize. As a result, like the frog in the pot that is slowly heated over time, we may not react until it is too late. Realizing that the lesson his Grandmother had offered years ago deserved his attention, he decided to take a good look at both his personal and professional life. In particular, he was going to look to see if he was in any pots of water that were slowly being heated. If he was, it was he who had to turn down the heat, get out of the pot, or suffer the consequences. The lesson of the frog was now clear to him. If he wanted balance, fulfillment, growth, and peace in his life, he had to be an active, committed participant not a casual bystander unaware of his surroundings. MSN

Why It’s Called A Smartphone By Bill Hall When I visit a doctor’s office, I take along something to read other than the tattered magazines available in the waiting room, and I do so for two reasons. For one, I have noticed that waiting rooms are overrun with sick people. (Oddly enough, hospitals are the same way.) You sit there surrounded by people hacking and coughing all over the available reading material. And you perpetuate the constant contamination yourself, as you read one of those magazines while personally infested with microbes like the black plague, armpit rot, or similar complaints. Secondly, a doctor’s office rarely has a wide range of magazines beyond the personal favorites of the doctor you are seeing – hobby magazines like “American Knitting” or “Airedale Breeders Monthly” or the ever-popular


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

your medical questions. That allows you to get the jump on the doctor’s possible diagnosis. You can’t quite yet say, as your name is called, “I’m sorry, but I’ve just discovered what ails me and won’t need to bother the doctor today.� And the authorities still frown on prescribing your own medicines. But it’s just a matter of time before you can rub a smartphone across body parts that are causing you fear, rashes, and discomfort. These smartphones are already capable of reading barcodes on store products. You point the device at the label, and the phone will tell you the quality, quantity, and price of the product you are considering. It’s not a great leap from there to rubbing the phone on your sore and sick parts, receiving a massage, an injection, and even a cheerful little song in the comfort of your own home and in the doting presence of your favorite spouse, cat, or dog. Oh, it’s true that this is the only major nation in the world without health care for all its citizens, but no nation on earth has better telephones. Hall may be contacted at wilberth@ cableone.net or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501. MSN

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bigfoot Sighting Journal.â&#x20AC;? Years ago, back when a generation of doctors went into the profession for the money and the worship as well as for the healing, the medics were often narrow conservatives politically. Their choices of magazines sometimes tended toward right-wing periodicals. They tried to cure their patients of liberalism as well as of ulcers, itchy feet, and enlarged prostates. Then along came a new generation of more moderate and even liberal doctors who were former Vietnam veterans or peace-and-love flower children. Some of them, just like their earlier conservative colleagues, tended to abuse waiting room patients by providing copies of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mother Jones,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Nation,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marijuana Growers Monthly,â&#x20AC;? and other left-of-center publications. Today, waiting room magazines often include readable, non-political publications. Some medical offices even have magazines in those lonely little rooms where you take off your clothes and await your turn. However, there are still examination rooms where you cool your heels with nothing to read but wall posters showing gruesome and frightening drawings of human innards. But take heart. A new era has dawned in which patients are no longer threatened by preachy or germy magazines in the waiting room. These days, many of us take along our own electronic devices on which we read books and magazines of our choice. And now I have acquired one of those so-called â&#x20AC;&#x153;smartphones.â&#x20AC;? They call them that because the phones are smarter than we are. They are actually powerful pocket computers that deliver not only telephone service, but news, weather, music, emailing, texting, sexting, digital books, still and video pictures, and even full-length movies if the wait for your turn in the doctorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office is egregiously long. Best of all, you can sit there with that little hand-held device, reading websites that answer

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 9

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Nancy Kirkpatrick Recalls A Child’s Life in England During World War II Article & Photo By Bernice Karnop Nancy Kirkpatrick of Great Falls rose in the middle of the night to watch live coverage of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton this April, even though it created a flood of homesickness for England. The mash of people standing in front of Buckingham Palace waiting for the young couple to appear on the balcony reminded her of when she stood in the same spot, waiting for another Royal appearance. This event, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, took place more than half a century ago, in June 1953 and prompted Nancy’s first visit to London. She grew up 80 miles northeast closer to the Sandringham estate where the royal family spent Christmas. She and her friend came by train to join the tightly packed throng of adoring subjects and waited all day for a look at their young queen. When two men behind them started fighting and one of them pulled a knife, Nancy recalls with a giggle, “I just knew we were going to get stabbed to death.” Nancy had faced danger before, without a lot of fear. On September 3, 1939, 10-year-old Nancy and her 12-year-old brother Ray were with their parents and extended family at their seaside home. In a moment etched in her memory, they heard the growly voice of Prime Minister Winston Churchill come on the radio and announce, “We are at war.” “Does Dad got to go to war?” Nancy asked. “Don’t you worry my darlin’,” her mother quickly answered, with tears running down her cheeks. “Jesus will take care of us.” They went home as they were told to do, but

to a dramatically altered childhood. Her dad was a fruit grower, exempted from going to war. The drone of German bombers filled the night skies. Within 25 miles of the farm were five air bases and a railway terminal where supplies were unloaded - all targets for the enemy planes. Nancy’s dad took straw bales to a dry ditch at the bottom of their garden and created a shelter for the family. When the sirens sounded, everyone dropped what they were doing, grabbed their coats and boots, and dashed to the shelter. Many nights her mother cried but Nancy does not remember being afraid. Still, she admits, “When Kirk (her husband) watches old movies, I’m nowhere around.” Everyone had blackout blinds, and if a family failed to pull them, they were fined. Nights were pitch black and only a tiny flashlight could light one’s way. Along with books, children carried gas masks on their shoulders to school and practiced mashing their faces into the contraptions. At 14, children were required to work to fill in the depleted workforce created by the war. She and Ray felt lucky to be on the farm where they could grow their own food, and unlike the children in London, could remain with their family. The British government paid to have children from severely bombed London evacuated to the country, arguably the only government in history that took such care for their children in any war. During the six years of war, there was no money for toys at Christmas, so they sold the toys they got the year before to people who wanted to get something for their children. Nancy sold two


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

of her beloved dolls, but kept one beautiful baby doll that she still has. “We didn’t have much but we had a lot of love,” she says. Everything was rationed. The family used saccharine in its tea instead of rationed sugar. Butter was especially scarce and the margarine, Nancy remembers, was horrible. Mum carefully spooned the cream from the top of the milk bottle each morning and saved it. On Saturday, she put two spoons in the jug and Nancy and Ray took turns sloshing it back and forth until butter formed around the spoons. “It was the best dairy butter,” Nancy says. “It made just enough for four of us to have bread and butter for our tea on Sunday.” Sunday was God’s day, a day for rest and church. The ruggedly beautiful stone St. Peter’s Church of Upwell, where Nancy was later baptized and married, was built just a short time after the Battle of Hastings and is now more than 900 years old. Some of Nancy’s family still attends. Nancy’s parents were strict but the structured life provided security and love in troubled times.

Wikipedia – A New Way To Volunteer By Mike Cline Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia project that anyone can edit, has been around for 10 years. The Wikimedia Foundation, the project’s sponsor in San Francisco, celebrated Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary in January of this year. Most likely, everyone has heard of Wikipedia, and there is a high probability that if you use a computer, smartphone, or IPAD, you’ve visited Wikipedia and used the encyclopedia to look up some tidbit of knowledge. In fact, Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website in the world. But where does all that knowledge come from? Who wrote the 3.7 million articles in the English language Wikipedia? The answer is simple — Volunteers. One hundred percent of Wikipedia’s content comes from the collaborative editing of volunteers. These people research topics, add content, correct spelling, edit copy, discuss issues, add images, mentor new editors, and do everything else it takes to make Wikipedia into to the encyclopedia it is today. They do this on their own time, on their own schedule. There’s no application process, no training required, no hierarchy of editors. Editors (no matter what their level of experience) don’t need anyone’s approval to change the encyclopedia. The Wikipedia Community, as we like to call ourselves, is a self-organized, collaborative team that has produced one of the most popular and useful websites in the world. Wikipedia is not without its critics. In all probability, your grandchildren have been told in elementary school, high school, and even college not to use Wikipedia. An encyclopedia that anyone can edit just can’t be any good. But once you understand how Wikipedia works and understand its underlying principles — we call them the Five Pillars and Key Principles — Wikipedia becomes a powerful resource. In a nutshell, Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, it is written in a neutral point of view, it provides free content, it encourages editors to interact with each other in a respectful and civil manner, and it does not have firm rules (The Five Pillars). Above all, content in Wikipedia is “Verifiable” with reliable sources and does not contain “Original Research” (content that has not already been published by a reliable source). These foundations are the core of what makes Wikipedia work. A lot of underlying guidelines help editors get the job done, but all the “rules,” no matter what their aim, derive from these principles. Wikipedia is not without flaws, and one of those flaws is reflected by this amazing statistic: the great majority of active Wikipedia editors are male, under the age of 30, and from (as the Wikimedia Foundation calls it) the Global North (North America, Europe, North Asia). The Foundation’s vision for Wikipedia and

The family sat for three meals a day and ate from lovely bone china dishes. No one picked up their cloth serviette until grace had been said, and no one touched their fork until the parents picked up theirs. With rare exception, Nancy and Ray behaved; knowing punishment would be swift and sure. After the war, Nancy worked in a women’s apparel shop in the nearest village. Then she worked for her dad weighing fruit and paying the Gypsies that picked the tons of apples, pears, plumbs, strawberries, gooseberries, and black currants. At the invitation of some girlfriends, Nancy attended an open house on the American Air Force Base, where a tall, slender Kentuckian showed them around the weather station. They met again at the dance that evening, and Robert “Kirk” Kirkpatrick has been showing Nancy around ever since. “Nancy was the only one in England I could

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 11

understand. I either had to marry her or learn a new language,” Kirk jokes. Nancy and Kirk were married December 20, 1959, and Kirk was assigned to Glasgow Air Force base in Montana three months later. “It was awful to leave Mum and Dad,” Nancy says, but Kirk promised to bring her back, which he did every year while her parents were alive. They also spent another three-year assignment in England. Kirk retired from the Air Force after three years at Malmstrom. He then worked as an air traffic controller at the Great Falls International Airport. On their trips back to England, they visited all the beautiful and historic sites of London. In Winston Churchill’s home, they saw his office, his desk, and the leather chair from which he delivered his radio message at the beginning of World War II. Nancy has her own name for that day. “The day we got brokenhearted when Winston came on the air.” MSN


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Life is a Little Easier Here Continuing Retirement Community

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other projects is simple: “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.” Achieving that vision will be impossible without changing the demographic makeup of the Wikipedia editing community. Young males under 30 can only bring a limited perspective to the encyclopedia. This is why Wikipedia excels in its coverage of popular culture and sports, while it is sorely deficient in coverage of history, geography, biography, business, literature, science, and many other topics. For seniors, this is an opportunity to volunteer and take advantage of their life experiences by becoming active Wikipedia contributors. I’ve been a Wikipedia editor for nearly five years. I am retired from a military career and still work as a consultant. At 63 years, I write about what I enjoy, and about what I know —Montana history, Yellowstone, and fly fishing. I have recently become a volunteer Wikipedia Campus Ambassador at Montana State University in Bozeman, where my job is simple —encourage and mentor students, faculty, and staff on the ways of Wikipedia. This outreach has the sole purpose of improving the quality and coverage of Wikipedia content while expanding the Wikipedia Community of editors. Colleges and Universities are one source of new editors, but seniors are another. I like to think that the value of seniors contributing to Wikipedia lies in their distinctly different life experiences and the fact that they grew up before the Internet, before Google, and before cable TV. Too many young editors today believe that if you can’t find something on Google, it never existed. We know that’s not the case. There are millions of books, journals and other references on our public and university library shelves. There are countless editions of newspapers published in Montana over the last 150 years in local archives. We all have historical societies, museums, and other historical resources in our local communities. As seniors, we can take advantage of these resources and our experiences to help improve Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. As a senior myself, I want to encourage seniors across Montana to think about becoming a Wikipedia contributor. Think about becoming part of a much larger global Wikipedia community, and think about subjects you are passionate about and want to write about in Wikipedia. There are no meetings. You don’t have to drive or be driven somewhere on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to volunteer. You just have to have a desire to share some of what you know with a global community. You just have to get in there and edit the encyclopedia. Remember, when you visit Wikipedia to answer that burning question – Who wrote “Valley of the Dolls?” – the answer you’ll find was contributed by a volunteer. Visit Wikipedia and make your first edit. It’s a new way to volunteer. Mike Cline is a retired USAF Lt Colonel (28 years) who currently consults on Strategy Planning. He lives in Bozeman, Montana and volunteers as a Wikipedia Campus Ambassador at Montana State University-Bozeman. He has been contributing to Wikipedia since January 2007, mostly on fly fishing, Montana history and biology, and Yellowstone related topics. His Wikipedia user name is: Mike Cline (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mike_Cline) MSN

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Missoula YMCA Supports People Of All Ages

By Aaron Brock As the Holidays approach, our thoughts turn to our loved ones. We send gifts and spend time with one another as we reinforce our relationships. Every day at the Y, people of all ages come through our doors to use our childcare services, play music with their friends, play youth sports, swim in the pool, lift weights, shoot hoops, or to participate in our adaptive programs. Our commitment is that no one is turned away because of an inability to pay. Last year, the Missoula Y gave away close to $550,000 in scholarships and memberships to children, adults, and families that could not otherwise participate. Generous donations from our friends in the community helped us keep this commitment. A gift to the Y opens doors for our neighbors who have been hit hard by the downturn, and who need safe, reliable childcare; for children who need a supportive place to play and grow; for people who come to the Y to build community through exercising or playing music together; for children who are learning how to swim. And the list goes on and on. Please think of the Y as a place that helps enrich our community and give generously. Call 406-721-9622 or visit www.ymcamissoula.org today. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster; Riverbend Publishing, 2009 Reviewed by Connie Daugherty “This is a story of how my life changed. That is what one could call a dramatic statement,” writes Edward Stanton Jr. in one of his many letters. Thus begins Craig Lancaster’s first novel, 600 Hours of Edward. Written as a combination of journal entries and letters - mostly letters of complaint that are never mailed, but filed away in “green office folders.” The technique is perfect for the story - it flows smoothly, almost rhythmically, and takes the reader quickly and persistently into the world of this middle-age man who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. “The full story is that I’m obsessivecompulsive and that I have Asperger syndrome,” Edward explains in his journal. Set in Billings and ripe with specific, repetitive details, readers will recognize aspects of themselves and of their world in Edward’s. “At Grand Avenue and 8th Street West… Billings drops away into a bowl that leads downtown… I can see the First Interstate Bank building cast against a backdrop of the canyon called Sacrifice Cliff that borders the Yellowstone River. It’s really pretty.” The story takes place over a 600-hour (25 days) span of Edward’s life, but we also learn about Edward’s past and share a hope for his future. In those 600 hours, people and events threaten everything that keeps life possible for Edward. His carefully constructed world is turned upside down. Edward’s story begins in the fall - October 13. “I’ll start with the last day that everything was normal, or what I believed normal to be. That is the problem with belief: If you rely on it too heavily, you have a lot of picking up to do after you find you were wrong. I prefer facts.” Facts are what Edward records each day in his notebook - the minute of his waking and the temperature highs and lows from the day before are vital parts of each day’s data. Quantifiable facts and uninterrupted routines are necessary for Edward’s balance - any sort of change threatens the delicate balance that Edward struggles to maintain. On October 14, there is a tiny crack in the cocoon in which Edward lives. “I am correct: Before today, I have never awoken at 7:28 a. m. Today is a landmark.” Edward writes. It is also the day that the woman who recently moved in across the street waves at him but he does not feel comfortable waving back. The next day while he is painting the garage, Edward has a visitor - the 9-year-old son of the woman across

the street. He wants to help paint and Edward surprises himself by letting him. “His painting is haphazard.... And I am surprised that I don’t seem to care. I will have to talk to Dr. Buckley about this.” Dr. Buckley, the psychiatrist, who Edward sees once a week and who encouraged him to write the journal and the complaint letters that he does not mail, is the one safe constant in his life - he filters everything that is even remotely emotional through her. “She is a logical woman,” and Edward not only trusts her, but also manages to connect with her in a way he cannot with other people. That is until Donna Middleton and her son, Kyle, move in across the street. Allowing these strangers into his life is a big and potentially dangerous step for Edward. “I don’t keep data on such things, but it seems to me that every day Donna Middleton has been at this house, something extraordinary has happened.” And the extraordinary is what threatens the fragile hold Edward has on sanity. Still he finds himself drawn to them - even dreams about Kyle. Then he loses control and what was a potential open door in Edward’s otherwise solitary existence - his budding friendship with Donna and her son - is threatened. His father is called in. It is never good for Edward when his father is in the picture. Edward is estranged from his parents who provide financial, but not emotional support. Except for the occasional reprimanding letter from his father’s attorney and the mandatory monthly dinners at his parents’ home, they have no contact. “I

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 13


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always feel foreboding when I drive to my parents’ house…. When I make the drive up the Rimrocks along 27th street… I have to make many left turns… those left turns lead me out of my world into theirs.” Edward is always relieved when he leaves his parents home - when he leaves most places and can return to the safety of his solitary house, his facts, and his routine. One aspect of his routine that is inviolable is the Dragnet reruns that he watches every night. “I would like to have had a father like Sergeant Joe Friday… I think he would have tried to understand me and the things I do.” Each episode speaks to Edward in some way allowing him to go beyond the facts to the message. Through Dragnet, Edward can safely observe, evaluate, and consider his own life. He can question the possibility of change - of what sort of change he can handle in his life if any. “Doing what you want and what feels right strikes me as being more important than doing something just to prove a point.” He also considers loss and what that means. The repeated Dragnet episodes provide a

consistency and a picture that Edward can grasp. “Photographs, it seems to me, are both moments in time and bits of memory,” Edward writes in his journal. “I have the memory… but I also know that the camera that created the memory is imprecise.” In Edward’s dramatic 600 hours, he has discovered much about himself and about others that contradicts his perceptions. It is uncomfortable, yet some of it is surprisingly pleasant. “I’ll have to desperately hold on to those memories so that they never get away, because I won’t have the chance to replace them,” he determines. Craig Lancaster’s 600 Hours of Edward is a touching, tender must read and one that once begun is hard to put down. Even the ending is one of the most effective pieces of writing I have experienced in a long time. This amazing first novel won the High Plains 2010 Best First Book Award A longtime journalist, Craig Lancaster worked for newspapers in Texas, Alaska, California, Washington, and Montana. He currently lives in Billings with his wife. MSN

Sex Bans in Nursing Homes By Ira Rosofsky More than 30 years ago, in Arkansas, a sociologist proposed to a group of nursing home operators that they set aside privacy rooms for their residents to do whatever it is that consenting adults do in private. Professor Eddie Hargrove maintained that handholding, kissing, and petting “probably would go further than a little medication at 10 o’clock at night,” according to the New York Times. The nursing home operators all rejected this idea then, and it apparently has not gained much ground since.

Flash forward a generation and an advocate for medical marijuana asked me recently if – in my role as a psychologist in long-term care facilities – I had ever seen it used in nursing homes. I could only lamely reply, “That’s about as likely as sex.” I am no expert on sex, and I am not a lawyer, but where is the law that says you check your rights and liberties at the nursing home door? There is none that I know of. In fact, the law says you retain the right to a sex life wherever you reside. The federal government – which pays for most


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

long-term care through Medicare and Medicaid – enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, mandating that continued federal funding for a nursing home required the institution to maintain an environment in which each resident can “attain and maintain his or her highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.” In addition to specifying that certified nursing homes provide basic services such as physical therapy and recreation, the law also contains a Residents’ Bill of Rights that includes the right to privacy and the accommodation of personal needs. At the local level, many states have followed up with a further enumeration of individual rights in long-term care. In California, for example, the Welfare and Institutions Code specifies that residents have the right “to live in an environment that enhances personal dignity, maintains independence, and encourages self-determination,” and “to participate in activities that meet individual physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual needs.” Then why is it so hard to remain sexually active in a nursing home? First, it is hard to find any privacy in nursing homes. Doors are always open; a closed one is viewed with the suspicious eyes of a teenager’s mother wondering what is going on in there. I recently had a resident referred to me for masturbating in front of an aide who had walked into the room. Why did she walk in without knocking? Well, you cannot knock on an always-open door. And in your room – typically shared with a total stranger after a lifetime of independence – you have only a curtain for privacy. When I am having a session with a resident in a nursing home – even with the door closed – it is quite common for an aide just to walk right in and start making up the bed. The custodian might appear next with a mop, followed by the cable guy fiddling with the TV.

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 15

Unless you are into exhibitionism, it is hard to imagine consenting adult residents having sex under these conditions. One nursing home - the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York – established, in 1995, a policy recognizing the right to “sexual expression,” and it is often trotted out as the progressive example. But in the dozens of nursing homes I have visited over the years, I have heard lip service to privacy but little action. My colleagues in other states confirm my impressions. In the typical nursing home, it is rare to hear the word “sex” without its being modified by “inappropriate” or “offense.” There may be an “ick” factor when we think about our elders having sex. But a 2007 University of Chicago survey, “A Study of Sexuality and Health Among Older Adults in the United States,” concluded that old people – given the opportunity – are as likely to be sexually active as the young, and well into their 70s and 80s. But not in nursing homes. It is easy to slip into the mind-set that because these people are in institutions, this gives us free rein to decide what is best for them. But people in nursing homes retain the same rights as the rest of us to mess up or enhance their lives with sex. I sometimes think of aging – particularly in nursing homes – as childhood in reverse: going from independence to dependence and paternalistic control. As my baby boomer generation starts to fill up these institutions over the next couple of decades, I hope we continue to insist on our cherished rights of self-expression. In the meantime, does it make sense that it is easier to get a conjugal visit in a jail than in a nursing home? Ira Rosofsky is a psychologist who works in nursing homes, and the author of Nasty, Brutish, and Long: Adventures in Eldercare. MSN

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Caregiver Empty Nesting After the Need: Five Ways to Get Back to Yourself With the shift away from less personal and more expensive hospitals You’re not being pulled in three different directions… so what will you do and long-term care facilities, millions of people are caregiving for loved now? How will you resume your regular life?” Give yourself some love. Caregivers are so used to taking care of othones in their homes for as little as several days to a decade or longer. Yes, ers that it’s not uncommon for them to neglect themselves it’s initially an adjustment to set your daily clock around the care receiver. Parts of your own life must be put on Empty nesting isn’t just for the and their own needs — and it can be difficult to begin focusing on yourself again once you’re an empty nester. hold, but soon your schedule as a caregiver becomes parents of college students Now that caregiving isn’t part of your daily schedule, take the new normal, and you begin to make and cherish new anymore. Caregiver empty time to catch up on your needs. Schedule that wellness memories. And then one day, whether your loved one is nesting is an increasingly physical. Return to a well-balanced exercise routine (to gone or simply no longer needs daily support, caregiving common occurrence that refers help shed those extra caregiving pounds brought on by a is no longer necessary. For many people, the transition stressful situation). Concentrate on returning to a healthy back to “normal” life is unexpectedly difficult, especially to the feelings a long-term if grief is added into the mix. caregiver experiences when her diet. Set aside time for a massage or meditation, and get the haircut you’ve been putting off. “When your ‘shift’ as a caregiver is over, loneliness, loved one is gone or no longer Give others you love some love. If you don’t have grief, and confusion may replace the feelings of being needs daily support. time to devote to yourself while caregiving, you certainly needed,” says Joni Aldrich, speaker and author of “Condon’t have as much time as you’d like to spend with othnecting Through Compassion: Guidance for Family and Friends of a Brain Cancer Patient” (Cancer Lifeline Publications, 2010, ers you care about. Even though your intentions weren’t bad, your relationISBN: 978-1-4515238-5-0, $15.95, www.connectingthroughcompassion. ships with family members, friends, children, and even pets might have been com). “Suddenly, you’re a caregiving empty nester. Things are too quiet. somewhat strained through neglect. Now it’s time to rebuild those bonds — no excuses. You need comfort and company, so have a family and friends get-together. Ask your pals to join a bowling league or book club with you. Become active in your favorite charity. Walk, brush, and love up on your pets — and catch up on veterinarian appointments, too. Just don’t overcompensate and wear yourself out. Allow yourself to grieve and get counseling. You may be grieving the loss of not only someone you loved, but also a daily way of life that you have become accustomed to. That’s definitely an emotional double whammy. Taking the time to get group or individual counseling is very important. You may find that the best option for you is a combination of both. Counseling is available from many resources, such as religious facilities, the patient’s medical facility, the community, your local hospice organization, or professional services. Focus on stabilizing your future. When you are involved in caregiving, many other aspects of your own life can get out of balance. It may not have been a priority then, but getting back to financial peace and life stability is important now. While it can be overwhelming in the big picture, take the “one step at a time” approach to reestablishing your footing. “Make a list of the tasks at hand and prioritize them according to the most critical and easiest to attack,” says Aldrich. “Find out what resources are available, and don’t be shy about asking for help.” Volunteer — it’s good for the soul. As you navigated the many twists and turns that cropped up on your caregiving path, you learned things that can be invaluable to others. While it’s impor-


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

tant to give yourself some time before you jump into volunteering, helping others is one of the most fulfilling gifts you can offer. “Support groups are always looking for others who will pitch in,” Aldrich assures. “You’ll often find that the people you are helping aren’t the only ones being helped!”

Aldrich urges caregiving empty nesters to acknowledge they have served a purpose and should move on, regroup, and rebuild. “Don’t expect this process to be speedy,” she concludes. “If you approach it with self-awareness and patience, you will once again achieve a full, balanced life.”

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 17

About the Author: Joni James Aldrich knows about caregiving. After her husband’s death from metastatic brain cancer, Joni has dedicated her life to helping others survive cancer, caregiving, and grief through her books and public speaking. For more information, please visit www. jonialdrich.com. MSN

Montana Neuroscience Institute Conducting Parkinson’s Disease and MS Trials By Riley Lennon LPN, Clinical Research Nurse Many neurological diseases disproportionally affect those over the age of 65. Stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s, in particular, are prevalent in this age group. According to the Mayo Clinic, 95% of those with Alzheimer’s disease have onset of symptoms after age 65; and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates 96% of those with Parkinson’s are diagnosed at age 50 or later. New research is continually being developed for late life diseases, offering hope and the po-

tential for new treatments. Through the Montana Neuroscience Institute (MNI), patients suffering from these diseases have access to many types of cutting-edge clinical trials. The Montana Neuroscience Institute is a nonprofit, collaborative effort between the University of Montana and Saint Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center. The mission of the Institute is to bring innovations in science and medicine to those suffering from brain injuries and diseases of the

Dahl Memorial Nursing Home Recognized Nadine Elmore, Director To experience incredibly high quality healthcare, look no further than Dahl Memorial Healthcare Association, Inc. in Ekalaka, Montana. If it does not sound familiar, that is because you may never have heard of it in the same way you have heard of the Mayo Clinic. Dahl Memorial is not a nationally renowned organization like Mayo Clinic, but perhaps it should be nationally recognized. Recently, it was! In an article in U.S. World & News Report online, it was easy to find information that listed Dahl Memorial’s nursing home as one of the top nursing homes in the country. This was information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ five-star rating system. According to that rating system, Dahl Memorial was the second best nursing home in the state of Montana achieving 14 stars out of a possible 15. The residents of Carter County have always known that their little nursing home was good. Now they are proud to say that it is one of the best in the country. For more information, call 406-775-8739. We are here to serve you. MSN

central nervous system. Currently, the MNI is conducting trials in the following areas: Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Type II Diabetes, Opioid Induced Constipation, Spinal Cord Stimulation for chronic back pain, brain injury, and other areas. If you would like additional information about the Institute or any of our current trials, please feel free to contact us at 406-329-2664 or 406-3292617. MSN


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With the weather turning cooler and people thinking about indoor activities – think books – our staff thought that a quiz to match authors and their works would be a good challenge for these fall days. And so we present Shoot for the Literary “Canon,” which will give you a suitable challenge of your book knowledge. Congratulations to Danny Lynn of Red Lodge, who submitted the winning answers to Name that Tune – Hit Songs of the 1950s that appeared in our August/September 2011 issue. Danny wrote that he did not have to use any reference materials to get the correct answers; he’s a former disc jockey. Thank you, Danny. Two $25 cash prizes are awarded from the “Contest Corner” in each issue of the Montana Senior News. One prize goes to the person who submits

the entry selected by our staff as the featured quiz or puzzle in the “Contest Corner” for that issue. Turn your creativity loose and send us some good, interesting puzzles! The second $25 prize goes to the person who submits the 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 them to montsrnews@bresnan.net by November 10, 2011 for our December 2011/January 2012 edition.Remember to work the crossword puzzle in this issue and on our website www.montanaseniornews.com. MSN

Shoot for the Literary “Canon” By MSN Staff Below are 25 famous book titles along with 25 authors. On a numbered sheet of paper, match each title with its author and send it to us. The winner will receive a $25 cash prize. Good luck! 1. Clockwork Orange 2. The Bell Jar 3. Romeo & Juliet 4. A Tale of Two Cities 5. Leaves of Grass 6. Picture of Dorian Grey 7. Silent Spring

8. The Plague 9. The Odyssey 10. The Three Musketeers 11. The Crucible 12. Sense and Sensibility 13. The Woman in White 14. The House on Mango Street 15. Eight Cousins 16. Fahrenheit 451 17. Lord of the Flies 18. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 19. Frankenstein 20. Catch-22 21. Moby Dick 22. Jane Eyre 23. To Kill a Mockingbird 24. Brave New World 25. 1984 A - Victor Hugo B - Jane Austen C - Walt Whitman

D - Charlotte Bronte E - George Orwell F - Louisa May Alcott G - Rachel Carson H - Anthony Burgess I - Ray Bradbury J - Joseph Heller K - Aldous Huxley L - Arthur Miller M - William Shakespeare N - Mary Shelley O - Herman Melville P - Harper Lee Q - Homer R - Charles Dickens S - Sylvia Plath T - Albert Camus U - William Golding V - Sandra Cisneros W - Oscar Wilde X - Alexandre Dumas Y - Wilkie Collins MSN

Answers to Name that Tune - Hit Songs of the 1950s By MSN Staff 1. Q - All The Way; Frank Sinatra 2. X - I Walk The Line; Johnny Cash 3. J - Your Cheatin’ Heart; Hank Williams 4. D - The Battle of New Orleans; Johnny Horton 5. G - Mack the Knife; Bobby Darin 6. N - Little Bitty Pretty One; Thurston Harris 7. A - Rollin’ Stone; Muddy Waters 8. U - In The Still of the Night; Five Satins 9. H - Papa Loves Mambo; Perry Como 10. W - Rockin Robin; Bobby Day 11. R - Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On; Jerry Lee Lewis 12. L - Sixteen Tons; Tennessee Ernie Ford 13. Y - Mona Lisa; Nat King Cole 14. T - Sh-Boom; The Chords 15. E - Rock Around The Clock; Bill Haley and his Comets 16. V - Love Potion No. 9; The Clovers 17. B - That’ll Be The Day; Crickets 18. M - Bye Bye Love; The Everly Brothers 19. I - Peggy Sue; Buddy Holly 20. O - Que Sera, Sera; Doris Day 21. K - Good Golly Miss Molly; Little Richard 22. S - All Shook Up; Elvis Presley 23. C - La Bamba; Ritchie Valens 24. F - Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight; 3URYLGLQJPD[LPXPGLJQLW\ LQGHSHQGHQFHIRUROGHU0RQWDQDQV The Spaniels 25. P - Johnny B. Goode; Chuck Berry MSN ‡$VVLVWHG7UDQVSRUWDWLRQ ‡+RPH+HDOWK6HUYLFHV ‡/HJDO6HUYLFHV ‡(OGHU$EXVH3UHYHQWLRQ ‡,QIRUPDWLRQ $VVLVWDQFH ‡6HQLRU&HQWHU6HUYLFH ‡+RPHGHOLYHUHG0HDOV ‡2PEXGVPDQ6HUYLFHV ‡6NLOOHG1XUVLQJ6HUYLFH ‡9ROXQWHHU2SSRUWXQLWLHV ‡0HGLFDUH$VVLVWDQFH ‡&DVH0DQDJHPHQW I find television very educational. 7KHVHUYLFHVOLVWHGDUHQRWQHFHVVDULO\SURYLGHGLQDOODUHDDJHQFLHVRUFRPPXQLWLHVLQ0RQWDQD

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Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Across 1 3 8 9 10 11 12 15 17 18 19 20 22 24 26 28 30 31 33 34 36 38 40 41 42

Alarm cry of a doe or fawn Best way to find the best spots Too noisy! Period when a doe is capable of breeding Third chamber of a deer’s stomach Vet title California lake It comes after black or white Rolodex abbreviation That is Rejection Found a regular sleep spot Moves when frightened, for example Cabin in the wild Night bird Frolic like a fawn Blue Ridge Mountains locale __, shucks! Penn’s state, for short Bow shape Signs of a deer Description of some trees Holds firmly French for the Subject that a hunter must consider to avoid alarming deer

43 Took off quickly

Down 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 11 13 14 15 16 18 20 21 23 25 27 29 32 33 35 37 39

Doe sound Observed closely Help message Copper symbol One way a deer can become aware of a hunter Ingrained behavior Deer category Attract by calling The buck stops here! Chewed the cud Mature Currents used by deer Auction section Agreement words Eats quickly to avoid predators Large deer Not getting a lot of sun Field description perhaps Big Before Tip off Energy Imitate deer sounds Barbecue site Cost ISI

Answers to Minding Your Business Crossword Page 9 - August/Septemer 2011 By Myles Mellor

Hollywood Squares: Celebs Off the Cuff These questions and answers are from the days when the responses on the “Hollywood Squares” game show were spontaneous and unscripted. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, and with a wild crew of celebrities giving the answers, there were plenty of laughs. Below is a sampling. Q. Do female frogs croak? A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough. Q. If you’re going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be? A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it. Q. True or False - A pea can last as long as 5,000 years. A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes. Q. You’ve been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman? A. Don Knotts: That’s what’s been keeping me awake. Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older? A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency. MSN

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A Grateful Nation: A Look Back at WWII at the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls “We are not heroes, we were doing what we were raised to do - protect our family by protecting [our] country.” - Anonymous WWII Veteran Written by Helen McMullin Edited by Britni Storer “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” Attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who masterminded the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, did indeed awaken a sleeping giant known as the United States of America. Following the attack, America dived into a war that forever changed our country, our citizens, and the rest of the world. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War II, the Museum of Idaho is hosting A Grateful Nation: A Look Back at WWII from Sept. 30 – Nov. 26, 2011. Paying tribute to the hundreds

of thousands who made many sacrifices during the war, “A Grateful Nation: A Look Back at WWII” explores the various aspects of war on the battlefield and on the home front utilizing the mementos and memories of those who lived through some of the darkest days in history. War Is Declared - Soon after Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, a two-nation war evolved into a 50-nation war on almost every continent. This war killed more people, cost more money, and caused more irreversible changes in nearly every country than in any other conflict in history. During the war in Europe, the Nazis took racial and ethnic persecution and genocide to horrifying new levels. Never before were specific groups regardless of age and sex - exterminated on such a level. “The final solution to the Jewish problem,” as the Nazis referred to their systematic genocide, left over six million Jews dead. Many of the deaths came only after prisoners had been subjected to hideous and perverted medical experiments by Ger-

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an all Japanese American unit that fought primarily in Europe in 1944, and sixty-three of those men were from southeastern Idaho. Known as the “Go For Broke” unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the most decorated regiment in the history of the United States Armed Forces with over 18,143 medals earned - 21 of which were Medals of Honor. A Grateful Nation: A Look Back at WWII Exhibition at the Museum of Idaho - In honoring the veterans of WWII, A Grateful Nation: A Look Back at World War II tells the story of these remarkable people and events that helped shape WWII. Since many of us know so little of WWII beyond old war movies, grainy photographs, and entries in history books, the exhibition offers a powerful glimpse into the lives man scientists. The Nazis also targeted Gypsies, homosexuals, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and of those fighting on the battlefield as well as those Soviet citizens, and other political and religious serving on the home front. opponents, killing anywhere between 11 and 17 million people during the Holocaust. America’s Entry Into WWII - Still recovering from the Great Depression, many Americans (including Congress) were divided on whether to enter conflicts that had ravaged much of the world since the end of WWI in 1918. Some felt the affairs of the world were to be settled without American involvement so that America could focus on economic recovery and building defense systems. It was only after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 that America united, and public opposition to the war almost vanished. The following day, President Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress giving a 6½-minute speech called, “Day of Infamy.” Broadcast live to the nation by radio and considered one of the greatest political speeches of the 20th century, “Day of Infamy” affected Congress so strongly that it took only 33 minutes to declare war on Japan. Internment Camps - After the attack on Pearl Harbor, angry, frightened Americans found a visible target at home. Americans feared a Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland. Throughout 1942, more than 110,000 Japanese men, women, and children - two-thirds of whom were American citizens - were evacuated to relocation centers in remote locations around the western United States. Many camps were built quickly and were based on designs for military barracks, thus, making the buildings poorly equipped. Relocation centers forced families to live in conditions that included un-partitioned toilets, cots for beds, and budgets of 45 cents-a-day per person for food rations. Since most internees were evacuated from their west coast homes on such short notice, many arrived at the camps with only the clothes on their backs and were ill equipped to deal with harsh conditions of the internment camps. As the war continued, JapaneseAmericans were eventually allowed to serve in the armed forces. Many who volunteered had families in the internment camps, and they often volunteered in hopes of proving their family’s loyalty to the United States. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was

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In addition to using stories taken from the American perspective, the exhibit also displays weapons, flags, and personal memorabilia from Germany and Japan. Highlighting notes and letters from the Third Reich and Japan, visitors are also reminded of the Italian and German prisoners of war who were interned throughout southeastern Idaho. For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.museumofidaho.org or call the museum at 208-522-1400. MSN


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A Glass More Than Half Full By Bill Hall One of the most annoying things about elders my age is that we have lived long enough to see humanity rise high and fall low, and we can’t resist blurting out judgments on whether our unstable species is getting calmer or crazier. When you look back across three or four generations, you see a changed world. Unfortunately, we in the geriatric portion of the population can’t agree on whether humankind is mellowing or barely clinging to its marginal sanity. Some see the glass half full. Some see it half empty. Count me in neither column. I see the glass two-thirds full. Over recent decades, we have taken more steps forward than backward. When the members of my generation were children, the world was lousy with dictators. Democracies were few and far between. Today, democracies are numerous – and beginning to spread. Today’s medicine is a light-year ahead of mid20th century health care. Poverty persists in many places in the world, but there is more international cooperation to minimize it. Women and racial minorities are achieving a

level of equality undreamed of 50 years ago. And most of us, including most white male fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons, wouldn’t change that for a million bucks. I saw a dramatic example of our progress recently that brought tears to my eyes and to the eyes of people all around me. We were attending the Seattle University graduation that included our grandson Kevin and his classmates. But others at the ceremony received even more heartwarming diplomas that Sunday morning. The University did its considerable best to salve a deep and painful 69-year-old wound. The story began with the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii that eradicated most of the U.S. warships in the Pacific fleet, and people were scared. A few weeks later, an American general called for the imprisonment of Americans of Japanese blood – American citizens. Some scoffed that their nation wouldn’t do such a thing. And they assumed President Franklin Roosevelt wouldn’t go along with such a zany idea. But he did, and quickly. He sided with hysteria. A few months after Pearl Harbor, JapaneseAmericans on or near the Pacific Coast found themselves removed from their homes and aboard buses taking them to prison camps. In at least one of those camps in California, the Japanese-Americans, though stunned, responded to the insult with patriotism. They asked their embarrassed guards for permission to celebrate the Fourth of July. Those prisoners of their own country joined together inside the camp and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That same year, Seattle University, among other schools, was required by federal edict to eject Japanese-American students so that they might be sent to the camps.

At last, 69 years later, SU awarded honorary degrees to a dozen of those students, almost all of whom are gone now. But their children – people about my age – were brought forward, wiping their eyes along with most of us there that day, to receive honorary degrees for their parents. SU President Stephen Sundborg explained, “These individuals, who were our students, were required by federal order to leave our community as a result of the fear, racial hatred, and hostility that prevailed in the wake of Pearl Harbor. We honor these former students to recognize their courage and sacrifice, to address the injustice that occurred, and with hope that this recognition contributes to the healing process.” I sat there during that ceremony thinking of a glass two-thirds full – how much less bigotry followed 9/11, the attack by religious extremists on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Oh, there were cranks here and there who came unglued against all Arabs and Muslims, including American-born-and-raised Arabs and Muslims. But most of us knew better and behaved better. And unlike Franklin Roosevelt, President George W. Bush was reminding the country within hours of the attack that we shouldn’t blame Muslims in general. This year, for good measure, SU gave one of its highest academic honors to a young Muslim woman among today’s students. The world is still a terrible place in many ways, and America still has its smattering of cranks. But if you have witnessed both Pearl Harbor and 9/11, you may see a glass more than half full in a country that has graduated from so many of its hurtful ways. Hall may be contacted at wilberth@cableone. net or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501. MSN

Providing Care And Love For Animals The Lewis & Clark Humane Society provided food, shelter, and medical care to over 2,000 homeless animals last year, animals who – through no fault of their own, had nowhere to turn. Those abandoned, lonely, and hungry dogs and cats find their way to the shelter, which receives more than 50% of its operating budget from the extraordinary generosity of community members who believe companion animals should be treated as valued members of the family. Dedicated volunteers come to the shelter and help in so many ways – from dog walking and cat grooming to helping with fundraising events and outreach. The shelter could not be successful without their help! The shelter also works with law enforcement to

stop cruelty to animals; sadly, many animals each year have to be removed from their homes due to abuse. Sterling is one such example – a lovely, black crossbreed that came to the shelter after having hot bacon grease poured on him. With oozing burns all over his back, and terror in his eyes, shelter staff got him medical care, salved his wounds, and were able to love him back to health. He has now found his “forever home” through our adoption services and is happy at last. If you are interested in making a legacy gift to help assure this kind of care lives on, please call our Development Officer at the Lewis & Clark Humane Society at 406-442-1660. Our animal friends will be thankful for your help! MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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Legacy Giving – Beyond A Lifetime Charity is not limited to your lifetime. Most of us give time, talent, and money to charities throughout our lives because it makes a difference. We experience the joy that comes from giving to a charity that supports our values and priorities. Many of us have personal reasons for charitable giving while we are living; but, statistics show that only a few of us have considered making a charitable gift that will leave a legacy long after we are gone. A charitable estate plan designates a charitable institution to receive a portion of your property before and/or after death. Some simple methods include: • A bequest in one’s will is the most frequently utilized method for planned giving support of a charity.

Food4Kids Feeds Hungry Children By Gayle Gifford, Executive Director Great Falls Community Food Bank Every parent has witnessed the behavior changes children go through when they are hungry. Nearly one in four kids in America cannot count on having enough to eat. In Montana, one in five under 18 is living in poverty and one in ten is living in deep poverty. For many of these children, school meals are their only consistent source of food. In 2010, the Great Falls Community Food Bank established Food4Kids in response to the growing issue of childhood hunger in our community and schools. This program provides food for children to take home during those times they are not in school. If a school has a majority of its students eligible for the free-reduced meal program, children are referred to the BackPack Program providing a prepared pack of nutritious, child-friendly food to sustain them during weekends and school breaks. For other schools, the Food Bank “plants” a school-based pantry for children to receive food when needed. There are currently six schoolbased pantries and four BackPack Programs in Great Falls and 27 other sites throughout Montana. Hunger affects a child’s health, development, and later, their lives. Food4Kids invests in our children’s future for a healthier Montana. To find out how you can help feed out hungry children, please call 406-452-9029 today. MSN

NeighborWorks Builds A Better Community At NeighborWorks, we hear success stories every day that weave a fabric of community revitalization and homeownership. By promoting safe and affordable housing for seniors and families who choose to rent, anti-foreclosure work to help hard-working Montanans keep their homes, and development of workforce housing, we provide fuel for business growth and expansion. For example, all too frequently, Bob used to be awakened by sirens and police lights as officers responded to calls at a nearby apartment building. Then, NeighborWorks purchased the property, and everything changed. “I truly was elated when I found out who bought that building,” Bob says. The condominiums that emerged from the run-down building gleamed with new windows, façade work, and refreshing landscaping. Bob had purchased his home in the 1980s. The trashy building was the last of its kind in the neighborhood, and Bob was thrilled to see the resulting restoration and beautification. Now he sleeps through the night, and Bob adds, “It’s just a delight to have it – to know the neighborhood is better off because of it.” Please consider a planned gift to the NeighborWorks Endowment – A Place to Call Home – and help us continue to create success stories. To learn more, please call Sheila Rice today at 406-761-5861. MSN

• Life insurance allows many to make a larger gift than if they were giving money outright. Many purchase or give a “paid up” policy to their charity of choice. • Retirement plans offer an easy way to designate a charity as the remainder beneficiary of an IRA, 401K, or annuity. Your legacy gift to the Greater Gallatin United Way will work in your community for generations to come. We are LOCAL. We are ACCOUNTABLE. We are YOUR United Way. Visit www.GreaterGallatinUnitedWay.org, call 406-587-2194, or email Carol Townsend, CEO at Carol@GreaterGallatinUnitedWay.org for more information on this topic or to schedule an interview. MSN

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. - Khalil Gibran


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New Montana Wild Celebrates Fish, Wildlife, and the Outdoors By Bernice Karnop Spring Meadow Lake State Park just west of Helena is a popular place to take your grandchildren. There is space to run, and the lake has a shallow end where kids can swim and a deep side with a fishing dock. This past summer, there became another reason to go to Spring Meadow Lake State Park. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks just opened an outdoor learning center geared toward children and families called Montana Wild. Montana Wild has a living stream with both cold-water fish and warm water fish in it. There is an auditorium and a classroom with microscopes, furs, skulls, and other things. There is also a new parking lot, an archery range, and a new fishing dock. Part of their focus, according to Laurie Everts, Montana Wild’s education supervisor, is simply to celebrate what we have here in Montana and our connection to the land. “We are such a unique state where we have wild places still left,” she says. They also focus on educating adults and children about and promoting outdoor skills and conservation. They teach school groups, encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math careers (STEM). “These STEM academics and careers are pretty much what we do on a daily basis,” Laurie says. “We can help schools make it more fun by getting them outdoors to actually do science.” They will post the dates of programs and activities on their web page or you can call Laurie to find out what is going on. Laurie emphasizes that it is not just a Helena

center. There is plenty of outreach for the rest of the state and a lot of collaboration with other organizations. Getting the facility built involved a lot of partnering. The Foundation For Animals bought and donated the land for both the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center next door and the Montana Wild building. They received federal funding and private donations. Their continuing challenge is raising money for planned displays and a Kids Discovery Zone play area. Other indispensable partners are volunteers. “We wouldn’t be able to run it without our volunteers,” Laurie says. RSVP sends many volunteers and gives them a wide variety of jobs in both Montana Wild and the Montana Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The Center, which opened in 2002, expects many orphaned baby animals to come in each spring. They are holding a baby shower to help these disadvantaged youngsters. Most of the babies are black bear cubs, but they also get other animals, like last year’s river otter. Each one has special needs and diets; the shower will help ease the tight budget. The goal of this hospital and refuge is to give baby animals a temporary home and a second chance to be wild again after their stay. It is not a zoo. There is very little human-wildlife interaction because they want the animals to develop a healthy fear of humans. More than a dozen cubs were brought in last year, but only one became habituated and had to go to a permanent facility. They put radio chips into the ears of eight of them and released them. (Cont’d on page 28)

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MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 27


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Wild - Continued from page 26) All hibernated and are doing well. Those who came late and were not in good enough condition to survive on their own stayed at the Center over winter. Although you cannot visit the animals at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, there is a perching garden for raptors just outside the fence, where you can watch the five education birds. These birds will not be released back into the wild. They visit community groups, teaching people about

raptors and how to coexist with wildlife. The kids will love the popular owl, Shredder. If you would like to donate food or other supplies to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, call Laurie Everts at 406-444-9945 for the want list. Monetary donations are also welcome, and may be donated through the Foundation For Animals,

Marilyn Evans, Executive Associate, P.O. Box 389, Helena, MT 59624. For further information, call 406-443-6532. Be sure to designate the gifts to the Montana Wildlife Rehabilitation Center since the Foundation For Animals supports other animal care projects as well. MSN

The Future Of Our Rivers Is In The Hands Of Children Today Water is our most precious resource and is growing more vital each year. We must ensure that current and future generations understand Montana’s water resources. Most people think that today’s kids fish, hike, and play in ponds and rivers as we did as children. According to The Children and Nature Network, 71 percent of today’s mothers said they recalled playing outdoors every day as children, but only 26 percent said their kids play outdoors daily.

Imagine kids in waders, out in their creeks – experiencing places that make living in Montana special! Watershed Education Network (WEN) is out monitoring creeks and rivers with school groups and community members each year. WEN’s field trips offer our students rare time at the river in their structured school day. WEN is a nonprofit organization fostering knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of watershed health through science and outreach. Since 1996, WEN has provided unique river education that plants the seeds of stewardship. Our education programs empower students with real water monitoring at their rivers. We served 84 classes and monitored 33 stream sites in western Montana in 2010; roughly 3,060 students experiencing their rivers! Please join us in keeping kids at the river! Please donate or become a member today! Call 406-541-9287 or visit www.MontanaWatershed. org. MSN

A Man For One Season--Hunting By Karen White-Walker The guy is killing me! Don’t ask about threats or weapons because there aren’t any. No wait, there was that sharp axe hanging from his belt, but I thought it was only to forge a path when he took me out into the woods on the pretense that we were to discover nature - together. What I really discovered was that he wanted me to help him erect a tree stand for deer hunting. I know, I know, the 15-foot ladder and collapsible seat should have been clues, but I so desperately wanted to believe that he had more romantic motives. When am I ever going to get it through my hardwood-thick head that many, not all, but many 77-year-old men just don’t give a hoot about romance? If my husband didn’t stoop over, drag his one foot, or complain about his throbbing legs, you’d swear the man was a lot younger - maybe 76. In my eyes, he’s still handsome and virile, but then I refused to notice his hunting gear, so maybe I need my vision or, is it my head checked? To get to the secluded, wooded area he drove down a deeply rutted country path that every time he hit a bump, I smacked the top of my head on the truck’s roof. “Slow down!” I pleaded. “You’re driving faster than when we’re on Interstate 15, for Pete’s sake.” “Don’t start!” he warned, and just the tone of his voice more than hinted that this wasn’t going to be one of those ha-ha, fun-filled days. When am I ever going to quit being such a dope and realize that many, not all, but many 77-year-old men who may look younger just don’t give a hoot about fun? Once parked and loaded down with more metal than was probably used to construct the Eiffel Tower, we scouted for a tree that was situated near a deer’s run. “The deer are in rut, so look for a deer rub on a tree,” he ordered. “Rut or rub?” I asked, confused. “By rut do you mean like most married couples are in after years of being with the same person?” I tell ya, the man never picks up on nuances, and he doesn’t appreciate my sense of humor. “I’m talkin’ deer rub here,” he snapped. “It’s when a buck is in heat and looking for a doe, and he scrapes his rack against the tree to claim his territory. And if I’m up in a tree stand near one of those rubs, I just might get lucky.” “Get lucky like when…” “Don’t get cute,” he grunted. The man can hardly walk, but there he was dangling 20 feet up in a tree, screwing in the last


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

of his tree steps and hooks and connecting chains to hold up his lookout stand. Sure, he had his safety belt on, but it was tied to a limb that looked more like a twig that wouldn’t hold up a sparrow. No wonder my doctor keeps asking me why I’m under so much stress and that’s why my blood pressure might be so high. How many wives should be subject to their husband’s balancing acts when they’re not even circus performers? He kept tossing down a rope so I could tie all his “equipment” on it, and he could then hoist it up for his building project. It’s my misfortune that I was never a Boy Scout, because what do I know of knots - nothing! Of course my knots were all

wrong, and it took him terribly long to untie them. At one point, he became so aggravated that the sweat from his brow kept dripping on my head and I thought we’d be rained out. Imagine my surprise when he had finished putting up his tree stand and he called down to me. “Don’t know what I’d do without you,” he grinned. “One off-balanced misstep from you and I’ll know what’s it’s like to be without you!” I yelled back. “Please come down here - NOW!” Of course his idea of now meant about a halfhour later, but it was an accident-free day, and at our ages, that’s more than we could expect. MSN

New Book Reintroduces All Ages To The Fun And Fitness Of Bicycling Riding a bike is like riding a bike: once you have learned how to do it, you never forget how. But if the last bicycle you rode had a banana seat and clothes-pinned baseball cards on the spokes, you could probably use a refresher course on modern biking. Because, other than the fundamental act of mounting a bike and pedaling off down the street, practically everything has changed. The facts regarding the popularity of bicycling today are as plain as the helmet on your head: • Interest in bicycling is growing rapidly, with worldwide industry sales up 10 to 25% per year over the past decade. • There are currently 450 million bicycles owned in the US. •There are currently over 60 million adult riders. Add to that interest in commuting (gas prices), health and fitness (boomers retiring), and environmental concerns (zero emissions), and you are

faced with the reality that bicycling is a trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Now available, Bicycling: A Reintroduction is designed as both an introduction to bicycling for novices and a reintroduction for those whose bicycling skills have been on hiatus. From mountain and commuter bikes to hybrids and fixed gear bikes, this book discusses each available twowheeler in detail to help readers choose the one that is right for their body and needs. Also featuring current information on clothing, helmets, saddlebags, and other accessories, along with professional quality step-by-step photos regarding maintenance and repair, Bicycling: A Reintroduction is the ideal guide for anyone looking to get back on two wheels. Bicycling: A Reintroduction, ISBN: 978-158923-604-2, 8.25 “ x 11”, 128 pages, 100 color photos. MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 29


PAGE 30 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

Well, fall has arrived. For many, this is a favorite time of year, when the air turns crisp, the days grow short, and the rustling leaves beneath our feet remind us of another cycle passing. We also think about holing up and hunkering down for the upcoming winter months. It’s soon time to get the fires going. Why not think about finding a friend to share and prepare for the impending cold! End the old cycle and start anew by answering one of these ads or writing your own. Who knows? Maybe you will find the perfect someone to kindle a fire, bringing new warmth to your heart! 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

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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. That is 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 next 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. However, to place a personal ad in the December 2011/January 2012 issue, the deadline is November 10, 2011. Okay, gentlemen. It’s time to start this out right! This petite, brunette grandma (60-ish going on 50-ish), Campbell clan on mother’s side and Norwegian/Chippewa on Dad’s side, is looking for her “cowboy at heart.” I am a spirit-filled (most days) Christian with GREAT faith, but not religious or “churchee.” As a retired floral designer/decorator, landscapist, and professional singer, I still enjoy classic rock, country blues, bluegrass, etc., outdoor concerts and events, gardening, canning, cooking, fishing, camping, herbal health, travel, arts/crafts, and fun. I know you are out there somewhere (maybe up here in NW MT). You are a nice looking, fit gentleman with similar interests. Isn’t it time to take a chance at meeting your new best friend and possible lover? To share what life offers, two people trying to live by faith and enjoy who and where we are? Please drop a few lines and enclose a photo if possible. Reply MSN, Dept. 28101, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403.

Central Montana rancher, 5’10”, 185 lbs., would like meet that special lady, 35-55, who likes the outdoors. I don’t smoke, drink, chew, or do drugs. It would be great if you have an ag. background, but not essential. I ride motorcycles, fly bush planes, and cruise muscle cars, among many others. Let’s get together. Reply MSN, Dept. 28102, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. I’d like to meet a nice lady who likes to keep busy. Looking for a WF in good health, who is easy to get along with, likes the outdoors, fishing, camping, movies, dancing, day trips, and longer trips. May go south some times, and may go out for dinner some. I have a home, boat, car, and truck. Send a photo if you can. I will answer all replies. No drugs or smoking. Reply MSN, Dept. 28103, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Gentleman, do you have Jesus in your heart as this 60+ SWF does? Any pen pals out there? Other interests are healthy food, gardening, and pets. Children are grown with busy lives of their own, so I spend a lot of time alone. Being alone has its good points and bad. No online here. Reply MSN, Dept. 28104, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. DWM 5’8” tall and 180 lbs. Like outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. Kind, trusting, and not controlling. Like people, but not loud, large groups. Don’t smoke or do drugs. Would like to meet an active lady in her 50s or early 60s for companionship and possibly more. Please send a photo. Reply MSN, Dept. 28105, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. DWF 56 years of age from Eastern Montana seeking a gentleman between 48-60 for companionship. Must like dancing, playing pool, having a few drinks, dining out, concerts, rodeos, playing cards, and watching movies. Also, I would like to travel some day. Tired of being lonely. I am 5’4” tall, have blue eyes, and short brown hair. Will answer all letters. Send a photo if you like. Would prefer a nonsmoker. Reply MSN, Dept. 28106, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWM seeks a very affectionate female companion, 55-75. Looks are unimportant. I live in Great Falls and do not smoke or drink. All replies welcome, and I will answer them all. Please send a picture and phone number. Reply MSN, Dept. 28107, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. I am a SWM, 60 years young. I have long, light brown hair, blue-green eyes, I am 6 ft. tall, and I weigh 220 lbs. I am a nonsmoker and do not use drugs; I casually drink. I enjoy cooking, movies, TV, sports, garage sales, antique and thrift


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shops, auto and gun shows. I love animals and the outdoors, and I hate rude people and bullies. I sincerely believe in God and nature’s wonders, but do not believe in harping on any issues. I am very romantic, loyal and monogamous, sensitive and generous, and a good listener and companion. I hate the wild dating scene and casual relationships. I am looking for a nice girl to be my soul mate (race unimportant) and enjoy life together. So, if you would like to be there, and not be square… Reply MSN, Dept. 28108, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403.

meal, enjoys loving and being loved. That being said, I am not looking for a boyfriend who wants all the benefits without the ring, nor am I seeking to trap someone. If it is good for us both, it will work. I am religious; I don’t like fake people, am 65 years young, and want to have fun. If you are 65-70 years old, maybe I am what you have been waiting for. Write to me, send me a picture, and I will enjoy getting to know you. Reply MSN, Dept. 28110, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403.

Do you leave social functions early because it feels awkward to be alone in a crowd? Do you go to matinees to avoid the couple’s scene at 7 pm? Did you skip a vacation because you didn’t have anyone to go with? Welcome to my life. At 62, I’m ready for a change. I’d like to hear from a gentleman around my age in the Helena vicinity who is looking for a N/S lady to spend time with. Reply MSN, Dept. 28109, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403.

If you are a lady who believes that fair is fair, I would like to talk to you. I am a gentleman who is reasonably healthy, not too shabby in the looks department, and have an estate. I am very easy going, have a pleasant personality, and a sense of humor. If you think this message is for you, I invite you to respond. WWM, 67, 6’ 5” inches, retired. Likes hunting, fishing, eating out, long walks, holding hands, touching, talking, loving the right woman. Free to travel the state. Send picture if possible, phone, and details of self. Reply MSN, Dept. 28111, c/o

Looking for a tall, handsome man who enjoys nature, loves a woman who can make him a good

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 31

Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWF, youthful 62, ND/NS. Soft, cuddly, attractive, opinionated, nurturing, funny, high moraled. Longtime recovering alcoholic who loves the 12step program, otherwise healthy. Enjoy singing, dancing, classic rock, art, movies, plays, traveling, camping, TV, cards, and mutual TLC. Own home in Hamilton. ISO relocatable, honest, compassionate, romantic, generous, dependable Christian life mate who doesn’t drink, gamble, or abuse drugs. Prefer slim to medium build, but height, age, color unimportant. Photo and address with letter, please. Reply MSN, Dept. 28112, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. W.W.F. Classy Christian lady would like to meet a Billings area, Christian, non-smoking, nondrinking gentleman in his 70s. I enjoy a simple life of spending time outdoors, watching movies, and going to concerts. If you are interested, I would appreciate a letter. Reply MSN, Dept. 28113, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. MSN

Dating After Death: How I Knew I Was Ready By Jennifer Hawkins I was 39 years old when my husband died unexpectedly in his sleep. It was the shock of a lifetime. He was my love, my rock, a crucial part of my life and our children’s future, and he was gone. A few weeks after his death, I received a letter from my insurance company. The letter said that when you lose a spouse, it is normal to want to date, usually sooner rather than later. I felt guilty even thinking about it and could not fathom the idea of dating so soon after my husband had died. I buried this idea along with the letter, knowing I would re-enter the dating scene in my own time. That time came several months later. I was by myself at the grocery store, and I looked up to find a man watching me with an interested look in his eye. To my surprise, I found myself feeling attracted to him. I didn’t know what to do! This innocent exchange of glances made me uncomfortable, but only in a sense that I realized I was no longer a married woman.That one look instilled in me a sense of freedom. Over the next few weeks I began to consider the idea of dating. But, I felt there were a few things I needed to do before it would feel comfortable. First, I needed to be willing to discuss dating with people who I was close to. I decided to talk to my father-in-law. He was the person closest to my husband. I called him and asked him what he thought about me dating. He said genuinely that he wanted me to be happy and that he knew Mark would want me to be happy, too. He didn’t hesitate to give me his blessing to date. I also called my sister. I told her I’d been thinking about dating. I wasn’t sure what she would say and was shocked when she didn’t say anything. Instead, the line seemed to go dead. “Are you there?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied. “I was crying. I was worried you would never want to date again after Mark. I’m so happy you are considering it.” Her response wasn’t what I expected, but from both her and my father-in-law’s answers, I felt better. Second, I needed to know that I wouldn’t be dating to just fill a void. I knew that the void Mark’s death left in my life would never be filled the same way that Mark filled it. I knew that even as I started dating, I still had to continue to fill my own life with my own positive activities, people, and feelings; I could not put the pressure on someone else to fill Mark’s place — if I did, neither one of us would ever be truly happy. Third, I needed to fully embrace the feeling of being attracted to another person. I decided to trust that my body was telling me, “It’s okay” and give in to the butterflies. When I was so wrapped up in the sadness of losing Mark, I had no space to let someone in. So when I felt an attraction to a man, I thought maybe it was time. But now what was I to do? I hadn’t dated in a

decade. I was a single mom who worked full time. My options for meeting men were pretty limited; however, I had met Mark online. I created a profile and even programmed a search. It felt a little uncomfortable to be searching for a ‘new’ man after being with one man for ten years. As I scanned through the results, not many of the profiles interested me. After several pages, I started to wonder if I was just being extremely critical because I wasn’t ready. But in that same moment, I stumbled upon a profile of an attractive man whose profile made me smile. He and I met a month later and spent seven hours together on our first date. That was just the start — we wound up dating for eighteen months. And after I’d fallen in love and spent hours entwined in the connection with him, I decided to stop seeing him. Not because I wasn’t ready, but because he wasn’t ready. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life; it hurt me deeply, and I’m sure it hurt him, too. But it was the right decision. By completely letting go and trusting the universe and jumping into intimacy with a man again, I found my heart. In setting boundaries in my love life, I genuinely found myself and finally realized that I could be with a man, and, furthermore, could consider having a future with someone other than

Mark. So, while my first attempt at a relationship after my husband did not end up as I had wanted, it was an experience that greatly furthered my healing and growth. After losing a spouse, putting your heart on the line may feel like the last thing in the world you want to do. However, by interacting intimately with others, you may find a little bit more of yourself. And in time, if you wish, I hope that you’ll find someone new to share your life with. Jennifer Hawkins is a highly successful Real Estate investor. She married Mark in 2001 and started her family. She lives in Texas with her sons Connor and Brannon. For more information about Jennifer and her memoir, “The Gift Giver,” please visit www.thegiftgiverbook.com. MSN


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Raspberries-A Versatile Fruit By Clare Hafferman The first time I took some raspberries to sell at my local Farmer’s Market, I put them in blue plastic containers that usually hold fresh mushrooms. Not knowing how to price them, I cruised the aisles and returned to my stall realizing those globes of red meant money in the bank at prices ranging ranged from $3 to $5 for less than two cups. This week at the grocery store little sixounce boxes of either blueberries or raspberries went for $2.50 - and that is for 6 ounces! My patch came from an older gardener who wanted to quit picking. She said her canes were from a well-known old variety named Latham, were fit and healthy, and I could have them for a reasonable price. That purchase twenty years ago has expanded into a space about 10x10 feet, suckering on from the first plants I dug in. Neater gardeners than I often put raspberries in rows outlined with metal stakes, but I am not neat, so mine just sprawled. I always note their ripening by one Grandson’s birthday, which is July 10. He gets a jar of jam every year and tells me that’s all he wants. I am writing this in early July and hope to pick by the end of the month. This year’s wet, cold, and rainy spring has delayed everything in all our gardens, but it has given me lots of berries and requests for the jam I always make and give to relatives and people who have done me favors. So far, nobody has turned me down. Raspberries are used for many tasty treats and are valuable for properties you probably have not known about. These include being a good

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source of elegiac acid, a compound that helps prevent cancer and inhibits the growth of cancer cells. These berries are also a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper. They contain fiber and help control cholesterol levels. Cooking does not destroy these compounds, so if you make jam, it is still beneficial. Raspberries also do not affect blood sugar and may be helpful in a diabetic diet. They also contain anti-oxidants that relieve urinary irritation, strengthen the immune system, and can be used to prevent overgrowth of certain bacteria and fungus in the body. Raspberry tea is used to relieve nausea in pregnancy and three servings of raspberries per day contain lutein, which lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Young or old, it would be difficult to find any other fruit you could plant in your back yard with any more benefits. Outside of eating them fresh on cereal, with sugar and cream (raspberries are trained to shed skim and 2% milk), you can use them in a cooked cornstarch and sugar topping for cheesecake, add them to a milkshake or smoothie, layer them between slices of angel food cake, or if you know how to do it, turn them into wine, for which the French have a fancy name. Not only are their medical benefits myriad and their tasteful additions many, raspberry vinegar if expensive, if you buy it, and cheap and easy if you make it yourself. Save some vinegar bottles with their caps. Sterilize these in boiling water and set them aside. Combine in a glass bowl, three cups of fresh raspberries, and four cups of cider vinegar and two and one-half cups of dry red wine. Cover this and let it stand overnight. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil it for four minutes. Cover it and let it cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and


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discard the solids. Pour the liquid into the bottles, cap it, and let it stand for at least a month. It will keep for up to three years. Here is a simple salad that uses both raspberries and that vinegar. Put into a blender, half a cup of raspberries with one-fourth cup of extravirgin olive oil, a small clove of garlic, one-fourth cup of the raspberry vinegar, and a little salt and pepper. Blend this and add it to six to eight cups of mixed salad greens, a small-diced avocado, a diced mango and some thinly sliced red onion. Toss this together and it serves five eaters. Put some sliced almonds and more raspberries on each serving.

My last recipe is for a Raspberry Tea Cookie, a delicious mouthful if served with a glass of cold milk. The ingredients are two cubes of butter, onehalf cup, plus one and one-half tablespoons of sugar, two egg yolks, two and one-fourth cups of sifted flour, a pinch of salt, one-half cup of sieved raspberry jam, one and one-half teaspoons of vanilla, two egg whites, three tablespoons of sugar, and some coconut. Beat the butter until fluffy and add the half-cup plus one and one-half tablespoons of sugar, the egg yolks, and the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Put the jam in a sieve over a small bowl and push it through the sieve to remove the

Downsizing Solutions By Jim Miller The process of weeding through a house full of stuff and parting with old possessions can be difficult and overwhelming for many. Most people in your situation start the downsizing process by giving their unused possessions to their kids or grandkids, which you can do up to $13,000 per person per year before you are required to file a federal gift tax return, using IRS Form 709. Beyond that, here are a few extra tips and services that may help you. Downsizing for Dollars - Selling your stuff is one way you can downsize and pad your pocketbook at the same time. If you are willing, have the time, and access to the Internet, online selling at sites like Craigslist and eBay is the best way to make top dollar. Craigslist.org is a huge classified ads site that lets you sell your stuff free. And eBay. com lets you conduct your own online auction for a small listing fee, and if it sells, 9 percent of the sale price, up to $100. Or, if you do not want to do the selling yourself, you can get help from an eBay trading assistant who will do everything for you. They typically charge between 33 and 40 percent of the selling price. Go to ebaytradingassistant. com to search for trading assistants in your area. Some other popular selling options are consignment shops, garage sales, and estate sales. Consignment shops are good for selling old clothing, household furnishings, and decorative items. You typically get half of the final sale price. Garage sales are another option, or you could hire an es-

tate sale company to come in and sell your items. Some companies will even pick up your stuff and sell them at their own location â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they usually take around 50 percent of the profits. Donate It - If you itemize on your tax returns, donating your belongings is another way to downsize and get a tax deduction. Goodwill (goodwill. org, 800-741-0186) and the Salvation Army (satruck.org, 800-728-7825) are two big charitable organizations that will come to your house and pick up your donations. If your deduction exceeds $500, you will need to file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions. You will also need a receipt from the organization for every batch of items you donate. And be sure you keep an itemized list of donated items. See IRS Publication 526 (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526. pdf) for more information. Disposal Services - If you have a lot of junk you want to get rid of, contact your municipal trash service to see if they provide bulk curbside pickup services. Or, depending on where you live, you could hire a company like 1-800-Got-Junk (1800gotjunk. com, 800-468-5865) or Junk-King (junk-king.com, 800-995-5865) to come in and haul it off for a moderate fee. (Continued on pg 35)

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MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 33

seeds. You should have about one-half a cup or a little less. You need medium-thick dough for this cookie, so add more flour if needed. Spoon out the dough on a greased cookie sheet and press in the middle with your finger. Add a little jam and top this with the meringue made with the egg whites and sugar. Top that with some coconut. Bake the cookies in a 325-degree oven for approximately 18 minutes. Do not let them brown. Cool them on a rack. That is it until July rolls around next year, when hopefully you should have your own patch ready to go! MSN


PAGE 34 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

(Continued from page 33) Another good option is Bagster by Waste Management (thebagster. com, 877-789-2247). With this service, you buy the bag (it measures 8 feet by 4 feet by 2.5 feet) at your local home-improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot for around $30. Fill it to a limit of 3,300 pounds and schedule a pickup, which costs between $80 up to $205 depending on your location. Get Help - You can also hire a professional “senior move manager” to do the entire job for you. These organizers will sort through your stuff and

arrange for the disposal through an estate sale, donations, or consignment. Costs for these services usually range between $1,000 and $5,000. See nasmm.com or call 877-606-2766 to search for a senior move manager in your area. Or, you can hire a professional organizer through the National Association of Professional Organizers at napo. net. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller contributes to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. MSN

In the Market for a Loan on Your Home? Know How to Avoid Predatory Lenders By Teresa Ambord It will not come as a surprise to learn that home equity is the main form of financial security for older Americans. According to latest statistics available from the Administration on Aging, 80 percent of individuals age 65 and older own their own homes. Of those, 68 percent of those 65 and older owned their homes free and clear. Even so, anyone relying on fixed income can be hit hard by costly home repairs, property taxes, and unexpected medical bills. Then it is tempting to start looking around for available cash. That is why predatory lenders may see seniors as low-hanging fruit, or easy targets for low-quality loans that could ultimately be devastating to the borrower. Borrowing against your house may be a good idea, as long as you know what to watch for so you stay in control of the process. Here are some things to avoid: Limited time offers. Know this: reputable lenders do not solicit business with high-pressure tactics. A loan that is available for a short time only is probably a bad deal for you. A good policy in most cases is, “if it has to be now, the answer has to be ‘no.’” Rush deals. Is the lender pushing you to do your application over the phone? If a lender makes promises like a guaranteed low-interest loan, or a next-day approval for money paid in advance, chances are you will be walking into a situation you will regret. Home improvement scams. Most contractors are upright. Beware of those who use hard sell tactics to convince you that costly home repairs are needed immediately. Be especially wary when those contractors offer to help you arrange financing. Some contractors get commissions from finance companies for business they drum up for the lender, which may motivate them to put

pressure on you. Once they get their money, some unscrupulous contractors may leave the work unfinished, or worse yet, they may never begin. Comparison shop. Rather than being talked into a potentially bad deal, check with your local bank or credit union to see if you qualify for a loan, and what the terms would be. Read everything. If something does not make sense and the lender will not explain it to your satisfaction or will not make necessary changes to the contract, it is better to walk away. Leave no blanks. If you notice any blank spaces in the documents you are asked to sign, the best policy is not to sign until the blanks are filled in and you are satisfied with the information. Say no to balloon payments. Yes, they may seem enticing if they allow you to make low payments at the start, followed by a big payment at the end of the loan. But with unexpected occurrences you could lose your house. Do not rely on promises a lender makes to help you refinance. Those promises could be a scam. Avoid credit insurance. Lenders love credit insurance because it is profitable for them. This insurance is costly and in reality, provides you with little benefit. Consider the alternative of a reverse mortgage. If you must have a loan, a reverse mortgage might be a better deal. The money does not have to be repaid until you sell the house, move, or pass away. In addition to the cautions above, there are numerous other warning signs to watch for your house. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is a not-for-profit agency that works to protect consumers from abusive financial practices. Note: CRL warns consumers that other organizations have tried to piggyback on the trust that CRL has earned, by using similar names. (Cont’d on p 56)

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 35


PAGE 36 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Growing New Bones for the Old

Bridger Orthopedic and Sports Medicine

Welcomes a New Partner Gene A. Slocum, M.D. Non-operative Spine Care, Neck and Back Pain, Pain Medicine “I would like people to be able to get back to active lifestyles and function at optimal levels which improves their overall quality of life.”

Dr. Slocum was born and raised in Northwestern Montana. After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S Army where he was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. After his four year commitment ended, with an Honorable Discharge, Dr. Slocum moved to Colorado where he attended the University of Colorado and obtained his bachelor’s degree. He then went on to St. George’s University School of Medicine where he received his Medical Doctorate. From there, Dr. Slocum experienced a transitional year internship in Philadelphia, PA and then completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, NY. After obtaining his residency he started a private practice in Casper, Wyoming. He was there for two years before returning to SUNY Upstate to complete an extra year of training and receive an interventional pain management fellowship. Dr. Slocum is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. His focus in medicine involves treating acute and chronic pain including spine and peripheral pain syndromes.

Dr. Slocum and his family are excited to join Bridger Orthopedic and Sports Medicine and the Bozeman community.

No finer care anywhere.

WWW.BRIDGERORTHOPEDIC.COM TEL: 406.587.0122 FAX: 406.587.5548 1450 Ellis Street, Ste. 201, Bozeman, MT 59715

By Tait Trussell, Senior Wire As we age, many seniors become candidates for joint replacements or bone fracture repair. But science is making this therapy easier. “Joint diseases account for half of all chronic conditions in people over 65,” according to the Carnegie Mellon Bone Tissue Engineering Center in Pittsburgh. A Pittsburgh multidisciplinary research team is looking optimistically to lab-grown bones. No matter how elderly a person is, cells can be collected from their bones to be used in the new therapy of replacement and growth of new bone material, according to Dr. George Muschler, vice chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. Dr. Muschler states that “about 20 percent of the 72 patients we have treated who have new bone growth are seniors.” The process, which involves drawing cells from a bone and building a bone tissue replacement, eliminates the pain and dangers entailed in customary bone replacement surgery. Tissue engineering is a multidisciplinary field applying principles of biology and engineering to develop tissue substitutes to restore or improve the function of diseased or damaged tissues, including bone tissue. The need for bone substitutes is especially important. Approximately 500,000 surgical procedures requiring bone substitutes are performed every year in the US, according to Carnegie Mellon. Carnegie Mellon’s Bone Tissue Engineering Center hosted more than 100 researchers and their breakthrough tools in mid-April at the Mid-West Tissue Engineering Consortium in Pittsburgh. Scientists from more than 10 universities discussed the latest bone tissue engineering research, including recent clinical therapies to duplicate the complex process of bone healing. When a bone breaks, it goes through several stages of healing. After a new bone is formed, the fracture site remodels itself, scientists say, correcting any deformities. This remodeling can take several years. During this period, hundreds of signaling molecules coordinate the healing process, which also involves hundreds of thousands of cells. Most strategies being explored involve some combination of signaling molecules, cells, and a 3-D matrix or scaffold, according to Jeffrey O. Hollinger, director of the Center. Hollinger said his research colleagues are working to map out where the signaling must be placed in the bone scaffold. The idea is for cells to connect to a scaffold, multiply, and transform themselves into normal healthy bone as the scaffold degrades and disappears. Researchers at the conference also demonstrated new bone-making equipment, such as the BioReactor, an instrument created to make bone ligaments. Other projects demonstrated at the consortium included the development of a tiny printer that can be mounted onto a patient during surgery. The device will actually print the scaffold and growth elements directly into the patient. Scores of U.S. biotechnology companies are creating tissue engineering products or technologies, according to Hollinger. As recently as March, a Columbia University scientist became the first to grow a complex full size bone


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

from human adult stem cells. Professor of biomedical engineering Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic reported that her team grew a temporomandibular joint (TMJ), a jawbone, from stem cells taken from bone marrow. This is important because about 25 percent of the population reportedly suffers from TMJ disorders, including people who have cancer, arthritis, and trauma. Current methods of dealing with traumatic injuries to the jaw include taking a bone from the patient’s leg to replace the missing bone. A scaffold in the shape of the TMJ joint was built from human bone stripped of living cells. Then the scaffold was seeded with bone marrow stem cells and put in a reactor filled with a medium that nourished and stimulated the cells to form bone. Apparently, the technique maybe able to be applied to other bones in the head and neck that are hard to reconstruct. Advances in bone science may help many conditions affecting older Americans. Since the bone’s ability to heal depends on a person’s age and physical condition, if an older person suffers a fracture, healing may be hampered by limited blood flow to the fracture. Bone is not dead material. Actually, it is a dynamic system based on forming bone, then breaking it down again (resorption). This process maintains skeletal strength while, at the same time, meeting the body’s need for calcium. When our body resorbs bone faster than it can make it, degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis occur - leading to bone fractures. At Duke University Medical Center, researchers have found a way to generate bone in mice that is not accompanied by bone breakdown. The researchers say this could open the way to development of drugs to fight osteoporosis by intercepting cellular processes that control the formation and breakdown of bones. But until this research is complete, it is best to stay active to help maintain

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 37

bone health. Physiologist Phil Campbell, a research scientist in Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, was quoted in a Carnegie Mellon Magazine article: “The longer you can keep moving around, the longer you’re going to live. If you’re stuck in a wheel chair or stuck in bed - if you limit mobility - you start a downward spiral.” MSN

A Day To Remember By Suzanne Handler At 8:30 a.m., I reluctantly offered my arm to the sympathetic-looking nurse standing before me. There would be no turning back: she knew it and I knew it. The road to this moment had been treacherous: diagnosis, surgery, and now the specter of chemical invasion just a heartbeat away. The date was September 11, 2001. Even now, ten years after the devastating events of 9/11, I remember well the terror of that morning and the out-of-control beating of my fearful heart. In the beginning, it was a daunting challenge to separate my personal pain from the pain of an outraged and wounded nation. Both events are inextricably linked together in my mind. Perhaps they always will be. In 1993, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and underwent a

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PAGE 38 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

lumpectomy, followed by radiation and five years of medication. Dutifully, I visited my oncologist every six months. On those nerve-wracking appointment days, I recall walking rapidly by the chemo room, grateful that at least I had escaped that dreaded bullet. But my good luck ran out in July of 2001: the cancer had come back. Or, maybe it never really went away, for I was diagnosed with a recurrence in the same breast. The question of how this could have happened twice has haunted me ever since. The night before my August surgery, my life partner and I raised a champagne toast and said a tearful good-bye to my breasts. I was at peace with my decision to undergo a bi-lateral mastectomy. During my surgical recovery, he and I considered my follow-up options and mutually agreed that this time I would seek the most aggressive treatment available. On September 11, 2001, the reality of that decision could not be denied. The nurse inserted a tube into my arm and the agonizingly slow drip of the chemo cocktail began. After the nurse made all the necessary tweaks to the medical equipment, she asked if she should turn on the television. With eyes, ears, and brains instantly jolted to attention, we watched in disbelief as an American Airlines jet plowed into the Twin Towers. Was our nation under attack? What did it all mean? As a barrage of horrific pictures from both New York City and our nation’s capital flooded the screen, the toxins being pumped into my body were having their inevitable affect: I was drowning in poison. I could taste it. The boundaries between my own truth and what was happening 1,500 miles away began to blur. I wanted to rip the tube from my arm and run. But there would be no escape that day. Pain was all around me.

By the time the last drop of chemo had been delivered, I was so bloated with the nasty liquid that I could smell it emanating from every pore. This was cancer, and I was at war. As a soldier in the trenches, I had assumed my rightful place among the multitudes that had gone to battle before me. Two weeks later, when every hair on my body had fallen out (day 14) and I was too weak to hold my head up, I would again be reminded of my sisterhood among the thousands of women, and to a lesser degree men, who are diagnosed each year with breast cancer. With morbid fascination, our family watched TV for endless hours as the latest body count of dead Americans scrolled across the screen. I hunkered down in what I affectionately called “my chair,” until I could no longer bear witness to the sorrow of my country on bended knee. To escape the constant media coverage, I found myself counting the hours each day until darkness fell: only then, could I crawl into my bed and descend into blessed oblivion. I knew I was depressed; I knew I was afraid. Scanning the skies from my bedroom window for enemy planes and checking my mailbox for anthraxlaced mail, did little to calm my jangled nerves. As our nation slowly healed, I have also healed. As our nation waits for the next assault on its shores, I also wait – for cancer never sleeps. Will this vigilance ever end? I think not. We Americans will never be the blissfully ignorant citizens of the world we once were. Terrorists, our own government, and our media will not allow it. In much the same way, I pledge to stand sentry over my less than perfect body with a determination that has taught me to survive when I was convinced I could not. For that knowledge, I paid a heavy price and for that knowledge, my country has paid an even greater one. MSN

Changes in appetite, sleep, or energy level may be warning signs of a treatable illness called depression. Left untreated, depression can make you feel tired, empty, and sad. Talk to your doctor about these and the other signs of depression. Treatment is safe, effective, and usually successful.

For more information, please call (406) 495-65


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 39

Give The Gift Of Music For The Holidays By Barbara Jacobs, M.S. As a caregiver for someone with dementia, you may be wondering what gift to give your loved one for the holidays. Have you considered the gift of music? In my years as a therapeutic musician, I have led countless musical sing-along programs for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. During these programs, I witness music’s power to unlock memories. My students remember the melody and lyrics of familiar songs as well as the life experiences that the music evokes. I find this to be true for all stages of the disease, and research confirms my experience. One of my students, Edie, is 85 and has midto late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. She rarely speaks, but when I played “Home on the Range” on the piano, she went from sitting quietly to becoming quite animated. Edie shouted, “I had a horse named Buddy!” This type of reaction to familiar music no longer surprises me. Music can bring dramatic behavioral changes, encourage socialization, and improve the overall well-being of those with dementia. Research confirms the benefits music has for Alzheimer’s patients. It has been reported that singing on a daily basis raises the brain chemicals melatonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in our blood levels, thus positively affecting our mental state. Testing of patients with dementia who sing daily shows that these elevated blood chemicals help them to become more active, more cooperative, and less agitated. Additionally, it often improves their ability to sleep. Dr. Ardash Kumar, with the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, found that music provided lasting benefits to elderly men with Alzheimer’s disease who participated in a music therapy program. These men sang familiar songs for 30 to 40 minutes a day, five days a week, for a month. Dr. Kumar’s research further found that the music’s behavioral

benefits continued for weeks after their participation in this music program had ended. In light of the overwhelming evidence of music’s positive benefits, wouldn’t it be wonderful if your loved ones could sing every day? There are a variety of ways to bring old favorite music into their lives. Your local public library is a good resource for renting free musical CDs and old movies or operas on DVD that are sure to bring a smile to their faces and words to their lips, as they sing-along with joy and recognition. There are a number of music and sing-along programs on the market that can be purchased through senior product catalogs such as Sea Bay Games, NASCO, and S&S Worldwide. Additionally, I have developed three sing-along DVD programs, Front Row Seat Videos, which are also available through senior catalogs and my website at www. FrontRowSeatVideos.com. I have always known that music can open hearts. Through my teaching experience, reinforced by recent research, I have seen how it can open minds as well! So, as the holidays approach, consider a musical gift for your loved

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS AS YOUR

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one. I know you will be happy you did, as it will be beneficial and enjoyable for him or her, and it just may give you some well deserved respite time. For questions or more information you can email me at barbara@customvideosf.com. Happy Holidays! Barbara Jacobs, M.S., is a therapeutic musician who has taught music classes at long-term care facilities for the past fifteen years. See her website at www.FrontRowSeatVideos.com © 2010 Barbara Jacobs MSN

Thank you for your support! Treatment for injury, illness and routine services Occupational health services, including screening and exams Wellness exams and sports/camp physicals

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PAGE 40 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Northern Montana Health Care Supports Hi-Line Communities

THERAPY CENTER at WEST VIEW HEALTH CARE

In its 25th year, the Northern Montana Health Care Foundation is celebrating its achievements, its supporters, and their ongoing generosity. Over the years, the NMHC Foundation has raised and managed funds that have brought important medical equipment, services, and health care programs to our Hi-Line communities. Some of its landmark projects include the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center, the “Space for Grace” Care Center Chapel, and the Community Fitness Park. The Foundation also manages A Serving of Hope from Men Who Cook, a program that provides financial assistance to residents of Phillips, Blaine, Hill, Liberty, and the Big Sandy Census District of Chouteau Counties who must travel due to a serious medical condition. All of these projects focus on supporting the Hi-Line communities and striving to meet their health care needs. In the next 25 years, the Foundation is committed to supporting and enhancing health care resources along the Hi-Line and continued partnerships with its donors. If you would like more information on the Foundation’s current projects or its featured events, including the Benefit Wine Gala, Invitational Golf Tournament, or the Trip-of-the-Month raffle, please call 406-262-1410 or visit us at www.nmhcare.org. Thank you for your support over the past 25 years and for your continued support in the future. MSN

From Standard Care To Hospice - Helping Cancer Patients Get The Care They Want (NAPSI) A new booklet may help patients talk to their doctors about getting the kind of care they want. For patients who have a terminal illness such as advanced cancer, this is especially important. Making treatment and care decisions can be difficult and it may be hard for patients to talk to their doctors about the kind of care they prefer. Fortunately, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a free booklet to help patients with advanced or late-stage cancer talk about personal preferences for care based on their own individual circumstances, desires, and beliefs. “Advanced Cancer Care Planning,” available on ASCO’s patient information website www.Cancer.net, has practical information on what patients and families need to know about planning for end-stage or terminal disease. The booklet is designed to help guide discussions about the range, risks, and benefits of all available treatment options once chemotherapy or surgery is no longer effective. ASCO’s patient booklet includes information on advanced cancer care treatment options, including standard care, clinical trials, palliative care, and hospice care; the role of family and caregivers in treatment decisions; guiding principles on evaluating care choices; ways to cope and find support; as well as questions to ask the doctor. “Identifying all of the available care options helps pa-


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

tients to understand, consider, and develop a plan that takes their personal needs, goals, and preferences into account. Having a plan in place can ease the emotional burden for patients and their loved ones alike,” said Michael P. Link, M.D., and president of ASCO. Studies have shown that patients who talked with their physicians about their preferences for

end-of-life care: • Had less fear and anxiety; • Felt they had more ability to influence and direct their medical care; • Believed that their physicians had a better understanding of their wishes. Palliative or end-of-life care is not to be confused with hospice, which is an end-of-life option

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 41

for people with a terminal illness who are expected to live six months or less. Palliative care is about improving quality of life, providing an extra layer of support and having a team to focus on patient care. For a copy of the booklet and more physicianapproved information, visit www.cancer.net/advancedcancer. MSN

Oncology Nurses, Exceptional People, Exceptional Care By Marlene Baughman Oncology nurses are members of a team that cares for people with cancer and their families and friends. We work in hospitals, clinics, treatment centers, surgery centers, physician offices, and in patients’ homes. Among us, are nurse navigators who assist patients to make sense of the process leading to and confirming an accurate diagnosis so that a treatment plan can be devised. Navigators ensure that this process proceeds in a timely manner for optimal utilization of resources and optimal patient outcomes. Nurses in the clinical setting continue to coordinate care once treatment is underway. They schedule scans and procedures, set up appointments and consults, triage questions and concerns, and serve as a contact among the various professionals involved in a patient’s care. Chemotherapy nurses are registered nurses who have received education and training to be able to carry out the oncologist’s orders to administer chemotherapy drug regimens that are ever evolving as our knowledge of cancer cell biology and genetics expands. These individuals have a thorough knowledge of the drugs’ actions and teach patients and caregivers to cope with side effects and to report adverse effects. Nurses working in radiation oncology are equipped with knowledge to anticipate side effects that may accompany a course of radiation therapy. They also understand the unique principles of radiation oncology in order to safely assist the radiation oncologist and support their patients through treatment. Hospice nurses, many with backgrounds in oncology nursing, care for patients and families when treatments no longer enhance the quality of a person’s life and preparing for death with dignity and without suffering is the goal. Throughout the continuum of care, oncology nurses teach, comfort, and advocate for our patients and families. Many oncology nurses have obtained certification through the Oncology Nurse Certification

Corporation. This confirms that the nurse has expended time and effort to pass a rigorous and comprehensive examination and subsequently, has continued to earn sufficient oncology continuing education credits to maintain certification. Nurses may choose to be members of the Oncology Nurses Society, a national organization committed to advancing the practice of oncology nursing. Since 1976, the local chapter of ONS, Western Montana Oncology Nurses has facilitated education for members and friends, and we have enhanced our mission by focusing on community service. Our chapter held the second annual Run for the Health of It, a 5K run, last November. Our generous sponsors and we hosted over 230 runners and donated more than $5,000 to the Montana Cancer Screening Program to assist high-risk clients to obtain colonoscopies. We look forward to our third Run November 12, 2011. Oncology nurses are sincere in their efforts to reduce the burden of cancer through prevention, excellence in care, and adherence to research that provides evidence of best out-

comes for our patients and our community. Marlene Baughman, RN, OCN, is an oncology nurse with Montana Cancer Specialists at Community Medical Center. MSN


PAGE 42 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Alzheimer’s Association benefits from cookbook sales. In January of 2011, the residents of Highgate Senior Living in Bozeman formed the Highgate Cookbook Club that meets weekly to discuss their favorite family recipes and share their experiences. Each member brings a favorite recipe, which is then prepared by the club. The Highgate Cookbook Club also hosted its first Taste of Highgate on July 29. The ladies cooked their recipes for the event, the public was welcomed, and everyone enjoyed the good food. This has been so popular among the other residents, families, and friends that a cookbook was published, sold, and the proceeds donated to the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to Cure Alzheimer’s that was held on September 24 at Bogart Park. This project warms the hearts for many of us who have loved ones and friends with Alzheimer’s. For information, contact Highgate Senior Living at 406-587-5100. MSN

Preventing Diabetes and Heart Disease in Montana By Shirley Schneiter The incidence of diabetes in Montana and the rest of the country continues to increase. The most recent data from 2006 report that 48,000 Montanans (6.4% of the population) have diabetes. This is an increase from 2.8% in 1990. Unfortunately, approximately 176,000 Montanans between the ages of 18-64 years old have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes means a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Risk factors for pre-diabetes are similar to the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which include being overweight and inactive, a family history of diabetes, and a history of gestational diabetes. In January of 2008, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) funded a prevention program for both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These programs are using the successful model of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) that demonstrated a 58% reduction in the incidence of diabetes and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors such as elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. The Montana Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prevention Program is currently available at eight sites across Montana, with the planned addition of four new sites in 2011. Eligibility for the program is based on specific risk factors for diabetes or heart disease, such as being overweight, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol. Adults who meet the eligibility criteria and are referred by their providers may enroll in the program after meeting individually with a lifestyle coach. The program consists of two phases. Initially the groups meet weekly for 16 weeks and then monthly for six months. The two major goals of the DPP are to achieve a 7% weight loss and a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity. During the weekly one-hour sessions, participants learn about healthy eating, physical activity, problem solving, and coping skills. They also keep a daily food record including their intake of fat grams and physical activity minutes. The follow-up phase includes six monthly sessions focusing on maintaining weight loss and lifestyle changes. Results of Montana’s own prevention programs have been similar to those seen in the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The first 820 participants to complete the initial 16 weeks of the program lost an average of 15 pounds. Forty-five percent of participants achieved the 7% weight loss and 66% achieved a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity. This compares to 50% and 74% in the National DPP, respectively. Overall, participants also saw improvement in blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol numbers. The lifestyle changes required to achieve these results are often small and quite achievable for most people, and the rewards are numerous. Sometimes it might be as easy as starting the day with a healthy breakfast, to help control what is eaten later in the day, and scheduling physical activity into your day as you would schedule other important activities. Most importantly, these types of small lifestyle changes are less difficult to maintain over time than making drastic changes in your daily life. Ask your provider if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If so, now is the best time to take steps towards improving your health. Shirley Schneiter, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, is the coordinator of the Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention Program at Community Medical Center. MSN

Entertainment for Lexiphiles (Lovers of Word Play) • To write with a broken pencil is pointless. • When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate. • A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months. • When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A. • The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground. • The batteries were given out free of charge. • A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail. • A will is a dead giveaway. • If you don’t pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed. • With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress. • Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft, and I’ll show you A-flat miner. • You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it. • Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under. • A boiled egg is hard to beat. • When you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall. • Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

New Flu Vaccine Provides Better Protection By Jim Miller The new extra-strength flu vaccination you are inquiring about is called the Fluzone HighDose, and it is designed specifically for people 65 years and older. Here is what you should know. Fluzone High-Dose - Manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur Inc., the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Dec. 2009, and was first made available last flu season on a limited basis. The main difference between the Fluzone High-Dose and a regular flu shot is its potency. The High-Dose vaccine contain four times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that prompts the body to make antibody) as a regular flu shot does, which creates a stronger immune response for better protection. This extra protection is particularly helpful to people who have weaker immune defenses and have a great risk of developing dangerous flu complications. The CDC estimates that the flu puts more than 200,000 people in the hospital each year and kills around 24,000 – 95 percent of whom are seniors. As with all flu vaccines, Fluzone High-Dose is not recommended for people who are allergic to chicken eggs, or those who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past. To locate a vaccination site that offers the Fluzone High-Dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist, or check the online flu-shot locator at flu.gov for clinics or stores offering flu shots. Then, contact some in your area to see whether they have the High-Dose vaccine. CVS, Walgreens, Safeway, Kmart, Rite Aid, and Kroger are among some of the chains offering the High-Dose shot. You will also be happy to know that if you are a Medicare beneficiary, Part B will cover 100 percent of the cost of your High-Dose vaccination. But if you are not covered, the cost is

around $50 to $60 – that is about double of what you would pay for a regular flu shot. Pneumovax - Another important vaccination the CDC recommends – especially this time of year – is the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for pneumonia and meningitis (the vaccine is called Pneumovax 23). Pneumonia causes more than 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, many of which could be prevented by this vaccine. If you are over age 65 and have not already gotten this one-time-only shot, you should get it now before flu season hits. Pneumovax 23 is also covered under Medicare Part B, and you can get it on the same day you get your flu shot. If you are not covered by insurance, this vaccine costs around $75 to $85 at retail clinics. This vaccine is also recommended to adults under age 65 if they smoke or have certain chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, sickle cell disease, have had their spleen removed, or have a weakened immune system due to cancer, HIV or an organ transplant. Savvy Tips: In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC reminds everyone that the three best ways to stay healthy during flu season are to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and stay home if you are sick. For more information on the recommended vaccines, see cdc.gov/vaccines. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. MNS

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 43

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PAGE 44 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Quit Fiddling Around, and Fix This Fiscal Mess! By Mike Lofgren The Administration’s fiscal policies are a mess. Whatever one thinks of the need for stimulus in a severe recession, it is obvious that running trilliondollar deficits for years on end is unsustainable. Moreover, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that the Administration’s proposed 2012 budget underestimates spending while overestimating revenues. Sadly, the Republicans have offered no viable alternative. The failure of our Republican leaders to offer realistic budget proposals was a major reason I decided to retire after 28 years in Congress, with most of those years as a professional staff member on the Republican side of both the House and Senate Budget Committees. My party talks a good game, railing about the immorality of passing debt on to our children. But the same Congressional Budget Office that punctured Obama’s budget also concluded that the major policies that swung the budget from a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion in 2001 to the present 10-year deficit of $6.2 trillion were Republican in origin. Consider the two signature GOP policies of George W. Bush’s presidency: the wars and the tax cuts. Including debt service costs, Bush’s wars have cost about $1.7 trillion to date. Additionally, as part of being “a nation at war,” the Pentagon has spent about $1 trillion more than was expected in the last decade on things other than direct war costs, which has been a bonanza for military contractors, but a disaster for the federal budget. And finally, another trillion dollars was spent domestically in response to 9/11, including spending on such things as establishing the Homeland Security Department and increasing the budgets for the State Department and the VA. The Bush tax cuts have added an additional $3 trillion in red ink. While Republican leaders wail that Americans — particularly their rich contributors — are overtaxed, the facts say otherwise: U.S. taxpayers, particularly the wealthiest, pay far less

in taxes than they would in most other developed countries. Today, the 400 wealthiest Americans have as much wealth as the bottom 125 million. The GOP insists that those wealthy people use their money to create jobs, and taxing them more heavily would ultimately hurt the economy. But, if that’s so, why was the rate of job creation in the decade after the Bush tax cuts the poorest in any decade since before World War II? Like a drunk swearing off hooch for the hundredth time, Republicans recently tried to show they were serious about controlling the deficit by saying they wouldn’t raise the debt ceiling, unless they got through some of their cost-saving projects, like privatizing Medicare. Meanwhile, they wanted revenue increases “off the table,” even though, at 14.8 percent of GDP, revenues are at their lowest level in 60 years. And the budget passed by the Republican-controlled House further cuts taxes on the wealthy, a fact it glosses over with optimistic growth forecasts. Raising the debt ceiling wasn’t, as the GOP said, Congress giving itself permission to continue excessive spending; it’s something that’s necessary to pay for past congressional decisions on taxes and spending, and those decisions were made primarily when Republicans were in charge. No one wanted to have to raise the debt ceiling. But playing the brinkmanship that resulted in a downgrade of our credit rating will likely force up interest rates for everyone and add more than a trillion dollars to the cost of servicing the federal government’s debt. It remains to be seen whether these actions will seize up our private financial system in a manner similar to the Lehman Bros. collapse. Did the Republican holdouts really want that? If so, they might want to take a hard look at the streets of Athens. The policy of full faith and credit, constructed by Alexander Hamilton more than two centuries ago, has served us well. We shouldn’t abandon it to a misplaced ideology. Polarization based on juvenile, talk-radio sloganeering is dragging this country to the cliff’s edge. If neither the Democrats nor the Republicans I have served for three decades is willing to act like adults, perhaps it’s time for a party that is willing to step into the void. Mike Lofgren retired as a congressional staffer on June 17. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 45

Now Is The Time! Review Your Medicare Options. Well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for the Fall Open Enrollment Period, when people with Medicare can make unrestricted changes to their Medicare and drug coverage options. Most people are allowed to make a change only during this time, which has new dates this year: October 15 to December 7. Any modifications made on or before December 7 will take effect on January 1, 2012. Medicare consumers need to be aware of this date change, as well as changes taking place in 2012, in order to assess their options and make the best, informed decisions. Tried-and-True Advice If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one mantra for the open enrollment season, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;review your options.â&#x20AC;? Every year, the Medicare Rights Center advises people with Medicare to carefully consider how they get their Medicare benefits. Certain universal advice applies, no matter what Medicare coverage you have. â&#x20AC;˘ You should review all of your coverage options, even if you are happy with your current coverage, because plans change their costs and benefits every year. For example, if you are considering enrolling in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, you should review all of your options, including Original Medicare and a Medigap. â&#x20AC;˘ Make sure you understand how your plan works, and take the time to ask questions. â&#x20AC;˘ Make sure you understand your drug coverage options. Read your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), which you should have received by September 30. It will list the changes in your plan, such as the premium and co-pays, and will compare the benefits in 2012 with those in 2011. If you are considering switching to a new Part D plan, either as part of an MA plan or as a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP), pay particular attention to the summary of the new formulary (list of covered drugs). It is very important that you read your ANOC and consider all of your options, since many plans make changes every year, and your current plan may not be your best choice for 2012. â&#x20AC;˘ Shop around to find a plan that best meets your needs and makes the most financial sense to you. â&#x20AC;˘ If you have Original Medicare and a supplemental plan (often called a Medigap) and are happy with your coverage, you do not need to make a change. â&#x20AC;˘ If you decide to enroll in a new plan, do so by calling 800-MEDICARE, rather than the plan itself.

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PAGE 46 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Changes in 2012 Doughnut Hole - The discount for generics during the doughnut hole will increase to 14 percent. Medicare Advantage and Part D - Starting in 2012, people with Medicare will have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in an MA or Part D plan with a five-star rating (on a scale of one to five). The SEP can be used at any time during the year, but only once per year, and to make only one change. Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) runs from January 1 to February 14 each year. During the MADP: • People who are unhappy with their Medicare Advantage (MA) plan are allowed to switch to Original Medicare, and may also add Medicare prescription drug coverage, even if their MA plan did not include drug coverage. • People in MA plans CANNOT switch to another MA plan.* • People with Original Medicare CANNOT make any changes.* *EXCEPTION: People have a SEP to enroll in a five-star MA or Part D plan at any point during the year, including during the MADP. Remember that the rules and consumer protections for Medigaps vary from state to state.

Some consumers may have access to Medigaps, but may not be protected from higher premiums, coverage exclusions, or waiting periods. Good to Know • The average Medicare prescription drug plan premium will not increase in 2012; it will remain around $30. However, premiums for specific plans and regions vary from year to year. • Part D formularies (lists of covered drugs) often change from year to year. Drugs and restrictions can be removed or added. • A growing trend is for Part D plans to differentiate between “preferred” and “non-preferred” pharmacies within their network. You pay the least when you use preferred pharmacies. Make sure the pharmacies you use are “preferred.” • Plans that are terminated no longer participate in Medicare. • People whose plans have been terminated are entitled to a SEP, and have until February 29 to choose a new plan. If they do not do so, they will automatically be enrolled in Original Medicare (if their MA plan is terminating) or they will lose drug coverage (if their drug plan is terminating). • And that is Fall Open Enrollment in a nutshell. Again, make sure you review your options. For more information, visit www.medicare.org/ find-a-plan. MSN

Gifting Strategies for Large Estates By Jonathan J. David Dear Jonathan: I am a retired widower who has the good fortune of having invested very wisely over the years, and as a result, I have built up quite a substantial estate. The one negative is that even with the new $5,000,000 exemption from taxes the government is giving to everyone, if I died this year, my estate would still have to pay estate taxes. It is my understanding that the $5,000,000 exemption is only good for years 2011 and 2012, and nobody knows what is going to happen in 2013 or beyond. That is why I have decided that I should start an aggressive gift-giving program now. My goal is to give away enough so that my estate is no larger than $5,000,000,

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which will allow my estate to avoid estate tax, at least if I were to die this year or next. Does this strategy make sense? If so, what is the best way to go about making the gifts? I understand that I can make annual gifts of up to $13,000 per person without having any gift tax consequences, but making those types of gifts will not significantly reduce the size of my estate. Do you have any other suggestions? Jonathan Says: Your analysis is correct and yes, based on the information you provided, it would be a good idea to utilize the next two years to make gifts in an effort to bring your estate down to the $5,000,000 level or below. As you stated in your question, you can make annual exclusion gifts of $13,000 per person without any gift tax consequences and you can do this both this year and next. Consequently, your goal should be to make as many of these annual exclusion gifts as possible over the next two years. In addition to making annual exclusion gifts, you can make gifts in excess of that amount and


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

although the excess will be considered a taxable gift, your $5,000,000 exemption can be used to offset that portion of the gift that is taxable. In other words, the $5,000,000 exemption from taxes that each individual is entitled to in 2011 and 2012 applies not only to gifts made at death, but to gifts made during lifetime as well. For example, if you give away $1,000,000 during your lifetime, then your $5,000,000 exemption will be reduced by that amount, so that upon your death you will have $4,000,000 remaining of your exemption. If you decide to make these types of gifts, you should focus on gifting assets that are most likely to appreciate because by removing those assets from your estate, you will also be removing all of the potential appreciation from your estate. You should also consider making gifts to charities, either during lifetime or at death. So long as those gifts are made to a qualifying charity, those gifts are both gift tax and estate tax free and will serve to reduce the size of your taxable estate, dollar for dollar. For example, if your estate is valued at $10,000,000 and you give $5,000,000 to a qualifying charity, you will receive a charitable deduction for the full amount of that gift, which will leave you with

Protect Your Pension By Ginny Grimsley The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) just turned five years old this month. As companies rush to shore up pension or cancel underfunded plans, you need to protect yourself from common pension mistakes. PPA was designed to close loopholes in the pension system and address problems for the roughly 34 million Americans covered by traditional pensions known as defined-benefit plans. PPA requires pensions be fully funded by 2015. It also prevents companies with big pension deficits to skip annual contributions and call plans healthy. Another major goal of the bill was to shore up the health of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), an agency of the U.S. government that insures private pension plans. In 2010, 147 pension plans failed, which increased the PBGC deficit to $23 billion. The agency pays benefits to retirees up to a maximum of $54,000 if they retire at age 65 or later. One problem not addressed by PPA, which continues to affect millions of people of all ages, not just retirees, are pension miscalculations. Anytime you change jobs or take a lump-sum pension cash-out, you are at risk. Women are especially vulnerable to pension mistakes because they tend to move in and out of the workforce more often than men. Educate yourself about how your plan works. Contact your company benefits officer and ask for a copy of the plan, not the summary plan description. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that you can’t depend on your employer’s summary plan description. The summary is an abbreviated form of the plan. The Court held that if there are discrepancies, the plan is the controlling document. You need a copy of the plan to determine how your pension is calculated. The plan document can run 50 pages or more. More and more companies are freezing or terminating their pension plans. Of those companies with a plan, 35 percent were frozen and 2 percent were in the process of terminating the plan. You should immediately request a personal statement of benefits if this happens to your pension. The statement will tell you what your benefits are currently worth and how many years you’ve been in the plan. It may even include a projection of your monthly check. Here are seven common pension mistakes to watch for: 1. The company forgot to include commission, overtime pay, or bonuses in determining your benefit level.

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a $5,000,000 taxable estate, which is offset by the $5,000,000 exemption from estate taxes. The combination of using the charitable deduction and the $5,000,000 exemption from estate tax effectively reduces any federal estate taxes, which would have been due and owing to zero. There are other strategies you can employ to reduce the overall size of your estate or reduce the amount of federal estate taxes that would be due and owing at your death. I encourage you to visit with a knowledgeable estateplanning attorney in your area to explain further not only the concepts I have discussed herein, but also any other concepts he or she might recommend to you based on your goals and your overall circumstances. Good luck. MSN


PAGE 48 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 49


PAGE 50 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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2. Your employer relied on incorrect Social Security information to calculate your benefits. 3. Somebody used the wrong benefit formula (i.e., an incorrect interest rate was plugged into the equation). 4. Calculations are wrong because you’ve worked past age 65. 5. You didn’t update your workplace about important changes that would affect your benefits, such as marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse. 6. The company neglected to include your total years of service. 7. Your pension provider made a mathematical error. How do you protect yourself? Create a “pension file” to store all your documents from your employer. Also keep records of dates when you worked and your salary, since this type of data is used by your employer to calculate the value of your pension. Ask for professional help, if you still think something might be wrong. The American Academy of Actuaries Pension Assistance List program offers up to four hours of free help from a volunteer. The Federal Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program may also be helpful. Rick Rodgers, Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Retirement Planner Counselor, Certified Retirement Counselor, and member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers, is Founder and CEO of Rodgers & Associates. He is also author of the book “The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach To Retirement Planning” (www.TheNewThreeLeggedStool.com) MSN

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Many would agree it is hard to find something nice about paying taxes. How about this? Lowering their state and federal tax bills is one of the many reasons people have for making charitable gifts before the end of the year. Something good can come out of something that does not seem so good! A common phrase heard this time of year is, “I wish I could keep my tax dollars here at home instead of sending them to the government.” The Federal Charitable Tax Deduction and the Montana Endowment Tax Credit are two great incentives offered to those who want to make a difference in their communities. Remember, you are also helping others when you make a charitable gift. You make an amazing, positive difference when you support Benefis Healthcare Foundation, as you are helping to improve healthcare services for people in Northcentral Montana. To learn more about making a gift and receiving great benefits, such as guaranteed and fixed income for the rest of your life, a tax deduction and a tax credit, plus the satisfaction of making a positive difference in our community, please call Benefis Healthcare Foundation President Judy Held at 406-455-5840. MSN

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Asheville, North Carolina and San Simeon, California By Andrea Gross (www.andreagross.com) I have a hard time imagining what I’d do with a 175,000 square foot home — or even with a relatively small 60,645 square foot home. (For comparison’s sake, the average new home in the United States is 2,500 square feet.) But then, I’m not a Vanderbilt or a Hearst. Their homes — The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina and the aptly named Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California — are among the largest homes in the United States, and at Christmas they are opulent, outrageous and — in these recessionary times — over-the-top. The Biltmore Estate - It’s not easy to impress relatives, especially when their last name is Vanderbilt. But young George III — grandson of Cornelius, the great railroad tycoon — managed to do just that when he invited his family to Christmas Eve dinner back in 1895. His relatives traveled by private railway from New York to the then-small town of Asheville, North Carolina. There amid the mountains of southern Appalachia, George welcomed them to his new home, a luxurious estate that rivaled the grandest French chateaux. His niece, Gertrude, was appropriately awed. “I have seldom enjoyed a place so much,” she reportedly exclaimed. Of course, even without Christmas glitter, the estate is statistically and artistically staggering: • The mansion, the largest in the United States, is more than three times the size of the White House, and the grounds are more than nine times the size of New York’s Central Park. • The 250 rooms, about a third of which are open to the public, include 65 fireplaces, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, three kitchens, an indoor

bowling alley, and a heated swimming pool. • More than 50,000 objects of art are on display, including paintings by Renoir and Whistler and several 16th-century Flemish tapestries. Now add to this the Christmas stats: nearly 100 decorated Christmas trees, ranging from a small, tabletop model to a 35-foot Fraser fir that sits in the seven-story Banquet Hall; more than 1,000 wreaths and bows; 1,450 poinsettias, miles of evergreen garlands and, according to floral displays manager Cathy Barnhardt, “bazillions of ornaments.” This year the giant fir will be laden with childpleasing decorations, including dolls, tops, and even tricycles and toy trains. This is designed to reflect those early Christmases when the Vanderbilts hosted massive family-friendly Christmas parties for their employees and gave a present to each child who lived on the estate. While Vanderbilt was most concerned with his own home, he also wanted to provide livable space for his workers. In 1889 he purchased property near the estate, tore down the dilapidated buildings and built a planned community in which all streets radiated out fan-shape from the focal point, All Souls Church. Biltmore Village was incorporated as a town in 1893, two years before Vanderbilt moved into his own mansion. The first weekend in December the Village ushers in the holiday season by turning on thousands of lights. Strolling vocalists and instrumentalists — all dressed in turn-of-the-century costumes — offer free entertainment. Vanderbilt would have like that and, I must admit, so do I! Visit www.biltmore.com for more information. Reservations advised.

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Hearst Castle - Some 2500 miles away and several decades later, another American tycoon began building an equally extravagant mansion, this one a Spanish style extravaganza designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan. William Randolf Hearst, the mega media mogul, took 28 years to finish his estate in San Simeon, California. It included one main house, three guesthouses, two pools, several tennis courts, 127 acres of gardens, and a zoo that contained more than 300 animals including zebras, kangaroos, and yaks. (The zoo and one swimming pool have since been dismantled.) Many of Hollywood’s biggest stars visited regularly, especially during the holidays. Hearst had the house decorated lavishly during the Christmas season, with huge trees laden with handmade garlands, brilliant poinsettias, and

elaborate ornaments. Today, photos of Hearst’s holiday parties are used to recreate that festive atmosphere from mid-November through December. After Hearst’s death, the family gave the property to the State of California. It has since been deemed a State Historical Monument and is run by the Park Service, which has set up six different tours. I opt for the Evening Tour, when docents dress in period costumes and lights sparkle on the trees. The feeling is magical, and I can almost hear Bing Crosby crooning White Christmas. I feel as if — in more ways than one — I’m spending Christmas amongst the stars. Visit www.hearstcastle.org for more information. Reservations advised. MSN

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AUGUST 2012 Aug 29- Small Ship Alaska Sept 6 Flathead Travel 9-16

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 53

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(Continued from pg 35) CRL can be contacted at www.responsiblelending.org. To improve your chances of getting a quality loan, watch for these red flags from CRL that may indicate a bad deal: High fees. Lenders charge fees for making loans. The fees are also known as “points,” or “discount points.” CRL says that three points or three percent is generally a good deal, but advises you to do a little research and find out what points typically are in your area. Early payoff penalties. If the lender charges a prepayment penalty, this could be in effect for several years. Do not underestimate the impact this could have. If you refinance before the end of the penalty term, you could end up paying thou-

sands of extra dollars. Inflated interest rates. Brokers sometimes jack up the interest rate higher than the lender is willing to charge. That way, the broker makes more money. That is called a “yield-spread premium,” or a reward for talking you into a loan that includes higher interest rates. Exploding rates. Beware of loans that are subject to adjustable rates that can rise significantly (and probably will only go up, never down). Do not sign anything until you find out what the worst-case scenario is. CRL advises that you not be comforted by the promise of future refinancing to keep rates down. Future refinancing promises. This is a hallmark of a predatory lender. They are notorious,

said CRL for selling bad loans with the promise they will refinance later. If the loan is too much of a stretch now or in the future, walk away. The repeated refinance drain. It is also called flipping, and in the end you pay more in points and fees, end up losing equity, and owing more than ever. Taxes and insurance not included. Require the lender to tell you what the monthly mortgage payment will be, with property taxes and insurance included. Ask if an escrow account has been established for these costs. It is an old trick of unscrupulous lenders to keep the payment artificially low by stripping out these costs, which you will have to pay separately. MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

A Life In Theatre: Mission Valley’s Karen and Neal Lewing Article & Photo by Gail Jokerst If Karen and Neal Lewing had to choose one play that has shaped their life together, Oklahoma would take the honors. After all, this was the first show both Karen and Neal performed in during high school (she in Washington, he in Montana) and the show that led them each to pursue a stage career. Coincidentally, the two actors also met at the Fort Peck Theatre in 1979 on the set of this allAmerican musical. They fell in love while Karen played Ado Annie Carnes - “the girl who cain’t say no” - and Neal portrayed one of her two suitors, Ali Hakim the Persian traveling salesman. The priest who married them three months later portrayed another character - Andrew “Pa” Carnes - in that production. And since the Lewings bought the Port Polson Players in 1983, Oklahoma has continued to touch their lives. In all, Karen and Neal have participated in over a dozen productions of Oklahoma during their 40-year-plus theatre careers. Their last production was one of the most memorable with a back story as entertaining as its familiar Rodgers-andHammerstein score. “In 2004 our son, David, asked me what my favorite show was. I told him Oklahoma. I like the story, the music, our coincidental personal history, and have always wanted to play all the male leads,” recalls Neal. “I was still missing Will Parker, a cowboy who courted Ado Annie, but felt I was too old to play that character. When David heard that he said, ‘You wouldn’t be too old if everyone else in the cast was as old as you are.’” That was all the encouragement Neal and Karen needed. Since the Players had put on the

musical just five years prior to this, the Lewings realized they could not immediately return Oklahoma to the stage. But they knew they could do it in the future and that Neil would finally get to play Will Parker. It took seven years to bring the project to fruition but when the last curtain call was made everyone involved felt they had been part of something special that went beyond singing and dancing for an audience. “To include the many people wanting to participate, we decided all of the performers as well as the musicians would have to be 50 or older,” remembers Karen, who identified their most senior performer as an 83-year-old drummer in the pit orchestra. “We’re all still vital, though I won’t ask a 75-year-old woman to cartwheel across the stage. Audiences love to see older people on stage and enjoy watching their friends and neighbors perform. There were standing ovations every night.” “Besides that, new performers want to try acting. Being on the stage is on many people’s bucket list,” adds Neal. “It’s great therapy. For a few hours a night, they can forget the things in their real life that’s driving them nuts. They sing, dance, and learn new stuff. It’s a release and an exercise for minds and bodies. Plus, acting on a stage enables people to overcome fear of public speaking, which is the number one fear that even outranks death.” “Most people don’t realize they have the ability and talent to perform. They never had the opportunity to take direction and grow in that experience. Some take advantage of the opportunity we provide for no other reason than to better themselves,” explains Karen. “Then they discover it’s pretty darned addictive. It’s such a rush for me to watch

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 57


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each transformation. You really see people build confidence.” For the Lewings, the satisfaction that comes from putting on performances that please audiences and stretch their actors’ comfort zones are merely two of the rewards they derive from their work. “It’s fun to make people laugh and forget their cares. It’s a lovely escape from all we look at on CNN,” says Karen. “People love you for that evening. For the actors, there’s an instant gratification that comes with the applause or laughter of the crowd.” “I also think it’s important to sometimes challenge the audience,” adds Neal, “and bring them stories that broaden the scope of what they’ve been exposed to both culturally and theatrically.” Beyond that, the Lewings agree that live theatre plays a critical role in teaching people the art of communication, which Neal says, “has taken a big hit in the last generation because of texting, computers, and TV screens.” The couple is understandably proud of their work with schoolchildren who perform in many of their productions as well as in shows the Lewings put on exclusively with children. But no matter the age of their actors, the same message is conveyed to each performer: “If you don’t learn anything else, you will learn to put your feet on the floor; look someone in the eye; and speak so

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d d” you are understood.” As the twosome responsible for the continuation of the Players, which celebrated its 36th season in 2011, the Lewings wear many hats. They select the scripts and audition casts for their ten annual plays and work cooperatively to make each show a success. Neal, the Managing Director, builds sets and props, handles the books and payroll, and assumes roles ranging from Romeo and Juliet’s Mercutio to Fiddler on the Roof’s Tevya. Neil also does most of the music directing, which makes sense considering he has enjoyed a four-decade career as a singer-songwriter that includes several CDs. And speaking of songwriting, he and Karen penned the lyrics and music of the Polson Song for the city’s Jubilee celebration. Karen, the Players’ Artistic Director, is a comic character actress, dancer, and singer. In addition to frequently performing on stage, she directs and choreographs each show, creates costumes, and designs posters and ads to promote the Players’ endeavors. “Neal doesn’t sew; I sew. I don’t do electricity; he does,” says Karen, who holds a theatre degree from Washington State University. Besides all that, the couple has a long-term lease with the city of Polson granting them use of the local theatre in exchange for maintaining the historic building named for the late John Dowdall. Built in 1938 with WPA money, the log building sits


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

on the south shoreline of Flathead Lake offering theatregoers one of the grandest views in the state. Neal and Karen feel grateful to earn a living together doing something they love in a place they love. And they feel grateful that Oklahoma has made such an impact on their lives. “Wouldn’t it be nice if life could be lived like

a musical comedy?” asks Neal. “If you’ve got a conflict and just start singing, everything comes out all right. You get the girl. Sometimes the bad guys change their ways. And there’s always a happy ending.” Considering so many people have been touched by the Lewings and the productions they

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 59

have made possible, it appears they and the town of Polson already have their happy ending - even if you can’t see someone riding into the horizon in a surrey with the fringe on top. For more information about the Players or the Mission Valley Friends of the Arts, visit www. portpolsonplayers.com or call 406-883-9212. MSN

Classic DVD’s: Directors By Mark Fee Some of our finest film directors began their work with much smaller films, including Academy Award winning Stephen Spielberg and the Australian born, Peter Weir. One of Spielberg’s earliest films, Murder by the Book (1971) was filmed for TV with Peter Falk as Detective Columbo. Peter Weir’s Master and Commander (2003) was an enthralling, epic blockbuster. One of his earliest films was the cult thriller, The Last Wave (1977) with Richard Chamberlain, as an Australian lawyer, who investigates a deeply unsettling aboriginal murder. Britain’s John Boorman directed the classic Deliverance (1972) and hilarious, Oscar nominated Hope and Glory (1987). Boorman’s career began by directing the Dave Clark Five in the innocuous Having a Wild Weekend (1965). Most critics dismissed the film. If you love archival and classic films, as much as I do, there are a number of lesser-known films directed by excellent directors that are worth picking up. Some of my favorites and a few guilty pleasures are listed below. In John Huston’s remarkable, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957), Robert Mitchum plays a battle hardened Marine, Corporal Allison, who is stranded on a Pacific Island with Sister Angela, a nun played by Deborah Kerr. The two survive without letting the Japanese know they are on the island. The film is extremely exciting and a treasure. Huston won an Oscar for his direction of Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and was nominated for other films. Not rated; 3.5 stars Oscar nominated Arthur Penn (The Miracle Worker [1962]; Bonnie and Clyde [1967]) directed The Chase (1966). The film was a disappointment to many critics, but contains some excellent acting and is relentlessly entertaining. Robert Redford, in an early role, plays “Bubber” Reeves who escapes from prison to visit his wife, Anna, played by Jane Fonda. Anna lives in a Texas oil town and is having an affair with Jake Rogers (James Fox), the spoiled son of oil magnate, Val Rogers (E.G. Marshal). Marlon Brando, in one of his most underrated and subdued roles, plays Sheriff Calder. Calder tries his best to contain an explosive, murderous situation. The film was written by Horton Foote (Academy Award for Best Screenwriting, To Kill a Mockingbird [1963]; Tender Mercies [1984]) and Lillian Hellman. Rated PG; 3 stars In Blake Edwards hysterically funny and neglected, What Did You Do in the War Daddy? (1966), James Coburn is asked to capture a strategic Ital-

ian village after the fall of Anzio. Coburn and his men enter the village and there is no resistance. The Mayor and town are watching a soccer game. The Italians are willing to surrender, as long as they can have a wine festival. Coburn and his men are dumbfounded. A communications officer is sent to sort things out. Coburn falls for the Mayor’s daughter and “the war” heats up. The screenplay by William Peter Batty (The Exorcist [1973]) is delightfully loony and completely bizarre. Rated PG; 3 stars. In the riotously funny, Owl and the Pussycat (1970), George Segal plays an aspiring writer named Felix, who unintentionally becomes involved with a bombastic, obnoxious hooker named Doris (Barbara Streisand). Herb Ross (Sunshine Boys [1975]) directed this hysterically funny film with Streisand, in one of her earliest roles. Segal, one of the best actors of mid 1960s and 1970s and Streisand are perfectly teamed, as Felix and Doris. Felix tells his apartment manager to evict Doris for practicing her trade; she returns with a vengeance. The film is an outrageous gem with music by Blood, Sweat and Tears. Rated PG; 3.5 stars In Stephen Spielberg’s frighteningly intense first film, Duel (1971), Dennis Weaver (from TV’s Gunsmoke) plays salesman, David Mann. Mann is having lunch at a small desert restaurant when an apparently driverless truck parks outside the restaurant. When Mann finishes his meal, the truck pursues him through the scorching desert. Weaver’s car isn’t built for the ordeal and he can’t shake the truck The film is a relentless nightmare. Weaver is outstanding. Not rated; 3.5 stars. Academy Award winning Sydney Pollock who directed Out of Africa (1985) and who recently passed away, directed the fascinatingly intense and violent The Yakuza (1974). Warner Brothers marketed the film for the Bruce Lee and kung fu audience, but died a quick death at the box office, was shelved, and later repackaged with a different name. Robert Mitchum plays retired WWII veteran, Harry Kilmer, who is asked by war buddy, Brian Keith to rescue his daughter in Japan. Keith’s daughter has been kidnapped by Japanese mafia. Kilmer returns to Japan, but needs the help of Ken Takakura, who is an expert swordsman and married to Kilmer’s first love. The story is multi layered and complex, the violence swift and lethal. It’s well worth seeing. Rated R; 3.5 stars Until next time, enjoy these great films. MSN


PAGE 60 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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Where Are They Now - Julie Newmar a.k.a. Catwoman By Marshall J. Kaplan The sexy, leather clad villainess from the campiest show on television was born in Hollywood. Her mother was in the Ziegfeld Follies and her father was the head football coach of L.A.C.C. Being raised in Hollywood, Julie was constantly surrounded by glamour. Although her good looks and figure made her a prime candidate for stardom in Hollywood, she first pursued New York in order to strengthen her acting skills. She appeared on stage in New York in numerous productions including Silk Stockings (1956), L’il Abner (1957), and Marriage Go Round (1959) in which she won the Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress. Julie then joined the Actor’s Studio (whose alumni included Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe) in order to strengthen her method acting. Once her acting was at

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a level where she felt comfortable, Julie ventured out to Los Angeles. Immediately she won roles in films such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1957) and Marriage Go Round (1960). She became a familiar face on television in the 1960s appearing on numerous shows including, The Twilight Zone, Route 66, Adventures in Paradise (with Gardner McKay), The Jonathan Winters Show, and My Living Doll. When asked how she won the recurring role of Catwoman on Batman, she replies, “My agent called and told me that the role was mine, and within 24 hour’s notice, I was in front of the camera, shooting a scene with Adam West.” Julie enjoyed tremendously her role as Catwoman. “The cast was unpredictable and irresistible!” In 1966, after playing the role for a year, Julie decided to move on to appear in more television and films. She was replaced as Catwoman first by Eartha Kitt and then by Lee Meriweather. She continued on television in the 1970s and 1980s on such shows as Love American Style, The Beverly Hillbillies, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, and Buck Rogers. However, it was the business side of Julie that has taken prominence in the past few years. In the late 1980s, Julie created and still holds a patent for a revolutionary design of run-free pantyhose. She also opened up her own restaurant called, “Eat A Pita.” And if that is not enough, she has just invented a product (in research and development), which naturally grows nails. It will be on the market in the near future. As an actress, most recently she appeared in the George Michael music video, Too Funky (1992), To Wong Foo; Thanks for Everything - Julie Newmar (1995), and Melrose Place (1996). Julie currently lives in Brentwood, California in a beautiful house and garden that she says is paradise. She has a son, John, who is blind, deaf and suffers from autism, and she cares for him daily. Recently, Julie is looking to write a book called Your First Time inspired by her finding that her role as Catwoman gave young male fans their first arousal. There is obviously nothing holding down this actress, producer, and businesswoman. Julie Newmar is purrrrrr-fect! MSN


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 61

MON TANA

SENIOR LIVING GUIDE

TM

F O U R T H

I N

When it is Time for Memory Care By Karen Powers, The Goodman Group

Being the sole caregiver for a person with memory loss is a challenge from the first diagnosis. As the memory loss progresses, behaviors start to develop that are very hard to cope with, the increased confusion that that can result in anger or aggression; unpredictable behavior; the need for constant supervision to prevent wandering; loss of continence and more. Trying to handle any of these care issues on your own can be exhausting and impossible when you add them all together. Many spouses and children begin to recognize their own fatigue and frustrations and realize that this is not good for them or the person with memory loss. Where to turn? Memory Care is the term used by senior care providers to define care services and programs for those suffering from memory loss due to stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other diagnosed dementia. Many years and much thought has been put into finding the best way to provide for the special needs of a person with memory loss. Doctors, researchers, organizations like The Alzheimer’s Association and many senior housing companies are dedicated to developing resources and providing services for the best possible care. The benefits of the programs are many: Secure wings, wander guard systems and enclosed courtyards Residents with memory loss can be restless and need room to wander safely.

A

S E R I E S

Nursing staff to handle medication issues and secondary medical conditions Residents often cannot express how they feel or what they need and it takes a trained person to interpret and monitor those needs.

You are making the right choice.

Caregivers that are chosen for their patience Trained to handle the challenging behaviors and interpret the needs of residents who cannot ask for help. Meal programs designed to encourage eating and adapt to a residents needs Beyond three meals and snacks, we can help them eat and find ways to make sure they are getting the best nutrition. Activities that are stimulating and designed to reach the memory loss resident Quality of life can be found through social interaction, mental stimulation, music therapy and feeling purposeful. When the personal care of a family member with memory loss becomes too much of a challenge, transitioning to a secure memory care community, whether in a nursing home or assisted living facility, can be the right choice for your family. You can find this care at: The Village Health Care Center Hillside Health Care Center Valley View Estates Westpark Village Billings Health & Rehabilitation All feature the signature Pearls of Life Memory Care Program

Multiple caregivers to be of assistance around the clock As the sole spouse or child knows – help is a good thing and a person with memory loss can have night time issues as well.

At some point, we all need help for ourselves or someone we love and we have to make the choice.

Getting the right care is the right choice. W E OFFER A CONT INUUM OF C ARE: REHABILI TATION • MEMORY C ARE LONG TERM C ARE • END OF LIFE C ARE

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PAGE 62 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Visit Brother Van and Vinegar Jones Houses in Great Falls By Bernice Karnop can foursquare built in 1909, is in its original locaWhitman Gibson Jones and William Wesley tion next to First United Methodist Church at 113 Van Orsdel arrived in Montana with dignified Sixth Street North. A visit to these historic homes names but both grew to prefer the nicknames be- gives an understanding of both the men and the stowed upon them: Vinegar progress the city made Jones and Brother Van. in the span of a quarter Jones came in 1880 as century. one of 167 carpenters the Brother Van was born United States Army brought in Pennsylvania in 1848 in to finish building Fort and grew up on a farm Assiniboine near Havre. at Gettysburg where he Jonesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; great-grandson Warwitnessed the Civil War ren Kukay says that this battle and the Gettysburg old Englishman liked being address. called Vinegar, not only He came to Montana because he built a vinegar when he was only 24 years plant in Great Falls, but also old. He came to preach, because it suited his sharp, and the lack of church dry wit. structures in Montana TerBrother Van came to ritory in 1872 did not deMontana in 1872 as a young ter him. He held services Methodist preacher and in schoolhouses, homes, served here for 45 years. public buildings, and even Vanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genuine love for peosaloons. By the time he ple, regardless of their race died in 1919, finding a or religion - or lack thereof church was no longer so - earned him the honor of difficult. He had inspired being called Brother. In a letthe building of 100 churchter to Van in their later years, Suzanne Waring sits in Brother Vanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rocker in es and 50 parsonages. He the Brother Van House in Great Falls. His frock artist Charlie Russell wrote, coat, hat, and his secretary are some personal also left his mark caring â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śall you met loved you.â&#x20AC;? for the social needs of this items in the room. [Photo by Bernice Karnop] Both Jones and Van frontier society by starting came by riverboat up the Missouri, and both had six hospitals, one college, and one childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homes in Great Falls that are preserved for visi- home. tors today. His contemporaries called him the best-loved Vinegar Jonesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cab- man in Montana. Charlie Russell immortalized in, which now sits in Brother Van with the painting of his hunting bufGibson Park, was the falo with the Blackfeet. He offered the prayers of first structure built in the dedication for numerous county courthouses and Electric City in 1884. The for the new Capitol building in Helena. When he Brother Van Historical died in 1919, Bishop Cooke said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe Thanks to generous contributions, the C.M. Russell Museum has been House, a classic Ameri- there was a dog in Montana that would not wag

able to expand exhibitions, acquire new art, and enhance educational programs and events. Donor gifts may qualify for valuable tax credits and savings. Options for contributions that leave a lasting impression for future generations include: t&TUBUF(JGUTt$IBSJUBCMF5SVTU"SSBOHFNFOUT t$IBSJUBCMF"OOVJUJFTt-JGF*OTVSBODFBOE3FUJSFNFOU1MBOT

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

his tail when he saw him coming.” He never married. The woman to whom he was engaged, Jenny Johnson, died when she was only 20 years old. The only home he knew was the Brother Van room in the Great Falls parsonage. Suzanne Waring, chair of the Brother Van Experience Committee, says she bought a book about Brother Van at church one Sunday. On her way out Velma Good, whose family was good friends of Brother Van, told her that Brother Van lived in the parsonage next door. Suzanne and others church members were captivated by Brother Van’s biography. They felt that they had an obligation to preserve the story of this man with such courage and love to bring the gospel to the often-lawless Montana Territory. They began collecting memorabilia and stories and bringing them to churches and community events. Finally, they cleaned and restored the old parsonage, starting with Brother Van’s room. This task included removing six layers of paint from the woodwork and scraping the glued down carpet from the floor. In 2010, they started giving tours of the house. The three-story home is spacious enough for boarders, which pastors’ families were expected to entertain at that time. The second floor has four bedrooms with large closets, indoor plumbing, and a wide hallway between the rooms. Brother Van’s room contains his personal items including a wooden rocker, his frock coat and hat, a secretary, and trunk. A colorful vintage crazy quilt covers the brass bed. The tour includes many stories about Brother Van. One of the Martin children, whose family lived there with Brother Van, stayed in Great Falls and attended the church. Her memories confirm his reputation for having a special regard for children. The Brother Van House is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been named a United Methodist Church Historical Site. The house is open on Tuesday afternoons during the summer, but you can call First United Methodist Church at 453-3114, or Suzanne Waring at 453-6077, for a tour at other times. There is no charge but donations toward the restoration of the house museum are appreciated. Donations may be mailed to Brother Van Experience Committee, First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1444, Great Falls, MT 59403. Vinegar Jones was born in Brewer, Maine in

1859. As a young man, he went to Minneapolis, Minneapolis and worked as a carpenter. When he heard that the Army wanted carpenters to finish building Fort Assiniboine in Montana, he signed up. He boarded the riverboat Helena at Bismarck and arrived at Coal Banks Landing. From here, he traveled overland to the Fort, arriving there in July 1880. Late that fall the other carpenters fled back down the Missouri but Jones hitched a ride on a hay wagon to Fort Benton. He found plenty of work there, including finishing the woodwork in the lobby of the new Grand Union Hotel. He married Rosa Zahner in 1883. Vinegar Jones came to Great Falls when he heard that his cousin, Paris Gibson wanted to build a city on the river. In 1890, he purchased a cabin from Josiah Peeper, also a Fort Benton carpenter, and moved in with Rosa and their two sons. Peeper built the cabin in the spring of 1884. It was the first log cabin constructed in the freshly platted original town site of Great Falls, Montana Territory. The one-room cabin is built of hand-hewed fir logs with two large windows on each side of the door that make it bright and sunny. Today, it is filled with simple furnishings like a bed, a table, a stove, open shelves, and nails on which to hang clothes, pictures, washboard, tub, and more. Jones built the first school in Great Falls, the town site office, the first flourmill, and the first ballot box for the first city election. He was also a rancher and built the vinegar plant. Vinegar was a multi-use product for preserving food, for medicine, and for cleaning. Warren Kukay says it was a proud moment for his mother and her cousin, Bill Jones, who were Vinegar and Rosa’s grandchildren, when they cut the ribbon for the dedication in 2004. The little structure had survived fire, neglect, demolition permits, and 120 years of use. (It is now 127 years old.) It had been advertised as firewood to any takers. One man showed up, looked, and rejected it as being too big. When the property was sold, Bill Kane, the owner, promised to get rid of the cabin. He told the Jones family to take their final pictures because it would soon be gone. As Warren took his pictures he thought, what a shame just to have it hauled off. He called

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PAGE 64 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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what is now the History Museum. The preservation committee met the next day and agreed that the first home built in Great Falls needed to be saved. The community interest and involvement still amazes him. Before it was moved, a Forest Service employee repaired the logs in a historically relevant way, and the Malmstrom Air Force Base Red Horse Squadron fixed the roof and did other repairs. They prepared a concrete foundation on a small rise in Gibson Park and veteran house mover, Scotty Zion, coordinated the process of loading the cabin onto a flatbed truck and driving it to its new home.

Warren says it looks like it belongs there. Warren and other volunteers tend the cabin and tell people about it and the Jones family during the municipal band concerts and other special Gibson Park events. Many people come by and want to know about the cabin and Vinegar Jones, but his favorite visitors are enthusiastic groups of children. “The questions come one right after the other. It keeps me on my toes,” he admits. Most visitors just peek in the windows, but if you want a guided tour inside the cabin, call the preservation office at 455-8435. MSN

A Rural Mail Carrier People Can Count On: Dora Qunell

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Article & Photo by Gail Jokerst In the 25 years since Dora Qunell started delivering mail on her rural Chouteau County route, few things have changed. She still drives 113 miles six days a week dropping off and picking up letters and packages. She still travels the same roads from Fort Benton to Geraldine, Square Butte, and Square Butte Bench. And she still contends with enough gumbo and snowstorms to insure her job never gets boring. During the past quarter century, she has cancelled deliveries only once because of nasty weather and only once driven her Ford Focus at a top speed of 5 mph because of a whiteout. Despite Mother Nature’s seasonal challenges and the rare car malfunction, this Geraldine grandmother never gets concerned when things go haywire. “If I’m not running on schedule someone will come looking for me,” says Dora confidently. “I feel like everyone around here is part of one big family.” Having grown up in Geraldine and raised

her own daughters there, she knows all the people on her route and they know her. In some cases, since she was born. Typically, Dora makes each stop within five minutes of the same time every day. She is so punctual her customers tell her they could set their clocks by her schedule. “When you drive by, I know it’s ten ‘til noon and time to come in for lunch,” one farmer has told her. Since that man is usually driving a tractor when Dora’s Focus pops into view and since he never wears a watch, he depends on her for more than just his mail. Should a customer’s daily newspaper not appear on time, it is cause for that person to suspect something might be amiss. No one worries if Dora shows up ten minutes later than normal. But if more time elapses or snowflakes happen to be blowing horizontally, they know for sure something is wrong and head out to search for her. “Once I got stuck in a big snow bank and a


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

short while later the next person on my route drove up in his pickup. He asked if I wanted help shoveling or a tow and I asked him to pull me out. He was an older man and would have shoveled me out but that’s because he didn’t realize just how stuck I was,” recollects Dora, who was on her way in less than an hour. Another time her sedan stalled leaving her stranded on the side of the road until a customer she had known since childhood drove up. “I asked him if he could call my husband, who’s a mechanic, and let him know I was broke down. He said he’d just drive me around and take me back to town afterwards. Although he did tell me it would cut into his nap time,” adds Dora with a grin. “We loaded the mail into his truck and he drove my route so I could finish my deliveries.” In both instances, the men were friends of Dora’s father, who hauled the local mail for 20 years before Dora accepted the position. According to Dora, she never aspired to be a rural mail carrier. Her dream was to work with racehorses. But fate intervened. First, in the form of her high school sweetheart, whom she married at age 17. That kept her close to her home territory instead of job seeking in Kentucky. And second, in the form of an appendix rupture, which incapacitated her dad’s successor. When the Fort Benton postmaster called Dora’s father to ask if he knew anyone acquainted with the route and able to handle it, he recommended Dora. He felt her familiarity with the landscape plus the life lessons he had taught her, provided ample training for the job. “Dad raised my sisters and me to give 110% no matter what kind of work we were doing. He told us to do the best job we could and to make sure we were always on time. He was pretty particular

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about those kinds of things,” says Dora, who has fond memories of her dad’s mail route dating back to her pre-school days. “He would stop at the house to eat lunch when he was working. Afterwards, he would sometimes take me with him to keep him company while he finished his deliveries in Square Butte Bench. It was such a big deal for me. I wasn’t yet in kindergarten but still remember how much fun that was,” says Dora. “I especially liked when he would drive a little faster over the roller-coaster hills and my stomach would drop.” These days, Dora would probably describe her route as satisfying rather than fun. Though she does have many moments during her day, which make her smile. If it’s not the newborn calves, fawns, and antelope kids she sees in the springtime, it is the happy faces of her 124 customers as she drops off a much-anticipated envelope or package. Whether she is filling the mail slots at a Fort Benton retirement home or driving between rural mailboxes, Dora has a warm personal greeting or friendly wave ready to dispense along with the occasional mail-order box of newly hatched chickens, ducks, or geese. She loves having a job that allows her to be her own boss once she leaves the Fort Benton post office. And she loves being outdoors all day instead of stuck in an office. Aside from dropping off people’s mail, Dora also picks up her customers’ letters and packages to mail them at the post office. She personally pays for any postage due and sends customers a bill. After they reimburse her, Dora leaves a receipt in their mailbox. “If you don’t provide good service, you’re nothing,” concludes Dora. “That’s what the post office is. It’s service.” MSN Benefis Healthcare Foundation can guarantee a positive return when you create a Charitable Gift Annuity to help others, plus you’ll receive great benefits, such as fixed income for your lifetime, a Federal Tax deduction, Montana Endowment Tax Credit and, AGE RATE most importantly, the satisfaction of 75 6.5% making a positive difference. Check out these excellent new rates: Ch hec eckk ou o

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Al Wiseman Explores Tracks Left by Montana’s First People and Settlers Article & Photo By Bernice Karnop “For anything that any one of us knows about anything, there are a million things lost that we will never know.” Those are the words of Al Wiseman, 74, a Choteau historian who has been preserving the stories of the past since he was a child. His primary source of information - the elders of his family and community - are gone. Today he focuses on passing on to the next generation what was given to him. Al has been remarkably successful. He was part of a group of 13 who mapped and marked the Old North Trail through Teton County. He spearheaded the idea of erecting an informational sign about his ancestors, the Métis people, and accomplished it with the attractive BLM sign on the South Fork of the Teton River. He leads narrated Wilderness Walks, he takes trunk programs to children and adults, and he shares his knowledge

of Métis fiddle music with internationally recognized Montana pianist and composer, Phillip Aaberg. In short, Al Wiseman is the go-to guy when you want to learn something about the history of Teton County and beyond. A soft-spoken, humble man, Al knows he has reaped a rich heritage in a very special part of the world. His goal is to leave tracks for future generations in the stories and history that might otherwise be lost. Al knows that tracks can speak centuries after a person has passed this way. In the 1940s when he was 6 or 7 years old, he first saw the earth indentations that mark the oldest and longest trail known to humankind. These tracks were made by thousands of feet over thousands of years as pedestrian wanderers and their Lifelong resident of Teton County, Al Wiseman, finds silent moccasin tracks all across the landscape. Those who walk loaded dog travois with him see Old North Trail ruts, teepee rings, burial grounds, t r e k k e d t h r o u g h vision quest sites, eagle-capturing pits, and more. [Photo by Teton County on Bernice Karnop] what may have been a very long journey. The Old North Trail crosses the land bridge at the Bering Strait passes through Alaska, Canada, down the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana and south as far as Mexico. After the introduction of the horse around the mid 1700s, horse travois kicked up the dust here as well. Today wildflowers crowd the ancient trade route. Cinquefoil, sticky geraniums, blanket flowers, and harebells capture your attention, but when Al points out the trail, it is easy to see the evidence of a narrow road through the lush meadows and hillsides. People ask him why these ancient people traveled so close to the mountains, thinking that the wide prairie just east of here might be an easier route. For one thing, he says, the streams are easier to cross before they run together further out on the prairie. These icy trickles tumbling out of every watershed gave the wanderers a reliable drinking source which would be essential to their comfort and health. Also in this environment they found an abundance of fuel for fires, game for meat, and plants for nourishment and medicine. Why did they travel at all? There is evidence that the Old North Trail was a trade route. Non-native tool-making material such as obsidian and flint are found in Teton County. The materials from which arrowheads, spear points, and cutters were made must have been traded for or hauled in from hundreds of miles away. Today people travel for business, education, out of curiosity, or just because they can. Similar reasons most likely drew early travelers up and down the Old North Trail. Travel was not safe. They prepared for armed clashes with the territorial people who lived along the route. Rock cairns placed on hills marked the trail and provided places where scouts could see bison herds, other camps, or signals from cairns further on. Many of the sturdy monuments still stand but their


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full story is lost. One can only guess what else travelers read from these road signs along the ancient thoroughfare. The Old North Trail through Teton County is more obvious in some spots than others. The committee of 13 carefully mapped the route and took photographs. They set 133 boulders beside the trail with the name Old North Trail sandblasted into the surface. They placed them near the rock monuments wherever possible. Just because it’s been mapped and marked doesn’t mean you can go walk the trail. “You can’t,” Al emphasizes. You still have to have permission from landowners unless it is on public land. Al is pleased that all but one of the landowners allowed them to place the boulders. The Choteau Public Library and the Montana Historical Library in Helena have copies of their research. Others groups tracked the Trail by GPS and placed it on the web, however, the local committee work is unique because of their hands-on documentation and because their work remains readily available to people in Montana. You can learn more at the Old Trail Museum in Choteau, which is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The committee also placed an attractive display at the Visitor Center near the Museum. The best way to see the actual trail, however, is by calling Al and asking him to take you out there. By mid-July he’d already escorted about 130 people to the trail. “If you are interested, I am interested in sharing what I know,” he says. His number is 406-4662718. For Al the story of the Old North Trail runs into a tangle of others. He and his wife, Elaine are both of Métis heritage. The Métis are the mixed blood children of Chippewa Cree women who married French or Scottish fur trappers and traders. These mixed marriages were a good deal for both the trappers and the women because the men learned to survive the tough winters and the women’s work was easier because they had pots

and pans and knives. It was not good for the children. The French didn’t accept the youngsters because they weren’t true Frenchmen. The true Indian didn’t accept them because they weren’t Indian. These children were called Métis which simply means mixed blood, and they faced cruel and violent discrimination. They were driven from their homes in Canada after leader Louis Riel was hanged, and they scattered in every direction. Al and Elaine’s families made their homes in the beautiful remote canyons along the Rocky Mountain Front. To this day Al tends the Métis cemetery tucked in a lovely aspen grove on the South Fork of the Teton River. His great grandmother chose this spot and requested that she be buried with her face toward the setting sun in the west, the direction every other person buried here faces. Other stories woven into the fabric of Al and Elaine’s history include the continuing saga of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana. They are both members of Chief Little Shell’s band which has been working on Federal recognition since 1892. Although he values the past, Al very much lives in the present and looks to the future and what he can do to encourage people to explore their own heritage. He has plans for two more informational signs to be placed at BLM sites on the South Fork of the Teton. One will tell about the Old North Trail and the other will be about the Blackfeet. “This was their territory before our people, the Métis, came along,” he says. One person who recently acknowledged the value of Al’s work to safeguard the stories of Montana’s past is Governor Brian Schwietzer. In a recent letter to Al he states, “Thank you for all the work you do to preserve the history and tradition of Montana’s first people and settlers. You are doing a great work to serve your community and your state.” MSN

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Judy Pleskac Teaches Old and Young to Tickle Ivories By Craig & Liz Larcom Judy Pleskac of Great Falls teaches plenty of youngsters how to play the piano or digital keyboard. In June, Neil A. Kjos Music Company even published a book of her keyboard compositions for kids, called Hit the Road. The pieces include such titles as The Flat Tire Blues and Are We There Yet? But 30 or 40 percent of her clientele are only kids in the sense of “comeback kids.” They have been away from keyboard instruments for decades, but they dare to dream of taking them up again. Maybe they studied as a child and loved it but got sidetracked. Maybe they had a bad experience with lessons or a teacher, but still really wanted to play. Once in a while, the adult student is starting from scratch with keyboards. They probably like to sing or maybe play a band or string instrument. Whatever their background, “They’ve accumulated their stuff and they’ve got their pension plan worked out and they’ve got this, that, and the other thing in place. Now they want to fulfill that creative urge,” says Pleskac, who has been teaching keyboard instruments for 52 years. Bob Quinn of Big Sandy, played a little when he was young and decided to take lessons again. “I was 50 years old and I thought my life might be half over. I thought if I was going to play piano I better get started,” he says. “I have several who absolutely love their keyboards. When their hands don’t have as much strength anymore, the keyboards are a

great option because they are physically not as hard to play. And they make so many wonderful sounds. They can choose saxophone or violin or sound like a band. And they can turn on the bass!” says Pleskac. Either way, Pleskac tells all her students, “This better be fun!” She says this in a tone of mock severity, pauses long, and deadpans, “Because it’s too much work if it’s not!” She lets this sink in before she smiles. Learning to play a piano or digital keyboard at age 50 or older is no joke. Just as learning to use a computer in later life tends to take a little longer, so does picking up a musical instrument. Count on Pleskac to remember what learning piano is like. Her own student days began when she was five years old, when her parents bought a piano. “I had the great good fortune of having the right combination of parents because my father was a very gifted, but untrained musician who could play anything with strings on it, but primarily the banjo. Dad could make my music sound good by playing along with the banjo. I played Mary Had a Little Lamb and there was Dad going plink, plink. And my mother was a disciplinarian. There were all kinds of things I couldn’t I do until I practiced. And so did,” she recalls. But she had her share of aggravation, too. “The teacher gave me this horrible piece and I hated it. I didn’t like the way it sounded, I didn’t like the way I couldn’t get it, and a whole bunch of other things. So I just tore it out of the book,” she says, bursting into laughter as she recalls the episode. “I was so frustrated. I got to my lesson and I said, ‘See? I couldn’t practice that this week because, it’s not there anymore!’” Her frustration that day shows in the approach Pleskac practices as a teacher now. “If they don’t like a piece, well, put it in the garbage! Let’s move on. It’s just music for heaven’s sake!” she says, heaving a sigh of relief for emphasis. “By the same token, one of my favorite tools is Wite-Out,” she continues. “Who says that note has to be that way? It’s wonderful when it disappears. It’s not the same as just x-ing it out, you know. Just get rid of it. It’s gone!” “The pieces that it happens the most in, are pieces that were not written originally for piano. So somebody has taken, say, a piece that was written for orchestra and they’ve done what they call a distillation for it,” she explains. “Well, the person who wrote the distillation may or may not know a whole lot about playing the piano. And he definitely doesn’t know how my students’ brains and hands work. And so if it’s not a major part of the harmony or the melodic structure of the piece and it’s continually fouling them up, just get rid of it. I mean, it’s just a note. Or it’s just this awkward little spot. Sometimes things will be written in ways that are just too hard for them, but they absolutely love this part of it. Okay, so let’s rewrite it a little bit, make it work.” She holds her two forefingers an inch apart. “Sometimes the adults have this much skill,” she says, then moves her hand three feet off the floor and continues, “and the piece is this hard.” “So how are you going to make it happen? You get rid of enough stuff,” she says. Brush, brush with the correction fluid and its gone. Older students bring positive qualities to the learning experience as well. Pleskac finds they have a deeper level of determination and commitment. “And I love the individual agenda. Some of my adult students have really wanted to be able to play in their own church, or accompany grandchildren, that sort of thing. And they’ve been able to reach those goals. I structure the program


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

around their goals,” says Pleskac, who essentially acts as a coach. “I love the fact that they come with a pretty clear idea of what it is they want to accomplish. And the more clear they are, the more eagerly they can accept the more challenging parts of what they’re doing, and understanding the need for that to happen,” she says. Bob Quinn would be an example. He heard that Handel composed much of his music in an apartment in London, and made plans to visit. Then he thought it would be extra special to play a Handel piece on the piano while he was there. So he worked with Pleskac to learn “Largo.” His first surprise when he got there was that the instrument in the apartment was a harpsichord, which made sense when he thought about it. But the harpsichord was roped off, and visitors weren’t allowed to play it. He told the tour guide, “I came 5,000 miles to play ‘Largo’ in the apartment where

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 69

Handel composed it.” “I just love ‘Largo,’” she responded, and left the room. “So I sat down with my music and played it,” Quinn says. Afterwards the others in his small tour group applauded and thanked him. “It was fun and very satisfying,” Quinn reports. Pleskac played one of 88 pianos at the half-time Superbowl in 1988, but she leaves the impression that helping students like Quinn achieve their goals is every bit as satisfying. As for Sutherland and Quinn, when they describe the piano playing of their later years, the word “frustration” doesn’t come up. “Relaxing” and “enjoyable” do though. And Pleskac? To hear her students tell it, that’s just another synonym for “enthusiasm.” MSN

Graniteware continued from front cover stove duty, though. “That little red one over there, that takes longer to heat because it’s got a smaller bottom,” she says. Others have a hole in the bottom. This does not make a pot any less desirable to McFarlane. “You can always put a vase inside it and use it for flowers,” she points out. She figures that something so worn must be truly old. McFarlane finds it amazing that some people think a thing is junk merely because it is old. “It’s a treasure! It’s neat; it’s not junk!” she exclaims. McFarlane has sold only about 20 of her graniteware items over the years. Others she has given away to friends and family. That leaves plenty of graniteware to display at her home. “It’s kind of like arranging flowers,” she says. A high shelf across the end of the living room displays varied coffeepots. Next to the sofa sits a display of blue coffeepots. On the other side of an armchair, one can find more coffeepots and beside that a set of shelves, each bearing even more coffeepots. The colors range from maroon to orange to blue to a kind of dark green known as crysolite. The patterns include swirls, stripes, speckles, mottles, and one called relish. This pattern, true to form, has closely-packed shapes that give the effect of pickle relish. An unusual green coffeepot with lumpy white spots that give it a rough surface sports a pattern called “Snow on the Mountain.” “I love it! It reminds me of a frog,” comments McFarlane. Graniteware muffin pans decorate the kitchen wall, and graniteware ladles, spoons, and other utensils hang from a pegboard nearby. More graniteware contains onions and a collection of potato mashers. On the countertop microwave, McFarlane puts out holiday displays. For the Fourth of July, the graniteware will be red, white, and blue. For Easter, it might be bright pastel coffeepots - one green, one orange, and one yellow. She does not display as much as she used to. The enthusiastic collector is running out of room, and it is hard to appreciate the individual items when there are too many, she observes. In her yard, graniteware dishpans and teapots contain flowers. Six graniteware coffeepots line the porch railing, spilling lobelias from their tops. A ladder full of teapots bursts with petunias. Other novel containers, not at all graniteware, hold more blossoms. A small sign reading “Garden of Weeden” tops it all off. McFarlane’s acquaintance with graniteware began as a child, where she washed dishes in a graniteware dishpan and rinsed them in another. “There weren’t any fancy colors. I think we had white with red trim, or maybe that gold color with the green trim,” she says. “When we had a graniteware dishpan that had a hole in it, we pulled a rag through it to plug up the hole.” The family made oatmeal in a gray graniteware pan. Shopping at a local garage sale 25 years ago, she rediscovered graniteware through muffin pans. After a while, she expanded to collecting other kinds of graniteware. The rest is history. Now, she can tell the real McCoy from a reproduction and she has a good feel for graniteware pricing. She has learned much from several books as well. As she leafs through their pages, she spots an unusual coffeepot and the price - $835. “Fat chance!” she says, shaking her head. “You never get as much as they say anyway.”

“Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean I like it best,” she continues. “If I like it, I like it. I don’t buy anything if I don’t like the price.” Shopping at an antique store in Belgrade in 1993, she ran across a brown coffeepot she liked. But the price was too high. A year later, she returned, and the shop owner offered her a discount that brought the price down to $61.20. “I’ll pay that,” she thought. “I couldn’t forget it. It just spoke to me, you know. ‘Come get me!’” she laughs. McFarlane shops antique stores, garage sales, auctions, and eBay to find new graniteware and

items in better shape than those she has. Her friends and family keep an eye out for her, too. “One Christmas I really got potted!” she exclaims. Her nephew, antique dealer Stephen Porterfield of Midland, Texas, gave her two coffeepots, and her daughter gave her another. Glancing around at her graniteware, McFarlane declares with evident satisfaction, “I don’t smoke, drink, gamble, or get fancy massages. That’s my fun stuff right here. That and my yard - my flowers.” “What do you collect?” MSN


PAGE 70 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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175 MACHINES SENIOR MONDAYS 50 + $10 FREE PLAY

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6 MILES NORTH OF BOX ELDER


Montana Senior News Oct/Nov 2011