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York County Edition

July 2011

Vol. 12 No. 7

Filled to Overflowing 2011 PA State Senior Idol Winner Performs to ‘Keep Her Bucket Full’ By Megan Joyce Two days after her PA STATE SENIOR IDOL win, Peggy Kurtz Keller was still being inundated with flowers—flowers at home, flowers at work, flowers and phone calls from acquaintances she hadn’t heard from in years. “It’s really nice being recognized by your peers,” she admitted. Keller, of Ephrata, was recognized by more than 400 of her peers on June 6, taking home the title of 2011 PA STATE SENIOR IDOL at the conclusion of the finals competition at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster. She impressed both the audience and the judges, first with her rendition of “Summertime” from Porgy & Bess, followed by her finalist performance of “Cabaret” from the famous musical. After “Summertime,” Keller felt confident. “I thought, ‘I did the best I could and whatever will be, will be,’” she remembered. “The reason why I did the competition is not so much for the competition and certainly not about winning; it’s about being able to perform. It gives me one more chance to perform at the Dutch Apple, on stage, with the lights, and have the audience receive what I’m giving.” And what she gives, according to SENIOR IDOL judge and WGAL news anchor Janelle Stelson, “is joy, and that’s such a gift.” This was Keller’s fourth consecutive year as a semifinalist in the annual competition, produced by On-Line Publishers, Inc., publishers of 50plus please see FILLED page 18 2011 PA

SENIOR IDOL Peggy Keller earned the win during her fourth consecutive year as a semifinalist.




Highlights page 12

How to Stop Junk Mail page 20

Landisville, PA Permit No. 3


Art and Antiques by Dr. Lori

Assessing Value in the Antiques Game Dr. Lori have to laugh when a so-called “expert” (also known as some person who writes a story or a blog about the antiques market after interviewing three people who hosted yard sales) writes a column or posts an online blog and lists that items are “hot” right now. They rarely get it right. That is yet another misguided attempt to compile that single, comprehensive list of what is worth keeping. In short, those lists are bogus. Here’s why ... First of all, most people know what is valuable to them. But, most people don’t know what’s valuable to other people. For instance, if someone is trying to get rid of an old pool table that has become obsolete, they have a hard time realizing that someone else would want that pool table. Once you have no use for an object, you figure no one else has use for it either. That’s why people ask me, “Who would


want my old object?” That’s where human lion tamer who found these dolls in their nature gets in the way. It’s this attitude original boxes in your neighbor’s trash, it that loses you money—big money. would probably be more valuable to you. People call my Do you get it? Value office or email me is relative. Some people and ask this question will bother going after over and over again: $150 by selling those “I have a (insert any valuable Barbies and antique object here). other people won’t. Does it have any Here is the real deal value?” My answer is when it comes to always that everything making your list of has value. And even valuables ... your object has value! Experts know that Barbie dolls The real questions the collectibles market is are: How much value does it have? How not about trends; it’s about quality objects does that dollar value relate to you? For and historical or cultural interest. If you instance, some of the richest people in the are banking on making money on a trend, world like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and you are dealing in the collectibles market Oprah Winfrey probably wouldn’t think in the same way a gambler would play the that a couple of aging Barbie dolls worth roulette table. Trends are a crapshoot, a $150 each are valuable. If you are not Mr. lottery ticket, a slim chance at a big win. Gates and are, instead, an unemployed Trends are those flash-in-the-pan items

that never hold their value very long like the Pet Rock or Beanie Babies. Those items had some interest at one time, made some money for the manufacturers and the marketers, but they say nothing about culture, history, or what’s of interest to contemporary society. The objects that relate to history are those with real value and have staying power in the marketplace. When it comes to collecting, you want to acquire objects that say something about our society at large, the historical period in which it was made, or a technological innovation. Assessing valuables and smart collecting is not about fads, it’s about knowing the facts. Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and awardwinning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide and appears on the Fine Living Network and on TV’s Daytime. Visit or call (888) 431-1010.


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‘We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident … ’ On July 4, Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was officially adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, although Congress formally declared independence from Great Britain on July 2, and the Declaration wasn’t signed by all 56 members until August. Some other facts about the founding document of the United States that you may not know:

• There is a message on the back. No, it’s not an invisible treasure map (as in the Nicholas Cage movie National Treasure). The words “Original Declaration of Independence, dated 4th July 1776” appear on the reverse side of the document on display in the National Rotunda, at the bottom and upside down. • About 200 copies of the Declaration were immediately produced by printer John Dunlap for distribution through

the 13 colonies. Of these original “Dunlap broadsides,” 26 still exist. • The original document wasn’t printed on paper, but “engrossed” on parchment. Engrossing is a process for preparing an official document in large, clear handwriting. • At the bottom left corner of the Declaration is an unidentified handprint. Historians speculate that it’s the result of the document’s being rolled up for

transport and handled by various people for extensive exhibition in the early years of its existence. • The two youngest signers of the Declaration were Thomas Lynch Jr. and Edward Rutledge, both of South Carolina, both 26 years old at the time. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70. Nine of the original signers died before the American Revolution ended in 1783.

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Animal Hospitals Community Animal Hospital Donald A. Sloat, D.V.M. (717) 845-5669 Appraisals Steinmetz Coins & Currency (717) 757-6980 (866) 967-2646 Automotive Repairs Gordon’s Body Shop, Inc. (717) 993-2263 Dentists Belmont Dental Associates PC (717) 848-1463 Dry Cleaners Hanna Cleaners (717) 741-3817 Energy Assistance Low-Income Energy Assistance (717) 787-8750 Entertainment Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre (717) 898-1900


Home Improvement

YMCA of Hanover (717) 632-8211

PA Home Solutions (717) 412-4675

Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (717) 651-5020

Hospice Providers Compassionate Care Hospice (717) 944-4466

Alzheimer’s Information Clearinghouse (800) 367-5115 American Diabetes Association (800) 342-2383 CONTACT Helpline (717) 652-4400

The National Kidney Foundation (800) 697-7007 or (717) 757-0604 Social Security Admin. (Medicare) (800) 302-1274 Healthcare Information PA HealthCare Cost Containment (717) 232-6787 Home Care Services Senior Helpers (717) 718-8081

USA Optical (717) 764-8788

Visiting Angels (717) 751-2488

Elm Spring Residence (717) 840-7676

Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy West York Pharmacy (717) 792-9312

Westminster Place at Stewartstown (717) 825-3310 Housing Assistance

Elmwood Endoscopy Center PC (717) 718-7220

Eye Care Services Leader Heights Eye Center (717) 747-5430


Orthotics & Prosthetics The Center for Advanced Orthotics & Prosthetics (717) 764-8737

Housing Authority of York (717) 845-2601 Property Tax/Rent Rebate (888) 728-2937

Restaurants Old Country Buffet (717) 846-6330 Retirement Communities Country Meadows of Leader Heights (717) 741-5118 Country Meadows of York (717) 764-1190

York Area Housing Group (717) 846-5139 Insurance – Long-Term Care Apprise Insurance Counseling (717) 771-9610 or (800) 632-9073 Monuments Baughman Memorial Works, Inc. (717) 292-2621 Nursing Homes/Rehab Misericordia Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (717) 755-1964

Shrewsbury Lutheran Retirement Village (717) 227-3000 The Village at Kelly Drive (717) 848-2585 The Village at Sprenkle Drive (717) 764-9994 Services York County Area Agency on Aging (800) 632-9073 Transportation rabbittransit (717) 846-7433

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July 2011


My 22 Cents’ Worth Corporate Office:

Getting Older but Not Old

3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Phone 717.285.1350 • Fax 717.285.1360 Chester County: 610.675.6240 Cumberland County/Dauphin County: 717.770.0140 Berks County/Lancaster County/ Lebanon County/York County: 717.285.1350 E-mail address: Website address:







Member of

Walt Sonneville t the age of 70, one has a mindset essentially unchanged from the age of 50 or 60. If one enjoys reasonably good health at 60 or 70, old age may be thought to be further down the road of life. Upon reaching 80, reality seizes the senses and one’s perspective undergoes serious recalibration. For those who currently have reached the age of 75 or more, there should be a sense of gratitude for having been born at the right time. The Depression of the 1930s was an era when the simple pleasures of life molded our character. The future could only get better and the technological marvels exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York forecast more and more comforts. There was confidence in continuing progress. Life was getting better. Patriotism during the Second World War unified Americans in a way we have not seen since, with the possible exception, briefly, of 9/11. Spending on houses and automobiles was suspended during WWII, creating a post-bellum posterity based on pent-up demand, accumulated savings, and expansion of consumer credit. Life was good. Marriage, family formation, college attendance, and employment at living wages blossomed nationally until 1980, when the unemployment rate grew to 7.1 percent from 4.9 percent 10


years earlier. Lower- and middleincome Americans saw their share of the nation’s income drop from 66 percent in 1980 to 52 percent in 2008, with the balance going to the top 10 percent of households. Evidence of global warming was a troubling phenomenon not recognized in our younger years. Public debt reached levels unimaginable prior to the financial turmoil that began in October 2008. Financial “bubbles” had given us a sense of economic prosperity until these fantasies burst. The American dream became out of reach as unemployment rose to 9.8 percent in November 2010. Life was much less bountiful. How would you describe your “golden years”? Is it a time of greater calm, fewer unmet wants, and a greater satisfaction from a relaxing meal than from other corporeal pleasures? Or is it mostly a time of unpleasant memories, anxiety, precision budgeting, and dread of the coming years? If your golden years lack luster, take cheer that, nevertheless, you probably are becoming wiser and more tolerant as you age into your 70s and 80s. That is a conclusion reached in various studies of septuagenarians and octogenarians by the National Academy of Science, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

This modern research reaffirms what the Bible had disclosed: “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days, knowledge.” You can witness that your generation is wiser than the young and middle-aged. The evidence is there: Men today wear earrings, women are tattooed, and both genders display body-pierced ornaments. These are tribal artifacts. It is the younger generations that tend to be addle-minded. In our own youth and mid-life there wasn’t any need for how-to books entitled The Idiot’s Guide to … (fill in the blank and you will probably find a published title). Comedian George Burns showed that popularity can surge as one approaches his or her centennial. Burns observed: “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” There is wisdom in that observation, as there is in this thought from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “To be 70 years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be 40 years old.” Holmes spoke from experience. He resigned from the Supreme Court at the age of 91. He was our longestserving justice. Walt Sonneville is a retired marketresearch analyst. He enjoys writing and reading non-partisan opinion essays. Contact him at


No Fee to Apply for State Rebate Program


SeniorNews is published by On-Line Publishers, Inc. and is distributed monthly among senior centers, retirement communities, banks, grocers, libraries and other outlets serving the senior community. On-Line Publishers, Inc. will not knowingly accept or publish advertising which may be fraudulent or misleading in nature. 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. On-Line Publishers, Inc. reserves the right to revise or reject any and all advertising. No part of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without permission of On-Line Publishers, Inc. We will not knowingly publish any advertisement or information not in compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act, Pennsylvania State laws or other local laws.


July 2011

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is reminding senior citizens that there is no fee when applications are made to the commonwealth’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Under the program, participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 on their rent or property taxes. Pennsylvania residents who are age 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with

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disabilities are eligible for the program. The Department of Revenue, which administers the program, is aware that the Senior Advisory Center, a California-based company, is contacting older Pennsylvanians by mail with an offer to prepare their application for a processing fee of $39. The department says there appears to be nothing illegal about the offer but advises seniors they are

being charged for a service the government and other agencies provide for free. Property Tax/Rent Rebate application forms and assistance are available at no cost from the Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers, and state legislators’ offices. More information can be found at these locations and online at

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July 2011


The Search for Our Ancestry

A ‘Brick Wall’ Angelo Coniglio situation in which no amount of research can find a particular ancestor or generation of ancestors is called a “brick wall” by genealogists. An example is presented below. Names are changed for privacy and simplification.


Q: From censuses at my public library and passenger manifests on the free site, I determined the year (1908), country, and town of birth of my grandfather, Joseph Brown. The catalog at the free Mormon site shows that civil records for his European birthplace exist for the years 1809 through 1910. The information is on several microfilms that I ordered, including 1893–1910. There I found my grandfather’s birth record, with his father’s name (Henry Brown) and age in 1908, and his mother’s name. I figured my greatgrandfather’s birth year as circa 1887.

Going back through the birth records, I found information on other direct ancestors: my second-great-grandfather Michael Brown, born in 1858; his father, Peter Brown, age 27; and his mother, Maria Smith, age 25. Here is where the problem starts. Their ages in 1858 show that my thirdgreat-grandparents, Peter and Maria, were born in about 1831–1833. However, birth records from 1830 through 1834 are missing. Having gone this far, it’s frustrating to know records before 1830 are available and may contain more information, but I can’t “connect” to those records because intermediate records are missing. What can I do? A: If you show the same persistence, you may extend the record. Working with the microfilms you’ve mentioned, search the birth records around 1858 to determine if Michael Brown had any

siblings. Ages of parents on birth records often were off by one, two, or more years, and their ages on siblings’ records may show that they were born before or after the gap in records. Finding the missing information may be as simple as looking at the 1829 or 1835 records. Failing that, check film lists at and see whether there are records other than birth records. If so, order them. Records of marriages for the years preceding 1858 may contain the marriage record of Peter Brown and Maria Smith. That may show their parents’ names and if they were living or dead in 1858. Then go to the pre-1830 records to search for their parents’ births, to extend the “tree,” even though you don’t know the exact birthdays of some relatives. For your ancestral town, check whether there are microfilms available for death records. If so, order them.

Search for the death record of Peter Brown. It’s after 1858, when his son was born, so check the death records after that year. It’s tedious, but if found, it may give Peter Brown’s parents’ names and if they were living or dead when he died. While searching for Peter’s death, look for his wife, Maria Smith’s, death record. That should say whether she was a widow or not, which can help you zero in on Peter’s death year. Her record may give the names of her parents, who, of course, were also your ancestors. Churches recorded baptisms, marriages, and deaths of parishioners. Baptism records may exist for the period 1830–1834. If https://www.familysearch .org shows that church records exist for your case, order them. Baptisms were usually shortly after a child’s birth and often give the birth date as “today” or “yesterday.” Though the exact birth date

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In print. Online at To include your community or service in the 2012 edition or for a copy of the 2011 edition, call your representative or (717) 285-1350 or email 6

July 2011

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is not given, a baptism record is certainly proof of a child’s existence, and its parents’ names would be shown. Baptisms carry a bonus: Often the names of the godparents are given, and they may be relatives in whom you are interested. If church records exist, you can confirm the other information you’ve found on civil records. After all that, if you still haven’t found your ancestors born from 1830–1834, what to do? The previous steps are free or at nominal cost. To go further, you may have to pay. Before resorting to that, “surf ” the free site See whether it has online records for the town of interest for the missing years. Sites are regularly updated. You may find a source or actual images of records that just became available. If you still have no luck, try the same approach on, a paid site, but with a free trial period.

If none of that works, remember that many towns made duplicate copies. One was kept at the source, but copies may have been sent to provincial or county seats, where the microfilmed records were made. Records missing from those films may still be in existence at the town itself. You may have to write to the appropriate jurisdiction and pay for the desired information. Unfortunately, many municipalities are slow in responding to such requests. If you have relatives in your ancestral town, they may be able to check the archives. If not, you may have to make a trip to the “old country” to break down that “brick wall”! Angelo Coniglio encourages readers to contact him by writing to 438 Maynard Drive, Amherst, NY 14226; by email at; or by visiting Tips.htm.

Book Review

The Ultimate Scam “They have stolen your pants, but you smile as you hand them your coat and tie.” By William R. Turner ou are being robbed, author William R. Turner says in The Ultimate Scam. If you have a savings account, mutual fund, insurance policy, or some other form of investment, Turner says you are a victim of a clever swindle by your Uncle Sam. Before 1900, he says, our government carefully guarded the worth of the U.S. dollar. Citizens’ savings retained their value over time. Shortly after the 20th century began, however, all that changed. Congress began to increase the use of borrowed money to fund projects. The author calls it “the ultimate scam.” He says officials have been quietly tapping into our assets and drawing off some of our wealth to finance various government projects. Turner says what they are doing is neither secret nor illegal. The officials just don’t advertise the fact that they


have created an “invisible” tax that is automatically collected. This tax is not levied on income, he says, but on money that has been accumulated during a lifetime of earning, saving, and investing. Turner says the operation of this scam has helped to create a dangerously high rate of currency inflation in the country. He describes how and why “the ultimate scam” is operating and the change in fiscal policy he believes is urgently needed. About the Author William R. Turner was born in 1911 and lives in Ardmore, Pa. He became interested in science as a child and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He did scientific research for 30 years, using technologic forecasting for research planning, and later served 23 years as a securities exchange member.

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Locations in Dauphin, Lancaster & York counties

1590 Rodney Road, York, PA 17408

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Braintwisters 1. What U.S. state boasts the following rivers: the Guadalupe, Trinity, Rio Grande, Brazos, and Colorado? A. California B. Oklahoma C. Texas D. Colorado 2. Which of the following states does not border the Great Lakes? A. Ohio B. Michigan C. Iowa D. Illinois 3. Pierre is the capital of what U.S. state? A. Montana B. Wisconsin C. South Dakota D. Rhode Island 4. Lake Okeechobee is located in what U.S. state? A. Wyoming B. Florida C. Oklahoma D. Texas 5. What is the smallest U.S. state? A. Delaware B. Maryland C. Rhode Island D. Maine Source:

This month’s answers on page 9

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July 2011


York County

Calendar of Events York County Department of Parks and Recreation

Senior Center Activities

Pre-registration is required for these programs. To register or find out more about these activities or any additional scheduled activities, call (717) 428-1961.

Delta Area Senior Center, Inc. – (717) 456-5753

July 4, dusk – Multi-Borough Fireworks, Highpoint Scenic Vista, River Hills Park July 16–24 – Photography Contest on Display, Nixon Park Nature Center July 17, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Open House and Corn Roast, Wallace-Cross Mill

Eastern Area Senior Center, Inc. – (717) 252-1641

York County Library Programs

Golden Visions Senior Community Center – (717) 633-5072

Arthur Hufnagel Public Library of Glen Rock, 32 Main St., Glen Rock, (717) 235-1127

Heritage Senior Center, Inc. – (717) 292-7471

Collinsville Community Library, 2632 Delta Road, Brogue, (717) 927-9014 Tuesdays, 6 to 8 p.m. – Purls of Brogue Knitting Club

Northeastern Senior Community Center – (717) 266-1400

Dillsburg Area Public Library, 17 S. Baltimore St., Dillsburg, (717) 432-5613 July 7, 6:30 p.m. – Dillsburg Area Public Library Quilters Meeting

Red Land Senior Citizen Center – (717) 938-4649

Dover Area Community Library, 3700-3 Davidsburg Road, Dover, (717) 292-6814

South Central Senior Community Center – (717) 235-6060

Glatfelter Memorial Library, 101 Glenview Road, Spring Grove, (717) 225-3220

Mondays, 9:15 a.m. – Acrylic Art Class Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – Quilting July 27, 8:15 a.m. – Public Breakfast

Guthrie Memorial Library, 2 Library Place, Hanover, (717) 632-5183 July 5, 6:30 p.m. – Mystery Book Club: The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton

Stewartstown Senior Center – (717) 993-3488

Kaltreider-Benfer Library, 147 S. Charles St., Red Lion, (717) 244-2032 Kreutz Creek Valley Library Center, 66 Walnut Springs Road, Hellam, (717) 252-4080 July 7, 8:30 a.m. – “Good for You” Morning Walk

Susquehanna Senior Center – (717) 244-0340

Martin Library, 159 E. Market St., York, (717) 846-5300 July 6, 12:30 p.m. – Consumer Credit Counseling Workshop Mason-Dixon Public Library, 250 Bailey Drive, Stewartstown, (717) 993-2404 Paul Smith Library of Southern York County, 80 Constitution Ave., Shrewsbury, (717) 235-4313 July 5, 7 p.m. – Virtual Voyages: “Take a Trip to Brazil” Red Land Community Library, 48 Robin Hood Drive, Etters, (717) 938-5599 Village Library, 35-C N. Main St., Jacobus, (717) 428-1034

Programs and Support Groups

July 8, 9 a.m. – Shopping Trip to York Galleria July 23, 4:30 p.m. – Eureka’s Parade July 27, 12:30 p.m. – Bridge

White Rose Senior Center – (717) 843-9704, Windy Hill Senior Center – (717) 225-0733 Yorktown Senior Center – (717) 854-0693 Just a snippet of what you may be missing … please call or visit their website for more information.

Free and open to the public

July 5, 7 p.m. Surviving Spouse Socials of York County Faith United Church of Christ 509 Pacific Ave., York (717) 266-2784

July 19, 3 p.m. Caregiver Support Group Golden Visions Senior Community Center 250 Fame Ave., #125, Hanover (717) 633-5072

July 12 and 26, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Women with Depression/Mood Disorders Support Group Emanuel Methodist Church 40 Main St., Loganville (717) 747-8924

July 30, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Shank’s Mare Art & Outdoor Fest Shank’s Mare Outfitters 2092 Long Level Road, Wrightsville (717) 252-1616

If you have an event you would like to include, please email information to for consideration.

Give Us the Scoop! Please send us your press releases so we can let our readers know about free events occurring in York County! Email preferred to:

Let (717) 285-1350 Help you get the word out!


July 2011

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Braintwisters Untwist Your Brain!

Bulgur Pilaf with Dried Apricots

1. C. Texas 2. C. Iowa 3. C. South Dakota 4. B. Florida 5. C. Rhode Island Questions shown on page 7

By Pat Sinclair For me, the best meals in the summer start with juicy grilled chicken, pork, or seafood. To complete these easy meals, prepare a simple summer side dish made with bulgur. Bulgur, a nutritious whole grain, is often found in the organic or health food area of the supermarket. Because it has been precooked, it cooks quickly. I like the sweet/sour tang of the apricots with chicken, pork, and fish. Try adding dried cranberries or raisins. The cinnamon stick adds a subtle Middle Eastern spiciness to the dish.


Makes 2 servings 1 cup chicken broth 1/2 cup bulgur (cracked wheat) 1 cinnamon stick or a pinch of ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots (8-10 halves) 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon grated orange rind Combine the chicken broth, bulgur, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until the bulgur is tender. Remove the cinnamon stick. Remove from the heat and stir in the apricots. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. If all the liquid isn’t absorbed, drain any remaining liquid. Stir in the almonds, parsley, and orange rind.

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Cook’s Note: Bulgur is a nutritious whole-grain food. Wheat kernels from soft wheat are husked, steamed, dried, and crushed. Because of this processing, bulgur cooks quickly. Some forms require no cooking at all, just soaking in hot water. The Middle Eastern salad, Tabbouleh, is made from bulgur. You can purchase Tabbouleh mix (bulgur with the seasonings) and add tomatoes and parsley for a fresh taste of summer. Pat Sinclair announced the publication of her second cookbook, Scandinavian Classic Baking (Pelican Publishing), in February 2011. This book has a color photo of every recipe. Her first cookbook, Baking Basics and Beyond (Surrey Books), won the 2007 Cordon d’Or from the Culinary Arts Academy. Contact her at

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50plus Senior News and a shopping basket. 50plus SeniorNews t

July 2011


Older But Not Wiser

The Wedding Dress Sy Rosen don’t know if it’s traditional, but I, a man (the last I heard), went with my wife to see our daughter, Ann, try on her final three choices for her wedding dress. Yes, our daughter’s getting married—it’s wonderful, joyful, blissful, magnificent, and fantastic (one of my holiday gifts was a thesaurus). We agreed we wouldn’t say anything until she tried on all the dresses and then the three of us would make a logical, well-thought-out decision. However, when she came out in the first dress I yelled, “You look beautiful! That’s definitely the one! You look like a bride!” To compound my excitement, a little tear formed at the corner of my eye. And I hadn’t cried since I saw that kid running through the airport in Love Actually. I agreed not to voice anymore opinions until we saw all the dresses, but when Ann came out in her second gown, I yelled out, “Forget the other one. This


is definitely the one!” And again I cried. I was then banished and sent to the Subway to bring back lunch, while my wife and daughter made the final decision. At Subway, I told the middleaged man behind the counter that my daughter was getting married. He said he had two married daughters. We laughed, we cried, and he put an extra slice of provolone cheese on all my subs. I got carried away and yelled out, “Free Subways for everybody!” Fortunately, there was only one customer, an elderly woman who had just finished eating. Unfortunately, she ordered four subs to go. On the way back to the dress shop I started thinking about Ann as a baby. She was absolutely beautiful and brilliant. The moment she was born she looked around the hospital room, taking everything in, probably deciding if we were worthy of her company.

The next day we took her home and I was a nervous madman. For some bizarre reason, I was convinced I smelled gas, and that would hurt my daughter’s supersized brain. In my hysteria, I called the fire department. There was no gas leak, of course, but there were 14 firemen roaming through our house sniffing away. Luckily, I had bought some cigars and gave them each one. I asked them to please not smoke in the house because it might hurt my daughter’s super-sized brain. Ann’s first word was “poo.” OK, not a great word. At first we tried lying, saying that her favorite book was Winnie the Pooh. I then changed my story and told people Ann was really trying to say “Papa.” However, I soon realized that linking “poo” and “Papa” wasn’t that complimentary. Finally, we decided to embrace “poo” (just the word) and it became a great

family story. I know it’s great because my daughter winces every time we tell it. The same way she winces when we show the naked baby pictures of her taking a bath in the sink. As I approached the dress shop, I remembered my daughter’s first step. She was 2 months old (OK, parents exaggerate). A look of determination came into her eyes and she didn’t just take a step. She actually—and I swear this is true—ran across the room before she fell on her butt. And you know what? She’s been running ever since. Luckily, she ran into the arms of a great guy, whom she is going to marry. When I got back to the dress shop, Ann had on the third bridal gown. Ann and my wife informed me that this was their choice. I looked at it and said, “Yes, that’s definitely the one!” And then I began to cry.

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July 2011


Make Music, Make Merry 6th Annual PA State Senior Idol Finals Night Mixes Music, Laughter, and Goodwill By Megan Joyce After six years, it’s a well-known fact in the PA STATE SENIOR IDOL community that the level of talent amongst the competition’s 15 semifinalists grows progressively higher each year and that a “clear winner” within that initial group becomes less and less visible. But with each passing year, the finals night of PA STATE SENIOR IDOL also becomes even funnier. It’s no surprise that a competition with the very upbeat mission of highlighting the talents of the commonwealth’s 50-plus community should be so steeped in positivity and fellowship—but the sold-out crowd at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre must leave with worn-out facial muscles from a solid three hours of laughter. Many of those laughs come courtesy of the competition’s judges, all well-respected media and music personalities whose witty rapport and good-natured joking become an unexpected recipe for a highly comedic foursome. The obvious camaraderie between Adrian “Buddy” King of the former The Magnificent Men, Janelle Stelson of WGAL-8, RJ Harris of WHP580, and, new this year, Chuck Rhodes from abc27 set the lighthearted tone for the evening. Produced by On-Line Publishers, Inc., publishers of 50plus Senior News, and warmly emceed by Diane Dayton of Dayton Communications, the finals competition was the culmination of more than 100 preliminary auditions at four regional tryouts held back in the spring. Of those, the top 15 performers had been selected to compete against each other for the title of 2011 PA STATE SENIOR IDOL. After Chris Poje, last year’s SENIOR IDOL champ, reminded the audience just why he was chosen with a powerful rendition of The Platters’ “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” Donald Dickinson of Shippensburg was the first of this year’s contenders to take the stage. Singing “All the Things You Are” from Very Warm for May, Dickinson received praise from King for “the sincerity with which [he] delivered that song.” “I think that is one of the more complex songs ever sung at one of these competitions, and I think a much harder song to sing; you did a great job,” added Harris. Patty Price of York stepped onto the Dutch Apple stage for the second consecutive year, having been a semifinalist for the 2010 competition as well. She sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” made famous, of course, by Judy Garland. King commented on the unique “roundness” to Price’s tones. “They say anybody who yells can get somebody to listen to them, but that was a little bit of a soft sell,”


July 2011

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observed Stelson. “You’re one of those people who, even when you whisper and speak softly, people lean in to hear it.” Hailing from Ephrata, Jose Angel Cruz sang “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, very clearly tapping into the emotion he feels for his own 10-year-old daughter. Rhodes concurred, saying, “As a father of two grown daughters and now a granddaughter, that song moves me every time I hear it, and you did a super job.” Next up was “Smooth Operator” Elaine Dukeman of Morgantown, channeling original artist Sade as she glided to the front of the stage in a series of flowing dance moves. Rhodes liked how she came out with attitude and confidence. “And I have a feeling you’d do that if the building were empty … the lights could go out, the sound system could go out, and I think you’d just keep on going,” he said. The audience and judges were in store for a change of musical pace next as Jack Wolfe of Mechanicsburg launched into Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Texas Flood,” a blues number that showcased both Wolfe’s instrumental prowess and his vocal ability. “I’ve always thought guitars were the most difficult instrument to master,” King said. “You know your way around that fret board for sure.” Constance Kuba Fisher’s theater background was evident from the first notes of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl. The Mechanicsburg resident presented a spirited, bold, and amusing performance supported by her strong vocals. “I have a feeling you’re one of those people who just has music and performance buried in your soul and it needs to find a way to get out!” Stelson said. Theater experience was apparent once again as Margie Sheaffer of New Providence strutted onstage to deliver a feisty, serious-faced rendition of “Fever” by Peggy Lee. King commented on how “natural” and “relaxed” Sheaffer seemed, while Rhodes proclaimed with laughter, “Had you done one more chorus, Janelle was going to be up on the table dancing.” Don “Duke” Larson, the competition’s musical veteran at almost 76 years young, charmed both judges and audience with his impassioned and vocally impressive version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Dressed in a sharp tux and angled fedora, Larson both looked and sounded the part of the crooner. “Ray Price comes to mind in terms of your vocal,” complimented King, referring to the baritone-voiced country singer. “Your feeling, your expression, your experience—it all comes through.” A familiar face to many annual SENIOR IDOL finalegoers, Peggy Kurtz Keller of Ephrata took the stage for

the fourth consecutive year, this time singing “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. Keller’s sweet, crystalline voice glided over a sassy version of the familiar tune, and Harris called her “the whole package … head to toe.” “You are one of those rare people who just lights up the room, and the really great thing is that you come and you back it up with talent,” Stelson noted. “And I think anybody who is under 50 who’s sitting behind me is going, ‘I want to be her when I grow up!’” Philadelphia’s Dan Kelly auditioned for SENIOR IDOL after a “happenstance” encounter with Harris’s radio partner, Dan Steele, at a local breakfast restaurant. Another theater vet, Kelly belted out “Why God, Why” from Miss Saigon. “That’s a very difficult song, but you delivered it with a wonderful amount of passion,” King said. Harris couldn’t resist the opportunity to rib Steele the following morning. “Tomorrow for the radio show, did you happen to notice how many stacks of pancakes Dan ate?” he quipped. Steve Reuben of Manheim had chosen a bold, white tux to match his bold, resonating voice for his performance of “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific. King praised Reuben’s delivery, especially his difficult falsetto notes. “It’s such a strong voice—so mellifluous,” stated Stelson, which prompted Harris to joke that his gift for Stelson last Christmas had been a word-of-the-day calendar. “We were told this was going to be the best year ever—and you hear that a lot—but it is,” Harris added. “You guys are all gangbusters.” Sinatra classics are a welcome staple of the PA STATE SENIOR IDOL competition, and Mark Ettaro of Reading did justice to the trend singing “Witchcraft.” Ettaro surprised the judges and the audience when, midway through his clean vocals, he launched into a lively, legkicking dance routine. Rhodes praised Ettaro’s “Sinatra phrasing” and added, “I like that you caught everybody off-guard with your impromptu—well-rehearsed, but impromptu—dance.” “If this Idol thing doesn’t work out, you can become a Pip,” Harris suggested. Robesonia resident Inge Kiebach was up next and delivered an almost operatic version of “If I Loved You” from Carousel. Rhodes noted her obvious opera training, saying he suspected that if she wished, she could “really reach the rafters” with her formidable voice. “When I was 10, I joined the adult choir at church because I think I had the same voice when I was little

that I have now,” recalled Kiebach with a laugh. “The variety we’re seeing here tonight is incredible to me,” King remarked. “It’s one of the best years in terms of all of the different styles and everything else that we’re witnessing here tonight.” The listening audience was in for a musical 180 once again with Steven Leaman’s hand-clapping, rocking performance of Grand Funk Railroad’s “Some Kind of Wonderful.” A plumber from Manheim, Leaman encouraged enthusiastic audience participation from the get-go and used the whole stage while wowing the judges with his confident vocals. Rhodes couldn’t help but offer up the available pun: “What are the odds—a plumber with good pipes!” “You’re just a showman,” said Harris. “I loved all your motions and getting the audience involved in a big way; it was great.” Harrisburg’s Jay Megonnell wrapped up the evening’s 15 semifinalist performances with his trumpet-and-vocal presentation of Louis Prima’s “I’m Just a Gigolo,” which had the audience chuckling and, as the judges noted, tempted to sing along. “What a way to tie up the evening,” Stelson said. “That was such a fun song, such a good choice, and such a perfect choice for you.” After a brief intermission during which the four judges’ scores were tallied, all 15 semifinalists lined up on the stage … and Margie Sheaffer, Steven Leaman, and Peggy Keller were named the night’s three finalists. For their second selections, Sheaffer sang “The Rose” by Bette Midler; Leaman performed “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe; and Keller sang “Cabaret” from the musical of the same name. The judges as well as the audience then voted for their favorite, and Keller was named the 2011 PA STATE SENIOR IDOL. As colorful balloons dropped amidst hearty applause, Keller, beaming with excitement, stepped forward to accept the trophy and a bouquet of flowers. “When they announced that I won, I was stunned and shocked and overjoyed,” Keller said. She then performed “Summertime” again, with many of her fellow semifinalists linking arms behind her and swaying along to the beat. As the winner, Keller will receive a limousine trip for two to New York City for dinner and a Broadway show. “You’re a real inspiration for 50-plussers all over the state,” Harris told Keller. For more information and highlights from the 2011 PA STATE SENIOR IDOL finals competition, visit

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July 2011


The Squint-Eyed Senior

Family Fourth Theodore Rickard or some reason, Independence Day brings out the clan instinct in a lot of us—or used to, anyway. And each tribal family seemed to produce its dominant individual. In my family in my youth, it was my Uncle Albert. Albert was a forceful yet benign personality. He was the source of good advice—brusquely rendered but sympathetic and highly conservative. Albert was a successful engineer. More importantly, he was well paid and never out of work. Thus, he was first in the family to have a suburban house, a detached, singlefamily structure with a large backyard. This was how the Fourth of July family picnic moved from the local park to Albert’s backyard. It was a big step up for all of us. Siblings, cousins, and in-laws gathered early on the Fourth of July at Albert’s backyard. Suburbia was still an outing destination for us then, and the boulevard route with its graceful lining of old elms offered entry to a world of assured gentility. Out of habit, many of us brought something to eat. German potato salad, Irish soda bread, Polish sausage—and beer. And we all brought children.


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As a youngster I can recall a change in the atmosphere as we penetrated the suburbs. Wedged in the back of a clattering old Ford, I was squeezed between my brother and sister so they wouldn’t fight. Somehow, silence and decorum seemed appropriate as we turned off the boulevard and headed up a gentle grade to our destination. Dad had to shift gears as we ground our way up the street, past green parkways and wide lawns. This was not our territory. “Oh, there’s Ed and Martha,” my father said as he coasted the car to the curb behind another Ford even older than ours. The relief in his voice was evident. There was someone else now, someone to share the strangeness, even if it was only an in-law relative who’d recently tried to borrow money. As we got out of the car we could hear our cousins—youngsters of our ages and in between—in greetings of overly high pitch coming from the back of the house. Cousins meant deviltry and chasing one another around as soon as the initial awkwardness was over. Maybe the picnic would be just like before, in the park, with parents distracted with one another and us kids running loose. please see FOURTH page 17

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This Month in History: July Events

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• July 10, 1943 – The Allied invasion of Italy began with an attack on the island of Sicily. The British entry into Syracuse was the first Allied success in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower labeled the invasion “the first page in the liberation of the European Continent.”

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• July 20, 1969 – A global audience watched on television as Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the moon. As he stepped onto the moon’s surface, he proclaimed, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”— inadvertently omitting an a before man and slightly changing the meaning.

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• July 25, 1898 – During the Spanish-American War, the United States invaded Puerto Rico, which was then a Spanish colony. In 1917, Puerto Ricans became American citizens and Puerto Rico became an unincorporated territory of the United States. Partial self-government was granted in 1947, allowing citizens to elect their own governor. In 1951, Puerto Ricans wrote their own constitution and elected a non-voting commissioner to represent them in Washington.

Birthdays • July 4 – Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) the 30th U.S. president, was born in Plymouth, Vt. He became president on Aug. 3, 1923, after the death of Warren G. Harding. In 1924, Coolidge was elected president but did not run for re-election in 1928. • July 12 – American philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was born in Concord, Mass. At Walden Pond he wrote, “I frequently tramped 8 or 10 miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” • July 20 – Explorer Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1919. In 1953, he became first to ascend Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world at 29,023 feet.

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July 2011


Salute to a Veteran

In His P-40, He Passed Out at 23,000 Feet Robert D. Wilcox obert Brocklehurst grew up in Michigan in the days when aircraft overhead were a rarity. When one did fly by, people would call others to come and watch it. The biggest thrill in his life was when his uncle would take him to see the fliers in the Michigan National Guard practicing aerobatics. He thus knew early on that being a flier was what he desperately wanted to do. In 1940, he was old enough to enlist, but the Air Corps required at least two years of college in order to become an aviation cadet. “However,” Brocklehurst says, “they had an equivalency test that would qualify you if you could pass it. So I crammed for seven months to take that test. And, in September 1940, I passed it.” He enlisted in the Army and went through the aviation cadet program, earning his pilot’s wings and the gold bar


of a second lieutenant military was that they at Kelly Field in San didn’t ask you if you Antonio, Texas, on thought you could do Sept. 26, 1941. something. They told He then shipped to you what you were Selfridge Field in going to do, and you Michigan to learn to did it.” fly a P-40 pursuit What was the best plane. “For the first thing about the P-40? time,” he chuckles, “I “It was tougher than was given manuals to any other of the fighter study, then put in the planes of that day. airplane to fly it by Although most people myself. No dual know it best for its use instruction … just in China by our Aviation Cadet figure it out as you American Volunteer Robert L. Brocklehurst, Class 41-G, Group, it was used in went.” in advanced flying training Wasn’t it daunting theaters of war from the at Kelly Field, Texas, in to go from the 600 Pacific to North Africa September 1941. horsepower AT-6 and Russia. The early trainer to the 1,040 models were good for horsepower P-40 fighter? He grins as he combat only to about 12,000 feet, but it says, “Sure. But the great thing about the was surprisingly fast. It was the third

most produced American fighter plane in WWII, surpassed only by the P-51 and P-47.” Brocklehurst had completed his P-40 training at Selfridge Field when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following Saturday he was on a troop train to Sacramento, where he picked up a brand new P-40 that he flew to Elmendorf Field, near Anchorage, Alaska. The fear was that the Japanese would advance through the Aleutians, and the P-40s were to prevent their advance. When Brocklehurst arrived at Elmendorf in March of 1942, the newer P-40s were turned over to more experienced second lieutenants, and the new pilots were given obsolescent Curtis P-36s. Brocklehurst notes that, “When a P-40 flew by you, and you were in the P36, it felt like the P-36 was backing up.” He was then assigned to a squadron

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on Kodiak Island, where, in a P-36, he had blacked out at 23,000 feet. He explains, “We needed oxygen above 10,000 feet, and the P-36 system was pretty primitive. The oxygen came through a tube you clenched between your teeth. As we got higher, I had more and more trouble flying formation. And finally, at 23,000 feet, I blacked out completely. “Fortunately, I had the ship carefully trimmed up, so I didn’t just fall out of the sky. But it was more than a shock to eventually come to and find that I had fallen all the way to 5,000 feet. That’s one of the reasons I believe in God.” What caused him to black out? “Well, it was clearly lack of oxygen. But why it happened could have been a failure in the system or that I wasn’t careful enough on how I drew on the oxygen tube. We never found out, and I was just glad to be alive.” In July 1942, he was selected to go to Florida for advanced fighter training in P-40s and then to California to pick up a new P-40 and fly it back to Cold Bay at the western end of the Alaskan peninsula, where his squadron had been assigned in his absence. Over time, he flew out of Kodiak Island, Cold Bay, Umnak, Atka, Adak, Dutch Harbor, Shemya, and Attu in the Aleutian chain. The weather was foul, with 250 days of rain. Cloud


layers, fog, and sudden rain and snow squalls were common. They had no accurate maps or navigation aids. Brocklehurst says he had firsthand knowledge of 126 aircraft that were lost, mostly as a result of the abysmal flying conditions. In 1951, he was returned to the States, where he held increasingly responsible positions from the Pentagon to Okinawa, checking out in 13 types of aircraft, from P-38s to F86s in his 4,300 hours of flying. In 1963, he returned to Alaska for three years as director of plans and programs for Alaskan Air Command in Anchorage. He retired from the Air Force Systems Command at Andrews AFB in Washington, D.C., as a lieutenant colonel in February 1967. In civilian life, he worked as sales manager for a manufacturer of custom kitchens in Central Pennsylvania. He liked the area so much that he decided to settle down here, where he started his own company, Brocklehurst Enterprises, with sales representatives in 11 states. He says his many years of service in the Air Force mean a great deal to him … especially those dangerous but exciting years as a young man doing seat-of-the-pants flying in P-40s in Alaska. Colonel Wilcox flew a B-17 bomber in Europe in WWII.

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Immediately, however, we knew that this was different. Uncle Albert had hired a couple, a silently competent man and woman, who would cook and serve. Tables had been set up in the yard, with bright red, white, and blue tablecloths clamped to the tabletop. The tables were covered with trays of snacks and cold cuts that were other than bologna, and there was even sliced roast beef! And there were whole bottles of CocaCola and Schlitz beer chilling in watery, ice-filled tubs where you could just help yourself. There were waxy paper cups there, too, and Uncle Joe got a firm spousal nudge in the ribs when he started drinking right out of the bottle. It was later in the day before he dared dispense with the paper cup. The women had brought food, as they had in years past, and now slid their offerings as unobtrusively as possible on to the nearest table. The dishes clashed with the careful geometric arrangements of the caterer’s trays. Diplomatically, the serving woman rearranged them and out


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of nowhere came up with plates and serving spoons, even for the dumplings. Behind a large charcoal grill, the white-starched caterer was holding fort with spatula behind piles of hamburger patties, sausages and—making each of us pause—sirloin steaks. We’d seen these before, but only in the butcher’s case. Without being told, we kids settled for bratwurst or hamburger. In fact, even among the adults, only Uncle Ed and Kurt ordered the steak. By then, I guess, they’d both had their first beer and felt up to it. Two generations have passed since then. Now we have cousins of cousins who have never heard of one another. Almost all of us live in suburbs of our own. None of us has emerged as head of the family, nor does anybody seem to want to: not even those who have regular employment. Each has his own backyard now, I guess, although I’m not so sure that’s entirely a good thing. Every Fourth of July I wonder.

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from page 1

Senior News. Always a crowd pleaser, Keller’s “stick-to-it-iveness” finally earned her the top prize. Her genuine love of performance for performance’s sake prompted her to keep trying, year after year. “It keeps my bucket full,” she said of performing. “It makes me feel adequate. It makes me know that I can continue to do the things that I really love to do. It gives me that energy and that power to just continue to keep on going.” Keller had considered not auditioning again this year, but as always, the lure of performance drew her back. “I really enjoy the [SENIOR IDOL] experience,” she said. “From OLP employees to the people that work at the Dutch Apple, everyone was so helpful and friendly. It was such a great experience—why would you not want to be a part of it?” Keller grew up in Leola, the oldest of three children (she has two younger brothers). Her family owned Kurtz’s Store in town, a grocery store that was Keller’s second home and her first place of employment. She discovered her fondness for singing early on and would often “force” family members to be part of a concert when they came to visit, starting with her taking tickets at the door. “I

would use The Sound of Music and sing ‘Well, we don’t have a singer,’ and I said, the whole album … I would play every ‘Well, you do now!’” She was allowed to part.” audition and, of course, got in. Later, that Her first public solo was in same instructor invited her to sing the kindergarten, when national anthem she was invited to before high-school sing with the high football games, which school choir. To mark had Keller, also a the occasion, Keller’s cheerleader, singing in parents bought her a between cheering sets. new pair of Hush “I think because I Puppies shoes, which was assertive and said, ended up being the ‘I really want to do only way her parents this,’ I made some could spot their changes within what Keller, center, received her trophy and was normal within diminutive child flowers from Kimberly Shaffer, left, amongst the crush of that school at that On-Line Publishers’ events manager, teenage singers. time,” said Keller. and Donna Anderson, right, president “Except for hearing During her senior of On-Line Publishers. my voice and seeing year, Keller won the my Hush Puppies, Junior Miss Pageant at they would’ve never known it was me.” the local level singing “Summertime.” It When her family moved to Ephrata for would be a jazzed-up version of that same her second year of high school, Keller song that would, years later, win her the began to blossom musically as a member SENIOR IDOL title. of the vocal ensemble, chorus, and the Keller’s career path is wide and varied, school’s dance band, an instrumental jazz but she is thankful to have truly enjoyed ensemble that had never included a every occupation she has taken on. A vocalist—until then. certified dental assistant just after high Keller approached the band’s instructor school, Keller had the first of her two with her wish to audition. “He said, children at age 20. She stayed at home


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full time for several years until working in her then-husband’s new business, an echo of her family-run grocery store roots. Later, she worked in therapeutic recreation at a nursing facility; as a flight attendant until she was furloughed after 9/11; and then went to nursing school, graduating in 2003. She worked in dialysis, obstetrics/gynecology, and then as a school nurse, a perfect schedule for Keller, who had remarried and gained two school-age stepchildren. Keller is now in her second fulltime year of teaching medical assisting to adult students, and she sees the connection between her roles as teacher and musical performer. “It’s just like being a performer, because every day that’s what I have to do, to entice my students to pay attention, to learn, and hopefully bring them a presentation that will bring them some kind of enlightenment,” she said. Through the many career changes, Keller managed to stay in touch with her musical side. When her children became older and more independent, she reconnected with a friend from high school and the duo sang together on the “senior group circuits.” Individually, Keller also had roles in

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community theater and sang for service organizations, senior groups, and holiday parties. Around the same time she first heard of SENIOR IDOL, Keller also auditioned to sing the national anthem for the Lancaster Barnstormers, an engagement she’s now held for the past four seasons. From her work life to her musical career, Keller has always gravitated toward and adored performing for the over-50 community. She loves to sing the standards: Sinatra, big-band music, and songs from the ’40s and ’50s. “I believe that the senior crowd appreciates entertainment, and they communicate appreciation,” she noted. “When I go and sing for seniors or community-service groups, I know I have their attention. I’m singing things they recognize, and they sing with me. They give me energy, I give them energy, and by the time I leave everyone’s feeling so good—it’s good for everybody.” Keller said “the energy was wonderful” during her fourth go-round at the SENIOR IDOL finals competition and said nerves weren’t a factor—at least at the start. “When I perform, I rarely get nervous before I sing because nobody can make a judgment on me until I’m done. For me, it’s wasted energy to be nervous beforehand because nobody knows what I can do.”

After delivering “Summertime” to high praise, Keller went backstage feeling satisfied with her effort and enjoying the fast-developing camaraderie that bonded her with the other semifinalists that evening. When her name was called as one of the three finalists, it wasn’t until Margie Sheaffer, a fellow finalist, gave her a visual nudge that she realized she had, in fact, heard her name. And later, as she clasped hands with Sheaffer and finalist Steven Leaman and heard her name called one more time— this time as winner—the shock and sheer joy running through her body were evident. “When I heard my name, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ll be able to represent OLP as PA STATE SENIOR IDOL all over the place now, no matter what we do! Let’s keep me really busy!’” The coming year is guaranteed to be a busy and fulfilling one for Keller, whose pure mission is to continue performing as often as possible. “I love being a teacher—I truly do love what I do during the daytime, but my bucket stays full because I can do something after school, and that is performing,” she said. “I’m proud I stuck it out, I did it, and I didn’t give up. I’m 54, and I can— we can do anything.”


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Savvy Senior

How to Stop Junk Mail and Prevent Mail Fraud Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, How can I reduce the junk mail my elderly mother gets? She gets around 25 pieces of junk mail each day, and I just discovered that she’s given away nearly $2,000 over the past year to many of the sleazy groups that mail her this junk. How can I stop this? – Frustrated Daughter Dear Frustrated, Millions of seniors get bombarded with unwanted junk mail these days, including mail fraud schemes that you and your mom need to be particularly leery of. Here’s what you can do to help. Senior Alert While junk mail comes in many different forms—credit card applications, sweepstakes entries, magazine offers, coupon mailers, donation requests, political fliers, catalogs, and more—the

most troublesome type that all seniors need to be aware of is mail fraud. This is the junkiest of junk mail that comes from con artists who are only trying to take your money. Mail fraud can be tricky to detect because there are many different types of schemes out there that may seem legitimate. Some of the most common mail scams targeting seniors today are fake checks (see, phony sweepstakes, foreign lotteries, free prize or vacation scams, donation requests from charities or government agencies that don’t exist, get-rich chain letters, work-at-home schemes, inheritance and investment scams, and many more.

If your mom is getting any type of junk mail that is asking for money in exchange for free gifts or winnings, or if she’s receiving checks that require her to wire money, she needs to call the U.S. Postal Inspector Service at (877) 8762455 and report it, and then throw it away. Unfortunately, once a person gets on these mail-fraud mailing lists, it’s very difficult to get off. That’s because these criminals regularly trade and sell mailing lists of people whom they believe to be susceptible to fraud, and they won’t remove a name when you request it. Knowing this, a good first step to help protect your mom is to alert her to

the different kinds of mail fraud and what to watch for. The Postal Inspection Service offers some great publications and videos (see that can help with this. Another option is to see if your mom would be willing to let you sort her mail before she opens it so you can weed out the junk. You may want to have the post office forward her mail directly to you to ensure this. If your mom feels compelled to donate to certain charities, ask her to let you check them out to make sure they’re legitimate. You can do this through your state’s attorney general or charity regulator’s office—see for contact information or look into charity watchdog sites like,, and Reduce Junk Mail While scam artists aren’t likely to take

Time is a Priceless Gift Do you know a 50+ volunteer who gives selflessly to others? Tell us what makes him or her so special and we will consider them for 50plus Senior News’

Harrisburg’s Oldies Channel!

Volunteer Spotlight! Submissions should be 200 words or fewer and photos are encouraged. Email preferred to or mail nominations to 50plus Senior News, Volunteer Spotlight, 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512.

• Breakfast with Ben Barber and News with Dennis Edwards • John Tesh with Music and Intelligence for Your Workday • Bruce Collier & The Drive Home • Mike Huckabee Three Times Daily

Online 24/7 at


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Crossword shown on page 19

your mom’s name off their mailing lists, most legitimate mail-order businesses will. To do this, start with the Direct Marketing Association, which offers a consumer opt-out service at This won’t eliminate all her junk mail, but it will reduce it. The opt-out service is free if you register online or $1 by mail. Then, to put a stop to the credit card and insurance offers she gets, call the consumer credit reporting industry opt-out service at (888) 567-8688 and follow the automated prompts to opt her out for either five years or permanently. Be prepared to give her Social Security number and date of birth. You can also do this online at If you choose the permanent opt-out, you’ll have to send

a form in the mail. Some other resources that can help are the National Do Not Call Registry (, (888) 382-1222), which will cut down on your mom’s telemarketing calls, and, a free service that lets you opt her out of the unwanted catalogs she receives.

September 27, 2011

Savvy Tip: If you don’t want to hassle with stopping the junk mail yourself, you can hire a private company (like or to do it for you for a small fee.

9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. York Expo Center Memorial Hall–East, 334 Carlisle Avenue, York

October 25, 2011

Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book.

9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Carlisle Expo Center 100 K Street, Carlisle

Getting Men to Talk About Their Health One in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It’s more common among men than breast cancer among women. American men are also vulnerable to heart disease, hypertension, weight gain, impotence, and depression. And yet many men are unable to talk about their health with loved ones or even physicians. However, a growing number of online support resources, such as disease-related websites and blogs, are making it easier for men to access the information they need and communicate about their experiences. “Men are less vocal than women when it comes to health-related issues, especially those with the potential to affect their manhood,” says Dan Zenka, creator of the non-profit prostate cancer blog, Zenka is not only a prostate cancer patient with metastatic Stage IV cancer, but he’s also senior vice president for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a position he held for two years before receiving his own diagnosis. In addition to being touched by his situation’s irony, he knew there was a need to provide a forum for patients and their caregivers. Other conditions, such as depression and impotence, can be equally difficult for men to discuss. And serious illnesses can sometimes be harder on family members than patients. Prostate cancer is a singularly male disease affecting the prostate, a walnutsized gland beneath a man’s bladder. A simple blood test, called a prostatespecific antigen (PSA) test, and a digital rectal exam are the methods used to detect prostate cancer.

“Many men suffer in silence,” says Zenka. “But online forums are helping men speak up, even if only anonymously.” For example, the Prostate Cancer Foundation has partnered with My Bridge 4 Life to launch a patient and caregiver support network enabling individuals to track their diagnoses, set goals, share tips, and communicate with loved ones. Men also are seeking out safe offline environments. For example, The Black Barbershop Outreach Health Program is a nationwide program that screens barbershop customers for diabetes and other health issues. Black-owned barbershops represent a cultural institution that provides an environment of trust and an avenue to disseminate health education information to men. It also helps if loved ones are mindful of timing when discussing health issues with men. People are less likely to be receptive to communication when watching television, reading, or working. You’re more likely to communicate successfully if you’re willing to compromise on the timing of conversations. Lastly, fathers should be encouraged to discuss health issues with sons. By normalizing such conversations, men help the next generation form healthy habits and reduce the stigma of illnesses. You can read Zenka’s blog at and learn about prostate cancer at “No man should be ashamed to speak up for his health,” stresses Zenka.

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Have you photographed a smile that just begs to be shared? Send us your favorite smile—your children, grandchildren, friends, even your “smiling” pet!—and it could be 50plus Senior News’ next Smile of the Month! You can submit your photos (with captions) either digitally to or by mail to:

50plus Senior News Smile of the Month 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Digital photos must be at least 4x6'' with a resolution of 300 dpi. No professional photos, please. Please include a SASE if you would like to have your photo returned.


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July 2011


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Celebrate Those Strongly Tied Knots!

Learning to Live Alone Lisa M. Petsche hen a relationship ends due to divorce or the death of a spouse or other close companion, mature adults typically face the challenge of learning to live alone— often for the first time. Loneliness may be profound and difficult to overcome. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips that can help.


Be Kind to Yourself

Are you or is someone you know commemorating a special anniversary this year? Let 50plus Senior News help spread your news—for free! We welcome your anniversary announcements and photos. Anniversaries may be marking any number of years 15 and over. (Fields marked with an * are required.) *Anniversary (No. of years) _________________________________________ *Contact name __________________________________________________ E-mail ________________________ *Daytime phone ___________________ *Husband’s full name _____________________________________________ Occupation (If retired, list former job and No. of years held)___________________ _____________________________________________________________ *Wife’s full maiden name __________________________________________ Occupation (If retired, list former job and No. of years held)___________________ _____________________________________________________________ *Couple’s current city and state __________________________________________ *Marriage date_____________ Location ______________________________ Children (name and city/state for each)_________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ Number of grandchildren________ Number of great-grandchildren___________ Photos must be at least 4x6'' and/or 300 dpi if submitted digitally. Completed information and photo can be emailed to or mailed to:

Anniversary Announcements 50plus Senior News 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your photo returned.


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Give yourself permission to feel all emotions that surface, including resentment and frustration. Recognize that there will be good days and bad days. Try not to dwell on the past—it only fosters self-pity and keeps you from moving forward. Prepare a list of things to do on the bad days. Include small indulgences to give you a lift, as well as tasks or projects that will give you a sense of satisfaction. Look after your physical health. Eat nutritious meals, get adequate rest, and exercise regularly. In addition to safeguarding your overall health, these measures will also help ward off depression. Take things one day at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Plan your days so you don’t have too much free time on your hands. If you don’t like coming home to silence, leave the television or radio on when you go out. Nurture Your Spirit Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a journal, chronicling your journey of self-discovery and growth. Nurture your spirit by doing things that bring inner peace, such as meditating, praying, reading something uplifting, listening to soothing music, or spending time in nature. Get a pet. Cats and dogs provide companionship and affection and give you a sense of purpose. A dog also offers a measure of security and ensures that you’ll get out of the house. (And while walking the dog, you might meet new friends.) Learn and Do New Things Get out of the house every day. To

combat isolation, join a dinner club, fitness center, or exercise class. Sign up for an adult education course or lessons that interest you—for example, gourmet cooking, sculpting, or modern jazz. Be sure to check out any available programs at the local senior center or recreation center as well as those offered by educational institutions. Learning something new is energizing and boosts your self-confidence. And you might make new friends in the process. Get involved in your community. Volunteer for a neighborhood association, charitable or environmental cause, animal shelter, or political campaign. Cultivate some solitary pastimes. Take up crossword puzzles, woodworking, gardening, writing, or sketching. Learn to enjoy your own company. Reach Out to Others Take the initiative in calling friends and relatives to talk or get together. Do nice things for others, especially those who are also going through a difficult time. This takes your mind off your own situation, boosts your selfesteem, and strengthens relationships. Find at least one person you can talk to openly who will listen and understand. Join a support group. If it’s hard to get out or you prefer anonymity, try an Internet forum instead. If you were a caregiver and put your personal life on hold, now is the time to reinvest in yourself by resuming former interests and pursuing new ones. Don’t forget to nurture neglected relationships as well as to expand your social network. Whether or not the loss was anticipated, the reality of being on your own may initially seem overwhelming and perhaps frightening. But with time, patience, and trust in your resilience, you will successfully adapt to your new circumstances. And you may end up growing in ways you never imagined. Lisa M. Petsche is a clinical social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior issues.

Are you retired or semi-retired from a career in sales, marketing, or public relations? Looking for a new challenge or a way to supplement your income?

Central PA’s leading publication serving the senior community has an opening for a part-time advertising sales associate. Join a great organization where your experience will be valued. Hours are flexible. Forward letter and resume to:

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50plus Senior News - York County July 2011  

50plus Senior News, published monthly, is offered to provide individuals 50 and over in the Susquehanna and Delaware Valley areas with timel...