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Chester County Edition | February 2018 • Vol. 15 No. 2

February is american heart month High Blood Pressure Has Been Redefined

traveltizers: special museums page 14

page 4

soldier stories page 22

Fragments of History

Victor Parachin

Fascinating Facts about the ‘Feel-Good Food’

Chocolate has been making Americans smile for at least 4,000 years now — South Americans, that is. Scientists believe the first cocoa trees grew wild in the Amazon valleys of South America. Archaeologists note that cocoa was cultivated by the ancient Mayans, who took it with them when they migrated to the Yucatan. The Aztecs were also familiar with the cocoa bean, and they too carried it with them as they journeyed through Central America. Spanish explorers reported that the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, drank up to 50 cups of chocolate daily. Today, four millennia later, chocolate has won over the world. Here are some fascinating chocolate facts. Chocolate has been transformed. Today’s chocolate is quite different from what the ancient Mayans and Aztecs consumed. They allowed beans to ferment in the pod, and then roasted them and ground them into a fine powder, which was mixed with water. The drink was cold, somewhat bitter, and called chocolatl. Some of the bitterness could be tempered with the addition of vanilla beans.

Columbus brings chocolate to Europe. Among the treasures Columbus brought back from the New World was a beverage he called cocoa. His mixture was more pleasing to European tastes because of the generous addition of sugar and milk. It became such a sensation in the Spanish court of King Ferdinand that he demanded a vow of silence; no one was permitted to reveal the new, secret drink. The penalty for doing so was death. His demand, combined with the threat of capital punishment, was effective. The Spanish had chocolate to themselves for nearly a full century before word of it leaked out. It was believed to be a medicine. Early Spanish explorers declared chocolate a “divine drink” and believed it heightened resistance to disease and guarded against fatigue. Like the Aztecs, they also used it as a medicine for dysentery. As the popularity of this mystical bean first spread to Europe, it was promoted as a chocolate medicinal drink that could cure various ills. Many Europeans, including Italian adventurer and author Giacomo Casanova, claimed it was an inducement to romance. Called an “inflamer of passions,” chocolate was said to tempt monks to break their vows. Its romantic powers are likely the reason chocolate is connected to Valentine’s Day.

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Chocolate spreads across Europe. The first country beyond Spain to enjoy chocolate was Italy in 1606. An Italian visiting Spain — Antonio Carletti — encountered chocolate and brought samples back to Italy. Soon Italians were in search of their own source of chocolate. France received chocolate as part of the dowry for the marriage of the Spanish princess Maria Theresa to King Louis XIV in 1660. French royals, like their Spanish counterparts, were enthralled with chocolate. In fact, King Louis established a new court position: royal chocolate maker to the king. It was a French citizen who brought chocolate to England when he opened a London shop in 1657, where he sold blocks of chocolate to turn into a drink. Soon cocoa pubs were appearing all over England, developing such a following that ale makers tried to restrict the sale of their new competitor. The Swiss produce a new chocolate texture. Rodolphe Lindt, a Swiss citizen, experimented with producing a smoother, creamier chocolate, one that would melt on the tongue. To do this he invented the “conching” machine. To “conche” meant to heat and roll chocolate in order to further refine it. He conched chocolate for 72 hours, adding more cocoa butter until it became smooth and creamy. It’s called the ‘Food of the Gods.’ In 1753 the

Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus, gave the cocoa plant its scientific name: Theobroma cacao, literally “the food of the gods.” The tree is cacao, the bean is cocoa, and the food is chocolate. This plant bears no relation to coconuts or coca, the source of cocaine. North Americans experience chocolate. The first North American chocolate was manufactured in 1765 in the corner of a Boston factory by John Hannon, an Irish immigrant. America’s most famous chocolatier was a Pennsylvanian named Milton Hershey. In 1894 Hershey presented Americans with the first Hershey bar. He made it out of simple, basic ingredients: sugar, cocoa, chocolate, and milk. The Hershey bar, which sold for a few pennies, was affordable to most Americans and was an astounding success. Chocolate is heavenly and healthy. If you’re concerned that this delicious treat may not be all that good for you, take heart — some research indicates that chocolate may be the olive oil of desserts. Three separate studies indicate that even when chocolate is consumed on a daily basis over a long period of time, it does not raise blood cholesterol levels in healthy individuals, while other forms of saturated fat do. Those studies confirm what most of us already know — namely, that chocolate tastes good and may even be good for us!

Quick Chocolate Stats • Cocoa is the third-largest cash crop, behind coffee and sugar. The United States and Europe consume twothirds of all the chocolate produced. • A single chocolate chip provides sufficient food energy for an adult to walk 150 feet. It would take about 875,000 chocolate chips for an around-the-world hike. • Cocoa only grows within 20 degrees of the equator. In 1996, Hawaii became the first U.S. state to produce cocoa. • Chocolate makes use of 40 percent of the world’s almonds, 20 percent of the peanuts, and 8 percent of the sugar. • W hile sales of most food products in the United States grow at an average rate of 1 percent a year, chocolate sales grow at 3 percent. • A mericans consume more than 2 billion pounds of chocolate in one year or 11 pounds per person per year. On Valentine’s Day alone, Americans will spend half a billion dollars for chocolate.

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50plus LIFE 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.


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February is American Heart Month Cover Story

High Blood Pressure Redefined High blood pressure should be treated earlier with lifestyle changes and in some patients with medication — at 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90 — according to the first new, comprehensive high blood pressure guidelines in more than a decade. The guidelines are being published by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology for detection, prevention, management, and treatment of high blood pressure. Rather than 1 in 3 U.S. adults having high blood pressure (32 percent) with the previous definition, the new guidelines will result in nearly half of the U.S. adult population (46 percent) having high blood pressure, or hypertension. However, there will only be a small increase in the number of U.S. adults who will require antihypertensive medication, authors said. These guidelines, the first update to offer comprehensive guidance to doctors on managing adults with high blood pressure since 2003, are designed to help people address the potentially deadly condition much earlier. The new guidelines stress the importance of using proper technique to measure blood pressure. Blood pressure levels should be based on an average of two to three readings on at least two different occasions, the authors said. High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking. It’s known as the “silent killer” because often there are no symptoms, despite its role in significantly increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke. Paul K. Whelton, M.B., M.D., M.Sc., lead author of the guidelines published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, noted the dangers of blood pressure levels between 130-139/80-89 mm Hg. “You’ve already doubled your risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with a normal level of blood pressure,” he said. “We want to be straight with people — if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it. It doesn’t mean you need medication, but it’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches.” Blood pressure categories in the new guideline are:

• Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg • Elevated: Top number (systolic) between 120129 and bottom number (diastolic) less than 80 • Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89 • Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg • Hypertensive crisis: Top number over 180 and/or bottom number over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage The new guidelines eliminate the category of prehypertension, which was used for blood pressures with a top number (systolic) between 120-139 mm Hg or a bottom number (diastolic) between 80-89 mm Hg. People with those readings now will be categorized as having either elevated (120-129 and less than 80) or stage 1 hypertension (130-139 or 8089). Previous guidelines classified 140/90 mm Hg as stage 1 hypertension. This level is classified as stage 2 hypertension under the new guidelines. The impact of the new guidelines is expected to be greatest among younger people. The prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45 and double among women under 45, according to the report. The guidelines stress the importance of home blood pressure monitoring using validated devices and appropriate training of healthcare providers to reveal “white-coat hypertension,” which occurs when pressure is elevated in a medical setting but not in everyday life. Home readings can also identify “masked hypertension,” when pressure is normal in a medical setting but elevated at home, thus necessitating treatment with lifestyle and possibly medications. “People with white-coat hypertension do not seem to have the same elevation in risk as someone with true sustained high blood pressure,” Whelton said. “Masked hypertension is more sinister and very important to recognize because these people seem to have a similar risk as those with sustained high blood pressure.”

February is American Heart Month Other changes in the new guideline include: • Only prescribing medication for stage 1 hypertension if a patient has already had a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, or is at high risk of heart attack or stroke based on age, the presence of diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, or calculation of atherosclerotic risk (using the same risk calculator used in evaluating high cholesterol) • Recognizing that many people will need two or more types of medications to control their blood pressure and that people may take


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their pills more consistently if multiple medications are combined into a single pill • Identifying socioeconomic status and psychosocial stress as risk factors for high blood pressure that should be considered in a patient’s plan of care The American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and nine other health-professional organizations developed the new guidelines, which were written by a panel of 21 scientists and health experts who reviewed more than 900 published studies.

True Love or an Underlying Medical Condition? In romance novels, a fluttering of the heart usually means true love. In real life, the sudden sensation of your heart racing and pounding in your chest can be frightening enough to send you scrambling to call 911. What’s behind heart palpitations, and how serious are they? The human heart normally beats at a rate of 60–100 times a minute. A heart rate of over 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia, a condition that may be serious. But in most cases, a racing heart is of little concern. Common causes include stress, excessive caffeine, strenuous exercise, fever,

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hormone changes (connected with pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause), diet pills and some cold medications, or drug use. If you feel your heart pounding, try to relax with some deep breathing or relaxation exercises. If such attacks are frequent, keep a record so you can discuss them with your doctor. On the other hand, if your heart palpitations are accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or loss of conscious, seek emergency medical attention right away. Palpitations can be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as hyperthyroidism or arrhythmia.

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February is American Heart Month Dear Pharmacist

5 Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure that Really Work

Suzy Cohen

While waiting for a prescription, a friend of mine decided to check his blood pressure. He was dealing with a bout of walking pneumonia and his blood pressure spiked to 140/100! Has this ever happened to you where you checked your BP at the pharmacy and it was suddenly high? You can blame stress, the modern diet, lack of exercise, or a bad infection like my buddy had. You can blame other lifestyle factors, like smoking, too. Or it could simply be your genes, as high blood pressure, termed hypertension, tends to run in families. If left untreated, hypertension can cause or lead to blindness, stroke, kidney failure, atherosclerosis, and heart failure. Now, the good news. Here are five natural remedies that are proven to really work!

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2. Magnesium Threonate Some forms of vitamins are better for certain conditions. With hypertension, look for the mineral magnesium threonate because this form of magnesium leaves your gut. This type of magnesium can get into the bloodstream and get across your blood brain barrier, is easily absorbed by the cells, and has been proven to lower blood pressure and be stroke preventative as well. Magnesium threonate is also great for helping promote good, healthy sleep and relaxation.

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3. Garlic Garlic cloves and garlic supplements have been proven to lower blood pressure. Garlic is an allium vegetable that is rich in antioxidants, good-for-you phytochemical and polyphenols, and sulfur-containing compounds called allicin (which are wonderful for collagen promotion too!). Garlic is especially effective at lowering systolic blood pressure.

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1. Hibiscus Tea Hibiscus tea is a wonderful remedy for high blood pressure. It’s been used to lower blood pressure in other countries for decades, and it really works. In one study, researchers found that drinking hibiscus tea for just 12 days reduced systolic pressure by an average 11.7 percent and diastolic pressure by 10.7 percent. You can buy commercially prepared teabags, or you can easily make your own fresh hibiscus tea each morning. It’s fabulous for memory. In fact, if you email my customer service team (customerservice@suzycohen. com), I’ll send you the recipe card by email for “Memory Mint Hibiscus Tea.”


4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish and some plant foods, such as nuts, seeds, and cruciferous vegetables. Fish oil is wonderful for lowering high blood pressure because it contains the compounds EPA and DHA, which lower BP and keep your heart

February is American Heart Month healthy overall. Fish oils help reduce triglycerides, and that reduces risk for heart attack and stroke. 5. Berries and Dark Chocolate I saved the best for last. Berries and dark chocolate … mmm! This sounds like a wonder-combo all of you can get on board with, right? Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, goji, and acai are rich in compounds called polyphenols, which lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which dilate blood vessels, reducing pressure. A tasty combo comes to mind: Try chocolate-covered blueberries or darkchocolate-dipped strawberries. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit

Vitamin C, Vitamin E Help Reduce Stroke Risk The good news is that people are living longer, and the chance that you will live past age 65 is excellent (just 100 years ago, only 50 percent of Americans made it past 65). The bad news? Women over 65 face double the stroke risk. But research shows that two supplements are excellent in helping reduce the stroke risk for older people. In the survey, the participants with the highest amount of vitamin C intake — at least 133 milligrams per day — reduced their risk of stroke by 30 percent. Smokers also benefited greatly from the highest vitamin C intake

and cut their stroke risk by 70 percent. And don’t forget your vitamin E, either, for added benefits. The study found that people whose intake was at least 15.5 milligrams per day reduced their risk for stroke by 20 percent.  To get an idea of how to get these nutrients in your diet, here are a few nutritional facts: a quarter cup of red bell peppers renders 71 milligrams of vitamin C, a half cup of strawberries renders 42 milligrams of vitamin C, and about 22 almonds renders 7.4 milligrams of vitamin E. – Adapted from Prevention magazine


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February 2018


It Was 50 Years Ago Today

‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay’ Randal Hill

Sittin’ in the morning sun/I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes Otis Redding was at peace — sort of — when he began his best-known creation on a friend’s houseboat in Sausalito, California. On one lazy, sunny afternoon in 1967, Redding strummed his acoustic guitar and softly sang whatever lyrics drifted into his head. He was going somewhere with a tune; he just didn’t know where. Looks like nothing’s gonna change/ Everything still remains the same Were those lines meant to be ironic? At that point Otis Redding was really all about change. He had wowed the (overwhelmingly white) crowd at the

recent Monterey Pop Festival. Aretha Franklin had taken his “Respect” to No. 1 on Billboard’s pop chart. He had been listening to Bob Dylan and the Beatles. He talked of starting his own record label.

15 and went on the road to sing with the Upsetters, Little Richard’s former backup group. Later on, Redding hooked up — as lead singer — with another Macon outfit, Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers. They had scored a regional hit called “Love Twist,” and Atlantic ••• “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” Records was showing Otis Redding Born in 1941, interest. February 1968 Redding had grown In October 1962 up in Macon, Atlantic invited Georgia, the home of Little Richard Jenkins to do some recording in and James Brown, both early major Memphis. Jenkins didn’t drive, so influences. Redding left school at age Redding chauffeured his friend in a borrowed station wagon. The Memphis house band that day included a future Redding collaborator, guitarist Steve Cropper. The Jenkins session never came together, but in the studio that afternoon Redding cut an original soul ballad called “These Arms of Mine.” It became the first of 21 hit singles he would record in his brief lifetime.

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On Oct. 4, 1967, Redding met with Cropper in a Memphis recording studio to polish Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.”

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“We knew we finally had the song that would cross him over to the pop market,” Cropper would say later. But only Redding and Cropper believed in the future classic. The power people behind Volt Records (Redding’s label) hated what was offered and condemned the song as being too “pop” for Redding’s hardcore fans. Where was that signature Otis Redding soul? And what was with that adlibbed whistling of Redding’s that showed up at the end? Three days after finishing recording “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” Redding died at age 26 when his small private plane slammed into a Wisconsin lake. He and his five-piece band, the Bar-Kays, had been heading to Madison for a club date. One band member survived the crash. Steve Cropper ended up tinkering with Redding’s work by adding sound effects of gently lapping waves. The result was a fine point on what rock historian Dave Marsh once declared was “as whole, as fully realized and mature, as any record ever made.” Music fans obviously agreed; by the end of the century, “Dock” had earned a phenomenal 6 million spins on the radio. Randal C. Hill is a rock ’n’ roll historian who lives at the Oregon coast. He may be reached at

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Burns: Treat at Home or Head to ER? Burns can be painful, but you don’t necessarily have to go to a hospital to treat them. From the NBC News website, use this checklist to determine whether you (and how) you can treat a burn at home. When to treat at home: • You feel pain from the burn. • The skin turns white when you press it, and then turns red again when

you stop. • The burn isn’t on your hands, joints, or face. How to treat at home: • Remove any hot or burning material from the affected area.

•W  ash the area with soap and water. • Apply  an antibiotic ointment to the burn site. •W  rap the burn site with gauze and secure it with adhesive tape. When to go the hospital: •Y  ou feel little or no pain.

• The burn is deep and your skin is peeling. • The burn covers your hand, joints, or face. Check with your doctor when: • The pain increases or gets more frequent. • You see signs of infection on the burn site. • You have any other symptoms.

At Your Fingertips Helpful numbers, hotlines, and local businesses and organizations eager to serve you—all just a phone call away. Disasters American Red Cross Greater Brandywine (610) 692-1200

Coatesville VA Medical Center (610) 383-7711

Chester County Emergency Services (610) 344-5000

National Osteoporosis Foundation (800) 223-9994

Salvation Army Coatesville (610) 384-2954

PACE (800) 225-7223

Salvation Army West Chester (610) 696-8746

Senior Healthlink (610) 431-1852

Emergency Numbers Central Pennsylvania Poison Center (800) 521-6110

Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213

Office of Aging (610) 344-6350/(800) 692-1100 Financial Services Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-3676 Funeral & Cremation Services Cremation Society of Pennsylvania Serving Chester County (800) 720-8221 Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (800) 272-3900 American Cancer Society (800) 227-2345

Domestic Violence (800) 799-7233

JEWELERS American Gold & Estate Buyers, Inc. 363 E. Lincoln Highway, Exton (484) 872-8216 Legal Services Lawyer Referral Service (610) 429-1500 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (610) 436-4510

Southeastern Pennsylvania Medical Institute (610) 446-0662 Hearing Services Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 233-3008 V/TTY home equity loans Glendale Mortgage (610) 853-6500; (888) 456-0988 home improvement Amramp 835 Sussex Blvd., Broomall (800) 649-5215; (610) 585-2308

American Heart Association (610) 940-9540

Housing Assistance Community Impact Legal Services (610) 876-0804

Arthritis Foundation (215) 665-9200

Housing Authority of Chester County (610) 436-9200

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

Housing Authority of Phoenixville (610) 933-8801

medical equipment & supplies Amramp 835 Sussex Blvd., Broomall (800) 649-5215; (610) 585-2308 Nutrition Meals on Wheels Chester County Inc. (610) 430-8500 Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center (800) 366-3997 Office of Aging Chester County Department of Aging Services (610) 344-6350 Orthopedics Premier Orthopaedics Locations in Coatesville and Pottstown (610) 792-9292 personal services Butler-Ette Services (484) 770-8059 Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy

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Physicians Gateway Medical Associates Locations in Coatesville, Downingtown, Lionville, and West Chester (610) 423-8181 retirement living Friends Home in Kennett 147 W. State St., Kennett Square (610) 444-2577 Harrison Senior Living Locations in Christiana and East Fallowfield (610) 384-6310 The Hickman 400 N. Walnut St., West Chester (484) 352-2307 Senior Centers 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 transportation ROVER Community Transportation/ Krapf Transportation (484) 696-3854

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February 2018


Older But Not Wiser

The 6 Books I Want to Be Buried With Sy Rosen

My father was a big believer in reincarnation. I think it was his way of denying death. He asked to be buried with the novel Replay. It was about this man who kept coming back, reliving his life. I actually put the novel in my dad’s coffin, gently laying it on his chest while kissing his forehead. It was a library book, so when my dad does come back, he’ll probably owe a lot of money. OK, maybe I don’t believe in reincarnation (everybody knows cryogenics is the way to go). However, this experience got me thinking about the six books I would like to be buried with. Yes, it’s a little morbid, but we’ve all heard the expression “laughing in the face of death.” How about if we

“read in the face of death”? I gave a lot of thought to the type of books I would choose to read and reread through eternity. I decided that they don’t have to be great literary classics. For example, I didn’t include Moby Dick because I’ve never been able to get through that novel. The only reason I would have it in my coffin would be to impress guests, and I don’t think I’ll be having a lot of visitors. I also didn’t choose books that were real downers. I’ll already be dead; that’s depressing enough. And I didn’t include mysteries because I’ll be

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February 2018

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reading these books over and over again, spoiling any surprise ending. Therefore, as much as I loved The Girl on the Train, it’s not included. Anyway, here are the books on my list. They are mostly uplifting and engrossing and transport me into different lives and experiences. I’m sure you may disagree with some of my choices, but hey, it’s my eternity. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry – This novel by Gabrielle Zevin is a funny, tender, insightful love letter to books and to life. We watch AJ, a depressed and cranky widower, grow emotionally as he finds new love and a new family. The characters are rich and unforgettable and would be wonderful people to spend eternity with. Note to self — make sure I’m buried with a reading lamp, preferably battery operated. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – A wild adventure that portrays familial dysfunction in all its gory details. Author Maria Semple’s characters are real and multidimensional. And most important, this novel makes me laugh out loud. I hope my laughter won’t disturb the other

residents in the cemetery. A Visit from the Goon Squad – This is a joyous, sad, complex book with interconnected stories that shift through time. Written by Jennifer Egan, it’s ostensibly about the music industry but it’s so much more, bursting with ideas and amazing characters. I find something new each time I read it, which is a terrific quality for a book I’ll be reading for eternity. And the novel takes place in several different countries, which will be great to read about since I probably won’t be doing much traveling. The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird – OK, I’m going to lump together two great books by JD Salinger and Harper Lee, respectively. Holden and Atticus would make terrific roommates (or is it casketmates?). Also, because I read both these books in high school, I feel like I’m a teenager again whenever I open these novels. One Plus One – An exhilarating book by Jojo Moyes about underdogs, redemption, and second chances. I was rooting for Jess and Ed to end up together and for Tanzie to get a math scholarship. Since I was never good in math, I could live vicariously through Tanzie (although “live” might be the wrong word to use when you’re in a casket).

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Reverse Mortgage: Strategic Planning for Financial Peace Increasing your portfolio longevity and spending horizons over a lengthy retirement is possible with a reverse mortgage. Oftentimes there are only a couple of ways to access what, for many people, is their largest asset: the equity in their home. One is to sell the house; the other is through a reverse mortgage. More and more seniors are using a reverse mortgage to eliminate their mortgage payment, putting that money back in their budgets. Those who have no mortgage are using a reverse mortgage to access some of the equity in their home to have a more comfortable financial life. A reverse mortgage is a way to prolong and protect your assets. Here are three advantages of a reverse mortgage that are causing financial planners to increasingly recommend a reverse mortgage to their clients: 1. The unused funds in the line of credit grow over time. 2. The funds are tax free with no pre-

payment penalty. 3. Reverse mortgages are insured by the federal government. With a reverse mortgage, the lender Rob Miller, President does not go on the house’s title, so no one owns the home but you. You can will the property to your heirs, who will inherit no debt as the mortgage is insured by FHA. A younger spouse cannot be forced to leave the home after the older spouse passes away. In fact, a reverse mortgage is a way to protect the remaining spouse and provide a guarantee that he/ she will have a place to live without a mortgage payment for the rest of his/ her life. Call Rob Miller, NMLS No. 142151, President of Glendale Mortgage, NMLS No. 127720, and Reverse Mortgage Specialist, to learn more. (610) 853-6500 • (888) 456-0988 • •

Put Your Equity to Work! Get Tax-Free Cash for Any Purpose

P A re you 62 years old or

P D o you own your home

older? P Do you need more monthly income, and want to retain ownership of your home?

and live there? PW  ould you like to remain in your home and eliminate your mortgage payment?

Call today to receive a FREE consultation! Contact Rob Miller at Glendale Mortgage to learn about the benefits of obtaining a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. ROB MILLER, NMLS #142151

President, HECM Mortgage Specialist

Direct: 610.853.6500 Toll Free: 888.456.0988

Your Financial Partner Glendale Mortgage NMLS 127720 is an Equal Housing Lender. Some products and services may not be available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. If you qualify we will reimburse you for the cost of the appraisal at closing. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking, State of Delaware Bank Commissioner, and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

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February 2018


Reach Active, Affluent Boomers & Seniors!

The Beauty in Nature

Wintering Feathered Commuters Clyde McMillan-Gamber

Reserve your space now for the 15th annual

Sponsor and exhibitor applications are now being accepted!

June 6, 2018 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Church Farm School 1001 East Lincoln Highway, Exton

Exhibitors • Health Screenings Demonstrations • Door Prizes

Why Participate?

It’s the premier event for baby boomers, caregivers, and seniors in Chester County • Face-to-face interaction with 1,500+ attendees • Strengthen brand recognition/launch new products

For sponsorship and exhibitor information:

(610) 675-6240 12

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Several kinds of adaptable, whistling of duck wings as those birds wintering birds — including horned pass overhead. larks, Canada geese, mallard ducks, Sometimes those geese and ducks rock pigeons, mourning doves, land in croplands seething with pinkAmerican crows, red-tailed hawks, tinted, drifting snow. The geese mostly American kestrels, and screech owls — consume green blades of rye while the feed in fields harvested to the ground ducks shovel up corn. in southeastern Rock pigeons Pennsylvania, and mourning but they rest and doves eat weed digest their food and grass seeds elsewhere. and corn kernels Fields are in farmland. banquet tables Interestingly, flocks but not bedrooms of pigeons resemble between feeding gray-and-white forays for those confetti tossed common birds, across the fields except one species: when they land to horned larks. consume seeds and Sparrow-sized grain. horned larks eat Pigeons roost Mallard duck weed and grass on top of silos and seeds and bits in barns between of corn kernels feeding forays, but lying in harvested doves generally fields. These little perch on roadside brown birds, with wires and in attractive blacksheltering spruce and-yellow face trees on lawns. patterns, are the Gangs of only ones that wintering American winter exclusively crows ingest bits in those barren of corn and other fields. edible tidbits in They blend into cropland but roost bare ground, or overnight in stands nearly so, making of coniferous trees, Mourning dove them impossible deciduous trees in to see until they cities, or in larger fly. trees near shopping malls. Canada geese and mallard ducks Red-tailed hawks hunt mice, rest on slow waterways and humansquirrels, and other critters in made impoundments but do much farmland but spend nights in spruce of their feeding in rye fields and trees in suburban areas. harvested cornfields. Both species are American kestrels and screech owls exciting to watch leaving their watery hunt mice in cropland — kestrels by roosts at sunset to fly to feeding fields. day and owls at night. But both these Flock after flock of them, for a few species roost in tree cavities, many of minutes, sweep swiftly up from the them in suburban lawns. water and power silhouetted across Fields are dining tables for these the brilliant sunset. One can hear birds. But each species rests and the excited honking of the geese and digests elsewhere.

On Life and Love after 50

Tom Blake

5 Lessons I’ve Learned in 3 Years of Retirement

When I was pondering retirement from the deli I had founded and worked in for 25 years, the main thing I looked forward to was having “free time.” With it, I could do nothing — if I wanted — which sounded great after all those years of serving sandwiches. Three years ago, I sold the deli. I’m glad I worked until age 75. Working until then helped me build a small financial nest egg and kept my body moving and my mind active. However, I realized quickly that I didn’t want a lot of “free time.” It wasn’t good for me. I’m not built to sit around; I found I must have projects to work on. Every morning, I make a to-do list for the day. If I haven’t crossed each item off by day’s end, so be it. But, the list keeps me focused. Soon, that “free time” became “busy time.” And from three years of busy time came five lessons learned in retirement. 1. The most important retirement lesson learned is the need to have social interaction with people. To be too isolated is not good for one’s health. A good way to interact with people is by joining groups. lists thousands of groups and activities and should provide plenty of ideas for people not sure what to do to meet others. Another important note about social interaction after retirement: Mix interactions with younger people into your life — kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, or friends younger than yourself — to keep you thinking young. 2. The second retirement lesson I’ve learned is the importance of keeping my body moving. It’s a daily priority for me. My goal is 10,000 steps a day as measured by my wrist Fitbit device. I don’t always reach that goal, but I’m

there four to five days a week. And I admit that there are nights, when I haven’t quite reached the 10,000 goal, where I walk around the kitchen and living room enough times to get the goal. It’s a little weird, but it keeps me moving. Weather permitting, I do stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) four to five times a week with a buddy. We meet all kinds of friendly men and women who are walking or paddling. So, there is social interaction in addition to the exercise. 3. The third retirement lesson I’ve learned is the need to have a purpose in life — something with meaning. It doesn’t have to be a huge project. Volunteering and helping others is a great way to fulfill this human need. Some people use the words “giving back.” There are lots of people around who are way less fortunate than I am. They can use a little help. How I help them doesn’t matter — giving of my time, or what little money I can afford — makes me feel good. For people still working, I think it’s important to start planning for retirement before the big day arrives. Find an interest, a purpose, or a passion so that you’ll be up to speed when the time comes. 4. The fourth retirement lesson I’ve learned is the importance of keeping one’s mind and brain stimulated. For some, it’s the love of reading that fulfills this need. For me, it’s my writing. I’ve been

a newspaper columnist for 23 years. I love it; every week I generate a column and/or a newsletter article. I am grateful for the opportunity. 5. The fifth retirement lesson I’ve learned is to be willing to step out of one’s comfort zone. If you’re single, and you’ve made a list of the qualities you seek in a mate, don’t be shackled by the list. For example, let’s say one of the qualities is to meet a widower

of the same faith. But you meet a divorced man instead. And he’s not of the same faith or the same nationality. But you like him because he’s a gentleman. Step out of your comfort zone and take a chance on him. Let yourself be enlightened. You’d be surprised at the number of seniors unwilling to do that. Don’t be an old fuddy-duddy. Those are the five biggest takeaways I’ve learned in three years of retirement. In 2018, I’ll probably learn a few more retirement lessons. But, if I can master these five, I will be ahead of the game. For dating information, previous articles, or to sign up for Tom’s complimentary, weekly e-newsletter, go to www.

Premier Orthopaedics is delighted to welcome Dr. Scott Ritterman to our medical staff

Glenn E. Lipton, M.D.

James T. Guille, M.D.

Scott Ritterman, M.D.

Nikos K. Pavlides, M.D.

Linda P. D’Andrea, M.D.

Dr. Ritterman specializes in joint replacement surgery and is trained in all aspects of fracture care, including OPERATIVE and NON-OPERATIVE TREATMENT as well as sports medicine. At Premier Orthopaedics we take great pride in delivering the highest quality of care in the community across a full range of services, including: • Joint replacement • Sports medicine • Spine surgery • Hand surgery • Foot surgery • Medicare approved in-office injections for joint pain/osteoarthritis • Bracing and assistive devices • Pediatric, adult, and geriatric sub-specialties within the group

Dr. Ritterman will be seeing patients out of our Brandywine Hospital location

* APPOINTMENTS WITHIN 24 HOURS * To schedule an appointment, please call

(610) 792-9292

or visit us on the web at Brandywine Institute of Orthopaedics 1561 Medical Drive Pottstown, PA 19464 (610) 792-9292

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Premier Physical Therapy in Pottstown 1561 Medical Drive Pottstown, PA 19464 (484) 941-6734

Brandywine Hospital 201 Reeceville Road Suite 24 Coatesville, PA 19320 (610) 792-9292

February 2018



By Andrea Gross

In Their Shoes: Special Museums with a Personal Touch

It’s one thing to envision yourself as a fictional person who represents a group of anonymous folks, like a soldier or farmer. It’s another to imagine the thoughts of a real man or woman whose story has been well documented. But here, in three extraordinary museums, each visitor actually takes on the identity of a particular individual whose future is still unknown. Upon entering the museum, the participant is randomly assigned to follow a specific person who took part in a historic event. Through a combination of digital technology, three-dimensional displays, and a host of diaries, documents, and artifacts, he is able to see his alter ego’s actions and become privy to his thoughts. in Petersburg, Virginia. As I don my headphones and listen to Delavan describe his experiences, I suddenly hear a gasp from another visitor. Her “comrade” was describing a battle when a loud shot interrupted his words. “He was killed,” she says quietly. Dioramas depict typical Civil War military camps at the National Museum of the Civil War.

Costumed interpreters fire canons at the National Museum of the Civil War.

According to the old proverb, you can’t truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. These are walks you’ll long remember.

the Union Army of the Potomac, circa 1862. As I stop in front of a diorama depicting a typical military camp, Delavan confides that he had considered “falling out of line.” Across the room, my husband is listening to 21-year-old Eli Pinson Landers, who fought for the South. Delavan and Eli were real people, and my husband and I are using personal digital players to listen to their actual words, as recorded in letters and journals and spoken by actors. The two boy-men fought for different causes, yet their thoughts were remarkably similar. And this — the similarities of those on both sides of the war — is the overriding lesson of the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier at Pamplin Historical Park (www.

A Civil War Soldier I’m communing with 13-year-old Delavan Miller, a drummer boy in

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February 2018

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A Titanic Passenger The stars are out tonight. The weather is chilly; I pull my wrap around me more tightly … Oh my! What’s that? The ship shudders. I reach for a chair to keep my balance. My name, according to the “boarding pass” I received when I entered the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri, is Eleanor Widener, and my cabin number aboard the ill-fated ship is C-80-82. The Titanic left Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, and was due to arrive in New York seven days later. Five days into the journey and about 1,300 miles northeast of its destination, it struck an iceberg. Most of the passengers drowned. Unlike other museums that match visitors with a real person and depict history through the diaries and photographs of that person, Branson’s Titanic Museum (www. recreates the past in its three-dimensional glory through a half-size replica of the actual ship as

Where friends become family. At Friends Home, residents have the comfort of knowing that they can receive personal care without having to move. Our dedicated staff brings the care to them. Focusing on quality of life, combined with a comfortable setting, makes Friends Home unique. Independent • Personal Care • Skilled Call (610) 444-2577 for more information or to schedule a personal tour. Friends Home in Kennett | 147 West State Street | Kennett Square, PA 19348 Phone: (610) 444-2577 | Fax: (610) 444-2856 |

“There’s no place like home.” We agree. –L. Frank Baum

The Grand Staircase has become symbolic of the opulence that defined the Titanic. It was 60 feet high and 16 feet wide.

A replica of a 1940s Pullman train, like that used by soldiers leaving for war, takes visitors to the first stop on their interactive journey through World War II.

Visitors stop at the “Wall of Stories” to see if the Titanic passenger whom they represent lived or died.

The National World War II Museum has thousands of artifacts, from small helmets to huge jeeps.

well as more than 4,000 artifacts. Thus, in my role as the real Eleanor, I spend what may be my few remaining hours in this world climbing the grand staircase, shivering in the cold night air, and finally sitting in a lifeboat and praying that I’ll make it to safety. Finally the real me goes to the ship’s Memorial Hall to find out what happened to my counterpart. Eleanor survived. Her husband and son did not. In their honor, she donated more than $3.5 million to establish a Harry Elkins Widener Library at Harvard University, at the same time insisting that all Harvard students pass a swimming test before graduation. After all, Harry might have saved himself had he been able to swim. A World War II Aviator I’m so busy munching a beignet that I almost miss my train. I sink into my seat on the recreated Pullman car and stare at my digital dog tag. It contains the individual story of “my” veteran, the person I will follow as I go on a multimedia journey through World War II.

Suddenly the train stops, and I’m in the Campaigns of Courage Pavilion, a 32,000-square-foot exhibition hall at New Orleans’ National World War II Museum ( It contains two permanent exhibits: “The Road to Berlin,” where people become immersed in the sights and sounds of war-torn Europe, and “The Road to Tokyo,” which leads visitors on a digital and experiential journey through the jungles of Southeast Asia and onto the beaches of the Pacific. I begin in Europe, where, at various stops, I use my dog tag to unlock the story of John Morgan. He was quite a man — a Medal of Honor winner, a POW, and a member of the unit that inspired the awardwinning film Twelve O’Clock High. I feel honored to have known Lt. Col. Morgan, if only for a few hours. I also feel incredibly lucky. I’ve accompanied three people on my museum visits, and they all survived. My husband wasn’t as fortunate. His alter egos left him thrice dead. For more information on these museums and the surrounding areas, go to www. Photos © Irv Green unless otherwise noted; story by Andrea Gross (

That’s why Harrison Senior Living strives to provide warmth, comfort, and exceptional care from people you can trust, making our communities the next best thing. Harrison House—Chester County 300 Strode Avenue East Fallowfield, PA 19320 610.384.6310 Harrison House—Christiana 41 Newport Avenue Christiana, PA 17509 610.593.6901

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February 2018


CCRCs/ Life Plan Communities Designed with their residents’ changing needs in mind, CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities)/Life Plan Communities offer a tiered approach to the aging process. Healthy adults entering these communities can live independently. When assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, they can transition to personal care, assisted living, rehabilitation, or nursing care facilities. Some CCRCs/Life Plan Communities have designated dementia areas that address the progressing needs of people who have any form of dementia. In addition, some communities have sought out and earned accreditation from CARF International, signifying they have met CARF’s stringent set of quality standards. CCRCs/Life Plan Communities enable older adults to remain in one care system for the duration of their lives, with much of their future care already figured out—creating both comfort and peace of mind.

Bethany Village

325 Wesley Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Stephanie Lightfoot Director of Sales & Marketing (717) 766-0279

Cornwall Manor

1 Boyd Street, P.O. Box 125 Cornwall, PA 17016 Jennifer Margut Director of Marketing (717) 274-8092

Homeland Center

Homestead Village

Pleasant View Retirement Community

Woodcrest Villa Mennonite Home Communities

1901 North Fifth Street Harrisburg, PA 17102-1598 Barry S. Ramper II, N.H.A. President/CEO (717) 221-7902

Enhanced Senior Living 1800 Marietta Avenue P.O. Box 3227 Lancaster, PA 17604-3227 Christina Gallagher Director of Marketing (717) 397-4831, ext. 158

544 North Penryn Road Manheim, PA 17545 Amanda Hall Sales & Marketing Manager (717) 664-6207

2001 Harrisburg Pike Lancaster, PA 17601 Connie Buckwalter Director of Marketing (717) 390-4126

Cross Keys Village The Brethren Home Community 2990 Carlisle Pike New Oxford, PA 17350 Amy Beste Senior Retirement Counselor (717) 624-5350

Landis Homes

1001 East Oregon Road Lititz, PA 17543 Sarah Short Director of Residency Planning (717) 381-3549

If you would like your CCRC/Life Plan Community to be featured on this page, please contact your account representative or call (717) 285-1350.

The CCRCs listed are sponsoring this message. This is not an all-inclusive list.

Can Beet Juice Keep Your Brain Young? Beet juice may keep your brain young and fit, according to an article on the Runner’s World website. The article cites a study reported in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences that found that a shot of beet juice an hour before exercise can have positive benefits to brains as they get older. In the study, 26 sedentary men with an average age of 65 participated in six weeks of exercise. Some took daily shots of beet juice; others received a placebo. The participants walked on a treadmill three times a week for six weeks,


February 2018

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building up to 50 minutes per session at increased effort. Comparing MRIs from before and after the trial, researchers found that the group that drank beet juice had significantly higher levels of “community consistency” within their brains. The nitrate in beet juice, which converts to nitrite and then nitric oxide in the blood, has a strong positive effect on responsiveness in blood vessels, which, in turn, can increase the amount of oxygen reaching the brain and boost aspects of cognitive function.

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Please give us your opinion so that we can give you a better publication. Thank you! The gift card winner will be announced in our July issue. Replies will be held in strict confidence. 1. What are your favorite columns in 50 LIFE? ________________________________________________________________

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28. How many times a month do you attend cultural events, plays, concerts, movies, etc.?  1-4  5-8  9-11 12 or more times 29. How many times a year do you travel?  1-4 times  5-8 times  9-11 times  12 or more times 30. Have you visited a casino in the past year?  Yes  No If yes, how many times?  1-2  3-4  5-9 10 or more 31. What professional services have you employed in the past year?  Elder Law Attorney  Insurance Broker  Travel Agent  CPA  Financial Planner  Real Estate Agent  Other ______________ 32. What professional services do you foresee using? Home Health Services Retirement Living Community: 50+ Community Personal Care CCRC  Assisted Living  Nursing  Dementia Insurance Broker  Travel Agency  Real Estate Agent  Home Improvement 33. Check which purchases you plan to make in the next 12 months: New Car Make? ___________________ Used Car  Motor Home or RV  Computer/Tablet/e-Reader  Furniture  Television  Major Appliance  Eyeglasses Heater/Air Conditioner  Hearing Aid  Airline Tickets/Travel Health/Long-Term Care Insurance  Other__________________________ 34. How would you rate your overall health? Excellent  Good  Fair  Poor 35. How much do you spend on prescription drugs annually?  $100 or less  $101-$300  $301-$500  $501-$999  more than $1,000 36. Have you taken out a policy for long-term care insurance?  Yes  No 37. Do you have home care assistance?  Yes  No 38. Have you or has someone you know taken out a reverse mortgage?  Yes  No

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February 2018


Calendar of Events

Chester County

Support Groups Free and open to the public

Senior Center Activities

Feb. 6, 1:30 p.m. Grief Support Group Phoenixville Senior Center 153 Church St., Phoenixville (610) 327-7216

Coatesville Area Senior Center (610) 383-6900 250 Harmony St., Coatesville Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:30-11:15 a.m. – Going Fit Exercise Program Feb. 1 and 15, 11 a.m. to noon – Veterans Coffee Club Feb. 14 and 28, 1-2 p.m. – Bingo

Feb. 13 and 27, 6:30-8 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Jennersville Hospital Conference Room B 1015 W. Baltimore Pike, West Grove (610) 998-1700, ext. 226

Feb. 6 and 20, 5-6:30 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Main Line Unitarian Church 816 S. Valley Forge Road, Devon (610) 585-6604 Nondenominational; all are welcome.

Feb. 14, 1:30 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sarah Care 425 Technology Drive, Suite 200, Malvern (610) 251-0801 Feb. 14, 7-8:30 p.m. Hearing Loss Support Group Christ Community Church 1190 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester (610) 444-445

Feb. 6 and 20, 6:30-8 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Brandywine Hospital Conference Room 2N 201 Reeceville Road, Coatesville (610) 998-1700, ext. 226 Feb. 7, 6 p.m. Memory Loss and Dementia Support Group Sunrise Assisted Living of Paoli 324 W. Lancaster Ave., Malvern (610) 251-9994 Feb. 12 and 26, 10:30 a.m. to noon Caregiver Support Group Adult Care of Chester County 201 Sharp Lane, Exton (610) 363-8044

Feb. 20, 6 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sunrise of Westtown 501 Skiles Blvd., West Chester (610) 399-4464 Feb. 28, 6 p.m. Living with Cancer Support Group Paoli Hospital Cancer Center 255 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli (484) 565-1253

Community Programs Free and open to the public Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. Compassionate Friends Valley Forge Chapter Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 132 E. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia (484) 919-0820 Feb. 3 and 17, 5-10 p.m. Bingo Night Marine Corps League Detachment 430 Chestnut St., Downingtown (610) 429-8174

Feb. 6, 11:30 a.m. West Chester University Retirees Luncheon For restaurant location, please email darsie@ Feb. 20, noon AARP Valley Forge Chapter Meeting St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church 203 N. Valley Forge Road, Devon (610) 647-1823

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


February 2018

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Downingtown Senior Center – (610) 269-3939 983 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown Mondays and Fridays, 12:30-3 p.m. – Bridge Club Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – Chorus Thursdays, 9-10 a.m. – Meditation Class Great Valley Senior Center – (610) 889-2121 47 Church Road, Malvern Feb. 12, 5 p.m. – Senior Supper Feb. 15, 1 p.m. – Meet and Eat: Celebrate Chinese New Year Feb. 21, 11 a.m. – Meal and a Message: Aquatics Programs Kennett Area Senior Center – (610) 444-4819 427 S. Walnut St., Kennett Square Oxford Senior Center – (610) 932-5244 12 E. Locust St., Oxford – Wednesdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m. – Paint Class Phoenixville Area Senior Center – (610) 935-1515 153 Church St., Phoenixville West Chester Area Senior Center – (610) 431-4242 530 E. Union St., West Chester Thursdays, 1 p.m. – WCASC Chorus Just a snippet of what you may be missing … please call or visit their website for more information.

Library Programs Downingtown Library, 330 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (610) 269-2741 Tuesdays, 1:30-3 p.m. – Tangled Yarns Knitting Group Feb. 17, 1 p.m. – Try Something New Series: Yoga Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. – Trivia Night Paoli Library, 18 Darby Road, Paoli, (610) 296-7996 Mystery Book Club – Call for dates/times

Puzzle Page


Solutions for all puzzles can be found on page 21


Across 1. Flying mammal 4. Biz supervision (abbr.) 7. Senegal capital 12. ____ mater 13. Center 14. Thrill 15. Impartial 16. Toward shelter 17. Quoted 18. Dutch capital 20. Levels 21. Thing, in law 22. Catch one’s breath 23. Gaming cube 24. Owns

25. Legal document 27. Time zone 30. Anticipate 33. Buckeye State 34. Card game 35. Solid; unwavering 38. Large and scholarly book 39. Morsels 40. Aeries 41. Fruit drink 42. Mirth 43. Mature 44. Noah’s creation 45. Replete

47. Used to be 50. Netherlands Antilles island 53. Coolest 55. Common grape vine 56. Byron poem 57. Contest 58. Oil source 59. Greek god of war 60. Swear 61. Discourage 62. Time periods (abbr.) 63. Fish catcher

19. Muse of poetry 23. Designer name 24. Boost 26. BBQ choice 27. After place and door 28. Mild oath 29. High rocky hills 30. Ionian gulf 31. Golf club 32. Pinnacle 33. Demon 34. Escape 36. People in general

37. Wing bearer 42. Kitchen utensil 43. Gazetteer 44. Higher up 46. Eng. river 47. Interlace 48. Cravat 49. Goulash 50. Footless 51. Upset 52. Building block 53. Talon 54. Neighbor of Pakistan

Down 1. Find fault 2. Haywire 3. Sharp 4. Forms 5. Man-eater 6. Swarm 7. Duplicity 8. Existing 9. Actress Capshaw 10. Solar disk 11. Scarlet and cerise 12. Distant 13. Anxious feelings

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50plus LIFE u

February 2018


Happy Fat Tuesday This year the revelry of the carnival season will culminate on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in celebrations around the world before the start of Lent. In the United States, the city of New Orleans is the capital for all things Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday.” Although the city has roots deeply centered in French heritage, it was not the first American

city to host this event. French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville is rumored to have held the first Mardi Gras in a location about 60 miles downriver. Years later, settlers, along with French soldiers, would continue the practice by donning masks and enjoying festivities in the newly established town of Mobile, Alabama.


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February 2018

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5 Things Everyone Should Do to Stay Safe Online, Particularly Older Adults By Davis Park As we increasingly depend on an interconnected world, we also have a responsibility to practice safe internet behaviors every day of the year. Unfortunately, as the number of adults 65 and older using connected devices continues to rise, so does the population of individuals most at risk for cyber crime. Sixty percent of Americans aged 65 and above have reported using the internet. Yet for every incident of violent crime, three incidents of internet crime are committed against seniors. Older adults are estimated to lose $2.9 billion annually to financial abuse. Although internet “hygiene” may seem overwhelming to people unfamiliar with new technologies, including the older adult population, anyone can feel confident and empowered by following a few easy steps. This is exactly why the not-for-profit Front Porch Center of Innovation and Wellbeing offers five tips for internet safety for older adults, families, and caregivers everywhere. 1. Choose a Password. Passwords are important “keys” to give us access to specific resources on the internet (such as email or bank accounts) and inform the websites we’re doing business with who we are. While it can be a challenge keeping track of passwords, it’s important we avoid reusing them and protect this information. Instead of changing your password: • Use a strong password rather than changing passwords regularly.

to help us stay connected while we’re traveling and wherever we go — but be wary. Hackers also love free or less secure Wi-Fi networks because they can use tools to intercept your internet communications. Not all free Wi-Fi connections are created equal. Confirm that the business Wi-Fi connection you want to join belongs to the business you know and trust. If you aren’t sure, ask.

• Using different passwords on each of your online accounts prevents hackers from accessing additional accounts. • Add another layer of protection, if available, such as fingerprints or security questions. Don’t panic. These guidelines can go a long way to keep you safe. Most websites, applications, and software limit the number of password guesses, which prevents someone from “nonstop guessing” your password. 2. Keep that Antivirus Software Up to Date! Your antivirus company is doing its part to be a step ahead of hackers. To get the best use of the software, stay current on your updates! Antivirus software can: • Help prevent people from hacking your computer, laptop, smartphone, and even, in some cases, your smart home device (like Amazon Alexa or Google Home) • A lert you to websites and downloads that could be an entry point for suspicious software • Reduce the likelihood that malicious software is installed on your computer

• Strategically place special characters or symbols to avoid patterns rather than grouping them at the end.

3. Use Only Trusted Wi-Fi Resources. Who doesn’t like free Wi-Fi? Many mobile devices come with wireless internet capabilities

Puzzles shown on page 19

Puzzle Solutions

• Create passwords of 12–15 characters; focus on length over complexity.

• Avoid conducting personal business on community devices, such as public computers. Software may have been installed to track what you type and where you go on the internet to steal your information. • W hen in doubt, try to use your personal WiFi, hotspot, or the network connection on your smartphone. 4. Google it! Yahoo it! Bing it! Regardless of what search engine you favor, use it to research an unfamiliar website before giving up your information. Oftentimes, hackers create a link that may appear, at first glance, to be a legitimate website to trick you into giving up your personal data. 5. Safeguard your personal information. Personal information, such as date of birth, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and passwords, are like gold to nefarious hackers, so treat and protect them as such. Be wary of unsolicited phone calls and emails. Did you know that most banks are not allowed to ask you for passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs)? Asking for password/PIN information is a breach of “terms of service.” • A sk which websites will have the personal information you have provided. • A sk who else can access your information. • Be careful where you put your current or past information. Dispose of everything as safely as possible (whether online or on paper). The internet is a lively, expansive world of information, resources, and experiences. As many more older adults increasingly go online to take advantage of these conveniences and powerful tools, it’s important to use responsible and safe internet practices! Davis Park is the director of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing in Glendale, Calif. FPCIW has an ongoing mission of using technology to enhance well-being among older adults. For more information and resources, visit

50plus LIFE u

February 2018


Soldier Stories

Robert Naeye

Near Chu Lai, Army Nurse Treated Civilians, Soldiers — and Vietcong

In the December 2017 issue of 50plus LIFE I told the story of Ann Thompson, who served as an Army nurse during the early period of direct American involvement in the Vietnam War. Now I turn to her friend and fellow nurse, Linda Goodhart, who served in Vietnam four years after Thompson, from October 1969 to October 1970. Although she now resides in Central Pennsylvania, Goodhart was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and graduated from nearby West Chester High School. She went directly into a three-year nursing program at Philadelphia General Hospital, where she received her diploma. The Army helped pay for her training in return for two years of service and four years of active reserve — although she was never specifically

Goodhart at the 91st Evacuation Bunker near Chu Lai Air Base, 1970.

told about the additional four years. “The Army was my way of saving

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February 2018

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Linda Goodhart today, right, with Ann Thompson, a fellow Vietnam nurse, in Goodhart’s backyard.

money for college,” says Goodhart. Like Thompson, Goodhart attended officer’s training school at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. She learned basic navigation skills and how to shoot 45-calibre pistols. She also performed tracheotomies on goats to learn basic combat surgery. But she agrees with Thompson that her Army training was woefully inadequate for the grim realities of wartime medicine. “I wasn’t expecting to go to Vietnam, so I didn’t think about it,” she recalls. But her Philly hospital would often treat very sick patients or victims of gunshot wounds or domestic abuse. “You really got to see terrible things, so I felt, ‘I can do this, no problem,’” Goodhart says. “I thought it couldn’t get much worse than this — then I found out it could.” Goodhart took a flight across the Pacific to Saigon. When she arrived, the heat and humidity hit her hard. Making matters worse, nobody at the airport had her name, so she had no idea where to go. But she eventually figured things out by asking questions. A few days later she was flown by helicopter to the 91st Evacuation

Hospital in the area of Chu Lai Air Base, about 100 miles south of the demilitarized zone. The pilot flew over the South China Sea to avoid enemy fire. She spent her first three months in the South Vietnamese ward, treating primarily civilians and children. She was overwhelmed by the sight of so many patients. “It was difficult at times dealing with that population because you couldn’t speak their language, but eventually we could figure out what they wanted,” says Goodhart. Goodhart recalls one tragic incident where she and her colleagues were treating a comatose boy about 2 or 3 years old. His brain was swollen from malaria. As was common in Vietnam hospitals, family members came to stay with the patients. The boy’s mother spoke very good English, so a nurse took her to the intensive care unit to translate for an enemy patient. Shortly thereafter, the boy went into cardiac arrest. The doctors and nurses tried everything they could to save him, but he didn’t make it. “When the mother came back, I had to tell her that her son had died and that we did everything we could,” recalls Goodhart. The mother spent the night holding her baby. The next day the mother thanked Goodhart for trying to save her child, and Goodhart broke out in tears. But that was the last time she cried in Vietnam. Goodhart’s evacuation hospital was relatively small, with about 70 beds and 20-25 nurses. But her Army base also had a surgical hospital. Goodhart’s hospital was located on a gorgeous beach, but with 12-hour shifts six days a week, she had little time to appreciate it. Conditions were often primitive. The hospital’s only air conditioning was in the ICU. All personnel were given daily doses of antibiotics to fend off infections. And they had to

contend with pouring rain without adequate clothing and footwear. Goodhart asked her parents to send her a heating blanket, which she used to prevent items on her bed from collecting mildew. Officers had to pay for their meals. The Army food wasn’t great, but it was edible. To spice things up, Goodhart wrote home and asked her parents to send bottles of A.1. “Pretty soon people started sitting with me so they could use my steak sauce,” she says. Her parents also sent her copies of The Philadelphia Inquirer, which would generally arrive about a week late. “I would read these stories and think, ‘This isn’t what’s going on here.’ The secret war in Cambodia was secret to the news people and to the people in the United States, but it wasn’t so secret to us because we’d get those folks [at the hospital].” The hospital had a triage system that prioritized military personnel over civilians. Abdominal wounds usually came first, and brain injuries often came last. Patients with less severe injuries were kept either in “the rear” or at another hospital. “Our philosophy was that if they live 12 hours, they’ll live for the rest of the time. But if they get too well too quickly, they get to go back to the fight. That’s what Army medical is for — to preserve the fighting strength.” Goodhart frequently cared for enemy prisoners. There was always a military police officer present — two if prisoners were numerous — so Goodhart felt safe. North Vietnamese POWs sometimes showed genuine appreciation for the care they received. Goodhart befriended two North Vietnamese captives who were later shot in cold blood by South Vietnamese soldiers while being driven to a POW camp. In stark contrast, Goodhart describes Vietcong prisoners as “very scary people” who would sometimes threaten to slit the throats of the doctors and nurses. These guerillas

were often from the local area, so from their perspective, they were defending their homeland against foreign invaders. The movie M*A*S*H came out in 1970, when Goodhart was on leave in Hong Kong. She says many of the characters were similar to doctors and nurses in Vietnam. The movie was set in the Korean War, but it was really about Vietnam. One thing the movie (and television series) depicted accurately was what happened when wounded soldiers were coming in fast and furious. The doctors would have to practice “meatball surgery,” meaning they’d have to sew up patients and move them on. “One of the biggest problems is that when we had new doctors coming in, they wanted to practice their specialties; they wanted to practice stateside medicine,” says Goodhart. “We would say, ‘No, you can’t do that.’” Goodhart came home in October 1970 and attended college in Connecticut. She later went on to earn two master’s degrees in healthcare from Yale University. She moved back to Pennsylvania in 1980 to work in a nursing administration job at the Lebanon VA Medical Center. After meeting at a Vietnam nurses group more than 25 years ago, in 1997 Goodhart and Thompson traveled with other nurses to Vietnam. The trip was pleasant and cathartic, and most of the locals were very friendly. She even got to reacquaint herself with one of her Vietnamese patients. Besides their friendship born of common hardship and experiences, Goodhart and Thompson got together with three other Vietnam War nurses to coauthor the book Another Kind of War Story, which is available through Amazon. Robert Naeye is a freelance journalist living in Derry Township. He is the former editor-in-chief of Sky & Telescope magazine.

Did you know?

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February 2018


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50plus LIFE Chester County February 2018  

50plus LIFE — formerly 50plus Senior News — is a monthly publication for and about Central Pennsylvania’s baby boomers and seniors, offering...

50plus LIFE Chester County February 2018  

50plus LIFE — formerly 50plus Senior News — is a monthly publication for and about Central Pennsylvania’s baby boomers and seniors, offering...