New York Ranks Among Worst States for Retirement Airbnb: Locals making big bucks by renting their own homes. See how they do it
55 PLUS Issue 52 â€˘ July / August 2018 For Active Adults in the Rochester Area
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Taste of Italy Film aficionado Tony Mangione brings Italian films to Rochester community
Jewish Senior Life’s Physician House Calls program brings a team of skilled, compassionate healthcare professionals and a wide range of services—directly to your home. Our doctor provides one-on-one primary care, medical assessments, and coordination of care with other home health services. The Physician House Calls team will work with you to develop a comprehensive care plan that will give you and your family peace of mind. This program is available to individuals 65 years and older.
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CONTENTS 55 PLUS
New York Ranks Among Worst States for Retirement
Airbnb: Locals making big bucks by renting their own homes. See how they do it
PLUS Issue 52 • July / August 2018 For Active Adults in the Rochester Area
free please share
Taste of Italy Film aficionado Tony Mangione brings Italian films to Rochester community
18 Savvy Senior 6 Financial Health 8 Dining Out 10 My Turn 26 Guest Columnists 44 Addyman’s Corner 46 Long-term Care 49 55 PLUS Q&A Curt Smith, former presidential speechwriter and Red Sox fan pens his 17th book — about presidents and baseball. Page 48 4
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• Study: New York ranks among worst states in which to retire.
• Film aficionado brings Italian films to
• Airbnb: Locals making big bucks by renting their own homes
• Savvy Sew-ers have Third World children on their mind
• The boomerang effect: more young adults moving back with mom and dad
22 TECH SAVVY • Boomers are getting more comfortable with technology
24 MUSIC • Local favorites Prime Time Funk in prime of career — and still smiling
28 PETS • Victor resident busy raising puppies for nonprofit Guiding Eyes for the Blind
• Group embraces orienteering
40 JOBS •Retirees enjoy having a regular parttime job as a second act
41 FASHION Looking stylish this summer without worrying about dating yourself
42 LAW A life in law enforcement: Marv Hankinson, SOAR president
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savvy senior By Jim Miller
How to Find Retiree Travel Perks
here are literally thousands of different travel-related discounts available to retirees that usually start anywhere between the ages 50 and 65. These discounts — typically ranging between 5 and 25 percent off — can add up to save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip.
Ways to Save
The first thing to know is that most businesses don’t advertise them, but many give senior discounts just for the asking, so don’t be shy. You also need to be aware that when it comes to senior travel bargains, the “senior discount,” if available, may not always be the best deal. Hotels, resorts, airlines and cruise lines, for example, offer advanced bookings along with special deals and promotions from time to time that may be a lower rate than what the senior discount is. Before you book, always ask about the lowest possible rate and the best deal available. Another way retirees with flexible schedules can save is to be flexible when you travel. Last minute travel deals can offer huge savings, as well as traveling during off-season or offpeak times, and avoiding holidays. Club memberships can also garner you a wide variety of travel bargains. AARP, for example has dozens of travel discounts available on hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages — see AARPadvantages. com. Annual AARP membership fees are $16 or less if you join for multiple years.
Types of Discounts
Here’s an abbreviated rundown of some of the different travel discounts you can expect to find. • Transportation: For airline travel, Southwest has fully refundable senior fares to passengers 65 and older, and British Airways offers AARP members $65 off economy travel and 6
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$200 off business club travel. American, United and Delta also offer senior fares in certain markets but are extremely limited. For traveling by train, Amtrak provides a 10 percent discount to travelers 65-plus. Greyhound bus lines also offers a 5 percent discount to passengers 62 and older. And most car rental companies offer 10 to 25 percent discounts to customers who belong to membership organizations like AARP or AAA. Hotels: Many U.S. hotels offer senior discounts (at varying ages) usually ranging between 5 and 15 percent off. For example, Marriott offers a 15 percent discount to travelers 62 and older at over 4,000 locations worldwide. And Wyndham hotel group offers 60-plus guests best available rate discounts. Restaurants: Some restaurant chains offer senior discounts, ranging from free drinks, to senior menus, to discounts off your total order. National chains that offer these deals include Burger King, Chili’s, Chickfil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Golden Corral, IHOP and Wendy’s. Offers can vary by location. Cruses: Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise lines offer discount rates to cruisers 55 and over. Entertainment and Attractions: Most movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, public golf courses and even ski slopes provide reduced admission to seniors over 60 or 65. If you’re 62-plus, you’re also eligible for the “Senior Pass,” which provides a lifetime entry to 2,000 national parks and recreation sites. You can obtain this pass in person at one of the federal recreation sites for $80, or online for $90 at Store.usgs.gov/senior-pass. To look for other travel discounts on the go, download the Sciddy app at Sciddy.com. This app lets you search for senior discounts and can send you alerts when you’re at an establishment that offers them.
Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto
Associate Editor Lou Sorendo
Writers & Contributing Writers Deborah J. Sergeant Christine Green, John Addyman Mike Costanza, Payne Horning, Melody Burri, Jana Eisenberg
Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Bruce Frassinelli
Anne Westcott, Linda Covington
Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler
Layout and Design Dylon Clew-Thomas
55 PLUS –A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area is published six times a year by Local News, Inc., which also publishes In Good Health–Rochester—Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper.
Mailing Address PO Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 © 2018 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 3071
How to Reach Us P.O. Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 Voice: 585-421-8109 Fax: 585-421-8129 Editor@roc55.com
NOW – SEPT 3
Gather together for the first-ever Pixar Fest! We’re inviting you, your friends and a bunch of beloved Pixar pals together for a celebration of friendship — and beyond — that stretches across both Parks with special entertainment like…
PAINT THE NIGHT PARADE Our award-winning parade is back and better than ever at Disney California® Adventure Park!
TOGETHER FOREVER – A PIXAR NIGHTTIME SPECTACULAR A friendship-filled fireworks spectacular at Disneyland® Park!
PIXAR PIER & THE INCREDICOASTER Beginning this summer, explore four new Pixar-themed neighborhoods and take a ride on the transformed Incredicoaster at Disney California Adventure® Park!
Attractions and entertainment may change or be canceled without notice. Check the Entertainment Guide for times
©Disney ©Disney/Pixar DLR-18-167508
Contact Rochester Travel Group Today! 585-889-9090 or 800-466-0444 www.rochestertravelgroup.com Like us on FaceBook!
July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
financial health By Jim Terwilliger
Help Fund Your Grandchildren’s College Education
elieve it or not, students and their families are looking at $250K to $300K to fund four years of higher education for one person at a private college in the northeast. Sure, there are ways to reduce total out-of-pocket costs to a significantly lower amount for a four-year degree. But even that is still a lot of money. Enter Grandma and Grandpa. The most cost-effective, flexible, tax-advantaged method I know and recommend to clients for college savings is the federal 529 College Savings Program. In New York, we have an excellent plan — the New York State Direct College Savings Program. Annual administrative costs are low (0.15 percent) and investment choices consist of a series of solid, low-cost Vanguard index mutual funds. 529 Plan Basics. These plans are tax-free, much like Roth IRAs. Contributions are made from federal after-tax dollars — and distributions (principal and earnings) are entirely tax-free if they are “qualifying.” That is, in a distribution year, distributions must not exceed the total of qualifying out-of-pocket higher education expenses for that student that year including tuition, room/board, books, supplies, fees and computers. In New York, it gets even better. Annual contributions up to a total of $5,000 single and $10,000 married-filing-jointly can be deducted from NYS taxable income. If a distribution is not “qualifying,” there are negative consequences. First, the earnings portion of any non-qualifying distribution is taxed at both the federal and state levels. Second, there is a 10 percent federal tax penalty on the earnings portion of the distribution. Finally, there is recapture of any previous NYS income tax deductions related to the original
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contribution. Each 529 savings account can have only one owner (usually the parent or grandparent) and one beneficiary (the student). Although not common, the owner and beneficiary can be the same person. Contributions to a 529 plan remove the assets from the donor’s estate, but the donor/owner retains complete control of the gift, not the beneficiary. If necessary, contributions can be reclaimed by the donor via a non-qualifying distribution. Also, the account can be redirected without penalty to another family-member beneficiary, including the beneficiary’s children or even back to the donor.
Financial Aid. Assets in a 529 account owned by a parent, either directly or as a UGMA/UTMA custodian, is considered a parental asset when the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is completed for the student. As such, 5.65 percent of the account balance is considered available for the family contribution in the next school year. Grandparent- and non-parentowned plans get special treatment. Such 529 plan funds are not reportable as assets on the FAFSA form. However, when distributions are ultimately made, such annual distributions are counted as untaxed student income, and 50 percent is considered available as a family contribution the
following year. Good News. Due to a 2016 timing change, there is now an extra year delay between the tax year and filing of a FAFSA form. For example, FAFSA forms filed in the fall of 2018 will be based on 2017 tax year. So, a distribution taken by a grandparent in 2017 will not impact a grandchild’s financial aid until the 2019-2020 school year. Net result. Distributions by grandparents for qualifying expenses taken as early as second semester sophomore year will not be counted negatively for financial aid purposes through the fourth college year. Previously, grandparents needed to wait until second semester of the junior year to take distributions in order to avoid impacting financial aid negatively. Not-So-Good News. The recent federal tax law expanded the scope of qualifying education costs to include tuition for K-12 grades. The bad news here is New York state’s current position is that while K-12 tuition expenses are qualifying for federal income tax purposes, they are not qualifying costs under New York statutes. This means that distributions for K-12 tuition would not be free of taxation for the earnings portion on the New York income tax return. Further, any earlier associated NYS contribution-related deductions would be recaptured. Not a pretty picture. We may see further rulings from the state, but until we do, it is best to stay away from the K-12 option. Lots More. The above is just a quick snapshot of the 529 program and how grandparents can make use of it. Check out the NY Direct Plan website at www.nysaves.org. The site is full of information and can be used to open and fund accounts conveniently. But, as I always advise, don’t try this on your own. Work with your financial planner to learn more about the program and to develop a workable college savings strategy.
James Terwilliger, CFP®, is a senior vice president and senior planning adviser with CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585-419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
DiningOut By Christopher Malone
Façade of The Owl House at 75 Marshall St, Rochester.
The Owl House
A Place to Give a Hoot About
’ve forgetten who said this first, but it’s important to treat yourself well. Treating yourself well means eating well. Especially when choosing a place to eat out, freshness and quality is important. Rochester has a unique and fresh foodie scene, and the list of restaurants includes The Owl House, located at 75 Marshall St. The restaurant boasts an American cuisine, and it caters to a variety of dietary choices and restrictions. In other words, everyone is welcome to sit at their tables. The one-page, frequently changing house menu showcases a plethora of delectable options, plus a list of specials that’s available nightly. The Owl House is an actual house. Aside from the sign out front, 10
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there isn’t anything ornate about the aesthetics of the place, and there is a good chance you might drive past it if you’re not paying attention to the surroundings or GPS’s deadpan reminders about arriving at the destination. Although there isn’t a parking lot, there is ample street parking. Inside The Owl House, the walls are brightly painted and showcase eclectic art, especially paintings. The tight quarters upon entering encourages patrons waiting for a table to push to the bar, where they can enjoy a pre-meal beverage, or wait outside. We were seated upstairs, in a little nook. Much of the restaurant welcomes a lot of natural light. Speaking of the bar: The craft beer draft list enters into the double
digits, the wine list is particular and the list of $10 craft cocktails is diverse and unique. To wet our palates, we ordered a half-pint of robust and flavorful 45 Fathoms Porter, which is brewed at Naked Dover Brewing Co. in nearby Canandaigua. The specialty cocktail of the evening, called Cheeky Monkey, was a concoction of scotch and Aperol, and it was garnished with a rind of an orange. It was flavorful, and the Aperol added a great dry quality. When it comes to making a decision from a one-page menu, it’s best to trust your gut and order, or close your eyes and point. Especially if everything sounds delicious, the longer it takes to settle on something increases the chances of getting sucked into a
hole of contemplation. In this case, the scallops caught the eyes. Four scallops for $16 came cozily nestled in a blanket of apple Brussels slaw. Bits of crumbled bacon rested on each scallop. The plate was dressed with a Dijon butter sauce. The scallops were cooked perfectly, golden on the sides of the mollusks. The bacon and flavorful sauce complemented the dish really well. The slaw, however, really caught the attention of the taste buds. The liberal bits of apple buddied up with the shredded Brussels sprouts. The dish itself stands confidently on its own, could serve as a satisfying quick bite. The entrees came out soon after the scallops and slaw were consumed. The grilled eggplant ($18) and B.V.E. Burger ($13) came out on their respective plates. The burger, which can be prepared as beef or chickpea patty ($10 in comparison), was joined by a side of mixed greens instead of chips. The eggplant was served with sesame coconut rice and grilled asparagus. The burger was cooked as ordered medium. The Owl House’s B.V.E. burger was juicy and flavorful and topped with sriracha-strawberry jam, crispy onions and vegan garlic mayo. The jam was a pleasant surprise. The flavor would be different without it, a flavor that would be lacking for sure. The bun was perfectly toasted, too, although it was a smidgen too large in proportion to the burger. The eggplant, which came out in thick slices, was grilled to perfection. There was a good firmness to each piece, and they were far from mushy. Light green roasted jalapeño aioli was drizzled on each eggplant wedge, providing the right amount of heat. The asparagus was delicious and crisp with each bite. The rice also raised eyebrows. The side had a creamy quality without it being too creamy. The rice had a soft mouthfeel, and the coconut catered to the needs of the taste buds. With 20 percent tip, the total came out to $80 and change. For the quality of food and atmosphere, The Owl House takes flight. It was a wonderful experience, and kudos goes to our server Darren. The bearded fellow kept the service and light, humorous conversation coming. It’s a wonderful place for a date night and a quality night out with friends.
Seared scallops atop the apple brussels slaw. Bits of crumbled bacon rested on each scallop.
The Owl House ADDRESS 75 Marshall St, Rochester, NY 14607 PHONE (585) 360-2920 The Owl House’s B.V.E. burger was juicy and flavorful and topped with sriracha-strawberry jam, crispy onions and vegan garlic mayo.
Light green roasted jalapeño aioli was drizzled on each eggplant wedge, providing the right amount of heat.
WEBSITE/SOCIAL www.owlhouserochester.com/ www.facebook.com/ TheOwlHouseNY www.instagram.com/owlhouseroc/ HOURS Monday: Closed Tuesday & Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m. Thursday & Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 5 – 11 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 5 – 11 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m. Kitchen closes a half hour earlier each night
July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
New York Ranks Among Worst States for Retirement By Payne Horning
Taxes and cost of living were the factors considered when developing the list, according to study
nother year, another bad rating for New York’s climate for retirees. The Empire State has wound up in third place in 2018 “Worst States For Retirement” study from TopRetirements.com. Taxes and cost of living were the factors considered when developing the list. According to TopRetirements. com, New York residents pay an average of $3,755 annually in property taxes. Only New Jersey and Connecticut, ranked first and second respectively, pay more on average. New York’s high cost of living, the third most expensive in the country, also Fox sunk its overall rating. State income taxes were also considered, with New York dinged for its large marginal tax rate of 8.82 percent. New York consistently gets poor 12
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marks in retirement rankings. But Patrick Fox, a driving course instructor and volunteer with Rochester’s AARP chapter, says there’s more to this story. The 70-year-old chose to retire in New York after living most of his life in the state. “Let’s be honest, the downside of living in New York state is we’re a high-tax state,” Fox said. “Nothing’s perfect. But from my perspective, New York state is a state that’s making a sincere effort.” Fox says New York state has a long history of being accommodating to seniors. Social Security and government pension income are exempt — one of the few “pluses” of retiring in New York that was mentioned in the TopRetirement.com study. The state offers to help supplement part of the out-of-pocket costs for the Medicare Part D drug plans with the Elderly Pharmaceutical Income Coverage (EPIC) program. And seniors can get assistance paying for New York’s high tax rates with the state’s Enhance Star
system, which offers older homeowners increased tax relief benefits. In addition to some favorable policies, Fox says the state and individual communities are actively working to create more age-friendly communities — including the Rochester area. “Many of the towns in Monroe County and the city of Rochester have taken a serious look at that,” Fox said. “It means realizing that if we’re going to keep seniors aging in place, they need sidewalks to walk on, they need access to basic amenities like food, designation of bicycle lanes, etc.” In Fox’s hometown Irondequoit, New York state is building a brand new affordable senior housing complex. The $17.5 million Durand Senior Apartments will provide 70 units,
some of which are being designed specifically to accommodate those with wheelchairs and visual and hearing impairments. The housing community will also include a social adult day care center. Public officials in the area are also working on a comprehensive study of the Regional Transit Service, which serves Monroe County. The “Reimagine RTS” planning process aims to explore potential changes to the transit service to better suit the changing needs of the area, including growing demand from seniors. “I’m impressed with the willingness of people to realize that with a growing senior population that predominantly wants to age in place, we are looking at ways to do that,” Fox said. The Rochester area also offers many cultural assets as well, Fox says. There’s theater, festivals, sporting events, bus tours and trips to area casinos. And many of these events also offer discounts for seniors. “There’s a sense in this community that we recognize that we have a senior population and that both government and nongovernment entities are making real efforts to say that’s an important community for us to engage with,” Fox said. Cost of living expenses in the Rochester area are not as high as they are downstate. But the entire state suffered a setback last year when federal lawmakers passed a new tax cut that capped state and local income tax deductions to $10,000 – something that AARP fought. TopRetirement.com notes that it could make blue states with higher taxes like New York more unappealing to retirees. Over the years, Fox has seen some of his wealthier friends leave New York for states with lower taxes. And he acknowledges that the new cap on tax deductions could make the situation worse. But Fox says New York offers many programs that can cut down on those costs. “There are many seniors who retire on the margins and New York state’s social support network is very strong,” Fox said. “It doesn’t leave seniors behind.” It’s that type of responsiveness, Fox says, that encourages him and many others to continue their retirement years in the Empire State.
NY a Bad State for Retirees? Not So Fast, Say Locals By Melody Burri
opRetirements.com may have ranked New York the nation’s third worst place for retirees in 2018, but not all natives agree. Many who’ve headed south for warmer weather have returned in favor of family, friends and natural beauty. For them, factors like high taxes and cost of living weren’t as motivating as was their love for life in the Empire State.
Kim Clement ‘Taxes are bad, but I truly love New York’ For retired high school physical education teacher Kim Clement, New York is actually an ideal environment for her family’s next chapter. “Our sons are here and we love the change of seasons,” said the Palmyra resident. “We like snowmobiles and ice fishing, and cannot imagine living south all year.” She’s also fond of not having to contend with “tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes or hurricanes.” “An ice storm now and then is easy,” she said. “And taxes are bad, but I truly love New York.”
Mat Adams Returned from Florida after eight years: ‘The heat is enough to drive you north in a minute’
ormer executive Mat Adams planted his roots in Western New York in 1963. It’s where he raised a family, grew a business and eventually retired. When it came time to retire, Adams and his wife picked up and moved south to the Sunshine State in favor of warmer weather and yearround golf. July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
“I loved it for a while — we lived in a golf community and I played a lot,” said Adams, now 80. “But then after a while, it became very boring. It was ‘what else are we going to do?’” Eventually, Florida life got overwhelming, Adams said. A normal 10-minute drive to a favorite restaurant turned into an hour because of intense seasonal traffic congestion. And the sweltering heat became unbearable. After eight years of giving Florida a chance to impress, Adams and his
wife decided they’d had enough and returned home to Rochester. “We came back because, although Florida is wonderful in many ways, in other ways it is very small and you get tired of it. And the heat is enough to drive you north in a minute.” Sure, Rochester sees more than its share of cold and snow, he said. But “it isn’t as aggravating as 90-and 100degree weather.” And then there was the tug of longtime friends and children. “All of our kids live here in West-
Robert Stanton ‘We live in an area that’s close to some of the best medical care in the country’ Retired Rochester City Police Officer Robert Stanton said he, too, likes “the fact that we don’t have hurricanes, mudslides, tornadoes, sinkholes” in New York. “Also, we live in an area that’s close to some of the best medical care in the country,” he said. “And as you get older that becomes a plus.” Stanton said he’s moved three times in his life and said the experiences were so stressful, even relo-
Anne Shean ‘I was homesick for New York’s rolling hills, culture, and relatives’ Warmth, sunshine and trips to the beach are life-giving for wife and mom of six Anne Shean. “I feel healthy and vibrant,” she said of sun-drenched weather to the south. But after several years living out of state, Shean, her husband of 21 years and their young children, aged 2 to 16, felt a familiar tug.
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ern New York,” said Adams. “We have two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren and they’re all right here. So we came back home to be with our kids. That’s worth more than playing golf four times a week.” After six years back in the Empire State, Adams has no regrets. “The cold weather doesn’t bother me near as much as walking from the golf club to the tee and being soaking wet with sweat,” he said.
cating just a short distance away, he “can’t imagine what it would be like to move out of state.” And any attempt to live closer to his adult children would be, at best, a roll of the dice. “In today’s economy, people don’t spend 20 years working in one place anymore,” said Stanton. “You move to be near your kids and family, and the next thing you know they have a new job and move to another state — it just not worth it.” Stanton agrees that taxes are “too high — especially the school taxes — and they keep going up every year.” “My oldest son moved to Tennessee several years ago and he told me his cost of living is about half of what it is when he lived here,” said Stanton. “It is tempting to get out of this state, and maybe if I was 10 or so years younger I just might consider it.” “I was homesick for New York’s rolling hills, culture, and relatives,” said the Victor resident. “So we returned for a couple of years. But the gray, cold, long winters are no way for me to live.” Shean and her husband both retired before they were 30 and manage their finances through real estate and business investments. For the last six years they spend summers only in New York and the winters on the Gulf coast in Florida. “We can invest in real estate anywhere, and New York has a low cost of living comparatively,” said Shean. “Taxes are high, but where we are the insurance rates make up the difference. So it’s equal.”
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Airbnb: Trendy Way to Travel Locals enjoying convenience of online short-term lodging services By Christine Green
ollege of Brockport Professor Carl Davila’s first experience with an Airbnb rental was when he traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, to attend an academic conference. His room was in a simple apartment with shared living space where guests could talk and get to know each other. Davila met three young men from Syria and right away they made a connection. Davila and his new friends spent quite a bit of time just relaxing and chatting. “I haven’t chilled like this in years — many years,” said Davila. Davila, 56, wouldn’t necessarily have made a quick and intimate connection with these men in another setting like a large hotel, and he was grateful for the chance to meet new people while abroad. In addition to new friendships, Airbnb also allowed him to experience everyday life “among normal people in the Arab world.” 16
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Airbnb is one of the most popular vacation rental websites or short-term lodging services in the world. Airbnb and similar online platforms, such as Vacation Rental By Owner, connect people around the world who wish to rent their property to travelers looking for something different — and often cheaper — than a hotel, resort, or inn. Today, finding an interesting and comfortable place to stay almost anywhere in the world is just a mouse click away. These global online accommodation services often pave the way for the kinds of less tangible, personal experiences like Davila had while in Beirut. These intimate connections are not just unique to guests and travelers, however. Property owners also find that renting their spaces to shortterm lodgers enhances their lives in positive ways, too. Sharon Lucity, 72, rents out rooms in her three-bedroom Brighton
house using Airbnb. When she first started renting five years ago, her son purchased a world map and several sheets of tiny yellow stickers for her. Today, the map is covered with hundreds of stickers, and she has had guests from every continent. Lucity said she loves having guests in her home and that “when I open the door I really open the door to the world.” In April, two young students from China stayed in her home for one night. They so enjoyed her friendliness and hospitality that they gave her a card and a gift before their departure. These are the small gestures that make it all worthwhile for Lucity. “You’re just making people happy. It’s definitely for me,” she said. Lucity isn’t the only person over 55 years old who rents property through Airbnb. A 2017 Airbnb internal report revealed there are over 3,000 senior Airbnb hosts in New York, a 75 percent increase from 2016.
Jean Rowley has been able to save a great deal of money by staying in homes they found through VRBO or Airbnb.
College of Brockport Professor Carl Davila met a number of people while sharing a home in Beirut, Lebanon.
Being a host through platforms such as Airbnb can be a real moneymaker. Sharon Lucity, 72, rents out rooms in her three-bedroom Brighton house using Airbnb. She made $13,000 in 2017. In addition, senior hosts are the highest-rated Airbnb hosts and 78 percent of its 2015 customer reviews received a 5-star rating. Being a host through platforms such as Airbnb can also be a real moneymaker. An Airbnb report from 2016 showed that 41 percent of seniors who rent their properties through them earn enough supplemental income from the endeavor to help them afford to stay in their homes. This was the case for Lucity who, after retiring from teaching several years ago, needed extra money to supplement her social security income. She tried many different jobs, including elder care and pet sitting, but none truly suited her or helped her earn the extra money she needed. When her son recommended she try renting, she was skeptical but soon
found that it wasn’t only fun, but that she also made a decent profit. In 2017 Lucity made about $13,000 from renting rooms in her home through Airbnb. “I love it because I am making a living and it has allowed me to be independent,” she said.
From beach to city Davila certainly isn’t the only 55plus traveler who has had a good experience with VRBO or Airbnb. Jean Rowley, 56, of Brockport rented a condo through VRBO for a family vacation in Ocean City, Md., last summer. She found the home they stayed in to be quieter and more family friendly as well as much cheaper than local hotels. “It was the most comfortable, laid-back, relaxed experience ever. It
was great,” Rowley said. She met the home owners who stay in the condo when they don’t rent it to guests, and they told her that their rental income allows them to pay for the necessary upkeep of a home by the beach. Another College of Brockport professor, Melissa Brown, 60, has also had great rental experiences in cities such as New York and Chicago. She was able to save hundreds of dollars by avoiding pricey hotels, and the apartments she stayed in were right in the heart of big city action. When asked if she would ever consider renting her home to travelers coming to the area, she said she was a little hesitant because, “who would want to come to Brockport?” Lucity’s advice to Brown: “Just do it. Get on the website and let people decide. I love it.” July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
The Boomerang Effect With varying levels of humility, young adults move back with mom and dad By Christine Green
tiquette guru Emily Post suggests that to be a good houseguest, you must make your bed every day, offer to help your host with basic chores, and make your visit short and sweet. This is all well and good but what happens when your houseguest isn’t a friend or family member visiting from out of town? What if it is your own adult child moving back home? “Boomerang kids” — young adults who return home after living on their own — have always been around, but these days adults are moving back in with parents in high-
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er numbers than in past years. A 2017 Pew Research Center reports showed that in 2016, 15 percent of 25- to 35-year-olds was living in their parents’ home. This is 5 percentage points higher than people in the same age group in 2000 who lived in their parents’ home (10 percent), and almost double the number of 25- to 35-year-olds living at home in 1964 (8
percent). Researchers aren’t entirely sure why the number of boomerang kids is increasing but it is clear that not all boomerang situations are the same. Some adults come home to recoup after a job loss, illness or divorce while others are trying to save money for a move, marriage or career
These days young adults are moving back in with parents in higher numbers than in past years, according to study
Nancy Graser and her husband Jerry Graser recently welcomed their son, Geoff, age 43, back to their Victor home, but he left after a few months. change. And boomerang kids aren’t just between the ages of 25 and 35. Some are in their early 20s and still others in their late 40s and 50s. Karen and Phil Stein of Spencerport are on the edge of being empty nesters. Their eldest son, Trevor, started college in the fall of 2017 and their youngest son, Damien, is still in high school. Just as they started getting used to a household with only one child, Trevor had to take time of off school to recover from an unexpected episode of depression. The Steins, like many families, fully expected their son to be on his way out of the house toward a life of independence. They never thought that he would be back home without a firm plan for the next academic year. “We’re still digesting the idea that we will always be parenting. I somehow always thought that there would be a punctuation to that sentence,” said Phil. When asked about the boundaries and rules they have set up with Trevor, they admitted they felt a little lost. He is over 18 and working, but
Karen and Phil Stein of Spencerport thought they were on their way to become empty-nesters. However, their college-aged son, Trevor, had to take time of off school to recover from an unexpected episode of depression. He is now living with his parents.
this recent move home is new territory for everyone. The Steins have even started counseling in order to help their son recover as well as learn how to discuss topics such as chores and household responsibilities with him. Their ultimate hope is that Trevor can continue to work around the house in addition to maintain his job and do all that he can to improve his overall health. This includes attending doctor appointments, exercising, and getting ready to re-enter school down the road. Geoff Graser returned to his parents’ Victor home recently but, like Trevor, doesn’t fit in the 25- to 35-yearold demographic. At 43, he has been on his own for many years, has had steady jobs, and was a homeowner. When he left teaching to pursue freelance writing full time, he travelled to San Francisco to work. But when he decided that Rochester was really where he wanted to settle, he needed a place to stay while he saved some money. Last fall his parents, Jerry and Nancy, suggested he move in with them.
Tips for Living with a Boomerang Child • Establish responsibilities right away. Make sure they know what kinds of chores and tasks you need them to do while living with you. • Discuss whether or not you will charge rent or if you need help paying for groceries, utilities or WiFi. • Set up a plan for moving out. Do they plan to leave in six months or one year? Make sure every party agrees on a reasonable move out date. • Talk about boundaries. Make sure they know what your parameters are for guests, “sleepovers,” and parties. • Some parents find it helpful to create a written contract with their boomeranger, outlining responsibilities, rent and move out expectations. July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
Right away, they established a price for rent and asked him to watch over the house when they traveled to Florida for the winter months. Overall it was a positive experience for everyone and Graser said he was “very grateful they gave me the opportunity to stay there.” The Grasers really enjoyed spending time with Geoff and everyone was on good terms when he moved to his own place in April.
Emotionally difficult But even though the whole experience was rather painless and conflict-free for the whole family, it was still emotionally hard for Geoff. Like most adult children, he had come home in previous years for holidays or between school breaks, but this experience was altogether unusual for him. “This time was a little bit different. I’m older, and I’ve owned a house, so it’s a little bit humbling and a little bit more about pride for me. I still couldn’t quite escape the feeling — even with the rent and that I’m taking care of stuff there — that I’m living at my parents’ house. Mentally, it was a challenge for me and not an ideal situation, so some additional anxiety comes in. I didn’t want to let them down,” he said. Melissa Kleehammer of Brockport understands where he is coming from. In 2012, when she was 31, she decided to leave her home in Cleveland and move back to New York. She had just finished her training as a yoga teacher and wanted to start a new career as a yoga instructor in the Rochester area. Her parents, Jo Anne and David Kleehammer, gladly welcomed her back as they did when their other children had come home for brief stints. While Melissa was thankful that her parents were happy to let her move back, she also felt the sting of pride that Graser felt. “There was a level of embarrassment that I was 31 and I’m living with my parents. It was relatively easy, but it was emotionally very hard,” she said. But, like Graser, Kleehamer had a good experience during the five months she lived again in her childhood home. There were no major con20
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Geoff Graser, 43, recently returned to his parents home in Victor. After a few months, he relocated to his own apartment in the area. flicts and she made sure to help out around the house as needed. She even chose to live in their finished basement rather than her old bedroom to give herself and her parents a little more privacy. Her parents didn’t feel like they needed to charge rent or have any particular rules or chores since she was very attentive to helping around the house. Their only hard and fast rule when any of their kids come home: no members of the opposite sex allowed overnight. Post would likely approve of Graser and Kleehammer as outstanding house guests. They helped out when and where needed and their moves back home were relatively free of drama. Graser’s dad would agree and felt like Geoff did his part. Aside from paying rent, all he really asked was that Geoff “leave things the way you found it and clean up after yourself.”
Melissa Kleehammer of Brockport at 31 years of age (left) moved back to her parents’ home. She is shown with her mother, Jo Anne Kleehammer.
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July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
tech savvy Boomers Are Getting More Tech Savvy By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
ore older adults are getting technologically savvy, according to the Pew Research Center. A recent survey found that about two-thirds of those 65 and older go online, 67 percent use the internet and, since 2013, 24 percent more own smartphones. Interest in OASIS Rochester’s technology classes is on the rise, according to Ann Cunningham, executive director at OASIS Rochester. Whether it’s learning how to use Facebook, Skype or email, “that’s very important to them because they want to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren,” Cunningham said. Cunningham also thinks that general interest in technology spurs them, as they’re curious and they also want to stay relevant. OASIS’ classes on Excel, the spreadsheet program, have also enabled participants to better manage a budget for home or post-retirement business. Because of participants’ repeated requests, the registration process at OASIS was digitized two years ago, and about 35 percent of registrations happen online. Daniel Jones, who has a certificate in gerontology, owns Daniel Teaches, a Rochester-area business that has been tutoring mature adults in technology through one on one and group lessons for seven years. Jones said that many become engaged with technology to stay better connected to their families and for personal enrich-
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ment. “I have lots of people who say, ‘All I want to do is get online to see pictures of my family’ and what usually happens is they slowly start to creep toward more and more engagement,” he said. Jones has some initially reluctant pupils who now bank and shop online. He said that others want to feel they’re actively participating in modern life and that in general, older adults tend to be late adopters. “They’re skeptical when it comes out,” Jones said. “As time goes on, and maybe some of their friends have a good experience, they’ll go ahead and do it.” Sometimes, family members may pressure them to get a smartphone or Facebook account. For those, the biggest barrier to involvement is fear, according to Jones. Some worry they’re “too old” or can’t learn. Maybe the device will break or become too complicated to figure out if they make a mistake. Jones advises family members to introduce only the level of technology the older adult wants to use. A tiny smartphone may be the latest and greatest, but is the screen too small to see well for someone with vision problems? A larger tablet may be better. Or perhaps a desktop computer with a large monitor would increase visibility better. In addition to practicality, also consider how the device will be used. The desktop’s lack of portability to
a cozy nook for reading, for example, makes it less favorable. But the size and tactile qualities of the keyboard may prove an advantage for less-nimble fingers. Will the user want to take photos to post to social media someday? Or use it away from home? Then consider a tablet or larger smartphone. A laptop may seem a good compromise for those who want portability and natural typing; however, the weight and size would hinder some from taking it far. Discuss the pros and cons before making a purchase. Jones said that many people come to him for help after receiving a surprise electronic gift. Jones recommends for newbies an iPad for its intuitive nature, light weight and sizeable screen. “If they’ve never had a computer, they won’t know how to use a mouse or keyboard,” he added. “It’s all builtin.” Without peripheral devices plugged in, there are fewer things to fail. Jones pointed out that traditional PCs need frequent updates. Irregular users may feel like whenever they occasionally use their computers, all it does is run updates, forming a negative experience each time. Despite his professional prowess, Jones admits that his own octogenarian parents don’t own a computer, tablet or smartphone. “You can’t force one on someone who doesn’t want to get involved,” Jones said.
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July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
Funk it Up! Local favorite Prime Time Funk in prime of career — and still smiling
The band Prime Time Funk. Photo courtesy of Aaron Winters.
By Jana Eisenberg
or almost 23 years, Prime Time Funk, a Rochester-based band, has been entertaining others and having fun doing it, earning a multitude of loyal fans and professional renown in the process. The 10-piece band’s members range in age from late 40s to 70; their audiences are generally of “a certain age” as well — though by this point, the band is onto its second generation of fans. The late Ralph Ortiz and saxophone player/vocalist/songwriter Jim Richmond, now 65, founded the band around 1996 with multiple intentions: to launch a project for themselves, to create demand for a larger, horn-driven band, and to do it with the very best musicians, who were also nice people. Ortiz died in 2009. “We wanted the band to be an attraction — for there to be lines out the doors, so we didn’t play at every bar, every weekend,” noted Richmond. “We also wanted to work with gentlemen; good guys. People you could look across the stage at through the years, and still smile.” The group, which among other highlights has become the house band for the Rochester Music Hall of Fame, lists backing up a stellar selection of musicians — such as Maceo 24
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Parker, Paul Shaffer and Paul Simon — at RMHF events as one of its points of pride. They play the Rochester International Jazz Festival. They began composing their own songs, and have released two CDs filled with originals and selections from their huge repertoire. They continue to play bars, casinos and festivals, as well as private events. Their local “home base” is Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews, in the Rochester Institute of Technology area. They started out at the now-defunct venue, Milestones, with an approximately six-week, audience-building gig. They recently hosted their 22nd anniversary celebration at Lovin’ Cup — among both new and familiar faces. Chuck Pullara, 60, has been a fan practically since the very first gig. “I’ve known a lot of the guys in Prime Time Funk for years and years,” he said. “Being a fan of their band is a natural extension of that friendship.” PTF was founded with the notion of emulating the style of legendary horn-based group Tower of Power, then adding its own influences and song selections. A large part of Prime Time Funk’s appeal across generations and genres lies in its versatility and breadth of experience, lending
itself to engaging interpretations of a wide-ranging repertoire. A sample of artists in its repertoire includes Duke Ellington, Bruce Hornsby, Elton John, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. Dave Cohen, 64, was one of the “talented musicians, gentlemen and nice guys” that Richmond and Ortiz recruited all those years ago, and one of the few remaining original members, along with Vince Ercolamento on the tenor/alto/soprano saxophones and flute.
Ebb and flow Over the years, inevitably, there’ve been personnel changes — Cohen (drums, percussion, and vocals), estimates there have been about 20 different players in and out of the lineup. The current roster now includes Andy Calabrese (keyboards); Joe Chiappone (guitar); Ron D’Angelo (trumpet and flugelhorn); Mike Edwards (baritone sax); Ron France (bass); Ronnie Leigh, lead vocals (he’s the 70-year-old); and Derrick Lipp (trumpet, flugelhorn). With its range of experience and instrumentation possibilities, the band gladly tailors set lists to fit the
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• July 29, 6 p.m., Center Stage, Perinton Community Center, Perinton mood or venue. At weddings and private events, for example, they can provide jazz and standards during dinner, and then get the party going with Motown, rhythm and blues or a few top-40 hits. Pullara knows their repertoire well. “Believe it or not, some of my favorite songs are their originals,” he said. “They also do great covers — I love when they do Steely Dan’s ‘Peg.’ Their talented members have so much musical depth; they can really explore the songs.” “We’re not as concerned with staying current,” noted Cohen. “People are familiar with most of the music we play.” At public and outdoor shows, said Richmond, the audiences include “black, white — middle-aged and younger kids, people our age, longhaired hippies, and elderly people in wheelchairs. We try to not leave anyone out.” As the band and their fans have gotten older, some things have naturally changed. Where gigs used to begin at 10 and go until the late hours, they now usually start by 8 and end before midnight. “Keeping a band this large together and being in the music business can have frustrating aspects,” said Cohen. “But we love each other and feel like family; we have each other’s backs. And it’s worth it to get on stage and play music.” “When I saw them backing Paul Simon at the Hall of Fame, it sent chills down my spine,” recollected Pullara. “They were looking at each other, smiling and laughing, just having the time of their lives.” Richmond notes that one of the original goals was to make Prime Time Funk gigs a serious draw. And, he can attest to achieving that: “At our 22nd anniversary gig, there were lines out the door!” Visit primetimefunk.com or Prime Time Funk on Facebook to learn more and for the band’s schedule.
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Kicking a Tech Addiction ‘We really must ask ourselves, what is so compelling about cellphones?’
recently had dinner with a friend at an upscale restaurant, and while we were enjoying a drink before dinner, I checked out the other clientele to convince myself that I was not underdressed for the location. In a corner table, I noticed an older couple — he was busily scanning his cellphone, and she was doing the same. During the course of our 90-minute long dinner, I occasionally glanced toward this couple only to find them in essentially the same activities as when I first spied them. This provoked a conversation between my friend and me about the “rules of eating out.” I told him that I thought it was horrible that a couple would go out to eat and essentially ignore each other in favor of their phones. “Can’t they get off those phones long enough to talk to each other?” I wondered. My friend said that most of the time in situations like this both parties are staring at their phones rather than staring at each other. “It seems
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as if they cannot give up their phones even for the short time that they are having dinner,” he said. The next day, as I thought more about this, I wanted to see whether any research has been done on this topic and, if so, what have been the conclusions. I found that two researchers from British Columbia — Elizabeth Dunn and Ryan Dwyer — have been working on this, and they definitely noticed a trend. Dwyer told Time magazine: “We were really curious. Is the amount of time they are spending on their phones having an impact on people’s social interactions and on how much they’re enjoying the time they’re spending with other people?” They found that the answer is “yes,” but not in a good way. They found that phone use during a meal decreased the diner’s enjoyment of the event. If you can resist the lure of your device, Dunn said, you may actually enhance your experience. One of the interesting findings of the research is that phone use could be
contagious. “People are more likely to use their phones when others around them are also using their phones, so that suggests there may be this sort of domino effect,” Dunn said. “By putting your own phone away, you might be creating a positive domino effect.” So why do we have this fascination with phones, especially when most of the messages we get can be classified as inconsequential or “junk?” Phone use can become habit-forming, Dwyer believes. “You’re used to pulling your phone out and looking for new notifications,” he said. “Have a rule that if you’re going to dinner with some friends or family members, you’ll put your phone on silent and leave it off the table. Try to stick to these rules so you can form new habits.” Kicking a tech addiction is right up there with trying to quit smoking or cutting down on alcohol consumption or heading to the casino every week. When I told my friend the results of my research, he didn’t believe me. “Oh, come on,” he said, “it’s not
I gave him these specifics: • Almost half of respondents in a survey said they would experience a great deal of anxiety if they lost their phone and couldn’t replace it for a week. • Seventy percent said they checked their smartphone within 30 minutes of getting out of bed in the morning. • Fifty-six percent said they check their phone just before going to sleep. • Nearly half check their phones constantly during the weekend, even when vowing that they will put away their phones from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, but they just can’t do it. • More than half of the respondents said that they check their phones continuously while they are on vacation. When you see people texting and driving, which they know is wrong and could be deadly, we really must ask ourselves what is so compelling about cellphones. There are ongoing studies looking into whether smartphones really hook us into dependency and whether phone-makers have a hand in this mission. When you think about it, the lights, the sounds, the siren song of an important message or news story instantly transmitted, all of it has the allure which some can just not ignore, regardless of how hard they try and how they have resolved not to be hooked into “checking in.” According to David Greenfield, a Connecticut psychologist, emails give us satisfaction, because we never know when we are going to get an exciting message. “So we keep checking our phones, over and over again,” Greenfield said. “It’s like a slot machine; we’re seeking that pleasurable hit.” Remember the anticipation we have waiting for the daily mail? Will there be a check? Will there be a letter from a good friend or relative? Most of the time, we are disappointed to find mostly junk mail and bills, but the next day the anticipation builds again. Well, now we have this anticipation and discovery not just once a day but, potentially, hundreds of times a day.
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July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
Bonnie Kelly: Changing Lives One Dog at a Time Retired Victor resident busy raising puppies for nonprofit Guiding Eyes for the Blind By Melody Burri
t 75, you’d think Bonnie Kelly might want to kick back in a recliner and relax in her well-deserved retire-
ment. You’d be wrong. The energetic, age-defying Victor resident is happiest when she’s hiking down the backroads of her hometown with a large German shepherd or labrador retriever — or both — at her side. Kelly is a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a New Yorkbased nonprofit organization that breeds, raises and trains dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired. She’s been at it solidly for the last 13 years, since before she retired. As a volunteer, Kelly raises a pup from 8 weeks old, teaches him or her how to be comfortable, mannerly and unflappable in every situation. Then about one year later — just about the time she’s fallen madly in love — her fully socialized charge goes off for training at Guiding Eyes for the Blind to become a guide dog. Apparently Kelly loves her foster role, because she’s raised a baker’s dozen of the pups — so far. “Cora is number 13,” said Kelly as she oversees canine playtime in her spacious backyard. “Seven have been labs and six have been shepherds, so I have to do one more just to make it even, right?” Jake, Milton, Yuri, Nick, Susie, Hadley, Pride, Joy, Klinger, Rasha, Cotton, Luna and Cora — they’ve all got a place in her heart and space on her family room wall, where photos and graduation certificates bear witness to 13 jobs well done and 12 lives changed. 28
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The 13th will come when Cora graduates and is matched with her future partner. The benefits of puppy-raising are many, Kelly said. “Part of our job is to get the dogs exposed to as many things as possible,” she said. “So that causes me to go out and do something I probably wouldn’t necessarily do.” She’s also required to walk the dogs a couple of miles a day, which is wonderful exercise. “This winter was not good, but when it’s too cold, I go to the mall and do a mall walk,” she said. “It gets me out and going.” Kelly also volunteers at the Granger Homestead in Canandaigua two days a week — not as much for herself as for her pups. “It’s only a total of 10 hours a week, but it’s good exposure for the dogs,” she said. “People are coming into the gift shop and the dogs are laying there and behaving themselves. They’re not jumping up to greet somebody. Sometimes it’s very quiet, and other times you’ve got a busload of people coming into the gift shop. It’s just really good training.” As it turned out, one of her charges — Nick — actually had an ear for music. “We have a CD that’s from a woman who played the Clementi pianoforte at the Granger, and I’ve found that that’s very relaxing to the dogs,” said Kelly. In fact, she went so far as to pass along a copy of the CD to Nick’s partner when he went into full-time service. Kelly later learned he responded to it immediately. “Nick went to a single mom who’s blind and has a teenaged son
Cora and Bonnie — Victor resident Bonnie Kelly takes Cora on her daily 2-mile walk as part of her early training. Kelly raised Cora’s mother, Rasha, a few years ago, Kelly has raised 13 Guiding Eyes for the Blind dogs so far. Photo of Melody Burri. with autism,” said Kelly, who keeps up with the partners of each of her former pups. The three are featured in a Guiding Eyes for the Blind brochure, she said. And the son, now in his 20s, is engaged and is a bus driver. “That’s one of the great things about raising a guide dog — you’re opening up a world for a blind person,” said Kelly. And sometimes her dogs help restore what has been lost. “The person who has Pride, when he was 31 he was in an automobile accident and severed his optic nerve,” she said. “So he went from full vision to absolutely nothing. It took him two years to get back to working.”
Training takes more than a year Puppies spend more than a year with their raisers — from 8 weeks old
to 15 or 18 months old, Kelly said. During that time, they undergo two formal evaluations and learn about 15 commands from their raisers, including “sit,” “down,” “stay,” “come,” “back,” “close” and the essential “get busy.” (That’s guide dog-speak for “go outside, do your business and make it snappy.”) “We get them to the mature age where they are ready for the tough stuff,” said Kelly. After that, the dogs go off to school for six months of formal training, learning about 50 commands, among other things. Then the new partner comes to the school and spends three weeks of intensive training onsite with their new guide dog, Kelly said. And finally, a trainer travels with a guide dog and its new partner to their new home, spending up to a week getting the lay of the land and learning commands and skills specific to the environment. Kelly and her pups are wellknown in Victor and surrounding communities — one is always in tow when she heads to the doctor or dentist, grocery shopping, sporting events, nursing homes, libraries and public festivals. “She likes to take them to restaurants, that way she doesn’t have to cook,” joked Jim, Kelly’s husband and partner in puppy-raising. No argument there. “Our favorite place to go is Rheinblick’s in Canandaigua, because they really fuss over the dog,” said Kelly. She also takes them with her to church on weekends. “To be honest, I had kind of gotten away from church,” said Kelly. “Jake was 6 months old and I took him to the East Bloomfield Methodist Church. I walked into the front door, and Bonnie Bidwell walked into the back door with her guide dog. That struck up a friendship with us, and she kept encouraging me.” Thirteen years later, Kelly is still raising dogs and still going to church. Most recently, her eyes are on Klinger, a guide dog and Guiding Eyes’ first-ever “running guide dog” she raised a few years back. Klinger has a shot at national recognition if he’s chosen to be American Humane’s 2018 American Hero Dog, and in turn earn $5,000 for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Richard Hunter hopes his running guide dog, Klinger, will receive plenty of online votes in his bid for American Humane’s American Hero Dog, and in turn earn $5,000 for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Photo provided by Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Klinger’s partner, Richard Hunter of California, is a United States Marine Corps veteran and avid runner. But Hunter started losing his sight in 1989 because of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited, degenerative eye disease. Then in 2014, he was struck by a car while riding his tandem bicycle, and airlifted to receive emergency care. Enter Klinger, who’s since given Hunter new freedom and the ability to train for and compete in marathons across the country. Kelly, who’s proud of all 13 Guiding Eyes for the Blind dogs she’s raised, hopes people will take time to vote for Klinger at http://herodogawards.org/dog/klinger/ so he can advance in the nation-wide competition. The first round of voting was open through April 24, at which time Kelly hopes Klinger will move to the finalist category and voting can continue through the summer. “I’m proud of the boy,” said Kelly. “He’s a handsome boy, and he loves the camera.” One thing is certain — puppy raising has helped keep her healthy, both emotionally and physically. “I think I’d be very bored right now if I didn’t have a dog to raise,” she said.
About Guiding Eyes for the Blind • It costs $50,000 to breed, raise, train and match a guide dog, and support the team throughout the lifetime of the dog • GEB creates more than 170 guide dog teams every year, with more than 1,000 teams currently active • Since it was founded in 1954, GEB has graduated over 7,000 guide dog teams • More than 500 pups are born each year; 92 percent are labrador retrievers and 8 percent are German shepherds • It takes more than 1,400 volunteers to breed, raise, train, match, and support GEB dogs • There is no cost for services to people who are blind or visually impaired • GEB receives no government funding and operates solely from public support For more information on Guiding Eyes for the Blind based in Westchester County, visit www.guidingeyes.org. July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
Taste of Italy Film aficionado brings Italian films to Rochester community By Mike Costanza
ony Mangione’s bid to bring Italian films to Rochester could be the plot of a movie. “It was an adventure,” the 71-year-old Perinton resident says in the accent of his native Italy.
Unfortunately, when the first scene opened, Mangione had no idea how to get to the end of the picture. “It was like running a train, and putting the railroad tracks after you find out where you’re going,” he says. “I had no idea what I was doing.” Don’t worry — this flick has a happy ending. The Italian Film Series celebrated its first anniversary in April. As a child growing up in Turin, 30
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Italy, Mangione spent countless hours in one of the city’s 100-plus movie theaters. “I didn’t have anything that was geared toward me,” he says “I had to go out and seek it.” Foreign films gave him a window on the world far beyond Turin, as he sailed the high seas with the likes of Burt Lancaster and fought alongside John Wayne in the Pacific. For an only child without many toys, it was mag-
“I took my mother’s broom, and I would go down the Amazon River as a paddle,” he explains. “I watched the ‘Sands of Iwo Jima,’ and I took the broom and I stood, put it on the balcony, and I was shooting down an airplane.” Even the jungles of Africa proved irresistible. A matinee showing of a Tarzan movie turned into a marathon — Mangione sat through the Johnny
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Weissmuller flick four times. “At nine o’clock, my parents came to grab me out of the theater,” he says with a grin. When Mangione was 14, his parents brought him to Rochester, where his mother worked as a seamstress and his father as a woodworker. These days, Mangione and his wife of 46 years, Sharon, visit his native land at least once a year. Though Mangione has always enjoyed movies, Hollywood’s standard fare sometimes leaves him less than satisfied. “We’re just feeding the box office, and the creative spirit is kind of disappearing,” Mangione asserts. The dearth of Italian films in the Rochester area left Mangione frustrated. Flicks from all over the world come into local homes via Netflix and other vendors, but few make it to the big screen. “We’re one of the very few countries that doesn’t have international movies,” Mangione complains. “There’s an Italian festival in Beijing, for God’s sake!” On one visit to Italy, Mangione viewed a film that led him to take on a third career — as a purveyor of Italian films in Rochester. “Perfetti Sconosciuti” (“Perfect Strangers”) brings seven friends together for dinner. On the suggestion of one of them, they play an intriguing but ultimately unpleasant game in which they share everything they receive on their cell phones. The 2016 comedy-drama was a critical and commercial success. Mangione decided to bring “Perfetti Sconosciuti” to Rochester as the first offering in the Italian Film Series, but building those train tracks was tougher than it looked. Though the Little Theatre agreed to host the Italian Film Series, its film distributors didn’t have the movie. “Italian films don’t do well in the U.S. — can’t get in,” Mangione says. Spurred by the challenge, Mangione began searching for “Perfetti Sconosciuti’s” distributor. After he reached the right Italian firm, his train fell off its tracks: a U.S. studio wanted to buy the rights to the film, and remake it for an American audience. After protracted negotiations, the distributor turned Mangione down — just five weeks before his film series was to begin. 32
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Tony Mangione at his Perinton home.
Scramble mode “Now, I’m scrambling, because I already have a date set; I already have the ‘Little’ set up,” Mangione says. “I don’t have a movie.” And, a scramble it was. Mangione searched all over for another Italian film to screen. Distributors were very reluctant to let him look at their wares. “I don’t have any box office history, because it’s the first one, and I’m only going to show it one time, once a month, in one theater,” he says. Finally, a company in Rome offered Mangione the chance to prescreen some of the films it sells. One caught his eye. “Neve” (“Snowscape”) is about two strangers who come together on a drive, one seeking the loot from a heist and the other trying to escape her life. “I was very intrigued about the simplicity of the story, the lack of special effects, the lack of violence, car chases, explosions,” Mangione ex-
plains. Mangione agreed to buy the right to screen the film once, but hit another snag: The sales company couldn’t provide a Blu-ray disk of “Neve.” DeBergerac Productions, Inc., a Fairport firm, agreed to download the film to disk, but the 14-hour process failed twice. Each time, the sales company in Rome turned off its computers at the end of its eight-hour workday, cutting off the download. After that was straightened out, “Neve” was ready for its Rochester debut. About 135 attended the screening — not at all bad for a Tuesday night event that was largely advertised by word-of-mouth. Since then, Mangione has presented one Italian film each month at the Little. Nowadays, Italian film distributors regularly give Mangione access to their catalogs. Some even give him screening rights to first-run films, including those being shown at the Cannes Film Festival and other prestigious film industry events. Though Mangione carefully se-
lects the films for his series, each screening is more than a night at the movies. “I wanted to make it what’s called in Italian a ‘serata,’ an evening,” Mangione says. Those wishing to view a film are encouraged to socialize beforehand at the Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar by Wegmans, on Rochester’s East Avenue. Following the screening, they can head to Branca Midtown, a downtown Italian restaurant, to discuss the film. Though the evenings have a distinct Italian flavor, they draw all kinds of folks from around the area. “This is not bringing Italian movies for the Italian community,” Mangione explains. “This is bringing Italian movies to the city of Rochester because the city of Rochester needs something different.” Though Mangione’s films are well attended, he hasn’t made a profit from the series — yet. Not that that bothers him. “If I can break even so it supports itself, I’m fine,” he says.
Mangione (center, back) at Wegmans East Avenue during the pre-screening get-together for Gli Ultimi Sarrano, which was shown on May 24. Mangione briefly joined the DeCarolis family and some friends at the table. In the meantime, Mangione finances the Italian Film Series with money from his company, Delta Strategies, and the support of local busi-
nesses and organizations. Wegmans, Persuasive Communications and DeBergerac Productions, Inc., are all among its underwriters.
Feasting on Foreign Films By Mike Costanza “Gli Ultimi Sarrano Ultimi” (“The Last Will be the Last”), the latest offering in the Italian Film Series, recently drew about 15 people to the Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar inside Wegmans East Avenue in Rochester. There, the smell of Italian food and sounds of friendly conversations fill the air. Louis DeCarolis was there with his wife, Cindy, and several of their relatives. DeCarolis, the information technology director for DeCarolis Truck Rental, Inc. has been to four of the series’ films. “Tony (Mangione) puts up such a variety of films that we’re anxious to see what’s next,” DeCarolis says. Cindy has been a film buff since she was a small child. “I love the spoken language, so I love listening to foreign films,” she says. DeCarolis Truck Rental is one of the Italian Film Series’ sponsors.
Colleen Roof came to Amore right from her job in Victor. For Roof, the film series offers the opportunity to spend an evening each month away from her husband and family. In addition, the Italian flicks are quite different from most American films. “There’s a lot more layers to them,” the Newark resident says. “Plus, I love listening to the Italian words on the screen, and just being immersed in that other culture.” Allison Leet has known Italian Film Series creator Tony Mangione since they both worked at General Motors. She and her friend Paula Fletcher have seen every one of its flicks but two. “These films have just been delightful,” declares Leet, who is from Victor. “Fun, dramatic, poignant — it’s just been one to look forward to every month.” For Fletcher, the artistry and generally slower pace of foreign films are big pluses.
“It’s different from the U.S., Hollywood films, which are a little bit too much stimulus for me,” the Greece resident explains. Once dinner was over and the wine glasses were empty, all headed off to the Little Theatre, where the viewing area was about two-thirds full. After the lights came up, some folks headed off to Rochester’s Branca Midtown to finish out the evening. July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
Tony Mangione: Eternal Opportunist Italian immigrant brings old country charm to Rochester By Mike Costanza
ony Mangione considers himself lucky. “Opportunities have always been presented to me, and I took them,” says the founder and head of Delta Strategem, Inc. That willingness to grab for the brass ring seems to run through Mangione’s family. Back in the late 1950s, Rochester was one of the hubs of the clothing industry. Hickey Freeman, Bond Clothing, and Michaels-Stern & Co. had factories here back then. Though Hickey Freeman still makes top-of-the-line suits here, the other firms are out of business. “All of these tailor shops, they needed seamstresses, they needed tailors, they needed cutters,” Mangione says. “They needed people with skill and expertise.” Over in Torino, Italy, Anna Mangione saw a chance for a better life for herself and her family. Her skills as a seamstress were in demand in Rochester, and she managed to obtain a job here before leaving her home. Anna, her husband Aldo and Tony, their 14-year-old son, arrived in the United States at the end of 1961. Though neither of the adults spoke English, they managed to settle into a home on Rochester’s Miller Street. While Anna worked as a seamstress, 40-year-old Aldo, a skilled woodworker, walked to the now-defunct Edwards & Son department store on Main Street. There, he made his way to the store’s furniture repair shop. “He walked right in, and he sat down, picked up some tools that were there, picked up a piece of broken furniture, and he started fixing it,” Tony explains. Others in the shop told him to leave, but Aldo continued working. After a time, they recognized his level of skill. “They hired him on the spot,” Tony says, with a hint of pride. 34
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Aldo almost lost that job the next day, when he began eating the lunch he’d brought with him, which included a beverage most people drink with meals in Italy. “In Italy, everyone has a glass of wine,” Tony explains. Someone pointed out that Edwards’ employees couldn’t drink at work. Thereafter, Aldo left his wine at home.
Attains lofty degrees Tony’s parents began attending night classes in English, and enrolled their son in a local Catholic school. Though the boy spoke Italian, and
some French and German, his rudimentary command of English left him at a disadvantage. “They tried to put me in third grade, but then I said, ‘No way,’ so they put me in 8th grade,” Tony says. Though he flunked most of his subjects that first year, Tony subsequently went on to acquire three master’s degrees, including a Master of Business Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Tony’s work history reflects that kind of drive. He spent 23 years with General Motors, working his way from production line worker to comptroller of its component assembly plant in Rochester. In 1993, he left
Tony Mangione and his wife, Sharon, at the Little Theatre recently.
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GM to form his own company. Delta Strategem, Inc., which helps transform small companies from the bottom up. “I developed a methodology where I’m able to take a company that is ready to go bankrupt, and within six months turn it into a profitable operation without laying anybody off,” Tony asserts. Since he founded the one-person firm, Tony has helped more than 100 firms grow, some of which were overseas. At the age of 71, he picks and chooses his clients. “It’s ‘Tony time,’” he says, with a grin. “If there’s a customer that I think needs help, then I’ll go and help them. If they don’t, then I don’t.” Instead, Tony appears to give much of his attention to running the Italian Film Series and traveling with Sharon, his wife of 46 years, who is the human resource director for global business and functions for Carestream Health. They visit Italy at least once a year. “I always go to Torino as a base, and then we go off and take a different chunk of Italy,” Tony says. The couple has also visited London, Paris and parts of the Caribbean. They also spend time with their two grandchildren and their son, who is stationed with the U.S. Army outside of Washington DC. Ask Tony what’s in store for him in the next few years, and he offers up a smile. “I’m not one of those five-year plan guys,” he says. “I believe life will always throw opportunities to you, and you just go with it.”
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Dresses made by retired teachers in Rochester have reached girls around the world — from left, girls from Cambodia, Costa Rica and Tanzania.
A Stitch in Time Savvy Sew-ers have Third World children on their mind By John Addyman
aya Shakes was concentrating on getting the hair just right. Behind her, a boom box was gently filling her work area with the Flamingos, straight out of 1959, playing, “I Only Have Eyes for You.” The doll she was working on was small, with lots of curly hair. It would end up sitting in the pocket of a dress someone else was working on, and be accompanied by some underwear another woman was sewing — all for the little girl who would receive everything and gush because she felt so special. In the room, the chatter was constant. Happy. Encouraging. Affirming. There were gentle suggestions 36
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and congratulations when something new was working. Just the kind of talk you’d expect in a roomful of retired teachers and school counselors. When finished, that doll, that dress, and many like them will see the world: Cambodia, Tanzania, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Ecuador, Grenada, Ethiopia, Mali, Peru, Brazil, Thailand — and they all start in this room. The Savvy Sew-ers, all members of the Rochester Retired Teachers Association, spend the fourth Monday of every school month on the third floor of the Rochester Teachers Association building. They gather for four or five hours, bring their own sewing machines, and put together stunning-
ly colorful dresses for girls. “We are a group of 20 women who are firmly dedicated to improving the lives of girls in Third World countries,” said Cathy Fager, one of the Savvy Sew-er principals who helped start the project more than five years ago. She is a retired elementary special education teacher. The Sew-ers are based on the “Dress a Girl Around the World” movement, which puts dresses in the hands of little girls so they look special, cared for, and belong to somebody. Fager said the dresses are bundled and taken as checked luggage by ministers, missionaries, even people on trips, and delivered to girls all over the world. “The dress, and the doll with it, make little girls feel special,” said Sandra Martinez, a retired middle and high school counselor. “There’s a lot of joy in this. If I were in a little girl’s shoes out there, I’d want someone thinking about me.”
Want to Help the Savvy Sew-ers? The Savvy Sew-ers can be contacted through Cathy Fager, one of the Savvy Sew-er principals, at Cathy.Fager@gmail.com. The group is thankful for donations of cotton fabric, flat cotton sheets, fleece in neutral colors, elastic, safety pins, straight pins, new or gently used T-shirts sized 4-14 (they form the top half of T-shirt dresses) and trimmings. They can be dropped off at the RTA office — 300 N. Union St., suite 301, Rochester — on the fourth Friday of the month.
Dedicated group Martinez explained that dresses are shipped out between 50 and 100 at a time, and more than 800 have reached little girls. Older girls will get a dress, some underwear and a journal. Older girls may also get handmade sanitary napkins, because when they menstruate, without such a simple personal article, they don’t go to school and fall behind. “Everybody in here is very dedicated,” she said. Throughout the room, women are holding up whatever they’re working on, making sure it’s right, and feeling the satisfaction they have in doing something good for kids. The more experienced sewers help those who haven’t stepped up to a machine since their children were small — 20 years or more. Not everyone needs to sew — some cut fabric, make bindings, match fabrics and work on yarn dolls. Retired speech and language pathologist Maureen Lynch-Bennett said she hadn’t sewed in 50 years. “I do this because I love it — because of the context of where the dresses go. I love the people here,” she said. “I enjoy sewing with a purpose,” said Roz Cohn, a retired French and Spanish teacher. “We’re doing something for someone else and that makes me feel good. It gets my creative juices flowing. It’s very rewarding.” Martinez said the Sew-ers have spawned similar programs in the YMCAs in Penfield and Gates. “This is a hoot,” said retired counselor Barbara Chambers, who was busy working at a sewing machine.
A group of girls from Mali sporting new dresses made by Savvy Sew-ers in Rochester
Sample of dresses made by member of the Savvy Sew-ers in Rochester. “I love it,” said Martinez. “It’s very rewarding for me. Everyone in here gives so much.” Shakes finished getting the hair just right on the doll she was working on. “This is just something for the girls to have,” she said, holding up the doll. “It says, ‘Here’s something special just for you.’” She quickly mentions that the dolls don’t go with dresses destined for Haiti because of the religious connections to such objects. Getting the dresses to their destinations requires a network of people who have contacts with churches or
orphanages in many countries. Georganna Greelee, a retired counselor, was lucky enough to deliver dresses herself on a Road Scholar program program to Costa Rica, where the group leader took her through the backwoods to an orphanage. On the side of Martinez’s worktable is a special book, filled with letters and photos from little girls who got the dresses. Whenever letters or pictures arrive, it’s a special moment for all of these women, closing a circle of love to children they do not know, but treasure so much. July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
Group Embraces Orienteering By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
o Don Winslow, 52, orienteering is not just a walk in the woods. The Marion resident is a member of Rochester Orienteering Club. The group travels to various sites in Monroe County, plus places like Letchworth State Park and Sodus, to engage in a hobby that’s gaining traction in the region. Although multi-generational — the group has members ranging from children to someone 90 years old — about one-third to one-half of the 100 members are older than 65. “They might have more time once they’re retired,” Winslow said. “They like the physical exercise, hiking and exploring. They like maps and solving problems.” That’s just what orienteering is all about. Participants use orienteering-style maps that offer enhanced topographical features to help them navigate from their starting point to a designated destination. “The same type of map is used all over the world,” Winslow said. The group meets twice a month from April through October and monthly the rest of the year. Most of the time, they go out on foot, but occasionally cross-country ski, ride mountain bikes or paddle canoes and kayaks. They’ve also done orienteering at night with headlamps. Winslow insists orienteering is easy for anyone to learn. “We start kids out as young as 3,” he said. “They just follow a string through the woods. They collect stickers at each checkpoint, called a control point. There’s an orienteering flag there, orange and white. “We have kids and families that come out. It’s not competitive, but just a challenge. The length of the course starts to increase as they get older. Then they start to decrease as people get older.” He views orienteering as a good way to unplug, get in the woods and exercise both body and brain. While a younger person may relish tackling a challenging terrain, an older person may want to use strategy to find a way around the rough spot. “There are easier and harder courses and everything in between,” Winslow said. He has always loved maps and joked that when his wife, Cheri, pulls out a novel, he reads maps. 38
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Don and Cheri Winslow enjoy orienteering together. When Winslow was younger, he used to participate in cross-country running. While he may not attack an orienteering activity at a dead run, he does enjoy the physical activity it provides. It’s kept Winslow active since he started in 2006 at age 40. Since his work as a special education teacher at Lyons Middle School isn’t physical, orienteering helps keep him in better shape. Occasionally, wife Cheri joins him. She substitute teaches part-time at East Palmyra Christian School. Unlike geocaching, which relies upon GPS technology to find a token “treasure,” orienteering is old school in its navigation and offers no prizes. The participants must employ their sense of direction, map reading abilities and decision making skills to efficiently complete the course and find the control flags. Most are two to three feet in the air, so by mid-summer, they’re harder to see than in early spring. The club provides maps for permanent orienteering courses at Mendon Ponds in Webster, Durand Eastman Park in Rochester and Letchworth State Park. Newcomers are welcome to club meetings to learn about orienteering and try out the activity. “We’re more than happy to teach,” Winslow said. “We always have instruction before we send anyone out.” He urges newbies not to give up. “Keep problem solving and if you get lost orienteering, go back to the same spot where you knew where you were to re-orient yourself on the map,” Winslow said. The club charges a membership fee of $15 per year for an individual and $20 for a family. The beginner rate is $5 per course.
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After a Long Career, a Part-Time Job in Retirement Retirees enjoy having a regular part-time job as a second act By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
eople training at the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester (JCC) would never guess that personal trainer Jim Nonnemacher, 68, had an entirely different career path 13 years ago. Leaving the retirement years wide-open was a mistake Nonnemacher felt determined to avoid. As a research chemist at Kodak, Nonnemacher decided that he would become a personal trainer and massage therapist once he retired in 2005. That desire sprang from his experiences training for duathlons (races involving running and biking) during the early 1990s.
Jim Nonnemacher, 68, had an entirely different career path 13 years ago. 40
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The Kendall, Orleans County, resident trainer liked working with his cycling coach and thought he would enjoy doing something similar upon retirement. He also received massage therapy and could envision doing that as well. After becoming licensed and certified, he began practicing in March, 2006. In addition to working out, tending his property, traveling and occasionally doing some photography, Nonnemacher works about five hours a week at the JCC and at Pittsford Chiropractic. “I enjoy the personal training and interacting with the clients,” he said. Making and keeping a network of friends is important to Nonnemacher, since retirement tends to separate people from work friends. He also never married, so making new friends through his new work helps him enjoy more social connections. “Try to find something you enjoy and see if you can build that into something else, a business, if that’s what you want to do,” he advises other retirees. That’s what also drew Pete Henry, 74, to work at JCC as a fitness equipment technician. Though the Macedon resident also volunteers, he works at his paid position up to 15 hours a week. Henry had worked at Delco Products as a tool maker until 2002, when the company paid for him to take early retirement. For a year, he floated, not
sure what to do next, until a friend told him about a possible gig, mowing a golf course. He liked the great perks — plenty of time outdoors and free golf — but he disliked the early hours since he had to get up before sunrise. Someone at JCC asked if he would relieve him temporarily as the fitness equipment technician. Eventually, he took over the position and quit mowing the golf course. “I like fixing stuff and it gives me a sense of satisfaction,” Henry said. “I like the people. I think I would go crazy just sitting around. Now I have a lot to do.” His hobbies include participating in the Macedon Trail Group, which he helped launch in the 1990s; helping direct Grace House, a charitable outreach of Episcopal Church in Palmyra; and spending time with his wife, Donna, and their children and grandchildren. “Most of the time, I feel this helps me stay healthy,” Henry said. “I love problem solving and that’s what I do all day. But other times, I come home so tired. It’s hard for me to believe I’m as old as I am because I feel so much younger.” Brian Harding, president at TES Staffing in Rochester, said that most employment agencies don’t fill parttime employment positions because they aren’t as profitable. He advises retirees-to-be to seek employment with small businesses, which often need part-time help. “Many of these positions are not readily advertised,” he said. He added that networking can also uncover part-time work. “Talk with someone at a party or meet someone at a wedding,” Harding said. “You probably, for the most part, won’t be as successful with a job board. People don’t advertise one- to two-day, four-hour positions. A friend of a friend may know some opening.” Like Nonnemacher, consider a switch to something in which you’ve always had an interest, but may vary from what you’ve done before. Or, perhaps look into work with irregular hours, such as bus driving, retail or hospitality industry employment.
fashion Wardrobe: Classy Summer Style Looking stylish without worrying about dating yourself By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
f you’re stuck in a style rut or don’t feel confident wearing your summer wardrobe, try these tips to step out in style. While hearing “dress your age” may make you feel old, there’s some truth to dressing for your body the way it is right now — not the way it was. It can take some honest appraisal from a forthright friend or an image consultant like Cindy Kyle of Rochester to realize what works and what doesn’t. “Be on trend but be mindful of not going for too young of a look,” Kyle said. For most mature women, mid-drift baring shirts, short shorts and deeply scooping necklines don’t flatter. Likewise, most mature men should reconsider muscle shirts, short shorts, and having several undone buttons. For women, ankle-length Capri pants are ontrend as are shorts hemline above the knee or two to three inches above. “If you have good legs show them, but I wouldn’t go with Daisy Dukes,” Kyle said. Kyle recommends long, flowing maxi and midi skirts and dresses. If the top of a dress gaps, consider a light shrug or layering underneath for move coverage. Fit-and-flare, sheaths or wrap dresses complement any figure and look nice for dressier occasions. Kyle likes gingham and lemon printed fabrics. In a similar, sunny vein, the color orange is also big now, as are espadrille sandals and those with block heels. Get a pedicure and don’t cram in those little piggies. “Some people pick shoes too small or too big,” Kyle said. “The foot shouldn’t hang over the edges and it shouldn’t fit sloppily.” Kyle likes every style of jean jacket, perfect for cool evenings or for frigidly air conditioned buildings. She likes tops that are off the shoulder and those with bell sleeves, but warned, “don’t show continued on page 43 July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
A Life in Law Enforcement Marv Hankinson, SOAR, preserve culture of togetherness By Christine Green
arv Hankinson’s life has changed quite a bite since 1952 when he decided to quit Spencerport High School without telling his parents. Every day he took his lunch money and headed off to “school.” His parents were none the wiser until they realized that they never received a report card. A quick call to the school revealed the truth. Hankinson’s father started charging him rent ($10 a week) for his room and board in their Greece home. He needed to get to work, but after trying his hand at a variety of jobs, Hankinson felt at a loss as to what was next in his life. When a buddy from Holley chose to enlist in the U.S. Navy, Hankinson decided to join him. It wasn’t long until Hankinson found himself aboard the USS Newport News headed to the Mediterranean. When the Navy asked for volunteers to join the war in Korea, Hankinson didn’t hesitate to raise his hand. He then boarded the USS Wisconsin and was on his way to Asia. Word soon came that a truce was signed as he and his shipmates were en route, so Hankinson never saw any action. He jokingly declares, “They heard I was coming and didn’t want to deal with me!” He was discharged from the Navy on June 20, 1956, met his wife Leona on June 22, and became a recruit at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office on July 2 of that same year. “Everything came together for me in about two weeks,” said Hankinson. After eight weeks of training, he was on the streets as a patrol officer. Hankinson recalled that in 1956, the 42
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sheriff’s office only had six patrol cars — three for the west side of the county and three for the east side. He and his partner drove the “northwest car.” Hankinson said his goal as a law enforcement officer was to make a difference in his community, and he worked hard at this goal during his 38-year career in the sheriff’s office. He served as a patrol officer, detective, and corporal. As corporal, he helped develop the quartermaster unit, which orders and manages supplies for all four sheriff’s office bureaus (civil, court security, jail, and police). One of his most vivid memories is of the time he captured a robbery
suspect who had just held up the ticket office at the Starlite Drive-in theater in Henrietta. During his regular patrol that night, he stopped at the Rochester drive-in and took a moment to watch a Kirk Douglas movie playing on the big screen. He got the call about a robbery at the Starlite and left to investigate. He pulled over the suspect at the Castle Inn on Scottsville Road in Chili and took the thief into custody.
‘Oscar’ for best performance He remembers that Sherriff Albert Skinner gave him a special reward for his service. “He unlocked his kitchen and went in and got me a chocolate chip cookie from his private cookie jar. It was his equivalent of an Oscar for best performance by a road patrol deputy,” he recalls. Today, Hankinson still works hard to make his community a better place. He is an active volunteer with a variety of organizations including involvement with the Lions Club and Project New Hope. Project New Hope provides all-expense paid retreats for returning combat veterans and their families. “It is our goal to provide combat veterans and their families with the education, training, and skills necessary to manage their lives after wartime service. Repair of relationships is a primary goal,” according to projectnewhopeny.com. He is also involved with Lions Camp where challenged adults and youth can take part in a variety of summer camp activities, such as swimming, fishing, and outdoor sports. Hankinson is president of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Association of Retirees. SOAR seeks to provide social engagement for law enforcement retirees as well as advocate for their interests. Fellow SOAR members expressed delight in having Hankinson lead this organization. “Marv has many years of previous experience in leading various social and charitable groups and he does a terrific job in keeping SOAR on track with his calm, controlled demeanor. It’s been a pleasure to work with him,” said SOAR Vice President Robert Kehoe.
Hankinson is in his 80s now, but is showing no sign of slowing down. At the time of his 55 Plus magazine interview, he was actively planning a law enforcement night at a Rochester Red Wings game in June.
What is SOAR? “Our purpose is to promote fellowship between members, keep abreast of the current advancements being made within the agency and to render voluntary assistance to the Office of the Sheriff, Monroe County, New York.” — monroecountysoar.com In March of 1980, 34 sheriff’s office retirees held the first Sheriff’s Office Association of Retirees meeting at the Monroe County Jail to create the by-laws and form an officer nominating committee. In January of 1981, they elected their first president, retired criminal investigation division investigator Jeanette Ferraro. Since then SOAR has grown to more than 250 members. The organization hosts social gatherings for their members and voluntarily assists the sheriff’s office when needed. They have also installed memorial plaques for fallen officers around Monroe County. SOAR advocates for its members with the Monroe County Legislature as well. It is working to reinstate the retiree health care benefits outlined in members’ retirement packages. Monroe County changed the retiree benefits package in 2017, and advocates from SOAR are striving to ensure that retirees receive the benefits they expected upon retiring. SOAR Treasurer Larry Crawford summed up the organization’s importance to him and the community of sheriff’s office retirees. “SOAR is important to me because it gives a lot of the Monroe County Sheriff’s retirees a chance to keep in touch with one another by getting together at least four times a year for just social events. It gives us a chance to get people together when necessary to fight for different causes.” To learn more about SOAR, visit monroecountysoar.com.
Looking stylish without worrying about dating yourself from page 41 cleavage if it looks sloppy. Go a little more conservative.” Cover all bra straps and wear one that fits. Bras that match skin tone won’t show through thinner fabrics like white or colored ones.
For men: socks with sandals is a no-no Kyle thinks that men should update their shorts and pants occasionally to avoid dating their look. Cargo pants and shorts are still popular, but they should fit well and be wrinkle-free. Printed pants are in as well. Tall men can wear larger prints for casual wear, but average to shorter height men should stay with midsized or smaller prints so they don’t overwhelm their stature. As always, fit is important. Shorter men should not wear oversized shorts that go well past the knees, as they make them look shorter. Shorts hitting the knee or slightly above are ideal. Kyle encourages men to try peach, pink and other pastels for shirts, which coordinate with nearly every dark-colored pant. As with pants, fit matters. Tight shirts only make a thick waist look paunchy. Before wearing sandals, men should buff their feet smooth with a pumice stone and clip their toenails as needed. Kyle said that socks with sandals is a no-no. Considering the fad of sockswith-sandals grew from wearing it ironically, only those on the cutting-edge of fashion should try it, not those wearing classic styles or slightly dated clothing. Overall, Kyle said that going with a white T-shirt and jeans or black cotton pants topped with a colorful, trendy accessory makes summertime casual dressing easy.
Right size Stylist Ann Marie Stonecypher-Bick owns AMS Models and Talent Inc. in Cicero, near Syracuse. She urges clients to make sure that their clothing is the right size above all else. “If the clothes don’t fit well, no matter how expensive it is or how much you love it, it won’t look good,” Stonecypher-Bick said. “Dress in what’s comfortable for you, not necessarily what’s in style. “If a length or fit doesn’t flatter you, don’t wear it. Clothing should flatter your best parts, not just look stylish.” She said she is a firm believer in finding great-looking clothing for every size and age, not clinging to a particular look that no longer works. “Things that looked good on you 20 years ago may not look good on you now and that’s OK,” she said. “You don’t want to draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself.” She said that many people who want to look smaller wear a smaller size, thinking that the clothing will obscure their size; however, the opposite effect is true. “I once went shopping with a woman who refused to own something that said ‘size 14’ inside and the pants she bought in a 12 looked terrible,” Stonecypher-Bick said. She encourages looking at current magazines and websites of clothing companies such as Banana Republic, and, for dressier occasions, Ann Taylor or Men’s Wearhouse. “Look how they put the clothing together,” she said. “You don’t have to buy them but put together looks that are similar. But don’t go to Forever 21 or another site that’s not age-appropriate.” July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
addyman’s corner By John Addyman
Sun & Record Wayne County Ma
Our 141st Year - No
Official Wayne County
all the towns, villages
and hamlets of Wayne
May 31, 2018
Yes, I Did It. No Kidding! ‘Are you crazy?’ asked a friend. ‘Is your wife still with you?’ asked another
t was a moment of weakness and I knew it. Deep down inside, the rational part of me was screaming, “What the heck do you think you’re doing?” But the irrational, impulsive part of me was already on the glide path to perdition. “Oh, yes, John! Do it! Don’t hesitate! Don’t hold back! Jump right in there!” he said. It was Christmastime, three years ago. I had been writing stories for a small Wayne County newspaper, the “Sun & Record,” which covered Ontario, Williamson and Sodus. It had been around for 140 years in one form or another, with name changes along the way. Our editor, Wilma, a solid member of the community with a huge heart, wanted to retire and run the Young Sommer Winery operations and fruit farm with her husband, Herm. She had produced the newspaper out of her living room and dining room for years. She’d been there and done that. At her annual Christmas get-together in the tasting room of the winery, she said she was retiring and someone else would be taking over the newspaper that year… Then she looked straight at me. “Oh, nooooo…” I said. But then I started to think about it. And I thought about it some more. And the more I thought about it, the more I figured I could easily be nuts enough to actually do it. I made Wilma and her partner an offer, they gave me a generous financing package, and I took over. I let a few of my friends know 44
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what I’d done. Jay, whom I went to high school with, asked, “Are you crazy?” Al, my brother-in-law, first asked me if my wife knew I had done such a harebrained thing. “Sure, she knows,” I told him. “Is she still living with you?” he wrote in an email. I went downstairs to check: yep, she was still here. When I worked for Wilma, on a busy week I’d work three days. The first lesson I learned about being the editor of a newspaper was that you don’t have days off. Oh, and there were many more lessons to learn. First, this is not something to do if you want to make a lot of money…in fact, if you want to make any money. When I asked my bookkeeper, Linda, if we were turning a profit, she’d say, “Well, it’s complicated.” That meant, “No, and what possessed you to do this nutball thing?” Second, when you own a paper, the buck stops in your lap. In town board meetings. At basketball games. At the gas station. On the phone. In email. Oh, and on Facebook, too. In our first year, because I’d changed a bit of the editorial direction of the paper, I got hate mail, and some correspondents even sent hate mail to other people about me and one of my columnists. When I was a reporter and somebody complained, I’d send them to the editor. Now when someone comes into the office to complain, I turn around and look for someone else to respond to this person, but I’m looking at a blank wall.
Memorial Day in Way ne County The American Legion
Color Guard leads
In Newark, a brass bell was rung after the were slowly named in a final roll coll. Thenames of World War I and II dead in the village’s Central ceremonies were well-attended Park.
More stories and pho tos
the Sodus parade
Owen Hughes, 99, shared a quick story C-47 cargo plane for a month in Paris on how he was bivouacked in a Col. Fred Pirelli appreciate in World War II. At left, Retired Lt. s the truth of the story.
inside, and on Face book
John Addyman has run the Sun & Record in Wayne County for three years. Third, you really can’t do what you wanted to do in the first place. In a paper as tiny as ours, I empty the trash cans. I travel 130 miles to deliver the paper to stores once a week. I get the mail. I edit almost every word in print. I take photos and process them for the paper and Facebook. I lay out pages. I work with our landlord. I deal with insurance people. Insurance people deal with me. I pick up supplies. I pay my writers and one employee and my bookkeeper and tax accountant. I try to assist every chamber of commerce effort. I am careful with the bank and cash flow. I’m religious about shopping locally. I’m not any different than any small businessperson. As much as I enjoy in-depth stories, I don’t have the time to research and write them anymore. And I’m working 60-hour weeks normally; much more than that at busy times. I love to work, but I retired nine years ago… So what’s the fun about owning a newspaper? I ask that because every morning when I leave the house my wife says to me, “Go have fun!” This 55-Plus magazine is a wonderful source for stories about senior citizens, and we have an underlying philosophy: the years after you reach
55 are a lot more meaningful, enjoyable…fun — if you stay physically active, mentally challenged, and have social contacts. And frankly, that’s what I have. I’m not sitting home. Every day is a challenge, and I’m dealing with all kinds of people — most of whom I really like. But there’s one more thing. I’ve interviewed and had casual conversations with a lot of people who are enjoying life and thriving after 65. There are also those who are approaching retirement with some fears — mostly professional people who don’t know what their next move in life is. They fall into Eric Ericson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development: they are at the integrity or despair stage in life. They want to have value in their family and wider community, be recognized as a contributor in some way, and feel that they can still accomplish things. For some, it’s important that their lives have had meaning — integrity. If people don’t feel connected and wonder if their lives had meaning to others, then they are in the despair realm, and can get caught in a vortex of feeling sorry for themselves. Life is not so sweet. I may be working my tushy off (you should see it, it’s really a lot smaller than it used to be), but every time our little newspaper lands in someone’s hands, I know I’ve contributed and have a value to others. Just today, I was in a store and the woman in front of me bought a copy or our paper. “Thank you for buying the ‘Sun & Record/Wayne County Mail,’” I told her. “You’re welcome,” she said, smiling. “I appreciate it.” “Thank you for saying that,” I said. “We appreciate it that you appreciate us.” And before things got too weird, we both walked off, smiling. Nobody forced her to buy that paper. She didn’t know who I am and I didn’t know who she was. But she took the time to purchase the product of my labors (and those of so many other people who write and sell ads and take pictures and write columns for us). “I appreciate it,” went a long way toward making my steps lighter today.
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July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS
long-term care By Susan Suben
Oh No! The Dreaded Letter…
very day I receive phone calls from clients about the “dreaded letter” they received advising them that their long-term care (LTC) insurance carrier is raising their premiums. They are shocked, angry — and disappointed. They feel they purchased the coverage to be responsible and to properly plan for the future. They know LTC is a very real risk that can wreck havoc on their family financially, emotionally and socially. They feel they did the right thing and are now being penalized. Unfortunately, no policyholder is immune to these increases by any company. This article will deal with why premiums are increasing and what to expect in the future. Hopefully, you will retain your policy and individuals wanting to plan for LTC will not be deterred from doing so after I explain the state of the LTC insurance market. But before I offer clarification, know that “the letter” always gives you options to either avoid the increase or make changes to your policy features to lessen the impact of the increase. This can involve lowering your daily benefit, decreasing your length of coverage, increasing your elimination period or changing your inflation protection. I understand this can be upsetting — you will be paying more for less coverage — however, you will still have a very valuable policy that will be even more valuable as you age. So why are the increases occurring? There are several reasons — the low lapse ratio, low interest rates, higher/longer claims and unisex pricing. Be assured, the companies do not raise premiums haphazardly. The NYS Insurance Department has to approve any requested increase. Originally, LTC insurance lapse
55 PLUS - July / August 2018
ratios — how many individuals lapse their policies — were based on life insurance lapse ratios. This assumption was gravely inaccurate. Life insurance lapse ratios are approximately 5 percent. Lapse ratios for LTCI are about 1.5 percent. This means more individuals are holding onto their LTC insurance policies which results in more claims. Life insurance is generally purchased to offset debt. When that debt is eliminated, the policy may no longer be needed later in life. The opposite is true for a LTCI policy. As one ages, the need to retain the coverage becomes more significant. How long has it been since you saw a decent return on your investments? The majority of older LTC insurance policies were purchased with 5 percent compound inflation when the companies were earning substantial interest on their cash reserves. According to AM Best, their current estimated rate of return is 4.6 percent — below the 5 percent compound purchased on older policies. Current premium increases are a consequence of these low returns. It is important to note that 3 percent compound is today’s break-even point for carriers and the most selected inflation factor. The low lapse ratios, increase in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s, and medical breakthroughs extending longevity have all increased the number and length of claims. This has also necessitated the increase in premiums to make sure company cash reserves can pay policyholders. The older LTC insurance premiums were based on unisex pricing. Claims history shows that women live longer and are on claim longer which is another reason for premium increases. What have the companies done to stabilize their blocks of business and limit future premium increases? Can you expect increases in the future?
There is a consensus in the market that today’s assumptions are more conservative and there is limited potential for the extreme frequent increases that you are currently seeing. Products currently being offered are priced higher, more restrictively underwritten and designed with less risk to take into consideration the low lapse ratios, low interest rates, higher/longer claims and gender-based claims history. The companies now have 20 years of claims data and experience. According to the American Association of LTC insurance, “the present value of the premium is equal to the present value of expected claim costs plus enough extra to cover expenses, commissions, profits and a margin for adverse deviation. New policies have claim cost assumptions that are 25 percent to 50 percent higher.” Should you hold onto your policy? Should individuals consider purchasing a policy? Absolutely, hold onto your policy. You saw the value in having the coverage when you purchased your policy. The risk of needing care is higher because you are older. Not one of my clients has cancelled their policy due to an increase. Most are paying the increase or have modified their policy features. For those contemplating purchasing a LTC insurance policy, it is still the easiest way to avoid the consequences of needing LTC. The industry is the most stable it has ever been. Susan Suben, a certified senior adviser, is president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and Elder Care Planning. She is a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company and can be reached at 800-422-2655 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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July / August 2018 - 55 PLUS 12/8/16 3:42 PM
By Colleen Farrell
Curt Smith, 67 Former presidential speechwriter and Red Sox fan pens his 17th book — about presidents and baseball
ormer presidential speechwriter Curt Smith has long written about his two biggest interests: baseball and politics. In his 17th book, out now, Smith writes of the connection between the occupants of the Oval Office and America’s favorite pastime. Raised in Caledonia by two teachers, Smith was a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush both during and after his time in the White House. Currently, the Chili resident teaches at the University of Rochester, writes a column for Gatehouse Media, and is a contributor to various publications. He will soon do a book tour for “The Presidents and the Pastime: The History of Baseball & the White House.” Q. When did your interest in politics begin? A. At an early age, I would devour the Democrat and Chronicle before [my parents] were up, focusing on the front pages and sports section. Baseball was the dominant sport then. We bought the complete set of World Book Encyclopedia and I spent summers on the front porch reading through volumes of World Book with a glass of milk. Q. How did you get the idea for this book? A. In 2015, I finished my 16th book [“George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core”]. I realized it was time to write about the two great loves of my life, besides my family. Delightfully, I discovered no one had written an indepth look at the kinship between the institutions, which frankly surprised the heck out of me. This is how I spent the last three years. Basically, as I describe it, this has been my ‘Moby Dick.’ It’s a personal book. It’s an historical book. I have done ample research...and tried to personalize the
55 PLUS - July / August 2018
presidents. Q. What’s the connection between the game and our leaders? A. George Washington threw a ball for hours playing rounders [an antecedent of baseball]. Abraham Lincoln played town call on the South Lawn, or “south lot” as it was called. Teddy Roosevelt was the only president who hated baseball. It was too gentle for him. Here was this man who triumphed over everything [and] he couldn’t defeat baseball. He couldn’t say he hated it because he’d get thrown out of office. Q. Does every occupant of the White House have a relationship to the sport? A. William Howard Taft was the first president to throw the first baseball of the season. He had to get two seats because he couldn’t fit in one. Every president since has thrown out the first ball of the season — except Donald Trump [who] hasn’t
yet. Each president has a chapter written about them. Each president had a special and unique relationship to baseball. Q. When did your love for the game begin? A. I’m a Red Sox fan. I have the scar tissue to prove it. My mother was from Worcester. I inherited my Red Sox DNA from her. In the summer we’d go to our grandma’s house and as our reward for doing work at Grandma’s house, Dad would take my brother, Russell, and myself to see the Sox play. My first major league game was Aug. 30, 1960. It was the 42nd birthday of Ted Williams. He was retiring in a month. Talk about a thrill to see the greatest hitter by consensus of all time playing. I remember saying to my father — I was only 9 — ‘Why are the fans here cheering louder for number 9 than for any other player?’ Whenever we went to Boston, the radio was on and people were listening to games. Q. What is up next for you? A. I’ll be doing a publicity tour. I’ll be speaking at FDR’s presidential l i b r a r y. I ’ l l b e o n C-SPAN. I’ll be at the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is a book I’ve put a lot into. Then, I will take some time off.
Q&A Q: What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit? A: The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be $2,788. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be only $2,158. If you retire at age 70 in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be $3,698. To get a better idea of what your benefit might be, visit our online Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire/estimator.html. Q: I want to estimate my retirement benefit at several different ages. Is there a way to do that? A: Use our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator to get an instant, personalized retirement benefit estimate based on current law and your earnings record. The Retirement Estimator, which also is available in Spanish, lets you create additional “what if” retirement scenarios based on different income levels and “stop work” ages.
772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Q: Will my son be eligible to receive benefits on his retired father’s record while going to college? A: No. At one time, Social Security did pay benefits to eligible college students. But the law changed in 1981. We now pay benefits only to students taking courses at grade 12 or below. Normally, benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if children are still full-time students at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits generally can continue until they graduate or until two months after they reach age 19, whichever is first. Q: What is the benefit amount a spouse may be entitled to receive? A: If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we will always pay you benefits based on your record first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your retirement benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse’s benefits. A spouse generally receives one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, the amount of the spouse’s benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches full retirement age. For example, based on the full retirement age of 66, if a spouse begins collecting benefits: At age 65, the benefit amount would be about 46 percent of the retired worker’s full benefit; • At age 64, it would be about 42 percent; • At age 63, 37.5 percent; and • At age 62, 35 percent. However, if a spouse is taking care of a child who is either under age 16 or disabled and receives Social Security benefits on the same record, a spouse will get full benefits, regardless of age. Learn more by reading our Retirement publication at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10035.html.
If you retire at age 70 in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be $3,698.
Q: I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits and I recently went back to work. Do I have to pay Social Security (FICA) taxes on my income? A: Yes. By law, your employer must withhold FICA taxes from your paycheck. Although you are retired, you do receive credit for those new earnings. Each year Social Security automatically credits the new earnings and, if your new earnings are higher than in any earlier year used to calculate your current benefit, your monthly benefit could increase. For more information, visit www. socialsecurity.gov or call us at 1-800-
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