Sex Is Good: Many in Their 70s and 80s Still Hard at It
PR Professional Happy in New Role as Business Owner
PLUS Issue 32 March / April 2015
For Active Adults in the Rochester Area
Ballroom Dance Floors in the Region Getting Really Crowded
‘Seven Lessons I Learned from My Grandparents’
DR. BRAD BERK
Paralyzing accident hasn’t stopped former URMC CEO from taking on new challenges
Now that You Have the Time... We interviewed people who say what they are doing with their spare time
You’ve Worked Hard... It’s time to enjoy the carefree lifestyle at
The Club Legacy lifestyle is like living at your own private club! Legacy residents have it all: golf at Champion Hills Country Club, swimming, fitness center, chef-prepared meals, and friends right outside your door. Your monthly rent also includes concierge services, activities and excursions, transportation, 24-hour security, housekeeping, and utilities. *Amenities may vary by location. Additional fees may apply.
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7. PENFIELD: Legacy at Village Wood 100 Village Wood Lane, 14526 585.381.4210
3. GREECE: Legacy at Park Crescent 1000 Providence Circle, 14616 585.865.0680
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4. HENRIETTA: Legacy at Erie Station 1545 Erie Station Road, 14467 585.334.5006
9. VICTOR: Legacy at Fairways 681 High Street, 14564 585.924.7043
5. IRONDEQUOIT: Legacy at Cranberry Landing 300 Cranberry Landing, 14609 585.244.3630
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a heart attack survivor. Duff Rund suffered a cardiac arrest after a tennis match. But thanks to the quick response of friends, tennis club employees and EMTs—and the advanced care he received at UR Medicine—Duff is alive and well. And enjoying his ten grandchildren.
To learn more about the area’s most comprehensive heart and vascular care, visit URMedicine.org/heart. March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS CARDIOLOGY_DUFF_ROCHESTER_MAG_7_25x10.indd 1
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Sex Is Good: Many in Their 70s and 80s Still Hard at It
PR Professional Happy in New Role as Business Owner
March / April 2015
PLUS Issue 32 March / April 2015
For Active Adults in the Rochester Area
Ballroom Dance Floors in the Region Getting Really Crowded
‘Seven Lessons I Learned from My Grandparents’
DR. BRAD BERK
Paralyzing accident hasn’t stopped former URMC CEO from taking on new challenges
Now that You Have the Time... We interviewed people who say what they are doing with their spare time
Savvy Senior 6 11 CAREERS Financial Health 8 • PR professional succeeding as a Estate Planning 10
small business owner in Rochester
14 My Turn 16 ENTERTAINMENT
Addyman’s Corner 42
• The newly formed trio, Flower City Vaudeville
Long-term Care 46 18 GRANDPARENTS Travel 50 • Nearly 12,000 kids in Monroe
County being raised by grandparents • Seven lessons I learned
LAST PAGE Thelma Reese, co-author of “The New Senior Woman: Re-inventing the Years Beyond MidLife” talks about work, book. 4
55 PLUS - March / April 2015
22 COMPETITION • Meet members of the Rochester Rowers
• Paralizing accident hasn’t stopped former URMC CEO
• We asked local 55-plussers what they are doing now that they time
• Study confirms many in their 70s and 80s still active sexually
• Retired teachers committed to lifelong learning at Osher
• Big bands still swingin’ in Rochester thanks to a loyal following
• Volunteers at Thompson Health share their passion for the job
Family Member in a Nursing Home? Or Likely To Be Soon? The issues surrounding placing a loved one in a nursing home can tear a family apart: physically, emotionally, and financially. Did You Know That f 40-60 percent of all seniors will spend time in a nursing home. f In the Rochester area, nursing home expenses can exceed $12,000 a month or $144,000 per year. f Many nursing home residents will spend their entire life savings on the nursing home. But, Did You Also Know That f There are sound, proven, legal and financial strategies that allow you to keep more of your lifeâ€™s savings. f We can help employ many of these strategies even AFTER you or your loved one has entered a nursing home.
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f We can help employ these strategies even if you DO NOT qualify for longterm care insurance.
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savvy senior By Jim Miller
Retirement Saver’s Tax Credit
he “retirement saver’s tax credit” is a frequently overlooked credit that’s available to low and moderate-income individuals and families who make saving for retirement a priority. Here’s how it works. If you contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA, or an employer sponsored plan like a 401(k), 457, 403(b), SEP plan, SIMPLE IRA or other retirement-savings plan, the retirement saver’s tax credit will allow you to claim 10, 20 or 50 percent of your contribution, depending on your income, up to a maximum of $1,000 per person or $2,000 per couple. To qualify, you must also be at least 18 years old and not a full-time student, and were not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. And your adjusted gross income in 2015 must be $61,000 or less as a married couple filing jointly, $45,750 or less if filing as head of household, or $30,500 or less if you’re a single filer. These income limits are adjusted annually to keep pace with inflation. To get the 50 percent credit, you’ll need to have an income below $18,250 if you’re single, $27,375 if you’re filing as head of household, and $36,500 for couples in 2015. The 20 percent credit rate applies to individuals earning between $18,251 and $19,750; for head of household filers it’s $27,376 to $29,625; and for couples it’s $36,501 to $39,500. And the 10 percent rate is for individuals with an adjusted gross income between $19,751 and $30,500; for head of household filers 29,626 to $45,750; and couples it’s between $39,501 and $60,100. Double Tax Break You also need to know that the retirement saver’s tax credit can be
55 PLUS - March / April 2015
Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto
Associate Editor Lou Sorendo
claimed in addition to the tax deduction you get for contributing to your employer’s retirement plan or a traditional IRA. Here’s an example of how this works. Let’s say you’re married and have an income of $37,000, and your spouse is not working. If you contribute $1,000 to your company’s 401(k) plan, your adjusted gross income would be reduced to $36,000 on your tax return. You would also be able to claim a 50 percent retirement saver’s credit, which is worth $500, for your $1,000 401(k) contribution. Keep in mind though that this is a tax credit, not a deduction, so it lowers your income tax dollar for dollar. It is, however, a nonrefundable tax credit, which means it cannot reduce the amount of tax owed to less than zero. How to Claim To claim the credit, you will need to fill out Form 8880 (see irs.gov/ pub/irs-pdf/f8880.pdf) and attach it to your 1040, 1040A or 1040NR when you file your tax return. Don’t use the 1040EZ Form. If you think that you would have qualified for the credit in previous years but didn’t claim it, you can file an amended return as far back as 2011 and still get the credits. A 2011 amended return is due by April 15. See IRS Form 1040X (irs.gov/pub/ irs-pdf/i1040x.pdf) for instructions on how to file an amended return. And for more information on the retirement saver’s tax credit, see IRS Publication 590 “Individual Retirement Arrangements” (irs.gov/pub/ irs-pdf/p590.pdf). If you don’t have Internet access to see or download these forms, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 and ask them to mail them to you.
Deborah J. Sergeant, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Jessica Gaspar John Addyman Sandra Scott, Jessica Spies Deborah Blackwell, Mike Costanza
Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Bruce Frassinelli Michael Robinson
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 © 2015 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: A few months after I started receiving my Social Security retirement benefit, my former employer offered to take me back. It’s a great offer. Can I withdraw my retirement claim and reapply later to increase my benefit amount? A: Social Security understands that unexpected changes may occur after you begin receiving retirement benefits. If you change your mind, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim and re-apply at a future date. This withdrawal must occur within 12 months of your original retirement, and you are limited to one withdrawal during your lifetime. Keep in mind, you must repay all of the benefits you received. You can learn more about the one-year period when you can postpone your benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/ withdrawal.htm Q: I am receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. I just got married, and I am wondering if my benefits, and my new spouse’s benefits, will stay the same. A: If you marry, your spouse’s income and resources may change your SSI benefit. It is your responsibility to report your status change to Social Security as soon as possible. If you and your spouse both get SSI, your benefit amount will change from an individual rate to a couple’s rate. If you are receiving Social Security benefits as a widow, divorced widow, widower, or divorced widower, other factors to keep in mind are: • You cannot get benefits if you remarry before age 60; and • You cannot get benefits if you’re disabled and remarry before age 50. Generally, your benefits end if you were receiving divorced spouse’s benefits and you remarry. You can read more about SSI and Social Security benefits at our publications library, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
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One Clark Meadows, Canandaigua, NY 14424 March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
financial health By Jim Terwilliger
Giving to Charity from Two Pockets
ave you ever considered charitable giving as being sourced from two pockets of wealth? Doing so creates a perspective that can help guide giving decisions and even enhance the benefit provided to the receiving organizations. Cash Flow” Pocket — We all receive ongoing annual appeals from a variety of charitable organizations. Resulting donations typically are used to fund annual organizational operating expenses. Generally, it makes sense to fund such ongoing donations from your “cash flow” pocket. Treat the giving as you would your other expenses, all funded from the recurring income to your household on a year-by-year basis. Charities appreciate all levels of giving for this purpose. No gift is too small, none is too big. Occasional extra-large gifts allow an organization to accomplish a special project or two in years when giving spikes. Accumulated Assets Pocket — Gifts from this pocket tend to be larger, and in some cases, exceptionally large. Such gifts might enhance an endowment fund, typically a fund that is invested by the charity to produce ongoing income to the charity in perpetuity. Another charitable purpose might be to fund a large capital project to construct a building or building addition or to purchase expensive equipment. Establishing or adding to a scholarship fund is another example. Such gifts generally are too large to be funded from your cash flow but may be a perfect fit for money that is not needed for retirement but is intended ultimately to be left as a legacy for heirs and charity. While the idea of leaving money to charity in a will is well-known and frequently used, there are many
55 PLUS - March / April 2015
non-will options available that folks don’t generally think about or are not aware. Further, many options give us tax-advantaged ways to make lifetime gifts of accumulated assets. Lifetime gifts offer the satisfaction of seeing the money put to good use while we are still alive. In this two-part series, we will explore vehicles for making gifts from this second pocket other than through a will. Charitable Gift Annuity — Many larger charities offer guaranteed lifetime incomes for an individual or joint annuitants. The gift can be made in the form of cash or appreciated securities. An immediate tax deduction equal to a portion of the gift amount can be taken. A guaranteed lifetime annual payment is then made at an interest rate determined by the annuitant’s age. For example, the suggested rate for an 80-year-old donor is 6.8 percent. A portion of the annuity payment, representing return of capital, is tax-free for a number of years. This option is attractive to folks who want to establish a good rate of return on assets that are earning little to nothing and satisfy their charitable interests at the same time. Life Insurance — A current gift of a life insurance policy can be useful to the charity in two ways. The charity may keep the policy in force and collect the death benefit at the donor’s passing. Or the charity may cash in the policy and take advantage of the availability of immediate cash. Either way, the donor is able to claim an immediate charitable tax deduction equal approximately to the policy’s cash value at the time of the gift. If the charity chooses to keep the policy in force, the donor may want to make annual contributions to the charity, which it can then use to pay the pre-
miums. These annual contributions are also tax-deductible. One may also list a charity as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. While this offers no income tax advantage, such a gift is excluded from the taxable estate of the decedent, offering a potential estate tax benefit for wealthy individuals. Appreciated Securities — Gifting appreciated stocks or stock funds is a tax-efficient way to make charitable gifts during one’s lifetime. Long-term investors often find they have stocks or funds that have grown in value substantially. The beautiful thing about such gifts is that the donor can take a charitable tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the securities on the day the gift is made and no income tax is owed on the capital gains embedded in the investment. Otherwise, such gains can be taxed as high as 30 percent or so between federal and NYS. It is far better to donate the securities, rather than liquidate and donate the net proceeds after tax. We will conclude this topic in the May-June issue by exploring two ways to gift from IRAs as well as gifting through charitable trusts and charitable foundations. 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 email@example.com.
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55 PLUS - March / April 2015
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Probate
hroughout the centuries, property holders have used wills to bestow their worldly goods to their loved ones after their deaths. But in modern times, an entire legal process has risen up to govern the disposition of wills. It’s called probate, and it was created to assure that your wishes are carried out. That’s the theory at least. In practice, probate is often a long, drawn-out process that seems to serve the needs of everyone but yours and your loved ones. Many Americans think that passing on their worldly goods is a simple proposition: they write out their final wishes, then, when they die, someone ensures that their wishes are carried out. However, unless your total estate value is under $30,000, wills require probate, and there’s nothing simple about probate. For many families, it’s an expensive, complicated bureaucratic process that can drown your heirs in a sea of red tape. Probate begins with the filing of your will and a petition with the surrogate’s court in your county of residence. The court either will approve your choice of executor that you may have named in your will or will appoint someone else to act as executor. Unless your estate is fairly simple, your executor may also hire an attorney to help with the process. Certain family members must be provided with a copy of your will, and they must sign a document consenting to the probate of the will; if some of those family members cannot be located or refuse to sign the consent document, the process grinds to a halt until those issues can be resolved. In the meantime, assets you held in your own name may be frozen, resulting
in aggravation and possible financial loss to you family. And we’re just getting started. Once the court formally appoints your executor, he or she will have to prepare a detailed inventory of the assets you’ve left behind, including jewelry and other valuable personal items, and appraisers may be called in to establish their value. Once that inventory is completed, it must be filed with the court, where it becomes a public document available for anyone’s inspection. This lack of privacy often is just one more aggravation for the family. Before your heirs receive their full legacy from your estate, your creditors will be paid off, any estate taxes will be paid, your executor (and the attorney hired by the executor) will receive their fees for handling your probate, and all court fees will have to be settled. After these expenses have been paid, your heirs will divvy up what’s left — and it’s often considerably less after probate than before. That’s a quick overview of the probate process. At best, it’s a lengthy, expensive and aggravating proceeding for your loved ones to deal with upon your death. At worst, it can be a nightmare that drags on for years. Our next article will discuss how to spare your family the delays, expense and aggravation of probate. For over 29 years, The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. has helped thousands of families in the Rochester and Finger Lakes regions protect their legacies. The firm is recognized nationally and locally as an expert resource for estate planning and elder law. Please visit mrobinsonlaw. com or send an email to email@example.com. Phone: 585-374-5210
PR professional turns passion for cheese into a successful business By Deborah Blackwell
nn Duckett describes the last few years of her life as a time consumed with, dreaming of, thinking about, talking through, and hoping for her own cheese shop. She had, in her words, an “absolute obsession around all things cheese.” So Duckett decided to change career direction midlife, and in 2012 opened The Little Bleu Cheese Shop, a European-inspired, artisan cheese shop in Rochester’s South Wedge. “When you’re an entrepreneur, the inner voice doesn’t quiet,” says Duckett, 55, Rochester. “I know what goes into creating something from nothing, a thought, a concept, a dream, a whim.” A public relations and marketing executive for nearly 16 years, Duckett had over a dozen small business ideas she says, but her passion for cheese kept beckoning her. Her intense desire to energize and excite her community about hand-crafted cheese never wavered. “To some degree cheese chose me,” says Duckett. “I love that something so simple, so pure can become something that one shares with others at pivotal moments in life.” Duckett attributes her mid-life entrepreneurial success to her love of learning, at any age. The middle child of five girls, she was the first in her family to graduate from high school, and receive both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Her drive comes from a lifelong desire for self-sufficiency, independence and free-thinking. She describes herself as a problem solver, who looks at all the options to find a way to get something done. “I create action lists, always have a three-to fiveyear plan, and get a great deal of satisfaction from accomplishing things,” says Duckett. Duckett’s motivation to be a cheesemonger began with a desire to create exceptional meals that required better and different ingredients for her recipes. Her travels through Europe with her husband on several occasions helped spark their interest in what was available in the small specialty shops throughout Europe — wines, meats, cheeses, bakeries, cafes — and how locals prepare and even eat meals. Duckett was mystified by what she refers to as “a little bit of magic,” found in artisan food products: artistry, patience, pride, and a little bit of soul, she says.
Ann Duckett, owner of The Little Bleu Cheese Shop in Rochester, enjoys a glass of wine with her husband, Al Cabral, while traveling. The couple travels frequently both in the United States and abroad, exploring wineries, creameries, and specialty food shops. They enjoy learning about artisan foods and share their knowledge with customers at The Little Bleu Cheese Shop. March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
The store front at The Little Bleu Cheese Shop draws customers in daily. Duckett read, studied, and learned all she could about the science behind cheese and cheese-making, then attended a cheese-making certification program at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. After completing the program, her vision of opening an artisan cheese shop became real. Located in a historic building, the compact space brimming with character and charm, is reminiscent of a small European specialty store. Duckett’s philosophy is to work with cheese makers directly, get to know her farmers, visit them when she can, and communicate the “lifestyle of cheese” to her customers, from the farm to the table. She represents the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail, and works with both local and regional cheese makers, some as far as Utah and Maine. “Everybody has their love and their passion. There are so many different ways to use cheeses, and so
Little Bleu Cheese 684 South Ave. Rochester, NY 14620 730-8296 littlebleucheese.com 12
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many ways cheeses are made,” says Duckett. “I want to educate people on cheese, especially because of the area we are in, burgeoning with fine wines and cheeses, and I am proud to share and tell the story of the region.” Duckett finds ways to easily incorporate her background in communications with her love of cheese and her business, through her knowledge and understanding of consumer behavior, demographics, budgets, branding and advertising. But her love of telling stories, she says, is a natural part of what she does every day in her shop — talking about farmstead cheese, where it’s from, how it’s made, how it tastes, how to pair it with other things, or how to use it in a recipe — all part of the lifestyle of cheese. While her knowledge of cheese and her business experience play a role in the success of her new career path, her desire to pursue a passion and follow a dream are what keep her going, even in the midst of meeting head-on challenges along the way. “Entrepreneurs are dreamers to some extent,” says Duckett. “Sometimes the only supportive voice you hear is yours — telling you you can do it. You have to have faith in yourself and a higher power.” Duckett’s husband, Al Cabral, says becoming an entrepreneur is
about following your passion and knowing there is always more to learn. “Life is about reinvention,” says Cabral, program director, The School of Management Graduate Studies Programs at Nazareth College. “Ann opened the shop, I retired and re-careered my work life, and all three of the kids have found new ways to express themselves and their interests, all in the last two years.” Duckett is currently working with a life coach to help her learn to balance her strong work ethic and passionate drive with slowing down and remembering she does not have to do it all, which can lead to overload and burnout. She says as a small business owner, being a “doer” is important, but should be balanced with tendencies for over-doing.
Ready for a New Career? A public relations and marketing executive for nearly 16 years, Ann Duckett offers a few thoughts for those considering changing careers mid-life, or for those wanting to start their own business. 1 — Ensure your finances are in order and you are able to sustain yourself without income if needed. 2 — Get hands-on experience if you have not been working in the field or industry you are interested in, to explore all the aspects of your “dream job.” 3 — Surround yourself with like-minded, high energy, positive thinkers who support you. 4 — Surround yourself with people who have the skills to do the things you don’t want to do or can’t do, so you have a micro-view of your business needs. 5 — Find a balance between work/career and home/family. Schedule a day off to regroup, relax, which helps keep things in perspective, and brings a renewed and refreshed mindset to the business and your daily work. 6 — If it’s not fun, don’t do it! In her spare time, Duckett and Cabral enjoy reading cookbooks and food magazines for new recipes to try when entertaining. They love to travel and explore new places. They have three grown children and three grandchildren between them. Duckett enjoys seeing her family being creative, and says they are “outside of the box” thinkers, finding personal successes in their own endeavors just as she has. But for Ann Duckett, it’s really all about connection — with your dreams, goals, and passions, and with those who can help those dreams come true. “The direct connection one can make with the owner of a small shop, an artist, or craftsman, or a purveyor of goods at the market, deeply resonates with me,” says Duckett. “I like having the ability to connect with
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2015 Spring Course Offerings
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Saturday, March 21st 10 AM - 11:30 AM RSVP encouraged!
The Arts, Literature, Music, Science, History, Technology
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50 Fairwood Drive Suite 100, Rochester, NY 14623 March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
entertainment Flower City Vaudeville are Ward Hartenstein, left, Rich Hughson, center, and Ted Baumhauer, right.
Just Clowning Around Members of the newly formed trio, Flower City Vaudeville, succeeding in a new venue for them: entertainment By Jessica Gaspar
ost folks don’t follow their dreams after retirement, but Richard Hughson did. He was finally able to fulfill his childhood dream of being a clown. Hughson is one-third of the freshly formed Flower City Vaudeville. The group is formed by 57-year-old Ted Baumhauer, 60-year-old Ward Hartenstein, and Hughson, who is 63. The trio prides itself on wit, and members use it regularly in conversation. Hughson, who lives in Irondequoit, retired from Delphi after 28 years where he was a mechanic and a machinist. In addition to clowning, he is also trained in martial arts, miming and stilt-walking. 14
55 PLUS - March / April 2015
“There is a natural progression from being a mechanic to being a performer,” he added. Without hesitation, Hartenstein chimed in and said, “He threw a wrench into it.” — a play on Hughson’s former career. The three guys all showed off their talents separately for many years. Baumhauer, who moved to Rochester in 1995, specializes in juggling. He even has a juggling studio in his home. His skits routinely showcase his ability to juggle while walking on a tight rope. His résumé is impressive. Baumhauer has a doctorate in education, and he is also a professional speaker. He is also president of his own company, Outtahand Entertrain-
ment. Baumhauer has been performing for nearly 20 years in the Rochester-area. Through his performing, he met Hughson and Hartenstein. The trio decided to combine the talents of its members into a vaudeville group in 2012. What is vaudeville? Well, Merriam-Webster defines it as a light often comic theatrical piece frequently combining pantomime, dialogue, dancing, and song. It became popular in the United States about 100 years ago. Think Charlie Chaplain, Abbott and Costello, early Bob Hope, and George Burns. They have been performing as part of the Rochester FringeFest since 2012 and are slated to return in 2015.
They also have other shows set up at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, the Museum of Play at the Strong, and Camp Good Days. One of the events already on the schedule is for four full days at the Strong Museum this summer where they will perform in five shows a day, Baumhauer said. “I tried to warn them, ‘Guys, it’s about pacing,’” he said with a laugh. Despite their ages, the three don’t seem to be slowing down. Not only that, they certainly don’t let their age stop them from having a little fun. “At 63, I can still do a cartwheel. I’m enough of a showoff that I want to show it off and brag about it,” Hughson said. Hartenstein, who was a ceramicist, performing artist, and a teaching artist with small children, usually handles their music and special effect sounds. He lives in the city of Rochester. For him, the decision to perform live as part of a vaudeville group is a no-brainer. “We’re at a point in our lives where this just makes sense to us,” he said. One of the funniest skits the group can recall is a day at the Rochester FringeFest when they enlisted the help of Cassandra King. She was set to sing, but unbeknownst to her, the group had re-orchestrated a song, changed some of the words, and added sound effects. “It was perfect pandemonium,” Hughson said with a laugh. Their skits are usually always planned and rehearsed. They meet twice a week at Baumhauer’s home to practice. They put a lot of planning into their characters and routines.
As a musical skit, the three guys of Flower City Vaudeville play different instruments. Ward Hartenstein is seen here playing the flute, Rich Hughson is playing the maracas, and Ted Baumhauer is playing the accordion. Submitted photo.
For instance, Hughson has a long-running character he plays named Hobo Joe. Hartenstein wrote some of the skits as part of a radio mystery project. Hartenstein will narrate Hobo Joe’s adventures to set music. Joe will get into funny mischief, which has included being chased by a bull and attending a
Renaissance Faire by leaping over a barbed wire fence. While they do plan and rehearse quite a bit, they do allow some room for improvising. The group is family-friendly, and they are currently developing material for school shows and more festivals. “I’d love to do dinners,” Baumhauer said, adding, “Maybe conduct the RPO.” The troupe laughed, all wondering what kind of show that could turn into. But, the main focus for Baumhauer, Hughson, and Hartenstein is evident: for the fun of it. “We have a lot of fun together,” Hartenstein said. “It’s been a marvelous opportunity and very satisfying to me,” Hughson said. To see some of their past skits, check out YouTube by searching for Flower City Vaudeville. The group can also be found on Facebook, also under Flower City Vaudeville. March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
By Bruce Frassinelli Email: email@example.com
Football Saved my Life
Reflection to help parents evaluate if their kids should play football
t a time when many parents and grandparents are evaluating whether the health risks of playing football are worth the societal rewards, I reflect on the fateful decision I made 60 years ago to go out for football
Young Frassinelli during his years as a football player in high school. Playing football “taught me teamwork, patience, understanding and problem-solving,” he says. 16
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in my junior year of high school. I have my band director, Tom Cadden, to thank for making this happen. One of my best friends, Paul Tocchet, and I put enormous pressure on Cadden to rescind his rule that those who played in the high school band could not be part of the football team, too. Cadden’s logic was that you can’t be on the field as a football player and in the stands as a trumpet player at the same time. Back then, in our small high school of about 130 students, there was no such thing as separate marching and concert bands. I had wanted to go out for football in my freshman year, as many of my non-band member friends had done. Football was a strong tradition in our family. Both of my brothers were captains of their respective teams in ’42 and ’47. My brother, Charlie — known as ``Bombo” — was a bruising fullback who was the backbone of the Hillers’ team. I remember vividly the screaming headline over the box score of the McAdoo game, which Summit Hill won thanks to my brother’s touchdown — “Too Much Bombo.” My father was an avid football fan and was more than disappointed when I opted for the band over football in ninth and 10th grades. Although he never said so, he secretly wanted me to uphold the family pigskin legacy. When my brothers played, he left the running of our family grocery store to my mother for three to four hours, and he walked the sidelines showing support and pride for my brothers’ heroics. Between my sophomore and junior years, band director Cadden relented and allowed those who wanted to play football to join up with the
Football taught me teamwork, patience, understanding and problem-solving. Victory was important, but the many side benefits of football were incalculable in giving me the underpinning tools that would serve me so well for the next 60 years band for the spring concert season. My elation at being able to play was tempered by our 0-9 season my junior year. Despite my not having played until my junior year, I became the starting inside tackle for our single-wing formation team. I was big for my age — more than 200 pounds, which, back then, was about 30 pounds more than the average lineman. In those days, most players played both ways — offense and defense. I made my share of tackles, but it took me a while to get the hang of the intricacies of the game. I guess now is as good a time as any to explain the headline of this column —“football saved my life.” Prior to going out for football, I was viewed as an odd-ball, a 1950s version of the nerdiest of nerds. I was an outrageous attention-seeker, pretended I was married with children whom I would visit periodically at some secret location ”in the sky.” There was more odd stuff like that, but you get the picture. Despite this, I was relatively popular. I was elected class president in my sophomore year, al-
though I had no illusions about this selection. The two most popular guys in the class chose not to run, and the most popular girls wanted to be secretary and treasurer. In football, I found that giving myself for the good of the team paid off in success and enormous self-satisfaction. My coach always stressed that well-worn saying, “There is no ‘I’ in `team.’” I found this old bromide to be at the heart of my metamorphosis, to be more concerned about others than about myself. As an upperclassman, I found myself mentoring the younger players, even though they were rookies just as I was. Through this cathartic process, I found that satisfaction came in helping and teaching others and to forget the silliness associated with my quest to make everything all about me. Just before the start of our senior year, team members voted for co-captains. To no one’s surprise, our star quarterback, Will Derby, was one of the selectees. To my utter shock, I was chosen as the other. I ran home after practice the day the results were announced to tell my father. “Can you believe it, Pop? All three of your boys became captains of their football teams.” Not one to show much emotion, my Italian immigrant father cracked a smile and merely said, “Bene” (“Good”). Ten minutes later, I heard him tell a family friend with unbridled pride that I had become co-captain of the team. Our team went 4-5 that year. I led the team in tackles, recovered four fumbles and I kicked the game-winning extra point in a 7-6 nail-biter against Jim Thorpe. More important, though, I took my role as co-team leader very seriously. My football experience turned around my life and prepared me for a professional career of leadership and collaboration, first as a newspaper editor, then general manager and, finally, as publisher. Football also formed the bedrock of my passion for community service. Football taught me teamwork, patience, understanding and problem-solving. Yes, of course, victory was important, but the many side benefits of football were incalculable in giving me the underpinning tools that would serve me so well for the next 60 years — and counting.
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About 11,550 children live with a grandparent in Monroe County By Jessica Gaspar
Rosen Addison, 68, wouldn’t trade her grandkids for the world. Through the years, Addison has taken care of, and in some cases raised, many of her 22 grandchildren. “There was one point I had seven of them,” she reminisced. “I tell people that it was kind of easy. We had schedule.” 18
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all it a labor of love or just call it a grandmother taking care of her grandbabies. Whatever you call it, Rosen Addison wouldn’t trade her grandkids for the world. Addison, 68, has five children of her own. They range in age from 36 to 49. Through the years, Addison has taken care of, and in some cases raised, many of her 22 grandchildren. While her two oldest daughters were single mothers serving in the military, she took care of their combined five children. “There was one point I had seven of them,” she reminisced. “I tell people that it was kind of easy. We had schedule.” Six were in school and had varying schedules, so when some were leaving, others were getting ready, she said. Now, those grandkids are grown and on their own. Seven years ago, Addison took in her granddaughter, Ki’mahrey, when she was just 6 months old. Now in second grade at No. 44 school in the city of Rochester, Ki’mahrey is happy and healthy. Even as she ages, Addison does her best to keep up with her granddaughter. “She’s my baby. I really thank God for her. She keeps me going. The kids are always my joy,” she said. Ki’mahrey and Addison are not alone. According to a report issued by AARP, there are nearly a half million children across New York state living
in a home where the parents are not the head of house. Of those, nearly 42,000 live in a home where their parent is not present, meaning a grandparent or someone else is responsible for them. In Monroe County, about 11,550 children live with a grandparent, said Linda James, program coordinator for Hillside Children’s Center at the Southwest Family Resource Center. But James estimates that number is low. Some grandparents, she said, may be afraid to report they have their grandchildren for fear having them taken by the Department of Social Services. Program helpful James oversees Skip Generations, a program within Hillside that offers workshops, mentor home visits, educational resources and support groups. Addison attends the Tuesday evening group. While she’s there, Skip provides childcare for Ki’mahrey and the other children. “We share with each other,” Addison said. “It’s a group and everyone cares about each other.” From discipline to finances, the group offers whatever support it can. When Addison was raising her kids, it was acceptable to spank her children. “I did what my parents did,” she said. But, things changed by the time her grandchildren were born. “The program taught me there was a different way besides spanking,” Addison said. But times are especially tough financially. Since most grandparents live on Social Security, they struggle even when they are living alone. When they have their grandchildren, the questions become: Do I pay rent or buy shoes, RG&E or food? In most cases, grandparents receive no financial support from New York state, according to James. Most of the time, the state will offer financial support to folks who run foster homes, but grandparents or other familial caregivers do not qualify for such assistance. “I really think as a society, we
need to look at this population and think about doing more for them,” James said. Skip Generations helps grandparents and other kinship caregivers like aunts and uncles by offering mental or emotional support and finding whatever financial resources are available. “I really love working with this population,” James said. “They’re so resilient.” James has been running the program since 1997, and she can relate to the program’s participants since she raised two of her own grandchildren. S o m e times grandparents are embarrassed to admit they are raising their grandchildren for a myriad of reaLinda James, a sons. coordinator at Hillside “[There is Children’s Center a lot of] guilt and shame at the Southwest that comes Family Resource from their Center. She oversees own kids not Skip Generations, being able to a program that raise them,” helps grandparents she said. and other kinship S o m e caregivers. James of the cirsays 11,550 cumstances children live with she has seen a grandparent in through the years include Monroe County. drug abuse, jail time, mental illness, death, or even neglect and abuse of the children. The one message James wants to pass along to kinship caregivers and grandparents is, “There’s help out there.” More on Skip Generations? For more information on Skip Generations or the Hillside Children’s Center at the Southwest Family Resource Center, visit www.hillside.com or call Linda James at 585-436-0370 ext. 302.
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Seven Lessons I Learned from My Grandparents By Jessica Gaspar
hey say children learn what they live. In my case — and I hope in the case of many others — I have learned a great deal from my grandparents. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have three sets of grandparents — my maternal grandparents, Lawrence and Diane Lovall; my paternal grandparents, J.W. and Carolyn Peevey; and my paternal great-grandparents, Dorothy and Hugh Elliott. All but my grandma Peevey are now gone. Here are seven lessons I’ve learned from them through the years:
Open your heart and your door. You know those Kay Jewelers commercials? “Keep your heart open and love will always find its way in.” That describes my grandparents perfectly. They care for everyone, even if it means giving their last dollar or the shirt off their back to someone. When I think of my grandparents, I laugh at how their homes always seemed to have a revolving door. Grandma Lovall would take in anyone in need. When a close friend died, she took in her daughters and raised them as her own. More than 40 years later, they remain in touch and attend every family party. W h e n G r a n d m a Peevey needed a place to go with her husband and seven children, Grandma and Grandpa Elliott allowed them to Gaspar stay as long as 20
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they needed. Even as my aunts and uncles got older, they lived with my great-grandparents while between jobs or apartments. It never bothered them. In fact, I think Grandma and Grandpa Elliott just hated having an empty house.
Have a talent. My grandparents all had some special talent that made him or her unique. I have always admired Grandma Peevey’s creativity. She owned a ceramic shop in the city of Rochester for many years, and she can paint things like no other. For my college graduation, she made a quilt for my bed. She knits and sews. Her talents are endless. Grandma Lovall crocheted. On the back of my living room chair I have a blanket she made. It reminds me of her every day, and it’s a good conversation piece. Company will ask where I got the blanket, and it leads to a conversation about her. One of the last things she crocheted was a set of three baby blankets. My mom asked her to make them so my sister, my brother and I could give them to our children. Quilts, blankets and memories are all things to be treasured.
Patience is a virtue. What you want — and need — is on its way. “Patience is a virtue,” my Grandma Peevey says. I never really knew what that meant until a nun at my church said, “Patience is a virtue. Virtue is a grace. Put them both together, and you’ll have a happy face.” It may seem simple, but it has always spoken to me. Patience. Who has patience anymore? Some of the greatest things have come to me while waiting.
Remain humble. Grandpa Lovall worked at a full-service gas station. He was an honest man with a big heart. He didn’t need a fancy job or a fancy car (he drove a Buick) to make his life complete. All he needed was his family. He visited us after work nearly every day. During those visits, we would play checkers and other games. One time, when my sister and I had a hairbrained idea to start a band, he gave $5 of his hard-earned money toward band equipment.
Silence speaks volumes. Grandpa Elliott rarely spoke unless something was awry. My dad often tells the story of when he and my uncle Kelly were boys. They were in their bedroom lighting matches and blowing them out. Grandpa Elliott could smell the sulfur and asked the boys if they were lighting matches. No, they told him. Grandpa Elliott simply said, “OK,” and walked out of the room. To this day, my dad will say how badly he felt for lying to Grandpa Elliott.
Strength is always near. It will show itself when you need it. My grandmothers have gone through more difficult times than I likely ever will. Grandma Elliott lived through The Great Depression. How hard that must have been, I don’t know. Even as she grew older, she saved everything from old wrapping paper from gifts to bags and boxes — anything that could possibly be reused. Grandma Lovall buried three of her 12 children. Two were just newborn babies, and the third, my Uncle Larry, was 40 years old. I can’t even
imagine the pain she must have felt each time. But, she still managed to get up every day, look her absolute best, and smile. Her love for those three babies never ended, and she spoke of them often. When she died in 2010, her final request was to be laid to rest next to Uncle Larry. Grandma Peevey went through two divorces — one of which was my true paternal grandfather, Clarence Gaspar Jr. — before marrying the love of her life. She and my Grandpa Peevey raised seven children. When I asked Grandma what those times were like, she smiled. “We were poor, but those were some of the best times,” she says. She buried Grandpa Peevey three years ago. Strength pulled these ladies through tough times and kept them sane. I hope my own strength will do the same for me.
Put the brakes on. Slow down. Smell the roses. Take a moment to sit in the grass on a warm summer day while enjoying a scoop of gelato. Don’t let life pass you by. Forget work and toss out that never-ending to-do list. Slow down even to just take a breath. Chase sunsets on warm spring evenings and enjoy the moment. Don’t be afraid to use a day off to wander around a museum or art gallery admiring the work. I spent my younger years running. I worked two jobs while going to college full-time. Not only was I on the go all the time, I was miserable, and I took it out on those around me — especially Grandma Lovall who did nothing but love me. It wasn’t until she was in a nursing home recuperating when I realized how much I had
hurt her. One day, after we learned she was terminally ill, I broke down. I still remember that night like it was just today. Sitting in her room about a month before she died, the Hank Williams’ song “Jambalaya on the Bayou” came on. I pictured my grandparents in their hey day dancing to this song. I remember looking at my grandma in her chair, her days coming to an end. I cried for the first time in a long time. I didn’t realize until that moment how much I loved her. My love for her grows every day when I see her lessons unfold in my life. As I grow older, I have learned I find something (or someone) I enjoy when I have slowed down enough to notice. This lesson alone is likely the one most valuable.
Sound Advice From Grandparents
e asked folks in our demographic one simple question: What advice or life lessons would you pass along to your grandchildren? Their responses were endearing and hopeful. We have highlighted some of those responses below. • “Be kind to others, and always tell the truth.” — Sandra Weagley, Hilton • “There are so many things. First, to always be respectful. He can do anything he puts his mind to. Patience is a virtue. Education is key to following his dreams. Practice makes perfect. Never give up.” — Kathy Saner, Rochester • “Always be yourself. Do not try to be something that you are not because that is what people expect. Follow your heart when making decisions. In the long run, that will get you to the right place. Keep family close in your heart. They are the ones who will always be there for you. Read everything you can and learn
from it. Degrees and diplomas are not so important as acquired knowledge from life and what we attain through our own investigation.” — RoseMary Shaw, Clarkson • “Be compassionate. Don’t judge. Love deeply with abandon and forgive quickly.” — Connie Tyson, Spencerport • “Always seek peace with your God in all circumstances. Be a kind, generous and forgiving family member and member of society. Enjoy all the delights that the Lord gives: sitting by the ocean, a beautiful snowfall, a newborn baby, friendship. Spend your money wisely; save your money even more wisely. Oh, and one more thing, enjoy each phase of life. It is preparing you for the next phase.” — Rosalind Valeria, Chili
March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
Rochester Rowers Taking to the waterways to stay healthy, have fun By Jessica Spies
inter weather doesn’t force Rochester-area rowers into hibernation; it just becomes another challenge of the sport. Rower Mary Fredlund, 58, trains throughout the year. In the winter months, Fredlund trains with typical indoor activities like yoga and weightlifting and enjoys winter sports curling and cross-country skiing. Fredlund, of Greece, also directly trains for rowing at the Pittsford Indoor Rowing Center, training about one to two days a week. The center, located on the Erie Canal, is a 5,100-square-foot indoor rowing tank facility with capacity for 32 rowers to train at a time. Rowing is a sport based on propelling a boat on water using oars. Competitive boats range in size from one athlete to eight athletes including the coxswain, who steers the boat
and coaches other rowers. Rowers are situated in the boat by the coach depending on the skill of the rower, their power and the length of their stroke. Rower Jackie Morris, 65, heads to Florida for the winter months and continues to row outside. Morris discovered rowing a few years ago. From the first time Morris rowed, she loved it. “I found a passion. Everyone needs to find a passion over 60,” she said. “I was just drawn to the water, the rhythm of the boat. I thought about it when I was not there.” Before rowing, Morris’ winter trips to Florida were lacking because she “didn’t find anything exciting to do there. I found a rowing community and now I can’t wait,” she said. Morris’ family has been supportive of her new passion. Her daughter bought an indoor rowing machine for
her guest room. “There’s no escaping it,” Morris said. “It’s wonderful; I can get my rowing fix.” Morris and Fredlund are both members of the competitive racing team of the Genesee Rowing Club. The club has a variety of programs including an introductory one for beginners, experienced rowing for those who want to train regularly and competitive racing for those who want to train almost daily. “There’s opportunities in the club for all different levels,” Fredlund said. The club has a boathouse at Genesee Valley Park near the Genesee River and Erie Canal. There are over 100 members with 170 rowers, including non-members, participating every year. The race team is comprised of about 30 people. On the first Saturday in June, which is “National Learn to
Members of the Genesee Rowing Club Jackie Morris, Judi Bowne, Deb Gollus and Liza Savage-Katz. The club has a boathouse at Genesee Valley Park near the Genesee River and Erie Canal. There are over 100 members with 170 rowers, including non-members, participating every year. 22
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Row Day,” the club hosts a free rowing introduction class. “There’s a lot of great opportunities for older women, older men in sports,” Fredlund said. Formed an addiction Fredlund, president of the Genesee Rowing Club, started rowing nine years ago when she and some of her team members from the Rochester Curling Club were looking for a summer activity. They took a rowing class together and “I’ve been addicted ever since,” Fredlund said. As a member of the race team, Fredlund competitively rows. Members of the race team are chosen from the club’s experienced rowing group and train together three times a week from April to late October. Members of the team have won gold medals at many local events, regularly medal regionally and also compete in the US Rowing Masters National Championships. Richard Yochum, 68, a coach with the club, has been rowing since he was in his college team at Syracuse UniYochum versity. “I started in 1964 and I never stopped,” Yochum said. Yochum, of Webster, has been rowing since college and became a coach once he retired. Yochum said that rowing has become a habit for him and he feels guilty when he misses a training session. “It’s about sticking to it,” he said. “If you just worked hard and give it everything you got, it would pay off.” Because there is such a range of ages in the masters competitive racing group from 21 years old and up, competitive rowing becomes more challenging as you age, Fredlund said. “It’s keeping power, it’s keeping strong. It’s always working on improving your power and strength,” she said. When learning how to row, Morris “was humbled by the technical challenges of rowing,” she said. “It
made me push the envelope and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Another challenge of the sport includes the elements. Because there are limited months to row outside in the Rochester area, Yochum tries to train outside, rain or shine. “When you’re out in the open, there’s something more comforting suffering with other people,” Yochum quipped. However, rain isn’t necessarily a bad thing when rowing, Yochum said. When there’s a light rain, the water’s flat, making for perfect rowing conditions, Yochum said. Low-impact exercise While it has its challenges, rowing provides a low-impact alternative to other physical activities like running or More than 100 members with 170 rowers, including basketball that may non-members, participate in the sport every year at increase pressure on Genesee Rowing Club. a person’s joints. “As time went on, I found I tended to get injured Morris said rowing has been a somore playing basketball,” Yochum cial outlet for her as she has met rowsaid. “Rowing was better on me and ing friends all over the country. MorI was better at rowing.” ris encourages those who have never Morris said she was interested in tried rowing to give it a try. a low-impact sport where she would A couple times a year, in the still compete. spring and fall, the club combines “I was looking for a sport where I the teams for a gathering, mixing less could push the envelope but not have experienced rowers with competitive an injury,” she said. rowers. “That just helps everybody Rowing provides a full-body become a better rower,” Fredlund workout for the arms, legs and core said. and doesn’t put pressure on the back, Yochum has made many friendYochum said. ships through rowing and said it’s You’re less likely to get injured the answer to a need-to-stay active when you know how to row properly, lifestyle. he noted. “No matter how I feel or where I “It’s like anything physical,” Yo- may be, I always try to get at least a chum said. “It’s something you need little workout in every day,” Yochum to try and learn how to do it right. The said. “I tell everyone: ‘Something is more you do it, the more you’ll like better than nothing.’” it.” March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
Taking on New Challenges Paralyzing accident hasn’t stopped former URMC CEO Bradford Berk from moving forward By Mike Costanza
ome people just won’t let adversity get them down. “I’m about to embark on another new aspect of my career, so I’m pretty excited about that,” says Bradford Berk. Berk was CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2009, when he suffered a bicycle accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Treatment and rehabilitation have helped him regain a great deal of mobility, but he generally gets around with a motorized wheelchair these days. Despite his disabilities, Berk, who is a 55-plusser, recently left the medical center’s helm to launch a new venture for the institution, the Rochester Neurorestorative Institute (RNI). Berk’s interest in medicine surfaced many years ago. While a high school junior, he spent long hours at Monroe Community Hospital with a friend who had suffered a bicycle accident and was in a coma. “I’d go and visit him and talk to him and read to him,” Berk says. “When he woke up, it was incredibly satisfying that he’d gotten better.” Upon entering the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in the early 1980’s, Berk was drawn to the study of cardiolo24
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gy. Good mentors helped him choose that course along with finely tuned hearing that allowed him to pick up sounds that other medical students missed. “I have a talent for hearing heart sounds,” he says. “It sounded like a symphony in there.” At the same time, Berk also hoped to advance the treatment of medicine in general as he pursued his career. For that reason, he simultaneously pursued a medical degree and a doctorate. “I wanted to improve the health of people by caring for them, but also by creating new knowledge so that we could have better medicine,” the cardiologist explains. Berk also demonstrated a zeal for scientific inquiry. Mark Taubman, who took over as CEO of the URMC on Jan. 1, has known Berk since they met in a hospital laboratory in Boston over 34 years ago. Berk had just entered a residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Taubman was starting a fellowship in cardiology. The two found they shared interests in cardiology and medical research as well as similar views on life. “One of the things we both tend to do is approach anything as an adventure,” says Taubman, who is also dean of the University of Rochester
School of Medicine and Dentistry. The pair developed a close friendship that has endured to this day, though they have sometimes defined the word “adventure” differently as individuals. “My idea of what we do for recreation is listening to music,” Taubman says. “Brad’s idea is you climb a mountain.” Taubman and his friend remained close and collaborated on research down through the years while pursuing their individual career paths. Berk went on to hold faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1998, he returned to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry to found the new Center for Cardiovascular Research — now known as the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute. “I recruited about 10 people to work on heart research,” says Berk, who became the organization’s first director. “We studied the heart, we studied blood vessels and we studied what is called ‘thrombosis,’ which is coagulation.” Berk rose to become chairman of URMC’s Department of Medicine, and to hold a professorship at the University of Rochester School of Medicine
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and Dentistry. In 2006, he was tapped to become the medical center’s CEO and senior vice president for health sciences. Whole new world Though he’d acquired administrative skills on his way to the CEO’s office, Berk still remembers how nervous he felt the day he walked into it. “As a doc, you just see your patients and you take the best care of them you can. You don’t worry so much about food services and environmental issues and audits,” he says. “It was a very steep learning curve to learn the business of health care.” Berk threw himself into the job with his customary enthusiasm. “I like continuous learning and being CEO is a lot of learning,” he explains. Another and perhaps deeper set of challenges arose for Berk back on May 30, 2009. The enthusiastic bicyclist was out for a spin near his Canandaigua home at the time the accident happened. “I was at the top of a ridge on East Lake Road,” he says. “You get this beautiful panoramic vision of the lake before you.” Sweeping downhill toward a hairpin turn, he found a car blocking his route. Skidding to avoid the vehicle, Berk blew out both of his tires. His mountain bike wobbled out of control, sending him over the handlebars onto the ground. The fall severely injured his neck. “I blew my third and fourth cervical vertebrae into nine pieces, which is not a good thing to do,” Berk says. The accident damaged Berk’s spinal cord, leaving him an incomplete quadriplegic and bequeathing a lifetime of pain. The late actor Christopher Reeve suffered a similar injury back in 1995. “Complete means you have absolutely no movement, no sensation,” he explains. “I actually have movement, but no sensation.” Berk was treated in Strong Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit. Like Reeve, he depended upon a ventilator to breathe. Unlike Reeve, he was soon able to live without it. “Between advances in medicine 26
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and the differing nature of every spinal cord injury, I actually got off,” Berk says. “It was great.” Ta u b m a n , who had come to the medical center to head its cardiology division, was appointed its acting CEO at the time of the accident. Taubman Berk completed his treatment in the ICU, then underwent months of rehabilitation. He returned to work full-time as CEO in early 2010, though he continued to receive rehabilitation for his condition. He stepped down from that position at the end of 2014, intent upon taking on new challenges. Spearheads reform As head of the medical center, Berk transformed clinical care, emphasized patient and family centered care and helped prepare the institution for the new delivery and payment models that have arisen as a result of health care reform. At the same time, he presided over the acquisition of Thompson Health and Lakeside Memorial Hospital, the addition of 80 acute-care beds to Strong Memorial Hospital, the opening of the Saunders Research Building and the breaking of ground for the Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Brad has provided outstanding leadership to our medical education and research programs and to our multi-hospital network,” says University of Rochester President Joel Seligman. Now that he has left the CEO’s office, Berk can devote more time and energy to creating a business and strategic plan for the RNI. As conceived, the new facility would be dedicated to the study and treatment of neurologic and neurosurgical illnesses and injuries. “We’re going to focus on stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and peripheral nerve injury,” Berk explains. “In that building, we’ll
have physical medicine and rehab. We’ll have neurology, surgery and all the other elements necessary to take care of people who have those problems.” The RNI will also give researchers the opportunity to work closely Seligman with clinicians. The clinicians would be able to identify illnesses or injuries they encountered among their patients, while the researchers sought to identify the best ways to treat those patients. “At its ultimate, it would give you a whole range of opinions about how best to treat your disease,” Berk says. If all goes as planned, the medical center could break ground on the RNI in 2017, according to Berk. While guiding the creation of the RNI, Berk has continued to hold other professional roles. He is a professor of medicine/cardiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and was recently named a distinguished professor at the University of Rochester. Book in the Works During his off time — what there is of it — Berk has been hard at work on a book. The first half of the volume will present his views shaped by decades spent as a physician and medical administrator and years in recovery from his accident, and how medical treatment could be improved. Berk asserts, for example, that physicians and other medical professionals could bring about better treatment outcomes by personally engaging their patients. “I think that the power of human compassion and human touch for healing is essential to treat disease,” he explains. As he puts his energy into such projects, Berk continues to work on his own recovery. While tackling projects at the office, he’ll squeeze his
When he wants a little more exercise, Berk wheels his motorized wheelchair up to a kind of stationary bicycle. “He takes his shoes off and puts his feet into these bicycle shoes and pedals for a half-an-hour to 40 minutes every day,” Bowman explains. Berk also rides a three-wheeled bike alongside the Erie Canal in warm weather, but is still unable to walk more than 100 steps — and that only with assistance. “I can’t feel my legs — I have no sensation — so, I have to walk by looking at them,” he explains. Despite such limitations, Berk continues to enjoy life in some of the ways that he did before the accident. Last October, the divorced father of three grown children and grandfather of four children remarried. He and his wife, Coral Surgeon, then headed off to Europe on a trip that included a nine-day cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. “Every day, we would stop somewhere, and there would be an excursion,” he says. “That was my honeymoon vacation.”
Fast Facts n Brad Berk and his family last summer donated $1.5 million to URMC in support of cardiovascular care at the university n Was drawn to cardiology in part because he had a “good ear” Bradford Berk in his standing crane, a device that helps those suffering from incomplete quadriplegia cope with the resulting circulation and digestive problems. Each day, the cardiologist slides out of his motorized wheelchair onto the crane’s seat. An assistant then raises his body into a standing position, where he remains for about an hour. Berk can conduct business and use his iPad and cell phone while upright, and squeeze the colorful pinchers that help him improve the strength of his hands. “pinchers,” or large, plastic clothespins. “When I’m sitting here talking to you, I’ll be pinching away, strengthening my pinch,” he explains. In order to improve his circulation and digestion, Berk spends time standing upright with the help of a device called a “standing crane.”
Harley Bowman, his personal assistant, helps him with such tasks at the office. “You lock him into a leg position, and you use leverage to hydraulically lift him to a standing position,” Bowman says. “He’s able to stand for a whole hour every day, which is good for his circulation.”
n Taught current University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Dr. Mark Taubman to windsurf. n Uses “pinchers” to improve the strength of his hands n Rides an recumbent bicycle with special controls outdoors in good weather n Once considered becoming an oceanographer, but dropped the idea after doing an undergraduate internship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
Now That I Have the Time … By Lynette M. Loomis
or many older adults, retirement is a time for re-invention and the opportunity to explore activities that always intrigued them, but never had the time to pursue. For some people, it’s travel, golf or gardening. In addition, according to AARP, 2.5 million grandparents take responsibility for the care of their grandchildren in “grand-families.”
Other people use retirement as a time to expand their creative brain and others flex their muscles, literally, and see if they can thwart the aging process by keeping their minds and bodies fit. Mary Kay Judd, a nurse who was the founder and director of Day Break (a medical model adult day program) for 22 years, always had a creative streak but little time to open her mind
to creative pursuits. Keeping abreast of changing regulations, patient care plans, supervising staff and attracting new clients occupied most of her mind. “I have always had an interest in preserving history through three-dimensional collages, shadow boxes and even doll houses,” she said. “When you are working full time, and perhaps caring for all ages of family members, it can be hard to find materials and put them all together. It’s also a challenge to retrieve materials, design the pieces and then put everything away again over the course of a few brief hours. “What I love about retirement are the open-ended days in which I can source materials at antique stores, second hand shops, old book stores and even garage sales to find vintage items or reproductions. One of the pleasures of this hobby is the hunt for items and having the time to hear the stories behind them. For a 3-D collage, even a broken item can be integrated into a design if you have the vision to see how it could fit. People Mary Kay Judd says she does not attempt to be 100 percent historically correct in her more can be too quick to whimsical creations and seeks to create an aesthetically appealing piece. But for her Mission Church, she visited many churches in New Mexico to create an authentic model. 28
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discard the imperfect, but they are still treasures that can add interest, detail or beauty to a piece. Then the other pleasure is sitting down, uninterrupted for hours, to work on a piece. The tools of the trade are manageable because I am working on a small scale and I have a room in my circa-1860s home devoted to my projects.” Judd’s home is like a historical gallery with more than 2,000 pieces displayed covering everything from Victorian miniatures to early American advertising memorabilia and miniature firearms. She has built a Victorian dollhouse, a miniature Adirondack camp, and a small-scale Spanish Mission Church, country store, flower boutique and a curio shop named Artist Judy Bufano enjoys painting the old landmarks and landscapes near Silver Lake, “Kate’s Cottage” after her her part-time residence. Her favorite sites are the gingerbread cottages at Silver Lake mother. and Letchworth State Park. “The local scenery, hills and farms are inspiring,” she said. To entertain and delight local children, she constructed ing to consult, she found more time to tor for the Arts Council for Wyoming County, says, “Judy’s landscapes are Bear Park in a small woodlot on her pursue her love of art and painting. “It is exciting to develop another very popular. Her series on cottages property. Over 200 animals of various sizes and materials were arranged in area of interest than the full-time work from Silver Lake appeal to local peoscenarios and themes that led to sto- in health care. I take classes and have ple as well as the summer residents rytelling, games and whimsy. Neigh- peer support when painting and have from Rochester and Buffalo who enjoy borhood children visited daily, some learned new techniques. I moved seeing the vintage cottage gables rearranging to stop by after supper to from oil painting to watercolors as produced in her watercolors. She has “put the animals to bed” (in plastic time passed to enable more freedom even created a note card series from to paint en plein air (in the open air her watercolors. We have featured her totes if rain threatened). “One of the things I am working or outdoors) or from photos,” Bufano work in the gallery several times and on now is a reproduction of a flap- said. “People may think that painting all enjoy seeing the progression of her per head piece. I glue each piece on a is a solitary pursuit but, in fact, it is unique style.” Bufano’s work is also being exvery social. I have met other retirees head form wig stand,” she said. She will use several hundred faux who have recently taken up painting hibited in the ACWC annual exhibipearls and beads in the piece. “By the and others who have experience to tion “Local Color” where more than time I finish her, I will have spent so share. We travel together for a work- 50 percent of artists are over the age many hours adorning her I will prob- shop or to a location to paint. We help of 55. “It is gratifying to be given this one another set up shows and particably have to name her,” she said. ipate in art activities. There is always wonderful opportunity to work with Landscape artist something to learn and social activi- so many masters who continue to push themselves to become better Rochester resident Judy Bufano is ties to enjoy.” an artist but it took part-time retireWhen Bufano travels, she takes painters and potters than they were ment to open her schedule to devote photos of scenes for inspiration or yesterday. They are my inspiration,” added Hoyt. weekly time to the medium. paints on site. In the 1960s, she began to paint, “It is a relaxing part of any va- Biking enthusiast mentored by Mr. Gayton, who was an cation to take time to paint. If I don’t Henry McCartney feels fortuoil painter in Rochester. After retir- have time to paint at that time, I use nate to have had a career in historic ing from full-time work at St. John’s the photos as a reference from trips in Home, she consulted to nursing the United States or Sweden, a favor- preservation that spans over 33 years, highlighted by serving as executive homes and senior living facilities as a ite destination,” Bufano adds. clinical social worker. While continuJacqueline Hoyt, executive direc- director of the Landmark Society of March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
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Western New York from 1984 – 2005. His life changed in 2006, when his wife was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and passed away in 2008. He was semi-retired and did some consulting at the time. McCartney started taking local rides with the Rochester Bicycling Association and in 2009, took his first long bike trip, cycling the Erie Canal (400 miles from Buffalo to Albany; biking eight days, sleeping in a tent). In 2009, he become director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, but managed to take another one-week bike trip from the North Carolina Mountains to the coast. “At the end of seven days, I ended up at a much lower elevation. Time and energy-wise, it was 80 percent uphill! Day one taught me to appreciate the meaning of the term ‘bonk’,” says McCartney. In 2012, at age 66, McCartney fully retired and moved to Rochester’s Corn Hill to be in an historic neighborhood while also having easy access to the Genesee River Trail. Since that time, he has completed two organized bike rides each year, including a mountain biking trip in Utah with his daughter, two rides in North Carolina, two rides across Ohio, and another Erie Canal ride. These latter three rides were with biking friend Paul Whalen of Ft. Thomas, Ky. On one of the Ohio trips, he completed a century (100 miles in a day). “That night, I treated myself to a hotel with a hot tub,” he said. In 2014, he also rode in the 5 Boro Biketour, biking 40 miles throughout New York City with 32,000 “of my closest friends. “I’m averaging about 2,500 miles a year. Why do I do it? To stay in shape and doing something I enjoy. Since taking up biking, I’ve lost 35 pounds and my body, including my remaining original knee (my other knee was replaced in 2005), has stayed healthy,” McCartney said. “Outside, I can bike for hours, something I just cannot do in a gym. Knowing a bike trip is on the horizon also is a good incentive to stay in riding shape. “Do I enjoy the bike trips? Yes and no. The ones I’ve taken have been very well organized and after a day of biking, I can actually sleep OK in a tent. The scenery, small towns and other riders are always very inter-
McCartney esting, and there is a sense of accomplishment in completing a trip. I highly recommend, especially for anyone getting started, cycling the Erie Canal, superbly organized by Parks and Trails NY. “It is in July every year, the food is excellent and the host towns put out the red carpet. And it is generally flat and both family and retiree friendly. Plus, working to keep up with 8- and 80-year-old riders will keep you humble.” Lynette M. Loomis is a certified life and business coach and may be reached at www.yourbestlifecoaching.com.
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Study shows many in their 70s and over 80s still very active sexually By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
hen it comes to sexuality, apparently age is just a number. A recent study shows that people 70-plus enjoy regular intimacy more than researches anticipated. Most “senior” studies on sex look at people 60 and older. But “sexual health and wellbeing among older men and women in England” focused on people in their 70s and 80s. The University of Manchester and NatCen Social Research team found that 54 percent of men and 31 percent of women over 70 were still sexual-
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ly active, and one-third of those men and women have sex at least twice a month. Further, the study revealed that among the 7,000 respondents, 31 percent of men and 20 percent of women frequently kiss and cuddle. And only 1 percent of men and 10 percent of women felt that sex was just a duty. The results don’t surprise Richard Mittereder, geriatrician with Rochester Regional Health System. “In spite of the fact that people are aging, they’re aging more gracefully and that includes continued
ability to enjoy sexual performance,” he said. “It’s a myth that older people are not interested. There are changes that happen, but it’s still possible to have intimacy.” He added that lower vaginal lubrication, and reduced orgasm hamper women in later life and men experience less seminal secretion and greater need for stimulation to achieve erection. But on the upside, couples in retirement have more time to spend pleasuring each other without the responsibilities of child rearing and
employment. “They can partake in more amorous, adventurous sex life than they hadn’t been able to before,” Mittereder said. “They have more flexibility and time in the day to participate in this activity. In some respects, it leads to the problems we have with younger folks.” A current 70-year-old came of age in the ‘60s. A widow or widower returning to the “free love” philosophy from their teenaged years can contract a sexually transmitted disease. Many people in this age range feel embarrassed about getting the straight story from their doctor on STDs. “The medical profession is too cavalier in not asking questions in regard to sexual activity,” Mittereder said. “Thus, we miss out on counseling and STD education that we would’ve been able to do had we had the foresight to do at a routine checkup. “Many people of this age has no education regarding STDs. It can change their lives. They need to be upfront with their physician if they’re interested in sex,” Mittereder said. Remaining in a monogamous-monogamous relationship in which neither person has a STD or exposure to a STD is the only way to guarantee avoiding contraction. Using a condom helps reduce the chances of STDs for those not in that kind of relationship. William Hall, geriatrician with University of Rochester Medical Center, said that “finding a partner” is the “only barrier” for older adults desiring intimacy. “In retirement communities, it’s a pretty hot place,” he said. The demographics of a retirement community means that numerous unattached, retired people live in close proximity. Though younger people may think it’s peculiar (since their parents or grandparents are the ages of the people in the study), desiring sexual intimacy “is part of what it means to be human. I can’t imagine successfully aging without intimacy,” Hall said. Institutions such as nursing homes have begun making internal changes such as keeping couples in the same room if at all possible and respecting “closed door” times so they can enjoy personal time together.
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Osher: Retired Teachers as Lifelong Learners By Robert Hesselberth
eachers frequently say they learn as much from their students as they teach them. And it often doesn’t stop when they retire. There is a long list of Rochester area retired teachers who have gone back to school, and many of them teach there as well. Of course, the school where they attend or teach isn’t the one where they spent their careers. It might be at
their town’s recreation department or at a local college or university. Some sign up for workshops at a local writing academy and others join a lifelong learning institute. But wait a minute — Don’t teachers retire from teaching so they don’t have to teach anymore? To finally get away from school? Not necessarily. Many retired teachers like the idea of continued learning or teaching without the daily pressure that their jobs inflict on them. Taking a box lunch to a morning or afternoon of classes once or twice a week is an appealing way to spend some quality time, especially if there is little or no homework, no tests and no papers to grade. Francia Roe, who taught AP literature courses in the Clifton Springs school system for 28 years, has taught a great books literature course for 11 of the 12 years since she retired. With no homework or test papers to grade, Lewis Neisner has become an instructor at Osher she can relax and Lifelong Learning Institute in Rochester in 2007 after teach in great a career in business and education. He has taught the depth about a book that she alstories of Sherlock Holmes, the history of jazz, modern ways wanted to art, the history of retailing in Rochester and the short read, but didn’t stories of Joyce Carol Oates. “The best way to learn have the time. She more about a topic is to teach a course in it.”
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researches the author’s background and life achievements, studies the book’s subtleties and nuances, ferrets out the relationship to and uses of ideas from other great literature, then brings it to class to lead entertaining but serious two-hour discussions about the book once a week for an entire term. Her favorite authors that she has exposed to other seniors this way include William Faulkner, Cormack McCarthy, Iris Murdock, Emily Bronte and J.M. Coetzee. Does that sound like heavy reading that would scare students away? Her classes are so full of repeat students that she has to teach two sessions each week, and the only homework is to read about 10 per cent of the book each week. One reason that Roe enjoys teaching so much is that her students are there only because they want to be and all are fans of good literature. For side entertainment she takes a variety of courses whose subjects interest her. Over the years, she has studied physics, calculus, history, art and philosophy. She enjoys the art and philosophy courses the most, and says she took the technical science and math courses “… because I thought I should… because I knew so little about those subjects.” Growing up, was her family academically inclined? “No,” she said, “my mother had only an eighth grade education.” Francia Roe joined the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Rochester after she retired and a good friend suggested it. She says, “I’ll probably keep teaching until I drop dead. The lifelong learning environment is just plain fun, and I’ve made a lot of lasting friends doing it.”
Lewis Neisner takes a different approach. His first career was in the world of business, where he spent 20 years in the family-owned, Rochester-based 5- and 10-cent variety store chain that his grandfather had founded at the corner of Main and Clinton in 1911. When that business closed, he became a college professor, teaching retail marketing and distribution at Buffalo State for a while, then in Maryland at the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland. Neisner’s love of the academic environment led him and his wife, Beth Vanfossen, who also was a college professor, to return to Rochester and move into the River’s Run retirement community, near RIT. When they learned that the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute was right next door, they had found nirvana. As Osher members since 2007, he and his wife Beth have each taught several courses. Neisner has taught the stories of Sherlock Holmes, the history of jazz, modern art, the history of retailing in Rochester and the short stories of Joyce Carol Oates. The topics he picks are whatever interests him at the time. He says, “The best way to learn more about a topic is to teach a course in it.” His wife has taught courses social issues, economics, and music appreciation. The list of courses Neisner has taken includes Shakespeare, jazz, art, literature and a discussion group that analyzes the New Yorker magazine’s content. He says that he didn’t acquire his academic leanings from his parents, although his father was an avid reader. As for courses to teach in the future, he has his eye on doing more with his old friend, Sherlock Holmes. He might also consider teaching a modern art course, or perhaps one about the films and stories of Woody Allen. In contrast to Roe and Neisner, Dick Foley didn’t have a teaching career, but after retirement decided to take courses for something to do. He was working in marketing at Mobil Oil when a friend who was with the FBI asked him if he would consider applying to the FBI for a position as an agent. The FBI accepted him and he had a long 24-year career with the agency, much of it in Rochester in charge of various cases involving the mafia. In retirement he took courses at Nazareth College and then migrat-
SEVEN REASONS TO BE A LIFELONG LEARNER
Many of us, when we were kids, tried to think of ways to avoid those boring classes we were forced to sit through. As we age, many decide that those classes weren’t so bad after all. Here are some of the many reasons that lifelong learners go back to class. Continued social interaction. Retiring from a work environment where you were surrounded by other people can be a shock to the system. A learning environment puts you in contact with others with similar interests. Keep the mind active. They say that you live longer and stay healthier and happier if your mind is active. Learn new subjects. Did you always want to know something about astronomy or why the south lost the Civil War, but were too busy to figure it out? If you’re retired, now is your chance.
ed to Osher when he learned about it. He has both taken and taught courses at Osher. Foley’s studies have included a variety of subjects such as art history, German language and music. He is an avid reader and a member of the Athenaeum Book Club at Osher. When asked how he chose the courses, he said, “I wanted to study things that I hadn’t done before.” He also developed and taught courses on the history of the FBI and on the history of the mob in Rochester. His interest in future courses to study will probably be in areas of philosophy and the liberal arts. When asked whether his family was academically inclined as he grew up, he said, “Not really,” although he was one of five siblings, all of whom went on to college. Foley’s other retirement activities include working out at an athletic club and enjoying good music. These interests are not unique among lifelong learners. Nearly all of them will quote from the same list of reasons for their interest in later-life back-toschool activities (see sidebar).
Teach topics in your career expertise. You’ve learned a lot in your career, right? Now is your chance to pass on that knowledge so it won’t be lost. Teach (and learn) new topics. It’s often said that the best way to learn a new subject is to teach a course in it. The responsibility of teaching others forces you to concentrate on staying ahead of your students in the subject matter. It gets you out of the house. Do seniors really want to sit around the house, telling the spouse how to organize the kitchen spice rack? Get out from underfoot and learn something you always wondered about. It’s an opportunity to volunteer. Whether you want to teach or serve in other ways, there are many volunteer opportunities in an organization of lifelong learners.
A common thread running through the attitudes of lifelong learners is their interest in continuing social interaction and making new friends in retirement. Lifelong learning puts people in contact with others who have similar interests. Many close friendships have grown out of this opportunity, which has the side benefit of keeping the mind active at a time in life when the body is telling us to slow down. Lifelong learners are an active group who are determined to avoid just sitting around the house during retirement. Bob Hesselberth is the retired founder and CEO of Spectracom Corporation, and an active lifelong learner. He is the author of a new memoir, “Two Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail,” published in February of 2014. He describes his retirement profession as “paragraph artisan.” He lives in Penfield with his wife, Marianne. March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
Pamela Stone, of Pittsford, and Hank Pajak, of Ontario, are particularly accomplished. “We dance three to six nights a week,” Hank says. “It’s sheer joy.”
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Big Bands Still Swingin’ in Rochester By John Addyman
half-hour, the broadcast would switch to Charlie Barnet’s band wailing through “Skyliner” from the Brown Hotel in Denver. By 11 p.m. on this coast, you might hear Skinay Ennis sing “Got a Date with an Angel” from the Statler Hilton in Los Angeles, or Glen Gray leading the Casa Loma Orchestra in “Smoke Rings.” And when Gray, with his dapper mustache, tapped his baton for the night’s closing song, it was time for my dad to get my mom-to-be home from their date. Those nights were aural fantasias — you put images in your mind to what your ears heard and you learned to listen carefully. You could hear band members encouraging one another in a wild riff, young dancers gleefully reacting to new songs or recording artists, and the sounds of so many feet on a wooden floor, enhanced by the sheer spaciousness of some of the venues ... even the clinking of dishware as servers cleared tables. Better yet, you could get to see many of the big bands of the era in person as they toured on one of the circuits that criss-crossed the plains states, the northeast states, the eastern
t’s something my father would talk about, always with a gleam in his eye, a reminiscent smile pinching the dimple in his cheek — listening to the big band broadcasts on Saturday nights. He would sit around and listen with his friends or take some turns with a village maiden on the dance floor — a fire hall, ballroom, even a barn floor complete with straw. When the radio crackled to life on a Saturday night, he could hear Artie Shaw’s band play “Moonglow” from the Rose Room of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston. A half-hour later, Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” would be piped to the airwaves from the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle. After another half-hour, Tommy Dorsey’s band would launch into “Yes, Indeed!” Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm guys would softly play “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye” from The House in Chicago. At 10 p.m., Count Basie would be “Jumpin at the Woodside” from the Reno Club in Kansas City, and on the
seaboard or the south. On the ballroom floor you got to clutch your honey for hours on end, listening to music you had at home on your Victrola, Philco, Zenith or RCA record player. You could have a drink at your table, smoke a cigarette — just about everyone else was — or even light up a cigar. Chances are, nobody thought twice about it. The important thing was the music. That generation was the first to be bombarded by it. Music was playing in your home on the radio, in many (but not all) cars, and you could buy a copy of it — a record — and play it until your parents cried “Enough!” Or you could buy the sheet music, play the tune yourself, with a photo of the bandleader and song stylist on the cover. It was heaven. But now it’s all gone. Or is it? In this area, the answer is, “Not gone at all.” Let’s look at some of the venues for dancing in the area, one decidedly accomplished big band that still wails every month and has been for 60 years, and some of the dancers themselves…
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work behind the scenes; he writes and arranges music. We both enjoy playing a lot. He could direct the band, but he’d rather play in it — with a good rhythm section, the tempo shouldn’t change. We just kick off the band and away we go!” Those 2,100 charts the band has reside in a funeral home in Penfield, for safekeeping. “Other bands will trade charts with us. Without the Internet, things would be a lot more difficult because there are a lot of old songs out of print,” Quance said. Band members are a varied lot, some with a great depth of experience, many playing in other bands. Rod Ham, a trombonist, is in his 70s and plays in six other bands, including the Michigan State Alumni band. George Pierce, a tenor sax player in his 80s, is the senior-most member, but he still rose to take a spirited solo in the February concert. were on the stage, Ken Scott is a retired including the music teacher. band’s co-direc“We have to have tors, Steve “Doc” music people can Quance and Howard Rowe, dance to,” Quance both trumpet players. said. “We have a few With 2,100 charts, the tunes that are a little band’s repertoire is immense. faster to give the gui“In one two-set dance evening, tar players a chance we might pull sheets from to solo. We’ll play eight or nine historical bands,” standards [Benny Carman said. “We use original Goodman, Tommy Nelson Carman, arrangements, as well as those Dorsey, Glenn Millby Doc Severinson and Tom- the manager of the er, Woody Herman] my Newsome from the old Penfield Rotary Big with more modern ‘Tonight Show’ — they sound Band, emcees the arrangements to be crisper and more up-tempo once-monthly swing a little more hip. We and broader. dance nights at the definitely give danc“Partnerships make this Penfield Community ers something to happen — top-notch musi- Center. move their feet to.” cians who volunteer their time Sue Bernegger of and talents, the Penfield Recreation Fairport is one of two females in the Center for giving us a home, and the band (trombonist Holly Smith is the Rotary for marketing and manageother). With degrees from Colgate, ment.” Cornell and RIT, Bernegger is the Quance, who lives in Macedon mother of three and looks forward to Center, played trumpet at Newark every minute on the bandstand with high school, then bought instruction her alto sax. books and drilled hard on his own “I love the sound of the sax,” she afterward. He’s a business analyst said. “I started playing piano as a kid, for Xerox and practices at work in the then took up the clarinet because I morning and during lunch “to keep wanted to be in the band, then picked my lips limbered up.” up the saxophone when I found out “Howard Rowe is a retired my high school had a jazz band. Rush-Henrietta music teacher and we “This has been a way to keep have different roles with the band,” music in my life for so many years,” Quance said, “I do the emailing and
ith an accomplished, swinging sound, the Penfield Rotary Big Band has been performing since 1954. “At its formation, each player was a Penfield Rotarian,” said Nelson Carman, the band’s present manager, taking over from his dad 14 years ago. “The main fundraiser for the Rotary back when the band started was an original burlesque show with a pit band,” he said. The band evolved. “By 1995 there had been a significant shift in the band — we had non-Rotarians and females in it.” In 1996, the Penfield Recreation Department began to sponsor monthly dances — Big Band Dance Night — and summer concerts. That has continued to today, with the band also playing at the Rochester Jazz Festival. And despite many changes in personnel, “the band is as musically proficient as it has ever been because we have semi-pros who rehearse every week and play every month to keep their big-band chops,” he said The band has 17 to 20 members who rehearse, with about 30 musicians on an “available” list. At its February dance night, 16 performers
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A recent peromance of the Penfield Rotary Big Band. Tom and Elizabeth Benner are shown in silhouette.
she said. In the band, she sits between George Pierce and Ken Scott. “We’re just band members and really, it’s about the musicianship. I really appreciate playing next to Ken and George. They are excellent musicians. It’s fun just to be with people who play so well. “I like playing this music in a band. It’s a really fine thing when everyone comes in together and gets soft together and loud together. It’s like playing a team sport, with no director. It’s cool how everyone can stay together just by listening to one another. I never expected to be playing music for all this time. I’m still a mother first, and a person who does my job (project manager at Harris RF Communication), and I like to play sports — and I’m still able to do this.” Quance said as great as the band sounds, there’s room for other musicians. “We’re really looking for a keyboard player,” he said. “It’s hard to find a good one these days who wants to donate their time every Tuesday night to rehearsing and playing for a band.” Carman added that a vocalist would be nice, too. “I hope our members come in for the camaraderie and to be challenged playing the music, which we all enjoy,” said Quance.
he dance floor at the Penfield Community Center is exactly what you’d expect to find in a former elementary school — hardwood, with a nice sheen from decades of good care. Enough traction to make a classy pivot, enough slide to slip into the next step. “I love this floor,” said Lou Piazza, of Rochester, sitting with his dance partner, Rose Amico, also from Rochester. “I love the big band sound, I like to dance, and I have a good time watching her.”
Lou and Rose both lost their spouses a decade ago. As it happens, they’re cousins. “I inherited her,” Lou said. He and Rose have been dancing together for nine years. “I love to dance and I love the music,” Rose said. “This band is good and the dance floor is unbelievable.” She keeps an eye on Lou. In one dance sequence, he took the tune off — he held her hand while she danced around him. “That’s my trick,” he said. “I keep telling him, ‘You’re trying to act like a young person. We’re not young people anymore,’” Rose said. She’s 86; Lou is 88. March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
Len Marcus and Arlene Richner.
Lynn Acquafondata and Francois Piche.
All photos taken in February at the dance floor at the Penfield Community Center.
David Wakefield and Jan Wray.
Joe Rinallo and Mary Slough. 40
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The band — the Penfield Rotary Big Band, with its noteworthy history — is onstage, the glow of the lights illuminating the dance floor, but not much. The farther away from the band you get, the darker it is. Lynn Aquafondata of Penfield and her partner, Francois Piche, also from Penfield by way of Montreal, are among the younger dancers and show a bit of flash on the floor. “This is fun,” Lynn says. “The band is great and we love to dance. I like the atmosphere: people are very friendly and we’ve had some nice conversations with the other dancers…and the price is right.” Admission for a night of live big band dancing at the Penfield Community Center costs $1, including coffee and cookies when the band takes
a break. “Dancing makes us feel romantic,” said Elizabeth Benner, who sat next to husband, Tom. They live in Chili. “I get to feel like we’re going on a hot date every week. This gets a girl excited.” Tom changed the subject: “It’s the best deal in town — for $2 I can take my wife on a date, dance, hear some great music, and have some refreshments.” Elizabeth stayed on task: “I get to get all pretty like a girl again. Dancing is the best – it makes me very happy. It’s such a nice way for couples to be together.” Joe Rinallo and Mary Slough, Fairport, have been dancing together for more than a year. They also hit the floor at the Robach Center in the
Ontario Beach Big Band Dance Series and the Woodcliff Hotel. Joe matches Mary’s grace with some very light-on-his-feet steps. “Dancing is great exercise,” Joe said. “It keeps you limber, and you meet a lot of interesting people.” “This is fun,” Mary said, “and the band here is awesome.” “We try to get here every month,” said Len Marcus, of Webster, alongside his partner, Arlene Richner, of Brighton. “We also go to the Wegman’s Eastway on Friday nights. We do a lot of dancing and there are a lot of sites in the area.” “You can get a lot of dancing in,” Arlene said. “For the exercise,” Len added. “For the sheer enjoyment,” Arlene said. As couples responded to the different rhythms the band produced — fox trots, Lindy hops (jitterbug), swing dances, salsa, sambas — it was clear that many healthy, good-looking and active people of a certain age were enjoying themselves. It was like a casting call for models for a Cialis commercial. Some dancers made their steps with a flourish. Pamela Stone, of Pittsford, and Hank Pajak, of Ontario, were particularly accomplished. “We dance three to six nights a week,” Hank said. “It’s sheer joy.” “You lose touch of everything except the music and your partner,” Pamela added. “We’re just having fun. You have to be very much in the moment. How much time do you spend thinking about the past and the future instead of just the moment you’re in?” Together they ticked off the many places in the area they dance, take lessons, and enjoy. They were planning to be at the Boston Tea Party Dance with 1,400 other couples in March. Dave Wakefield, Greece, and Jan Wray, Henrietta, came to the community center on a date. Their second. “A friend of mine lives in Penfield and told me about this,” Dave said. He suggested doing some dancing for the second date and Jan said, ‘Sure.” “This is a lot of fun,” she said. The two of them looked great out on the dance floor. But did it do the trick? Would Jan say “Yes” to a third date? “I think so,” she admitted at the end of the night.
The Greece Jazz Band swings at the Big Band Dance at Stardust Ballroom in Edgerton Park in Rochester on Feb. 10. Photo provided. Gateswingers in action. Dances follow every Wednesday night through May 27. The Al Bruno Trio warms up the ambiance starting at 6 each night. The Nate Rawls Band, Andy Stobie Greater Finger Lakes Jazz Band, Music Makers, Johnny Matt Band, Nostalgic Reunion, Jack Allen Band, Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Band and the Greece Jazz Band are all booked. “Our bands are all big bands,” said chairman Joe Carozzi. “We get a good mixture of people dancing. Some are in their 90s, some in their 80s and 70s down to their 30s. You’ve got to see these people dance. They are out there dancing their hearts out and they love it. It’s a big family, and I hope we can keep it going for a long time. “We get swing network dancers, regulars, some couples that are regulars. I don’t see a lot of strangers. We have a lot of young couples who take the floor and you can tell they’ve been practicing somewhere else.” Carozzi said the dancers include people in wheelchairs. The music moves everyone. Admission is $2 per person.
THE VENUES Author’s Note: We have compiled this list with help from Nelson Carman at the Penfield Recreation Dept. Are there other venues in the area? Probably. But these are the ones we know about.
Penfield Community Center, Swing Dance On the first Tuesday of the month, you can get your groove back with the Penfield Rotary Big Band, which plays at the community center on Baird Road (follow signs for parking) from 7:30–9:30 p.m. with a lively, dedicated band. Admission is $1 and that includes music, coffee and cookies. Next dances are March 3 and April 7.
Band Dance Series, Robach Community Center The spring series of dances begins at 7:15 p.m. April 1, with the
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addyman’s corner By John Addyman
Tell Laura I Love Her
he bank teller was working on my deposit. And I was in my banking fog, staring at her nameplate on the top of the teller’s station. “Laura,” it read. And it just came out of me…
“Tell Laura I love, her… tell Laura I need her. Tell Laura not to cry – my love for her, will never die.” Good grief! I was singing in the bank. The teller — Laura — looked up from what she was doing. She had a what-is-going-on? smile on her face. I looked back her. I think I had an I-have-no-idea-what’s-going-on look on my face. “You’re the second person who has sung that song to me this week,” she said. Then she added, “I’d never heard the song before, and now I’ve heard it twice in one week.” I explained that it was a song about a young guy, Tommy, who wanted to give his girlfriend Laura everything — flowers, presents, and most of all, a wedding ring. But he had very little money, so he tried to win $1,000 in a stock car race but ended up getting killed. In classic Italian opera tradition, he gets pulled from the wreck but is still singing, “Tell Laura I love her…” until the record ends. Bank teller Laura was looking at me in a way I am getting more and more accustomed to as my hair gets whiter. “It must be an old song. An old, old, old song,” she said. “Not that old,” I said. And I thought about it for a couple of seconds. “It came out in 1959 or 1960, I 42
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think. Ray Peterson sang it.” “Who’s Ray Peterson?” she asked. Before I could provide a biography of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame member, Laura had an observation to add to our conversation. “That music is from the middle of the last century,” she said. I think my knees buckled. That was a low blow and it came out of nowhere. “It’s really kind of a sweet song,” I told her. “All I know about it is that you guys sing it me,” she said. Because my wife reads this column, we need a disclaimer here: I do not go around singing to bank tellers every day, even though my wife was one for many, many years. And I do sing to my wife. Every husband should occasionally sing to his wife, don’t you think? And maybe every once in a while, we should all sing to our bank tellers…and our garbage guys… and to people who write columns in this magazine. But I digress. Rather than singing the whole song to Laura and further entertaining the interest of the other two tellers and the customer service person who were now fully tuned into the conversation, I made a suggestion to Laura. “Do you have a record player?” I asked. I have a lot of 45s and I was sure I had a copy of the song I could loan her. “A what?” she asked. Oh, good grief again! Before I got hit with another middle-of-the-lastcentury reference in front of everyone, I backed up and took another tack. “YouTube!” I said, my voice a little shrill. “Do you visit the YouTube site on the Web?”
Laura said she did. “Good. You can look up ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’ and Ray Peterson and hear the song for yourself,” I suggested. “You’ll love it.” What happened next was a little amazing. Laura took a piece of paper and wrote down everything I’d told her…Tell Laura I Love Her…Ray Peterson…1959…YouTube. “I’ll look it up and listen to it when I get home,” she promised. Which led me to a dilemma. Now that Laura is going to go home and listen to the tune, what happens the next time I’m in the bank? What kind of comments will result from a 2015 woman listening to a song I remember dancing to in 1960? So I did a quick check on the song in YouTube myself, just to see just how funny Ray Peterson looked in 1960. I didn’t find a recording of a live performance with Ray singing the song, but there were lots of photos of
Because my wife reads this column, we need a disclaimer here: I do not go around singing to bank tellers every day, even though my wife was one for many, many years. old Ray. I discovered that no matter how much stuff I had put on my hair in high school to get what kids today know as the “Grease” look, Ray Peterson obviously had a lot more goop on his head. Another surprise was that there was an “answer” song to Peterson’s hit — a Skeeter Davis recording in 1961, “Tell Tommy I Miss Him.” In it, she swears that she didn’t need him to take risks to win money, because “I was richer than a queen when he looked into my eyes.” You go, Skeeter! The dilemma is, what will Laura the bank teller do the next time I go into my bank? Will she just tell me, “Oh, I listened to that song. It was nice.” Or will it be, “Oh, I listened to that old song. It was kind of hokey but nice. Please don’t sing it to me again.” Perhaps it will be, “I want to tell you I did listen to that old, old song. Things sure were funny back in the old, old days.” But maybe it will be, “Gee, that sure was an old, old, old song. That thing was playing on the radio 55 years ago. And you were dancing to it then? And you can still stand up and take nourishment? I’m amazed you remember anything from that long ago. They had a lot of marijuana around back then, didn’t they?” Maybe I need a new bank…one with tellers who will sing along with me because they’re old enough to remember the songs…
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Stardust Ballroom in Edgerton Park It has a lovely dance floor that’s a century old, with dances on Tuesday nights. Admission is $3 per person. Parking lots are on both sides of the building at 41 Backus St., parallel to Lake Avenue. Admission is $3 per person. “We get mostly seniors although we’re becoming increasingly popular with the younger set,” said Rochester Recreation Department’s Bill Schwappacher. “The RIT Ballroom Dancing Club has come to a few dances in the past. We get quite a mix. ‘Some of the bands we bring in have quite a following. People will travel from all over the place to see their favorite band.
Flower City Jazz Society Dances are held the third Monday of the Month at the Glendoveers Banquet Hall at 2328 Old Browncroft Boulevard, Rochester. The specialty is Dixieland jazz; admission is $12.
Ontario Beach Big Wegman’s, Calkins Road in Henrietta Jon Seiger brings his music to the Wegman’s at 745 Calkins Rd. every Wednesday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church The church at Winton and Highland streets in Rochester hosts swing dancing every Thursday night, year-
round, with two deejays playing music three nights a month, and a big band taking over once a month. Admission is $4 on deejay nights, $7 when a band is there. “We have a great dance floor,” says coordinator and deejay Lyn Reich, “in a beautiful gray hall with old hardwood floors and a stage. It’s a good-sized room, just great for dancing.” Music is varied, with a lot of big-band hits woven into the evening, which starts at 8:30 p.m. “Our age group is varied,” Reich said. “Sometimes high school and college kids will join us, but the average age is probably 40 and above. We also see a lot of college kids. It’s a fun place to dance for a couple of hours and there’s no alcohol, so dancers of any age can come in.” Live entertainment includes the White Hots, Beale Street Blues Band, Jon Seiger, and Chuck Abell’s Blue Dance. “It’s a good place to practice, a fun place to dance,” she said. “Everyone dances with everyone. You don’t need a partner; in fact, the majority of our dancers are not couples.”
Wegman’s Eastway, 1955 Empire Blvd. in Penfield Another free Wegman’s-sponsored event starting at 5:30 p.m. every Friday evening, featuring the Johnny Matt band.
Rochester Cajun/ Zydeco Network, Harmony House, Webster If you know what chanky-chank music is and have scraped your fingernails over a washboard on your chest, this is your place, at 58 East Main St. Music starts at 8 p.m. on Fridays through May, with live Cajun/ Zydeco music. Admission is from $12 to $15.
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Going Above and Beyond Volunteers at Thompson Health shares their passion for the ob By Jessica Spies
hen Middlesex resident Eugene Marrapese retired, he didn’t do anything. “I did nothing for one year,” he said. “I knew that wasn’t going to work. I don’t like sitting around.” Yearning to do more, Marrapese decided to volunteer at Thompson
Health. When Marrapese started volunteering in October 1997, he picked up one Friday a week just to get started. “That was not enough,” he said. Then he added Monday but that was not enough. “I had a gap, then I picked up Wednesday.” Since his start 17 years ago, the
80-year-old has volunteered over 9,000 hours, roughly 15 hours a week. “I look forward to it,” he said. “I get a lot of satisfaction. I’m not just sitting on the couch watching TV.” As a volunteer at Thompson Health, Marrapese works the information desk at the Constellation Center for Health and Healing, provid-
Eugene Marrapese volunteers at Thompson Health in Canandaigua several times every week. He has done so for the last 17 years. “I look forward to it,” he says. “I get a lot of satisfaction. I’m not just sitting on the couch watching TV.”
Shirley Miller has reached over 10,000 volunteer hours at Thompson Health. “It adds up,” she says. Miller, of Canandaigua, volunteers roughly eight to 10 hours a week and was volunteering 15 hours a week at one point.
Diane Sickmond, has put in more than 10,000 hours at Thompson Health. In her 23 years at the hospital, Sickmond has volunteered in both the gift shop and at the information desk.
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ing directions, answering questions and even recruiting new volunteers. Sometimes Marrapese is asked questions out of the scope of his position but if he is able to help, he will try in any way he can. He even once helped a patient whose car wouldn’t start by getting them the help they needed. Marrapese said that the patients coming into the hospital often don’t know where they’re going; sometimes they don’t have their doctor’s name or what they’re being tested for. “They’re worried, they’re confused — you can see it on their face,” he said. “They want help. The only thing they do not want to hear is: ‘I don’t know.’” So instead, Marrapese helps how he can. “When they come into the door on the ground floor, I’m there to help,” he said. Marrapese tries to help relax those coming in by talking with them and assisting them. “You might even see them smile,” he said. It’s also Marrapese’s job to have carnations ready for those who are in surgical care. Marrapese, who considers himself a people person, gets to his morning shift an hour early for “breakfast club” with others who help out at the hospital. “It’s the perfect job for me,” he said. “I get a lot of satisfaction. I feel like I’m useful. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I feel like I get to help people. And I do.” Before Marrapese volunteered at the hospital, he experienced being a patient firsthand. “I was in the hospital as a patient for 34 days. I was very lonely being there,” he said. Friendly staff members who visited with Marrapese would brighten his day. “When I retired, I wanted to volunteer,” he said. Marrapese said that the support he received during his time at the hospital inspired him to volunteer there. In addition to volunteering at the hospital, Marrapese goes to the YMCA three times a week. For another Thompson Health volunteer Shirley Miller, it wasn’t difficult for her to reach over 10,000 volunteer hours. Miller, who has volunteered at Thompson about 19 years, works as
a clerk in the gift shop and an office assistant in the corporate communications and volunteer office. “It adds up,” she said. Miller, of Canandaigua, volunteers roughly eight to 10 hours a week and was volunteering 15 hours a week at one point. Miller enjoys “just giving back to people over the years. The hospital has been very good to my family. I felt a need to give back to them,” she said. Miller also volunteers at St. Mary’s Church and the Cheshire Volunteer Fire Department. Between her three volunteer opportunities, she volunteers about 14 hours a week. “I’m in my 80s and I don’t want to be idle,” she said. Miller, who will be 82 in a couple of months, recommends volunteering for everyone but particularly those at her age. “[You] just need to look around. There are lots of volunteer opportunities out there when people retire to not just sit at home,” she said. Another passion of Miller’s is the card game bridge, which she plays three times a week. “Then I try to find time for my family,” she joked. Miller has four living children, 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Like Miller, Bloomfield resident Diane Sickmond has put in more than 10,000 hours at Thompson Health. Sickmond’s mother also volunteered at Thompson and received medical care there during her stroke. “[I get] a lot of satisfaction knowing I’m helping,” Sickmond said. “I can’t financially help. I have time so I can give my time.” In her 23 years at the hospital, Sickmond has volunteered in both the gift shop and at the information desk. Sickmond, 75, volunteers two three-hour sessions a week but has previously volunteered between three to five days a week for 15 to 20 hours a week. Sickmond said that it is very easy to sign up to be a volunteer. For more information on volunteering at Thompson, visit www. ThompsonHealth.com or call the Volunteer Office at 396-6660. “[Thompson] always needs more volunteers. Always,” Eugene Marrapese said.
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long-term care By Susan Suben
Long-Term Care: What Do You Know? How Can You Plan?
lanning for long-term care can be a daunting task and often something that you do not seriously think about or discuss. The insurance policies covering this risk are constantly changing, making it that much more confusing. There is the uncertainty of what types of services will be needed in the future, making it that much more difficult for you to tailor policy features to your personal and financial preferences. More to the point, it’s a topic
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that is easily avoided as you deal with the daily tasks of life as a healthy, active person. However, let me assure you that you can put a plan in place. The first thing you have to understand and accept is having a plan is a necessity. Understanding the risks involved without having a plan and its consequences to your family should give you the impetus to wade through all the information. You will eventually reach a point where you can make a
comfortable decision about what plan is best for you. What Do You Know? True Or False (the answers can be found below) • An individual 65 years or older has a 40 percent lifetime chance of needing LTC • An individual 80 years or older has a 70 percent lifetime chance of needing LTC • Most LTC is provided in a nursing home • Expenses for individuals with Alzheimer’s are covered by Medicare • The average annual cost of nursing home care in Rochester is approximately $126,000 • One third of primary caregivers provide 30 or more hours of care per week • 65 percent of caregivers miss work, lose their jobs or change career paths • 46 percent of caregivers feel a negative impact on their family life and health According to Genworth’s “A Way Forward: Highlights from Beyond Dollars 2013,” the impact of caregiving extends “far beyond dollars.” Genworth’s research shows “caregivers report that long-term care events affected their finances, careers, lifestyles, health, relationships and state of mind.” Aging and illness are a part of life. Every day makes you one day older. Illness is unpredictable. The only way to lessen the impact of these two natural events is to properly plan for their inherent inevitability. Now there’s the task of sorting through the myriad of strategies that are available to you. Following are guidelines that can assist you.
A standalone LTCI policy may be the right choice if you: • Have experienced a LTC situation and understand the impact on family and friends • Have a family history of Alzheimer’s • Want robust benefits that include inflation protection • Want greater asset protection; NYS Partnership plans offer total and partial asset protection • Want tax write-offs; there is a 20 percent tax credit on LTCI premiums in NYS • Are a business owner who can either write the premiums off as a medical expense or use pre-tax dollars through an HSA A hybrid or linked-benefit policy (life insurance policy with LTC rider) may be the right choice if you: • Have never experienced a LTC event and feel the risk is not that great • Have a family history with no major illnesses • Are concerned about paying
premiums for a policy that you might never use • Have liquid assets available that make it easier to self-insure for part of the risk • Have liquid assets available to pay a single premium to initiate a policy • Currently have a life insurance policy with cash build-up; you can exchange it without any tax consequences for a hybrid • Are not concerned about robust benefits and inflation protection A life insurance policy with a chronic illness rider may be the right choice if you: • Have health conditions that render you uninsurable for a standalone LTCI policy or hybrid. Legal planning, a life settlement or reverse mortgage may be the right choice if you are uninsurable for all the strategies listed above. You might opt for an irrevocable trust as a means of Medicaid planning. If you are 65 years old or older, a life settlement
Parkwood Heights A Community that Cares...
is a way to sell a life insurance policy that is no longer needed for its original purpose to a third party. You will receive an amount less than the death benefit but more than the cash value to pay for LTC expenses. A reverse mortgage will give you funds to pay for LTC using the equity in your home. The impact and consequences of a long-term care illness can have a profound effect on a family, especially the primary caregiver. My challenge to you is to confront the risk, talk about it and use one of the strategies above to plan for it. Answers: True, True, False, False, True, True, True, True. Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is President of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at 800-422-2655 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
visits 10 Things You Need to Know About
a b u Ar
“One Happy Island”
Water, water, everywhere… By Sandra Scott
he small island of Aruba in the southern Caribbean Sea is only 18 miles from the north coast of Venezuela. With sandy beaches, cooling trade winds and friendly people, the island is dubbed “One Happy Island.” Aruba is considered one of the safest Caribbean destinations. The island is only 20 miles long and six miles across, which makes it easy to explore. The south coast is where the hotels, beaches and calm seas are while the north coast is arid with cliffs, heavy waves and it is virtually uninhabited. In 1986 Aruba became independent of the Netherlands. Aruba is blessed with great weather year-round and the island is out of the hurricane belt so any time is a good time to visit. Visitors need a passport but a visa is not necessary. English is widely spoken along with Dutch 48
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and the local language, Papiamento. It is a very safe island and even the water is safe to drink. US dollars and a credit card are all you need. Prices are usually listed in Aruban and in USD. The climate is dry so while there may be a few sprinkles each day, an all-rainy day is rare. Aruba is very tourist-friendly because the economy is largely dependent upon the tourist sector so they work hard to make Aruba “One Happy Island.” For more information log on to www.aruba.com. Here are 10 things you need to know about the island.
Beaches: Life is a beach in Aruba with Arashi Beach on the list of top beaches in the world. It is just one of the many beaches. Aruba’s beaches are public, including some located in front of some hotels. Some are busy but there are also vast stretches that are virtually unvisited.
They are all clean with some having chairs, lounges and palapas that can be rented for the day.
Shopping: Aruba’s capital city of Oranjestad is a popular cruise port so shopping is assured. There are high-end shops featuring everything from watches and diamonds to a flea market with popular fun-in-the-sun garments and toys. For those who are staying in a condo and preparing their own meals there are grocery markets offering everything you would expect to find in the United States.
Land tours: The best way to explore the island is on a halfday or all-day tour such as those offered by ABC Jeep Tours. Tours are available to a natural pool, the lighthouse, caves with petroglyphs and other iconic sites. There are private
tours but if Jeeping is not for you then check out the fun-filled Kukoo Kunuku Bus where they have island tours but also dinner and pub crawl tours. Looking for something unique? Take a Segway tour for an hour or a day.
Water tours: Water, water, water everywhere. Go scuba diving and snorkeling. A German freighter wreck and other wrecks are just offshore. Enjoy deepsea fishing for mahi mahi, marlin and wahoo. If you don’t want to get wet, head 130 feet under the Caribbean Sea on the Atlantis sSubmarine. Pelican Tours offers a variety of experiences including their popular sunset cruise with an open bar, snacks and music. The newest fad is standup paddleboarding.
Catch the wind: Every day is a day with wind making Aruba the perfect place for sailing on a catamaran with Red Sea Sports. If you bring your own sailboat, not to worry, there are several places to dock your craft for a night or more. Aruba Active Vacation offers landsailing where speed can reach 30 mph. They also offer wind and kite surfing including lessons for the newbies. Try parasailing and for the adventurous there is skydiving.
Great shopping is a sure bet in Aruba’s capital city of Oranjestad.
One of the beaches on the south coast of Aruba, where the hotels, beaches and calm seas are located. The north coast is arid with cliffs, heavy waves and it is virtually uninhabited.
Dining: There is every kind of dining from fast food places like Wendy’s to romantic private dining on the beach. There are restaurants that offer a variety of food from Italian to German but visitors should try some of the Aruban specialties. Waka Waka is a junglethemed restaurant that serves a variety of food, including Aruban specialties, such as Cabrito Stoba (goat stew). The island is home to farmed and feral goats.
Historical: Visit the Aruban Historical Museum in the capital city. It is located in the Fort Zoutman Willem III Tower and covers the island’s history, political development and the island’s unique
nature. The archeological museum has Indian artifacts dating back 2500 BC. There is also a museum dedicated to aloe, the island’s most famous product. The most-visited historical site is the Alto Vista Chapel, which is included on most island tours. There are still some old-style Dutch houses, many of which have been beautifully restored.
Festivals and more: There are a variety of events throughout the year including some that celebrate national holidays and others that promote local traditions. Events range from fireworks on New Year’s Day to carnival in February to a music festival in May. There is something for every month.
Getting around: The bus is one of the easiest ways to get around. The supermarkets and all beaches are easy to reach by bus, and you will not have to walk miles from the bus stop once you’re there. There are also unmetered taxis; rates are fixed and should be confirmed in advance. If you are feeling flushed there are also limousines. Aruba is so small that renting a car is stress-free as long as one stays on the paved roads.
Accommodations: There are some places to suit the need of every visitor. There are time shares, high-rise condo rentals and low-rise ones like Sunset Beach Studio all with kitchen facilities. There are hotels in many price categories from the familyfriendly Holiday Inn to Bucuti & Tara, an all-adult luxury hotel, to the allinclusive Divi Resort. Prices are best during low season from mid-April to mid-December. March / April 2015 - 55 PLUS
By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Thelma Reese, 81 Co-author of “The New Senior Woman: Re-inventing the Years Beyond Mid-Life” talks about work, book Q. Why did you decide to write this book? A. My writing partner and friend are retired college professors. About five years ago, we were talking about how the world we live in is so different than the world of our mothers and grandmothers. Also, we as women are living so much longer than in the past and there are a lot of challenging things all around us. We live in a changing world and some people are doing well and some are not. Some are bored just filling in their time just to keep busy. We wanted to write a book connecting all these thoughts and the issues women think are important to them. Q. How did you go about your research for the book? A. We talked to over 200 women all across the country. We went to nursing homes, senior centers and other places. Then we started talking to our daughters and they told us that we should blog about our adventures. Our first question was what’s a blog? Then after they explained it then it all made sensed and we shared our stories online. We called it Elder Chicks [www.elderchicks.wordpress.com]. People from all over became interested and started to read it. Then when we passed our manuscript to a publisher, the first one was a 62-year-old woman. She read our proposal and the many things we were talking about were things she wondered for her life and her friends. Q. When you went cross country talking to women, what were some of the things they were telling you? A. They talked about how they have all this independence, but they were not sure how to manage it. They 50
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talked about how it feels to downsize in home and material things. There is an emotional jolt when you have to downsize both good and bad. You feel like your life is rapidly changing but then that might be a good thing too. The women also talked about dealing with issues with their middle-ages children and how there are still many stories of dysfunction and rivalry among their kids. Q. Why do you think it is difficult for seniors to reinvent themselves? A. We have been given the gift of time in life, but that doesn’t mean we know what to do with it. We spend so much time being defined by the jobs we had. Then when you retire, you don’t know where your life should go. You know you still have much to give and contribute in this world, but you also feel very invisible in this world, too. Q. What surprised you about the women’s responses? A. Many seniors said they felt comfortable living in their senior bubble and only interacting with other seniors. Many didn’t find a need to interact with other generations, which I think is a shame. I understand how people can get comfortable in their own lane, but I love when people interact with each other. When older citizens interact with younger people, I think it is a rich learning experience on both ends. And why wouldn’t you want to keep learning. Another part that surprised us is that people were very interested in looking for role models who are seniors themselves when they are in their 50s. They want clues on how to deal with the many things seniors deal with in retirement and beyond. They don’t want to live
out their lives in the cliche of a rocking chair. We like to say we are rocking as seniors but not in a chair. Q. What advice do you have for seniors that you have learned yourself? A. I have learned that you have to remember to find your focus and find something that interests you. Something that does more than just fill your time. You need to find something that gives you passion. There are still a lot of challenges and changes in your life. I know there are people who have not logged onto a computer until they were in their 60s or 70s. While it was a pretty steep learning curve for them, it can also be a very fascinating one once you overcome something that you thought was going to be impossible. There are people who pick up painting later in life who make some incredible things. You can’t give up on life or think that you can’t do something just because you get older. Q. Why did you chose to write simply about women in this book? A. When we first talked about writing, women were the first on our list for several reasons. First, there are a lot more women in this world than men. They just live longer. Secondly, they are a bigger population in senior centers and senior communities where we went. Thirdly, women tend to be open to talking about themselves and talking about their lives, much more than men who are not always in touch with their feelings or want to be vulnerable. But we do plan on writing about men in our next book.
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
A sound financial plan today can help secure your future.
James P. Terwilliger, PhD, CFP® Senior Vice President, Financial Planning Manager
At CNB’s Wealth Strategies Group, we offer the education and advice you need to care for your overall financial health and well-being. The relationships we build offer exceptional investment solutions and lifelong financial planning guidance. A dedicated member of our team of experienced, non-commissioned Financial Planning Officers will work with you to develop a dynamic plan that responds to your changing needs. Whether your goals are helping your family, planning for retirement, or building a legacy, our trusted advisors will create a plan that’s right for you and your individual needs. Best of all, our services are backed by our Pledge of Accountability*—a higher level of service that sets us apart in the marketplace. To learn more, contact Jim Terwilliger at (585) 419-0670, ext. 50630, or visit CNBank.com/WSG.
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