Lebanon County Edition
Vol. 9 No. 2
Expanding Minds, Broadening Horizons Discussion Group Coordinator Sees World through Great Writers, Travel By Chelsea Peifer The moment you finish a great book is the moment you want to tell someone about what you read. Certain books stir questions and create a desire for discussion. But after high school and college, many people lose the groups and resources they previously had at their disposal to share about what they are reading. Book clubs can be a good fit for some readers, but a club tailored to deep discussion is something of a treasure these days. For the last five years, Dan Tepsic has had the privilege of coordinating the Great Books Discussion Group at his local library. “It’s an opportunity to read all of the great thinkers in the past,” explained Tepsic. “You get to read a vast selection, including economics, classic literature, poetry, politics, and religion. “You realize after reading all of these things that while the context has changed, human nature has not,” he said. The themes in historical literature are the same themes found in stories told and written in the present time. Group discussions commonly return to timeless themes of reality versus imagination, lust for greed, and so forth. please see HORIZONS page 13 Dan Tepsic seated in the meeting place of the Great Books Discussion Group.
Salute to a Veteran: Gene George page 4
How to Guard Against Wintertime Heart Attacks page 6
Fragments of History
The Man Who Taught the World to Sing and Swing Victor Parachin n New Year’s Eve 1913, a 12year-old boy celebrated the night by firing his mother’s .38 caliber pistol. He was arrested and sent to the Negro Waifs Home for 18 months. What could have been a devastating experiencing for a young boy proved to be an auspicious, life-changing time. The juvenile home had a band master who took an interest in the boy, giving him a bugle and teaching him to play. Louis Armstrong fell in love with the instrument, learned to read music, and, before a year ended, was playing the cornet while leading the home’s brass band. Though the introduction to music was important, perhaps as vital was the sense of discipline he picked up and carried with him for the rest of his life. When Armstrong was released from the Negro Waifs Home in 1915, he
wasn’t old enough to work with a band, By age 16, Armstrong and his horn so he earned money from a variety of were inseparable, and he was playing sources: delivering coal and beer, selling nightly. Within five years, he glided bananas, through the peddling tiers of musical February is newspapers, establishments, delivering moving milk, and through foraging in nightclubs and garbage cans riverboats to for food to become one of bring home the top brass or sell to musicians in restaurants. the area. Saving as Then, in many pennies 1922, his as he could, teacher and Armstrong mentor, Oliver, began to take invited trumpet Armstrong to lessons from Joe “King” Oliver, the join his Creole Jazz Band in Chicago. outstanding exponent of jazz in the New Though he spent less than two years with Orleans area. Oliver, the time was a huge boost to Armstrong’s morale and provided him with greater experiences in public performance. During this time he switched from the cornet to the trumpet. Additionally, while playing with Oliver, Armstrong met and married his second wife, Lil Hardin, who convinced him to form his own band and to start making phonograph records. In 1925, Armstrong learned that Chicago’s Okeh Records wanted to assemble a small combo of New Orleans transplants to record jazz, and Armstrong invited a few friends to join him in cutting some records. That group—called the Hot Five and later the Hot Seven—revolutionized jazz. Armstrong and his group developed the melodic, rhythmic style that all the big bands of the 1930s and 1940s would adopt. He brought swing dancing to the world, and the world loved him in return. Armstrong became the first black crossover musician, whose music appealed widely to black and white audiences. He also brought scat singing into existence. Armstrong created scat during a recording session for the Okeh. After dropping his sheet music by accident, he had to improvise vocally until the recording director returned the sheets to him. As a result, Armstrong’s rasping,
erican History Mo m A n a c nth Afri
gravelly voice would eventually become as famous as the luxurious sound of his trumpet. In 1932 Armstrong made his first European tour; it was wildly successful, with Europeans gladly embracing his ebullient personality, talent, and natural public charm. It was during that European tour that he acquired the nickname “Satchmo” because a London music writer named P. Mathison Brooks inadvertently garbled his original nickname of “Satchelmouth,” which was given to him because of the size of his lips and teeth and the huge bellows his cheeks made when he played. As Armstrong became better and better known, an illustration of his lips and teeth on a billboard were enough to announce one of his coming performances. As his musical fame and reputation expanded, so did his opportunities. Armstrong began appearing in movies and Broadway shows and made guest appearances on various television shows during the 1960s. In 1964 his recording of “Hello, Dolly” became a huge hit, selling 2,000,000 copies and displacing The Beatles from the top of the hit list of bestselling records. Though Armstrong was not on the frontlines of the civil rights movement, in his own way he tried to make a contribution. “There has always been a misunderstanding of Armstrong and his unbelievable courage,” says filmmaker Ken Burns. “Here he was, refusing to go on a goodwill tour at the height of the Cold War, and people like Sammy Davis Jr. and Adam Clayton Powell denounced him. “You have this guy considered a throwback showing courage few AfricanAmerican entertainers were willing to do at the time.” Louis Armstrong died of heart failure July 6, 1971, at his home in Corona, N.Y. The house is now maintained by Queens College as the Louis Armstrong Archives. Very few people have ever risen as far in life as did Louis Armstrong. Beginning at the very bottom of American society, he emerged to become one of the most famous entertainers in the world. www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com
Resource Directory This Resource Directory recognizes advertisers who have made an extended commitment to your health and well-being.
Emergency Numbers Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222
Hearing Services Hearing & Ear Care Center, LLC 200 Schneider Drive, Suite 1, Lebanon (717) 274-3851
Housing Assistance Hope (Helping Our People in Emergencies) (717) 272-4400
Melnick, Moffitt, and Mesaros 927 Russell Drive, Lebanon (717) 274-9775
Housing Assistance & Resources Program (HARP) (717) 273-9328
Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 233-3008 V/TTY
Lebanon County Housing & Redevelopment Authorities (717) 274-1401
Hospitals Good Samaritan Hospital 252 S. Fourth St., Lebanon (717) 270-7500
Insurance Medicare Hotline (800) 638-6833
Salvation Army (717) 273-2655
Medical Society of Lebanon County (717) 270-7500
Legal Services Pennsylvania Bar Association (717) 238-6715
Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (717) 651-5020
Hotlines Energy Assistance (800) 692-7462
American Cancer Society (717) 231-4582
Environmental Protection Agency Emergency Hotline (800) 541-2050
Food Resources Food & Clothing Bank (717) 274-2490 Food Stamps (800) 692-7462 Hope/Christian Ministries (717) 272-4400 Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging Meals on Wheels (717) 273-9262
American Diabetes Association (717) 657-4310 American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association (717) 207-4265
IRS Income Tax Assistance (800) 829-1040 Medicaid (800) 692-7462
Senior Centers Annville Senior Community Center (717) 867-1796 Maple Street Senior Community Center (717) 273-1048 Myerstown Senior Community Center (717) 866-6786 Northern Lebanon County Senior Community Center (717) 865-0944 Palmyra Senior Community Center (717) 838-8237
Office of Aging Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging (717) 273-9262 Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy www.cvs.com Retirement Communities
Senior Center of Lebanon Valley (717) 274-3451 Southern Lebanon County Senior Community Center (717) 274-7541 Veterans Services Governor’s Veterans Outreach (717) 234-1681 Lebanon VA Medical Center 1700 S. Lincoln Ave., Lebanon (717) 228-6000 or (800) 409-8771
StoneRidge Retirement Living (717) 866-3204
American Lung Association (717) 541-5864
Medicare (800) 382-1274
Arthritis Foundation (717) 274-0754
PA Crime Stoppers (800) 472-8477
Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (717) 787-7500
PennDOT (800) 932-4600
CONTACT Helpline (717) 652-4400
Recycling (800) 346-4242
Kidney Foundation (717) 652-8123
Social Security Information (800) 772-1213
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (717) 652-6520
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (800) 827-1000
City:__________________________State: _____ Zip: _________________
Lupus Foundation (888) 215-8787
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Salute to a Veteran
He Saw Up Close the Havoc from the A-bombs on Nagasaki and Bikini Atoll
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Robert D. Wilcox hen Gene George was in And that led to an assignment at the suppose he spotted my saxophone high school in naval hospital in Portsmouth, where that I carried with me. In any case, I Watertown, Mass., in the he served in the orthopedic ward. rounded up a talented 17-member early 1940s, nobody had ever heard “I made a lot of lifelong friends group, some of whom had played of a nuclear bomb. The fact that we there,” he says. “The head corpsman with the big bands. The drummer, were secretly working to develop one there was my best man when I for example, had played with Glenn was perhaps the best-kept secret of married.” Miller and was a good friend of World War II. Glenn’s.” But for George, those were The Sanctuary passed carefree days, with the through the Panama Canal greatest challenge being to and arrived in Hawaii four play the saxophone in his days before the surrender high school’s marching band of the Japanese on Sept. 2, and playing in a small combo 1945. that performed weekends at a “We then sailed to Chinese restaurant. Nagasaki, Japan,” he says. When he graduated from “Our band played every Watertown High School in night on the promenade 1942, however, the draft was deck before the movies in full swing. And in were shown. In Nagasaki, I The band put together by Charles E. (Gene) George September 1942, he was remember that we played (second from right, first row). drafted. at an afternoon tea at the A friend had told him of Consulate. the wonders of service in the Coast “I looked out the windows of the Guard, so he thought he’d give that Consulate and saw everything a try. But problems with his teeth simply flattened, from the caused the Coast Guard to turn him Mitsubishi Aircraft Factory to the down. rest of Nagasaki. Everything was just The best they could offer him a wasteland. The blast went north was to suggest he try the Navy. and south and, for some reason, not When he did, he found that the so much east and west where the Navy was glad to have him. camps holding American POWs Soon he was on his way to were. Sampson Naval Training Base in “We picked up sick, injured, and New York state, a huge, 2,500-acre ambulatory cases to bring them base where more than 400,000 men home. I remember that the captain were to train during the war. George who was our chief medical officer was part of a company that was told our skipper that we had room assigned to KP (kitchen police). for 1,100. The skipper, who was Remarkably, the Navy chief who only a commander, said flatly, ‘We’re was assigning men to specific jobs taking them until they quit coming.’ was Bob Daughters, who had played And we left for San Francisco with Gene George in 2003 while serving second base for the Boston Red Sox. 1,176 aboard from six different in a local honor guard. More importantly, he had been one POW camps. of the men to whom George had “On the way, we were hit with a sold newspapers as a high schooler. typhoon, and I have to say that I So they were old friends, and that His next assignment was to the would never want to do that again. led to George’s being assigned to a USS Sanctuary, a brand-new We had two destroyer escorts, and cushy job in the “broom closet,” as hospital ship that was headed for the they tucked in close behind us so we the guy who passed out the brooms Pacific. He says he was in the could break the mountainous waves and mops rather then the guy who Brooklyn Navy Yard, helping to load and prevent their taking water down had to wield them. supplies for the ship, when a their stacks and sending them to the After basic, he trained at the lieutenant asked him if he could bottom. Naval Medical Corps School in form a band to perform on the ship. “We were doing 21 knots, and Portsmouth, Va., where he studied How did he even know that the waves were coming at 22, so we anatomy and first aid, learning to George was a musician? were barely holding our own. I give shots and bandage wounds. “I don’t know,” George says. “I believe I might have been the only
one on our ship who wasn’t sick during that blow.” George later was assigned to the troop transport ship, the USS Wharton, when it sailed in the spring of 1946 to take observers to the Bikini Atoll for the first nuclear bomb tests since Nagasaki. The Navy needed to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on naval ships. One bomb named Abel was detonated at 500 feet above the atoll, and another named Baker was detonated 90 feet under water. Each was the equivalent of 23 kilotons of TNT, and the radiation contaminated all the target ships. Wasn’t George concerned about the effects of the radiation? “Not then,” he says. “It was a question
of ‘ignorance is bliss.’ None of us knew anything about what radiation could do.” And did he have any effect from it? “Well,” he answers with a shrug, “I’m anemic, and that might have had something to do with that.” George retired from the Navy in July 1963 as a chief hospital corpsman. In civilian life, he worked as safety officer at the Naval Supply Depot in Mechanicsburg and is proud of having long served in his local honor guard, which honors our fallen heroes. He now lives in an area retirement community—and still fits in his World War II uniform.
• Groundhogs are covered with coarse grayish hairs (fur) tipped with brown or sometimes dull red. They have short ears, a short tail, short legs, and are surprisingly quick. Their jaws are exceptionally strong. • A groundhog’s diet consists of lots of greens, fruits, and vegetables and very little water. Most of their liquids come from dew on leaves. • A groundhog can whistle when it is alarmed. Groundhogs also whistle in the spring when they begin courting.
Rent includes gas for heating and cooking, sewer, and trash. Central heat and air. Laundry in each building. Maintenance free. Close to a shopping center, resident manager on premise, 24-hour maintenance. Near Hershey and VA Hospital. Large dog park.
Please call 717-273-8559 for more information. Summit Square Apartments • 1201 W. Crestview Dr., Lebanon
• Insects do not bother groundhogs, and germs pretty much leave them alone. They are resistant to the plagues that periodically wipe out large numbers of wild animals. One reason for this is their cleanliness. • Groundhogs are one of the few animals that really hibernate. Hibernation is not just a deep sleep. It is actually a deep coma, where the body temperature drops to a few degrees above freezing, the heart barely beats, the blood scarcely flows, and breathing nearly stops. • Young groundhogs are usually born in mid-April or May, and by July they are able to go out on their own. The size of the litter is four to nine. A baby groundhog is called a kit or a cub. • A groundhog’s lifespan is normally six to eight years. Phil receives a drink of a magical punch every summer during the annual Groundhog Picnic, which is said to give him seven more years of life.
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• The average groundhog is 20 inches long and normally weighs from 12 to 15 pounds. (Punxsutawney Phil weighs about 20 pounds and is 22 inches long.)
1BR 840 Sq. Ft., 2BR 1050 Sq. Ft, 3 BR 1200 Sq. Ft.
Colonel Wilcox flew a B-17 bomber in Europe in World War II.
Some Facts about Groundhogs In honor of Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, here are a few fun facts about groundhogs gleaned from the official site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club (www.groundhog.org), which celebrates the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil:
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www.50plusExpoPA.com 50plus SeniorNews
CCRCs offer a tiered approach to the aging process, accommodating residents’ unique and often changing needs. Healthy adults entering a CRCC are able to live independently in a home, apartment, or condominium of their own within the community. When assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, they can move into personal care, assisted living, rehabilitation, or nursing care facilities. Some CCRCs have designated dementia areas within the community. These units address the progressing needs of people who have any form of dementia.
With a wealth of available resources, these communities give older adults the option to live in one location for the duration of their lives, with much of their future care already figured out — which equals both comfort and peace of mind.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
The listings with a shaded background have additional information about their center in a display advertisement in this edition.
Bethany Village 325 Wesley Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Stephanie Lightfoot Director of Sales & Marketing (717) 766-0279 www.bethanyvillage.org
Cornwall Manor 1 Boyd Street Cornwall, PA 17016 Jennifer Margut Director of Marketing (717) 274-8092 www.cornwallmanor.org
Calvary Fellowship Homes
Chapel Pointe at Carlisle
502 Elizabeth Drive Lancaster, PA 17601 Marlene Morris Marketing Director (717) 393-0711 www.calvaryhomes.org
770 South Hanover Street Carlisle, PA 17013 Linda Amsley Director of Marketing/Admissions (717) 713-2201 www.chapelpointe.com
Cross Keys Village The Brethren Home Community
2990 Carlisle Pike New Oxford, PA 17350 Amy Kirkpatrick Senior Retirement Counselor (717) 624-5350 firstname.lastname@example.org www.crosskeysvillage.org
1901 North Fifth Street Harrisburg, PA 17102-1598 Barry S. Ramper II, N.H.A. President/CEO (717) 221-7902 www.homelandcenter.org
The CCRC Communities listed are sponsoring this message. This is not an all-inclusive list.
How to Guard Against Wintertime Heart Attacks Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, When I had a mild heart attack about six months ago, my doctor told me I needed to be extra careful during the winter when recurring heart attacks are more common. Is this true? How can the seasons affect your heart? – Leery Senior Dear Leery, Everyone knows winter is cold and flu season, but most people don’t know that it’s also the prime season for heart attacks too, especially if you already have heart disease or have suffered a previous heart
attack. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips to help you protect yourself.
American Heart Month
Heart Attack Season In the U.S., the risk
of having a heart attack during the winter months is twice as high as it is during the summertime. Why? There are a number of factors, and they’re not all linked to cold weather. Even
people who live in warm climates have an increased risk. Here are the areas you need to pay extra attention to this winter. • Cold temperatures: When a person gets cold, the body responds by constricting the blood vessels to help the body maintain heat. This causes blood pressure to go up and makes the heart work harder. Cold temperatures can also increase levels of certain proteins that can thicken the blood and increase the risk for blood clots. www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com
The Middletown Home
Enhanced Senior Living 1800 Marietta Avenue P.O. Box 3227 Lancaster, PA 17604-3227 Susan L. Doyle Director of Marketing (717) 397-4831 ext. 158 www.homesteadvillage.org
Serving from the 999 West Harrisburg Pike Heart in the Spirit of Friendship, Love, Middletown, PA 17057 and Truth Andrea Henney Director of Residential Services (717) 944-3351 www.MiddletownHome.org
Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community
Pleasant View Retirement Community
StoneRidge Retirement Living
1700 Normandie Drive York, PA 17408 Joyce Singer Director of Sales & Marketing (717) 718-0937 www.normandieridge.org
544 North Penryn Road Manheim, PA 17545 Amanda Eckinger Communications Coordinator (717) 664-6207 www.pleasantviewrc.org
440 East Lincoln Avenue Myerstown, PA 17067 Stacia Keith Director of Sales (717) 866-3553 www.stoneridgeretirement.com
Willow Valley Communities 600 Willow Valley Square Lancaster, PA 17602 Kristin Hambleton Director of Sales (717) 464-6800 (800) 770-5445 www.willowvalleycommunities.org
If you would like to be featured on this important page, please contact your account representative or call (717) 285-1350.
CCRC Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Woodcrest Villa Mennonite Home Communities 2001 Harrisburg Pike Lancaster, PA 17601 Connie Buckwalter Director of Marketing (717) 390-4126 www.woodcrestvilla.org
The CCRC Communities listed are sponsoring this message. This is not an all-inclusive list.
• Snow shoveling: Studies have shown that heart-attack rates jump dramatically in the first few days after a major snowstorm, usually a result of snow shoveling. Shoveling snow is a very strenuous activity that raises blood pressure and stresses the heart. Combine those factors with the cold temperatures, and the risk for heart attack surges. If your sidewalk or driveway needs shoveling this winter, hire a kid from the neighborhood to do it for you or use a snow blower. Or, if you must shovel, push rather than lift the snow as much as possible, www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com
during the holiday season and winter months, all of which are hard on the heart and risky for someone with heart disease. So keep a In the U.S., the risk watchful eye on of having a heart your diet this attack during the winter and avoid binging on fatty winter months is foods and alcohol. twice as high as it is
stay warm, and take frequent breaks.
• New Year’s resolutions: Every Jan. 1, millions of people join gyms or start exercise programs as part of their New Year’s resolution to get in shape, and many overexert during the themselves too • Shorter days: summertime. soon. Less daylight in the If you’re starting winter months can a new exercise cause many people program this to develop seasonal winter, take the time to talk to your affective disorder or SAD, a wintertime doctor about what types and how much depression that can stress the heart. exercise may be appropriate for you. Studies have also looked at heartattack patients and found they usually • Winter weight gain: People tend to eat have lower levels of vitamin D (which and drink more and gain more weight comes from sunlight) than people with
So stay warm this winter, and when you do have to go outside, make sure you bundle up in layers with gloves and a hat, and place a scarf over your mouth and nose to warm up the air before you breathe it in.
healthy hearts. To boost your vitamin D this winter, consider taking a supplement that contains between 1,000 and 2,000 international units (IU) per day. And to find treatments for SAD, visit the Center for Environmental Therapeutics website at www.cet.org. • Flu season: Studies show that people who get flu shots have a lower heartattack risk. It’s known that the inflammatory reaction set off by a flu infection can increase blood clotting, which can lead to heart attacks in vulnerable people. So, if you haven’t already done so, get a flu shot for protection. See www.flushot.healthmap.org to find a nearby vaccination site. Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book. www.savvysenior.org
Art and Antiques by Dr. Lori
Stained-Glass Windows Lori Verderame esopotamian potters discovered the method for making multicolored, opaque glass beads around 2,750 BC. Circa 1,100 AD, a window of colored glass was documented in Germany. Colored-glass windows were used in churches, monasteries, and other places of worship. Artisans, like worshipping pilgrims of the day who made pilgrimages to holy sites, traveled from church to church to work on stained-glass window projects during the medieval period. Most stained-glass windows were made of colored glass with images of saints painted onto the glass itself. The colorful images for each glass panel were kiln fired. This firing made the colored images a permanent part of the glass. The Arts & Crafts movement of the mid-1800s blossomed in England and America. A strong interest in handmade
objects and quality workmanship was embraced by William Morris (1834-1896) and his company, Morris & Company. A popular artisan of the movement was Sir Edward Burne-Jones, who produced stainedglass windows for the Victorian collectors of the day. Burne-Jones’ counterpart in America was an accomplished designer named John LaFarge (1835-1910), who worked along with W.J. McPherson. LaFarge made opalescent glass pieces and created stained-glass windows in opalescent glass in the late 1870s. This
process made it unnecessary to paint the glass and fire it in a kiln. LaFarge’s stained-glass windows were highly detailed and highly decorative. Other stained-glass masters included the artisans Louis Comfort Tiffany, who was commissioned to produce stained-glass windows for public institutions and private clients, and Frank Lloyd Wright, who integrated stained-glass windows into his architectural works. Tiffany first began experimenting with glass art in 1873 and established the Tiffany Glass Company in 1885.
Tiffany windows were made using many different types of glassmaking techniques: opalescent, etched, and enameled glass. They featured landscapes and figures and were produced for significant buildings, such as churches and private homes. Today, stained-glass windows continue to attract collectors and enthusiasts as the art form has evolved. Contemporary artists, such as Clifford Ross, work in colorful, stained-glass window art forms with the aid of advanced digital imagery technology. 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: www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook. com/DoctorLori, @DrLori on Twitter, and (888) 431-1010.
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Such is Life
Our Wacky House of Cats
Resort-Style Living for the Young at Heart
Saralee Perel ur cat, Dennis, opens drawers. looking tug of war one could ever We put a hook-and-eye lock envision. on the bathroom cabinet, Yet Jordy looks up at Bob with the which he quickly unhooked. He pulled innocence of a newborn. on the knob, opened the door, and “Jordy,” Bob says, “you are more fun ripped the toilet paper to shreds. than Disneyland. You teach me that Dennis swings from lampshades. He toys are not something we buy in a chucks objects off tables—at 3 a.m. store. They’re whatever we imagine Last night, he knocked over my them to be, my silly, lovable kitten. guitar. I heard screeching noises and Your tenderness melts my heart.” found him bouncing around on the We once had a cat named Eddie strings—trampoline style. My guitar is who set off two fires, causing the now in the attic. police and fire Yet every night, trucks to Dennis sleeps on arrive—sirens his back between blaring. His first my husband’s case of arson knees, purring was to turn on a while Bob rubs the gas burner. The happy cat’s belly. second involved “Sweet Dennis,” a flaming Bob says, “you have lampshade. an amazing joy for One time, he living. I couldn’t pushed our Murphy needs attention. love you more, my burglar alarm, little friend.” sending police Murphy is our orange cat. He’s not to our house again. My claim, “The smart. This cat would just keep cat did it,” was wearing pretty darn walking off a ledge without looking thin. down. When we have plastic bags in Yet Eddie will always be a part of the house, I grab them or he’ll scarf me. I still see a hole—a space that down the plastic. He’s endearingly moves around the house where his simple. He’ll walk straight into a closed form used to be. door, turn around, and do it again. As heart-wrenching as endings are, Yet when Murphy wants attention, they’re only so painful because the love he sits in front of the computer screen. was so grand. But love never goes Bob never pushes him away. Instead he away. gives Murphy the attention he wants. And so, I asked Bob why we keep “Goofy Murphy,” he says, “I will winding up with wacky creatures. keep you from harm’s way. I love you “Because we’re lucky,” he said. just the way you are.” “But they’re unpredictably insane.” While I was reading on the couch, “I married you, didn’t I?” Jordy, our kitten, trotted in with Bob’s Why do Bob and I adore these little underpants in his mouth. He flung beings of mischief and chaos, who them in the air and then settled down worry us with their exploits, who break to teethe on the waistband. Instead of things, who need extra care? Why do buying cat toys, we should just strew we love them so much? Bob’s drawers everywhere. Because everyone who has a fourThat night, while we were watching footed family does. TV in bed, Jordy was wiggling under Saralee Perel is an award-winning, nationally the covers. When his little head syndicated columnist. Her new book is popped out, his binky (Bob’s Cracked Nuts & Sentimental Journeys: Stories underpants) was in his mouth. From a Life Out of Balance. To find out “Can’t he keep them, Bob?” more, visit www.saraleeperel.com or email “No. They’re mine.” email@example.com. And so ensued the most ridiculous-
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My 22 Cents’ Worth
Editing Our Given Names Walt Sonneville hy did FBI Director John Edgar Hoover not use his first name? He went by the name “J. Edgar Hoover.” Edgar? One explanation is that his cousin, John E. Hoover, who also lived in Washington, DC, had a bad credit record, and J. Edgar did not wish to be mistaken for him. It was not a case of J. Edgar being confused with his father, whose full name was Dickerson Naylor Hoover. Comedienne Lily Tomlin referred to Hoover as “Jedgar,” a name not likely to create confusion with someone else. Her creativity accords with the choice made by John Ellis Bush, son of President George Herbert Walker Bush. J.E. Bush merged his initials and is known as “Jeb.” This is a great country. One can edit the first and middle name without applying for official approval by a court or raising the suspicions of the secret police.
Several of our political figures have jettisoned their first names, using only their middle name to be recognized. Would you know, if their middle name or nickname was not indicated, any of the following: President Stephen Grover Cleveland, Vice President James Danforth (“Dan”) Quayle, President Hiram Ulysses (“U.S.”) Grant, Governor James Richard (“Rick”) Perry, Governor Willard Mitt Romney, and President Thomas Woodrow Wilson? There are non-political figures, too, that are more easily identified when their
middle names are stated. Among them are publisher William Randolph Hearst, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, civilrights icon Martin Luther King, historian John Hope Franklin, musician James Paul McCartney, and CNN founder Robert Ted Turner. The first name of James has been spurned by Perry, Quayle, and McCartney. Is there an implication here that the name is a career liability? Occasionally, celebrities discard both their first and middle names, using only initials. Circus impresario Phineas Taylor (“P.T.”) Barnum and poet e.e. cummings
(Edward Estlin Cummings) come to mind. Cummings, being impoverished, possibly had a typewriter that could not produce capital letters. Less likely, he had an overwhelming sense of humility that he believed was best expressed by using only the lower case. A single name suffices for some whose fame is legend, but not for ordinary people. We have the examples of Prince, Liberace, and Madonna. Elvis did not need his last name to be recognized. Single names evoke a royal lineage. No one should address Queen Elizabeth II by her full name, which is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. If one were to do so, a chilling grimace can be expected from Her Majesty’s entourage. Europeans did not begin to adopt last names until the 11th to 13th centuries. The Irish were among the first, but they were centuries behind the Chinese. It was open
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season then on the crafting of family names. The opportunity will not return on this scale again. Editing the last names of immigrants passing through Ellis Island was unintentionally done by officials incorrectly transposing names onto entry records. As a result, two adult siblings named Smith may have records showing one as Smith and the other as Smyth. Such errors generally became permanent changes. Families in our Southern states have the charming custom of calling their
children by somewhat lyrically paired names. Fans of the television series The Waltons may recall John Boy and Jim Bob. Betty Mae, Eddy Joe, Mary Alice, and Lila Sue are further examples. Names given to infants decades ago are rarely selected today. Understandably, Adolf (or Adolph), which is Teutonic for wolf, is a name most Americans abhor. Wolf Blitzer can be thankful he is not of Teutonic ancestry. He may not want either to be identified by his middle name, Isaac, had he been given the Teutonic “Adolf.”
There are perfectly good names for boys not commonly used today. They include Horace, Floyd, Seymour, Leonard, and Winthrop. Not likely to regain popularity soon are these venerable names for girls: Dagmar, Fannie, Fifi, and Gretchen. When these names reemerge as popular choices, subsequent editing of them can be anticipated. Senior citizens with archaic given names reveal their age group when communicating with strangers. To avoid potential age discrimination, they may use an age-neutral nickname, such as
Skip, Buck, or Cookie. Teens who dislike their given names soon edit them. Timing is critical. If seniors wait until they enter their golden years, others may regard name editing as a sure sign of dementia. Walt Sonneville, a retired market-research analyst, is the author of My 22 Cents’ Worth: The Higher-Valued Opinion of a Senior Citizen and A Musing Moment: Meditative Essays on Life and Learning, books of personal-opinion essays, free of partisan and sectarian viewpoints. Contact him at email@example.com.
Valentine’s Day: It’s for the Birds Saint Valentine, whose day we celebrate on Feb. 14, was a martyr. Although his story is well known, some say the real reason we associate him with the spirit of love comes from above—specifically, birds. Medieval Christians observed that many birds mated at the time of the
Saint Valentine’s feast. From that rose a belief that all birds chose their mates on Feb. 14. From that belief, many people assumed a
connection to human beings, believing that everyone should choose a mate on that day—or at least celebrate the rituals associated with mating.
The belief about birds mating on Feb. 14 has some basis in reality because many species of birds do begin to mate by this date. The birds’ behavior has little to do with romance, though, and everything to do with biology. But that may be at the heart of our behavior on Valentine’s Day, too.
Calendar of Events
Lebanon County Department of Parks and Recreation
Senior Center Activities
All events held at the Park at Governor Dick unless noted.
Annville Senior Community Center – (717) 867-1796 200 S. White Oak St., Annville Feb. 10 to 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Bake Sale Fundraiser for MotherDaughter Luncheon Feb. 12, 10:30 a.m. – “All Kinds of Love” Valentine and Center Anniversary Party Feb. 26, TBA – Health and Wellness Presentation at MSSC
Feb. 2, 1 to 4 p.m. – Music on the Porch: Bluegrass and Country Music Jam Feb. 15, 10 a.m. to noon – Great Backyard Bird Count
Programs and Support Groups Feb. 20, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 26, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Free Digital Planetarium Program for Senior Citizens: Black Holes Full Dome Show Cedar Crest High School 115 E. Evergreen Road, Lebanon Reservations at (717) 2722033, ext. 5412
Free and open to the public
Feb. 25, 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 25, 4 p.m. Free CLSD Gold Card Dress Personal Care Family Support Rehearsal: How to Succeed in Group Business (Without Really Linden Village Trying) 100 Tuck Court, Lebanon (717) 274-7400 Cedar Crest High School Auditorium If you have an event you would like to 115 E. Evergreen Road, include, please email information to Lebanon firstname.lastname@example.org for (717) 272-2033 consideration.
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Maple Street Community Center – (717) 273-1048 710 Maple St., Lebanon Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:15 a.m. – $1 Zumba Classes Feb. 20, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Bus Trip: Hunterdon Hills Playhouse Feb. 21, 9 a.m. – Presidential Pancake Breakfast Myerstown Senior Community Center – (717) 866-6786 51 W. Stoever Ave., Myerstown Feb. 12, 11:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Bus Trip: Inn 422 Feb. 19, 10:15 a.m. – Card-Making Class Feb. 26, 4 to 11 p.m. – Bus Trip: Hometown Family Restaurant and Hershey Theatre Palmyra Senior Community Center – (717) 838-8237 101 S. Railroad St., Palmyra Feb. 3, 10:45 a.m. – “Your Favorite Super Bowl Commercial” Social Feb. 13, 10:15 a.m. – Pinochle Game Feb. 14, 11:30 a.m. – Valentine’s Day Luncheon at Red Lobster Please contact your local center for scheduled activities.
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The group meets twice a month at their local library, and there are usually anywhere from six to 14 people in attendance. Each reading selection is between 20 and 40 pages, so the amount of reading required to be a part of the group is not overly intensive, said Tepsic. The Great Books Foundation in Chicago sponsors the discussion groups. The foundation began as a nonprofit organization in 1947 to promote critical thinking and to encourage the development of well-rounded individuals. Today the foundation continues to sponsor programs throughout the entire country, including some at high schools and colleges. Tepsic’s group is mostly retired individuals, but people of all ages are welcome to join the biweekly discussions. Variety makes the discussions more interesting, so people with all different backgrounds and personalities are encouraged to attend. “You can contribute as much as you want, or nothing,” said Tepsic. The group includes professionals ranging from a dietician to an accountant to lawyers, professors, and government managers. “Everybody brings their own expertise to the discussion,” Tepsic said. “It’s interesting how different people interpret things.” One person is assigned to lead the conversation at each meeting. They provide some background on that particular selection or author and steer
the discussion when need be. The foundation sends out a catalog with different genres for local groups to choose from. Tepsic’s group’s recent readings have included works from John Locke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Tepsic himself is just the sort of “wellrounded individual” the foundation is looking to cultivate. Now 71, he retired at age 62 after working as the human resources coordinator for the Department of Corrections. He and his wife have two children and two grandchildren. They have always enjoyed traveling, but retirement has afforded them the time to take more trips than ever before. When it comes to world traveling, it can be hard to narrow it down to just one favorite, as each destination presents new experiences to savor. But if he had to choose, Tepsic said that New Zealand would be one of their favorite places to visit. They have traveled to about 20 nations so far, including Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Still high on their wish list of places to visit are Turkey and Greece. “I enjoy travel within the United States as well,” he said. “Out West is some of the most beautiful country in the world, such as Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon.” A lot of their travels are coordinated through the Harrisburg Area Friendship
Force, an organization founded by former United States President Jimmy Carter to promote personal relationships between different cultures and nations. It is a division of the People to People Ambassador Programs. The program sets you up with a family to stay with when you are in another country, instead of sleeping in a hotel or hostel. The people who host you are able to show you much more of the area than you would get to see without the friendship of locals, said Tepsic. He and his wife have made friends around the world through the Harrisburg Area Friendship Force. They have seen their friends from New Zealand several times since they stayed with them there, when they both happen to be visiting other countries and when the couple comes to stay with the Tepsics on their trips to the United States. The Tepsics love hosting others at their home and taking them to local sites like the state capitol building and Gettysburg. “You really get to learn about people and their cultures and food,” he said. Food is a portion of the Tepsics’ retirement as well—not because they are
suddenly indulging, but because they spend time each week delivering it to others through Meals on Wheels. Patricia is a coordinator and Dan is a driver. A natural outflow of their service has yet again been friendships. For some of the people Tepsic delivers to, that small interaction might, unfortunately, be the most social part of their week. “We wanted to give something back, and it’s just our way of contributing to the community,” Tepsic said. Playing tennis is another great joy in Tepsic’s life, and he has continued competing on several local teams even after having open heart surgery in 2004 and hip replacements in 2006 and 2008. He picked up the sport after serving in the Army for two years after college and has been competing in doubles ever since. Last year the team he is part of through the Harrisburg Academy went to the Eastern Regional Finals in Princeton. Having major surgeries has not slowed him down at all in tennis or in life. “I’ve been given a new lease,” Tepsic said. To find a Great Books Discussion Group in your area, visit www.great books.org or call toll-free (800) 222-5870.
Have Money to Burn? Quality may be priceless, but it’s sometimes quite expensive. Take a look at some of the most costly luxury items available these days: Cars. The world’s most expensive automobile is the Lamborghini Aventador LP 7004, made with gold and jewels. Price tag: 4.6 million British pounds (about $7.4 million). No word on the gas mileage. Cocktails. The Winston, named for Winston Churchill, is made with Grand Marnier Quintessence, Angostura bitters, and a shot of 1858 Croizet cognac ($157,000 a bottle). The Australian www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com
bartender who mixed it up charged $12,916. Home offices. Your typical telecommuter probably couldn’t afford this: The Lehman Mansion, a fivestory commercial townhouse in New York City, sold for $40 million last fall, a price of $2,410 per square foot. Sporting events. Tickets to Game Six of the World Series, in which the Boston Red Sox faced the St. Louis Cardinals in Boston with the prospect of winning the World Series at home, cost anywhere from $900 for standing-room-only to $10,000 for actual seats close to the plate, making them the most expensive baseball tickets in sports history.
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Older But Not Wiser
Almost a Saint Sy Rosen
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y mother is 91, blind, and has diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s, mild dementia, and heart problems, but besides that, she’s in perfect health. I visit her three times a week at her assisted living facility. Sometimes I only stay for a few minutes, but I still count it as a visit because I want to think of myself as a good son. And when I bring her the Depends and the caregivers say, “Oh, you got the good kind,” I feel like I am almost a saint. I know, I’m an idiot trying to build up points for myself, but that’s who I am. I’m worried that the dementia is getting worse. My mom tries to hide it, but she sometimes gets confused about what’s going on around her. To help keep her mind sharp, I always try to have a conversation with her to jog her memory. I don’t mind doing it. Like I said, I’m almost a saint. We usually talk about Brooklyn. That’s where my mom was born and I grew up. “Do you remember what we did there for fun?” I ask. My mother nods but doesn’t answer. “We went to the movies,” I tell her. “In those days, there was double feature and a cartoon, and I remember I got in for a quarter.” “Movies are $2 now,” she says. Of course I don’t correct her. Like I said, I’m almost a saint. “We also saw Broadway plays,” I tell her. “Yes, we went to plays.” I could tell she was just repeating what I said, so I asked, “Do you remember what kind of plays?” She was thinking but didn’t come up with an answer. “Musicals,” I said. “Musicals,” she repeated. “Yes,” I said, “we went to musicals like Oklahoma! and South Pacific.” I then started to sing “OOOklahoma…”
“You’ve got a terrible voice,” she said and laughed. My mother had a biting sense of humor, and I’m glad that she still has it. And she’s right; I do have a terrible voice. “Do you remember the name of the tuxedo store that you and Dad owned?” I asked. She shook her head no, so I said, “Ace Formal Wear.” “Ace Formal Wear,” she repeated “Why’d you name it Ace?” I asked. “So, uh, it would be first in the, uh, phonebook.” “Right! And everybody who came was happy because they were renting a tux for a wedding,” I added. “Yes, it was only later that they got miserable,” she said while laughing. As I said, my mom has a wicked sense of humor. As she talked she became more and more engaged and remembered a bunch of stuff. I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was almost a saint. Unfortunately, as I was leaving, she told me that Sy came yesterday. Uh oh. “I’m Sy,” I replied. I hated that she got mixed up and didn’t realize that all this time she was talking to me, her son. “You’re Sy?” she asked. “Yes, Mom, I’m your son Sy.” And I could see by my mom’s face that she knew she blundered. That her sometimes jumbled mind had betrayed her. I should have stayed longer, but it’s hard seeing my mom like this, so I said I had work to do, kissed her on the forehead, and left. On the way out, I was stopped by an elderly man. “Are you Flora’s son?” he asked. I nodded, trying to get out of there as quickly as possible, but he kept talking. “She’s a very nice lady. I spoke to her yesterday. By the way, my name is Sy too.” I may be almost a saint, but I’m a complete idiot. www.50plusSeniorNewsPA.com
Buerger’s Disease and Tobacco Addiction Gloria May, M.S., R.N., CHES friend phoned me recently and told me her son-in-law has Buerger’s disease. I could see the unusual spelling in my head, so I knew I’d had some contact with it some time or other, but I really knew nothing about it. “I’m sorry; I am not familiar with Buerger’s. What is it?” I asked. “What do you mean you’re ‘not familiar with Buerger’s’? You went to nursing school, didn’t you?” she fired off. Whoa! I happened to be at the computer, so right away I typed “Buerger’s disease” into my search engine. If you do the same, let me caution you: Photos of gangrenous fingers and toes are tough to look at. Buerger’s disease is a rare condition of the arteries and veins wherein they become inflamed, swollen, and clogged up with clots. This causes an interruption in
circulation, damages or destroys the tissues, and can lead to infection and gangrene, which then necessitates amputation. Finger and toes go first, and then it can work its way up the limbs. There is some suggestion that there’s a genetic predisposition to Buerger’s disease and some speculation that it’s an autoimmune disease, but the biggest risk factor is heavy tobacco use. In fact, although there are certain medications that help improve blood flow and some that stimulate growth of new vessels, the most important measure that will slow the progression of Buerger’s disease is to stop any form of tobacco use and, further, to diligently avoid even secondhand smoke. “He’s already lost two fingers, and I am so upset. He’s the breadwinner …” “I am so sorry. How did the quitting smoking go?” “Oh, he hasn’t quit smoking.”
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“You mean he’s having trouble quitting or he hasn’t tried?” “He’s not interested in quitting smoking, Gloria. He won’t even talk about it.” “OK. And his doctor has discussed this decision with him? Maybe suggested counseling of some sort?” “He won’t talk to the doctor about it, and he won’t talk about not talking either.” Now I understand why my friend was testy with me at the beginning of the phone call. She’s worried about someone she loves; she’s concerned about her daughter; and she’s scared that her grandson will lose his dad, bit by bit, piece by piece. And she is baffled by her son-in-law’s defiant, self-destructive behavior. “Gloria, why in the world would you not just quit smoking if you are going to lose your fingers and toes and then who
knows what else?” It’s not that simple, “just” quitting any addiction. It’s a complicated situation with denial, depression, defiance, and control issues probably all in the picture as well. My opinion is that you cannot force anyone else to change or to want to change. You can change their environment, and you can change your response to the situation, but you cannot make any adult do anything unless they, at least at some level, want to change. It seems that if the son-in-law won’t accept counseling, maybe the family should go to learn how best to deal with (or disconnect from) this very sad state of affairs. Gloria May is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in adult health education and a Certified Health Education Specialist designation.
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A heart attack at 47. And open heart surgery that saved her life. Ronda hadn’t been feeling her best all day, but she knew something was seriously wrong when her throat started burning and her ears felt like they were going to explode. At just 47 years old, Ronda was having a heart attack. When Ronda arrived at The Good Samaritan Hospital, she was quickly evaluated and her heart attack confirmed. During a cardiac catheterization to open her blocked arteries, it was found that significant blockages in multiple coronary arteries would require open heart surgery. Ronda underwent quadruple coronary artery bypass graft surgery performed off-pump in a technically challenging surgery where her heart continued to beat during the grafting. This method can help avoid some complications of cardiac surgery and typically allows patients to have a faster recovery. After her life-saving open heart surgery and cardiac rehabilitation at Good Samaritan, Ronda is able to enjoy hunting, fishing and hiking again. “I cannot thank everyone from The Good Samaritan Hospital enough for taking great care of me at a very scary time in my life,” said Ronda. “They saved my life and I am forever grateful.” To learn more about the Good Samaritan Cardiac & Vascular Center, visit comfortingcare.org.
717.270.7500 | comfortingcare.org