Savvy Senior: How Reverse Mortgage Works in 2014
Jim Terwilliger: How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits
55 PLUS Issue 28 July / August 2014
For Active Adults in the Rochester Area
Gardening Keeping up with caretakers of the George Eastman House gardens
Stroke Survivors They share what itâ€™s like to have a stroke and survive
scams targeting 55-plus crowd
READY TO SWING
More women in Rochester area are playing golf. Five of them explain why theyâ€™re so passionate about the sport
July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
July / August 2014
32 Savvy Senior 6 Financial Health 8 Trends 14 My Turn 16 Long-term Care 47 Visits 48
Dr. Wende Logan-Young, 78, talks about her pioneering initiatives on breast cancer in Rochester.
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10 GARDENING • Three gardeners in charge of the George Eastman House gardens
32 FULFILLMENT • Local author discovers where to find personal happiness
• Collector reminisces about lifelong passion with postcards
• Former Stop-DWI coordinator spent career educating, innovating
• Wildlife rehabilitators rally around the cause of sick, injured animals
• Wayne County resident intends to keep the motor running
41 FIRST PERSON
• More female golfers finding the fairways
• Stroke survivors talk about what it’s like to have a stroke
• Returning to golfing after more than 40 years
• Top 10 scams targeting baby boomers
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July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
savvy senior By Jim Miller
Reverse Mortgage: How it Works in ‘14
ow much have reverse mortgage regulations changed this year? Quite a bit. Tighter rules on reverse mortgages that have recently gone into affect have made them harder to get, especially for seniors with heavy debt problems. The reason the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) made these changes was to strengthen the product, which has suffered from a struggling housing market and a growing number of defaults by borrowers. Here’s a rundown of how reverse mortgages now work in 2014. Overview — The basics are still the same. A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows senior homeowners to borrow money against the equity in their house. The loan doesn’t have to be repaid until the homeowner dies, sells the house or moves out for at least 12 months. It’s also important to know that with a reverse mortgage, you, not the bank, own the house, so you’re still responsible for property taxes, insurance and repairs. Eligibility — To be eligible for a reverse mortgage you must be at least 62 years old, own your own home (or owe only a small balance) and currently be living there. You will also need to undergo a financial assessment to determine whether you can afford to make all the necessary tax and insurance payments over the projected life of the loan. Lenders will look at your sources of income, assets and credit history. Depending on your financial situation, you may be required to put part of your loan into an escrow account to pay future bills. If the financial assessment finds that you cannot pay your insurance and taxes and have enough cash left to live on, you will be denied. Loans — Nearly all reverse mortgages offered today are Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM),
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which are FHA insured and offered through private mortgage lenders and banks. HECM’s also have home value limits that vary by county, but cannot exceed $625,500. See hud. gov/ll/code/llslcrit.cfm for a list of HUD approved lenders. Loan amounts — The amount you get through a reverse mortgage depends on your age, your home’s value and the prevailing interest rates. Generally, the older you are, the more your house is worth, and the lower the interest rates are, the more you can borrow. A 70-year-old, for example, with a home worth $300,000 could borrow around $170,000 with a fixedrate HECM. To calculate how much you can borrow, visit reversemortgage.org. Loan costs — Reverse mortgages have a number of up-front fees including a 2 percent lender origination fee for the first $200,000 of the home’s value and 1 percent of the remaining value, with a cap of $6,000; a 0.5 percent initial mortgage insurance premium fee; along with an appraisal fee, closing costs and other miscellaneous expenses. Most fees can be deducted from the loan amount to reduce your out-of-pocket cost at closing. In addition, you’ll also have to pay an annual mortgage insurance premium of 1.25 percent of the loan amount. Payment options — You can receive the money in a lump sum, a line of credit, regular monthly checks or a combination of these. But in most cases, you cannot withdraw more than 60 percent of the loan during the first year. If you do, you’ll pay a 2.5 percent upfront insurance premium fee. Counseling — All borrowers are required to get face-to-face or telephone counseling through a HUD approved independent counseling agency before taking out a reverse mortgage. Most charge around $125 to $250.
55PLUS Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto
Associate Editor Lou Sorendo
Deborah J. Sergeant, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Mike Costanza Renee Rischenole, John Addyman Aaron Curtis, Deborah Blackwell
Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Bruce Frassinelli Laura Thompson
Donna Kimbrell, Marsha Preston H. Mat Adams
Laura J. Beckwith
Layout and Design Chris Crocker
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
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Mailing Address PO Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 Subscription: $15 a year © 2014 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
Q: What is a Social Security “credit?” A: During your working years, earnings covered by Social Security are posted to your record. You earn Social Security credits based on those earnings. The amount of earnings needed for one credit rises as average earnings levels rise. In 2014, you receive one credit for each $1,200 of earnings. You can earn up to a maximum of four credits a year. Most people will need 40 credits (or 10 years of work) to be eligible for retirement benefits. Learn more by reading the online publication How You Earn Credits at www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs. Q: I’ve heard you can apply online for retirement benefits. But isn’t it easier just to go into an office? A: Retiring online is the easier way to go. There’s no need to fight traffic to travel to a local Social Security office and wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. You can apply in as little as 15 minutes. Just visit www.socialsecurity.gov. Once you submit your electronic application, you’re done. In most cases there are no forms to sign or documents to mail. Join the millions of people who already retired online. Q: What is the earliest age that I can begin receiving retirement benefits? A: You can get a reduced benefit as early as age 62. The 1983 Social Security Amendments raised the full retirement age for people born in 1938 and later. But it did not change the minimum age for retirement. Keep in mind that your monthly benefit amount could be about 33 percent higher if you wait until your full retirement age and about 76 percent higher if you defer payments until age 70. Visit our Retirement Estimator to find out how much you can expect to receive depending on the age at which you want to retire. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
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July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
financial health By Jim Terwilliger
How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits
f the topics covered in my columns over the past years, the one that has generated the most interest and questions is, “How can I maximize my Social Security retirement benefits?” The issues of most interest are: • Do I have a choice of benefits and what are they? • What is the best age to start taking benefits? These factors translate into two of the most important decisions facing retirees. For those never married, the retirement benefit generally is simple — one’s own benefit based on one’s work record. The key decision here is one of timing The decision for married, divorced or widowed individuals is complicated by options that are unavailable to those not previously married. Timing is a key factor here as well. The stakes are high. For example, a married couple having average life expectancies can expect to receive between $1 million and $1.6 million in lifetime Social Security retirement benefits, including cost-of-living adjustments. This translates to a total benefit value in today’s dollars of $750,000 to $1.2 million. The corresponding numbers for a single person, consequently, are about half. Most people would never guess that this benefit rivals or may even exceed their life savings in value. Further, it is an asset that adjusts with inflation and cannot be outlived. Developing a claiming strategy, particularly for married and previously-married retirees, is one of the most complex areas of Social Security planning. The rules are confusing and must be followed carefully to maxi-
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mize benefits. The following is a brief summary of some of the key concepts discussed in previous columns. Wait if You Can — You can start retirement benefits based on your work record as early as age 62. However, if your cash flow allows, waiting until the current full retirement age (FRA) of 66 or even until age 70 will pay off big time. Monthly benefits at age 62 are 25 percent lower than if you were to wait until age 66 to start. Further, waiting until age 70 to start boosts your monthly benefit by 32 percent vs. starting at age 66. Other factors that impact this timing decision include your health, family history, whether or not you are still working, your marital status, age and earnings history of the other spouse if married, and the adequacy of other sources of income. Benefits given up by waiting can be considered as the cost of generating higher Social Security benefits later on. This cost of waiting can generate a much larger, guaranteed, inflation-adjusted lifetime income stream compared to a purchasing a lifetime inflation-adjusted fixed annuity through an insurance company. File and Suspend — For married couples, it sometimes makes sense for the older, higher-earning spouse to start benefits at age 66 and then immediately suspend. This allows the other spouse to receive spousal benefits. The first spouse can then defer his/her own benefits to age 70, at which time these benefits are started at a maximum level. If the second spouse waits until age 66 to start collecting spousal benefits, that spouse can also defer taking “own” benefits until age 70, again maximizing benefits. Only one spouse can collect spou-
sal benefits at a time. No double dipping! Spousal benefits are available after one year of marriage. Divorce — Those already divorced must have been married at least 10 years and divorced for two years before they can collect a spousal benefit based on their divorced spouse’s work record. The same goes for their exes if they want to collect on them. In this case, double dipping is allowed. Benefits collected by ex-spouses do not impact each other’s benefits. Spousal benefits cease if the spouse collecting benefits remarries. Survivor Benefits — These benefits are available to surviving spouses and to divorced individuals following the death of the ex spouse. Generally, the survivor benefit is the age 66 benefit of the deceased spouse or the deceased spouse’s actual benefits if that person had already started receiving “own” benefits. Reduced benefits can start as early as age 60. One can defer taking “own” benefits all the way to age 70 even though survivor benefits might be taken first. Here, remarriage after age 60 will not prevent eligibility for survivor benefits. Caveats — While Social Security personnel are equipped to describe options and answer questions, they are not allowed to provide advice or help you design that optimal strategy. Seek the help of a competent, trusted financial adviser. James Terwilliger, CFP®, is senior vice president, financial planning manager at Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585-419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walk Your Way to Better Health More than 25 years of research has shown that walking may be the single best exercise you can do to improve your health. It burns calories (about 100 for every mile you walk) which will help you lose weight, it builds endurance, enhances muscle tone and it doesn’t pound your joints. It also helps improve or prevent many age-related health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and dementia. But walking is not only good for what ails you. It’s also one of the easiest and most convenient exercises you can do, and is completely free. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes that fit well and a little desire. Here are a few tips to help you get started. • Start walking — Start out slow if you need to. For many people this means head out the door, walk for 10 minutes, and walk back. Do it every day for a week. If that seems easy, add five minutes to your walks next week and keep adding five minutes until you are walking as long as you desire. It’s also a smart idea to start and finish your walk with a few simple warm up and cool down stretches. Stretching will make you feel better and help prevent injury. • How far — Any walking is better than none, but most fitness professionals recommend walking about 30 minutes, five days a week. Research has shown that the 30 minutes can be broken up throughout the day — 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Or, for optimal health benefits aim for 10,000 steps per day, which is the equivalent of about five miles. • How fast —The right walking speed depends on your fitness level. Ideally you should walk at a brisk pace that has you breathing heavily, but you are still able to carry on a conversation. (By Jim Miller)
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July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
Tending to History
Three gardeners bring their love of growing things to the historic gardens of the George Eastman House By Mike Costanza 10
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or Amy Kinsey, bringing life from the soil has a very special quality. “It feeds my soul to grow plants,” Kinsey says. As the Nancy R. Turner Landscape Curator for the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the 68-year-old is able to bring that desire to full flower. The George Eastman House sits on Rochester’s East Avenue, a tribute to original owner, photography giant and Eastman Kodak Co. founder George Eastman. The estate measured 8.5 acres when Eastman acquired the property in the early 1900s, then expanded to its current size. In addition to Eastman’s magnificent mansion, the property contained spacious lawns, flower and vegetable gardens, greenhouses and an orchard when Eastman called it home. It also featured a poultry yard, stables, pastures, and even cows and a milking house. “It was essentially a farmstead,” Kinsey says. Eastman lived on the estate for about 28 years, traveling the relative-
ly short distance to Kodak’s offices on workdays until he retired. After his death in 1932, the house passed to the University of Rochester. It was the home of the university’s president until 1947, when it was transferred to the board of directors of the newly formed George Eastman House, Inc. Two years later, it opened to the public as a photography museum. The museum has physically expanded since then, and has come to encompass a wealth of artifacts and information on the development of photography, and of the photo and moving picture industries. More than 400,000 photographs and negatives make up just its photography collection alone. For those interested in vintage or avant-garde movies, there are the shows at the Dryden Theatre, which opened its doors on the grounds in 1950. The museum, a national historic landmark, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. A walk through the grounds of the George Eastman House can take
you back to the time when its original owner lived there. “We have restored, rehabilitated or preserved eight of the garden areas,” Kinsey says. Gardens of Eden Each of the areas showcases Eastman’s love of growing things and the meticulous attention he devoted to their display. The Towson Terrace Garden, for example, contains more than 90 varieties of perennials, a quarter-mile of boxwood hedges, a sunken pool and 17th-century Venetian wellheads. Multiple varieties of perennials, bulbs, ground covers and shrubs await those who visit the rock garden, along with dolomite rocks arranged in scallop-shaped beds. The property also has a grape arbor, a huge front lawn, a gently rolling vista along its east side and other attractions. Kinsey’s trip to the George Eastman House might be said to have begun when she was a child living on the Ohio River. “I grew up on a farm,” she explains. “I started working in the vegetable gardens of my grandmother and July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
my parents.” Her desire to work with plants led Kinsey to acquire a bachelor’s degree in inorganic chemistry, then to take a research position in Maryland with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “I was working on potato and melon gene pool maintenance,” she says. From there, Kinsey headed off to England to acquire two master’s degrees — one in horticulture and plant breeding, and the other in plant genetic resources. After a stint as a stayat-home mom, during which she did garden design part-time, Kinsey continued her education with courses in cultural landscape history. “It’s the history of the designed landscape,” she says. In 2005, Kinsey came to the George Eastman House, drawn by the chance to work with the meticulously arranged plethora of growing things in its gardens. “It’s my job not only to maintain the landscape and to improve the collection, but also to interpret it and do the programming for it,” she says. She also supervises the museum’s head gardener, assistant gardener and many volunteers, and spends as many as six hours a week working on the grounds. “Sometimes, I work with the volunteers, just weeding,” she says.
Volunteers blossom Fifty-one volunteers work in the gardens, and 14 trained garden docents guide visitors on tours of them. Marilyn Colby has led visitors around the George Eastman House’s gardens about once a week since she began volunteering as a garden docent approximately three years ago. Colby had a garden at her Brockport home while she was a professor in the department of kinesiology, sport studies, and physical education at SUNY Brockport. “I’ve always enjoyed seeing things grow,” the 75-year-old says. After retiring, she moved into an apartment in Chili, where she was unable to garden. Missing the presence of growing things, she was excited to learn that the George Eastman House needed volunteers. “They said they needed garden docents, so I ran down and signed 12
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George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester. It has been visited by more than 16,000 people from June to September 2013.
up,” she says. Colby then underwent several hours of docent training on the gardens and on the life of Eastman. Prior to the training, she had known little of Eastman but of his involvement with Kodak, she says. “I didn’t know that he bicycled to work,” she says. Her work as a docent has helped her continue to learn about Eastman and the place he once called home. “I love the people that come on the tour — they’re so interesting,” Colby explains. “They ask me good questions, and it makes me have to go and study and learn more.” Volunteering as a gardener for the George Eastman House can also prove rewarding. “There’s a good sense of accomplishment when you go out in the morning and weed a garden,” says Andy Joss. “You can stand back and look at the job you’ve done, and have a real appreciation for that.” Joss developed an interest in gardening after he and his wife bought a house in Penfield. “We moved in, and I was kind of interested in the plant materials that were on our property,” the 64-yearold says. “That kind of grew.” After working in warehousing, Joss began volunteering for the museum in 1991. He was hired as assistant gardener in 1992, and worked his way up to head gardener. At his own request, Joss returned to the position of assistant gardener in 2009. “My knees and hips were starting to feel the pressure of the last 20 years of gardening,” he explains. After retiring at the end of 2013, Joss returned to volunteering for the museum, where he now spends about six hours a week. Three are spent behind a computer, where he puts his great knowledge of the museum’s foliage to use compiling a master plant list. The rest of the time, he can be found out in the gardens doing whatever needs to be done. As a volunteer, he can spend more time enjoying them than he could as an employee. “It may be just the way the light hits a tree in the evening, or the smell of the first mowing of the grass,” Joss says. “You really have this sense of calm.”
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July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
trends Bad Brain Days 55+
While there are many advantages to aging, losing a sharp memory isn’t one of them
By Laura Thompson
have always prided myself on my memory. It’s a good memory, able to recall details and days long forgotten to others. It’s both a blessing and a curse, because while I can recall days gone by with great affection, unfortunately I also remember every slight, insult and embarrassment ever suffered. So you might think I might welcome a little memory loss as I age. And well I might, if I were forgetting the slights and insults. But no, it’s names. It’s where did I leave my reading glasses, keys, lipstick, shoes. It’s what was the name of that street, and what day is my sister’s birthday. Facts and locations once easily at my disposal now confound me or require a lot more attention and time than they used to. And while I used to easily memorize new phone numbers, carrying in excess of 50 at my disposal in my memory, I now find myself searching my mental files for older numbers I’ve called for 40 years. This is unnerving, to say the least. We all chuckle over it, but I at least am secretly terrified. Experts tell us we have a certain number of mental files in which we store memories. All of us have different file sizes and eventually those files fill. That means we either have difficulty storing new memories or we relinquish earlier memories we may have stored there. I hope this theory is wrong, because I don’t relish either option. I want to remember it all. Do I sacrifice the memory of my grandmother’s warm hands, softly scented with Jergens lotion, in order to remember a new security code? Do I forget the smell of the new-
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ly cut grass in the heat of summer in Vermont in favor of new passwords and access? Why can’t I remember both the yellow and white floral on gray print of a friends dress, at 16, her wide, dark eyes happy above the neckline — and the route to my new doctors? C’mon, brain, snap out of it. There are some who claim we can enhance and improve our memory with certain exercises and tricks. I’m throwing my lot in with them, unwilling to give up a single memory that I’ve held, retained all through these years. In my quiet moments,
I want to remember my daughter’s childhood cheek, warm and rosy, pressed to mine. I want to remember the curve of a dead lover’s smile, and the length of his body against mine. I still can recall a day so dazzling in its shades of blue, gold and white that I stood too long staring at the sky, suddenly assured of heaven. (I was 10, and I remember the warm wind blowing on my bare legs above my knee socks, the feel of my book bag in my hand, the corner on which I stood and stared,
skyward). Why should I willingly surrender even one of these? I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, should you spot me wandering around muttering to myself, don’t worry. Just another bad brain day, and I’ve probably forgotten where I parked my car. Or left my mother… or something. No worries: eventually it’ll come back to me. I hope.
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MEDICAL CARE | PERSONAL CARE | REHABILITATION | DAY CENTERS | MEDICATIONS | TRANSPORTATION July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
By Bruce Frassinelli Email: email@example.com
Good Looks, But at What Price?
Spaghetti and meat balls? That is something you could sink your teeth into. Wheat germ and yogurt? Not so much
hen former model Christie Brinkley turned 60 earlier this year, I looked at her photo on the front cover of People magazine and wondered what price she paid for such a sensational look. I am talking primarily about the self-deprivation and discipline involved. At this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, host Ellen DeGeneres joked, “I’m not saying that movies are the most important thing in the world, because we all know that the most important thing in the world is youth.” Implicit in the Brinkley article is the message: “For an older woman, she looks damn hot.” The submessage might be: “If you deprive yourself of worldly food pleasures, you can look like this, too.” In the People cover story, Brinkley was asked what she eats. She says she likes to start her day with coffee and coconut milk hazelnut creamer, followed by sheep’s milk yogurt with fruit, wheat germ and a dietary supplement that provides fiber and omega 3 antioxidants. Her snack is melon and walnuts. Lunch is usually leftovers from dinner, such as beans and veggies. If she is craving a sweet snack, she drinks coconut water. Now I know why I have the perfect face for radio. At one time I had the stomach to match. Having been raised in an Italian household, mom made bountiful quantities of eggs, bacon and home
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fries for breakfast. We had TWO cooked meals for lunch and dinner. It was not unusual to have veal cutlets with all the trimmings for lunch, then fried chicken, potatoes and a huge salad for supper. Years later, I found out that this was not healthy. Substitute wheat germ and yogurt for the above? I don’t think so. The joy of eating was a near religious experience in our home. The smells, the tastes, aided and abetted by the
garrulous camaraderie of family and friends, made eating a muchanticipated occasion. Spaghetti and meat balls — now that is something you could sink your teeth into. Wheat germ and yogurt? Not so much. I laugh hysterically thinking of what would have happened if my
mother had laid out a spread of wheat germ, then insisted, “Mangia, mangia.” My father, my brothers and I would have wondered if my mother had lost her marbles. Talk about something getting lost in translation! Those eating habits I had acquired when I was a young boy translated into a 257-pound body in 1998 when I retired as publisher and editor of The (Oswego) Palladium-Times. One of my objectives in retirement was to lose one-third of my heft. I knew that I would not be faithful to the mission on wheat germ and yogurt, so I researched various diets and, finally, hit the mother lode — the Atkins’ Diet. Developed by physician Robert Atkins, the protein-rich diet eliminates carbohydrates but encourages dieters not to obsess about counting calories. Now, let me get this straight, I thought back then: I can eat as much meat, eggs, cheese and fish as I want, stick to a moderate exercise program, and the weight will virtually melt off my corpulent body? Now, that’s a diet I can embrace. Eighty-five pounds and 15 years later, I still eat all of that good stuff, maintain a vigorous walking regimen and haven’t varied more than five pounds from 172. I was surprised to learn that reality star Kim Kardashian went on the Atkins’ Diet recently after having a baby (named North West) and shed 50 pounds. I can now stump family members and friends with this bizarre riddle: “What do Kim Kardashian and I have in common?” While Atkins and walking did wonders for reducing my girth, it’s the same old face, only smaller and older. I wonder if I smeared Christie Brinkley’s wheat germ and yogurt on my face whether I might see a miraculous transformation. Just as I was contemplating such a drastic step, a receptionist at a doctor’s office asked me my date of birth. “Born in 1939, hmmm, let’s see, I guess that makes you almost, uh, 55.” Twenty years gone — just like that — making me even younger than Christie Brinkley. Wait a minute! Something doesn’t add up. July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
Pretty as C a Postcard Victor resident collects 100,000 postcards during decades, then sells them for $40,000 By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Barbara Hall, 73, amassed a collection of 100,000 vintage postcards that started in the late 1960s. 18
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ollectors collect. It’s a simple but true adage that personifies the mentality of someone who devotes part of his or her life to gathering particular objects. However, there is a deeper love affair, passion and excitement connected to finding each individual item. And also the tremendous loss felt when it is time to give up that particular collection. Barbara Hall, 73, went through all the emotions listed above as she amassed a collection of 100,000 vintage postcards that started in the late 1960s. She would purchase the postcards in Rochester, Geneseo and Buffalo at church events, bandstands, antique shows and parks with her then-husband, Bruce Hyatt. Hall also purchased some of her memorable items at the Western New York Postcard Club. The most she paid for any postcard was $100; the one designed by Alphonse Mucha, a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist. “I had a knack for picking up the best ones. They were artistic and beautiful and some of them only cost a dime,” said Hall, of Victor. “I never bought any torn ones or any that were ratty around the edges. They had to be pretty mint.” Collecting was something that found Hall early in life. She started collecting stamps at 10 years old but it was a coincidence that she gravitated to her first husband, who also collected stamps. In addition, they both collected coins. Every Friday, they would take $50 to the bank and get pennies. Then they would set them on their living room card table and sort through them to find different pennies. “A lot of fun on a Friday night huh?” asked Hall. “But we did have such a good time. I was just a born collector. I collect Santa Clauses, snowmen and Swarovski crystals. You learn so much from your collecting that it becomes more than just a hobby.”
Sustaining her hobby At first, she kept her vintage postcards boxed away. But so much artistic beauty shouldn’t be bottled up and covered. Hall decided to start placing them in clear picture albums putting about 250 cards in 90 albums. The rest were still kept in boxes because of the sheer number. She soon had so many cards that she didn’t realize there were more than several duplicates. She would then sell those cards, which added to her collection. “When I sold the duplicates, I would use that money to buy new vintage cards to support my hobby,” added Hall. Eventually, she sold the majority of the cards in 1985. “We realized we had a lot of paper all around the house,” said Hall. “It is really fun to get them all and collect it, but after a while you look at everything you have and you start thinking do you really need all of it?” Hall and Hyatt divorced in 2001, but have remained good friends. Hyatt, 79, recalled when they decided to sell their collections. “The thrill was in the getting, not the having,” he
said. “We decided it was time to sell.” Hyatt got about $40,000 for the collection. He recalls driving back from Syracuse with the cash from selling the postcards. “When I’m driving home, I was thinking if I get in an accident, the police are going to think that I’m a drug dealer or something,” he said with a laugh. Hall had some of the same sentiments when it was time to sell. “When we made the decision and he drove the postcards to Syracuse, I immediately felt this pain of loss. I was asking, ‘what have I done?’” said Hall. “But after he came back with the cash, he asked me if I felt better, and it did ease the pain when I saw the money.” Even more incredible was the money they received for both the stamp and postcard collections were put to good use. “We were able to make enough money to put a down payment for a house,” said Hall. “It is amazing because you wouldn’t think a hobby would get you to the point where you
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can buy a house off of it.” Hall eventually remarried to Bob Hall, who died in July 2013. She said by the time she married him, she had sold her postcards so he never got to see the large number, but still enjoyed her 300-plus Rochester collection. She sold them this past year. Hall said the thing she misses most is going to collection shows throughout the area. She made incredible bonds with so many people. “You go to these shows and you meet all kinds of wonderful collectors,” she said. “They enjoy doing the same things you do. You end up seeing them once every six months and it turns into a family reunion.”
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profile Mallard ducklings that a Greece police officer who found them brought to Bill Bellman, a 62-year-old North Greece resident who rehabilitates animals.
Back to Life Wildlife rehabilitators rally around the cause of sick, injured animals By Renee Rischenole
nimals that live in the wild must fend for themselves if they are ill, hurt or injured. That is unless Bill Bellman catches word of their dire need. Bellman, a 62-year-old North Greece resident, is a New York state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator who nurses wild animals back to health. According to the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association website, rehabilitators provide professional assistance to sick, injured and orphaned animals. If treatment is successful, the animals are released back to their natural habitat. For the past 10 years, Bellman has volunteered his time and money to help wild life animals. He had been volunteering for Greece Residents Assisting Stray Pets (GRASP), where he continues to occasionally lend a hand. For the most part, his time is ded-
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icated to helping distressed wildlife survive. Eight years after retiring from Kodak, Bellman started into rehabilitation but it wasn’t until after he beat gastroesophageal cancer that he really dove deep into saving the lives of wild animals. “I figured I had a second chance in life, so why not give the animals another chance,” Bellman said. It takes a great amount of on-going training and knowledge to care for wildlife. Bellman attends the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council’s annual conference where he participates in seminars taught by experts in the subject areas of nutrition, diseases, medications, and rehabilitation techniques. Bellman said he goes to the lectures and sits with others around U-shaped tables where they all learn
from one another. “We talk all the time and it’s an enjoyable learning experience,” Bellman said. Being a rehabilitator comes with its costs, not only with money but with time as well. Bellman opens residence to wild animals and is always waiting for his next call. He was recently handed a baker’s dozen of Mallard ducklings by a Greece police officer that found them and brought them to Bellman. Bunny love On another recent occasion, Ogden resident Ginger Ainsworth dropped off a litter of abandoned bunnies that her dogs found in her yard. Ainsworth, who is also an animal lover, heard of Bellman through a volunteer friend for Pitty Love Rescue that she also volunteers for.
“He does wonderful things for wildlife animals and I knew he could save the bunnies,” Ainsworth said. Bellman is housing bunnies of various ages, chipmunks, a red squirrel, ducklings, a weasel, a fox, a couple of opossums, a duck, a goose and a baby robin. The robin is required to be fed from a dropper every 40 minutes during daylight. He had found the egg that hatched under his watchful eye. It takes a significant amount of time to care for all the animals, but he makes sure to set aside time for his wife and family. “My wife is supportive of what I do but I still make time for her as well,” Bellman said. Bellman and his wife have been married for 40 years. They have a son and daughter as well as two grandchildren, with another on the way. He doesn’t take all the credit for rehabilitating the animals. He praises Gary Zimmerman, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator since 1993, according to his website at www.bcwildlifestation. com. Besides his trainings and continuing education classes, Bellman obtained much of his knowledge from Zimmerman. Bellman also credits Richard Parsons, a veterinarian with Churchville Veterinary Hospital. Parsons volunteers his services to sick and injured wildlife. The next generation Bellman has also mentored numerous high school students over the years and is working with Tryston Sylvester. Sylvester is a 15-year-old Hilton resident completing her junior year as a homeschooled student. Part of her community service for school is volunteering her time and services. Sylvester has had an interest with animals since she was young and when her mother heard of Bellman while working at a local vet, Sylvester wanted to volunteer with him. She helps out once a week for roughly two hours. She cleans the cages, feeds and attends to the animals. Bellman teaches her how to hold them, what the signs of their injuries mean and what decisions to make for each situation. “Bill is so caring and helpful and I know he does it purely for the animals and appreciates my help,” said
Bill Bellman holding a baby red fox that has an injured shoulder. Bellman is a New York statelicensed wildlife rehabilitator who nurses wild animals back to health.
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Sylvester. “Though I think it’s more my pleasure to be there.” Sylvester is planning on testing for the animal rehabilitation license in August. “I’ve been studying the questions more than my driver’s test,” Sylvester said. She hopes to attain the license so she can take care of injured animals and release them to their natural habitat on her own or with Bellman’s assistance if necessary. Bellman said Sylvester is a “sweet” girl and loves working with her. Although Sylvester’s community service is complete, she plans to continue visiting each week to help out for pure enjoyment. Other people from the community show their support for Bellman by donating cages and bringing over untreated dandelions for feed. Many kind comments can be read on his Facebook page. Since his volunteering is out-ofpocket, Bellman does spend a lot of his money to care and feed the wild animals. For anyone who wishes to donate, there is a box set up at a local Sunoco station on the northwest corner of Latta and North Greece roads, just a short distance from his home. It takes compassion and commitment to be a wildlife rehabilitator as well as a lot of continuous training so that one can properly care for the wild animals the best way possible before they are released. “If you don’t wake up in the middle of the night saying what else could I have done, then you’re not a good rehabilitator,” Bellman said. Bellman can be reached via email at Bellman@hotmail.com or phone at 585-286-6157 or 585-392-8107. You can also find him on Facebook under his name.
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g n i w
More female golfers are hitting the fairways By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
omen’s golf has always held a special place in the Upstate area. The Women’s Rochester District Golf Association was established in 1939 with 12 local area country clubs. Today, it has expanded to include more than 200 women. The association even sponsors a scholarship to benefit high school students. The area has also hosted the LPGA championship, one of the majors in women’s golf, for 38 years. Everyone who has ever played golf understands its challenging, relentless and unforgiving nature. However, they also have an appreciation for the beauty of the game. Five women talk about how they first discovered the sport and how it has taken them to various heights of enjoyment in life.
Joanne LeRoy, 69, of Canandaigua “It’s a game of integrity. And it is a lifelong sport that you don’t have to worry about injuries. You are not going to blow out your knee. The worse thing happens to people is a bee sting,” LeRoy said. LeRoy didn’t grow up interested 24
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in golf at all. If not for a physical education requirement at Keuka College, the game would have been an afterthought. At the end of the semester, the teacher took the three best girls to a country club to play a few holes. After that experience, she figured she would be golfing regularly. Well, life happened and then kids happened. LeRoy didn’t get back into golfing until her 40s. She joined a league and started playing with her twin sister, Susie Yarnall. “We have always been the kind of siblings that liked to do things together,” she said. “She never pushed me to get into golf, but once I did get into it, it was something that this time I was going to stick with.” As she became better, she not only taught the sport to the next generation but actually pioneered a team. At Pittsford Central School District, any girl who wanted to play golf would have to join the men’s team and hit from a closer tee, which was an intentional unfair advantage. LeRoy said it was essential to create a girls’ team and league of their own. She started the team in 2000 and it has been going strong ever since. “This was the proudest achievement I ever had,” said LeRoy. “The fact that it is still going strong today and that we have had many young girls who have played in sectionals
and those who have played Division I golf makes me feel wonderful. When girls do something socially, they go with their female friends so that is why it was important for them to have their own golf league.” When it comes to her own accomplishments, LeRoy is often too humble for her own good. She led the Pittsford varsity girls’ golf team to a state-record 53 consecutive wins. She was honored as The Democrat & Chronicle’s All-Greater Rochester Girls Golf Coach of the Year several times, including in 2007 and 2008. She has been champion at Webster Golf Club and CenterPointe Country Club in Canandaigua. “Even though I am competitive, I enjoy the camaraderie of playing with people and playing at different clubs,” said LeRoy. “It is a great stress reliever, and at times, a stress producer. But it is still a nice getaway from it all. My sister is actually better than me. The two years I was club champion were the two years she didn’t play.”
Julie Odenbach, 59, of Webster “It’s a great activity to do with family and friends. And it is a sport
During a recent game at Bristol Harbour Golf Course in Canandaigua, from left, Joanne LeRoy, Patricia Sorce, Julie Odenbach and Susanne Yarnall.
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area for 14 years. She helps advise young students in different programs and gives them tips like making sure they finish their backswings, making sure they turn their hands and pivot or not to tip their heads ahead of hitting the ball. She is thrilled that the newer and older generation has taken up the sport. “All my friends who played tennis when they were younger have all transitioned into golf,” she said. “It is not hard on the body and it is something you can enjoy for a lifetime.”
Joanne LeRoy that women can compete with males,” Odenbach said. It was 1980 and Odenbach had just wed her husband, John. He decided that his wife needed something new other than the engagement and wedding ring. So that year, he bought her a set of clubs and said, “You need to take up golf.” About five years went by. Sure, she played occasionally but didn’t really take up the sport seriously. When she had her first son, and her husband would come home from work, he took care of him at home while Odenbach spent a few hours on the links. “It was my social time away from the house. I played with my girlfriends and slowly got an appreciation for golf,” she said. “I was pretty athletic so that came in handy. But it still took two years of frustration before you realize that ups and downs are just part of golf.” She was talking with a fellow golfer one day and Odenbach told her that her goal was to drop seven strokes in a year. Her friend’s reaction was all the motivation she needed. “She told me that it was impos26
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Susie Yarnall, 69, of Canandaigua Susanne Yarnall sible and that it wasn’t going to happen,” said Odenbach. “I went to the range and hit balls. I went in my yard and hit buckets of balls every day. I am a pretty competitive person so when you tell me I can’t do something, it does light a fire under me.” Her three sons got both their parents’ athletic genes, playing football, baseball and soccer throughout their lives. Now they are all golfers. Today, the same woman who reluctantly took the golf clubs has been coaching both Mercy and McQuaid Jesuit high schools in the Rochester
“Golf is like teaching. No matter how many years you do it and how good of a job you have done, there is always something you can learn. You never feel like you are good enough to relax,” Yarnall said. Convenience led Yarnall to the greens. The only time she dreamed about playing a sport on grass was when she fantasized about playing in a Wimbledon final. Once she moved to Canandaigua, there were enough golf courses around that she figured, “Why not try another sport?” She started from scratch in 1980 at the age of 35. “To be honest, I really worked hard at first, but my thought was I didn’t think I would be eligible to
55+ even join a ladies’ league until I shot even par,” said Yarnall. “The first time I met a woman and I told her what I thought, she laughed and said you don’t need to be at that level to join.” She joined CenterPointe Golf Course, which has become her home away from home. She was club champion at the course last year. Her competitive fire keeps her wanting to learn more about the sport and continue to tweak her short game. Yarnall plays many duo matches with twin sister, Joanne LeRoy. They have dominated many state events. “I don’t play any tennis anymore because I am all in on golf,” she said. Yarnall has been amazed at how much the perception of golf has changed throughout the years, ushering a wave of young people. She helps with a young program at Champion Hills Country Club in Victor. “When I was growing up, golf was seen as a sport for just the prestige and rich so nobody I really knew played golf,” said Yarnall. “Now the
younger generation is flocking to it. There are now scholarships that are fantastic for these younger women where they can get a great education and play golf.”
Lynn Quinn, 58, of Canandaigua “The subtlely of the game is beautiful to watch and experience. It’s like an onion. So many layers and the more and more you get involved the more challenging it is,” Quinn said. There were always golf clubs in the garage of her home when she grew up. Her father was an avid golfer and she would watch him play. He would take the clubs to Maine where the family would often vacation. It didn’t take her long before she wanted to get into the swing of things herself. At 8 years old, she picked up the clubs. “With my dad and my brother
getting into golf, it wasn’t a surprise that I just jumped in,” said Quinn. “We would ride our bikes to courses in the Rochester area like Durand and Genesee Valley. At that time, I never took a formal lesson because my dad was there to give me the advice I needed. Then as a young adult, I really got away from the game.” Spending her 20s and half of her 30s preoccupied with other sports, other activities and raising her son, the break ended up only intensifying her desire when she picked her clubs back up. She knew the game was going to be there later in life. “When my son got older, it gave me a lot more freedom than I ever had,” added Quinn. “I was blessed with a lot of hand-eye coordination so I was pretty good. Even if I didn’t play a lot, I would shoot in the mid80s or 90s.” When she became serious, she started a training session with Craig Harmon, the man with the legendary career as golf pro at Oak Hill. Quinn
End of an Era Rochester no longer sole host of LPGA Championship By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
he end is near. At a press conference in New York City, the LPGA, the PGA of America, KPMG, and NBC/ Golf Channel jointly announced a new profit-making partnership. The tour’s signature tournament — the LPGA Championship — an event held in the Rochester area, will no longer be coming here. Instead, the event will take place at different courses each year in an attempt to feature the best women golfers in various courses nationwide. Next year it will move to Westchester Country Club in Rye. The Rochester area had been part of the tournament for the past 38 years. Wegmans became the title sponsor in 1997. The tournament will take place from Aug. 11-17.
“I am heartsick,” said Joann LeRoy, Pittsford High School girls’ golf coach. “The LPGA ladies were such role models and an inspiration to our Section V girls. When they were in town, we always arranged some type of contact with them such as mini pro-ams, luncheons, and helping with junior clinics. One of my former players the other day was telling me how she always treasures the memory of playing with Stacy Lewis. We’re going to miss getting up close and personal.” It was crushing news when Lynn Quinn, 58, of Canandaigua, heard about it. However, she is still hopeful about the future. “It is very disappointing,” added Quinn. “Hosting a major takes a great deal of money. In comparison,
the only other major hosted by the same club and community is the Masters. We have been one of the best-attended events over our history. I have faith that this community will be a regular tour stop in the very near future.” Pat Sorce, 63, of Webster, took a realistic and practical view of the situation. “I think the LPGA championship moving from Rochester was just a matter of time,” she said. “The purses for the major tournaments are increasing every year and without another big co-sponsor, Wegmans just could not justify the increasing expense. We will miss the LPGA coming here. I don’t see it as anyone’s fault; it’s just business.”
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is an accomplished golfer, winning the 2011 Finger Lakes Women’s Association championship by 14 strokes. Quinn also captured the 2010 Women’s Rochester District Golf Association senior championship and the 2009 New York Women’s Senior Amateur Low Gross Flight A. She has been club champion at Clifton Springs Country Club 13 out of 14 years. Later she became the women’s
golf coach for Hobart William and Smith College. “I love the idea of passing on the game to bright, young women. As an older woman myself, we are charged to be role models,” said Quinn, who also has led the Women’s Finger Lakes Golf Association as president. “We can show them that you don’t lose your passion for something after 30.”
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Patricia Sorce, 63, of Webster
“I really find a golf course peaceful. Plus, the game is a combination of being both physically and mentally challenging. You rarely have consistent mastery over any one area of the game,” Sorce said. Sorce’s sport of choice was always softball. Then one day in 1990, a friend invited her to attend an LPGA event in Rochester. Watching the ladies drive the ball and hit incredible shots stuck with her that day. She enjoyed the atmosphere and soon started taking lessons. “There are so many things that you can do incorrectly. If you go out and play without having someone teach you the basics, you can get into some bad habits quickly,” said Sorce, who has been in the Women’s Rochester District Golf Association for the past 10 years. “Even now, I take a refresher course at the beginning of every year.” Slowly, she became good enough to join female golf organizations that were invitation-only based on a performing handicap index that takes the top women from the six-county area. Sorce travels throughout the area playing in various leagues and clubs. “It allows you to compete at a higher level with a skilled group yet still have a fun activity,” said Sorce. “I enjoy playing well, but it doesn’t crush me if I don’t win. I just enjoy being around a lot of great players.” As much as she loves the sport, she understands must be a push from the next generation or women’s golf will fade into the sunset. “I feel like there are a lot more people leaving the game than entering it. We’ve had less growth in our ranks over the last decade,” said Sorce. “Baby boomers are aging right into retirement. We want to let people know about the beauty of this game and that it is something they can also pick up later in life.”
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! e r o F
Returning to golfing after 40 years By John Addyman
ones. So, I was ready. Saturday morning came, and I met the three guys I’d spend the day with — Eric, a regional manager for a construction firm; Jeff, vice president of a consulting company; and Chris, an attorney in healthcare — All young family guys. I had them all by 35 years. I hadn’t swung a golf club in anger for 40 years, nearly to the day, I confessed to my colleagues. And because of the surgery and late clearance to play, I hadn’t even had a chance to get out to a driving range to get some practice in. Ultimate duffers
y friend Jay had a plan. He is a volunteer at the annual Vista School Charity Golf Classic that supports a comprehensive program for autistic kids in central Pennsylvania. He figured the tournament would be a great opportunity to bring together some of us from the Clarks Summit-Abington High School class of ’62. So I got invited, and I was going to play in a foursome with Skip (I was best man at his wedding), Arky (he was best man at my wedding), and Doug (he and I commuted to junior college together). But there were some problems. First, the last time I’d touched a golf club was in the summer of 1974. That particular golf club, plus all the others in my bag, the bag itself and my golf shoes, is at the bottom of the pond on the 15th hole at the Kimberton Golf Club in Kimberton, Pa. The next person who lays eyes on them will be a very confused archaeologist. I solved part of that problem at a garage sale, where I picked up a full set of clubs and a bag. Second, I was scheduled for surgery two weeks before the tournament. Prior to my intimate meeting with the robot, the doctor suggested I probably wouldn’t be able to play. I wrote to Jay and said, at risk of popping my innards all over the first tee, I wouldn’t be playing.
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This second problem got fixed by my doctor, who in a final checkup the day before the tournament, told me I could do anything I wanted — my innards would stay right where they belonged. I called Jay. “I
can play,” I said. “We already filled your foursome,” he said. Another guy from the class of ’62, Bobby, was jetting in for the tournament. “But we’ll figure something out,” Jay promised. “Come on down.” I took my golf clubs out of the garage. My grandson Jaden and I cleaned them, and we hit some practice shots in the backyard. I bought a dozen golf balls for $1 at a rummage sale and I was ready for the tournament. Suddenly, I had another problem. “Jay,” I emailed. “Do I need golf shoes?” Mine were sleeping with the fishes. “No golf shoes needed,” he replied. Jay knew I was cobbling together an effort to play, so he figured he’d help me. When I got to his house in Hummelstown, Pa., he had a bag of golf balls ready for me. There were yellow ones and red ones and white
They all approached their shots on the first hole. Eric smashed it, but the ball landed on another fairway. Jeff sent a screamer off the tee low enough to burn the setae off every worm in the ball’s path. Chris hit the ball straight off the left side of the fairway. My kind of golfers. Because of my age, I got to hit from the front tees — a good 20-30 yards farther down the course. My new friends stayed cautiously back, gauging what kind of shots I was going to pepper the course with. My first swing actually brought club head and golf ball together — I had visions of me whiffing on my first shot. But I had struck the ground about six inches behind the ball and although I hit the ball, it hadn’t gone more than 30 feet. It was going to be a long day. This was a tournament easy on duffers — we played the best ball after each shot. I wasn’t much good to my teammates until we got close to the hole. The one club I’d been able to do a little practice with was my nineiron, and I had some good approach shots and made a couple of putts. For about five hours, we had pleasant company, a good deal of beer, a lovely day, and I learned a lot about where my body is today vs. where it was 40 years ago. That last round at the Kimberton Golf Club was really etched into my mind. My eyes are different now. Once
upon a time, I was a pretty good caddy. For two summers, I never lost a player’s ball. Now, I quickly found that I couldn’t follow the flight of all the shots. That got embarrassing. And the distance of my shots: I used to be able to hit a driver 250 yards. Now I was lucky if the ball went 100. I couldn’t get any of my iron shots to get into the air. I was smashing low line drives all over the place. Then there were the water hazards. I didn’t miss one of them. The Ghost of Kimberton Pond was having his due. On one hole, a creek ran straight across the fairway, halfway to the green. I figured, “I’ll never hit it that far.” Seconds later, I hit it that far. I’d managed to punch my best drive of the day down the left side of the fairway and ‘Plop!” right into the creek. Our foursome had been playing behind my classmates. I noticed that Skip, a retired Air Force officer, had a telescoping tool in his bag to fish balls out of the water. He needed it. I didn’t have that tool. I got muddy and wet retrieving my ball from the creek. My second shot, which I shanked, ended up in almost the same spot in the creek. I’d hit into the same water hazard twice on the same hole. Comedy of errors For most of the round, I couldn’t get my timing and stance and swing to align. I was spraying the course with balls, and my tee shots were awful. As a last resort, I tried teeing the ball high, to give myself a chance of really connecting with the ball instead of the ground. And I gave it a mighty whack. I knew I’d hit it, but I couldn’t see where the ball had gone. Behind me came a voice. It was Jeff, I think. “Incoming,” he said. Moving back a step, I saw my ball coming down, about 20 feet away. Somehow, I’d completely undercut the ball and sent it more or less straight up in the air. As a true demonstration of gentlemanly civility, none of my playing comrades that day were busy capturing my round on their cell phones to
John Addyman photographed by his daughter Mary Kate Addyman. see if it would go viral on YouTube. Thank God for small favors. On the last three holes, I suddenly found my swing and the ball started to zoom a little. But then came the last realization — I was pooped. Despite riding in the golf cart, I’d done a lot of hiking that morning, and my energy level had bottomed out. I was glad when we came off the last green. My playing partners had been wonderfully patient with decidedly unskilled me. I emerged from the round frustrated but positive that I could do much, much better. I even
finished with my golf clubs and bag still with me, despite the fact that the course had a large and accommodating pond. Now I have to find a golf course around here to play on. One that’s fairly empty on one or two days of the week so I can try to get my game back together for next year’s Vista School Classic, and not bean anyone in the process. John Addyman is a writer who lives in Newark, Ontario County. July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
Nirvana Kathryn Bonnez (left) visits a bed and breakfast in Dover, Vermont, with her sisters. Bonnez’s dream to write a memoir and share her passion of Vermont came true with the recent publication of her book, A Lone Star in the Green Mountains. Bonnez visits Vermont regularly.
Local author discovers where to find personal happiness By Deborah Blackwell
athryn Bonnez is finally getting to know herself at age 62. After a seemingly full and charmed life that took her from her roots in Texas to an escape in France and finally to Rochester where she made a home, Bonnez discovered that what was lacking in her personal story was bliss. But it turns out that happiness was not so far away, just a few hundred miles away nestled in the peaceful mountains of Vermont. From early in her childhood, Bonnez loved New England. It wasn’t that she had ever lived there, or even
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grew up traveling there. From the warm confines of her family’s home in Texas, Bonnez dreamt about this far-away place, found in the literature of her youth. The powerful images in stories like “Little Women,” or the poetry of Robert Frost, all brought her to the familiar but distant place settled in her heart. But Bonnez’ life took her around the world before she finally was able to answer her soul’s calling of where she ought to be. “I was born and raised in Houston, one of the most ‘un-New Englandy’ places I can think of. It was the nation’s sixth-largest city at the time and full of possibilities, but very frag-
mented and lacking charm and soul. It was sticky, hot, and humid most of the time, and the landscape was very flat, boring, and lacking a sense of mystery,” says Bonnez. “From a very early age, I craved clear, crisp autumns and chilly white winters set in hills and mountain valleys — none of which existed in Houston. I remember falling in love with the whole idea of New England from the childhood books I read. All of these works had their settings in the hidden, mysterious places of New England.” But it wasn’t New England where Bonnez established her life. Her search for a luscious, wooded
landscape and a creative, historic culture began in Bordeaux, France, after graduating with college degrees in French and English. Love in New England Bonnez began her work as an au pair before teaching English as a foreign language at several places, including the University of Bordeaux and Exxon oil company. She eventually met her French husband, then a medical student, and the couple moved to Connecticut for his internship. That is when her love affair with New England sprung to life. “I needed to pursue a master’s degree to build a teaching career, and attended The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt., just two hours north of Hartford. That is where it all began,” says Bonnez. “Even after completing my degree, I would travel back to Brattleboro to see friends still in the area or attend workshops.” But she still did not fulfill her passion to make New England her home, and she found herself in Rochester for her husband’s career. Bonnez’ path as a wife, teacher, and eventually mother of two filled her days and years, but the longing for her special place continued. The desires to be in Vermont grew, along with her search for her own identity, purpose, and meaning. It was not until her youngest child went to college and she found herself sitting in an empty nest when she finally paid attention. “I was looking for my own identity, and I started feeling the pull to return to and establish some sort of roots in Vermont. At first I was traveling there two or three times a year on my own, and then it became more clear that I wanted to write about the area as I fell more and more in love with the Vermont way of life,” she said. Her journey and that New England way of life is described in detail in her memoir, “A Lone Star in the Green Mountains.” “There’s something about the calm rhythm and flow of life there that encourages me to see more clearly,” Bonnez says. “The natural beauty of the land, the pared-down simplicity of existence, the slower pace, and the direct intention of kind human connection in Vermont all conspire to make me pay attention to the essence
of things.” Following her passions Now, not only did Bonnez find herself submerged in her heart’s “location” but she followed another passion — writing. She says finally having the opportunity to pursue her own dreams helped her discover things about herself, find a new appreciation for the world around her, expand her opportunities, and begin to connect with like-minded people. “If you find yourself, like me — an empty-nester — and you think, what am I going to do with the next phase of my life, it’s important to think about what makes you happy, especially when you were younger,” says Bonnez. “You can lose yourself in life and raising kids and working and you can get away from what you genuinely love. If you have the opportunity after retirement, do what makes you happy, do what makes you tick, and put all you’ve got into it.” Bonnez says she is fortunate to reclaim her love of writing, traveling and history, which all unite for her in Vermont. She learned to release the familiar, and through personal inspiration, follow her bliss. “I face questions of self-identity as an older woman whose life is no longer centered around husband and children,” she says. “Vermont is a place that makes me come alive, take notice, and participate fully in the midst of people who seem to easily appreciate the true essence of things. And getting at the essence of things is what I’m interested in as both a writer and a human being.” She enjoys her travels both to Vermont and her family’s home in France, participating in Writers & Books in Rochester, and yoga and bike rides to help think more creatively. “One of the things I learned while traveling to Vermont and writing the book is process over product,” says Bonnez. “It’s the actual creating that is the important thing. It’s not what comes out, but it’s the journey, it’s about evolving.” For more information on Bonnez’ book, visit www.kathrynbonnez.com. The book is available for purchase through Northshire.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Amazon.com, Indiebound.org and other select bookstores.
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Former Stop-DWI coordinator spent career educating, innovating By John Addyman
here’s a reason Ontario County has the best DWI conviction record in the state. It’s the same reason Ontario County has the fewest repeat DWI offenders: Dru Malavase, the outgoing Stop-DWI coordinator. In the last two weeks of May, officials in Ontario County took time to wish her the best on her retirement. At age 77, she’s finally pulling the plug. Many residents of Ontario County — and millions who have passed through it — owe a measure of their highway safety to her. “For 30 years, Ontario County has benefitted from the steady hand and wise judgment of Dru Malavase and her management of programs that are integrally important to our pub-
lic safety,” said district attorney Mike Tantillo before honoring Malavase as one of the county’s heroes recently. Malavase has spent a lifetime helping people. When she was 7 years old and in the Junior Red Cross, she took her little red wagon through the neighborhood collecting milkweed. Pod contents were used to stuff life jackets in World War II. She collected tinfoil that would be dropped from airplanes to confuse radar. She went door-to-door for scrap metal. Malavase understood more about the war than her friends. She had taught herself to read at age 3 and by the time she was 9, was reading in other languages, particularly Russian. Her mom was a blood chairman
for the Red Cross. She went to Emma Willard Boarding School, then to Smith College, where she translated a Wesleyan Russian engineering professor’s work into English. She taught water safety for the Red Cross. She loved horses and became a riding instructor while in her teens. Married to Allie Malavase, she had one son, Dirk, and the family made their home in East Bloomfield “because it looked like New England,” she said. “We felt very comfortable there.” When Dirk was in school and she had time for other things, Dru found herself being recruited by the Red Cross. She became an executive director and trained first aid trainers, who July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
then trained ambulance squads in a six-county area. Her son was in his teens then, and got interested in horses and equestrian sports through the Mendon Pony Club, a feeder for Olympic teams. Dru, of course, had been riding since a child, and had reached competition levels. After an accident, she got involved in helmet safety for equestrian riders with the American Society for Testing and Materials. She helped to write the first helmet standards, something that was then followed by other sports. New York would become the only state with a requirement for equestrian helmets in the early 1990s, a testament to Dru’s work. But in 1984, Ontario County got lucky. Malavase applied for a job as an assistant disaster coordinator, working for former emergency coordinator Don Barnes. On her first day of work, Barnes said the job description had been changed — she was to be the county’s first Stop-DWI coordinator, something he thought wouldn’t take up much time. “I was present at the creation,” she said. “There was a rudimentary set-up in place,” but she knew there would be more to the job. She figured there had to be an education component, coordination with police agencies, and she began to talk to mental health professionals about treatment and to probation officers about the issues they faced. “There was a stack of paper two feet high on my desk,” she said. “There were things that hadn’t been addressed, including some very confusing financial statements.” In the mid-1980s, office workers were gradually pulling away from their terminals and Microsoft Word and Office were becoming more common, along with IBM desktop computers. Malavase went whizzing past that stage. She got a laptop computer that looked like a medium-size piece of luggage and learned how to use it in a dark basement at FLCC. She sat alongside a computer programmer, figuring out the intricacies of the new tool together. “I had the first laptop in the coun36
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ty,” she said. To understand what happened to people charged with DWI, she needed to follow the flow from arrest to adjudication to incarceration and afterwards. She started building a database, also unheard of at this point in the 1980s. ‘Spider in the web’ That immediate and consistent attention to detail has made Malavase an expert in DWI processing. The program uses funds from people who have been caught and successfully prosecuted. With her data, and her insistence on associations with professionals and officials through the chain of events that befalls someone accused of DWI, she was the watcher. “I was the spider in the middle of the web,” she said. It’s not an idle boast. Once her program was running smoothly, anyone accused of DWI at any stage of his or her processing was bumping up against someone who knew Malavase, someone whose job was made easier by training she provided, equipment she supplied, or additional people she had helped hire. Malavase’s data allowed her to spot trends and use her funds to meet needs before they became severe. She became so good, Ontario County’s program quickly became a template for the rest of the state. “Dru has been responsible for the allocation of the program’s resources — millions of dollars,” Tantillo said. “During her 30 years, not one penny of taxpayer money has been spent in this program. It has been funded entirely by fines from people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. “She has made key decisions on where those resources are allocated. She has chosen a blend of enforcement, prosecution, rehabilitation and education. Dru has suggested and supported a number of creative programs, and funded them to determine their efficacy.” One of her creations was the “Night Watch” program, where probation officers travel the area in the evening, making house calls and tavern stops to make sure their clients
are not drinking and driving. Malavase supported and funded programs to train employees in businesses that sell alcohol to recognize when people are under the influence, Tantillo said. She has also supported the specialized training of police drug-recognition experts, with excellent results, he added. She has provided support for educational programs in schools and after-school clubs for young people where they can socialize in a safe, alcohol-free environment, Tantillo noted. One of her more recent and successful programs is geared to reduce female DWI repeat offenders. Most counties in the state have DWI victim impact panels where people who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers share their experiences, and their pain, in an effort to get drunk drivers to change their behavior. Female perps, abuse connection Malavase, through her databases and analysis, saw a connection between female DWI and domestic abuse. “As a result, Ontario is the only county that has a separate program for women where a great deal of information and resources are provided to those in the throes of abusive relationships. The results of the program are stunning — recidivism among female offenders who have worked through this program is next to zero,” she said. “The real charge of a Stop-DWI administrator it to look at the actual situation and allocate resources you have to meet the requirements under the law,” Malavase said. “The hallmark is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related injuries and deaths and really, to reduce recidivism: We only want to see them once. We hope to break the cycle because those who are repeat offenders are the ones who are killing and hurting people.” Many counties put all the StopDWI funds into enforcement or into treatment. Ontario County follows the general deterrence model: “You attack from as many angles as you can muster,” Malavase said. She has spent funding on dedicated DWI probation officers, on counseling for offenders and their families,
and on a designated assistant district attorney for DWI cases with a high conviction rate. “Every year but one we’ve been tops in the state in our conviction rate,” Malavase said. Malavase quickly steps back to give credit. “This county has so many special people working for it that if they were in the private sector, they’d be making a lot more money. But they’re here because they want to make things better. I’m so proud to be working with them,” she said. She has been preparing for her retirement for quite awhile. Suzanne Cirencione has been named as the new Stop-DWI program administrator, and she’s someone who has worked with Malavase for years. Still, there’s a lot to learn. “If you don’t know where you’ve been, you can’t know where you’re going,” said Malavase. She had prepared a “death file” so someone could step in and pick up the reins in an emergency situation. ‘Best job in county’ Sitting back in a conference room chair, Malavase opened her arms expansively. “This is the best job in the county,” she said. She has independence, she didn’t have the pressure of conforming to a budget derived by taxes, she could be as creative as she wanted to be, and she could run with programs she devised. Her peers noticed. Last year, she was awarded the highest honor from the New York State Mothers Against Drunk Driving — its lifetime achievement award. She was also honored recently as an “Ontario County Hero.” In her last meeting with the Ontario County Traffic Safety Board, Undersheriff Dave Tillman thanked her for the support she gave local police departments, the sheriff’s office and the state police. “We’re known throughout the state,” Tillman said, noting that Malavase has served as a “conduit” for services and support related to the DWI process of arrest, presentation to the court, incarceration, treatment and counseling. “Without a doubt, you have been responsible for saving lives here and throughout the state,” he added. Malavase’s last day in office was May 30.
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Wayne County resident intends to keep the motor running By Aaron Curtis
ith the winter months behind us, drivers can expect to see an increase in the number of motorcycles cruising area roadways. However, what might seem unusual to those sitting behind their steering wheels is the age of a few of those bikers they share the road with. Ontario resident and seasoned motorcyclist John Curtis, whose helmet hides his pearl white hair and matching beard as he cruises down the road, might seem like one of those atypical riders. More than four decades ago, the
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71-year-old Wayne County resident and grandfather received his motorcycle license. Despite his later years settling in around him, Curtis has no plans to ride off into the sunset without his BMW motorcycle. While living the married life in Ontario County in his late 20s, Curtis was exposed to what motorcycles had to offer. A few family members rode the two-wheeled machines, including his brother-in-law who could be thought of as a motorcycle expert, working as both a dealer and mechanic. In 1970, Curtis, a Vietnam-era
veteran, had wrapped up his active duty service with the U.S. Army a few years earlier. Closing that chapter of his life, Curtis turned to a career at Gleason Works, a tool production factory in Rochester. In the motorcycle, Curtis saw potential for more of an intriguing commute to work. “It looked like a fun thing to do,” Curtis said. “I thought to myself, ‘I got to have me one of these.’” That year, at the age of 27, Curtis earned his license to ride. Without a motorcycle of his own at that time, Curtis would operate a Harley Sprint that his brother-in-law loaned him to
learn the ropes of riding. Curtis would ride along trails that wounded through wooded areas in the town of Wolcott, located in Wayne County. Approximately six months after receiving his license, Curtis learned one of the many lessons of motorcycling. “One time while I was riding through the woods and the engine quit on me. I figured I could get it started by rolling it down this hill on the path,” he recalled. He added that there was a rut at the base of the decline that he failed to notice until he was freewheeling the motorcycle down the hill. “I hit that rut and went over the handle bars,” he said. The damage to the bike and his body were minor. Curtis only suffered a few bruises, he said, and his brother-in-law didn’t have any hard feelings about his damaged Sprint. It was the first of a few bumps and bruises Curtis has suffered through the years of riding, and the last time he would ride a borrowed motorcycle. By 1971, Curtis had his own bike — a 200 CC Benelli — that he purchased for $1,200. Motorcycle season begins These days, Curtis rides a 1999 BMW R1100 RT motorcycle, which he bought in early 2004 when it had approximately 50 miles on it. The odometer currently displays more than
130,000 miles traveled. Curtis clearly cherishes the bike, which he fondly calls his “beamer.” He sports a black leather jacket whenever he rides, and embroidered on the back of it is a large BMW logo to show his pride for the brand. Even his helmet has a metallic BMW logo fastened onto the back of it. Several weeks ago, his motorcycle’s winter slumber ended. Curtis pulled the cover off the bike, dusted his leather jacket off and rolled his beamer out of a shed located behind the house he shares with his wife, Linda. With spring comes the beginning of the motorcycle season, and after decades of carrying out this springtime ritual, the excitement that comes with it remains the same. “Spring is something all bikers look forward to. It can’t come soon enough,” Curtis said. “You can hardly wait to get it started.” Curtis said winter months provide the time to plan biking trips for when the snow melts, the ground thaws and biking season begins. He said this year the big trip is to drive approximately 1,600 miles to Sturgis, S.D. to a notable event for all types of motorcycle enthusiasts. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city of Sturgis has a population of 6,627 people and serves as the home to one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the U.S. The event’s website
states that 500,000 visitors are expected to descend on the city this summer in celebration of the 74th annual rally at that location. “Everybody who rides a motorcycle knows about Sturgis,” Curtis said. On the open road Curtis will not be alone on the trip to Sturgis. Bill Galbraith, a Webster resident that Curtis met while in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1977, will accompany him on the trek on his 1984 Yamaha Venture. Galbraith is only two weeks older than Curtis. Curtis said it is not the first time the pair have rode together. The biking buddies have made dozens of trips, visiting various nooks and crannies around the U.S. during the past two decades. At first, riding for Curtis was mostly done as a commute to Gleason Works, which was a job he held from 1964-2005. During that time, Curtis got to know a few co-workers who had the same interest for motorcycling that he did. “Each year we would start riding (our motorcycles to work) around Good Friday, and we would keep on riding through the year until the weather conditions didn’t allow it,” he said. “One year there was a bet that we could ride into December, and we almost made it.” He added the group was able to
Long-time motorcyclist John Curtis took some time to stretch his legs and snap a photo of his prized motorcycle at rest just east of Amarillo, Texas. Curtis was in the midst of making the extensive trek to his father’s house in Roswell, N.M.
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ride to work on the back of their motorcycles well into November before the Upstate weather ended the run. “During that time, I remember riding home one time with it being 30 degrees at night,” Curtis said with a chuckle. To make the most of the motorcycle-riding months, Curtis and Galbraith decided to use their motorcycles as more than just a way to get to work. In 1995, the pair started the tradition of joy riding with their first trip during the early spring months to Scranton, Pa. It was on that trip that another valuable lesson was learned, Curtis said. He pointed out that the two were “ill prepared” for the hike, as the festering remnants of winter hit them in the form of icy rain and chilly temperatures during their ride. “I thought we were going to freeze to death,” he recalls. “I remember stopping at one point to take our socks off and wring them out.” However, dozens of trips later, Curtis has gotten the long-distance trips down to a science, with each one planned out in detail. The motorcycle fraternity Curtis said the most memorable part of the trips he has taken is the kindness of the people he meets along the way. That kindness was on display during a time he was driving in Pennsylvania a few years ago, Curtis said. During the trip, his motorcycle began to experience mechanical issues and Curtis was on the side of the road with limited options, or so he thought. Curtis, a member of the BMW Motorcycle Club, reached out to the president of the club’s local chapter, and shortly after making contact, he said there was no shortage of people who wanted to help him. “There are so many people that are willing to help you,” he said. “They got me a hotel, told me where to take the bike, and when I got it there, they got right to working on it before they even knew I had two nickels I could rub together.” Curtis said even when the trip is going smoothly, there is usually no shortage of fellow bikers looking to 40
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John Curtis and his bike. chat. “You meet a lot of people along the way,” Curtis added. “They are looking to share stories about their bikes, and the adventures they had.” An adventure no matter the age Curtis, who has lived in Wayne County for the majority of his life, is more than just a motorcycle enthusiast. Curtis is also a family man, having four daughters and a son, as well as several grandchildren, which at last count numbered 12. It was family that motivated him to take his longest trip to date, far surpassing previous trips. In 2004, Curtis said that he drove his then newly purchased BMW approximately 2,000 miles from Ontario to Roswell, N.M., to visit his father. “It was a wonderful experience — getting up in the morning in the Midwest with the blue sky and the road to yourself,” Curtis said. “It was exhilarating.” It is a trip he would take a total of three times before his father passed away in June 2011. Reaching his father after the long hike across the country was the goal of the trip, but the freedom of the road to get there became a treasured experience on its own. “When you are riding, it is you and the machine, and you are part of
the machine,” Curtis said. “You can see so much more and be more of a part of your surroundings on the back of a bike.” Curtis considers that being on the open road is a therapeutic journey, and one that he has no plans of giving up anytime soon. He added that he is not alone in feeling that way. “There are a good chunk of people riding that are my age,” Curtis said. “And these people love doing it and hate to give it up.” Statistics released by the Motorcycle Industry Council show more people are not giving up their motorcycles as they grow older. The numbers show 53 percent of motorcycles registered in the U.S. are owned by those aged 40 and older, with 25 percent of that number aged 50 and older. That is an increase from 1990 when the average age of a motorcycle owner was 33 years old and 26.3 percent were aged 40 or older. Those are numbers Curtis is not surprised by. “Bill and I say as long as we can get our leg up over the seat, we’re going to keep riding,” he said. Editor’s Note: John Curtis, the subject of this story, is the father of Aaron Curtis, the reporter who wrote the story.
Stroke of Fate
Stroke can occur when least expected; know the symptoms By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Physician Peter Godfrey: “It all happened so quickly, and I didn’t have any indication that it was a stroke,” he said of the stroke he had May 12. His wife Sharon said he was lucky that they called 9-1-1 and the ambulance showed up promptly.
t was a normal day for Lee Iannone. Suddenly, it wasn’t. He woke up in the morning a few months ago and got ready for work like he had done plenty of times before. While walking through the living room, he noticed he couldn’t really pick up one of his feet. He was dragging it along the ground and his first thought was, “OK that’s weird.” He figured his foot fell asleep. Next, he tried to brush his teeth, but his arms couldn’t move. Iannone had to shake his head side-to-side to get the job done. Still, he thought nothing of it. “I just giggled and said what a hell of a morning I am having,” said Iannone, 57, of Webster. He sat on the couch and watched ESPN SportsCenter for a little while trying to get dressed. Once again, he was having difficulty doing something simple— just putting on his clothes — and he couldn’t really bring the comb down to his hair. “I woke up my wife and told her something is wrong. I just kept thinking that this is such a strange morning, what in the world is happening?” asked Iannone. What was happening to Iannone was a stroke. That started a multiple-week stint at Rochester General Hospital, which started in late March. A stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. “Stroke is an extremely time-sensitive disease. You have two million brain cells that die in minutes and it can be profoundly debilitating,” said Bryan Gargano, who specializes in emergency medicine for Rochester General Health System. “So many people end up not paying attention to symptoms and letting hours pass that can be the difference between life and death. Just like a heart attack cuts off flow to the brain, strokes are equally serious. The problem is a lot of people don’t even realize they are having a stroke.” That was the case for Iannone. But once time had passed and he realized something was wrong, he didn’t even July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
wait for an ambulance. He drove the 15 minutes to the hospital and medical officials put him in a wheelchair. He was diagnosed with having two separate strokes — one involving his brain stem and the other on the left side of his brain. “I had no idea I was having a stroke. It all happened so fast,” said Iannone. Ironically, “FAST” is the acronym for signs of a stroke. F is for face when one side of a person’s face droops or is numb. A is for arm when a person’s arm feels weak or drifts downward when raised. S is for speech when a person has trouble speaking or repeating short sentences. T is for time meaning if any of these signs are present, call 9-1-1 immediately.
to fall over,” said Godfrey, 67, a former internal medicine physician at Olean General Hospital in Olean. “For the next 20 minutes, I was on the floor sick to my stomach and vomiting.” His wife, Sharon, quickly called 9-1-1 and they went to the emergency room, where he continued to be sick for hours. He was given fluids and a CT scan. After visiting with Bryan Gargano a neurologist, it was respecializes in vealed that he had issues emergency medicine in his right cerebellum for Rochester General along with the left side of Health System. “So his brain. many people end up “It all happened so not paying attention to quickly, and I didn’t have symptoms and letting any indication that it was hours pass that can be a stroke. I consciously the difference between knew my surroundings, but I didn’t have some life and death.” of the obvious symptoms 2-1/4x4-7/8StutterTillis.qxd that occur when you have a stroke,” said Godfrey of Olean, who now does Don’t ignore symptoms contract work in occupational mediGargano said Iannone’s reac- cine. tion that morning is unfortunately Either way, one of the best things normal. He has heard many stories that occurred was Sharon Godfrey where people simply shake off the calling the emergency number withWEC_ad1_2.25x4.75.indd 1 6/7/12 10:30 AM weirdness of the symptoms and keep out hesitation, especially since that moving forward until they collapse. was the sickest she had ever seen him. Country music “It’s amazing sometimes how “It was all hectic and a little constar Mel Tillis people will just say I can’t feel the fusing because even as he was feeling has entertained right side of my body and will just horrible, he was still taking his pulse audiences ignore it. Or even worse, they decide while he was throwing up,” she said. around the that what they need is to take a nap “It was frightening because it was unworld. Mel still and then they will feel better,” said expected. I am so glad the ambulance copes with stuttering, but Gargano. “Those hours of napping came within 15 minutes. One thing I it hasn’t kept are brain cells dying and there is not know at our age, in the back of your him from too much that can be done if you let mind you always think it could be a highly four to five hours just pass by.” more serious. I’m thankful everything successful career While strokes often come out worked out well.” as an entertainer and recording artist. of the blue, Gargano notices many For Iannone, he is on his way to patients do come with pre-existing recovery and what made the long For more information on what conditions such as diabetes and high hospital stay manageable was the you can do about stuttering, cholesterol. RGH nurses and others who helped write or call us toll-free. Physician Peter Godfrey said him recover from the stroke, which THE stroke can happen to anyone and included physical therapy. TUTTERING being part of the medical profession “They told me I need to have paOUNDATION® doesn’t make one immune or give a tience since I sometimes want to get A Nonprofit Organization person an indication of what may be right back to where I was before,” Since 1947— happening. Other than bypass sur- said Iannone. Helping Those Who Stutter gery and hip issues, he was in good 1-800-992-9392 health. Then one day after dinner www.stutteringhelp.org while sitting quietly, he immediately felt a sensation of needing to lie down. 3100 Walnut Grove Road, Suite 603 “I felt if I didn’t I was just going P.O. Box 11749 • Memphis, TN 38111-0749
Stuttering Didn’t Silence His Song.
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Texting Primer Know nuances involved in the art of modernday communication By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
oes texting confuse you? Here’s your primer. Texting is easier than you think, and you really should try to improve your skills. “Technology is a wonderful way to keep in touch with family and friends,” said Daniel Jones, who operates Daniel Teaches, offering technology seminars and private lessons to seniors in the Rochester area (www. danielteaches.com). “Technology is here to stay and the longer you wait to learn, the more and more you’ll be left behind.” Jones earned a certificate in gerontology through St. John Fischer/ Lifespan. He understands why modern technology overwhelms many seniors. “With technology in the ‘40s and ‘50s, you get one or two options and that’s it,” he said. “Today you have scores of options. When seniors see that, they shut down and give up.” Well-meaning grandchildren may try to show you the ropes, but Jones said too often they show — not tell — and then jump in to handle the situation. Jones said doing the task yourself — sending a text or adjusting the font size, for example — aids learning as does using the phone regularly. “If you don’t, and then have an emergency, you won’t know how to use it,” Jones said. For starters, turn off your device’s auto-complete or autocorrect feature. Otherwise, it’s too easy to press “send” when the phone has filled in the wrong and possibly embarrassing word. Entire websites list hilarious and even obscene autocorrect blunders. When texting people who know
you and whom you’ve texted before, you don’t need to sign your name. If they’ve added you to their address book, your name and number appears along with your message. On a similar token, you don’t need a salutation, either, since cell phones are private. The phone automatically notes the date and time, too. “A classic mistake is keeping the caps lock on while texting,” Jones said. “If it’s in all caps, you’re yelling, or emphasizing a certain word or emotion, such as, ‘I REALLY enjoyed your birthday party.’” Although many people’s phone plans offer unlimited texting (typed messages) and data transfers (sending videos or photos between phones), some plans limit messages. “It’s like a collect call,” said Jerry Taylor, owner of SeniorTech in Macedon, a business similar to Daniel Teaches. “It will cost someone minutes or a fee per text even if they just receive it, unless they have unlimited texting.” Monitor messages daily As a courtesy, check for messages at least daily. Some older adults find it handy to keep their phones powered up by charging them overnight, and then clipping the phones to their clothing to use them to summon help in case of a fall or other emergency. If you don’t understanding text lingo used by your children or grandchildren, you’re not alone. Many people at first find it baffling. It may seem inappropriate to spell words wrong, abandon capitalization or short-cut punctuation, but think of texting like telegrams: The point is to get the meaning across as quickly as possible. “You’re not writing for an audi-
ence where your reputation is on the line,” Taylor said. “[The recipient] will know that you know how to write.” Texters use abbreviations and other shortcuts for common phrases such as the message “IMHO” means, “In my humble opinion.” The acronyms help make typing, but not always understanding, easier. Many text abbreviations and acronyms are intuitive, such as “4” meaning “four” or “for.” Reading “4evr” as “forever” isn’t much of a stretch. The figure eight often represents the “ate” sound as in, “gr8” for “great.” Some people misspell words purposefully for easier typing on tiny keyboards such as “peeps” for “people” or “u” for “you.” Sometimes, reading a text aloud will help you figure out the meaning, such as CUL8R means “see you later.” Texting shortcuts also derive from everyday usage, such as “411” means you want more information. If symbols such as :p don’t make sense, look at it sideways, the way emoticons usually read, to see the eyes and mouth with the tongue out. Other images relate ideas, such as <3 means a heart or love. “Find someone you’re comfortable with and text each other back and forth just for fun,” Taylor said. “If you find something that works for you, share it with your friends.” If you’re stumped, visit www. netlingo.com or www.noslang.com/ dictionary for a comprehensive list of text shorthand and acronyms. Of course, many people don’t use most of the terms on these lists, but the sites may be helpful if you’re stumped. July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
Top 10 Scams Targeting the 55-plus Crowd Even low-income older adults are at risk of financial abuse
inancial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.” Why? Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts. Financial scams also often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses. It’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted. Low-income older adults are also at risk of financial abuse. And it’s not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. Over 90 percent of all reported elder abuse is committed by an older person’s own family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others. Review our list below, so you can identify a potential scam.
1. Health Care/Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud Every U.S. citizen or permanent 44
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funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors. In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts. Another tactic of disreputable funeral homes is to capitalize on family members’ unfamiliarity with the considerable cost of funeral services to add unnecessary charges to the bill. In one common scam of this type, funeral directors will insist that a casket, usually one of the most expensive parts of funeral services, is necessary even when performing a direct cremation, which can be accomplished with a cardboard casket rather than an expensive display or burial casket. 4. Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products
resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money. In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then use the personal information they provide to bill Medicare and pocket the money. 2. Counterfeit Prescription Drugs Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications. This scam is growing in popularity—since 2000, the FDA has investigated an average of 20 such cases per year, up from five a year in the 1990s. The danger is that besides paying money for something that will not help a person’s medical condition, victims may purchase unsafe substances that can inflict even more harm. This scam can be as hard on the body as it is on the wallet. 3. Funeral & Cemetery Scams The FBI warns about two types of
In a society bombarded with images of the young and beautiful, it’s not surprising that some older people feel the need to conceal their age in order to participate more fully in social circles and the workplace. After all, 60 is the new 40, right? It is in this spirit that many older Americans seek out new treatments and medications to maintain a youthful appearance, putting them at risk of scammers. Whether it’s fake Botox like the one in Arizona that netted its distributors (who were convicted and jailed in 2006) $1.5 million in barely a year, or completely bogus homeopathic remedies that do absolutely nothing, there is money in the anti-aging business. Botox scams are particularly unsettling, as renegade labs creating versions of the real thing may still be working with the root ingredient, botulism neurotoxin, which is one of the most toxic substances known to science. A bad batch can have health consequences far beyond wrinkles or drooping neck muscles. 5. Telemarketing Perhaps the most common scheme is when scammers use fake telemarketing calls to prey on older
people, who as a group make twice as many purchases over the phone than the national average. While the image of the lonely senior citizen with nobody to talk to may have something to do with this, it is far more likely that older people are more familiar with shopping over the phone, and therefore might not be fully aware of the risk. With no face-to-face interaction, and no paper trail, these scams are incredibly hard to trace. Also, once a successful deal has been made, the buyer’s name is then shared with similar schemers looking for easy targets, sometimes defrauding the same person repeatedly. Examples of telemarketing fraud include: • The Pigeon Drop The con artist tells the individual that she has found a large sum of money and is willing to split it if the person will make a “good faith” payment by withdrawing funds from her bank account. Often, a second con artist is involved, posing as a lawyer, banker, or some other trustworthy stranger. • The Fake Accident Ploy The con artist gets the victim to wire or send money on the pretext that the person’s child or another relative is in the hospital and needs the money. • Charity Scams Money is solicited for fake charities. This often occurs after natural disasters.
A senior receives email messages that appear to be from a legitimate company or institution, asking them to “update” or “verify” their personal information. A senior receives emails that appear to be from the IRS about a tax refund. 7. Investment Schemes Because many seniors find themselves planning for retirement and managing their savings once they finish working, a number of investment schemes have been targeted at seniors looking to safeguard their cash for
their later years. From pyramid schemes like Bernie Madoff’s (which counted a number of senior citizens among its victims) to fables of a Nigerian prince looking for a partner to claim inheritance money to complex financial products that many economists don’t even understand, investment schemes have long been a successful way to take advantage of older people. 8. Homeowner/Reverse Mortgage Scams
6. Internet Fraud While using the Internet is a great skill at any age, the slower speed of adoption among some older people makes them easier targets for automated Internet scams that are ubiquitous on the Web and email programs. Pop-up browser windows simulating virus-scanning software will fool victims into either downloading a fake anti-virus program (at a substantial cost) or an actual virus that will open up whatever information is on the user’s computer to scammers. Their unfamiliarity with the less visible aspects of browsing the Web (firewalls and built-in virus protection, for example) make seniors especially susceptible to such traps. One example includes: •Email/Phishing Scams July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
Scammers like to take advantage of the fact that many people above a certain age own their homes, a valuable asset that increases the potential dollar value of a certain scam. A particularly elaborate property tax scam in San Diego saw fraudsters sending personalized letters to different properties apparently on behalf of the county assessor’s office. The letter, made to look official but displaying only public information, would identify the property’s assessed value and offer the homeowner, for a fee of course, to arrange for a reassessment of the property’s value and therefore the tax burden associated with it. Closely related, the reverse mortgage scam has mushroomed in recent years. With legitimate reverse mortgages increasing in frequency more than 1,300 percent between 1999 and 2008, scammers are taking advantage of this new popularity. As opposed to official refinancing schemes, however, unsecured reverse mortgages can lead property owners to lose their homes when the perpetrators offer money or a free house somewhere else in exchange for the
title to the property. 9. Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams This simple scam is one that many are familiar with, and it capitalizes on the notion that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Here, scammers inform their mark that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind and need to make some sort of payment to unlock the supposed prize. Often, seniors will be sent a check that they can deposit in their bank account, knowing that while it shows up in their account immediately, it will take a few days before the (fake) check is rejected. During that time, the criminals will quickly collect money for supposed fees or taxes on the prize, which they pocket while the victim has the “prize money” removed from his or her account as soon as the check bounces. 10. The Grandparent Scam The Grandparent Scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets,
their hearts. Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done a lick of background research. Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram, which don’t always require identification to collect. At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.” While the sums from such a scam are likely to be in the hundreds, the very fact that no research is needed makes this a scam that can be perpetrated over and over at very little cost to the scammer. Source: National Council on Aging
LOCAL Stories and Articles About LOCAL People, Events and Locations by LOCAL Writers
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$15 —1 year $ 25 — 2 years
long-term care By Susan Suben
Long Distance Caregiving
ong distance caregiving for elderly parents is a frustrating, emotionally fraught journey. The responsibilities are stressful, time consuming and often costly. Difficult issues and decisions have to be discussed and made from afar. In order to cope, try to understand that you can only have minimal control over your parents’ situation. You have to rely upon what they are telling you about their circumstances as opposed to seeing how things really are first hand. Are they taking their medications, eating and bathing? Is their environment clean and safe? Are they still able to drive competently? Are they engaged with friends and neighbors? You only have their word that they are living quality lives. Your long-distance caregiving can consist of many tasks that become more frequent such as scheduling doctor appointments and finding transportation, ordering medical equipment, speaking with doctors and pharmacists, paying bills, deciphering insurance statements and medical coverage and coordinating hospital discharges. The once a week check-in phone call may become daily calls at which time your loved ones can overwhelm you with their litany of ailments and complaints. This is frustrating because you are too far away to offer any real comfort. For you and the other 8 million adult long distance caregivers, who live an hour or more away, the obstacles can be daunting. Sometimes, siblings have a hard time assuming and delegating responsibilities because of old patterns of sibling rivalry. Which sibling is going to be the primary caregiver? Siblings who feel they are not doing enough may become guilty while those who feel they are doing too much become angry.
It’s important to have a family meeting to openly discuss what each person is capable of doing. Siblings who live far away may be able to pay bills or handle insurance claims while siblings who are close by can go on doctor appointments. How do you know when your loved ones really need you to come and see them? When is a so-called emergency not urgent? You have to rely upon your intuition and information gathered from doctors, friends and neighbors. How do you know when they can no longer live on their own? Moving aging parents closer to you has to be carefully thought out. Your life and the lives of your family will never be the same. You may have to contemplate moving your parents into an assisted living facility or nursing home. Your decision will be based on their functional and cognitive abilities. Their safety should be your top priority. The AARP Caregiver Resource Center offers these tips: Create a Contact List: Compile addresses and phone numbers of neighbors, friends and professionals who you can call in case of an emergency or daily assistance. The list should include current doctors, lawyers, accountants, bank personnel and investment advisers, office of the aging, an ambulance service, local hospital, pharmacy, medical equipment company, and home health care agency. Collect: Pertinent information and documents that include a list of all their medications and the conditions associated with them; copies of health insurance and Medicare cards, tax returns, financial statements, wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney as well as their utility companies. The most important document that you need to have drafted is a
Power of Attorney. Without this document, you cannot handle any legal or financial matters for your parents. Make Visits Productive: Even while you are trying to share quality time with your parents. Before your trip, find out what needs to done when you get there. Maybe you can schedule doctor appointments to gain more accurate information about their medical conditions. Become a detective when you are there. How do they look and act? Are they more forgetful? Is the refrigerator full? Are there any safety hazards in their home? Have the Conversation: This may be the most difficult thing you will have to do. Most people do not feel comfortable talking about illness and dying but you need to give your parents the courtesy of knowing and understanding their needs and wishes. The National Institute on Aging wrote a booklet titled “So Far Away: Twenty Questions for Long Distance Caregivers.” One paragraph in the booklet accurately summarizes the long distance caregiver’s experience: “You might think that being far away gives you some immunity from feeling overwhelmed by what is happening to your parent — but long-distance caregivers report that this is not so… Many long-distance caregivers describe feeling terribly guilty about not being there, about not being able to do enough… Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can given the circumstances.”
Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc./Elder Care Planning and a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at 800422-2655 or by email at email@example.com. July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
55+ visits 10 Ways to Explore New York’s Erie Canal
MidLakes boat on the Erie Canal called the Seneca.
Canaling is the perfect vacation: It includes history, adventure, romance and plenty of nature By Sandra Scott
he Erie Canal is a New York state treasure. In the early 1800s when New York Gov. DeWitt Clinton proposed building a canal that would connect the navigable Hudson River to Lake Erie by a 300-mile canal through the wilderness, Thomas Jefferson said, “It is a splendid project and may be
executed a century hence… but it is a little short of madness to think of it at this day.” With foresight, DeWitt Clinton claimed, “By this great highway, unborn millions will easily transport their surplus production, procure their supplies and hold a useful and profitable intercourse with all the
maritime nations of the world.” When the canal opened Oct. 26, 1825 it was an immediate success. The Erie Canal has been enlarged and altered over the years but today this gem is enjoyed by boaters, hikers, bikers, fishermen, bird watchers, history buffs, nature lovers and those looking to spend time in the “slow lane.” The 363 miles can be explored in its entirety or in segments. Today there are 57 locks that allow boats to make the 573-foot change in elevation from the Hudson to Lake Erie. Canaling is the perfect vacation. It is historic, adventurous, romantic and naturefilled. And, on a canal it is impossible to get lost.
1 Lock I is where the Erie and Seneca canals meet. 48
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Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Visitor Center: Peebles Island State Park in Waterford where the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers meet is home to the Erie Canal Visitor Center and where the Erie Canal is joined by the Champlain Canal. It is just one place to learn about this historic canal. Check out the remains of the Matton Shipyard where wooden canal boats were built.
Erie Canal Village: Erie Canal Village in Rome is the only place in New York state where people can ride on a horse-drawn canal boat. In its day it was state-of-the-art travel. The Erie Canal Village has three museums dealing with the canal, transportation and cheese. The village includes a blacksmith shop, one-room school, a church, livery stable, Ft. Bull Railroad Station, a canal store and a settler’s house. “The Big Dig” began on July 4, 1817 in Rome.
Canastota Canal Town Museum: All along the canal towns grew up. The small town of Canastota strives to preserve its canal town ambiance. The Canal Town Museum, housed in a former bakery, is now home to the museum. It is one of the oldest structures on Canal Street displaying canal memorabilia, a replica of a canal boat cabin, and exhibits about local businesses that served the canalers.
Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum: Check out the three-bay dry dock where 96-foot-long Erie Canal boats were built and repaired at the facility during the 19th and 20th centuries. The on-site interpretive center and library provides hands-on activities and exhibits. There is also a sunken canal boat, blacksmith shop, sawmill, stable, warehouse and woodworking shop.
Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. The museum includes a history of the Erie Canal, tales of the canal days, a canal boat typical of the era, a recreated weighlock office, a typical tavern and general store. Visitors should start with the informational video about the life and times of the Erie Canal.
is a small museum. Above the locks visit the Erie Canal Discovery Center, a state-of-the-art interpretive center to learn about the role the canal played in the history of New York state.
Old Erie Canal State Historic Park: The 36-mile linear park between Rome and Dewitt near Syracuse has been designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service and is a great place for biking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and picnicking. The towpath that parallels the canal is part of the New York State Canalway Trail system. The park is located along the first enlargement of the canal that was operational between 1836 and 1862. Erie Canal Weighlock Museum: The more things change the more they stay the same. Ever notice those places along the highway where trucks are pulled over to be weighed? Well, they were doing the same thing with canal boats on the EireSafari Canal Explorer 150 years ago. Syracuse was home to one such station on the canal.
Camillus Erie Canal Park: Camillus was midpoint on the original canal. The Erie Canal Park preserves a seven-mile stretch of the canal and includes the impressive Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built to carry the canal boats 144 feet above the creek. Also visit Sim’s Store, a recreated 19th century general store with a small museum on the second floor. Enjoy a historic canal boat ride on the Ontario or the Camillus Erie, which is wheelchair accessible.
Lockport: Next to the presentday locks 34 and 35 is the Flight of Five Locks, considered an engineering marvel when it was built. It was the most challenging part of the canal’s construction and the last to be completed due to the rocky Niagara Escarpment with a 70-foot change in elevation. Located at the bottom between the two sets of locks
The slow lane: Several companies offer canal trips. Mid-Lakes Navigation Co., located midway along the Erie Canal in Skaneateles, offers day trips on the Erie and Oswego canals some of which include meals. Mid-Lakes also offers self-skippered traditional canal boats for multi-day trips. Stopping points along the canal have places to moor along with water and electrical hookup. A day or multi-day trip on the canal is a journey in the “slow lane.” Boat owners can travel the canal after purchasing a recreational permit at a nominal fee.
Feeder Canals: The Erie Canal was so successful that everyone wanted a c a n a l . To d a y t h e Champlain, Oswego, and CayugaSeneca Canal are still operational. They offer 524 miles of navigational and recreational fun and adventure. Along the way there are great historical sites, cities, quaint villages, and nature refuges to visit. July / August 2014 - 55 PLUS
By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Dr. Wende Logan-Young, 78,
ecently she earned the 2014 Edward Mott Moore Physician Award given by the Monroe County Medical So-
has a mammogram regularly. Back then things that are normal now were a completely foreign concept for people. It has been shown now to save so many lives.
Q.What made you decide to go into your medical specialty? A. At first I was interested in internal medicine. After my residency, I worked two years in Virginia for the U.S. government. Before you knew it, I had four children. Internal medicine is like raising children because the constant pace and worry for patients who have internal issues. I was taking that worry home with me and it was just burning me out on both ends. I had an interest in radiology and did my diagnostic radiology at the University of Rochester, became an instructor, and was placed in charge of mammography. It felt like I was playing chess all day because it strengthened my mind and gave me energy that I hadn’t had before.
Q.What made you decide you had to form your own clinic? A. I was finding out that people were falling through the cracks. I opened up my clinic in 1975 and tried to get it off running from the beginning. Because I was at the faculty of the University of Rochester and knew about mammography, that gave me credibility. I had a circle of doctors who I had a good relationship with and they believed in me and referred me to their patients. If I didn’t have that network in the beginning, the clinic could have very well failed. A lot of people were skeptical early on because everything was so new. It was tough in the beginning because we saw about 1,000 patients each year for the first two years. When Happy Rockefeller, the wife of former vice president Nelson Rockefeller, and Betty Ford were diagnosed with breast cancer, it brought the issue to the forefront. Then we slowly started seeing an increase as word of mouth and technology continued to increase.
Q.How did you go about changing the way breast cancer was diagnosed? A. We were not examining breast cancer in the right way. I introduced the idea of the radiologists examining patients and communicating with them directly, while providing their results and additional testing the same day as their mammogram. Over 40 years ago, physicians referred their patients with breast problems to surgeons. Imaging was becoming more important way to find cancer. We needed to do something different than what we were previously doing. It became apparent to me if a radiologist could perform a clinical breast examination, this could lead to additional X-ray views that might reveal a cancer that could be missed on a routine two-view mammogram. It is obvious now that every woman 50
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Q.What were some of the other challenges you endured? A. I believed early on that patients should be allowed to get their medical examination results first instead of the report being sent to a physician and the physician calling the patient to come into the office to discuss it. I would give the patients their information and there was a lot of firestorm from the medical community. But I just believed it was their health and they should get it first. Q.What is something that people might not know about you? A. I co-own Bead Breakout on
Dr. Logan-Young founded Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic, the nation’s first clinic devoted exclusively to breast imaging and breast disease diagnosis using a multi-procedural approach to breast cancer detection. She sold the practice in 2006. Monroe Avenue in Rochester. It all began in 2005 in the hallway of my mammography clinic. I had been beading since the 1970s and I would spread my love of beading to my employees by closing down the clinic one day every winter for a “beadin, morale-booster day.” I brought in my own beads to the clinic and all of the employees created pieces of jewelry of their choice. Those who didn’t know how to bead were taught by those who did. One of the employees, Andrea Taylor, shared my enthusiasm for beading and we decided to sell beads. Patients began to buy beads at the clinic and the word began to spread. It was at that point that Andrea decided to open her own 2,400-square foot bead store in 2008 and I joined in. Q.You’ve been retired since 2012. What have you done since you retired? A. I am busy with family. I have 17 grandchildren most of them between 12 and 22. I also like to do fundraising for charities like the Breast Cancer Coalition, American Lung Association and Golisano Children’s Hospital through semi-annual bead challenges and classes.
From Our Hearts To Yours. Introducing the HeartMatters Cardiac Rehab Program.
St. Ann’s Community is proud to introduce HeartMatters, a new evidence based program that was developed in collaboration with Cardiologists and Cardiothoracic surgeons including Rochester General Hospital Chief of Cardiology, Gerald Gacioch, M.D. and St. Ann’s Chief Medical Officer, Diane Kane, M.D. HeartMatters provides the region’s best program for patients with cardiac conditions such as heart failure, myocardial infarction and post cardiac surgery (i.e., CABG, valve replacement). We recognize the uniqueness of each individual and will work with you to develop a plan of care that will improve your quality of life and reduce the likelihood of readmission back to the hospital. You and your family will receive the knowledge necessary to better manage your condition after returning home.
For more information or to learn how to preplan a rehab stay, please call 585-697-6311 or visit stannscommunity.com. The HeartMatters cardiac rehab program is available at: St. Ann’s Community, Irondequoit and St. Ann’s Care Center, Cherry Ridge Campus in Webster.
Caring forThe Most Important People on Earth
HeartMatters Cardiac Medical Director, Gerald Gacioch, M.D. and St. Ann’s Chief Medical Officer, Diane Kane, M.D.
Supported by a grant from Greater Rochester Health Foundation
John E. Richardson joins CNB.
Canandaigua National Bank & Trust is pleased to welcome John E. Richardson to our Wealth Strategies Group. John brings extensive experience in both corporate and personal finance to his role at CNB. As Vice President and Investment Officer, he’s focused on meeting the overall financial well-being of his clients, while delivering an exceptional customer service experience. As an active member of the Rochester community, John is committed to all of CNB’s core values—and to meeting the needs of his customers. To learn more, call John Richardson at (585) 419-0670, ext. 50604, or visit CNBank.com/WSG.
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