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Work in Retirement: How it Affects Your SS Benefits Skaneateles’ Doug’s Fish Fry Has Some of the Best Fish in Upstate

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55 PLUS Issue 45 May / June 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Is 55 the New 40? Local boomers redefining what it means to grow older

Deborah Hughes She’s celebrating her 10th anniversary directing the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester as New York state recognizes the centennial of women’s suffrage

Mom’s ‘Medical’ Cures VapoRub, castor oil, Carter’s Little Liver pills were always on the menu of cure-all medicines

RoCo 6X6 2017 Art center presents annual event featuring thousands of small pieces of artwork

Patrick Fisher: Head of Us TOO Reinvents Life After Cancer


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CONTENTS 55 PLUS

Work in Retirement: How it Affects Your SS Benefits Skaneateles’ Doug’s Fish Fry Has Some of the Best Fish Fry in Upstate

55

free

55 PLUS

May/June 2017

PLUS Issue 45 May / June 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Is 55 the New 40? Local boomers redefining what it means to grow older

Mom’s ‘Medical’ Cures

Deborah Hughes

VapoRub, castor oil, Carter’s Little Liver pills were always on the menu of cure-all medicines

RoCo 6X6 2017

She’s celebrating her 10th anniversary directing the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester as New York state recognizes the centennial of women’s suffrage

Art center presents annual event featuring thousands of small pieces of artwork

Patrick Fisher: Head of Us TOO Reinvents Life After Cancer

12 Savvy Senior 6 Financial Health 8 Dining Out 10 My Turn 28 Addyman’s Corner 44 Visits 46 Long-term Care 48

22 12 AGING • Local boomers redefining what it means to grow older

16 PETS • Once left for dead, poodle brings joy to family that rescued him

18 VOLUNTEERING

• Opportunities abound to volunteer with children Last Page Q&A Eleanor Barry, 92, of Victor, was honored with two awards this spring for her efforts in getting people registered to vote 4

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20 TRAVEL

25 25 WOODWORKING • Woodworker becomes one with his medium

30 COVER

• Deborah Hughes celebrates 10 years as the head of National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester

38 LONGEVITY • Some doctors have practiced medicine for more than 40 years — and they’re still going strong

• Those who can afford favor cruises through Europe, visits to Ireland, Hawaii

40 COUPLES

22 SURVIVOR

42 ARTS

• Patrick Fisher: Life after a prostate

cancer scare

roc55.com

• Latest trends in mature weddings

• RoCo 6X6 event: Small artworks with a big impact

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savvy senior By Jim Miller

Y

How Working in Retirement Can Affect Your Social Security Benefits

ou can collect Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time, but depending on how old you are and how much you earn, some or all of your benefits could be temporarily withheld. Here’s what you should know.

Working Rules Social Security says that if you’re under your full retirement age — which is 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1954, or 66 and 2 months if you were born in 1955 — and are collecting benefits, then you can earn up to $16,920 in 2017 without jeopardizing any of your Social Security if you don’t reach your full retirement age this year. But if you earn more than the $16,920 limit, you’ll lose $1 in benefits for every $2 over that amount. In the year you reach your full retirement age, a less stringent rule applies. If that happens in 2017, you can earn up to $44,880 from January to the month of your birthday with no penalty. But if you earn more than $44,880 during that time, you’ll lose $1 in benefits for every $3 over that limit. And once your birthday passes, you can earn any amount by working without your benefits being reduced at all. Wages, bonuses, commissions and vacation pay all count toward the income limits, but pensions, annuities, investment earnings, interest, capital gains and government or military retirement benefits do not. To figure out how much your specific earnings will affect your benefits, see the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test Calculator at SSA.gov/OACT/ COLA/RTeffect.html. It’s also important to know that if you do lose some or all of your Social Security benefits because of the earning limits, they aren’t lost forever. When you reach full retirement age, your benefits will be recalculated to a 6

55 PLUS - May / June 2017

higher amount to make up for what was withheld. For details and examples of how this is calculated, see SSA. gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html. For more information on how working can affect your Social Security benefits see SSA.gov/planners/ retire/whileworking.html, or call the Social Security at 410-965-2039 and ask to receive a free copy of publication number 05-10069, “How Work Affects Your Benefits.” Tax Factor In addition to the Social Security rules, you need to factor in Uncle Sam, too. Because working increases your income, it might make your Social Security benefits taxable. Here’s how it works. If the sum of your adjusted gross income, nontaxable interest, and half of your Social Security benefits is between $25,000 and $34,000 for individuals ($32,000 and $44,000 for couples), you have to pay tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits. Above $34,000 ($44,000 for couples), you could pay on up to 85 percent, which is the highest portion of Social Security that is taxable. About a third of all people who get Social Security have to pay income taxes on their benefits. For information, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 and ask them to mail you a free copy of publication 915 “Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits,” or you can see it online at IRS.gov/pub/irs-pdf/ p915.pdf. In addition to the federal government, 13 states — Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia — tax Social Security benefits to some extent too.

55PLUS roc55.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo

Contributing Writers

Deborah J. Sergeant Ernst Lamothe Jr., Jacob Pucci John Addyman, Donna Cordello Deborah Blackwell, Jana Eisenberg Colleen M. Farrel

Columnists

Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Bruce Frassinelli John Addyman, Sandra Scott

Advertising

Anne Westcott, Debra Kells H. Mat Adams, Denise Ruf

Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler

Layout and Design Dylon Clew-Thomas

Cover Photo

Chuck Wainwright 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.

Health in good

Rochester–Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Mailing Address PO Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 © 2017 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


May / June - 55 PLUS

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financial health By Jim Terwilliger

What You Don’t Know about RMDs Can (Really) Cost You

T

hank goodness for pre-tax retirement plans such as 401(k)s and traditional IRAs. These plans offer attractive features that encourage saving for retirement, including: • Contributions are pre-tax, resulting in the ability to deduct ongoing contributions from taxable income during one’s working years. • Plans are portable, resulting in the ability to continue to build a retirement nest egg while working for several employers over a career — a model which is now rapidly becoming the norm. • Income taxes are deferred until distributions are taken. Eventually, Uncle Sam wants to collect taxes on the money set aside over the years. Enter the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), the slow-but-steady distribution of money from these accounts that results in a slow-but-steady payment of income taxes. For workers’ non-inherited plans, this process is initiated at age 70-1/2. Let’s take a look at some of the details as well as the consequences to the taxpayer if details are not followed. IRS rules state that an RMD should be calculated for each account separately. Then, where aggregation is allowed, these RMD amounts can be added together and the distribution can be taken in any proportion from one or more of the aggregated accounts. One of the benefits of IRAs is that RMDs for multiple IRA accounts can be aggregated. Traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs are treated as a combined group. The RMD is calculated for each account separately, but after that, the RMD amounts can then be added together and taken from any 8

55 PLUS - May / June 2017

Making RMD errors is easy to do, particularly when multiple accounts at multiple institutions are involved

one or combination of accounts. Surprisingly, the same is true for 403(b) accounts. Aggregation is allowed for RMD purposes across these employer plans. The same is not true, however, for other employer plans. A taxpayer with multiple 401(k), governmental 457(b) or other similar plans must calculate the RMD for each individual plan and take that RMD from that plan only. While RMDs are not required for non-inherited Roth IRAs, they are for Roth 401(k)s once the account holder reaches age 70-1/2 and is no longer employed by the company (or is still employed but owns more than 5 percent of the company). Following the

401(k) rule above, Roth 401(k) RMDs cannot be aggregated. The simple way around the RMD dilemma here is to roll the Roth 401(k) over to a Roth IRA, and the RMD requirement disappears. Any IRA or 403(b) account making a series of substantially equal payments over a period of 10 years or more, or over life expectancy, cannot aggregate that payment with the RMDs from any other like retirement account. The distribution from the account making these payments is considered the RMD from that account only. Note that an RMD cannot be rolled over from any one account to another account. The RMD is consid-


ered to be the first funds distributed from any retirement account during the year. IRA RMDs can, however, be transferred from one account to another. A transfer is when the IRA funds go directly from one financial institution to another. The RMD can then be taken later in the year. There are two potential penalties when taxpayers make RMD aggregation mistakes — the penalty for excess contributions and the penalty for missed RMDs. RMDs that are rolled over to another retirement plan create an excess contribution in the receiving account, which must be corrected. An excess contribution can be corrected without penalty by Oct. 15 of the year following the year for which the contribution was made. The amount of the excess plus/(minus) taxable gains/ (losses) attributable to the excess must be removed from the account. Excess contributions that are not corrected on time are subject to a penalty of 6 percent per year for every year they remain in the account. Form 5329 should be filed with the IRA owner’s tax return to report the excess contribution(s) and calculate the penalty, if any. When a distribution is taken from the wrong type of account due to an aggregation error or the RMD is just not taken at all, this constitutes a missed RMD. The penalty for a missed RMD is a steep one – 50% of the amount not taken. To rectify the situation, the taxpayer should immediately take the missed RMD, file Form 5329 to report the error, and follow the instructions to request relief. Making RMD errors is easy to do, particularly when multiple accounts at multiple institutions are involved. Errors can be costly and take time to fix. Working with a trusted financial planner and tax professional is your best bet to stay on the straight and narrow.

James Terwilliger, CFP®, is senior vice president, financial planning officer, Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585-419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at jterwilliger@cnbank.com.

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9


DiningOut By Jacob Pucci

Restaurant

Guide

Doug’s Fish Fry occupies three storefronts in downtown Skaneateles, including a separate entrance for the ice cream counter. 

Doug’s Fish Fry

U

Skaneateles restaurant serves some of the best fish in Upstate

pstate New York’s fanaticism over fried fish is one of this state’s most interesting culinary questions. What started as early Catholic immigrants dining on fried fish on Fridays during Lent has now transcended religion and season and for good reason. Fried fish is crazy good. When it comes to places frying fish year-round, Doug’s Fish Fry is among the most popular in Upstate 10

55 PLUS - May / June 2017

New York. Doug’s has been frying fillets of scrod — a general classification for whitefish such as cod or haddock — since 1982 from its perch a block from Skaneateles Lake. Framed newspaper clippings from as far back as the restaurant’s opening, some yellowed by age, and photos of fans posing with a Doug’s Fish Fry bumper sticker line the wood-paneled walls. A model train runs the circumfer-

ence of the restaurant on a track suspended from the ceiling. Among the other notable points of décor is the large fish tank near the counter where customers order their meals. While they watched their finned brethren suffer an unfortunate fate, my fortune was quite high after hearing my name called over the loudspeaker and a tray filled with fried seafood and sides presented before me.


The plump shrimp are light and crispy and delicious dipped in either the honey curry or cocktail sauces. My dining companion and I went for the classic fish sandwich ($6.31), French fries ($2.05), fried shrimp dinner with onion rings and coleslaw ($12.99) and a dozen steamed clams ($6.50). Like most fried fish sandwiches in Upstate New York, the fish fillets was comically large — easily twice the size of the sesame seed bun it was served upon. The skinless fillets; firm but tender with pearl white flesh, tasted fresh and clean — evidence that the oil in the fryer is changed frequently. This is not a grab-and-go sandwich built for holding with one hand while driving with the other. The overhanging portion of the filet will break off under its own weight. The house-made tartar sauce, while a deliciously zippy and welcome component, does little favors with keeping the sandwich together. Like the fish, the fried shrimp are lightly coated in breading, which not only keeps the fresh seafood in the spotlight, but assures me that I have enough room to polish off the generous portion of onion rings served alongside. Far from those minced onion abominations found in the drive-thru lane, the rings at Doug’s are cut from whole onions and fried fresh. They’re good with ketchup, but better with Doug’s signature honey curry dipping sauce. Then again, everything is better with Doug’s honey curry dipping sauce. Fortunately, Doug’s sells pints of the stuff for $4. With a menu so devoted to fried

The large fish fillet easily overhangs both sides of the sesame seed bun.

Close-up of the fish served at Doug’s Fish Fry. food, it’s easy to forget that a wellmade coleslaw is an essential part of a proper fish fry. At Doug’s, the coleslaw is a star. The finely-shredded blend of what appears to be red and green cabbage and carrots are mixed with a creamy, milky dressing with plenty of vinegar punch and just a touch of sweetness. The black pepper and celery seed tie it all together. French fries. Surely, if McDonald’s can serve billions of pounds of French fries each year, making a batch of good fries can’t be too hard. Wrong. The chunky fries at Doug’s are cut thick and served skin-on for a boost of potato flavor. However, they are soft — a frequent scourge of

freshly-cut fries — and a bit bland. It’s nothing a little honey curry sauce can’t fix, but next time, I’ll order them well-done, or opt instead for the superior onion rings. The steamed clams, like all the food at Doug’s, were presented simply on a cardboard plate, with a cup of melted butter and oyster crackers on the side. It’s simple: Clams and butter. Just the simple pleasure of a burst of sea, salt and brininess to make it feel like it’s summer, no matter the season. Doug’s has a stack of bumper stickers by the cash register that read “Eat fish, eat scallops, eat clams, live longer, love longer, last longer.” While I’m skeptical that eating fried seafood is the secret to a long life, it’s certainly the key to a happy life.

Doug’s Fish Fry

Address:

8 Jordan St., Skaneateles (Second location at 3638 West Road, Cortland.) Hours:

11 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily. (Summer hours). 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily. (off-season) Website:

www.dougsfishfry.com/ Phone:

315-685-3288

May / June - 55 PLUS

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55+

aging

Is 55 the new 40? Local boomers redefining what it means to grow older By Colleen M. Farrell

K

evin Flynn never set out to climb mountains. A backpacking trip through Adirondack Park with two buddies in his youth led him to fall in love with the scenery from a high vantage point. But he also fell in love with the challenge of keeping one foot in front of the other to make it up each crest. Eventually, his drive led him to bigger mountains. “I was really lucky. I just kind of mistakenly fell into these passions,” Flynn said. His passion led him to the highest points of the world — like Mount Everest — in his 40s. It took two attempts to ascend the world’s highest peak, which reaches nearly five-anda-half miles above Nepal. Over the span of 15 years, Flynn, 57, climbed the seven highest mountains on the seven continents. It’s a physically and mentally demanding

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task, he said, noting, “Your mind can quit before your body. “But over time you realize you try to even out the highs and lows a little bit and, mentally, just work on managing your mind.” While a person climbing Everest may be rare, being an active adult with a diversity of interests is not. Indeed, baby boomers are redefining what it means to grow older. “Perhaps at some point in the past, people imagine a 60-year-old person as someone sitting at home and not doing much other than taking medications and reading the paper,” said physician Bobby Khan of Thompson Health’s Shortsville Family Practice. “This has surely changed over the last decade, and 55-to-60-year-old people are often physically active and engaged in living fulfilling lives.” Women are still living longer than men. By age 65, they are expected to live another 20.6 years, according to

the National Center for Health Statistics. Sixty-five-year old men can expect to see another 18 years. At 65, both genders combined have a life expectancy of 19.4 years. While the country’s 76 million baby boomers are enjoying longer lives, it doesn’t  mean they are necessarily leading healthier lives. Incidences of hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes slightly increased in people aged 55-64 from 2002 to 2012, according to a 2015 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Therefore, people need to take the proper preventive measures during their lives to ensure their health remains in top shape and they not only live longer, but live it with a good quality of life,” Khan said. The biggest way to stay youthful, according to Khan, is to follow a healthy diet and to exercise. The importance of both can’t be overstated,


Kevin Flynn and his wife, Maggie, pose on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2014. He said when he was young he never imagined he would develop a passion for mountain climbing, which started in his 40s.

he said. “It is the key to prevention of the most debilitating health problems common to the age group, such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol,” he said. Staying physically and mentally fit is a priority for older adults, according to the National Council on Aging. In its 2015 United States of Aging Survey, which surveyed 1,650 people aged 60 and up, 82 percent reported exercising at least once a week. That’s up from 75 percent in 2014 and 72 percent in 2013. Be mentally solid Maintaining mental health is a priority, too, according to survey respondents. Fifty-three percent reported that the key is keeping a positive attitude, while 50 percent and 49 per-

cent say it is due to regular exercise and a healthy diet, respectively. “I have seen several patients in their 50s who exercise harder and longer than many in their 30s, engage in outdoor activities often, such as hiking, hunting, and are using social media just as effectively as their younger counterparts,” Khan said. “Fifty-five is certainly the new 40.” According to estimates released in June 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau, baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — represent the second largest segment of the population. Millennials, those who were between the ages of 18 and 35 in 2015, number 75.4 million. Still, the sheer number of baby boomers influences everything from culture and advertising to the very perception of aging, according to Margaret Newland, who teaches yoga

to people of all ages at her studio in Geneva, and is an adjunct faculty member of Finger Lakes Community College. There, she teaches physical education and in the social sciences department. “I think, overall, as health care has improved, this idea of longevity has changed, that you can be healthier the older you get versus the older model where around 50 you start to slow down and head toward the rocking chair,” Newland said. Newland, who is 52, said, in general, baby boomers are focused more on maintaining their health rather than preserving their youth. Many develop a health problem or watch a loved one suffer through one and make the decision to invest in their future health, she said. Improvements in hip and knee replacement and treatment of heart May / June - 55 PLUS

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Margaret Newland enjoys running triathlons as one way of staying healthy. Newland, who owns Studio Renew Yoga in Geneva, recently took up snowboarding at 52. disease have greatly impacted baby boomers’ longevity and activity levels, Newland said. “People have motivation and life within them to stay active,” she said. “People want to live their lives and be healthy and vital.” Extending beyond expectations She’s also noticed the trend of the lifelong learner — people of all ages developing new interests. Newland, for example, resumed piano lessons last year — an instrument she hasn’t played since she was a girl. She’s run four marathons. She is also learning how to snowboard. “At any point you want to learn something new those opportunities should be there,” she said. “We know from neuroscience that as you get older the brain starts to get set in its ways. If you’re not using something, you tend to lose it.” Trying something new is a great way to build up resiliency skills, re14

55 PLUS - May / June 2017

Jeanie Grimm, 57, works out at a boot camp with others in her age group. They push sleds, lift weights and box, “and do other things I didn’t do when I was younger,” she says.

duce stress and develop a sense of accomplishment, Newland said. Khan agreed, but cautioned that taking on too much can create stress rather than reduce it. “As with most things regarding good health, moderation is key,” he said. Getting out of her comfort zone has helped Jeanie Grimm stay young. She works out at a boot camp with others in her age group. They push sleds, lift weights and box, “and do other things I didn’t do when I was younger,” she said. Grimm, 57, said while her age group may be less active overall because they drive everywhere or are less likely to mow their lawns, walk their dogs, and other physical activities, she believes her peers are more involved in “true exercise,” like taking classes and belonging to a gym. She also takes Pilates classes. “Being physically strong helps me to feel mentally strong, too,” she said. The Canandaigua resident said

volunteering has kept her youthful, too. She rescues and trains pit bulls and has served on the Canandaigua City School District Board of Education for 12 years. She also enjoys knitting, crocheting, quilting, baking and reading. “Aging well is a priority for me,” said Grimm. Naturally an introvert, Grimm said she challenges herself to try new things. For example, she gave a book talk at Wood Library in Canandaigua last year. “I’m certainly more deliberate about being engaged in deeper ways than when I was younger,” Grimm said. “Some of that has to do with opportunity. I’ve lived in cities before moving to Canandaigua and always on or near college campuses where opportunities were always at my doorstep.” When her youngest child went to kindergarten, Grimm was offered a teaching job at her preschool and she’s worked there for the last 14 years. Four years ago, she joined a


friend who runs a college counseling business. “I love being part of this important part of teenagers’ lives and have no immediate plans to retire from it,” she said. What is her advice to counterparts who may be less active or want to find new hobbies?  “Find something you like. Try new things. Celebrate your smallest victories,” she said. Kevin Flynn agrees. To stay fit, he boxes, plays pick-up basketball, runs, and lifts weights. The variety of his exercise routine keeps him interested, he said. “I love how it makes me feel,” he said. “I don’t love doing it.” Flynn works full-time as a partner at Martino Flynn, an advertising agency in Bushnell’s Basin. He also released a book in 2007 that he wrote with former Democrat & Chronicle reporter and outdoors enthusiast Gary Fallesen titled “Mount Everest: Confessions of an Amateur Peak Bagger.” “I think when you’re passionate about something, you find the time, you make the time, to make things happen,” he said. “It’s more about your own choices. I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of really great people, so the ability to take some of that time away and know things are covered is great.” The man who didn’t take an airplane until he was 25 now flies his own plane to meet with clients across the state. “I used to be a white knuckle flyer and now I have my own plane,” Flynn said, chuckling. Enjoying life at any age really comes down to a state of mind, he said, referencing a Howard Thurman quote. “‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive,’” he said. Setting goals is critical, too, Flynn said. The Adirondacks remain a favorite spot for him and his wife, Maggie, who are both “46ers,” meaning they have climbed the park’s 46 tallest peaks. What’s next on their list? It’s Patagonia, a mountainous region in South America. “People can do so much more than they allow themselves to do,” Flynn said.

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55+

pets

Zippy’s Tale Once left for dead, poodle brings joy to family that rescued him By Donna Cordello

I

t was several years ago when my son Daniel and nephew Joey arrived at the job site with paint buckets and ladders in tow. It was a large multi-family house and when they walked the perimeter, they realized they were missing much needed supplies. There was a dirty, matted puppy on a very short chain without any food or water. In the several weeks they were there, he was left outside in the pouring rain and sweltering heat. I imagine it would have been the same if the weather were freezing cold. So, from the day they started that job, they fed him and gave him all the attention he was lacking. When the job was finished, they packed up all their supplies. After three weeks without any owner in sight, they pondered about what to do with their new friend. They couldn’t just leave him to be neglected and starved. It was as if whoever chained him to that garage just forgot about him. So they rescued him. Because he was so grateful and eager to jump into Joey’s car, he named him Zippy. He was in such bad shape; it was impossible to tell what breed he was. After Joey took Zippy to the vet for his medical needs and grooming, he called me up and said, “Aunt Donna, guess what? I’m the proud owner of a toy poodle!’” Then, Joey got a job out of town and asked my parents if they wouldn’t mind watching him for a couple of weeks. Of course, they were happy to oblige. When

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55 PLUS - May / June 2017

Joey returned, he couldn’t believe the change in my parents. My dad, who was normally glued to the television, was up and walking several times a day with his new buddy. Not only did he get much needed exercise, he also socialized with all the neighbors while on his walks. When my father was in his easy chair, Zippy was nestled in between his calves or on his lap. My mother, who loves to cook for others, was in her glory. Zippy immediately took on our heritage and loved my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. In fact, I think in all the time he lived there, he never ate dog food. Returns the favor Joey saved Zippy from a miserable life. But Zippy gave back to all of us and we welcomed him into the family like a newborn baby. He breathed new life into my parent’s quiet home and mundane routines. He gave both of them a much needed purpose. And he loved everybody as much as we all loved him. Joey decided he didn’t need to bring Zippy back home because he was already home, and my parents were thrilled for the adoption. I’m the oldest of four children and the only daughter and as close as we all are, I’m quite sure Zippy was my mother’s favorite child. In fact, now that I think of it, there were times he was my favorite little brother. Mom will tell you that Zippy kept my dad alive much longer than any of us expected. And when dad

passed away, Zippy never left my mother’s side, shadowing her from one room to the other or always on her lap. And of course, we were relieved that after over 55 years of marriage, she wasn’t alone. A few months ago, Zippy was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and my mom took care of him and nurtured him like a hospice nurse. A few weeks ago, the day came when we had to put him down, although I prefer to call it raising him up. We didn’t lose a pet. We lost a family member. And I think of it as the day my little fur baby brother jumped from my mother’s lap back into my father’s lap. How is it that sometimes, we can’t get along with other humans, but could love another entirely different species so dearly? And it’s not just dogs. My daughter loves her cats. She calls them her babies. So I guess that would make them my “purr-fect” grandbabies. I have a friend who loves her snake and another who adores her tarantula, although personally, I can’t relate to either. I have other friends who dote on their birds and tropical fish. Whether they bark, purr, fly, slither, crawl or swim, our pets help make houses our homes. But, they aren’t just our pets. They are part of our family. Just like other family members, they give us so much joy when they enter our lives. And so much sorrow when they leave. Donna Cordello, 60, is a freelance writer with local, national and international publications. She lives in Penfield and can be reached at donnacordello@aol. com.


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55+

volunteering

How to Get a ‘Kid Fix’ Opportunities abound to volunteer with children By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

N

o grandchildren? No problem. If you lack grandchildren or yours live too far away to visit often, you can get your “kid fix” through any of the many local opportunities to help children. In addition to benefiting the children, you’ll receive the satisfaction of giving back to the community’s youngest residents. Ann Cunningham, executive director of Rochester OASIS, said that the organization offers a few intergenerational tutoring programs that pair up youngsters with mature adults. The adult mentors can help them reading, math or whatever school subject needs more one-on-one help. “Many hands are involved in educating our kids and tutoring is a way to give back,” Cunningham said. “Mature adults have a level of patience that many parents don’t have.” At Lifespan’s Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), coordinators help match mature adults’ skills, interests and experiences with volunteer positions at nonprofit organizations in Monroe or Livingston counties. Deborah Palumbos, director of RSVP, said that mentoring is

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among the volunteer opportunities. One RSVP program, Generation Two, pairs adults with three different children for a half hour each per week at school. These mentors help with reading, math or other academic skills. “Any extra time you spend with a child is beneficial oneon-one contact,” Palumbos said. “It’s a teacher’s dream for every child to have special focus.” Many of the children in these programs need remedial school help, so the patience of a mature, caring adult can make a big difference in their ability to master material that challenges them. Not into tutoring? At the Maplewood, Westside, and Eastside branches of Greater Rochester YMCA, you can help children grow fruits and vegetables at the intergenerational community garden. Overseen by a volunteer master gardener, the program is run through older adult volunteers who guide children interested in gardening. “It’s great to see how this whole project has brought people together and helps people live healthy,” said Laura Fasano, vice-president of healthy living

for the Greater Rochester YMCA. “It’s a unique partnership.” The produce benefits urban areas where fresh produce is hard to obtain. Fasano added that YMCA locations across the country call Greater Rochester YMCA to learn how they, too, can begin a similar program. “We hear all the time, ‘I didn’t come to make friends’ but they end up doing so very organically,” Fasano said. For more ideas on how to help children, try these ideas: • Ask at your place of worship. Many clergy want more volunteers to help lead children’s classes or programs. • Reach out to your local library branch about any opportunities. • Contact the Monroe County Foster Grandparent program at 585-288-0021. • Call Friends of Strong at 585-275-2420 to ask about visiting pediatric patients admitted to Golisano Children’s Hospital. Opportunities range from rocking infants to chatting with teens. • See if your local elementary or middle school needs volunteers.


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55+

travel

Where Boomers Are Headed This Year Experts: Those who can afford it favor cruises through Europe, visits to Ireland, Hawaii or the Mediterranean By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

W

here are baby boomers traveling this year? Area travel agents offered a glimpse. At Rochester Travel Group, owner Diane Celento said that European river cruising has become very popular because clients can see more of the interior of the countries they tour. They can visit many different countries without having to unpack or worry about finding transportation once they dock since they’re dropped off in the center of town. “They may be more expensive than standard cruises, but so much more is included, so it’s a good value,” Celento said. According to her, travelers also like the smaller, more intimate size of the group of a river cruise — around 100 — compared with an ocean cruise that may hold up to 5,000. That factor makes a big difference when debarking at a venue. Other popular trips include Ireland for its general safety, language and low airfare for this summer, Celento said. Alaska has also been popular because it offers a more exotic getaway, yet travelers don’t need a passport. “It has a lot of history,” Celento said. “You can pan for gold. There are

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55 PLUS - May / June 2017

old saloons that are really the old saloons. People really enjoy that.” For many of the same reasons, Hawaii has remained a popular destination. “It gives you the feel of going to the Caribbean,” Celento said. “It’s a long haul from here, but well worth it. You really need 10 to 12 days to do Hawaii.” Multi-generational trips are still popular. Celento said that many grandparents would rather give memories than toys and trinkets. Lori Chaba, owner of Lori’s Travel Service in Greece, said that those seeking a tropical getaway favor all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. “You know in advance exactly what you’re paying for,” she said. “Once you get there, you don’t have to pay for a thing.” Escorted tours of Europe also provide greater guidance and safety than going on your own, and since expenses are included, travelers don’t have to worry about exchange rates or staying within their budget. Laurie Pallini, owner of Cruise Planners in Webster, said that the Mediterranean and Europe are popular venues, along with the British Isles. Clients often want to check these destinations off their bucket lists and

want to see the beauty, culture and history of these regions, Pallini said.

Traveling By Bus? Want to try a bus tour? Try Star Travel in Rochester. Andrea Bender in sales said that bus tours are popular among people over age 55. "They can sit back and relax and let someone else plan it and drive," she said. "The riders just go along with whatever the tour guide says. You let us do the work." For people who struggle with driving long distances, on interstate highways or in unfamiliar places, bus tours let them relax and enjoy the scenery. Bender said that popular bus tours include local trips to casinos and places like Skaneateles, Old Forge, and Watkins Glen. But week-long trips to venues such as Charleston and Savannah are also popular among her clients, she said.


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May / June - 55 PLUS

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55+

survivor

Patrick Fisher, a prostate cancer survivor.

Life After a Prostate Cancer Scare By John Addyman

E

njoying a lunch in a nursing home dining room, one of the veterans at the table asked why Bob was always looking back over his shoulder. “To see what’s catching up on me,” Bob said. In the race of life, something is always running behind you. When you’re young, chances are those 22

55 PLUS - May / June 2017

things are so far in the rear, you can’t see them. But when you get to a certain age, those things start to gain ground. For men, the prostate gland that has helped provide so much intimate fun and reproductive success for years and years is almost assuredly going to provide some grief sooner or later. When the trouble is cancer, says

Patrick Fisher, 67, of Penfield, get ready to fire up your lifelong learner skills, because you have a lot of information to gather and a lot of decisions to make — and his nonprofit organization, Us TOO, can help. Fisher is a former 25-year Kodak business systems analyst who retired, then went to Arizona to work at Boeing for five years, and finally came back to the area to work at the University of Rochester Medical Center in their vaccine trials unit, recruiting people for clinical trials. The reasons he came back here from Arizona? He had family in the area, but also, “I missed the green,” he said. In 2010, his doctor noted that Fisher’s PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level was going up. Something was active in the gland that provides seminal fluid. He had a biopsy and was told there were cancer cells present in the sample. Fisher was stunned. “I had no symptoms,” he said. Cancer had paid too many visits to his family, killing his father and four brothers; two of his sisters had breast cancer. “I had a typical reaction to the biopsy results,” he said. “I’m not comfortable knowing I have cancer and not taking action.” He decided to undergo robotic (DaVinci) surgery, a prostatectomy, which removed much of the gland. “I had absolutely no regrets,” he said. But he did feel “cheated” because no one had explained the options — and there are many — for treatment, and the various outcomes that can be expected. He’s worked in the medical industry, and he understands why: “No provider [doctor] has time to sit down and walk you through all the options and all the outcomes and risks you face,” he said. After surgery, Fisher was incontinent, and keeping a job while in that state was quickly out of the question. He went on disability, then retired. He realized he was fighting this thing alone. “When I got my diagnosis, I had a bad attitude about support groups,” he said. “I thought they were groups of grumpy old men sitting around and complaining about their outcomes. I


Penfield resident Patrick Fisher, finds a new calling in life after surviving prostate cancer. Here he stands at the a local mall distributing literature about prostate cancer. didn’t need that negativity. So I did my own research.” He found that urinary incontinence was common, and many men have erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery. “But there are therapies,” Fisher said. His doctor told him that he could get himself back in normal form only through a dedicated effort, and that’s what Fisher did — he retired to concentrate on the therapies that would give him normal bladder control. And he stresses that it took not one whit less than a dedicated effort. “Today, I’m normal,” he said. “While I was going through all this aggravation — and it was two years, I wondered if there were support groups that would help men like me.” He found that the American Cancer Society had stopped hosting such groups, and the Gilda’s Club, which did meet, didn’t have an educational component, and no doctors attended. He found out about Us TOO, a national organization, and saw that the group had chapters as close as Batavia, Syracuse and Utica — but nothing in Rochester. “I made a call to headquarters and asked why there was no chapter in Rochester, and they told me they were trying to develop one and needed an interested patient to get them started.” Fisher raised his hand to get Us TOO off the ground. That was 2012.

Fisher worked hard to get the first meeting together, running ads in pennysavers, and crossing his fingers that 10-15 men might show up — 35 did. “I found out that this was something the community would support,” he said. What Us TOO provides for each meeting is an educational component, with an expert — an oncologist or urologist or physical therapist — on hand to explain things and answer questions. “Our meetings are facilitated by a subject-matter expert,” he said. And in those meetings, people get answers. In between meetings, Fisher, who retired again but now spends most of his time organizing, goes to doctors’ offices and drops off flyers and announcement for the next meetings, which are held at Legacy Living Centers throughout the area. His mailing list now has 350 people on it. He also spends a lot of time on the phone answering questions and referring people, and telling the story of Us TOO to men who need to hear it. And every meeting is valuable. “Every day there’s something new,” he said. For example, HIFU (high-intensity focal ultrasound) treatment

US Too: Nonprofit Helping Prostate Cancer Prevention, Awareness Us TOO Rochester chapter, started by Patrick Fisher, 67, of Penfield, stands ready to help those who are diagnosed or concerned about prostate cancer. Peer support meetings are scheduled for the second Thursday of the month in May, July, September, October and November. Patient education seminars, facilitated by medical professionals, are scheduled for June and December. On June 17, “A Community Conversation: Prostate Cancer and YOU!” is scheduled at the Locust Hill Country Club, where men and their families can learn about imaging, screening and treating prostate cancer. Advance registrations are being taken at 585-787-4011. More information, email UsTooRochesterNY@gmail. com.

has just been approved in the United States (it’s been used in Canada and Europe for years). There is hope that the newest immunotherapy treatments used for other kinds of cancers will be able soon to marshal the body’s own defense system to kill the cancer. Fisher said many groups of men are at risk for prostate cancer — white men over 50, African-American men over 40, veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in their service, transgender women who have prostate glands, and men who take testosterone supplements without their doctor’s guidance. “Testosterone feeds prostate cancer,” Fisher said. Getting screened is important for those groups, but even if cancer is detected, only 25 percent of the time is it an aggressive disease. Fisher said “active surveillance” is used to determine if the cancer is progressing. “Maybe it won’t,” he said. If a man and his family decide on active treatment, the list of options is getting longer — radiation, surgery, proton beam radiation, Cyberknife, cryotherapy, 3T-multiparametric MRI. Many of these approaches are available locally. Fisher learned the hard way about the mistake not to get more information before he started on his journey with prostate cancer. He offers the same advice he now follows: “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be timid. Talk it up with your peers. I bet if you pick six of your male friends, you’ll find one of them is dealing with prostate cancer.” Us TOO members now help staff information booths at shopping malls, organize annual fundraisers (car shows, motorcycle rides, the S.E.A. Blue Ribbon Walk for Prostate Cancer on Aug. 19 in Genesee Valley Park). The group also sponsors the Annual Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride for Prostate Cancer motorcycle cavalcade Sept. 24, and the Annual Camp Good Days Prostrate Cancer Retreat weekend Oct. 14-15. If you’re taking Fisher’s advice and are ready to speak up to get more information, called Us TOO at 585787-4011, check out Facebook: USTOORochester, or email: UsTooRochesterNY@gmail.com, or the website: www.sites.google.com/site/ustoorochesterny. May / June - 55 PLUS

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55+

woodworking

Going With the Grain

Lamp shade created by Chuck Willard. The wood came from an old oak tree that once was at a family home in Canandaigua.

Woodworker becomes one with his medium By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

J

an Wiedrick-Kozlowski’s family has always had an iconic 300-year-old oak tree on their property on Canandaigua Lake. It had a beautiful big hole in it, and with the backdrop of the water, everyone stopped to look at it. Unfortunately, it went down in a storm a couple of years ago and they were all heartbroken. They didn’t know what to do, so she grabbed some wood and remembered a man by the name of Chuck Willard that she met. “Chuck is an incredible artist and I first saw him at the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Holiday Bazaar,” said Wiedrick-Kozlowski of Greece. “He made such wonderful lampshades and lamps out of wood in such beautiful shapes that followed the grain of the wood, like watching a creek meander through the woods. Very few artists can make the wood into such beautiful shapes where you see the grain of the wood, but it lets light through at the same time.” Growing up on a farm and making items from wood just became part of Willard’s life. It wasn’t something he felt would ever be a profession; at most maybe a hobby. After retirement, that has changed as Willard has slowly decorated many Upstate New York homes with some of his fine-crafted wooden lamps and crafts. “I just viewed it as something that kept the day going on the farm. I would have never saw it as something I would be doing as much as I May / June - 55 PLUS

25


am doing now,” said Willard, 78, of Rush. One day, he decided to take a log and turn it into a pottery bowl. Soon after that he began doing bigger projects. He saw the beauty of nature’s creation and turned it into useful and functioning art. The process of creating the pieces can be complicated to the layperson. However, Willard explains it as simply having a machine where you place the wood in to spin and shape. Whether you want a simple cheese and cracker bowl or a more creative translucent lamp, his creations run the gambit. “I enjoy making beautiful things that people can like,” he added. “When they see beauty in the things I make, it makes me appreciate the work even more.” Catch feelings

Chuck Willard uses pieces of trees to create objects that range from bird house to lamps and other item.

For Lori Merrill, the craft she received from Willard had an immense special feeling. He made bowls from an old tree that had fallen in the Warsaw Cemetery a few years ago. That tree had sentimental value because it existed before her childhood and her family had always loved that huge, old tree. “I contacted him by email and he sent pictures of different items he had made from that tree. I absolutely love

his work and have since purchased many items,” said Merrill, 61, of Warsaw. “He is a true craftsman and I admire that he lets the wood speak to him in the direction the wood piece should go.” Merrill said she could feel the generous nature of Willard and his wife when they first met. “They graciously invited my friend, Charlotte, and I into their home

Jan Wiedrick-Kozlowski’s family 300-yearold oak tree in Canandaigua was turned into Christmas ornaments and other objects.

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for a tour as well as his workshop,” said Merrill. “Chuck is very friendly and easy to work with. You just have to suggest a general idea of what you want — a bowl, vase or saltbox — and he creates a beautiful wood piece. He always sends a picture of the completed item with the option to purchase or not — no pressure ever.” Her friend Charlotte Harmon, 68, of Warsaw, agrees, calling Willard’s craftsmanship “absolutely amazing. “It seems he becomes one with the piece of wood. It is awesome to see how each piece of wood speaks to him as he creates a one-of-a-kind work of art from each piece. He is truly a gifted artisan and a true gentleman.” Not just a woodworker, Willard has eyes to make writing his passion as well. He will soon have a blog titled, “Through Alice’s Looking Glass,” a look back at the 20th century through his mother’s eyes, recreating the outlooks, experiences and environments of those who lived through the 20th century for the people of today. He is also working on a trilogy that starts after World War I on an isolated New Mexico ranch. “Writing is something I always enjoyed,” added Willard. “My mother was a teacher and she always had a love of words and grammar. She is the original reason why I have an interest in writing.”


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my turn

By Bruce Frassinelli Email: bfrassinelli@ptd.net

Medical ‘Cures’ Our Moms Used

W

VapoRub, castor oil, Carter’s Little Liver pills were always on the menu of cure-all medicines

hile visiting my 85-yearold brother recently, we began reminiscing about some of the bizarre medical “cures” my mother used when we were sick. I swear she had stock in the Vicks company, now owned by Procter & Gamble. Her favorite was VapoRub. You know, the foul-smelling menthol stuff you’re supposed to rub on your chest and throat when you have a cold. Oh, mom would rub it on all right, but then she insisted that I swallow a gob of it, too, for good measure. Yuk! Many years later, a doctor friend, unnerved by my revelation, said VapoRub is not intended to be taken internally and could have caused serious internal damage. “Look,” he said, showing me the little blue jar. “Warning,” the label sternly proclaimed, “for external use only; do not take by mouth or place in nostrils.” Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention: She stuck some of it up my nose, too, usually when I had a head cold. About a year before she died in 1997, when I recounted my encounter with my doctor friend, my then 91-year-old mother pooh-poohed this medical no-no. “How many days of work have you missed in your adult life?” she asked. I thought about it and could remember only two. “See what I mean: Two days in 35 years of work — you’re as healthy as a horse,” mom observed in vindication. “And you mean I owe it all to eating gobs of VapoRub when I had a cold?” I asked with more than a little skepticism. She smiled that motherly smile and changed the subject. My brothers and I had to wear camphor squares around our necks, too. Mom believed it kept the germs away — maybe vampires, too.

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When I had a cold, my mother’s objective was to have me “sweat it out.” To that end, she would lather me in VapoRub, put on the camphor squares, have me wear two layers of clothing over my pajamas and drink a shot of whiskey. In the morning, I awoke in a pool of sweat, and, remarkably, my cold would seem so much better. When I was born, I was really small. Back in the day, if babies weren’t two-ton-Tony Galentos, they were deemed sickly. When I was in first grade, my family doctor decreed that I needed to be “built up,” so he prescribed that when I came home from school each day my mother would see to it that I would drink two raw eggs into which a shot of Four Roses whiskey was poured. I was also instructed to eat two pieces of toast with “lots of butter.” I swear I am not making this up. I put on about 50 pounds in a one-year period between first and second grades. Dr. James

Forrest, my family doc, said he was not surprised, because he believed that the egg/whiskey concoction stimulated my appetite. He must have been right, because by the time I was a senior I weighed more than anyone in my class at 204 pounds. When my brothers or I complained about having a headache, my mom would wrap our head with a bandage that included a potato. I don’t know if it was just coincidence or whether the potato had some curative powers, but the headache would be gone within minutes. I was cursed with frequent earaches. Mom would heat some olive oil and put it into my ear, along with a plug of cotton. It worked wonders. When we had constipation, Mom


would feed us two Carter ’s Little Liver pills. The first time I had them I liked the sweet taste of the coating, so instead of swallowing them when mom put them into my mouth, I started sucking on them. When I had sucked off the coating, the vile taste of the pills made me throw up in the bathroom sink. Mom was not pleased. From time to time, most kids would fake illness to get a day off from school. We never did that, because if we admitted to being sick, mom would bring out the castor oil. We weren’t aware of it years ago, but castor oil and its derivatives are used in the manufacture of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, inks, polishes and some plastics. Despite this, the Federal Drug Administration still lists castor oil as an acceptable product for medicinal purposes. Mom would generally mix the castor oil in orange juice to mask its unpleasant taste. I rarely tolerated castor oil well and usually threw up shortly after ingesting it. So, unless I was unable to walk, I made it to school, because I knew the dreaded castor oil would be on the menu, and school was a much more palatable alternative. Mom was a firm believer that carrots would improve our eyesight. She insisted that along with an apple a day (to keep the doctor away), I also should have a daily carrot. When I started chomping on it, I would go, “Eh, what’s up, Doc?” in a poor Bugs Bunny imitation. My mother was not amused. My mom constantly reminded me not to sit too close to the TV for fear of ruining my eyes. Because I was an avid reader, my mother also warned me not to read in a dim light because I might go blind. I had a bad habit of cracking my knuckles, but each time I did this my mother scolded me, warning me that this would lead to arthritis in my later years. So far, so good. Although my mother did not use this remedy, my friend’s mother did. She would hang a clove of garlic around his neck, not to ward off vampires, but to ward off colds. Most gave my friend wide berth because of the pungent odor, which no doubt caused him to have fewer colds because of less human contact.

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www.Christopher-community.org May / June - 55 PLUS

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Protecting Susan B. Anthony’s Legacy Deborah Hughes vigilant in protecting beloved legacy, celebrates 10 years as the head of National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester By Deborah Blackwell

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erhaps it was her childhood as a minister’s daughter growing up in the 1960s, or her own adult role as a minister that prepared her to succeed as president of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester. Deborah Hughes’ personal journey of discovery through theology and her understanding of human nature did just that. “My passion is in people, what moves, what inspires them and the social reform movement,” said Hughes of Greece. “Susan B. Anthony’s life was during one of the times of greatest change in this country and she had a passionate belief in ‘we the people.’ I am committed to the stories and questions of social justice and human welfare,” she added. Susan Brownell Anthony, born in 1820, was an American social reformer and women’s rights activist who

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played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement. Hughes, 56, is celebrating her 10th anniversary directing the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House as New York state recognizes the centennial of women’s suffrage. She said she finds quite a connection between the 150-year-old historical landmark and the state of our nation today, as society debates the parameters of politics, religion and rights of American citizens. “The same questions we have now were surrounding Susan B. Anthony in her time. We had the revival and they were having similar debates at the turn of century,” Hughes said. “Humans don’t seem to learn as much as we might from prior generations.” But Hughes did, and by surprise. Born to an ordained minister who worked not as a pastor but in ecumenical council, the youngest of four girls took the long road to her own work in

the ministry. Hughes, the only sibling at home at age 10, moved with her parents from Rochester to Portland, Ore. when her father accepted a job as director of clinical ministries there. Eventually, she attended the University of Oregon with a focus in premed, but changed her major several times — first math, then computer science, architecture and even business. Finally, when she realized she had many more credits than needed to graduate, she shifted to religious studies, and the rest, she said, was history. “My emphasis was in church history, although my natural aptitude was in math, science and business,” said Hughes. “I was a preacher’s kid in some ways, but I was a critic of the Bible because it didn’t teach me what my parents taught me about God and faith.” So In 1984, Hughes moved back to Rochester to attend Colgate Roch-


Deborah Hughes this year celebrates her 10th anniversary directing the independent museum as New York state recognizes the centennial of women’s suffrage. Hughes, of Greece, dedicates her life’s work to helping share the historical story of women’s suffragette heroine Susan B. Anthony, as well as her own heartfelt causes that support the well-being of humanity. May / June - 55 PLUS

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ester Crozer Divinity School to pursue biblical studies with an emphasis in language to gain more understanding of the scriptures. “For me it was a personal journey. When I thought about people in ministry, some of the leaders I most respected were graduates there and I was curious. I wanted to have the knowledge to respond to my questions about the Bible with integrity,” said Hughes. Exploring the Word Her commitment resulted in a deeper understanding of the nature of humanity, based on the Bible’s messages about values. Hughes’ studies led her to the conclusion that the stories in the Bible are a call to being generous, kind, thoughtful and welcoming to people who are labeled as outsiders. “I found out the stories in the Bible are more descriptive of human nature rather than prescriptive of how we should behave,” she said. “These are amazing stories about human nature and it gives us something to align ourselves with, which couldn’t be more relevant today.” Anthony faced similar discussions at the turn of the century when some biblical critics thought if someone’s religious affiliation results in how they respond to their neighbor,

then they have missed the whole point, Hughes said. Because of that, she questions if humans learn as much as they might from history. “It really is a good time to be reflecting on the past and thinking about what that means today. Social change is not something that happens overnight and it’s not an easy process. We are contributing to a larger movement with the smaller steps and choices we are making,” said Christine L. Ridanski, city historian, city of Rochester. “Deborah is an inspiration because she recognizes that within all these movements, past and present, it really comes down to one thing — the fight for humanity.” Like Anthony did in her time, Hughes dedicates herself to supporting causes for humanity, as far away as Israel and El Salvador. Through the years, she has worked with the elderly, students, sexual minorities, women’s interfaith coalitions, the AIDS Interfaith network and participated in national flood and hurricane relief in New Orleans and Elizabethtown. All of these efforts helped her witness what she refers to as an incredible capacity for tenderness and generosity that she feels humans learn in times of turmoil. “When you go on missions and retreats, you really see the good and evil, and both are overwhelming,” said Hughes. “There is this deep, in-

Volunteers at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House are an important part of the successful operation of the independent museum in Rochester, according to President Deborah Hughes who finds a connection between the 150-year-old historical landmark and the state of our nation today, as society debates the parameters of politics, religion and rights of American citizens. 32

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credible joy that comes when people are really experiencing thankfulness. But there is also incredible pain and suffering that somehow humans can withstand. I saw some profound lessons over and over.” Liberated as a lesbian After receiving a Master of Divinity from the Rochester Divinity School in 1987, Hughes moved to Birmingham, Mich., to become associate pastor of a Baptist church there. The move was surprising because her studies in seminary were primarily Presbyterian. But it was also her own discovery of her sexuality as a lesbian that helped shift her life’s path and purpose. Hughes spent seven years answering her calling at the church in Birmingham before returning to Rochester to accept a role with the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board. The return to her roots not only offered her ongoing work in the ministry, she said, but provided her the opportunity to fully align herself with her own truths. “When I got the job in New York for the pension board, it was so freeing for me. They had recruited me in part because I represented the LGBT community,” she said. “I got to come out as a lesbian and I did pastoral care related to people with AIDS. It was a great job.” Hughes’s passion for theological exploration eventually came full circle when she left the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board to become the vice president of development for the divinity school. A short time later, she became the associate pastor of Third Presbyterian Church of Rochester. She never expected her ongoing work in the ministry would lead her to the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in the 19th Ward. “A friend sent me the job listing for executive director at the Susan B. Anthony House and said it looked like me,” said Hughes. “I had no idea how to take care of a museum, but what really engaged me was that it sat in a city neighborhood with challenges, which ignited my questions about social justice and welfare. I was so energized, I knew it was where I was supposed to be.” But it was not easy. In the middle of a renovation, the independent


museum was facing serious funding issues, and like her historical mentor, Hughes rose to the challenge. “Susan B. Anthony had a lot of trouble funding her cause. Today, we have trouble funding women’s history and women’s issues,” she said. “We are vulnerable; at least two-thirds of our budget comes from donations, generous people who believe in what we are doing.” That financial assistance combined with her prior experience in nonprofit management allowed forward movement for the restoration and the museum, and staying on task of maintaining a site that represents Anthony’s life work. “We had a very dedicated staff, tremendous volunteers and a great board who understood the reality and who were supportive and willing to make it a go,” said Hughes. “So we started to rebuild and increased our operating budget by more than $500,000. There is a piece of that that is just a plain miracle.” Reaching new heights Through the years, many others see Hughes’ work as its own miracle, and in 2016 she was nominated for a prestigious Athena Award. The Women’s Council of the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. presents the international leadership award to a local woman for outstanding professional achievements, collaborations, community service, advocacy and inspiration. Hughes is currently nominated for Rochester Women’s Network 2017 “W” Award, Women Inspiring Women, for women going above and beyond daily expectations to support, empower, influence and inspire other women through her own example. “The human condition is so complex and often so broken. Only those who can heal hearts can really move our world forward in ways that restore hope,” said Nancy M. Watson in a recommendation of Hughes for the “W” Award. Watson is a retired University of Rochester School of Nursing associate professor and nationally recognized researcher. “Without hope the spirit dies, the pain overwhelms, the alternatives become bleak to self and others. This is what Deborah Hughes knew and led others to see,” Watson added.

Deborah Hughes, president of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House (left) with partner Emily Jones (fight) of Greece, and Billie Jean King, sports icon, humanitarian, and champion of equal rights (center) who was the keynote speaker last year at the 2016 Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester. The luncheon is held each February in honor of women’s suffragette heroine Susan B. Anthony’s birthday. Hughes sees hope with all of her work — from the callings of ministry to disaster outreach, to sharing Anthony’s history with integrity each day in spite of the limitations of a small endowment — an issue for every arts and culture organization, she said. “Even though we have been operating paycheck to paycheck, I would rather spend our energy thinking about how we can tell Susan B. Anthony’s story in ways that are engaging and exciting,” said Hughes. “We have been doing it for 70 years and we’re going to keep doing it.” When she’s not working to keep that passionate story alive, Hughes directs her energy to her other passion — sailing. Last fall, she purchased a 32-foot sailboat named Tradewinds that she sails with her first mate and life partner of five years, Emily Jones. Jones is helping Hughes to fulfill her dream of becoming an accomplished sailor. “Deborah’s energy is infectious,

her attention to detail is incredible, and her ability to fill a project with learning and laughter is what causes me to take on this sailing adventure with great joy,” said Jones. Hughes is a mentor for the old and young, filled with creativity and energy, according to Louise Woerner, the first lifetime member of the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and 1990 Athena Award recipient, in a letter to the 2016 Athena Award Committee in Rochester. “Deborah’s authentic self and communication skills create confidence that is contagious,” she said. Maintaining the foundation of Anthony’s work feels like a natural fit for Hughes, whose own life’s mission is to be true to her inner self while facing both challenges and triumphs with passion and purpose. She celebrates the authenticity that comes from history — then and now. “Some people don’t find history interesting,” Hughes said. “But I didn’t know it could be so much fun.” May / June - 55 PLUS

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Suffragette’s Legacy Alive and Well Rochester museum keeps Anthony’s ideology intact

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By Deborah Blackwell

eborah Hughes, president of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester, never expected to get a late-night text telling her that the NBC variety show “Saturday Night Live” just did an opening sketch featuring America’s most famous suffragette, Susan B. Anthony. And she certainly didn’t expect that it would be a satirical message about the current political climate on abortion rights. “I had no idea it was coming. I woke up and looked at my phone and then saw the SNL clip the next day. It was good social commentary, but not historically correct,” she said. It was the ending statement of the

sketch on Jan. 14 made by Kate McKinnon, playing the Anthony character — “Abortion is murder” — that really caught Hughes’ attention. According to Hughes, Anthony did not take on the issue of abortion and to put a historical figure into current time does not always work, she said. “Although Susan B. Anthony’s history is very present in today’s marches, it is not accurate to say she was pro-life or pro-choice,” said Hughes. “Anthony never made a formal statement we can quote about abortion, and we don’t feel comfortable inserting interpretation. So as a museum we will not put words in her mouth, as much as we might love to.”

Although Hughes loved seeing how SNL accurately recreated the front parlor of the Susan B. Anthony House, addressing the unexpected dialogue on where Anthony stands on issues relevant today is challenging, she said. “One of the challenges about being the director of the museum is we need to be non-partisan. But here we are telling the story of one of the most political people who ever existed,” said Hughes. “We have spent years trying to clarify for people who Susan B. Anthony is and where the museum stands.” Hughes’ personal context to be politically engaged makes it difficult for her to find the fine line for herself and says it is one of the greatest struggles she now faces on a daily basis. “If we start quoting Susan B. Anthony, people would be shocked to hear echoes of the leaders of today. I see the spirit in reform and arc of justice because that’s how we move forward and make positive things happen,” she said. “But the kind of threat that the current movement is to our society is creating a momentum that can be really bad.”

Who Was Susan B. Anthony

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usan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906) dedicated her life to helping bring equality to women, minorities and people whose voices were quieted by society. Known as the leader of the women’s suffrage movement, Anthony was born on Feb. 15 in Adams, Mass., and spent most of her life in Rochester, where she worked tirelessly to bring voting rights to all American citizens regardless of race or gender. She helped fight against slavery and initiated and promoted many other causes including equal pay for equal work, advanced rights for nurses, women in education and women in publishing. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, allowing all women over age 21 to vote, passed in 1920, 14 years after her death.

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A Susan B. Anthony and Women’s Suffrage Timeline 1777 Women lose the right to vote in New York and other states followed soonafter. 1820 Susan Brownell Anthony was born on February 15 in Adams, Massachusetts, the second of seven children. 1845 The Anthony family moves to Rochester, N.Y. Their farm on what is now Brooks Avenue becomes a meeting place for anti-slavery activists, including Frederick Douglass. 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton held the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. called the Seneca Falls Convention. She proposed women’s suffrage. Two years later the first national women’s rights convention took place in Worcester, Massachusetts, where more than 1,000

participants from 11 states attended. 1851 Susan B. Anthony attends an anti-slavery convention in Syracuse, N.Y. where she meets Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 1852 Susan B. Anthony attends her first women’s rights convention. 1853 Susan B. Anthony is denied a voice at The World’s Temperance Convention in New York City. 1854 Anthony circulates petitions for married women’s property rights and women’s suffrage. She is refused permission to speak at the Capitol and Smithsonian in Washington. She begins her New York state campaign for women’s suffrage in Mayville, Chatauqua County, speaking and traveling alone. 1856 Susan B. Anthony becomes an agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.


A century of transition Anthony’s lifetime between 1820 and1906 was one of the times of greatest change in this country. America went through a civil war, and leading up to that Anthony was an abolitionist who was very critical of a society that included people owning other human beings. Hughes said Anthony carried a passionate belief in “we the people,” and equal rights for everyone, even the people you disagree with. That message is still visible by the number of people who continue to visit Anthony’s grave, according to Christine L. Ridarski, city historian, city of Rochester. Last fall, more than 10,000 people lined up to pay their respects on election day 2016, some waiting more than two hours to place flowers, balloons, candles, notes and “I voted” stickers at Anthony’s grave, she said. “They were patient, they were respectful. This moment was significant not just for people voting for Clinton; it was a momentous and historic occasion, voting for the first woman president,” said Ridarski. “Even those

1857 Susan B. Anthony calls for education for women and blacks at New York State Teachers’ Convention in Binghamton. 1866 Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the American Equals Rights Association, an organization formed to secure rights for all Americans regardless of race, color or gender. The association included both men and women, blacks and whites. 1869 Wyoming was the first territory granting unrestricted suffrage to women. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association and Anthony calls the first Woman Suffrage Convention in Washington D.C. 1870 Utah territory grants suffrage to woman and the 15th Amendment to the Constitution removed voting restrictions for men based on race and color, but did not include verbiage to include a woman’s right to vote. Stanton and Anthony oppose

who ended up being disappointed in the election results took away something good from that experience at the gravesite that day.” WROC-TV 8 in Rochester did a live Facebook stream from the cemetery that garnered 10 million live views and reached 23 million people, according to Ridarski. National media outlets including CNN, NPR, USA Today and The Washington Post also covered the special occasion. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote in New York. Ridarski said the community is reflecting back on that history, what it took to achieve and reach this milestone and what lessons can be learned from women winning that fight and applying them to today. Rochester and the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House are celebrating the anniversary with several special events throughout the year. Anthony’s 200th birthday will be observed in 2020, as well as the 19th Amendment’s 100th anniversary and the 75th anniversary of the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. “We have a passionate story and we want to keep telling it,” said Hughes.

The VoteTilla is a week-long navigational celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York state. A core group of canal boats will set out from Seneca Falls on July 17 and arrive in Rochester on July 21. Throughout the week, VoteTilla boats will dock at several towns and villages along the route, where partner organizations will offer programming and excursions or add their own boats to the fleet. Community members can greet the passing boats and participate in special events. The last leg of the trip — titled the “Last Mile” — will be celebrated with a parade in Rochester on Saturday, July 22, and there will be a concluding celebration at the Anthony Museum on Madison Street. For more information visit https://susanbanthonyhouse.org/ blog/category/events/, or www. facebook.com/RocSuffrage/ or call 585-235-6124.

the amendment and continue their fight, arguing the 14th Amendment does allow women the right to vote. 1871 The Anti-Suffrage Society is formed. 1872 Victoria Woodhull of the Equal Rights Party runs for first female President of the United States. Susan B. Anthony registers and casts a vote in Rochester, NY. She is arrested a few days later, along with several other women who are arrested for voting illegally. 1873 Susan B. Anthony is denied a trial by jury and fined $100, which she never pays. 1878 Women suffrage amendment is first introduced into Congress. 1890 The Progressive Era begins, women from all classes and backgrounds enter public life and the issue of women’s suffrage becomes part of mainstream politics. 1898 “The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, A Story of the Evolution of the Status of Women” is published.

Anthony establishes a press bureau to feed articles on woman suffrage to the national and local press. 1905 Susan B. Anthony meets with President Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., about submitting a suffrage amendment to Congress. 1906 Susan B. Anthony attends suffrage hearings in Washington, D.C., She gives her “Failure is Impossible” speech at her 86th birthday celebration. Anthony dies at her Madison Street home on March 13. 1917 New York State Constitution grants women’s suffrage, the first Eastern state to fully enfranchise women. 1920 The 19th Amendment, known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, grants women over age 21 full voting rights. Timeline information courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum (www.nwhm.org) and Susan B. Anthony Museum & House (http://susanbanthonyhouse.org).

VoteTilla ~ July 16-22

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family life

Martha Bush and her husband John Tracey have adopted what many consider reverse roles. He has been the stay-at-home caregiver while she is the off-to-the-office corporate type. Photo taken in March during their vacation in California

Reverse Roles

Dad played stay-at-home role while mom works in corporate environment By Jana Eisenberg

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n paper, they might have seemed like a stereotypical couple. Through their earlier married life, one of them went off to a 9-to-5 job, while the other stayed home to care for their child and pursue artistic interests, like pottery. Except in the case of husband and wife John Tracey and Martha Bush. He was the stay-at-home caregiver, and she was the off-to-theoffice corporate type. Decades of shared interests including music, the arts and community work, as well as raising their now 22-year-old daughter keep them going strong. 36

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Tracey and Bush, 63 and 61, respectively, said while they may have taken unexpected roles, they each remained true to themselves and are still happy with their choices. Bush, who recently became president of SIGMA Marketing Insights in Rochester after over 24 years with the firm, put it this way: “I’ve been the office type, 9-to-5 (or 9-to-9!). We didn’t think we could both have big careers when we thought about having a child. I don’t know how people do that. Many of my female friends and I waited a while to have kids. We charged off to go into whatever career. A few of us ended up in a similar situation, where the husbands had a more flexi-

ble kind of gig and the wives are more ‘straight ahead.’” Tracey, whose hats include husband, artist, contractor and father, said when it came down to the choice, he’s happy with both the experience and result. “Martha and I taking opposite roles got amped up when I played ‘Mr. Mom,’” he said. “Instead of sending our daughter Lauren to daycare, we decided that I would put my career on the back burner to spend that time with her. Martha had the 9-to-5 job with less flexibility. I’m in my art studio or doing one-man, part-time contracting work. That’s the lifestyle I’ve always lived.” Bush is drawn to the arts more as an enthusiastic observer and supporter. “I love crafts and making stuff, but never thought I could be an artist,” she said. After college, she moved to New York City, where her “head exploded” with all the arts and music. “I took it upon myself to learn about the art world,” she added. “I was making pennies, and I’d go to art openings and see amazing stuff and maybe even get some wine and cheese.” Tracey’s entrée into the world of art was quite different. “I’d always leaned toward creative, ‘art type stuff,’” he recollected. “At my very parochial public high school in Niagara County though, I was the classic ‘bad boy’; constantly in trouble and being expelled. In my senior year, I found the art room. I liked it because you could do what you wanted. The real start was sitting down at a potter’s wheel. I was a natural. Within a week, I was better than both of the instructors.” He headed to northern California shortly after high school, where he opened a studio and began producing a line of pottery to sell. “I did exactly what I’m doing now,” he said. “I was a part-time artist and a part-time contractor.” Bush’s involvement in the arts expanded over the years. “We lived in Boston for a while, where the arts and crafts scene was booming. John was making ceramics, and we met tons of artists. It was very fun. I love being around creative, smart people


in advertising and marketing. I’m as fascinated by artists as art.” Evolving skill set Her husband is one such artist. He now focuses more on his own work, which he differentiates from earlier days of making functional items. “After 25 years of making pottery, which I enjoyed, I decided to start doing more sculptural-type stuff,” said Tracey. “Making pottery products was a way to find art while being able to sell something. That can become a trap: more of a job. Sculpture is making something that I really like — instead of making a hundred, making one. It’s more personal; more creatively fulfilling.” Bush expanded her involvement further, joining the boards of nonprofit organizations like Causewave, the Memorial Art Gallery, and the Rochester Contemporary Art Center. “In addition to making my life fuller, volunteer work helps communities survive,” she said. “It’s too much for one person, but if you get involved with one or two things, you can help. And, you get to meet such interesting people. I love hooking people up and making connections.” Coming full circle, Tracey ruminated about the effect of his and Bush’s parenting choices. “While I was taking care of my daughter, some guys would say, ‘Wow, why couldn’t I do this?’ It was occasionally a little weird hanging out on the playground with all the moms. They’d say it was great; they wished their husbands would do it.” The real effect became more evident when their daughter was in college at Harvard. “Lauren was studying sociology, and at one point said that she hadn’t realized how unusual her upbringing and lifestyle were,” said Tracey. “Many of her female friends were raised in traditional families, where the mom ‘wore the apron’ — cooked and cleaned and all that jazz. Because of Lauren’s upbringing, she tends to be more outgoing and assertive.” These days, empty nesters Bush and Tracey work at their respective callings, and enjoy dining out and hearing live music. Bush has become an evangelist for her Fitbit, and loves walking for exercise and weight con-

trol.

ton, N.J. They recently spent a week “A couple of years ago, I put my in California hanging out with her foot down with myself and started while she trained with the U.S. rowwalking,” she said. “I like hiking and ing team in hopes of an Olympic cross-country skiing. I lost a bunch of berth. weight and feel extremely strong and She is ambitious, hardworking healthy. I walk and I walk and I walk. and creative, Bush said. It’s like meditation, especially if you’re Their daughter, says Bush, is “a walking outdoors. You can just empty little bit of John and a little bit of me.” your brain. If someone wants to do it, Not a bad combination. I say try and change little things every day. If you try to change something big, it’s not going to work or you’ll get hurt. With walking, you can just Financial Consultant go around the block — you don’t even have to change your clothes.” AXA Advisors, LLC Added Tracey, “We love going out to hear music, and do it at least once a week. There’s an active AmerDianaApostolova.com icana/rootsy music thing happening in the Central Finger Lakes area, with n Retirement a lot of talented musicians. We also go Investments to one of our favorite restaurants, Han n Employee Noodle, at least once a week.” Other activities may include Benefits “treasure hunting” at estate sales and n Insurance auctions, said Tracey. And they travel. Their daughter, Securities offered through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, who now works at an international NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA SIPC. Annuity and Insurance products offered through AXA The Rochester Chapter branding company, lives of in the PrinceNetwork, LLC Hearing Loss Association of America was established in 1983. The formation of the Chapter allowed people livingBY AN UPCOMING MOVE OR ESTATE SALE? STOP WORRYING NOW! in western New York to meet and share common concerns Our comprehensive approach makes it stress free surrounding the challenges• of • Resettling new home Downsizing living with a hearing loss. • Floor Planning • Online estate sales/auctions

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May / June - 55 PLUS

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55+

longevity

Working in the medical field for more than 40 year — and still going: Ashok Shah, professor of medicine emeritus for University of Rochester Medical Center Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Longevity on the Job

Some doctors in Rochester have practiced medicine for more than 40 years — and they’re still going strong

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hile many in the health field retire early for a variety of reasons, some practitioners continue working long after the standard retirement age. One of them is Ashok Shah, professor of medicine emeritus for University of Rochester Medical Center Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He practices at the Center for Liver Disease in Rochester. He said that enjoys sharing with younger physicians

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the wisdom he has attained since 1973 — that’s more than 40 years ago, when he started his medical career. “They have youthful enthusiasm and I have the wisdom,” Shah said. Shah biggest changes he has observed over his impressive tenure as a physician include a lot of interference by insurance companies, government and the hospital associations. “There are more and more rules we are to follow,” he said. He recalls a time when physicians

prescribed whatever drugs would ideally help patients, but now, health insurance coverage determines what he prescribes. Many kinds of medications are so expensive that many patients cannot afford it out-of-pocket. Diagnostic tests also come under insurance company scrutiny. “Outsiders are now making the decisions, not the doctor and patient,” said Shah. But Shah has seen many positive changes, such as more effective treatments and more accurate diagnostic tools. Both add up to better patient care. When not treating patients, Shah enjoys pursuing comparative religion and philosophy. He and his wife of 50 years, Shobhana, have a son and daughter. Daniel Biery, gastroenterologist with Ontario Gastroenterology Associates, has practiced medicine 39 years. He also said that additional regulations in the past decades have dramatically affected health care. Lower reimbursement has also altered how health care is delivered, with less hands-on care provided by the physician and more through nurses and physician extenders. The septuagenarian is pleased about how during procedures such as endoscopy, patients receive more frequent vital sign checks than they used to. “Vital signs are taken prior to even starting anything and then every three minutes throughout the examination,” Biery said. “It’s not just blood pressure and pulse, but also oxygen blood levels and EKG tracings. After, we keep them for half an hour to 45 minutes, also monitoring their vital signs.” Though he never encountered any problems in the old days, he views the extra vigilance as a “good change.” He has also noted that the number of subspecialties has increased in the past few decades, and that more and more surgeries have become minimally invasive, which means patients spend less time in the hospital and experience a reduced risk of infection.


Biery views his maturity as an asset for practicing medicine. “Medicine is a science, but it’s also an art,” he said. “As a mature physician, you may have seen this issue that’s presented to you eight or 10 times in the past and you know just form your past experience which direction to go, how serious is it, how much investigation to do. Sometimes, less treatment is better.” He attributes his longevity to taking care of his own health and selecting an area of medicine he loves. In February Biery announced he was retiring. A husband and father of four, Biery also enjoys gardening vegetables and flowers, golf, travel, Masonry, and reading. Alex L. Strasser, another senior medical provider, operates a solo practice on Browncroft Boulevard in Rochester. He has worked as a physician for 49 years. He shares the same positive outlook on practicing medicine as Biery and Shah. “I like the interaction between doctor and patients and like listening to patients and helping them,” he said. He, too, feels that the government and health insurance companies wield too much power over patients’ health care. “When I started the practice and we admitted a patient in the hospital, we kept the patient as long as it was medically correct,” he said. “Now the No. 1 factor is cost control. The admitting physician and the hospital employees are pushed to be economically sound to get the patient out of there sooner.” He attributes his longevity in medicine to the ability to run his practice the way he wants. He still talks with patients in a consultation room, performs the examination in an examination room, and then consults in the first room again. He said the process is “from the old days.” Though Strasser calls practicing medicine “a privilege and honor,” he referred to his wife and son as “my love and life. “I’m happily married to a fine lady and have an interest in something beyond the family. That is why I’m not going to retire. I love what I’m doing so why should I retire?”

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39


55+

couples

Latest Trends in Mature Wedding More intimate parties, fewer gifts and more family members are part of wedding parties older couples put together By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

T

ying the knot? Getting married as a mature adult is a quite a bit different than as a younger adult. Check out the trends for mature couples. Lori Chaba, owner of Lori’s Travel Service in Greece, said that destination weddings have become popular among mature couples. She has booked 10 destinations weddings this year, mostly for Mexico, Jamaica, and Punta Cana. This may sound extravagant, but Chaba said that’s a common misconception. Since traditional weddings cost about $25,000 to $30,000, destination weddings run around $5,000 and include everything the couple needs, including a weeklong celebration and accommodations for the honeymoon. Many mature couples enjoy making their wedding a weeklong party,

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since their attending family members may not see each other often. Getting together for just a few hours isn’t enough. “You have fun working up to that date, you have the wedding and then you’re there for the honeymoon,” Chaba said. “We’re just like a bridal coordinator. We can help them with all the details, like getting married on a beach or indoors or a gazebo.” Guests also enjoy the all-inclusive aspect of the destination wedding. The only drawbacks are that guests may not be able to travel for the wedding because of finances, schedule or health. Only the couple’s closest friends and family will likely want to attend. Before booking a destination wedding, couples should make sure that their guests are able to go.

Pauleen Vacca, owner of Pauleen Anne Design in Rochester, said that smaller represents a big trend in mature weddings. Most go no larger than 100 guests, and most are smaller than 50. “If they do have a wedding party, it’s immediate family or children,” Vacca said. Many couples like to incorporate other family members with reading poems or assisting with a unity ceremony. The family theme extends to the decor as well, with a more casual vibe such as wildflowers, garden themes and other casually elegant touches. For mature couples, it’s worth it to spend more on quality food to keep the reception going long and strong. Many spend about $30,000, but invite fewer people. “They’re getting a better quality event, but they still want something casual, nothing too showy,” Vacca said. “It’s abundance generous, but not showy.” A recent client offered four food stations, each of which offered a full meal in itself, plus cake, chocolate fountain and pastries for dessert, Vacca said. Also underscoring the family nature of the event, they don’t shine the spotlight solely on themselves. “They’re so open to including more family,” Vacca said. “If their children or grandchildren are excited about it, they are willing to roll with it.” Mature couples are often much more open to suggestions for their wedding and reception. Vacca said that more older adults want live entertainment than DJs, likely because they perceive live music as classier and they’re more capable of affording it than younger couples. Their goal isn’t to get everyone on the dance floor necessarily, but to provide a good backdrop for conversation and mingling. Most couples discourage gifts and would rather that guests contribute to a charity they support, according to Vacca.


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May / June - 55 PLUS

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55+

arts

Small Artworks with a Big Impact Rochester Contemporary Art Center presents its 10th annual 6x6 event, bringing thousands of small artworks — all in the six by six inch format

A

fundraiser where you buy art without knowing who the artist is? Original small artworks for $20 a piece, for a good cause? A chance to create and donate art of your own, and find out whether it appeals to buyers? A great party with lots of energy and buzz? Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) says “Yes” to all of that. RoCo has become a gathering place and neighborhood anchor for

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By Jana Eisenberg artists, audiences and community in downtown Rochester. One of its widely anticipated signature events is the 6x6 fundraiser — it’s billed as an “international small-art phenomenon.” Here are the basics: every year, during the buildup to the actual event, anyone and everyone is invited to create and donate artworks with a single caveat — each piece in any medium, and whether two- or three-dimen-

sional, must be six by six inches (15 by 15 centimeters) or be mounted to a six-by-six inch board. (The submission period for this year has closed.) Thousands of pieces are contributed by people locally and around the world, ranging from celebrities and designers to schoolchildren, college students, professional and amateur artists and older people. “The event is great for people of all ages, and it’s become especial-


ly welcoming and accessible to those learning or rediscovering art-making after retirement,” said Bleu Cease, RoCo’s executive director and curator. Paulette Davis, a fiber artist, has participated in 6x6 multiple times. “As a retired senior, my goals are to keep mentally happy, fit, and active; to do things I couldn’t do when I was working,” she said. “Art is the centralizing focus of my retirement. Through 6x6 and its annual members shows, RoCo allows me to exhibit to a huge audience.” The artwork parameters present a challenge in a good way, said Davis. “I use 6x6 to try out ideas in a smaller format. I like to move out from the wall toward the viewer; I’ve been working in sculptural forms,” she said. “The size limitation spurs me to be more creative, and to work for maximum visual impact.” All submitted 6x6 entries (limit of up to four per person) are exhibited anonymously both in the gallery and online. And when the event finally arrives, the pieces are sold for $20 each with the proceeds benefitting RoCo. The artists’ names and details are revealed to the buyer upon purchase. Essie Germanow, 95, a RoCo member, volunteer, supporter and 6x6 contributing artist (she works in collage), said that the rules of the unique event provide both fun and rewards. As an artist, she said, her goal is to create something that will resonate: “It’s exciting when you find out your piece has sold. Also, people have started having 6x6 parties where they get together to work on their pieces. It can be very social.” As a purchaser, there’s the mystery. “You may purchase something that’s interesting to you, and then learn that it was done by a 15- or 6-year-old, or a professional artist,” Germanow added. Managing the event is an impressive feat, attested artist Davis, who, in addition to being a RoCo founding member, also volunteers occasionally. “I’m in awe of how the gallery organizes and handles all of the work; I’ve learned a lot from volunteering during its installation. RoCo is very democratic and fair,” she said. “As they receive the works, everything is kept in order, photographed and catalogued. They use a laser system to make the grid to hang everything. It’s fun to see the pieces up close, and of course, you hope for a good spot for your own work.”

Art buyer hunting for the best artwork in the Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s 6X6 event last year. The 10th annual event is taking place May 19 to July 16. All artwork — mounted on a six by six inch board — is sold anonymously. Buyers will learn who the artist is after they buy the pieces. Proceeds go to Rochester Contemporary Art Center. Photos courtesy of Rochester Contemporary Art Center. An online preview of all the works begins May 19, and in-gallery preview is available from May 29 through June 2. The main event — an opening party and first chance to acquire the works in person — takes place on June 3. (Tickets are $12; $8 for members.) The exhibit and sale continue through July 16. The opening party is also fun, asserts Germanow. “There are all ages at the event, in all types of dress,” she said. “The atmosphere stimulates a lot of conversations

about the pieces, which is part of the success of the gallery and this event.” After June 6, the rest of the world is invited to purchase the artworks online. Purchased artwork remains on display, and may be picked up between July 16-19. “We started this project to help fill a funding shortfall in 2008, and it’s continued to grow and evolve in recent years,” said Cease, RoCo’s executive director. “We appreciate everyone’s generosity and support through this fun fundraiser. This is our 10th year!”

If You Go An online preview of all the works presented by Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s 6x6x2017 begins May 19, and in-gallery preview is available from May 29 through June 2. The main event — an opening party and first chance to acquire the works in person — takes place on June 3. Tickets for RoCo’s 6x6x2017

opening night party and sale are available online at rochestercontemporary.org or by phone at 585461-2222. The Rochester Contemporary Art Center is located at 137 East Ave. in Rochester. For the online preview, go to roco6x6.org. May / June - 55 PLUS

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addyman’s corner

By John Addyman

Road Trip to ‘Official’ Retirement Journey to being completely retired can be fun, fulfilling

M

y friend Jay called from Pennsylvania to tell me what his plans are for the summer. He and I went to high school together, went to the same junior college, and got married on the same day a long, long time ago. Jay was a teacher and still finds time to do some substituting, but generally, he is completely and totally retired. For years after leaving teaching, he enjoyed a second career as the supervisor on a loading dock for a shipping firm. Then he completely and totally retired. Then he ran for borough council and served for many years, took over the tree commission, ran a summer festival, instituted a senior shopping service, hosted family reunions and helped organize a charity golfing tournament. Then he completely and totally retired. Now he’s got time on his hands, and he’s decided to travel. He’s a big guy (6-foot-7), and he does all of his traveling in a pickup truck. This summer’s trip is to make northern passage around the Great Lakes. He’ll start here, at our house in Newark. I’ve traveled with Jay. We drove out to Ohio to see another guy we graduated high school with, Skip. The truck wasn’t available that day, so we ended up taking my SUV. Jay was going to do half the driving. He didn’t, especially on our way back to Pennsylvania, when I drove for six hours straight through a line of thunderstorms. Jay slept. He’s good at that. He’s trying to talk me into making a western swing with him, where we cover about 20 states. I can’t do it, and I can’t figure out how he’s going 44

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to do all that sightseeing while he’s sleeping. I finished my fifth career, as a corporate recruiter, and I completely and totally retired. Then I did Meals on Wheels and I was an ombudsmen and I drove people to their medical appointments and volunteered at our church and read a lot and did things around the house. Then I went to nursing school where I was the oldest student by 20some years, and took college classes at Finger Lakes Community College before that to be comfortable in nursing school. At FLCC, I was the oldest student in the room by 30-some years. And I became an LPN. But I found out, after a year, that I was a bit too slow. So I completely and totally retired. Then I got involved in Laurel House comfort care home in Newark, and in hospice care, and I started writing stories for local newspapers, something I’ve done most of my life as a “second” job. In fact, I started writing more and more stories, and even began working for magazines. Roll the presses! Then I bought a small local newspaper, the “Sun & Record/Wayne County Mail” in Williamson. And in just two months, I found myself working seven days a week, and some of those days were 12 to 15 hours long. My wife has been just thrilled about this latest venture. Light bulbs that need to be replaced may be dark for several days or weeks. Smoke alarm batteries lay on the counter waiting to be inserted in the smoke alarms right above them.

My car, which is almost never dirty, is now almost never clean. It takes me three weeks to set aside enough time for a haircut. Rather than dressing for style, I dress for warmth and comfort. And shopping? If there were no internet, birthdays and Christmas, and loving children and grandchildren, I’d have no clothes. I love painting rooms and the outside of the house, but haven’t touched a paintbrush in more than a year. So, how miserable can I be? Frankly, I’m not miserable at all — too busy, yes, but not miserable. I love doing what I’m doing, including writing this column. They say that when we get to be a certain age, we need three things to help us stay young — activity, learning (or challenge), and social contacts. I’ve got all three up to my eyeballs. But I have something else. I have the opportunity to share. I know what I write is read — I certainly hear from enough people. And I know that I’m not alone in what I do with my life, in the choices I make. If I write a story about something really stupid I’ve done, I know some of you will read that and say, “I’ve done something just like that.” My friend Jay is an amiable guy who can make friends with anybody. In his travels through the Great Lakes, he will do just that. He’ll learn, he’ll be active, and he’ll meet people who will like him almost instantly. And when I really do retire completely and totally for the last time, I’ll take Jay up on his offer to join him in seeing the United States. That is unless Jay and I start some kind of business together. Maybe we’ll do bus tours of America.


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55+

visits

10 Things to Explore in Schuyler County County has 44 waterfalls, 20 wineries, hiking trails, art shops and great places to stay, and, of course, world-class racing By Sandra Scott

S

chuyler County is gorge-ous. The distinguishing feature of the place is Watkins Glen State Park but there are other great things to see and do. Within the county there are 44 waterfalls, 20 wineries, hiking trails, art shops and great places to stay; and, of course, worldclass racing. There are a variety of accommodations from campgrounds to B&Bs to motels to the waterfront Harbor Hotel right in the center of the village. The Glen: Watkins Glen State Park is a two-mile gorge that descends

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400 feet past 200-foot cliffs and 19 waterfalls. The park placed third on the USA Today Reader’s Choice Poll for best state parks in the US. There are informative storyboards along the Gorge Trail. The Gorge Trail opens in late spring and visitors can walk the Rim Trail. At the top is a campground with an Olympic-size pool. There is an entry/parking fee. An Empire Passport ($65) allows access to most state parks for the season. The Lake: The village of Watkins Glen is located at the south end of Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger

2.

Lakes and the deepest lake in the state. For those without a water craft there are kayaks, canoes and pontoon rentals. The fishing is great, especially for trout. Take a romantic sailing trip on the Schooner “True Love,” the sailboat that was featured in the 1940 “Philadelphia Story” and “High Society.” Captain Bill’s has sightseeing cruises as well as a do-not-miss dinner cruise. The Race: The original open-road circuit of the Watkins Glen race is on the National Register of Historical Places, and anyone can drive – not

3.


Quintus Gallery is part of an active arts scene in Watken Glens. It features innovative artworks and offers workshops. race the circuit using the self-guided brochure. Today the purpose-built Watkins Glen International is a Mecca for racing enthusiasts hosting a variety of events from Can-Am, Trans-Am, Formula 5000, and even concerts. “Drive The Glen” allows people to drive their personal vehicle two laps around the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit behind a pace vehicle. The International Motor Racing Research Center in the village is basically for research but their video “25 Years of Speed” is worth watching. There is always a racing car on exhibit. On village sidewalks there are plaques honoring notable racers called the Walk of Fame. History: The historic Brick Tavern Museum in Montour Falls is home of the Historical Society and has many exhibits relating to Schuyler County’s history. The 1828 Brick Tavern is on the National Register of Historical Places. There are exhibits dealing with Native Americans, the Victorian Era, musical instruments and textiles. Check out the place beside the door where tavern-goers had to store their guns while in the tavern. Called the Glorious T is a National Historic District in Montour Falls with many 19th century structures. It is a part of the Points of Inspiration Architecture Driving Trail in the Southern Finger Lakes. Arts: The arts are alive and well. There are several galleries i n c l u d i n g t h e F r a n k l i n S t re e t Gallery and Quintus Gallery which features innovative artworks and offers workshops. The Old Havana Courthouse Theater in Montour Falls

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5.

The Glen at Watkins Glen State Park is a two-mile gorge that descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs.

offers several original plays each season. During the summer LaFayette Park hosts Tuesday Night Concerts. Nature: Other than Watkins Glen there are many other falls including 449-foot Montour Falls which is right in the village. Havana Glen Park is home to Eagle Falls accessed by a short hiking trail. The 9085-acre Sugar Hill State Forest is home to the 40-mile Six Nations Recreational Trail System is primarily designed for horses and snowmobiles but hiking is allowed. Hiking is popular on the 7.5-mile Queen Catherine Marsh Loop Trail; it is part of the Finger Lakes Trail System. Queen Catherine Montour was an influential prominent leader during the 1700s. There is a one-mile Willow Walk Trail near Montour Falls. Imbibing: Schuyler County is part of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and the Finger Lakes Beer Trail. Check out Castel Grisch Winery, Silver Spring Winery and Lakewood Vineyards. Finger Lakes Distilling is a NYS Farm Distillery, which means that it is a small operation making a handcrafted whiskey, gin and other spirits. They have viewing windows detailing the distillation process. Grist Iron Brewing Company makes a variety of craft beers. Shopping: O’Shaughnessy Antiques has estate jewelry and does appraisals. T.J Antiques also has handcrafted furniture. Every piece of colonial pottery is unique and stamped by the artist. Skyland Art Barn in Burdett displays an amazing variety of unique items created by 300 different artists. They have Qi Gong classes in the morning and a zen labyrinth.

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A must for the fishermen is a stop in Moutour Falls at the Rod & Reel where they custom make fishing rods. Don’t forget your pet. Shop for your four-legged friends at Wags to Riches operated by the Humane Society and located in the heart of Watkins Glen. Events: Don’t miss the Cheese Festival with a stop at the family-owned and operated Sunset View Creamery where you can buy artisan cheese year-round and tour its working farm. Many of the wineries host musical groups and other events, including Deck the Halls in November. The Watkins Glen Waterfront is the place for a variety of festivals yearround, including the Cardboard Boat Regatta. There are farm tours, craft shows, and First Fridays. Watkins Glen International hosts a variety of races and concerts. Unique: Farm Sanctuary is the only Farm Sanctuary on the East Coast whereby injured farm animals are taken care of. The mission of Farm Sanctuary is to protect farm animals from what they consider to be cruelty and to promote vegan living. The visitor center has displays of enclosures used in the farming of animals along with a lot of free printed material to peruse. There is a short video explaining their point of view some of which is quite graphic. According to Farm Sanctuary, an ideal world would be one where there were no factory farms or stockyards. They offer guided tours and have reasonable accommodations for two or four people.

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long-term care By Susan Suben

Is Planning For Long-Term Care Worth It?

L

ong-term care insurance is worth it If you become ill — if you don’t, it probably isn’t. But do you know what your future has in store for you? Some of us have health issues or family members with a litany of health conditions that make it more likely we will need long-term care (LTC). Those of us who are healthy or had relatives who lived into their 90s never needing LTC may feel less convinced that planning is necessary. The problem is that life isn’t what we hope or expect it to be. It just is. Individuals generally plan for LTC because they have experienced a LTC situation with family or friends, want to preserve their assets in order to leave a legacy, want to stay at home if they need care, maintain the standard of living of a spouse/ partner and, most importantly, they do not want be a burden to their families. Individuals who don’t plan, generally have never experienced a LTC situation, feel their children don’t need an inheritance, and decide to take their chances thinking they will never get ill. What I hear all the time is that the premiums are expensive. Are they too expensive compared to the cost of home care, assisted living or nursing home care? The answer is no! Here is a scenario that involved one of my clients. After reading their story, decide if LTC planning would have been worth it. Frank and Barbara were happily married for 35 years when their financial planner brought up the topic of LTC planning. They were both working at the time, owned their house and a camp, traveled, and had a son who was engaged

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in a successful career. Their retirement portfolio was performing nicely and their financial planner felt they had enough discretionary income to afford a LTC insurance premium. He referred them to me. After several months of discussion, Frank and Barbara decided not to purchase policies. The reasons they gave were — we can save enough if something happens to us and our son does not need our money. The cost of the annual premium for both of them would have been a little over 1 percent of their entire estate. About a year later, Frank’s health started to deteriorate. He developed diabetes that eventually required an insulin pump which led to other side effects of the disease. He was

in and out of the hospital and could no longer work. Barbara took more and more time off from work. As if things could not get worse, Frank developed Alzheimer’s at age 63. His health insurance did not reimburse for his LTC expenses. About a year later, Frank could no longer be left alone. Barbara had to hire an aide to take care of him during the week so that she could work. It cost her $25 an hour for eight hours, five days a week for a total of $1,000 per week — or $4,000 per month. On the weekends, she was his primary caregiver. This went on for about two years with Frank eventually being placed in a nursing home that cost $10,000 a month. He died almost two years later. Barbara had to cash in some of their retirement


savings, and eventually sold their camp to raise funds for Frank’s care. When Barbara and Frank looked into purchasing LTC insurance they were both 58 years old. The annual premium for both of them would have been $5,300.95 — $3,275.71 for Barbara; $2,025.24 for Frank — which included spousal discounts. Barbara’s premium was higher due to gender-based pricing. Initially, the policy would have paid $250 per day for home care, adult day care, assisted living and nursing home care with 3 percent compound inflation for three years of coverage. If Frank had paid his premium for six years until he became ill, the total would have been $12,151.44. His daily benefit over that six-year period would have grown to $298.51 giving him a pool of money worth $326,868. Barbara paid approximately $336,000 out of pocket over the four years for Franks’ care. The policy pool of money would have easily covered Frank’s care. Barbara would not have needed to sell their camp or dip into their retirement savings. She would have been able to maintain her lifestyle and standard of living. Important to note is that once Frank went on claim, his premium would have been waived. Let’s say Barbara paid her premium for 25 years. She would have spent $81,892.75. Add that to Frank’s premium paid for six years and the total would have been $94,044.19 — well below the $336,000 she spent out of pocket for Frank’s care. Remember, the premium was less than 1 percent of their asset base. Now answer the question. Would it have been worth it for them to plan for LTC? Is it worth it for you to plan? The answer is a resounding yes because we simply do not know what life has waiting for us. Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and Elder Care Planning. She is a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. Contact her at 800-422-2655 or by email at susansuben@31greenbush.com. Ideas for this article came from Sheila Cevera’s presentation, Alternative Solutions for Long Term Care.

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By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

Eleanor Barry, 92 Volunteer honored for her efforts in voting registration in Victor area Q: What was your reaction when you won the awards? A: When it came to the chamber, they called me in late February and told me that I was nominated for an award but wouldn’t know until later in March if I won. In my category, I was one of four people. When they called my name I was in shock. It was because when I heard of all the wonderful work these other people in my category were doing I thought one of them deserved it. When it comes to the school district award, I was honored and really appreciated it. It was especially great because I was honored for all the work I do with registering people to vote. Q: What is your role when it comes to local elections and voter registration? A: I am involved in the annual Victor Central School District vote, board of elections, special project votes along with voter registration. It is something that has been part of my life since the 1960s and I have been chairwoman of the Victor Central School District board of elections for decades. I really care about registering people to vote. When people are new to Victor, I have been part of committees who came to their doors to register them. I remember running into a woman years later who said she recognized me because I had come to her door when she first came to Victor and she was pregnant, and I was telling her all about voting. It really makes me proud to make that difference. Q: Why are you so passionate about voting? A: I have always believed that every 50

55 PLUS - May / June 2017

vote counts. You see other countries where people wait in the longest lines to register to vote or to vote on Election Day. And in America, we are making it easier and easier to register and vote and people don’t do it. I think it is a privilege to vote. The vote doesn’t always go your way but at least you have a right to vote. I will always believe it that. Q: What are some other ways you volunteer?

Eleanor Barry, 92, of Victor, was honored with two awards this spring: the Victor Chamber of Commerce Woman of Excellence and the Victor Central School District Volunteer Committed to Service Award.

A: I have been active in many organizations. I was with the Ontario County United Way before they combined with Rochester. I was doing Meals on Wheels, which has always been a special program for me where I brought food to people who were shut-ins. I was also involved in a program called Neighbors in Ministry where we provide seniors with rides to doctor’s offices, shopping trips, and light housework. It’s great because sometimes people don’t have a way to get to these important appointments during the daytime because their families are at work so we are just here helping them out. We serve more than 100 clients now. Q: Why was the Meals on Wheels program so special to you? A: Many times we were the only people they would see the whole day. There are people who need services and they appreciated everything. Whenever I would ring the door-

bell and nobody would come to the door, I would keep knocking or ask a neighbor if they had seen that person recently. I was always worried that they had fallen or had some kind of problem so I would never leave until someone came into the door. Q: What kinds of things do you do in your spare time? A: I really enjoy reading whether it’s historical books or newspapers. I knit shawls as part of a program at St. Patrick’s Church and I like playing bridge when I get a chance. When it comes to television, I usually like watching news programs. I like to keep busy. I tell people you have to be active because there are so many things you can do that don’t cost you any money that you could really enjoy. When I retired from Eastman Kodak in March 1983, I said I would make sure that I would keep as active as possible and I have done that.


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