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Chester County Edition

January 2014

Vol. 11 No. 1

Wearable Memories Fabric Artist Creates Keepsakes from Belongings of Loved Ones By Lori Van Ingen Laurie Kolanko was just looking for a way to make some Christmas gifts while caring for her elderly mother. What she found was a new venture and a new way to help people honor their departed loved ones. “I knew someone who made purses out of placemats. I thought that sounded like fun,” Kolanko said. She also knew a lot of people used tote bags and wondered if she could make them using placemats. So Kolanko found some online tutorials, purchased some unusual-looking placemats and webbing, and she was set to go to work. “I enjoyed it so much,” Kolanko said, that she went back for more. “I fell in love with the whole process of shopping for them, mixing and matching colors and textures.” Kolanko said she has always liked sewing and making things with her hands. “I remember making clothes for my trolls out of felt when I was very young. I always had a needle of some sort in my hand when sitting down and relaxing.” She even made her daughters’ school clothes with matching clothes for their Cabbage Patch dolls. She also did counted cross stitch, embroidery, please see MEMORIES page 10 Laurie Kolanko with several of her handmade tote bags and tie pins.


Strength-Training Tips for Seniors page 4

The Gone with the Wind Trail page 8

Salute to a Veteran

He Flew in 32 B-17 Missions over Germany and Came Out Without a Scratch Robert D. Wilcox hen Walter Jones graduated from high school, he reasoned that, since it was likely that he would soon be drafted, he better enlist in the Army Air Corps. In that way, he could follow his long-held dream of becoming a pilot. So, on Nov. 28, 1942, he enlisted and shipped to Miami for basic training. After basic, the Air Corps discovered that he was color blind, so that was the end of his dream of becoming a pilot. They then put him through a battery of tests and found that he was adept at radio work. So, he was sent to Scott Field in St. Louis to learn to become a radio operator. Morse code seemed to come to him naturally, and he did so well with it that he was made an instructor, teaching Morse code there for 18 months before he was sent to more extensive training to


equip him to be a B-17 gave heading radio operator. information. He could Jones says there was a forward radio fixes, lot more to that training known as position than he ever imagined. reports, to the navigator. On a B-17, the radio And as long as the operator compartment navigator knew where was just behind the the radio signal was bomb bay and just in coming from, based front of the waist section upon the heading of the of the Flying Fortress. signal from the radio He had far more operator, the navigator responsibilities than just could get a fix on where manning the main radio the aircraft was. Pvt. Walter N. Jones in 1943 at gear for the aircraft, After that training, Scott Airfield in St. Louis. however. He also had a Jones was assigned to a .50 caliber machine gun B-17 crew at Lincoln, mounted in the ceiling of his Neb., and they were soon headed for compartment. And he primarily assisted combat, flying over the northern route, the navigator. through Goose Bay, Labrador; Reykjavik, He had a couple of instruments that Iceland; and Valley, Wales. duplicated those of the navigator that In England, he was assigned to the

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303rd Bomb Group (called the Hell’s Angels) in Molesworth, England, and flew his first mission on Dec. 6, 1944. On that and later missions, he found that there was a lot to keep the radio operator busy in combat. He would monitor the group frequencies to find out any changes to the flight plan. If the lead plane decided to switch to a secondary target, or if a plane fell out of formation, he would record the message over the group channel and pass the information on to the pilot. He logged all radio events and as much of what he could see going on around him as possible. He would note which planes went down, when and where, along with the number of chutes seen to come from the plane. He checked with his crew every 15 minutes on intercom to make sure all were OK. If needed, he would have been one of the

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January 2014

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first ones to tend to a wounded crewmember. He remembers well that, on one of his missions, his ball turret gunner hadn’t yet entered the ball turret, and Jones found him flopped over, apparently asleep. Jones examined him and found that the man’s oxygen tube had come loose from the main supply line, and he was getting no oxygen. He promptly reattached it and brought him to life. But a few more minutes at the 28,000 feet that they were flying, and the man surely would have died. As all radio operators did, Jones had flare pistols, so he could signal other aircraft when formations were forming (when he was in the lead ship) or to signal that there were wounded on board when the plane was returning to base. He also had a clear view of the bomb bay and could check the area for damage or a

Resource Directory Dental Services Family Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry 1646 West Chester Pike, Suite 1,West Chester (610) 692-8454 Disasters American Red Cross Greater Brandywine (610) 692-1200

D’Anjolell Memorial Homes & Crematory 392 Lancaster Ave., Frazer (610) 356-4200 Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (800) 272-3900 American Cancer Society (800) 227-2345

Hearing Services Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 233-3008 V/TTY

Eastwood Village Homes, LLC 102 Summers Drive, Lancaster (717) 397-3138

Community Impact Legal Services (610) 380-7111

Salvation Army West Chester (610) 696-8746

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (800) 232-4636

Housing Authority of Chester County (610) 436-9200

Coatesville VA Medical Center (610) 383-7711

Housing Authority of Phoenixville (610) 933-8801

Financial Services Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-3676 Funeral & Cremation Services Auer Cremation Services of Pennsylvania 4100 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg (800) 722-8200

Housing Assistance

Legal Services

National Osteoporosis Foundation (800) 223-9994

Lawyer Referral Service (610) 429-1500 Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (610) 436-4510

PACE (800) 225-7223


Senior Healthlink (610) 431-1852 Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213 Southeastern PA Medical Institute (610) 446-0662

CVS/pharmacy Senior Centers

Arthritis Foundation (215) 665-9200

Office of Aging (610) 344-6350/(800) 692-1100

Chester County Department of Aging Services (610) 344-6350 Pharmacies

Salvation Army Coatesville (610) 384-2954

Domestic Violence (800) 799-7233

Office of Aging


American Heart Association (610) 940-9540

Central PA Poison Center (800) 521-6110

Colonel Wilcox flew a B-17 bomber in Europe in World War II.

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Chester County Emergency Services (610) 344-5000

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de France, except that it was now packed with 10,000 men. He was discharged from the Air Corps as a tech sergeant in May at Fort Dix, N.J., and then became a lineman for Bell Telephone. Did his getting that job have anything to do with his World War II knowledge of electronics? Laughing, he says, “Not a chance. They told me to forget all that stuff. They wanted me to learn the Bell way.” Well, he did and, after varying levels of responsibility, retired from Bell in 1983. He now lives comfortably in a retirement home with Marie, his wife of 31 years. But he still has vivid memories of those missions high over Germany, with enemy flak bursting everywhere.

hung bomb especially when the dangerous aircraft came position. He off the target. often saw It was also enemy fighters his circling but was responsibility never attacked, to dispense “probably,” he the chaff that says, “because was used to we flew such scramble tight enemy antiformation.” aircraft He artillery remembers T/Sgt Walter Jones (far right, front row) with his radar when having lost two combat crew in 1945. over the engines more target area. than once, and He would unbind the chaff bundles and there was many a time his plane was release the chaff out a chute that was riddled by flak, yet it somehow always built into the radio room. got them home in one piece. On many of his missions, his plane After his last mission, on April 3, was with 1,000 or more other planes, 1945, Jones came home to the U.S. on and his plane often led his group, an the luxurious French passenger liner, Ile

Meals on Wheels Chester County Inc. (610) 430-8500

Coatesville (610) 383-6900 Downingtown (610) 269-3939 Great Valley (610) 889-2121 Kennett Square (610) 444-4819 Oxford (610) 932-5244 Phoenixville (610) 935-1515 Wayne (610) 688-6246 West Chester (610) 431-4242

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50plus SeniorNews

January 2014


Savvy Senior

Strength-Training Tips for Seniors

Corporate Office: 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:




BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Karla Back Angie McComsey Jacoby Valerie Kissinger Susan Krieger Ranee Shaub Miller Sue Rugh SALES & EVENT COORDINATOR Eileen Culp EVENTS MANAGER Kimberly Shaffer




50plus Senior News 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.


January 2014

50plus SeniorNews

Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, Can lifting weights help with agerelated health problems? At age 70, I have diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis and recently read that strength training could improve my conditions. What can you tell me? – Looking for Help Dear Looking, A growing body of research shows that strength-training exercises can have a profound impact on a person’s health as they age—and you’re never too old to start. Regular strength training, done at least two nonconsecutive days a week, helps you build muscle strength, increases your bone density, and improves your balance, coordination, and stamina. It can also help reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain, depression, and obesity. And some studies even show that it helps improve cognitive function too. Safety First For the most part, strengthtraining exercises—especially if you start conservatively and progress slowly—are safe for most seniors, even those with serious health conditions. But, if you have health concerns or if you are currently inactive, you should talk to your doctor about what may be appropriate for you. A good self-help resource to help you find an appropriate, safe exercise program is the “Exercise and Screening for You” tool at EASY (Exercise and Screening for You,

To find one, ask your healthcare provider or contact a good health club or fitness facility in your area. You can also search for one online at reputable sites like the American Council on Exercise ( or the IDEA Health & Fitness Association ( If personal training isn’t an option, there are lots of great senior strength-training videos you can purchase to guide you through a wide variety of exercises that you can do at home. Collage Video (, (800) 8197111) sells dozens of age- and fitness-appropriate DVDs. Also see Go4Life (www.go4life., a resource created by the National Institute on Aging that offers a free exercise DVD and guide that provides illustrated examples of exercises you can do at home to strengthen your body. You can order your free copies online or by calling (800) 222-2225. Senior Classes If you don’t like exercising alone or need some motivation, consider joining a gym or call your local senior center to see if they offer any strength-training exercise classes. You should also check out SilverSneakers (www.silversneakers. com, (888) 423-4632) or Silver&Fit (, (877) 4274788). These are fitness programs offered in thousands of fitness

centers, gyms, and YMCAs throughout the U.S. that offer special classes designed for older adults. These programs are available only to seniors that have certain Medicare supplemental policies or Medicare Advantage plans. Equipment If you work out at home, you’ll probably need to invest in some equipment. While some strength training can be done using your own body weight (like push-ups, sit-ups, and leg squats), hand weights, ankle weights, medicine balls, resistance bands, or rubber tubing are all great tools for strength training. You can find all these products at sportinggoods stores or online. Cans of soup, water bottles, or plastic milk containers filled with water or sand could also be used (like small hand weights) for resistance. Another strength-training tool you should know about is the Resistance Chair. This is an all-inone home fitness system that helps seniors maintain and improve their strength from a safe, seated position with minimal risk of injury. To learn more, see www.vqaction or call (800) 585-4920. Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book.

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Early Warning for Alzheimer’s The sense of smell may be an important clue in a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the University of Florida ran an experiment designed to test the ability of Alzheimer’s patients to detect odors, based on the fact that impaired smell is often one of the first effects of cognitive decline. The main ingredient in the test: peanut butter. The scientists capped subjects’ nostrils one at a time and observed the distance at which each participant could smell a teaspoon of peanut butter, which was used because its

odor doesn’t include any secondary effects like stinging or burning (as other smells generally do). They found that in patients who had been previously diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the left nostril’s sense of smell was significantly more impaired than the right. Control subjects who either didn’t suffer from cognitive decline, or who had different kinds of cognitive disability, didn’t exhibit the same discrepancy. The finding could serve as a vital early warning of Alzheimer’s, a disease that’s difficult to detect in its early stages.

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The volunteer suitable work of Dan entertainment, and Mimsie they organize the Brookes has space, time, and been recognized refreshments for at Tel Hai the entire Retirement resident Community. population’s Mimsie Brookes enjoyment. is a secondWith a fine generation Tel eye for Mimsie and Dan Brookes have been Hai resident— decorating, recognized by their retirement community her parents were for their dedication and cheerful service to Mimsie also adds cottage residents color and others on campus. in the 1980s. seasonal touches Since their arrival in 2008, the to the public areas. Brookeses have been very active on and They work tirelessly on committees, off campus. Their investment of time supporting key campus events. Mimsie and talent includes participation in a also secured her lifeguarding small-group Bible study through their certification and serves as a pool New Holland church and activities at monitor, ensuring the safety of others. the Tel Hai Camp. Outreach Prior service on resident council and sometimes extends to local Amish current involvement in the marketing neighbors, too. department’s Peer to Peer committee On campus they have been the are well appreciated. They often greet driving force behind the “coffeehouse” campus guests and share their story experience—once they have identified and open their home. 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’ 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.

50plus SeniorNews

January 2014


Calendar of Events

Chester County

Chester County Department of Parks and Recreation

Senior Center Activities

Coatesville Area Senior Center – (610) 383-6900 22 N. Fifth Ave., Coatesville – Jan. 2, 11 a.m. – Beat the Winter Blues Seminar Jan. 15, noon to 2 p.m. – Birthday Luncheon and Jackpot Bingo Jan. 25 – CASC’s Chili Cook-off

Jan. 1, 2 p.m. – New Year’s Day Hike, Warwick County Park

Support Groups

Free and open to the public

Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Wellness Community of Philadelphia: Support Group for People with Cancer The Cancer Center at Paoli Hospital 255 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli (215) 879-7733

Jan. 7 and 21, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Main Line Unitarian Church 816 S. Valley Forge Road, Devon (610) 585-6604 Nondenominational; all are welcome.

Jan. 2 and 16, 7 p.m. Alzheimer’s Support Group The Solana Willistown 1713 West Chester Pike Willistown (610) 725-1713

Jan. 8, noon Family Caregiver Support Group Sarah Care 425 Technology Drive, Suite 200 Malvern (610) 251-0801

Jan. 13 and 27, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Caregiver Support Group Adult Care of Chester County 201 Sharp Lane, Exton (610) 363-8044 Jan. 21, 6 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sunrise of Westtown 501 Skiles Blvd., West Chester (610) 399-4464

Kennett Area Senior Center – (610) 444-4819 427 S. Walnut St., Kennett Square – Jan. 9, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Free Blood Pressure Screening Jan. 14, 2:30 to 4 p.m. – Tea Party Jan. 26, 1 to 3 p.m. – Sunday Dinner with Friends: Our Winter Dinner Please contact your local center for scheduled activities.

Chester County Library Programs

Jan. 7, 2 p.m. Grief Support Group Phoenixville Senior Center 153 Church St., Phoenixville (610) 327-7216

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

Community Programs

Free and open to the public

Jan. 4 and 18, 5 to 10 p.m. Bingo Nights Marine Corps League Detachment 430 Chestnut St., Downingtown (610) 431-2234

Jan. 11–12, 18–19, 25–26 1 to 5 p.m. Annual Model Railroad Open House Schuylkill Valley Model Railroad Club 400 S. Main St., Phoenixville (610) 935-1126

Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m. Concert Series: Scott Marino on Trumpet Tel Hai Retirement Community Chapel 1200 Tel Hai Circle, Honey Brook (610) 273-9333

Jan. 23, 27, 30, 6 to 9 p.m. ESL Training Workshop Volunteer English Program in Chester County Olivet United Methodist Church 310 E. Chestnut St., Coatesville (610) 918-8222

Jan. 18, 8:30 a.m. Busy Buddies: Widows & Widowers Social Group of Chester County Dutch Way Restaurant 365 Route 41, Gap Reservations required (484) 667-0738

Jan. 7, 11:30 a.m. West Chester University Retirees Luncheon For restaurant location, please email

Downingtown Library, 330 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (610) 269-2741 Jan. 14, 6:30 p.m. – Film Forum Jan. 23, 1 p.m. – Senior Book Club Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m. – Reading the Classics Paoli Library, 18 Darby Road, Paoli, (610) 296-7996 Mystery Book Club – Call for dates/times

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

Let help you get the word out! (610) 675-6240

Famous Books and Their Original Titles “What’s in a name?” Shakespeare asked, possibly when trying to think of titles to the many plays he wrote. Take a look at the original titles of some of the world’s best-known books and imagine how their impact might have been different if someone hadn’t suggested a switch:


January 2014

• Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: The Last Man in Europe

• The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: Second-Hand Lives

• The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: Twilight

• Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: The Kingdom by the Sea

• Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: Something That Happened

• The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Fiesta

• Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: First Impressions

• The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Gatsby, Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires; Trimalchio; Trimalchio in West Egg; On the Road to West Egg; Under the Red, White and Blue; GoldHatted Gatsby; The High-Bouncing Lover

50plus SeniorNews

Tinseltown Talks

Elly May Offers Up Some Vittles Nick Thomas during the series, provided by Hollywood animal trainer Frank Inn.” Today, she shows little sign of slowing down. “I seldom really rest,” admits Douglas, who turned 80 in September. “I travel all over the U.S. and Canada and have a very busy schedule. But I have to turn down a lot of requests. I also garden, spend time with family and friends, and still get quite a bit of fan mail. “My days are full and then some, so I’m always playing catch-up. Life has been very good to me and full of blessings for a little backwoods girl from Louisiana who never had any thoughts of a career in showbiz.”


f ever an actor was recognized by one career role, it was Donna Douglas with her portrayal of Elly May in the highly popular CBS ’60s comedy The Beverly Hillbillies. In the four decades since the series ended its nine-season run in 1971, the drop-dead gorgeous blonde, a native of Pride, La., is still strongly identified with the show wherever she goes. Rather than distancing herself from the connection to Jed, Granny, Jethro, and the Clampett clam, Douglas has embraced her sitcom heritage and still makes public appearances as a real-life Southern belle. “Elly was a slice out of my life,” says Douglas, whose official website ( was launched in 2012. “I was raised a tomboy, with one older brother and all male cousins. So I grew up swinging from vines and playing softball. I was getting ready for Jethro long before we ever met! I still adore Elly and we have a lot in common, with the same interests and values.” After Hillbillies ended, Douglas was offered many roles but accepted just a handful that she felt wouldn’t compromise her standards. “I’ve got no regrets about anything I turned down. I sold real estate for a while, made a couple of record albums, and speak at churches, ladies groups, and schools around the country. My days are full and I’m very happy!” This year, she also published a nostalgic cookbook, Southern Favorites with a Taste of Hollywood, a collection of recipes gathered over the years, many from friends including Debbie Reynolds, Buddy Ebsen, Phyllis Diller, and Valerie Harper. “The cookbook came about as a way to share my favorite recipes,” said Douglas, who recalls homecooked meals prepared in the rich, Southern tradition that many will also remember from their childhood. “Homemade dishes are almost unheard of today,” she lamented. “They’re all premade in a box or from a drive-thru. That’s today’s way. But there was something about the way your mom made dishes with a special touch—with a bit of this and a pinch of that.”

The cover of Douglas’ cookbook, Southern Favorites with a Taste of Hollywood

Thomas’ features and columns have appeared in more than 300 magazines and newspapers, and he is the author of Raised by the Stars, published by McFarland. He can be reached at his blog:

The cast of The Beverly Hillbillies Donna Douglas today

Although her own mother never used Granny’s “possum fat,” her childhood meals weren’t exactly lean. “Lard and bacon grease, especially in the South, were cooking essentials!” Interspersed between the book’s recipes are delightful personal anecdotes from her Hollywood days. “I thought fans would enjoy a few remembrances from my life, along with some photos from my scrapbook.” In an effort to remind readers of the long-lost art of good manners, there’s also a quaint section called “Hollywood Social Graces.” Advice includes never using your fork as a toothpick, chewing gum in someone else’s home, or answering a cell phone while a dinner guest. “Etiquette was taught in the South, but I’m afraid it’s a thing of the past now. Social graces are lacking all around us, people are rushing all the time, and no one sits and visits any longer.” Not a big fan of today’s television programming, Douglas says she likes to watch the classics in reruns, such as Touched by an Angel as well as the occasional Hillbillies episode, which brings back memories. “Elly may not have kissed many fellows during the show’s run, but she sure did kiss a heap of animals. Somewhere around 500 were used


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January 2014


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Travel Appetizers: Stories that Whet the Appetite for Travel

The Gone with the Wind Trail overnight sensation. David Selznick allow three days produced the movie, to explore the which is the highestGone with the grossing film in boxWind Trail in and office history, near Atlanta, but it earning an estimated takes me only one to $3.3 billion in become a Windie. A today’s dollars. Windie is a die-hard To capitalize on GWTW fan, a the public’s interest, person who is the state of Georgia immersed in the created a GWTW Gone with the Wind has earned history, legends, and Trail that leads more money than any other legacy surrounding people to five sites movie in box-office history, the Pulitzer Prizethat are in some way adjusted for inflation. winning novel and connected to the enormously popular book, the film, or film. the author. Some dream of Our first trail stop Rhett; others dream is in Clayton of Scarlett’s fancy County, where clothes or 17-inch Mitchell’s relatives waist. As for me, I had a rural home. As dream of publishing a child, Mitchell a novel that wins visited often and one of the world’s listened intently as A Tudor Revival mansion had been most prestigious her family elders told subdivided into small apartments awards and is turned stories about their by the time Mitchell and her into a film that earns experiences during husband moved in. me millions. the Civil War. On the surface, Many of these GWTW is the wildly tales were romantic tale of transformed into Scarlett O’Hara, a scenes in her novel, headstrong Southern leading her heirs to belle (played by dub Clayton County Vivian Leigh in the the “Official Home movie) and her loveof Gone with the hate relationship Wind.” (To with Rhett Butler, a Mitchell’s dismay, dashing, successful Selznick upgraded opportunist the comfortable (depicted by Clark farmhouse of Gable). Mitchell’s memory One of the most popular But on a deeper into Tara, a much pieces in The Road to Tara level, GWTW is the grander mansion Museum is a replica of the story of the that he thought “drapery dress,” worn by American South would better appeal Vivian Leigh. during and to movie audiences.) immediately after the Civil War, a time The Road to Tara Museum has a when an entire society was challenged painting of the old farmhouse, in and ultimately transformed. addition to authentic Civil War items The book, written by first-time and reproductions of many of the novelist Margaret Mitchell, was released costumes worn in the film, including the to the public in 1936 and became an green “drapery dress” that Leigh wears in By Andrea Gross


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January 2014

50plus SeniorNews

one of the movie’s most memorable scenes. But it’s not until I see the display of foreign-edition books that I begin to morph from casual tourist to possible Windie. GWTW has been translated into more than 40 languages and sold in more than 50 countries, from Albania and Burma to North Korea and Serbia. Why are people all over the world so intrigued by a story about a war that took place in America so long ago? We learn the answer the next day when we visit the Margaret Mitchell House, where the author lived when she began her novel. It takes only a few minutes to see the small apartment but much longer to peruse the exhibits in the nearby hallway. There, on a large signboard, is a quote by Margaret Mitchell: “If the novel has a theme, it is that of survival.” Why, of course. GWTW addresses a basic concern: If their old world is “gone with the wind,” how do people create a new one that will work in their new circumstances? This is a question asked by everyone who has ever suffered a hardship, be whatever the cause. When seen in this light, it’s easy to understand the story’s universal and enduring appeal. Our next stop is Atlanta’s Public Library, where there are more than 1,500

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The apartment where Mitchell lived when she began her novel has been reproduced as accurately as possible in the Margaret Mitchell House.

Stately Oaks is an 1839 home in Clayton County. Although it bears some resemblance to Tara, the plantation home depicted in the movie, it is much more elegant than the home that Mitchell described in her book.

Windies from all over the world visit Margaret Mitchell’s grave, which is in Oakland Cemetery. of Mitchell’s personal items, including her old Remington typewriter and 1937 Pulitzer Prize certificate. We’re even more fascinated by the

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items on display at the Marietta GWTW Museum, Scarlett on the Square, which holds a treasure-trove of photos and ephemera. I examine the film contracts.

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Gable got $160,000 plus a bonus that enabled him to divorce his wife and marry Carole Lombard, the love of his real life. On the other hand, his co-star Vivian Leigh got a mere $30,000. Yes, Gable was a mega-star, but still, I can’t help but wonder what Mitchell, who was quite the feminist for her time, thought of that. Finally, we double back to Atlanta to visit Oakland Cemetery, where Mitchell is buried next to her husband. Her tombstone is small compared to many and gives no hint of her fame. It’s simply inscribed with her married name, Margaret Mitchell Marsh. Someone, a Windie no doubt, has decorated the grave with pink flowers, reputedly Mitchell’s favorite color. I want to extend my stay in Georgia, to delve more deeply into the GWTW phenomenon and to learn more about the era in which the novel is set. But we have a plane to catch, so I console myself by remembering Scarlett’s words, “Tomorrow is another day.” I’ll be back.


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January 2014



from page 1

and pillowcases. “I would sit and watch TV with a needle in my hand. I liked to do that even as a child. It was my time to relax. It was very calming,” she said. Creating tote bags gave her that same feeling, so she kept making them to give to family and friends. Because everyone loved the tote bags she made, her husband and daughter thought she could sell them. They brainstormed name ideas and came up with Totelly Unique. “No two tote bags I make are alike. I now make three different sizes: a small, purse-type tote; a medium-size tote that would carry a laptop; and a large one to carry more items,” Kolanko said. She sold her first tote bags to the store where she gets her glasses. “They said, ‘You should bring some in and people will buy them,’” she said. “The first time I walked away with being paid for something I made was really exciting.” The 58-year-old was a full-time physical therapist for VNA for 30 years before her mother needed her care. She now takes her Totelly Unique bags to area craft shows and would like to expand the territory she has attended.

“I enjoy embellish the meeting people totes, my best and making friend’s father contacts. It’s a passed away, and I really enjoyable wanted to make business.” something for her Besides using as a keepsake for “beautiful and her dad,” Kolanko unusual” said. “He was a placemats, pastor and had Several memorial tie pins made from neckties. Kolanko now many ties, and I adds handmade thought I could flowers and probably make other some lovely embellishments flowers out of his to her tote bags. ties. So I asked her “I’d sit at for some and night with my made her and her mom and make mom some flower flowers” for the brooches. tote bags, she “That brought Tie pins, also created from an oxford shirt. said. She’d make such joy to my a “poofy” flower heart that I began and put something in it like costume to do the same for family and friends, jewelry or a button. and it spread from there.” The tie flowers are 99.9 percent hand Then on other tote bags she’d just use sewn with only a tiny bead of hot glue jewelry, like retro pins, from old on the back that can’t be seen, she said. fashioned to contemporary. She also uses the tag that comes on the Kolanko also has added a side branch back of the tie, adding beauty to the to her business, Tie Flowers. “When I had begun making flowers to flower.

“I try to make the back as beautiful as the front,” she said. Kolanko also makes flowers out of fabrics other than ties. “If a mom or grandma had a special dress or scarf, or even a tablecloth around which the family had dinner, I could make flowers from these,” she said. She has made pocket squares out of shirts for a man to remember his dad, hairclips using ties for little girls, and tote bags using pockets, buttons, and belt loops from a man’s jeans as pockets on the bag. It gives Kolanko the most pleasure when customers see a flower for the first time and tears come to their eyes, or when the tie is from a very special occasion. She recently worked on a tie flower pin from a tie that a man wore to his daughter’s wedding, and her mom gave it to her for Christmas. Also, in the future when she is able to travel, Kolanko would like to teach women in other countries to make tote bags and flowers to help them earn money. “A lady from Nicaragua likes to wear bright and colorful flowers in her hair, and she said she would like me to teach her to make them,” Kolanko said.

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January 2014

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The Way I See It

It’s Over So Soon Mike Clark


y now, most of us are back to our routine day to day. The Christmas tree stands lifeless in the corner of the room where, just days ago, it was imbued with a certain seasonal magic—a magic especially obvious at night when its lights glowed warmly, and the bright, shiny ornaments reflected the illumination in a colorful palette of red, green, blue, silver, and gold throughout the room. The electrical plug now droops over a bottom branch. Nobody notices; the lights remain cold. The tree has seen its best days, done its holiday duty, and will soon be stripped of its finery. The township mulch pile is the next stop for some trees. Others will be enclosed in giant bags and placed curbside on trash-removal day. There are tiring days ahead for those who must heave the woody remains onto a truck. In the meantime, some gifts remain under the tree. Sweater sleeves appear to slither over the shallow sides of their boxes to touch the floor, chain-store tags dangle from bathrobes and slippers, and returnable items are bagged up and ready to go back to the mall at the next convenient moment. The best gifts are already in use. That’s not to say that sweaters, slippers, and bathrobes aren’t great gifts. They are. It’s just that most people do not feel compelled to model slippers and robes when they’re outside the home. It would just be odd. There’s not much about those items that elicit admiration and approval, anyway. As for sweaters, I haven’t looked good in one since I was young and almost slim (maybe not slim, but a lot less bulgy). Stockings will be taken down, and not necessarily with the care in which they were hung; I yank, and tacks fly.

They land in places where only bare feet can find them. The small stuffers of pen sets, bottles of fragrance, candy bars, shaving razors, and all sorts of other knickknackery have been whisked away. I shook my stocking out several times. I’m convinced it was only hung to add symmetry to the lineup; I didn’t ask. Listen, it’s all good. I have little use for pen sets; the ink is nearly dried up in the ones I already own. My bottle of Old Spice is almost full. It’s obvious that I don’t need candy bars. I mostly use an electric razor, when I remember to charge it. And I certainly have no use for knickknacks and the dust they collect. It’s a new year. We embrace hope and the idea of a do-over for mistakes, poor decisions, and bad habits that have hindered our aspirations and relationships. We vow to be better. We will lose weight, quit smoking, be more patient with our spouses and children, unselfishly serve mankind, and make other resolutions, numerous and diverse. We will invariably fail to follow through on some of our loftier aims. It happens because we are human. Being human is a good general excuse for why we often fall short of our grand schemes. But resilience of spirit is another aspect of being human. When we fail, we feel challenged. We back up, take a running start, and head for the goal, again and again. That’s when good things happen, and we become better human beings. Keep at it—you’ll see. Happy New Year. Mike Clark writes a regular column for The Globe Leader newspaper in New Wilmington, Pa. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational behavior/applied psychology from Albright College. Mike lives outside Columbia, Pa., and can be contacted at

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Art and Antiques by Dr. Lori

Collecting Colored Glass Lori Verderame oda lime glass is basically colorless. Metals and oxides can be added to glass to change its color during the glassblowing, molding, or machineproduction process. The following additives make the distinctive colors:


• Red glass: selenium • Ruby/cranberry glass: copper or gold, depending on the concentration • Amber glass: sulfur, carbon, iron salts • Yellow-green or Vaseline glass: uranium • Yellow glass: cadmium sulfide • Yellow-brown glass: titanium • Dark-green glass: iron oxide and chromium • Green-blue glass: iron oxide • Turquoise glass: copper oxide • Blue glass: cobalt with potash • Purple or amethyst glass: manganese

• Violet glass: nickel • Black glass: nickel depending on the concentration • White glass: fluorspar or zinc oxide • Milk glass: tin oxide, arsenic, antimony Why are wine bottles green? Why are beer bottles brown? Why are medicine bottles blue? The answers to these questions speak volumes about American culture and design. For instance, bottles for wine and beer were typically dark in color, such as green or brown, in order to protect the wine or beer from the light that could change its taste. Dark-colored wine bottles also hide the unsightly sediment that accumulates

at the bottom of a wine bottle. Often used for powder jars and bedroom vanity pieces, purple or amethyst glass has a long history. Purple or amethyst glass was first used in ancient Egypt and is a popular collectible today. In many 19th-century and early 20th-century general stores and early pharmacy or apothecary shops, blue bottles lined the shelves. Blue bottle glass was inexpensive to make, which was of interest to those who were trying to attract customers to new potions, tonics, and medicinal products. The cobalt-blue bottles were attractive and became connected with signs of good health.

Ruby glass is associated with its additive, gold, making the collecting of ruby glass a high-society status symbol. Ruby glass is often featured in objects such as decanter sets, goblets, and vases. Milk glass was a Venetian invention, the site of a longstanding history of glassblowing and glassworks. Milk glass was commonly used for items at weddings, such as bride’s baskets to hold money for the newlyweds, since milk glass resembled porcelain. Color reveals a great deal about the chemistry and history of collecting glass. Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on Discovery channel’s Auction Kings. To learn about your antiques:,, @DrLori on Twitter, and (888) 431-1010.

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About 20 percent of U.S. adults are meeting both the aerobic and musclestrengthening components of the federal government’s physical activity recommendations, according to a report published recently in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data is based on self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual phone survey of adults aged 18 and over conducted by state health departments. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 2.5 hours a week of moderateintensity aerobic activity, such as walking; or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging; or a combination of both. The guidelines also recommend that adults do muscle-strengthening activities, such as pushups, sit-ups, or activities using resistance bands or weights. These activities should involve all major muscle groups and be done on two or more days per week.

The report finds that nationwide nearly 50 percent of adults are getting the recommended amounts of aerobic activity and about 30 percent are engaging in the recommended musclestrengthening activity. “Although only 20 percent of adults are meeting the overall physical activity recommendations, it is encouraging that half the adults in the United States are meeting the aerobic guidelines and a third are meeting the musclestrengthening recommendations,” said Carmen D. Harris, M.P.H, epidemiologist in CDC’s physical activity and health branch. The report also found differences among states and the District of Columbia. The rates of adults meeting the overall guidelines ranged from 27 percent in Colorado to 13 percent in Tennessee and West Virginia. The West (24 percent) and the Northeast (21 percent) had the highest proportion of adults who met the guidelines. Women, Hispanics, older adults, and obese adults were all less likely to meet the guidelines.


Solutions for all puzzles can be found on page 14




1. 6. 10. 14. 15. 16. 17. 19. 20. 21. 23. 24. 25.

Famed Island garlands Tempo Decrease Dwarf buffalo Aquatic bird Ohio city Sharp Bristle Noblewoman Fr. saint (abbr.) Merriment Bowman

27. 31. 33. 34. 35. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 47.

Singer Callas Lightweight wood Remediate Witches Mouth off Fixes Beer relative Digress Wager Fastened Badger Iniquities Rounded

48. 51. 53. 54. 57. 61. 63. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70.

22. 24. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 34. 36. 37. 38. 41. 43.

Annums (abbr.) Crazes Fmr. president Parent Prayer word Lease So Bundles Elderly Applaud Saddle horse Flower holder Saw Pack Most kempt

46. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59.

Alit Some Japanese capital Jeweled headdresses Tobacco holder Redact Building toy Deceptive maneuver Aspect Mason’s Street Hurried N.M. city Fencing swords


1. Negatives 2. Double-reed instrument 3. Tense 4. Bunsen burner 5. Temp. (abbr.) 6. Romance language 7. Organic compound 8. Hawkeye State 9. Shoes 10. Time zone (abbr.) 11. Inundated 12. Menu 13. Go inside 18. So. school inits.

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Ex-serviceman Ogles Summate Racket Confronts Time zone (abbr.) Solo Make over Homework Cay Hawaiian volcano goddess 60. LAX postings 62. Turner or Williams 64. Lyric poem

January 2014


The Beauty in Nature

Blue Spruces and American Hollies Clyde McMillan-Gamber aturing blue spruce and American holly trees have pyramidal forms, drooping limbs like half-collapsed umbrellas, and densely packed needles, or leaves, the year around. Blue spruces are native to the Rocky Mountains, and wild American hollies are barely established in southeastern Pennsylvania. But both species are commonly planted on local lawns, as elsewhere, because of their beauties, including shapes, evergreen leaves, and decorative cones on the spruces and strikingly red berries on the hollies. And both offer year-round shelter, and


seasonal food, to the wildlife that add their beauties to those of the trees. Heaps of snow push the limbs of those trees down tighter than normal. The snow and foliage together protect squirrels, hawks, owls, and small birds nestled under them from cold, winter winds and the keen vision of predators. Through that leaf and snow insulation, and their own fur or feathers, much body heat of those mammals and

birds is retained, keeping them warm. In winter, owls shelter in the spruces and hollies during the day, while red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, mourning doves, darkeyed juncos, American crows, blue jays, and other kinds of birds snuggle in them at night. Those trees are good nursery sites in early spring because their evergreen foliage conceals eggs and young. The hawks also hide in those trees to

ambush squirrels and birds. Squirrels, mice, and wintering American goldfinches, pine siskins, chickadees, and other bird species eat seeds in the spruce cones. The small birds cling to the cones to pull seeds from between the scales. Flocks of American robins, cedar waxwings, and other kinds of birds consume berries on the hollies during winter. And robins also do so in March when migrating north. Look closer at blue spruces and American hollies on lawns. You will enjoy the beauties of those trees and the animals that benefit from them.

Social Security News

Ring in the New Year with a COLA By John Johnston any people ring in the new year with champagne. People who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) get to ring it in with a COLA. This year, more than 60 million Americans are receiving a 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) in their monthly benefit payment. The 1.5 percent COLA begins with increased benefits for more than 57 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2014. Payments to more than 8


the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $117,000, up from $113,700. Of the estimated 165 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2014, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum. The amount of earnings needed for one credit of Social Security coverage has gone up as well, but all workers can still earn up to four credits in a year. In 2014, a worker earns a credit after earning $1,200. In 2013, one credit of

coverage was $1,160. It takes 40 credits to be fully insured for retirement benefits. Information about Medicare changes for 2014 is available at Visit to learn more about the COLA and other Social Security changes in 2014. From everyone at Social Security, have a Happy New Year. John Johnston is a Social Security public affairs specialist.

Puzzles shown on page 13

Puzzle Solutions


million SSI recipients began in late December 2013. The estimated average monthly Social Security payment to a retired worker is $1,294 (in 2014), up from $1,275 (in 2013). The average monthly Social Security disability payment for an individual is $1,148 (in 2014), up from $1,131 (in 2013). The basic monthly federal payment for SSI is $721 (in 2014), up from $710 (in 2013). Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. For example,

January 2014

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January 2014

50plus SeniorNews

Chester County 50plus Senior News January 2014  

50plus Senior News — a monthly publication for and about the 50+ community — offers information on entertainment, travel, healthy living, fi...

Chester County 50plus Senior News January 2014  

50plus Senior News — a monthly publication for and about the 50+ community — offers information on entertainment, travel, healthy living, fi...