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RETIRE WELL August 2015
Volume 58 No. 8
28 HARBOR CHASE A new assistant living and memory care community
31 SARASOTA RETINA INSTITUTE The latest technology for vision loss
32 THE IMPORTANCE OF A LIFE CARE PLAN
50 THE NEW BEST…CAPE CORAL Cape Coral named a top ten city to retire
52 BRIDGE: A GAME FOR LIFE
Interview with Kevin Pillion, Esq., Life Planning Law Firm
By Julie Milton
34 BETTER HEALTH FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Meet Bonti Burgess, CEO
Interview with John Monhollon, M.D., Florida Integrative Medical Center
59 BRIGHT DAY HOME HEALTHCARE 66 I’LL REMEMBER YOU My night with Elvis
By Steven J. Smith
By Julie Milton
39 RETIRE SMART
75 BEACH READS
Retirement Planning Q & A with local financial and legal professionals
By Phillippe Diedrich
The Ride Four Bottles
46 5 MONEY LESSONS FOR COLLEGE GRADS
By Lenore Myka
By Ryan G. Van Cleave
By Dora Simpson
Photography: John Revisky | Assistant: David Boyette | Hair & Makeup: Anna Molinari | Models: Joni Bergs and Juan Rodriguez 1950 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible courtesy of Vintage Motors of Sarasota
Some jewelry displayed patented (US Pat. No. 7,007,507) • © 2015 Pandora Jewelry, LLC • All rights reserved • PANDORA.NET
YOUR JEWELRY ISN’T JUST JEWELRY IT’S THE STORY OF YOU. EVERY DAY, A NEW CHAPTER. AN EXPLORATION OF CHARACTER AND MOOD. WHO WILL YOU CREATE TODAY? SHARE THE #ARTOFYOU
THE MALL AT UNIVERSITY TOWN CENTER GRAND COURT • 941.893.3948 August 2015
DEPARTMENTS 22 60
18 EVENTS CALENDAR
60 SCENES FROM AN INTERVIEW
20 PERFORMING ARTS CALENDAR
Former Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Chairman and CEO Robert Essner By Gus Mollasis
22 DESIGN DELIZIOSA!
By Jacqueline Miller
The Classical Academy By Ryan G. Van Cleave
24 GET INSPIRED Upcoming cultural events from the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
71 BEHIND THE SCENE Sarasota’s Society Maven Gives the Latest Scoop By Debbi Benedict
26 GIVING One for the Books: Cheryl Loeffler By Steven J. Smith
95 HEALTH Be Good to Your Heart By M. El Shahawy, M.D.
57 SOCIALS Goodwill Manasota “Little Black Dress” Fashion Show 10
96 LITERARY SCENE By Ryan G. Van Cleave
BUILDER LEVY: APPALACHIA USA ON VIEW THROUGH SEP 13 Appalachia USA is an epic documentary project that presents life and labor in coal mining communities through lush black and white photographs.
Above: End of Shift, Wolf Creek Colliery, Lovely, Martin County, Kentucky, 1971.
BACK AND FORTH: THINKING IN PAINT EXHIBITION OPENS AUG 14 This exhibition is a dialog between contemporary painting and The Ringling’s permanent collection featuring Florida State University College of Fine Arts painting faculty.
GALLERY WALK & TALK: CURIOSITY ON DISPLAY THU, AUG 13, 6:00 PM Discover unexpected similarities between early museums and modern circuses.
FAMILY WORKSHOPS SATURDAYS, 1:00 – 5:00 PM THURSDAYS, 3:00 – 6:00 PM, through AUG 13 Join our free drop-in art-making program for all ages.
941.358.3180 OPEN DAILY at 10 AM
362 DAYS A YEAR!
S TAT E A R T M U S E U M O F F L O R I D A
| F L O R I D A S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y
A S P E CTAC U L A R V I E W
At Plymouth Harbor, wellness is defined by continuing broad interests and a healthy lifestyle for an active mind and body. Our new 10,000 square foot wellness center engages both equally. Here you will find a rich myriad of activities surrounded by spectacular views of Sarasota Bay. Start your day with a workout in the fitness center, a soothing Tai Chi class, or a dip in the pool. Maybe you prefer the creative outlet of our woodworking shop or art studio. Join in on a game of bocce or a sit in on an educational lecture. There is so much to choose from, the possibilities are endless. And it is not just a possibility, but everyday life here at Plymouth Harbor.
Once you see Plymouth Harbor and meet the vibrant people who call it home, you will change the way you think about your future. Residents treasure the time they spend in their lovely, spacious apartment homes – yet appreciate all of the thoughtful services and amenities that are part of the Plymouth Harbor lifestyle. And they love the beautiful setting that looks like a first-class resort, but feels just like home. Come see for yourself – and get a new perspective on retirement living. Call us today for a tour of our award-winning campus, our new wellness center, luxury accommodations and amenities.
A S P E C TA C U L A R V I E W O F R E T I R E M E N T
Call Today to Schedule a Personal Tour 700 John Ringling Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34236 • (941) 365-2600 • www.PlymouthHarbor.org A Not-For-Profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). OIR #88039
FROM THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR
e’ve all heard the feel-good age slogans such as “fifty is the new forty.” The reality
is no, it is not. The truth is being fifty will never be the new anything. The only slogan I’m aware of about age that has merit is “you’re as young as you feel.” Now we’re on to something. Eating healthy, keeping active, being
happy, and staying connected to others
Broker Associate, Realtor®
than our years. I try to do the things that
CLHMS, CRS, CIPS, GRI, ABR, SRES
will help me feel younger and while I cheat
are certainly ways we can all feel younger
with my diet and certainly get lazy sometimes, by and large, I still think I am much younger A third generation local and Broker Sales Associate since 1982, Michelle is dedicated to serving your needs in Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch.
than I am and suspect I always will. As Americans live longer and longer, it is estimated that by the year 2030 twenty percent of the total population will be older than 65 with the most rapid growing broad age group being the 85+ population, expected to significantly increase by 2025. So how
• 2014 Five-Star Real Estate Agent “Best in Client Satisfaction” – 8 years
longer so we can avoid needing long-term care for as long as possible. The economic and psychological impact on elderly people of moderate means who require extended care
• 2014 Florida Realtor Honor Society – 8 years
can be enormous.
• Women’s Council of Realtors 2013 “Entrepreneur of the Year” & 2009 “Business Woman of the Year”
more stable retirement. Scene contributing writer Ryan Van Cleave shares insight on the
• 2013 & 2007 SAR “Meritorious Service Award”
In this our Retirement issue, local professionals answer some questions in support of a importance of saving for retirement as soon as you graduate from college. In my article, “A Game for Life”, I explore how playing the game of bridge just may increase our longevity. We give props to Cape Coral, a pearl of a city a little over an hour south of Sarasota, which is now replacing Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice on the 2015 “best retirement cities lists.”
• 2010 Director, Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) - 3 year term
(It’s good the focus is now on another SW Florida city. Making all those best city retirement
• 2008 WCR Sarasota Chapter President
Presley’s death, I remember my night with the King many years ago, grateful I have a
• 2005 WCR Sarasota “Realtor of the Year”
become philanthropists in our town of givers and Gus Mollasis interviews Sarasota’s
c 941.724.4663 email@example.com
www.crabtreehomes.com Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate and neither suggests nor infers that Sotheby’s International Realty participated as either the listing or cooperating agent or broker in the sale or purchase of the properties depicted.
will we survive our longer lives? One thing is for sure. We need to try and stay healthier
lists took away our “best kept secret” status!) And with no connection to retirement, but given that August is the month of Elvis platform for this indulgence. Social columnist Debbi Benedict shares how newcomers Bob Essner, former CEO of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and now chairman of Mote Marine’s capital campaign. As the dog days of summer are upon us, pour a cold tall one, and enjoy our final “Beach Reads” this summer - three short stories by local authors for your reading pleasure. See you in September when it’s time for another season of arts and culture.
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The Monogram® collection includes everything you need to indulge your culinary passions. From professional ranges and gas rangetops to speedcooking wall ovens, Monogram offers as many tools as there are techniques for creating inspired meals. monarkhome.com S H O W R O O M :
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©2015 Monark Premium Appliance Co. All rights reserved.
Locally Owned, Operated & Printed Since 1957 CEO/President
Publisher & Executive Editor
Julie A. Milton
Vice President Sales Art Director Special Issue Coordinator Distribution Contributing Writers
Steve Slocum Michelle Cross Debbi Benedict Dick Jackson Debbi Benedict Sue Cullen Gus Mollasis Steven J. Smith
Perfect for those times when you don’t want or have time to cook but still crave something delicious. Morton’s kitchen offers an amazing array of gourmet entrees and comfort foods, all prepared from scratch and packaged to go.
Ryan G. Van Cleave Photographers
Nancy Guth Daniel Perales Enrique Pino John Revisky
Save time, money and effort while savoring the city’s best take-out, hands down. Don’t miss our huge selection of freshly made salads too!
Jessica Tasetano Address
5939 Approach Road, Sarasota, FL 34238
Phone Fax Website
941-365-1119 941-954-5067 scenesarasota.com
SCENE Magazine publishes 12 issues a year by RJM Ventures, LLC. Address editorial,
Historic Southside Village 1924 South Osprey Avenue Sarasota ∙ (941) 955-9856 MortonsMarket.com 16
advertising and circulation correspondence to the above address. Sufficient return postage and self-addressed, stamped envelope must accompany all manuscripts, art work and photographs submitted if they are to be returned or acknowledged. Publisher assumes no responsibility for care of return of unsolicited materials. Subscription price: $12.95 per year, $19.95 for two years. All contents copyrighted. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. ISSN 1535-8895.
With her, life gains new energy. A delightful dance that never stops spinning. Now, weâ€™re here to help. Supporting you with the strength you need... to tackle every turn life throws at you.
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FLEXIBILITY Scene Magazine.indd 1
5/29/15 6:49 PM
August Calendar For a complete listing of community events please visit scenesarasota.com Photo by John Revisky
The Ringling Art After 5 Every Thursday through November 20 5:00 pm. Explore
ceeds will go towards the cost of the Instride’s therapy
the art in the Museum of Art and Circus Museum or catch a
romantic sunset on Sarasota Bay at Ca’ d’Zan. Enjoy music and insights into the collection through gallery discussions.
Van Wezel’s Friday Fest On The Bay
Tickets: $5 - $10 | 941.359.5700 | ringling.org
August 21 5:00 pm. Come see Yesterdayz, a high energy show band with great vocals, re-creating your favorite songs
Selby Gallery Defining Abstraction
from the 60’s the era that changed modern music forever.
Through August 5 5:00 pm. View a wide range of respons-
es to this question and enjoy discussing them with the artists at the opening of Defining Abstraction, a group exhibition
59th Annual Englewood Pioneer Days
featuring work by over 30 contemporary artists. ringling.edu
August 21 – September 7. Celebrates the town of Englewood with family-friendly events such as cardboard boat rac-
Art Center’s 3rd Annual Florida Flavor
es, chalk painting and a parade. englewoodpioneerdays.com
Through August 14 Art Center Sarasota 10:00 am. Statewide juried exhibition across all four of the Art Center’s gal-
Art Center Sarasota Exhibitions
leries, which showcases the exceptional artists who live and
August 27 to September 30 Art Center Sarasota. Includes
work in Florida. 941.365.2032 | artsarasota.org
Character, a curated, group exhibit exploring the manifold uses of text in art in a range of media, El Chocó, the work of
Instride Therapy Luncheon
Steve Kagan and Mary Kelsey, Black Box Project, showcas-
August 15 Polo Grill 11:30 am. Stride in style with this
ing the work of Scott Bell, and Untitled, an open, all-media,
champagne reception, fashion show, and luncheon. Pro-
all-subject, juried exhibition. artcentersarasota.org
save the date .... Thursday, September 17, 2015 11am - 1 pm
communit y open ho use
4 - 7 pm
Gra n d O p e ni ng Cel eb rati o n we make senior living personal At Inspired Living at Lakewood Ranch, we honor your individuality and customize a lifestyle to meet your needs and preferences. Should a health issue arise, assisted living and memory care services are available, all within an engaging, homelike environment. • Maintenance-free lifestyle with superior amenities and services • Arts, music, cultural events and enriching activities • Flexible dining hours with nutritious, chef-prepared meals • Lakeside fishing pier with boardwalk and walking trails • Transportation within Lakewood Ranch
A Validus Senior Living Community
Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care
Call to learn more!
5424 Lena Road | Bradenton, FL 34211
(1/2 mile east of I-75 on SR 70, one exit north of The Mall at UTC)
InspiredLivingLakewoodRanch.com Connect with us on
ALF License Pending
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
PERFORMING ARTS CALENDAR
My Old Lady
Banyan Theater Company
941.358.5330 / banyantheatercompany.com
941.488.1115 / venicestage.com
My Old Lady
Awaken the Dream
August 6 – August 23
August 6 & August 9
Florida Studio Theatre 941.366.9000 / floridastudiotheatre.org
Over the River Through August 9
Kings of Country Through August 16
FST Improv Through September 26
The Swingaroos August 18 – September 20
Johnny Mercer: An Intimate Portrait August 7 & August 8
The Best of the Ten-Minute Play Festival August 11 & August 12
Movie Magic August 13 & August 14
Trending August 15 & August 16
The Good Life with Kaitlyn Terpstra August 20 & August 28
941.748.5875 / manateeperformingartscenter.com
Censory Overload (The Musical)
August 21 & August 29
August 13 – August 30
Laugh ’Til You Cry August 22 & August 27
941-321-1397 / urbanitetheatre.com
Some Enchanted Evening with Stephen Ditchfield
August 23 & August 30.
August 14 – September 6 SCENE
Through August 9
Manatee Performing Arts Center
By Jacqueline Miller
Neapolitan baker named Raffaele Esposito is widely
This elegant-looking oven, with continuous welded con-
credited as the creator of the modern day pizza. It
struction and hand-polished mirror edges, can be used on your
is told that in 1889, Raffaele had a restaurant named
countertop or it can be built-in to your outdoor kitchen. It pre-
Pizzeria di Pietro, and he baked what he called “pizza.”
heats quickly to 700° for a quick pizza cook and when the piz-
According to legend, Raffaele topped a pizza with mozza-
za is done, the cooking surface pulls forward, just like a drawer,
rella, basil and tomatoes to represent the three colors of the
for easy and safer access to your perfect pizza. The oven can
Italian flag, and presented it to King Umberto and Queen Mar-
also cook roasts, baked dishes, quesadillas and lots more.
gherita. Hence the first Margherita pizza!
Lynx is the first in the industry to formulate a concrete re-
So who among us doesn’t love pizza? If you’ve tried to cook
fractory interior dome on its pizza oven that reflects the infra-
one in your regular oven and it doesn’t quite taste the same as your
red heat onto the entire ceramic 400-square-inch cooking sur-
favorite restaurant slice, you may want to look into the new Lynx
face. The top chimney can be customized to vent to the front or
30” pizza oven at Mullet’s Appliances, 4233 Clark Road, Sarasota.
to the rear of the oven. Plus it is a really good-looking oven!
Summer Colors MK Designs and The Golden Image Jewelry Store Stunning, Unique and One of a Kind 30 South Palm Ave., Downtown Sarasota 941.364.8439 |
GET INSPIRED Upcoming Cultural Happenings brought to you by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
“What inspires me about arts and culture in Sarasota is that there are a variety of options from performing arts, visual arts, architecture, sculpture, photography, music and more. Each venue has its own specialty, whether it’s the Opera that brings in talent and an audience from all over the U.S. and internationally, or The Ringling that engages not only the avid art lover, but also youth with the Circus Museum and playground. And then there are newcomers such as Urbanite Theatre and Moving Ethos, bringing to the community new and exciting forms of art to challenge our views and perceptions of what art is.” -Frank Maggio, Assistant VP / Credit Administration, Insignia Bank
The Swingaroos Florida Studio Theatre Aug. 18 - Sept. 20, 2015 Rounding out the Summer Cabaret Season, Florida Studio Theatre presents The Swingaroos by Kimberly Hawkey and Assaf Gleizner, beginning in the Court Cabaret on August 18. Inspired by the sounds and imagery of vintage Soundies and Golden-Age films, The Swingaroos blend past and present through the sweet sound of the swing era. This energetic, six-piece group combines New Orleans hot jazz with comedic storytelling and down-home influences. The Swingaroos are New York City’s underground jazz band with a suitcase full of original songs and Hit Parade covers from the 1920s to the 2010s. A little kitschy, a little classy, and a lot of fun, The Swingaroos continue the tradition of the swing-era Territory bands. Learn more at floridastudiotheatre.org
Cats The Manatee Players Aug. 13 – 30, 2015 The Manatee Performing Arts Center launches the Manatee Players’ new season with Cats in Stone Hall Aug. 13-30 directed by Dewayne Barrett, the show that revolutionized musical theatre will prove to create a perfect evening. This mesmerizing musical, and one of the longest-running shows on Broadway, tells the tale of the Jellicle Cats as they celebrate their annual ball. One by one, the cats step forward to introduce themselves, auditioning for the honor to ascend to the Heaviside layer. Watch as the popular poetry of T.S. Elliot comes to life through song and dance in this Tony award winning musical. Learn more at manateeperformingartscenter.com
This Isn’t What I Expected The Starlite Players Aug. 13 – 16, 2015 Go upstairs at the Starlite Room for an evening of fun and laughs. This troupe of imaginative playwrights, creative directors, talented actors and other theatre artists from Florida’s Gulf Coast will challenge your expectations and tickle your funny bone with a program of new plays each month. August’s shows feature The Session by Jack Gilhooley, Pete’s Place by Betty Robinson, Talkback by Jo Morello and What Remains by Heather Jones. Extra perk: Your ticket is also good for a 15% discount when dining before or after the show at the Starlite Room. Learn more at starliteplayers.com
Along the Rainbow River Museum of Botany & the Arts, Selby Gardens Through Sept. 13, 2015 In the current body of work from talented Sarasota artist, Tom Stephens, visitors to Selby Gardens’ Museum of Botany & the Arts will be transported on a visual hike through dense landscapes. Viewers will feel as though they are entering into a natural world of fluid paint and expressive energy. Each canvas is layered with tropical color and texture, like a walk through Selby Gardens. In this collection of paintings, Stephens, an avid enthusiast of the Florida outdoors, demonstrates his love affair for this tropical paradise. “Tom’s work is inspired by natural surroundings and he conveys his impressions in a one-of-a-kind fashion,” remarked Selby Gardens’ Director of Education Jeannie Perales. “Back by popular demand, Stephens has exhibited with us twice before – his work is always well-received by our guests. We expect his latest works will command as much attention and enthusiasm as always.” Learn more attomstephenspaintings.com
SARTQ: Here and Now 1549 State Street Aug. 15, 2015 SARTQ, Sarasota's local popular artist collective has reemerged for their first exhibition in nearly 3 years. The now redesigned 501c(3) invites the public for a free reception of these 17 accomplished Sarasota and Manatee artists in the heart of downtown. Suitable for all ages and accessible to everyone. Learn more at sartq.org
My Old Lady Banyan Theater Company Aug. 6 - 23, 2015 When a down-on-his-luck middleaged man inherits an apartment in Paris, he plans to solve his financial woes by selling it. He discovers, much to his dismay, that the elderly woman living there has lifetime habitation rights under an arcane French law and she is not about to give them up. Because he has no other place to go, she invites him to stay in the spacious apartment. There, he learns friendship, falls in love, and must finally deal with the death of his father. The movie by the same name, starring Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas, was released in September 2014 and directed by Mr. Horovitz. Learn more at banyantheatercompany.com
SteroType: New Direction is Typography Selby Gallery – Ringling College of Art and Design Aug. 14 – Sept. 16, 2015 A groundbreaking exhibition of experimental typography from around the world that incorporates elements of time, movement and the third dimension. Organized for the Boston Society of Architects/The Space by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox, c2–curator squared. Learn more at ringling.edu
One for the Books By Steven J. Smith | Photo by Nancy Guth
Cheryl Loeffler has made a success of just about every challenge she has undertaken, so it comes as no surprise that her latest mission as a member of Ringling College of Art and Design’s Board of Trustees — to build a new $18 million library on campus — is well on its way to fruition. “We have raised enough that we have declared it to be a capital campaign success,” Loeffler said.
board of trustees. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board.
“And we have raised enough so that we are bring-
“I have always enjoyed being involved in the
ing this building out of the ground a year before it
community,” she said. “It’s part of my family value
was originally planned. The demolition took place in
system. And I’ve always looked for ways to become
May and the construction began in June.”
involved in a meaningful fashion.”
A Longboat Key resident and top producer at
Once on Ringling’s Board, Loeffler immediately
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Loeffler has
set her sights on its master plan, looking for ways
been selling luxury real estate in the greater Sarasota
to optimize the college’s breadth and scope. She is
area for more than 20 years. Before that, she earned
currently the Library Building Committee Chair.
her MBA in Management Information Systems and
“We had to reconvene the Campus Master Plan
Finance, taught in a university and created systems
Committee and decide where we were going to
for Williams Telecommunications.
put the library,” she said. “We had to reconfirm the
“I was happily living in Tulsa when my daughters
placement of the building. There was a whole pro-
were recruited by Nick Bollettieri to play national
cess of interviewing the architects, approving the
tennis,” she laughed. “So my vacation home became
conceptual drawings and doing the charrettes with
my permanent home here about 30 years ago.”
the students and the faculty to meet their needs. The
Once in Sarasota, Loeffler looked for opportuni-
co-chairs of the capital campaign have been amaz-
ties to apply her credentials. As she had always been
ing and the board of trustees is an incredible group
involved in real estate purchases with her husband
of people. The college’s advancement department
and liked evaluating real estate alternatives, becom-
has given so much impetus to successfully complet-
ing a Realtor “felt like a natural fit” to her.
ing this goal.”
According to her website, Loeffler has been a
That goal was to create a LEED-certified campus
consistent multi-million dollar producer through-
library that would replace the current library and
out her career and has achieved almost two billion
serve as a hybrid of a learning center with technol-
dollars in sales since 1986. With her background in
ogy and space to meet a multi-sensory range of stu-
marketing and finance, she offers her clients exten-
dent needs. Once completed, the new library will
sive industry knowledge as well as unsurpassed lo-
fill 46,000 square feet in a multi-story design. It will
cal real estate expertise.
feature seating for more than 400, a large comput-
Loeffler’s husband David died prematurely about
er lab and interactive study area, a coffee bar/café,
13 years ago, which further focused her on making
15 group study/meeting rooms, two large instruction
a lasting name for her family in the Sarasota com-
rooms, the Academic Resource Center, a technology
munity. That led to a relationship with Ringling Col-
help desk, quiet study areas, room to double the col-
lege about 10 years ago, when she was elected to its
lections and a special collections department.
The site, on the southeast part of the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Old Bradenton Road, will take advantage of the bayou view, developing a green space on the southeast approach to the building. On the west side of the building, with a setback from Old Bradenton Road and the planned removal of older buildings, the western façade entrance will be approached from a “campus green.” Loeffler acknowledged she had made “a significant leadership contribution” to the library from her charitable foundation, but would not divulge the figure. She did say she has set up a challenge grant, which motivated other donors to give to the campaign. “I really wanted people to feel with the donation I made that they could have a positive impact, no matter what their level of participation is,” she said. “I thought this would serve as a catalyst to help us get close to our campaign goal.” As for the future of Ringling College, Loeffler said there are other designations coming into focus for additional capital campaigns. “We focus on the students,” she said. “We partner with the administration and the faculty. Then we provide a bridge to the community. There will always be scholarship needs. We do have an endowment and we’re going to be building a Sound Stage for digital film. Also, a donor has provided a very significant gift — in the millions — for a Visual Arts Center for fine arts. So we have a lot of things going on with buildings and programming. We will be expanding our majors and I think most of the board of trustees are looking to provide scholarship funds so that we can continue to attract the best and the brightest students for one of the top five art schools in the world.” For more information on the new library and how to assist in raising funds for it, visit www.ringling.libguides.com/ newlibrary. August 2015
HarborChase Sarasota’s newest assistant living and memory care community combines expert care, social interaction and enrichment, and a wellness program designed for a thriving body and mind.
HarborChase of Sarasota will open in October, bringing
Care, which allows residents to age in place. “Our
to the area an innovative approach to assisted living and
community fits individual needs from active living to
memory care designed to deliver the vibrant lifestyle
memory care,” says Nancy Clanton, Director of Sales.
desired by today’s seniors and the families who love
“It’s a wonderful combination of expert care and the
them. Steeped in a culture of kindness, integrity, and
opportunity for social interaction and enrichment in a
respect, HarborChase focuses on engaging residents
warm and caring environment.”
through its robust wellness program, modern-day technology, and the all-important dining experience to
As an example, residents can gather for a daily happy
create a community where people truly want to live.
hour in the cocktail lounge before moving on to one of the dining venues, which include a dining area with
Located on beautiful grounds at 5311 Proctor Road on
exhibition kitchen that melds sight, scent, and sound for an
the corner of Honore Avenue, HarborChase strives for
appetite-enticing experience, Clanton says. Outdoor and
an elegant look and feel inside and out from a stately
private dining options also are available or residents who
entry to soaring dining rooms and welcoming spaces
prefer a lighter bite can head to the bistro/coffee bar for a
throughout. Managed by Harbor Retirement Associates
selection of grab-and-go items. “It’s all about choice,” she
of Vero Beach, Fla., the new community incorporates 20
says. “Today’s seniors expect more variety in their daily
years of experience in creating successful senior living
lives. They want choices for how they spend their time,
communities, and the differences are readily apparent.
where they spend their time, and with whom they spend it. They also want the freedom to make those decisions
HarborChase of Sarasota holds an Extended Congregate
independently and to change those decisions frequently.
Care license covering both assisted living and Memory
And at HarborChase that’s exactly what they can do.”
Photo of Stacy McCanless, Executive Director & Nancy Clanton, Director of Sales by Nancy Guth
That ability to choose includes a roster of more than 20
support groups, dermatology, auditory clinics, medication
daily activities created by the Life Enrichment Director.
management, psychology, podiatry, and equipment repairs.
Those can range from classes and clubs to cookouts, movies, and outings to cultural performances or tours of
Memory Care residents have the freedom to enjoy the
historic places, shopping, and dining out. The Sarasota
outdoors — securely — from two courtyards and four
community also includes a Wii bowling alley for those
porches A selection of 48 one-bedroom, studio, and
who would like to roll a few games virtually. Clanton
semi-private apartments are available. “Our goal with
says family members are always welcome to enjoy
Memory Care is to create safe and fulfilling Alzheimer’s
activities with their loved ones. Residents also have
and dementia care where individuals are respected
access 24 hours a day to the Wellness Center, which
not only for who they were, but who they are,” she
offers everything from on-site massage to exercise
says. “Our programs foster our residents’ individuality
equipment designed specifically for seniors.
and meet their evolving needs.” HarborChase offers structured parallel programing 24 hours a day. Under
“One of the guiding principles in promoting
a parallel programming model, residents not only have
independence is a proactive approach to wellness.
their physical needs addressed, but are continually
A true wellness program is a philosophy and a consistency
engaged and stimulated with activities and the
of purpose defined by a commitment to a thriving body
opportunity for connection.
and mind,” Clanton says. “Our Wellness Center is the core of a program where our residents are engaged on a
HarborChase also has 60 one-bedroom apartments
physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional level.”
with kitchenettes for assisted living, and for those whose
Staying in for a little “me” time is also a respected choice.
needs require more full-time attention, HarborChase of Venice provides skilled nursing. “When someone comes
Because today’s more tech-savvy seniors use the web to
to HarborChase, we don’t just make them feel at home,
pursue their own interests and stay in touch electronically
they are home,” Clanton says. “Our residents’ days are
with family and friends, HarborChase provides wireless
filled with purpose, pursuit of old and new interests,
access, and an on-site business center includes Skype
and new friends while their families have peace of mind
stations for easy “face-to-face” communication with loved
knowing that their loved ones are cared for in a community
ones. Web-based continuing education opportunities
of experienced people who have warm and car-
also are available through the lifelong learning center.
ing hearts.” More information about HarborChase of
Residents also have healthcare services on premises
Sarasota is available by calling 941.468.2838 or visiting
24 hours a day as well as access to physicians, therapy,
harborchase.com. August 2015
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SARASOTA RETINA INSTITUTE
As one of only three practices in Florida offering the latest technology for dry macular degeneration and vision loss, patients now have hope for a better quality of life. Dr. Marc Levy of the Sarasota Retina Institute has a perceptible zeal for bringing new treatments to patients with blinding diseases and now is offering hope for those with vision loss due to macular degeneration. Until recently, ophthalmologists could offer few effective options to aid those suffering from dry macular degeneration, which results in loss of center vision. Levy, who specializes in neuro-ophthalmology and orbital surgery, now offers an Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) that restores center vision for certain patients. “If you remember, Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man had a telescope in his eye,” he says. “Now, science fiction has become science fact.” Levy has performed 13 IMT surgeries. He participated in the research study, which began in 2002 and led to FDA and Medicare approval for certain patients when analysis of long-term results showed the device’s safety and effectiveness. He was the first surgeon in Florida to perform the surgery. The miniature telescope replaces the natural lens in one eye and magnifies images three times. The other eye is used for side vision. Sarasota Retina Institute was one of only a few non-university institutions invited to participate in the study, which included the well-respected Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Duke and Emory. Only two other Florida practices, both in north Florida, are currently performing the procedure.
Implantable Miniature Telescope
Of 217 patients in the research study, most saw improvement of three lines of vision on the eye chart, and 25 percent improved five lines. “Since the study began, we’ve seen continual improvement as techniques and medications have advanced,” he says. “One of my first patients took off his patch and could see his TV, the neighbors in their yard, and his grandkids. The miniature telescope helps people get back function in their daily activities and social lives.” At this time, the IMT is approved for those 65 and older who have never had eye surgery. Levy anticipates that will change, allowing more patients to benefit from the procedure, and he is hopeful that could be as soon as the next 12 months. Because the eyes work in symphony with the brain, about six months of rehabilitation is required. That means good candidates for the procedure also must be self-motivated to complete the necessary rehab. Sarasota Retina Institute, and Levy, have participated in many research studies over the past three decades, and are currently participating in 12 studies treating various eye diseases. “People with macular degeneration should be seeing their ophthalmologists every six months,” he says. “Macular degeneration is not a static disease. It can change, and the treatments that can help patients are constantly changing. If you or someone you know is experiencing eye problems, seeing an ophthalmologist sooner rather than later can make a big difference.” For more information, call 941.921.5335 or visit www.sarasotaretinainstitute.com or www.centrasight.com. August 2015
THE IMPORTANCE OF A
Life Care Plan
Photo of Bryson Eubanks, Catherine Csaky, Shannon Feinroth & Kevin Pillion by John Revisky
Some events change and shape us for the rest of our
“Our mission is to help people live their latter years with
lives. For attorney Kevin Pillion, founder of Sarasota’s
dignity and the highest quality of life,” says Pillion whose
Life Planning Law Firm, that life-altering event was the
firm is the only Life Care Planning Law Firm in the area,
four years he spent caring for his parents full time when
“and what I do best is help seniors with their legal, finan-
they no longer could manage on their own. Pillion left
cial, and health care needs as they navigate the cycle of
a thriving Estate Planning practice in Washington, D.C.,
life.” Noting that most professionals, such as attorneys,
and, when both parents passed away in 2007, he knew
financial planners, and care managers focus solely on
the next phase of his life would involve helping seniors
their own areas, he wanted to take a more “holistic” ap-
and their families.
proach that addressed not only the legal, medical, and
financial issues, but also social, emotional, and family
When it comes to public benefits like Social Security,
issues that seniors struggle with daily. In founding Life
Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as VA benefits, there is
Planning Law Firm, Pillion created a team-based ap-
a lot of misunderstanding that can lead to serious finan-
proach encompassing Elder Law, Estate Planning, Public
cial consequences. “A common question people have is
Benefits, and Elder Care Advocacy and Support.
how they will pay for all of the needed care without run-
“Most people come to us when they are in a crisis. Usually it is because they, their spouse, or a parent has had a significant
ning out of funds, compromising a spouse’s future, or draining funds intended for their heirs or charities,” Pillion says. “Care in a
and life-changing health incident,” he says. “Aging is inevitable
Skilled Nursing Facility can cost $10,000
but a crisis does not have to be.” Having a Life Care Plan in place
a month, and many people are not aware
makes a person’s wishes clear and avoids negative consequences such as Guardianship or family disputes. That’s because it
that Medicare does not pay for long term care. That is up to the individual.” Helping clients find a long term care plan that is
demonstrates a clear plan for care coordination and advocacy,
customized for their needs is part of a Life
financial and health care decision-making, and other support
Care Plan, along with proper Estate Plan-
needed to ensure a senior’s well being at all times. A good Life Care Plan anticipates — and creates contingencies for —
ning, up-to-date Powers of Attorney, designations of Health Care Surrogates, and Advance Directives.
a variety of “What-If” scenarios, Pillion says. In addition to being experienced in Estate Planning, Pillion also is a Certified Public Accountant, and has five years of experience working with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. He received his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and has been practicing law for 25 years. He gained exceptional experience in Estate Planning while working on cases with Steven Winkelman, the prominent Estate Planning attorney and former Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning at Georgetown University Law Center. To deliver life care services, law firms must meet certain requirements, one of which is to have a Social Worker or Registered Nurse on staff. Catherine Csaky fills that role at Life Planning Law Firm. Csaky is the Client Care Advocate whose role is to coordinate the care required for clients’ evolving needs as they age, which provides a significant level of comfort for their children as well, many of whom live out of the area. She has a strong clinical background with a master’s degree in mental health counseling and advanced training in Geriatrics and Gerontology, health psychology, and behavioral medicine. Csaky also has extensive experience with local health care agencies and senior living facilities, which empowers family members with the information needed to make the best decisions for their loved ones.
Life Planning Law Firm
Many also don’t know that certain actions, such as gifting money to loved ones or transferring property titles, can trigger disqualification of Florida Medicaid. That’s where Public Benefits experts Bryson Eubanks and Shannon Feinroth help clients avoid pitfalls and ensure they receive entitled benefits. Eubanks previously worked seven years for attorney Timothy Takacs who is a pioneer in providing integrated care for elderly clients and transformed the practice of Elder Law in the United States. He is completing his second year of law school and has a master’s degree in Gerontology. In addition to her extensive expertise in Medicaid and Veterans Benefits, Feinroth is an Elder Law Paralegal as well as a Certified Elder Care Coordinator. Pillion, who is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs, says many veterans qualify for benefits they didn’t know they were entitled to receive. For example, married veterans who served in wartime may qualify for a $2,120 tax-free monthly benefit for long-term care in their homes or at a facility. “These are the kinds of things we can help people access whether they are in a crisis now or for the future,” he says. “Many people don’t want to face the issues we deal with because it can make them uncomfortable, but having a Life Care Plan in place can bring tremendous peace of mind.”
1671 Mound Street | Sarasota, FL 36236 | 941.914.6000 | lifelawfirm.com August 2015
BETTER HEALTH FROM THE
By Steven J. Smith | Photos by Nancy Guth
elf-healing our body through detoxification and nourishment is fast-becoming the best, least expensive, and simplest way to better health. John Monhollon, M.D., likens the major problems we face in our country’s medical industry today to the way in which someone might misuse his or her automobile. “Let’s suppose that everyone gets in the habit of putting kerosene in the fuel tanks of their cars,” he said. “Just think about the problems that would cause. I guess your car could run on kerosene, but it would run really badly. If you do that to your car, you’re going to stall out a lot and spend much time in the auto repair shop. And a lot of your money is going to go to the auto mechanic.” Monhollon added it is what you put into your car — or your body — that keeps it running efficiently and that is the purpose of his Florida Integrative Medical Center, which offers primary care from a holistic perspective. “It is our belief that the body has self-healing mechanisms built into it,” he said. “The physician’s job is to create the best circumstances in which the body can heal itself. We create those circumstances through a two-prong approach: detoxify the body and nourish the body.” The benefits of integrative medicine, he added, are its affordability and its effectiveness. “This is much cheaper medicine,” he said. “The cheapest and simplest therapies are usually the best.” Popular treatments provided by FLIMC include ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI), and intravenous therapies such as chelation therapy. Ultraviolet blood irradiation, Monhollon said, involves removing about 200cc of blood (the amount of a typical glass of water) and passing it through a quartz cuvette, where it is exposed to ultraviolet light and then returned to the blood stream. “UBI increases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen thereby having the potential to improve a variety of medical conditions.”
Intravenous Nutrient Therapy is a method of feed-
eating processed food. We encourage them to work
ing vitamins, minerals and other natural therapeutic
on their sleep habits, eat natural foods and take a
substances directly into the blood stream. In this way
whole food multivitamin mineral supplement — also
they bypass the digestive tract, where many nutrients
an omega three oil supplement.”
could get lost. “There are a wide range of clinical
The next step is to incorporate herbal formulas
conditions that can be treated with intravenous nu-
that help the body make more hormones and make
trient therapy,” Monhollon said. These include hy-
hormone receptors more responsive. Beyond that
pertension, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s
is hormone replacement therapy, he said, where
disease, migraine, depression, cardiovascular disease,
bio-identical hormones are employed. These are
infections, seasonal allergies, athletic performance,
derived from plants rather than synthesized and are
cancer, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, neu-
custom designed for the patient. These can be deliv-
ropathy and diabetes.”
ered in various forms including injections, pills, gels,
Chelation therapy, administered through an IV, improves metabolic function and increases blood flow
Monhollon added he sees a lot of cancer patients
by opening blocked arteries throughout the body.
looking for alternative therapies to complement what
Monhollon said there are relatively few negative side
they are receiving elsewhere. He believes that detox-
effects if chelation therapy is performed properly.
ification and high power nourishment improves the
“It dissolves plaque out of the arteries,” he said. “If
immune system’s ability to kill cancer cells.
someone were told he or she had heart disease, this
Monhollon coined the phrase “medical rejuve-
would be a good place to start. Like a water soften-
nation vacation”, in which patients take anywhere
er, ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid, or EDTA, takes
from one to three weeks to dramatically improve their
out metal ions that can damage our health.”
health. “Most people are living an abusive lifestyle,”
Although most services offered by FLIMC are not
Monhollon said. “The processed, artificial foods
fully covered by health insurance carriers, their costs
they’re eating are totally foreign to the human system.
are reasonable. An initial office visit is $300 and in-
So we take our patients’ bodies out of this environ-
cludes an hour and a half with Monhollon. A history
ment and into ours. They come and stay with us and
and physical are conducted, from which a compre-
we control all foods that go into them. We’re set up
hensive integrative plan is devised. UBI treatments
like a hotel and we provide everything. We believe
cost $150, while most IV treatments cost about $125.
in using fresh, raw vegetable juices and natural food.
A session in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber which
Medical rejuvenation vacation packages are sold
enhances one’s ability to heal, costs $100, and a co-
by the week at $4,500 per week, with three weeks the
lonic irrigation is $85.
optimal length of time. Patients get the 90-minute visit
Monhollon, 51, hails from Richmond, Va. and
with Monhollon, lab work, a supplement program, and
is a family physician so his aim is to treat everyone
all the treatments that will benefit the patient. “We do
“from conception to the grave,” he said. He graduated
colonic irrigation and customized IVs, UBI, along with
from the College of William and Mary, the Virginia
hyperbaric oxygen and ozone,” Monhollon said. Sup-
Commonwealth University School of Nursing, and St.
plemented with additional services such as Ondamed
George’s University School of Medicine. He has lived
therapy (a combination of biofeedback and localized
and practiced in the Sarasota area for about ten years
tissue stimulation), movement therapy, massage thera-
and opened FLIMC in 2005.
py and holistic dentistry, a full day of treatments can
“We see all ages and conditions but most fre-
creams and pellets implanted under the skin.
last from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., he added.
quently we see middle-aged women between 35-65,”
“We also offer overnight IV drips, much like you’d
he said. “The most common complaint is menopausal
find in a hospital,” he said. “Typically within three
symptoms, which are mixed with fibromyalgia syn-
days people start to feel better and know they’re
drome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and yeast over-
on the right track.” Additional services include acu-
growth syndrome. For menopausal symptoms we rec-
puncture, cell therapy and weight loss/nutrition treat-
ommend lifestyle changes. We tell the patient to stop
ments. “Our holistic approach gets the patient better
reason we have such an ill “The society is because people are trying to run the human body on non-human food. Put the right fuel in there and watch how quickly
those problems clear up.
over time and is not always a quick fix,” he said. “But
ic energy emitted by the body, which directs her to
by combining conventional and alternative medicine,
the areas requiring treatment.
we have a lot of tools available and almost always we get remarkable results.”
Monhollon said everything done at FLIMC harks back to his car analogy of putting kerosene in your
Two other doctors are also part of the team. James
tank instead of gas. “You may be able to run your car
E. Williams, DOM (doctor of oriental medicine) and
on kerosene, but it won’t run great,” he said. “You
Linda Chen, M.D. An internationally known expert on
won’t enjoy driving your car with those kinds of prob-
the immune system, Williams is an expert in many
lems and you’ll spend a lot of time dropping it off
forms of natural medicine, especially injection thera-
with the mechanic. A good mechanic would tell you
pies and acupuncture. Chen is board certified in in-
to put the right fuel in the tank and a good doctor
ternal medicine and specializes in adipose stem cells.
should do the same. The reason we have such an ill
Monhollon said, “Fat has a lot of stem cells in it. It is
society is because people are trying to run the human
possible to remove some of that fat and isolate stem
body on non-human food. Put the right fuel in there
cells from it to be used for regenerative purposes.”
and watch how quickly those problems clear up.”
Other FLIMC practitioners include Diane Kirchin
For more information on the Florida Integrative
(colon hydrotherapy), Mona Clifford Baker (Action-
Medical Center or to make an appointment, call 941-
omics) and Susan Shue (Ondamed). Kirchin oversees
955-6220, log on to www.floridaintegrative.com. You
colon irrigation treatments, Baker analyzes and cor-
can also visit them on Facebook at www.Facebook.
rects body movement to foster healing, and Shue runs
com by typing “Florida Integrative Medical Center” in
a biofeedback program that examines electromagnet-
the search window. August 2015
Do you have what it takes to retire? we have what it takes to tell you. With our retirement income expertise, we can help bring your future into focus. These days, you need more than just Social Security, investments and a pension. You need the tools, resources and expertise to plan for retirement. And you’ll find them all right here. For instance, we use an established discovery process to help determine how much you’ll realistically need each month for your retirement – and how to best meet that challenge. So let’s have a conversation. What develops from there can be a professional relationship that lasts a lifetime.
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Recent data from the Society of Actuaries revealed that for an upper-middle class couple at age 65 today, there’s a 43% chance that one or both will reach at least age 95. And as our longer lives are more active, our golden years are turning into golden decades. Based on our increased longevity, financial and legal advisors are recommending planning for 35 – 40 years instead of the 30 years of past thinking as retirement security remains a major concern for a large percentage of Americans. Health care and elder care are also top concerns. Most of us have to rethink how we save and spend to be able to afford our longer lives. Navigating through retirement planning is difficult no matter your level of wealth. While there are no cookie-cutter answers, some local financial and legal professionals provide some guidance as they answer some questions that are pertinent to achieve a more secure retirement.
Why would I need a trust now that the Federal Estate Tax Exemption amount is so high? Susan H. Hines, J. D., Vice President and Trust Officer, Caldwell Trust Under current tax law, every US citizen can give away or leave up to $5.43 million without owing federal gift or estate tax. With portability, this provides a married couple with the joint ability to pass $10.86 million tax free. While many clients have used trusts for tax planning purposes, we find that their true value is in the privacy, protection and flexibility provided to them during any periods of incapacity, and to their loved ones, following their death. Assets held in trust can provide beneficiaries with a consistent stream of income and/or principal payments for health, education or other defined support or incentive purposes, while protecting the remaining principal from potential known or unknown creditors. In today’s litigious society, money transferred directly to loved ones who are in high risk professions, involved in accidents, become parents of special needs children, or who go through a future divorce or bankruptcy proceeding, could be lost to third parties, instead of being protected and invested for their future. This loss could happen even quicker when funds are given outright to spouses or children who are spendthrifts, or influenced by others who are not good stewards of their money. Giving your surviving spouse, children and grandchildren the gift of professional fiduciary money management paired with the flexibility to access funds for certain, defined needs, has great merit and is something that every individual should consider, no matter what their net worth might be.
What are some outdated retirement decisions? Aaron S. Thiel, JD, CFP ®, Senior Wealth Planner, PNC Wealth Management We have seen that the generally accepted practice of using a 4% withdrawal rate in retirement years may not be the best retirement distribution strategy available. This “endowment” strategy takes a person’s entire nest egg and applies a 4% withdrawal rate as the most one should take in order to keep from outliving their nest egg. But when the market goes down, especially in the early years after retirement, the family is taking withdrawals from the portfolio at the worst possible time and the nest egg is in jeopardy of not recovering. A more updated approach is to set aside part of the portfolio into laddered bonds or CDs that will mature quarterly over the next five years to provide for the family’s lifestyle. I call this the “immunization” bucket. So no matter what the market does, the family knows that for the next five years, their lifestyle needs are going to be met. The other assets are divided into a second bucket with a 5-15 year investment time horizon using a balanced asset allocation, and a third bucket with a 15-30+ year time horizon using a more aggressive asset allocation. As the “immunization” bucket exhausts, assets from the second bucket then replenish it for another five years and so on. This allows the second and third buckets to remain untouched through several business cycles allowing them to grow according to their time horizon without having to overcome periodic withdrawals when the market is declining.
What Is a “Fiduciary” and why does it matter? John M. Compton, Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A. Corporate and Business Law, Taxation, Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration and Asset Protection A “fiduciary” is obligated by duties of good faith, trust, special confidence, and candor towards another. In Florida, this standard applies to personal representatives, trustees, and attorneys-in-fact. A “personal representative” (also known as an executor) is in charge of your estate as it moves through probate after death, including gathering assets, satisfying debts, and distributing any remaining assets to your heirs. A “trustee” is charged with managing funds that a third person has designated to be distributed or held in trust for the benefit of another. An attorney-in-fact is given the power to act on another’s behalf while the individual is still living. Other than selection of a guardian for minor children, designating a fiduciary is the most important estate planning decision you will make. Most post-death legal issues involve disagreement with respect to a fiduciary, often from mismanagement, or, worse, absconding with funds. A professional fiduciary is encouraged for several reasons: (1) They avoid conflict. When a professional fiduciary dashes your hopes of a new Ferrari it’s understandable, but if Uncle Bob denies the funds, it makes for a rough Christmas. (2) They understand the legal nuances of serving as a fiduciary. An internet article on “Trustee Duties in Florida” is not sufficient background for a newly empowered family member. (3) They carry insurance. Fiduciaries carry significant liability and if Uncle Bob makes a mistake there is no recourse. (4) We are blessed with many competent and local professional fiduciaries, and the costs of such services have significantly decreased, often being little more than the financial advisory fees already paid to invest the funds. People spend a lifetime accumulating assets with the desire to leave a legacy to their children and grandchildren only to have their legacy destroyed by selecting an incompetent fiduciary.
What are five ways to prepare for retirement if you are wealthy? Matt Otto, CFP ® Senior Vice President, Private Financial Advisor The Otto Group, Private Wealth Management, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. 1) Consider working with a professional who specializes in AP Advanced Planning = WE: Wealth Enhancement - tax mitigation and cash-flow planning WT: Wealth Transfer - transferring wealth effectively; may not be within a family WP: Wealth Protection - risk mitigation, legal structures and transferring risk to insurance company CG: Charitable Giving: maximizing charitable impact 2) Have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) review all your assets & capital allocations and create a financial plan with an IPS (Investment Policy Statement). 3) Have the CFP provide cash flow analysis, income planning, and leverage analysis. 4) Have a professional analyze your medical insurance, long term care, and Social Security benefits. 5) Choose the state you intend to domicile in first and then have your estate documents drafted and accounts properly funded.
What are some of the common mistakes made when trying to protect assets? Theresa Bowman, Esq. Elder Law Planning & Advocacy One of the most common mistakes is transferring homestead property, or adding a child to the deed to protect the home. Clients are concerned that the state will “take their home” or force them to sell the home to pay for care. While true in other states, Florida has unique homestead protection in that creditors (including the state of Florida) cannot place a lien on your home if you pass it to your heirs at law. In addition, adding a child to the deed will be considered a transfer of assets if you want to qualify for public benefits (Medicaid) within five years of the transfer. Gifting money to qualify for Medicaid is another big mistake as any transfer of assets creates a penalty if the gift occurs within the five years prior to applying for benefits. However, the penalty does not apply if the transfers are between spouses. Finally, trying to hide assets, or hide assets that have been transferred, is a big mistake that can have serious consequences. These days it is virtually impossible to hide assets, or cover up a transfer of assets, as every transaction leaves an electronic trail that will point back to you. If you are concerned about the possibility of long term care and protecting your assets, you should consult an elder law attorney before making a costly mistake. Knowing the facts and how they apply to your situation can save you money and added stress.
The benefit of charitable gift annuities – everybody wins. Richard R. Gans, Fergeson, Skipper, Shaw, Keyser, Baron & Tirabassi, P.A. Florida Board Certified Wills, Trusts & Estates Attorney How it works. You transfer cash or other assets to your favorite charity, or to another charitable organization acting on behalf of favorite charity. Your favorite charity promises to pay you a specific dollar amount – an annuity – every year for the rest of your life. The charity’s promise to pay you is a general obligation of the organization. Thus, if your favorite charity is a smaller or newer organization, a community foundation or another provider with substantial assets will receive the transfer and make the promised payments. What’s in it for you? You receive an annual annuity payment no matter how long you live.You can name your spouse or another person as a successor recipient. The annual annuitypayment, as a percentage of the transferred property, varies with the age of the recipient of the payments but is much higher than interest paid on CDs or other safe cash-type investments. Annuities and annuity payments for a Florida resident are normally exempt from the claims of the recipient’s creditors. The value of the annuity payments to be received is less than the value of the property transferred to your favorite charity. The difference in value is a charitable gift that can be used as a deduction on your federal income tax return, subject to the IRS’ rules about charitable deductions. What’s in it for your favorite charity? The charity can use the money transferred for its charitable endeavors right now. It does not have to segregate the funds and use them only to pay the annuity. What’s in it for the lawyers? Not much. You don’t have to pay a lawyer to set up a charitable gift annuity. That said, whether a charitable gift annuity is right for you needs to be considered in the context of your overall estate and wealth planning goals…something your estate planning lawyer can help you with.
What is a Guardianship and how do you prevent Guardianship? Kevin Pillion, Esq. Elder Law Attorney, Life Planning Law Firm Defined in the simplest terms, a Guardianship is a legal process that occurs when a person is determined by a Court to lack the ability to manage their own affairs. In addition to delegating the management of financial affairs to a Court-appointed guardian, the Court can also remove a person’s rights, such as the right to make their own medical and care decisions. At times, a Guardianship is necessary and in the best interest of the person for whom it is established. Guardianship should be the legal option of last resort, to be commenced only when all other options have been exhausted. They are very expensive, cumbersome and intrusive. With proper planning and legal documents prepared and executed before a crisis arises, a person can eliminate the need for a Guardianship all together or significantly reduce the costs associated with proceedings. The clearest advantage to having the appropriate Advance Directives is that you, not the Court, are choosing the person or persons that will manage your affairs or make your financial, medical, and care decisions. Advance Directives consist of a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, HIPAA, and a Pre-Need Guardian designation.
If you are close to retirement, here are five steps you should take. Jennifer Lee, Founding Partner, Financial Advisor, Modern Wealth 1. Schedule meeting with existing advisor or interview three referred advisors to help you evaluate • Your asset buckets (taxable, tax free, tax deferred, real assets etc.) Where and how will you withdraw assets? • Your tolerance for risk and need for asset preservation or growth • Income planning and cash flow need from your investments, other sources of income and social security • Types of Investment strategies: tax free investments, high dividend stocks, mutual funds, tax favorable investment vehicles, municipal bonds • Initiate Estate and Legacy planning 2. Evaluate Social Security Strategies: www.ssa.gov and print out statement • www.ssa.gov and print out statement • An advisor can provide some basic analysis and help determine if you should file and suspend, select benefits early, select at FRA(full retirement age) or allow the funds to accumulate at 8% a year until age 70 3. Consider how your life will change in retirement and...talk to your spouse/partner • How will your expenses change (complete a cash flow worksheet to consider changes) • Will you remain in your current home, buy an additional home or sell and relocate? • Will you travel? How often? How extensively? • Will you or your spouse/partner continue to work part time? • What will you do with all of your free time? Expensive hobbies like fishing, boating scuba diving, golf 4. Healthcare: apply for Medicare and purchase Medicare supplements. Do you have long term care insurance? 5. If you are considering taking a pension on your life alone, protect your spouse and families future income, consider insuring the risk with a replacement asset such as life insurance.
What are the three questions I can ask myself to predict the quality of my life in retirement? Francis J. McAleer, Jr., CIMA, Director, Retirement Solutions, Wealth, Retirement & Portfolio Solutions, Raymond James Note: The “Three Questions” cited below were developed via Raymond James’ partnership with, and research by, the MIT AgeLab, in collaboration with Hartford Funds.
When it comes to retirement planning our savings and spending habits and ultimately how we invest our assets are of ultimate importance. We want to ensure that we do not run out of money and that our investments will produce an amount of income to support the lifestyle we desire. Before determining the appropriate amount of retirement income we need, we first need to consider what our “retirement outcome” can be. The following three questions will uncover important factors in determining your future quality of life and provide an excellent starting point in your, or you and your financial advisor’s, planning process.
• Who will change my light bulbs?
• How will I get an ice cream cone?
• Who will I have lunch with?
Changing light bulbs means climbing a ladder that gets shakier each year, and more importantly, refers to having the ability to maintain your home. Can I afford it, can I do it myself and, if not, do I have a trusted service provider? The ability to get in your vehicle to meet friends for an ice cream cone is one of life’s simple pleasures. If driving is no longer possible, what are the seamless options available to make the trips I want to? More than a meal, lunch is an occasion to gather with friends and “break bread”. An important consideration is where will I live and in what type of community? The questions posed here are important to consider concerning your future quality of life and because they all have financial implications. Mix in the decisions to be made regarding Social Security and Medicare and it is easy to see how important planning is.
What you should know about Social Security. Joni Leetzow Rametta, CFP ®, Advisory Services Offered through Nepsis Advisor Services Inc; an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, Wealth Planning and Design Retirement looks different for everyone and taking the Social Security Benefit is not a one size fits all either. The statement you receive from Social Security gives a listing of all reported income during your career (get your copy at ssa.gov). First, be sure that it’s correctly reflecting your income. If you find any errors, then immediately contact the Social Security office near you to provide them with the documentation to correct this. Second, notice that you have options for taking your benefit at different ages, with different monthly amounts. The longer you wait, the higher the benefit. The most important thing we like our clients to understand is that it’s a choice and it’s based on your family, your longevity and in the end, it may be a best guess as none of us really know how long we will live. Thirdly, regardless of whether you file immediately or delay your benefit, it is wise to apply for Medicare at age 65. If the benefit is taken at the earliest age or before the full retirement age, then the benefit is discounted and you are “locking in” that amount for the remainder of your life. In reaching the decision on when to take your benefits, it’s important to know what income you will need in retirement, where it can come from, if not from Social Security, and be comfortable with the decision. We actually create scenarios for our clients that allow them to see the flexibility they have in making this decision. Numbers answer everything, but don’t mean everything!
What does your ideal future look like?
successful retirement means different things to different people. It may include the greater good such as helping others, it may be collecting art or traveling, or it can be activities such as tennis or golf or yachting.
Regardless of how you define your goals and ambitions, Matt Otto, CFP®, SVP, Private Financial Advisor with SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and his team with over 120 years of combined experience understand that proper financial preparation is paramount in realizing and protecting what’s most important to you.
The Otto Group’s distinctive approach The Otto Group offers high net worth investors a distinctive approach to comprehensive asset management. All investment firms practice investment consulting, some better than others.
We take a different approach by reverse engineering one's income and growth needs to their specific tolerance to volatility and liquidity to then create the most optimal solution for that family specifically. No cookie cutter software for us. We believe additional value is created through our advanced planning offerings which range from estate strategies and asset protection to softer items such as health and wellness and various concierge services.
Our partnerships are built on trust Our relationship objective is to create what feels like a family office without the very high minimum commitments usually required for this level of service and advice. We take tremendous pride in delivering trusted advice and exceptional service. Earning our clients trust is the greatest compliment.
The Otto Group SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. Matthew Otto, CFP®
SVP, Private Financial A dvisor | SunTrust Private Wealth Management 1777 M ain St., 7th Floor | Sarasota , FL 34236 | 941.951.3052 matthew.otto @ suntrust.com | suntrust.com /wealth Investment and Insurance Products: • Are not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured • Are not Bank Guaranteed • May Lose Value The Otto Group is a team of professionals employed by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. SunTrust Private Wealth Management is a marketing name used by SunTrust Banks, Inc. and the following affiliates: Banking and trust products and services, including investment advisory products and services, are provided by SunTrust Bank. Securities, insurance (including annuities) and other investment products and services are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., an SEC registered investment adviser and broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency.
Left to Right: Angelo Lombardo, Kelly Christiansen, Matt Otto CFP® & Karen Rivot, CFP®
“We are passionate and grateful to serve our clients and community at the highest level”
Money Lessons for College Grads By Ryan G. Van Cleave
What’s the only real lesson you need to know about college kids and retirement planning? Don’t do it like I did. Here are five things that I did totally wrong.
1. I accumulated a lot of debt in college, and I continued to add debt well into my 20s. (Who doesn’t sign up for new credit cards if they’re giving away free t-shirts for doing so?)
2. I tanked my credit score. (It wasn’t entirely my fault!) 3. My emergency fund in my 20s? A small coffee can full of pennies. Seriously.
4. I knew as much about a 401(k) or IRA account as I did about differential geometry or ancient Persian poetry. (Zero.)
5. Budget? What is this word... “budget”?
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to five clear financial planning ideas for college grads from a pair of local financial gurus. (These guys know what they’re talking about!) 46
From Matthew Otto, Private Financial Advisor for SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. • Stop taking on new debt. “The main mistake college students make in terms of saving is really the inverse of saving — it’s taking on too much debt. This trend has been happening for some time.” • It’s not too difficult to save. “Everything is habitual, so start small and initiate ‘paying yourself first’ with small monthly savings of say, three to five percent. Anyone can do this and it will become habitual at a young age. As they get older and earn more they will want to save more. I started at five percent and have been at over 30 percent now for over ten years.” • Start today. “Obviously they’ll need to generate income. To do so, they could consider taking on a part-time job. If they are able to earn an additional $250 a week waiting tables or bartending, that’s an extra thousand dollars a month. If five percent (or $50) is directed to a savings account, that’s $600 a year in additional savings. Making this habitual and continuing until you are 58 would be approximately $155,433 if it was earning eight percent.”
From Mark Clark, CFP and Qualified Kingdom Advisor for Wealth Planning and Design, Inc. • Make saving for retirement a priority. “The usual priority is a car, house, trip, etc. You know the drill: ‘I am young and I will start saving when I get my first raise.’ Before you know it, you have three children, a big mortgage, and two car payments. Life just gets rolling and we think we can always catch up tomorrow.” • Honestly answer these four crucial retirement savings questions and start today on your journey. 1. What do you need to earn on your savings and investment dollars in order to retire at your intended retirement age and have your money last your life expectancy at your desired standard of living? 2. How much do you need to save on an annual basis in order to retire at your intended retirement age and have your money last your life expectancy at your desired standard of living? 3. Doing what you are currently doing, how long do you need to work in order to retire at your intended retirement age and have your money last your life expectancy at your desired standard of living? 4. If you don't change anything that you are currently doing, how much will you need to reduce your standard of living in order to retire at your intended retirement age and have your money last your life expectancy at your desired standard of living?
And if you don’t want to listen to me or either of these money-smart guys, what about listening to one of the smartest people in American history on this matter?
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it... he who doesn’t... pays it.” – Albert Einstein
As Mark Clark says, “The one factor in this
And who wants to be trying to outsmart the
equation that we can't control is time. If we
stock market in your 50s or 60s just to make ends
start saving earlier, we can reach our retirement
meet when Social Security doesn’t prove to be
goals without taking more risk than we want.
enough to maintain your expected standard of
The longer we wait to save, the more risk we
living? Start small if you have to, but start today.
may need to take.”
You’ll thank me for it in about four decades.
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In the past five years, Venice, Sarasota, and Bradenton have all been named “best city to retire” by various groups that compile these interesting real estate sale-spiking lists. Well move over to our fair towns, because Cape Coral, a suburb just minutes from Fort Myers, is now number eight on the hot list of best cities to retire. Yes, SCENE is a local magazine that for the past 58 years has promoted everything local. However, what we would like to point out is that with Cape Coral now taking over “list mania”, maybe we can send some people further south so our roads aren’t so congested. Seriously. Can’t you see the difference with the amount of traffic this summer? Let’s send it south! Here are just a few of the “lists” citing the benefits of a life in Cape Coral: Forbes 2015 List of the Best Places to Retire
“Rosy economy in half-century-old Gulf of Mexico coast city developed with a master plan. Cost of living 4% below national average, with home prices also slightly below national average, at $190,000. Good weather, above average air quality, low serious crime rate.” 50
Bankrate.com 2015 Best Cities to Retire
“Retirees have many choices for how to spend their time. Sunbathing, fishing and golfing are all popular activities. With so much to do, it’s easy to see why residents gave the Cape Coral area the fifth-highest well-being score among seniors, according to Healthways.”
Paradise Found at a Fraction of Sarasota Prices!
Call Chris Porter Broker/Owner Cape Realty
Cell: 239.209.6611 | Office: 239.542.1998
Cape Coral is one of the nation’s first master-planned communities. The peninsular city lies between the scenic Caloosahatchee River, Charlotte Harbor and the Intracostal Waterway and features more than 400 miles of fresh and saltwater canals and 27 miles of shoreline making it a boater’s and fisherman’s paradise. It is common for retirees to purchase a reasonably priced home on a salt water canal, from which they can watch the sunset, or cast a line and catch a mangrove snapper for dinner.
Waterfront Wonderland – Need a home for your Yacht? Here it is! Spectacular views, deep water sailboat access just one block from open water. This home features a great room with a wall of sliders to enjoy the view. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, gourmet kitchen with a pantry. The home could not be duplicated at this price! $559,000
Cape Coral has a low crime and unemployment rate, the cost of living is low, there is good housing appreciation, great air quality, and in addition to being perfect for retirees, it also has an active and younger population. The number of Cape Coral residents with children at home is greater than 40% and its median age is 39.7. Excellent medical care is available at the Lee County VA Medical Center and Lee Memorial. According to its Chamber of Commerce, its vision for Cape Coral’s future includes plans for a thriving industrial and commercial base, waterfront development, and more attractions.
Exquisite Gulf Access Lakefront Home – 4 Bedrooms, 3 baths and a 3-car garage. Better than new, with a metal tile roof, all new impact windows, upgraded kitchen with granite, and a wood burning fireplace. The outdoor area is perfect for entertaining with a vanishing edge pool and spa which over look the big lake view and dock with a boat lift. $849,000
Family attractions include Peace River Nature Cruise and the Sun Splash Family Waterpark with two dozen wet and dry attractions. Annual activities include a festival of the arts, bicycle race, jazz festival, a Cinco de Mayo block party, a July 4th celebration, and an Oktoberfest. But fear not, Sarasota. We know we’re really still the best, but since we are a giving town, it’s easy for us to share the love with our neighbor to the south.
Newer Gated Community – The award winning community of Sandoval is the setting for this better than brand new home. 3 bedrooms plus a den with nearly 2000 square feet of living area. Beautiful tile flooring throughout the living areas, hurricane shutters on the windows, upgraded appliances, extra cabinetry, extended patio with private rear yard, two car garage and so much more. Resort style pool, dog park, miles of walking trails, and low HOA fees. You will not be disappointed! $244,900 August 2015
A GAME FOR
LIFE By Julie Milton
“Bridge is one of the last games in which the computer is not better.” – Bill Gates
History Hundreds of years ago the world was a very different place. Of course there were no televisions, telephones, computers, or cars so how did people connect? Poor people, rich people, clergy, young, old - they met at the local taverns and inns, in countryside homes, in palaces and one of the most popular ways to socialize was to play card games. The Tang Dynasty of Imperial China are credited with inventing playing cards in the 9th century; however, some historians believe they originated in Persia, were introduced to India and China, and from there spread to Europe in the 14th century. The deck had many similarities to the cards of today and had four suits. Different cultures put their own styles into their decks, with many influenced by their natural surroundings, such as early German decks which featured Acorns, Hawk Bells, Hearts, and Leaves. Popular theories regarding the influence of nature include: there are four suits for the four seasons; there are 52 cards for the 52 weeks in the year; and, the 13 cards per suit relate to the 13 cycles of the moon. Many early decks had no queens reflecting the male-dominated courts of the time. The French are credited with the red and black suit colors, which they used for better readability. By the end of the 15th century, the core elements of the deck and suits were established, and very little has changed through today. But no matter their origin and evolution, playing card games was a way of life shared by many for most of the second millennium.
One of the most widely played games of the mid-six-
contract bridge was adopted.
teenth century was called whist and it was wildly popular among Brits. Whist, it seems, was the game from which
One of the craziest stories I came across researching
the modern game of bridge was derived, and whist was
for this article happened in 1929 in Kansas City, Kan-
derived from an older game called Ruff and Honours.
sas. It seems that Mr. and Mrs. John Bennett were play-
The word “whist” is the old British equivalent of “shhh!”
ing against Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman. The Bennetts were
- an appropriate derivation since silence is demanded
having communication problems and began insulting
of the players. In Russia, whist was know as britch, and
each others playing ability. It was reported that Mr.
many believe that britch became bridge through a pro-
Bennett bid a spade, the left-hand opponent played
cess of folk etymology, which is basically people substi-
the two of diamonds, and Mrs. Bennett raised to the
tuting a word they know for one they don’t know.
four of spades. When Mr. Bennett could not fulfill the contract, Mrs. Bennett became hysterical. So hyster-
In 1742, Edmond Hoyle’s “Short Treatise” was the first
ical that her husband slapped her, which caused Mrs.
book devoted to the game of whist, and apparently
Bennett to get her gun and kill her husband. She was
it was a best seller. It wasn’t until the year 1857 that
acquitted. Wow. That’s all I can say about that!
the first game of duplicate whist was played in London, which eliminated much of the luck of being dealt
It was widely known that President Eisenhower played
good cards. In the early twentieth century, the mod-
bridge every Saturday night with top players from
ern bridge game replaced whist internationally among
around the world, was considered a very good player,
serious card players. Whist is still played in Britain in
and played in tournaments. By the late 1950s, bridge
local tournaments called “whist drives.”
was considered the number one card game in America.
Whist was introduced to the United States during the
Another pioneer of the modern game of contract
1890s and the rules of the game underwent changes by
bridge, Ely Culbertson, founded the magazine The
people who are considered pioneers of the modern game
Bridge World. Culbertson developed bridge princi-
of bridge. Multi-millionaire and America’s Cup winner
ples and treatments such as jump bids and new-suit
Harold Vanderbilt introduced different rules, principles,
forcing, and he was the first person elected to the
treatments and a scoring table in 1925 and the game of
Bridge Hall of Fame in 1964.
The Key to Longevity? Enough history. Fast forward to people we know today
sibly making bridge a very “healthy” game. The game
- billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Bill Gates
is very strategic and intellectually demanding, but it is
learned the game from his parents, but Warren Buffett
also a very social game that involves several players
got Gates addicted to the game in the late 1990s, with
and requires good communication skills. Many nona-
the two regularly playing tournaments. Gates has been
genarians who play the game are convinced that play-
tutored by a two-time world champion, Sharon Osberg,
ing bridge is key to their longevity.
who is also Warren Buffett’s regular bridge partner. The
three love the game so much and appreciate the value
It is important to make a distinction between sociable
of its complexities they launched a bridge program for
bridge and competitive bridge - the first is played in liv-
public schools in 2005, donating $1 million in funding.
ing rooms and the latter is played in tournament halls.
But what do all of these people know about bridge
Competitive bridge is duplicate bridge - the game in
that we all should know about the game? Apparently,
which the rules are modified to minimize the element
bridge exercises our brain as few other games do, pos-
of chance. Every player plays the same hand. In socia-
Players in action at a Sarasota InterCity Bridge Club game illustrate why In-Between Bridge Club’s Michelle Golden chose wisely for her club’s name: Bridge is for players from nine to ninety-nine, for the novice and the expert, and everyone in between. Pictured are nonagenarians June Plunkett, Elinor Borenstine, Hannie Couperus, and one youth player, Evan Berman. Photo by Nancy Guth. ble bridge, they do not play duplicate bridge rules. Du-
other lifestyle elements proving that multiple changes
plicate bridge players are always trying to improve their
in lifestyle can improve memory in those at risk for
game, which could influence the longevity of its players.
However, sociable players of the game also benefit from the challenges and the social aspects, but perhaps not as
Stefan Crynen, Ph.D., from Sarasota’s Roskamp Institute,
greatly as those who play at the tournament level.
agrees. “Brain games, mostly focused on memory, are only part of the brain exercise regime that is associated
It is the intricacies of the game that help those who
with building brain reserve. We also need to focus on
play sharpen acuity. Think of it as a form of mental
social skills, language and communication, creativity and
gymnastics. A 2000 study at the University of Cali-
logic/mathematic exercises. The card game bridge, when
fornia, Berkeley, found strong evidence that the area
played in the traditional (non-computer) setting, provides
of the brain used in bridge playing stimulates the im-
more than just the simple brain games, like Sudoku or
mune system because players use memory, visualiza-
puzzles. It requires social and communication skills as
tion, and sequencing. People who play bridge are less
well as tactics, memory and mathematical abilities to
likely to be depressed, sleep better, and have a better
master the game. It is a perfect tool to get several mental
life in general.
exercises combined in one challenging but fun game.”
New but limited evidence shows that playing Bridge
(Note: The Roskamp Institute researches the causes and
may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. A large-scale
potential therapies for neuropsychiatric and neurode-
clinical trial in Finland demonstrated the benefits of
generative disorders with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s
combining cognitive training and social activity with
disease. To learn more about the Institute, visit rfdn.org)
Local Bridge Clubs The In-Between Bridge Club in Sarasota is the third largest in the country. Founded in 1961, it is part of the national 167,000 member American Contract Bridge League (ACBL.org). According to local bridge enthusiast Margaret Tominosky, Michelle Golden, the In-Between Bridge Club manager, holds games for novices and advanced players six days a week. During season, as many as 300 people play bridge at an afternoon club game. Tominosky says that Golden has been teaching bridge for over twenty years and conducts lessons for both beginner and intermediate players with new classes starting all the time. The club is player-owned and hosts a weekly Tuesday afternoon
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game preceded by a complimentary lesson with world-renowned teacher Harriette Buckman, former president of the ACBL. Jim Gordon runs the very active Venice/Nokomis Bridge Club, where games are held seven afternoons a week. Running local and regional clubs and tournaments require the dedication and hard work of volunteers. They contribute because of their love of the game. Sarasota volunteer Iris Wilson coordinates bridge in schools, and with a group of helpers, served thirty enthusiastic students at Gocio Middle School last year. It was so popular they hope to add another school in the new school year. Adult Community Enrichment (ACE) classes at Suncoast Technical College offers bridge classes taught by Phyllis Prager. Her class, Bridge: Modern Bidding and Play, starts October 8th.
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From North Port to Bradenton, bridge clubs offer lots of games and classes making it easy to join the fun. Margaret Tominosky recommends these websites: Unit102.com for Sarasota/Bradenton Bridge; Bridgebuddy.net for Venice, and northportbridge.wordpress.com for North Port bridge happenings. Margaret says most club directors will happily find you a partner or advise you where you can best learn the game. Perhaps you already have some friends who know the game and you can learn around their kitchen table, or your church has a Bridge group. If you belong to a country club, they are likely to have a bridge club. If you’d like to try your hand at online bridge, Margaret says to try bridgebase.com. She says it is one of the better online choices and it’s free; there are often 10,000 people playing online.
1951Mercedes-Benz Bentley Mk. VI250SE OpenCabriolet Special 1967
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If you have any questions about duplicate bridge or can’t find a bridge group, Margaret Tominosky is offering her assistance. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Year-Round Open Bridge Games: Bradenton Bridge Association: Craig Abbott, 941.724.2029 | email@example.com
1937 MG SA Tourer
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Social Goodwill Manasota Annual Little Black Dress Fashion Show The Annual Little Black Dress Fashion Show and Luncheon drew 300 fabulously dress women and men to Michaels On East to support Goodwill Manasota and the Girls Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. The MC’s were Veronica Brandon Miller of Goodwill Manasota and Sue Stewart of the Girl Scouts. The models selected for the event were successful women in the media, including SCENE publisher Julie Milton. All of the “little black dresses” were at a fraction of the original cost because they were all from Goodwill. Each model was paired with a girl scout interested in a career in media. The media models mentored them and gave them advice, while the girl scouts helped select their Goodwill dress and also gave a confidence and courage talk.
Photos by Nancy Guth
Marybeth Flynn, Laurel Corriveau & Graci McGillicuddy
Sue Stewart, Bob Rosinski & Veronica Miller
Ruth Anderson & Violeta Huesman
Kristen Theisen, Andrea Stephens & Olivia Lamer
Leydy “LULU” Lopez Leydy has been working with our team at Carlson Cleaners as a CSR for almost 2 years now. We are so proud of her and grateful to have her on our team. Leydy is energetic, passionate about offering great customer service & just a blast to work with. - Donald Carlson Jr. Favorite Quote : “Persistence wears down resistance” - William J. Federer Favorite Hobby : Soccer! She has been playing the sport her whole life. Why are you so passionate about our business? Leydy says, “She loves helping people out. We have to do the best job every time because sometimes one chance is all we get and we have to make sure it counts!” What is the coolest service we offer & why? “Pick up & delivery. It is really cool because it is FREE! It is one reason why we have so many happy customers, the convenience of the service and the quality we provide is great.” (941)
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Bright Day Home Healthcare Bright Day was founded on the principle that caring – both for employees and clients – not only makes a difference in the quality of care provided but in the quality of people’s lives.
aving worked for one of the largest home healthcare agencies in the area for 12 years, CEO/Administrator Bonti Burgess founded Bright Day on a track record of operational excellence and an understanding that
consistency of caregiving, responsiveness, and accountability are paramount for client satisfaction. “There is a big need for home healthcare here with so many people going through difficult life circumstances who need someone to help them and guide them,” Burgess says. “No other company in town cares about clients and caregivers the way Bright Day does.” Accredited by the Joint Commission, which has the most rigorous accreditation program, Bright Day provides a full range of home healthcare from skilled nursing to home health aides and companions. As a service to clients, the agency also helps clients navigate the complexities of the healthcare system by providing long-term care insurance claims services. Skilled nursing services can range from wound care, medication set-up, and care for stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s patients to round-the-clock nursing care if needed. Knowing that clients also may need assistance with day to day living, Burgess offers help with bathing, doctors visits, shopping and errands, meal preparation, and social interaction such as playing cards or other games and just plain conversation. Because Bright Day has employees as opposed to a nurse registry that uses independent contractors, inhome nursing care is under the supervision of a registered nurse. All
Bonti Burgess, CEO/Administrator
employees are background-checked and covered by the agency’s liability and worker’s compensation insurance so the client does not assume those risks. “Clients can feel safe and secure that they are being taken care of by the right kind of organization,” Burgess says. Bright Day helps clients throughout Sarasota County wherever they may need its services. Employees help individuals in their homes or apartments, independent and assisted living centers, and hospitals or rehabilitation centers whether that means physical assistance or providing companionship to those who otherwise would have to be alone. One of Burgess’ goals is to provide consistency of care and satisfy clients’ desire to retain the same caregivers rather than having a constant turnover. Accountability also is a must. Burgess has instituted a variety of systems to assure reliability, such as a clock in/clock out system to ensure caregivers arrive and depart on schedule. “Having worked at a large home healthcare agency for so many years, I thought it would be rewarding to create an agency where I could put into practice the opportunities I saw for providing exceptional care,” she says. “Being a local company, not a franchise, means that we set policies and practices to meet the needs people have here in our own community.” More information about Bright Day Home Healthcare is available by calling 941.955.8900 or visiting brightday.care.
Scenes from an Interview
Robert Essner By Gus Mollasis
He is a fan of learning. His curious and analytical mind has always led him to seek the answers wherever they may be found. Always a good student, Robert “Bob” Essner studied the classics and became an ancient historian with an emphasis on Greek and Latin. When he realized his path led him to dead end employment opportunities and faced with raising his young daughter, he answered a catchy ad that changed his life. He would excel on that job, and as he did on every job that came his way, thanks to his classic Midwest blue collar work ethic. Bob Essner would create his own “Horatio Alger” story; rising from the ranks of tire stacker in a dirty, soot-filled Ohio warehouse, to the boardroom as Chairman and CEO of a major pharmaceutical corporation. The ad he answered many years ago asked, “Want to work in a stimulating and intellectual environment?” Today he is still answering that call in the stimulating and intellectual environment that is Sarasota as he now explores “ocean of opportunities” with Mote Marine Laboratories. His next goal is helping to take this prestigious institution to the next level as he spearheads an ambitious capital campaign. It’s a challenge he relishes, because he believes there are many answers to be found in the sea. Smart. Measured. Balanced. Hard working. Bob Essner is a natural leader with the seasoned skills of an orchestra conductor, learning all of the parts, and guiding the experts he leads to success. While I was looking out at the water from his lovely Lido Key home, I swear I could see Dr. Eugenie Clark smiling, as we reflected on his life journey where he has done well by doing good, and we took a look at some scenes from an interview of his life. Where were you born? Washington Heights in New York City. As a child, were you more apt to be running a lemonade stand or conducting a science experiment?
Were you a good student? Yes, I was always a good student. What was your first job? I was camp counselor and tennis instructor during high school
I don’t think I ever had a lemonade stand and I didn’t do a lot
and in early college. Being in Akron, I worked a couple years
of science. I did play baseball to the point where I have trouble
in a rubber warehouse stacking huge truck tires ten feet high. I
serving tennis today, because I pitched baseballs as a kid. I grew
remember throwing them around and coming home black with
up a Yankee fan. My family moved to Akron, Ohio, and being
soot and never being able to get quite clean. I was exhausted,
nine, I decided to go with them (smiles). I became a Cleveland
but I made good money, because I was with the Teamsters union.
Browns football fan and still suffer year after year with the Browns. What was most important thing you learned in your underWhat were the most important things that your parents taught you?
graduate days at Miami University? I learned how to learn. I learned how to think. I trained myself as
My mother taught me the love of learning. She was a college
a historian – actually an ancient and classical historian studying Greek
professor, she’s 94, and still sharp as hell. She’s very smart, fun
and Latin. You know when you’re studying that area in particular, it’s
to talk to, and challenges me all the time. She clips articles out
like you have 62 pieces of a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and from that,
of magazines and newspapers and sort of interrogates me about
you’re trying to assemble what the actual picture looks like. I learned
them. My dad probably taught me more about discipline and
to judge sources of information – what’s accurate and what’s not ac-
working hard. They both stressed the importance of education
curate – and why people said what they said. You try to assemble a
from an early age.
coherent picture out of fragments of what went on in 150 BC.
Bob in the Falklands during a 2014 trip to Antarctica
Anne & Bob Essner
What was the most important thing you learned while getting your master’s degree at the University of Chicago?
L-R: Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Dr. Irwin Redlener, Bob Essner and Sen. Edward Kennedy at a Children’s Health Fund event in New York
A teacher is great when they… Teach, first of all, but ultimately when they inspire.
I learned how to work like a dog. It was the hardest and most rigorous environment I’ve ever been around. It was tough as hell.
A school is great when it …
Every word you said, every word you wrote, every thought you
Develops its students.
had was rigorously attacked and scrutinized. It was great preparation. It was not always so pleasant when I was a young graduate
What was your first job after you got your master’s degree?
student, because you were getting beaten up intellectually all the
I was seeking to get a job teaching ancient history, because that’s
time. I think at that time, the University of Chicago considered
about all you can do when you get a degree in ancient history. I was
itself the best university in the world, and kind of an “intellectual
finishing my Ph.D. and taking exams. This was the time of the Viet-
boot camp.” No matter how good you were coming in and how
nam War. I started looking around for employment and there were
good your grades or credentials were, they were going to take you
literally no jobs. There was not a single job in my field in the United
down to nothing and build you back up in the way they wanted to
States in the year I was supposed to finish my Ph.D. I had a child, my
see you. Most of the students coming in were pretty exceptional
daughter Elizabeth. Looking at the face of my young daughter was
in their undergraduate work. It was a tough experience. The first
very much a wake-up call. I thought oh my God, what am I doing?
grade I got was a “D”. I hadn’t ever seen a “D”. And then I real-
I am not working and I’m not going to be able to do for her what I
ized that everybody was getting a “D”. It was an experience that
need to do for her. I abandoned the academic career plan. That was
helped me later in life. I learned that I could work really hard for
very difficult because I worked so hard and it’s what I wanted to do
months on end. It was such an intimidating environment that after
for a long time. I literally started looking for a job and nobody want-
that, I found very little else intimidating, and I think that’s what
ed to hire an ancient historian. It’s not exactly prime job credentials.
I got out of it the most. My courses were mainly seminars of six
Luckily I ended up answering an ad in The Wall Street Journal with a
or seven students and you had to present something to the class
headline something like “Want to work in a stimulating and intellec-
once a week. It was a free for all. You got ripped apart and you
tual environment?” I answered the ad because the ad copy sounded
had to defend yourself. It prepared me for the tough environments
like the kind of place I would want to be. I got a call from the com-
in life. I came out of there more confident in my ability to handle
pany about a week later and figured that I got the call because no
myself in hostile environments.
one else had applied. I had been getting a lot of turn downs from August 2015
Bob Essner is third from the left in the back row. Franklin Grade School in Hewlitt, Long Island Below: Wyeth NYSE Opening 2002: After Bob became chairman of American Home Products, the company name was changed to Wyeth. He and other colleagues were present to open the New York Stock Exchange on 3-11-2002 Bob & Anne with Mote Penguin
companies telling me I was overly qualified. No one wanted to hire
Was he your mentor?
me for the kind of jobs I was seeking. It turns out that over 100 peo-
Yes, Al James, the man who hired me was my first mentor. He
ple had applied and the man that was doing the hiring specialized in
was a teacher. He’s gone now, but I owe him a lot. He was a brilliant
hiring people with unusual and varied backgrounds.
guy and by nature a novelist. He actually wrote novels, though not published, but he had insights into human motivation that were ex-
Can you tell me about that company and that initial experience?
traordinary. He was in marketing research. He gave me a skill and I
It was for a marketing research department in a small divi-
think he taught me a lot about the pharmaceutical industry – how to
sion of a very large pharmaceutical company that is now called
analyze products, about physician behavior, and how to do marketing
Novartis, which is now a top five pharmaceutical company. I
research. I already had some background and had taught statistics,
was so naïve. I was used to looking at academic jobs where
but he gave me an orientation on the whole pharmaceutical industry.
they didn’t pay your expense for an interview. I had no experi-
The wonderful thing about it was that it was a small enough com-
ence in the business world. So I was thinking it’s going to cost
pany so you ended up doing everything by hand by yourself. This is
me. I have to buy an airline ticket and have to stay in hotel. And
before personal computers, so I’m crunching marketing research data
is it worth it if I don’t get the job? I was extremely poor. I called
by hand. Huge spread sheets. I’m doing all this detailed work that was
him back and they told me that they would pay my expenses
great training. If we were doing interviews, I would interview physi-
out there. So the next morning, I flew to Lincoln, Nebraska. I
cians, pharmacists and customers and then compile the data myself.
stayed in the Hilton Hotel and it was five below and snowing.
Every day, the management team, which was probably around 15 -20
It was absolutely miserable. This big, tall guy who was about
people, sat together for coffee in the morning, for lunch, and again
six foot seven picks me up. At first they just gave me tests. They
in the afternoon. So three times a day you sat with everyone in this
gave me data and asked me to analyze the data and write re-
organization. The manufacturing guy, the head of research, everyone.
ports. I spent the whole morning doing that and finally, by the
On a small scale and in a very, very small somewhat insignificant
end of the day, they made me an informal job offer. I was living
company, I learned a lot about all the aspects of being in the phar-
in Ohio at the time and I had to look at the map and figure out
maceutical business. You got to know everyone and their role in the
which one of this rectangular states is Nebraska. I ended up
organization. Eventually in my job, I became more like an orchestra
working for that small division for five years in Lincoln and had
conductor rather than someone who played music, because I learned
a great time there.
all the different instruments early in my career.
Bob with a three-year-old panda on a visit to a panda breeding preserve in Chengdu, China
In your job as both Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, please write your job description.
What was your greatest joy or triumph at Wyeth? We created some products that changed the world in a wonderful
They are very different. The CEO’s basic job is to make sure
way. We have a vaccine called Prevnar that saved the lives of tens of
that the company has very good plans for success and growth;
thousands of kids, saved their hearing, and saved them from brain
make sure the personnel they need to accomplish these goals are
problems. It prevents pneumococcal disease in a vast majority of kids
in place; make sure they understand what is needed of them and
who would otherwise get it. It’s the most successful vaccine in history.
that they work together well; and, that the resources are available
We helped create a drug for rheumatoid arthritis. When we created
to do that job. Again, it’s like being an orchestra conductor. I was
this drug there was no good therapy. I remember rehearsing a speech
surrounded by people, all of whom were better than me in what
I was going to give at an investor meeting. The man who was doing
they were good at. I had a brilliant scientist who knew 50 times
the projection work for the meeting came down from his camera post
as much science as I did. Everybody working for me was better at
and said to me, “I heard you mention a rheumatoid arthritis drug. I
what they did than I was, but my job was to make sure that all these
was suffering from this disease. Six months ago I couldn’t get out of
different parts came together and formed something that sound-
bed. My joints were swollen and now I’m back to work. You saved
ed good and worked. The Chairman is different in that in most
me.” That was incredible. When the pharmaceutical industry works,
companies they don’t run the company but they run the board
you do well by doing good. You make people’s lives better and your
of directors. The Chairman is mostly involved with governance.
company does well. But it doesn’t work all the time. Failure is ex-
They’re involved in watching the CEO and management team with
the board of directors and making sure how well they do their job; that their goals are appropriate; that things are properly measured
There is a component of altruism in that.
and monitored; and, that compensation is appropriate for the suc-
It’s altruism but what I think people don’t understand is that if
cess that is achieved or not achieved. They’re in an oversight role,
all drug research efforts were purely altruistic, there wouldn’t be
not an operating role. CEO’s do operations and Board Chairs do
any. When I retired from Wyeth, they were spending well over
oversights in most companies.
three billion dollars a year in research and development. To fund that you have to have income coming in. Without the income
If you’re the orchestra leader as the CEO what is the Chairman?
there is no funding and research.
The Chairman would be the head of the Orchestra organization, like Carnegie Hall, and making sure that the conductor is
What was the most challenging aspect of your position there?
picking the right music, playing it well, getting the right reviews
The most challenging part of the research-based pharma-
and making sure that there is good harmony in the orchestra. The
ceutical companies that are really trying to develop and invent
music metaphor is a good one because the conductor is rare-
new things, is that almost everything you start fails. It’s very
ly the best at any particular instrument but he has to make sure
difficult to be in an environment where you’re going to start
that it all comes together by understanding enough about all the
something such as a research project in a specific area like Alz-
instruments. I had to understand enough about science, manufac-
heimer’s disease, which is where I spent a lot of time and en-
turing, legal, regulatory, public relations, and investor relations,
ergy without any real success. You know you’re going to spend
all these different functions, so I could conduct the orchestra. I
enormous amounts of money, time and resources for some-
always wanted people much better than me specializing in what
thing that you hope will work. You have to do it full thrust and
they were doing. Wyeth was a huge company. When I retired we
give it every chance of success. And the other half of your brain
had 52,000 people working there.
says that there is a 98% chance that this is going to fail. That’s August 2015
the trick of being in a leadership role in a company like that
go. I had spent a lot of time on the east coast of Florida, but I knew
because if you don’t go full thrust and do everything possible to
that we didn’t particularly want to go there. So we flew to Tampa
make it successful, you increase the probability of failure. But
and started driving south, and arranged meetings with Realtors
yet you can’t lose sight of the fact that this will probably fail
along the way in various towns. We knew some people who raved
and you have to have a lot of other plans in place when it does,
about Sarasota and we ended up coming here and liking the feel
because chances are it will fail. Because failure is real.
of it. We found this house but still went to check out Naples. We ended up coming back and buying our Sarasota house three days
Like anything, NASA for instance, there is a need to keep at
after we saw it.
it until you get to the goal. If NASA would have failed as much as drug companies failed,
What is your favorite way to spend the day in our beautiful
nobody would have ever gotten to the moon (smiles).
You are now an advisor for The Carlyle Group, a global alter-
pool. I work with the Mote organization. There is lot of stuff going
native asset manager. What is your greatest joy and biggest
on here. I got involved with Gulf Coast Community Foundation
and spend some time on some of their projects. It’s actually too
I like to play tennis. We like to go to the beach and swim in the
The Carlyle Group is very large and successful private equity
easy to occupy your time here.
company. They do a lot of things and what they do really well is buy companies they take public or private. Before they buy them,
How did you first become involved with Mote Marine Lab-
they have very detailed and insightful plans how they’re really
going to improve that company. The image of private equity is
Sort of by accident. Mote was involved in the caviar business
short term, slash and burn, but they are not like that at all. They
and struggling a little bit with that, so they asked a friend of mine
work extremely hard and it’s a pleasure to work with these peo-
to help and that friend called me. I was no expert in caviar, but
ple. They have great values. They know the only way they can be
I knew something about retail distribution. So I got involved in
successful is to add value. They invest in the companies they’re
that. Like most people, I thought Mote was a nice little aquarium
working with and it’s an extremely strong organization.
that you could visit with your grandchildren. I really didn’t know anything about the research aspect of Mote. As I got closer to it, I
When they ask for your advice in business, what do you tell your
started to see what was going on and with my strong background
students at the Columbia Business School?
in scientific research, I liked it and what they were doing here. I
I’m an Executive in Residence and Adjunct Professor at Co-
brought one of my science colleagues down who had an interest
lumbia. In the executive in residence position, I primarily advise
in sharks and asked him to check out the science for me and make
students on a variety of things, especially their careers. On the
sure it was pretty strong. He felt it was. So I gradually got more
teaching side, over the last seven years I have taught one or two
involved. I currently serve on the Board of Trustees and I am the
courses a year. I’m very lucky in that the students who are attract-
Chairman of the 2020 campaign.
ed to my classes can give me advice. They’re incredibly strong. These are not kids. They’ve already graduated and Columbia in-
As Chairman of Mote’s 2020 Capital Campaign, what are the
sists that you go out and work for four or five years and come
short- and long-term goals?
back. Their resumes are amazing. I try to guide them a little bit,
Mote is a tremendous resource. It really is a top five marine
but I don’t need to give them a lot of advice because these are
research laboratory and is much better known and respected in
self-driven adults who are typically spending $100,000 of their
the marine research world outside of Sarasota than it is here. It’s
own money to get an MBA.
an organization with incredible potential. I am trying to help them develop better fundraising efforts and expand the organization sci-
How did you find your way to Sarasota?
entifically in a way that it deserves to be. To have Sarasota position
Completely by accident. When I was at Wyeth I was working
itself as such a strong science base, with Mote as its centerpiece,
extraordinarily long hours, extremely focused on what I was doing.
in what we refer to as the blue economy is the goal. Mote is well
To be honest, I would drive from my heated garage in my house to
managed and the science is very good and they use their resources
a heated garage at the office building. Typically I was there before
efficiently. They just need more visibility and more local support.
the sun came up and home after the sun went down. As strange
The campaign as much as anything is about adding scientists, jobs
as it may sound, I never really noticed the weather. It wasn’t a big
and places for the scientists to work by expanding the site. Some
deal to me. Then, in the year I retired, we encountered a terrible
people may not know that Mote is not just in Sarasota, but it’s also
winter in Morristown, New Jersey. I told my wife, Anne, that this
in the Keys and in Charlotte Harbor. We want to expand Mote’s
weather was terrible and that we need a refuge and someplace to
infrastructure on the Southwest Gulf Coast of Florida.
If you are the CEO of the world, how would you fill out the following “to do” lists?
Please say the first thing that comes to your mind… Dr. Eugenie Clark…
The top thing I would do for the betterment of the planet is … I would find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. That’s what I worked on a lot. That’s really the meteor heading for earth if you look at the demographics of what’s coming, as people like me get older. It’s frightening. The treatment for Alzheimer’s disease would deflect the whole curve of costs, of suffering, and of nursing homes. I think it would have the single greatest impact on our healthcare problems of anything we can do. It’s a tough problem because we don’t understand the brain very well. The top thing I would do for the betterment of the United States would be… I would heal the current adversarial political environment and I would create an environment that attracts the right people to go into public office. You want people going into public office for the right reasons by representing ordinary people and making the country stronger and better. We need to find pragmatic ways to solve our problems rather than the highly polarized situation we’re in today. People who you want to take key roles in government frequently say, it’s too nasty, too hard on my family, too expensive, and I won’t do it. You need an environment where people can work together and get something done for the good of the country. Right now at least in Washington, that doesn’t exist. The top thing I would do to improve Sarasota is… I love Sarasota, but we have to work on the traffic problem (laughs). It’s annoying at times, but without tourism you don’t have the kind of community we have here. We have wonderful natural resources, we just have to make sure we don’t spoil it.
An amazing personality. She had tremendous vitality and energy. She was diving in the Gulf of Aqaba in her nineties on her birthday. A lady who was world famous and just full of life. The Shark lady. She led a vivid life in full color. Ocean of opportunities… That’s the slogan for our campaign. It’s a bit of a pun, but there really are oceans of opportunities for Sarasota and for Mote for developing both a scientific and commercial infrastructure based around the sea and on what’s in the sea and protecting the sea. There’s a lot there. Huge amounts of untapped opportunities. Mote’s had a great history and it has done well but the potential is enormous. The importance of research… Research is what creates opportunities. You come up with scientific insights, new technologies and new techniques that create the basis for new industries, products, ways of doing things and ways of protecting that environment. What Mote is doing in the Florida Keys with the reefs is amazing in that they are restoring the reefs in ways that are practical and work right now. Imagine what that could do for tourism? To bring these beautiful creatures back is incredible. Besides the ecological side, there is a lot of economic opportunity. Out of the many valuable organizations that we have in Sarasota, tell us why Mote Marine Laboratory may be one of the most important? For me, we live on the water and we see the water every day. We see how important the gulf and bay are every day. You can’t take it for granted because if you do it isn’t going to be there. That, combined with my interest in science and research, made Mote kind of a natural fit for me. I’m also involved in New York in The Children’s Health Fund, which is an incredible group started by singer Paul Simon and friend, Dr. Irwin Redlener. They bought a Winnebago and outfitted it as a medical clinic and started to drive it around to the poorest neighborhoods in New York, staffed with doctors and nurses and technology. I don’t know how many units they have today, but I believe they’re doing this in 25 cities across the states. They’re just taking care of tens of thousands of kids in a way that’s inspirational. Do you think, as some have stated, that since many answers can be found in the sea, can many answers also be found in the rain forests? It’s a good question. No one knows what the answer to that question is, but you got to believe if the rain forests are a source of all kinds of new medicine, then the sea has to be equally important. How do you want to be remembered? As someone who tried their best and made a difference in whatever he did. August 2015
“I’ll Remember You” By Julie Milton
It was 1972 and I was taking my first airplane trip away from home with my girlfriends, Roberta and Debbie. We were in our late teens and going to Las Vegas to not only experience Sin City for the first time, but also to see our heartthrob, Elvis Presley, perform at the Las Vegas Hilton.
remember arriving at the Hilton, looking around the lobby in amazement at people from all over the world radiating excitement and carrying stuffed hound dogs and other Elvis souvenirs. Yes, Elvis was IN the building. In fact, he lived in Penthouse 3000 on the hotel’s 30th floor.
Being three giddy teens with wild imaginations, we lay awake that first night giggling that Elvis was
fifteen floors above us and shouldn’t we sneak up to his floor and try to meet him? Of course we knew the “Memphis Mafia” would immediately bounce us, but just talking about the possibility thrilled us. The next night, we lined up with the masses and anxiously waited to enter the huge showroom. As I think about it these many years later, people really looked goofy. They were wearing Elvis hats, buttons, his signature scarves, and carried hound dogs – whatever Elvis keepsake they had. Not us. We were too cool for that and besides, we all plotted, Elvis may see us, fall in love with one of us, and our lives would never be the same. Now for the show. Elvis will still slim and gorgeous in 1972 and when he came onstage wearing one of his signature tight fitting jumpsuits, the screams were deafening, including the sounds coming from me and my cronies. He sang some early Elvis for the “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” fans, as well as one or two of his beloved gospel songs. Everyone swooned when he crooned “The Hawaiian Wedding Song” and “It’s Impossible”. But the pièce de résistance was when he donned his cape, got down on one knee and performed “An American Trilogy” – a medley of three songs fused together – “Dixie”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “All My Trials”. Glory, glory hallelujah is right. Elvis made all of us hysterical yet again. He threw scarves into the crowd, he shook hands with those lucky enough to be in the first row, and did everything he could to make us all want more. I have attended many shows and concerts in my life by some of the greatest singers and entertainers
ever, but I have never experienced what I did that night in 1972 leaving the showroom after Elvis “left the building”. Everyone was crying – men, women, children, young, old – everyone. No kidding. It really was a night to remember. Five years later, one hundred pounds heavier, a troubled and
The number of people we help support each year is equal to almost
A THIRD OF SARASOTA COUNTY’S POPULATION.
ill Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977. We all know that story. When he died, a close friend at the time, an equally insane Elvis fan, declared that we were going to Memphis because the King was dead. If I could have taken time off work, I probably would have gone, but that didn’t happen. It is August, the month of his death, and 38 years later, I remember “my time” with Elvis with the adoration of a fan’s love that will never fade.
ELVIS IN SARASOTA Elvis performed four shows on February 21, 1956 at the Edwards Theatre, the old Sarasota Opera House. He wore a lime green shirt and gyrated in front of screaming Sarasotans as he sang “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, and “Tutti Frutti”. Tickets to daytime shows were a mere 76 cents but if you went to the two evening shows, it jumped to $1.00.
Edith Barr Dunn, described in her Sarasota Herald Tribune obituary as a “dynamo fundraiser who loved to parade around town in her convertible Mercedes, jewelry, and Stetson hat”, was the waitress who served breakfast to a young Elvis at the Waffle Shop restaurant on Washington Boulevard in Sarasota. It was reported that Elvis told young Edith, “Ma’am, your skirt should be shorter because your gams are too pretty.” It was further reported that Edith was unimpressed saying, “I thought he was conceited. He was just a flirt.” Hmmm…wish he would have flirted with me!
Grammy-award winner Dayton Burr Howe, who is said to have gotten his nickname “Bones” when he was a skinny junior at Sarasota High School, began mixing records in 1957, working with Elvis and other legendary performers. He kept copies of the tapes from Elvis’ sessions in a box in his garage for 30 years, selling them back to RCA after the record company lost its tapes.
COULD ONE OF THEM BE SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT?
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The Classical Academy of Sarasota By Ryan G. Van Cleave
The Classical Academy of Sarasota opened its doors for 187 students this past year, and this coming year — only their second — has them maxed out at 250. Why are people so interested in their children having a classical education? Why is the school already looking into constructing new buildings so they can comfortably enroll 400 students? The answer is in the school’s name: “classical.” Josh Longenecker, who founded the school
student to become a logical, virtuous citizen. That interest clearly exists here too.
with his wife, Harmony, wanted a classical liber-
First and foremost, the Longeneckers spent
al arts education for their four children. “We had
two and a half years consulting with Hillsdale Col-
come from a classical school in Colorado and
lege to get crucial input on their academic philos-
wanted to bring that excellence in education to
ophy and curriculum. Those who know Hillsdale
Sarasota,” Longenecker says. Their hope was to
— sometimes called the “conservative Harvard”
offer a different type of education than what was
— know its curriculum is heavily based on Gre-
available in our area, and they suspected it would
co-Roman culture and the Judeo-Christian tradi-
be a good option for other area parents as well.
tion, and they require every student to complete
Across the U.S., classical education has experi-
a core curriculum which includes Great Books
enced a resurgence in the past decade because
courses and readings on the U.S. Constitution. En-
parents are interested in a back to basics educa-
countering classic texts, too, is part of what The
tion, focused on excellence and a return to virtue.
Classical Academy requires of their students. In
The ultimate aim of classical education is to train a
fact, they believe in the value of these texts so
much that students start reading the Declaration of Independence in kindergarten. “We go back to the basics,” says Longenecker. “Classical education leans on primary source history accounts, rather than textbooks and offers students a content-rich study of science, geography, literature, reading through explicit phonics, grammar, and math beginning in kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade. When we teach history, we use the original authors of that time period to discover the true issues and challenges of their day. If we’re studying ancient history, for example, we’ll read Plato, Cicero, and Heroditus. For the Revolutionary War? We find Jefferson and Adams. The writers and texts that have stood the test of time — St. Augustine, Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain — are what we read here. To have a great mind, one must read great books.” Another key feature of a The Classical Academy education is that Latin is taught at every level. “The foundation laid by an understanding of Latin helps a student advance in all subject areas,” says Longenecker. It’s part of the foundation of the English language — half of our English vocabulary is made up of Latin words or roots, after all! — and
their children.” And right alongside the value of
and math, as well as law, government, logic, and
faith, Longenecker also believes in American ex-
theology. Learning the intricacies of Latin, too, is
ophy at work.
the best preparation students can have for learning
It is the search
it also has clear benefits in the fields of science
additional languages later. The Classical Academy also values the teach-
for the ‘good
ing of, and adherence to, virtue. For Longeneck-
er, this means focusing on the classical virtues of
is itself a way
temperance, prudence, justice, and fortitude. “In all of us, there’s a natural understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong. Our founding fathers wrote about this, calling it the ‘unalienable rights’ of man,” he says. “Virtue is self-control, courage, and wisdom. It’s what we want in our own lives and it’s what we want to teach our students.” While some classical schools have a clear religious focus, the emphasizes virtue. They encourage and appreciate faith, but as to which one they teach or prefer? None. “That’s up to the family and their churches. Faith is personal. We respect the right of families to teach their individual faith to
of living.” – Robert Hutchins, American Educational Philosopher
ceptionalism, which explains the Academy’s interest in a liberal arts education that emphasizes civic virtue and returns to the founding principles which have made America great. This isn’t about political affiliations but rather understanding the arguments and challenges in light of the basics. “We can’t talk about Big Ideas without the foundational knowledge. We don’t draw conclusions based on emotion — we go back to logic and facts, and that’s how we make sound judgements about history as well as current events.” Longenecker adds, “If we want to be virtuous, well-educated people, it takes a lot of effort. It doesn’t just happen.” The greatest machine we have at our disposal, he says, is our mind. That’s why Academy students don’t use calculators in math or rely on computers to do all the work in other classes. It’s also why they’re taught logic, sentence diagramming, and rhetoric. “To write great things and to understand great things, we August 2015
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must fill our minds with great things,” he explains. To that end, all students and parents are required to sign a contract that acknowledges the level of commitment it’ll take to succeed at The Classical Academy. This past year, the Academy had
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classes ranging from pre-kindergarten to 10, and with each subsequent year, they’re adding an additional grade, so they’ll graduate their first high school seniors in 2017. After spending two years trying to receive charter approval from the Sarasota County School District, the Longenecker’s decided to turn the Academy into a private school, which means they have to charge tuition. But they keep it as low as possible, and encourage families in need to apply for support like the
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state’s Step Up for Students scholarship, which offers K-12 scholarships for private schools. For a school with low tuition like The Classical Academy, the Step Up scholarship will fully cover the cost of its
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extracurricular activities, those are available, too. Latin club. Spanish club. Chess
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Behind the Scene
Society Maven Debbi Benedict Gives the Latest Scoop So you want to be a philanthropist? You’ve seen plenty of names on buildings, board rooms, and broom closets and you, too, would like to “leave a legacy”, for all eternity, or long enough at least for all the people in your Longboat Key condo to be rightfully impressed. After all, who would have ever known Lewis and Eugenia Van Wezel had ever lived in Sarasota if not for the massive purple building on the bay front named for them and the $400,000 contribution from their foundation. They definitely got some bang for their philanthropic buck! Now a days it seems like everyone with a few dollars to rub together has a family foundation or at the very least, a donor-advised fund at one of the community foundations. If you don’t, some VP at the various foundations is not doing their job. Speaking of donor-advised funds, I bet you thought you had to have at least $100,000 to start one. Oh, no, no, no, dear Poodle. At both the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, you can start a donor-advised fund for as little as $100! Who knew?! Of course, no one there is going to be giving you much attention, supporting your charities, or taking you to events for your $100, but you can truthfully say you have a donor-advised fund all the same and I am sure your name will show up on one of their lists somewhere. So, where do you start to make your plan to become a philanthropist in Sarasota Society? First of all, choose your cause. Think about an area where you have an actual interest and think about if you want to go in the direction of human services or Sarasota’s infamous “arts” scene. The arts, like The Ringling, the opera, the ballet, the orchestra, or Asolo get much more attention than actual human services, but if you plan accordingly, you can do both! How is that? Well, you can fund a program for the disadvantaged to participate in one of the arts and then it is a win-win for both human services AND the arts! August 2015
Donating to higher education is also a big plus in social circles. Supporters of both New College and Ringling College of Art + Design play in very high levels of society. In fact, did you know Sarasota’s oldest black tie event, until recently, was New College’s dearly departed Mistletoe Ball? At one time, everyone who was
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anyone was involved in the New College Library Association, but that is the one thing to remember, times change, and so do the current “it” organizations. But I digress…now, you have made your decision on what organization is going to be deemed worthy of your initial donation. So, what you can do to get the most for your ever-loving dollar? Start with buying a table at their most prestigious event. That’s always a good
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opening move. If they know what they are doing and use their fundraising events as a cultivation tool, which is what they should do, then you should expect to get
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a lovely note thanking you for supporting said event. You will then be on their philanthropic radar.
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From there, the organization will probably do a little research on you to see if you are “worth” pursuing – in more ways than one - and give you a rating on their donor profile scorecard. How to recognize when you’ve been “selected” by an organization? They may invite you to a few VIP donor events or take you to lunch to get to know you and your interests better. If they invite you to a private event with the head of the organization or
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star performer, you know they are giving you the full-court press. Start opening your checkbook right then and there. Then, if it’s an arts group, selecting to be some kind of performance sponsor is always a big deal and as a bonus, you get your photo in the program book for the entire season, which means all your friends will get to see just how much you
like giving back or at least how much you like to see your name and picture in print. Whichever, it doesn’t really matter in the long run. Organizations don’t care why you are giving, as long as you are giving. Money is money. Or maybe the organization has a “membership”. If you can donate at the highest level, you will immediately receive lots of attention. There are usually all sorts of perks that go along with the top level and it allows you to rub shoulders with all the other top donors and get to know them on an even playing field. The next step is the capital campaign.
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opera’s capital campaign? I always kind of giggle when I go into the “named” ladies room in the opera house. Not so sure I want my name on a bathroom, but hey, it’s one place almost everyone goes and the sign is right at eye level, so maybe they are the smart ones! One area that really does not cost you any money in the here and now is to name an organization as a beneficiary in your estate plan. You do have an estate plan, don’t you? Oh my, how charitable organizations love an estate plan! Of course it helps your philanthropic clout to be at an age where it looks like they might receive it relatively soon! And also, that you have no bothersome heirs who might want to contest the will! One
effects of giving is that it makes you happier and healthier, or so they say. If you look at the age of some of our “ageless”
see that philosophy in action at many
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social events. Bea Friedman and Betty Schoenbaum are both still going strong as they glide ever nearer the 100 year old mark (Bea is 95 and Betty is 98). When feisty philanthropist, Ulla Searing passed
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is called a volunteer, not a philanthropist! Still wonderful and needed, but just not the same. Alas, all my dear grandchildren get to do is to go on the Nana Plaque Tour, where we can tour each organization where I have been president or won an award and there is a plaque in the office
to commemorate the occasion. That will have to do for now until my inheritance or
the lottery comes along and I can get my name emblazoned on an entire building,
or maybe a bathroom doesn’t seem like such a bad idea after all! Until next time…TaTa!
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Beach READS August 2015
By Phillippe Diederich
When Jimmy Cox and Dan Turner walked out of the McDonald’s on the outskirts of Leesburg, they found a man hanging around Jimmy’s blood red, ‘72 Cutlass Supreme 4-4-2 convertible. Jimmy had left the top down and this man wearing faded jeans and a white button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his biceps was walking slowly on the driver’s side, running his fingers along the top of the rear fender real gentle like he was touching a woman. “Can I help you, Champ?” Jimmy always called people Champ. It was something he got from Henry Webb who was old school and called people Tiger, as in, what’s hanging, Tiger? He said it gave people a false sense of superiority, putting them at a disadvantage psychologically speaking. “She’s a beauty,” the man said. His shirt was stained yellow at the armpits and his blond hair was a mess. “Look all you want, but don’t touch.” Jimmy didn’t like people messing with his ride. “I hear you, friend.” The man raised his hands and stepped away from the car. He had three-day stubble on his face and a pair of Ray Ban wayfarers resting on his head. “What you got in her?” “A four-fifty-five, and a four-barrel Holley, “ Jimmy said. “No way.” “Way.” Jimmy was twenty-two. He was like a wound up coil ready to spring. The man was in his mid-thirties. He had the look of someone who’d been around. “So where you guys from?” “Miami,” Turner said. “Oh, yeah?” Jimmy opened the door and slid into the driver’s seat. The man made his way around to the other side of the car where Turner was standing, his hand resting on the door. “You taking 27 all the way down?” “What’s it to you?” he said. “I could use a ride, at least up to Highway 80 if that’s all right. I’m headed down to West Palm.” Turner leaned into the car. “Whatchoo say, Jimmy?” He shrugged and stared ahead, his wrist resting over the steering wheel. Turner opened the door and pulled the seat forward. The man stepped in and sat in the middle of the back seat and announced his name like it was a prize: “The name’s Hal Dixon.” Jimmy started the car and revved it a couple of times so it trembled and howled. Hal smacked his thigh. “Damn!” Jimmy slid down on his seat and backed the car out. “So where you from?” Turner said. “Detroit.” “No way. That’s where they made Jimmy’s car.” “My old man used to assemble engine blocks for GM. Thirtyfive years.” “Got laid off?” “You kidding? He got a full pension and moved to Florida. He’s living the life.” “West Palm?” “Port Charlotte.” Jimmy steered the Cutlass onto Highway 27 and cruised south,
his left arm resting out the window, his right hand perched over the top of the steering wheel. Hal leaned back and stretched his arms over the back seat, his blonde hair blowing in the wind like a wild fire as Jimmy brought the Olds to a comfortable sixty-five, the engine purring like a satisfied mistress. “Some sweet ride,” Hal said. Jimmy was smug. He knew what he had. He’d won the car in a poker game two years ago from Tito Morales, an old Cuban who collected vintage muscle cars and thought nothing of paying top dollar for his babies at the Barrett-Jackson Auctions in Scottsdale. Tito had been so impressed with Jimmy’s poker skills he didn’t mind losing the Olds. He also introduced him to Tony the Duck, who started using Jimmy on a regular basis for personal errands, deliveries, and as occasional muscle whenever he needed to make an impression or collect from a reluctant client. Jimmy loved that car so much he kept it in a rented airconditioned garage in Perrine just south of Miami. He took care of it better than he took care of his girl, Mona. “So what’s in West Palm?” Turner said. Hal smiled. “Got a job.” “What kind of work?” “This and that.” Turned laughed. “That’s what we do.” Jimmy gave Turner a look. He downshifted and stepped on the gas and they were pulled back by the drag as they passed a semi. “In Miami?” Hal said. “Wherever.” “I hear you.” Hal lowered his Ray Bans over his eyes, the black lenses reflecting the sun and the stretch of road ahead. “Gotta make a living,” Turner said. “Where you driving from?” Hal asked. “Georgia.” “How come you ain’t taking the interstate?” “How come you ask so many questions?” Jimmy piped in. Hal laughed. “Just making pleasant.” Turner nudged Jimmy. “Relax, bro.” “Kid’s got an attitude,” Hal said. “He’s a little high-strung, but he’s okay.” Jimmy adjusted the rearview mirror and glanced at Hal. “So what kind of job you doing in West Palm?” Hal pushed his shades up over his forehead and leaned forward, resting his arms on the front seat. “Pick up and delivery.” “Funny,” Jimmy said. “We just did a delivery, didn’t we, Turner?” Hal gripped the front seat. His yellow, cigarette stained fingers pressed against the white vinyl seat of the Olds. “Miami, Miami. You guys know a Fred Jackson?” “Fred, Fred?” Turner looked at Jimmy. “Ring a bell?” Jimmy shrugged. “No. Don’t think we do.” “They call him Fingers,” Hal said. “Freddy Fingers?” Turner laughed. “Older guy, cracks safes?” Jimmy glanced at Hal through the rearview. “We just saw him last week at Sushi Samba in the Beach, didn’t we, Turner? Sucker loves raw fish.” “Hangs out with Leo Santini and Big Truck Tony,” Turner said. August 2015
“You guys know Big Truck Tony?” “You know Big Truck?” Jimmy said. “Not in person, But I know Fingers. We used to roll together in Detroit back in the day.” “No way.” Jimmy smacked the steering wheel with the palm of his hand. “Fingers is from Detroit?” “Born and bred,” Hal said. “I don’t believe it,” Turner said. “Funny.” Jimmy glanced at Turner. “I ain’t never heard him talk about it. Never said nothing.” “Maybe he’s too proud.” Hal smacked Jimmy on the shoulder and they all laughed. Jimmy stepped on the gas. The engine screamed and the needle settled past a hundred. Hal pushed his sunglasses over his eyes and smiled. They all took it in on a long empty stretch of highway and citrus. After a moment, Turner patted Jimmy on the arm and he brought the car back to sixty. Hal slapped him on the shoulder. “You got a real sweet ride, kid.” “You wanna see something cool?” Jimmy said, and looked at Turner. “Show him the piece.” Turner eyed Jimmy. “Go ahead, show it to him.” Turner reached under the seat and pulled out Jimmy’s Glock. He flicked the release and the magazine dropped onto his hand. He cocked it and it spat out the bullet from the chamber. Then he offered it to Hal. Hal unrolled his sleeve, pulled it over his hand and took the gun. “Nice.” “It’s a .45,” Jimmy said. Hal held it up and pointed at the orange groves to the left and right. He felt its weight, turned it on its side and examined it like he was considering a purchase. Then he handed it back to Turner who shoved the magazine up the handle and replaced it under the seat. “You ever use that thing?” Hal asked. Jimmy grinned. “You packing?” Turner said. “Nope.” Hal leaned back. The sun fell across his face, picking up the sharp edge of his stubble. “Say, you ever wonder why in the movies the boss is always called Tony?” Turner looked at Hal. “What, like Big Truck Tony?” “Like Tony Soprano.” “Or Tony Montana,” Jimmy said. There was a long silence. “And who else?” Jimmy asked. “Tony Bennet,” Hal said, and they all laughed. They cruised in silence for a long while. It was just the engine rumbling deep and low and the constant rolling hills of orange groves for as far as they could see. It was late March and the trees were dotted with white blossoms and the smell covered them like the perfume of an expensive whore. After they passed Mineola they came up on a Circle K with a gas station and Jimmy pulled in for fuel. Turner walked to the side of the building to use the restroom while Jimmy filled her up. Hal stepped out and leaned against the back of the car facing Jimmy. “You know, we could take this place.”
Jimmy turned and studied the store. There were three cars gassing up and a handful of customers inside. All around were citrus groves. Hal crossed his arms. “We can be in and out in five minutes.” “Might not be worth the money,” Jimmy said. “They got a safe in the manager’s office.” “How do you know?” “We got Circle Ks in Detroit.” The pump clicked off. Jimmy pulled the dispenser out and replaced the cap. “You can use that Glock.” Jimmy paused. “I thought you might wanna break her in.” Jimmy grinned. “How much you think we can get?” “Three, four grand.” “For real?” Hal nodded and made a small gesture with his hand like he was dusting off his sleeve. “We wait ‘till the place clears out, run in and out, and that’s it.” Jimmy replaced the handle on the pump and walked back to Hal. “Four grand, you serious?” Hal shrugged. “Give or take a few hundred.” Jimmy stared at the store. There were two old people in the Buick behind them. The line of citrus groves and the blue of the sky reflected off Hal’s glasses. “Just like that?” Jimmy said. “Why not?” A short smile grew out the side of his face. “What about Turner?” “What about him?” “I dunno. He might not want in.” “I know I could use a couple grand.” Hal dropped his hands and stepped away from the car. Turner was walking toward them. “And I know you’re itching to use that Glock. I’m sure you wanna put some stories behind that piece.” Jimmy looked down. Hal was right. He’d had the gun for almost six month and had never used it. Not once. He imagined himself sitting at Tony’s place handling the gun, bragging to Vic and L.D. Respect. “Done?” Turner joined them behind the Olds. “Hal and I were talking,” Jimmy said. “Maybe we should hold up this joint.” Turner moved to the side and glanced at the store. A shirtless redneck was walking out with a case of Busch. “We can use his Glock,” Hal said. Turner stared at him. “That’s ten years in State.” “They got a safe in the manager’s office,” Jimmy said. “We can get three or four grand, easy.” “How do you know that?” “Hal told me. They got Circle Ks in Detroit.” Turner’s eyes shifted from Hal to Jimmy to Hal and back to Jimmy. “I don’t like it.” “Why not?” Jimmy’s voce changed pitch. “We’re in and we’re out and we’re gone. Couldn’t be simpler.” “It ain’t that simple.” Turner said. “It’s never simple.” “Sounds simple enough to me,” Jimmy said. “We get at least a grand apiece. Just like that.”
“Or ten years.” “Only if we get caught,” Hal said. Jimmy paced back and forth along the length of the car. “We ain’t gonna get caught.” “Famous last words,” Turner said. “Come on.” Jimmy was dead set. “It’s no big deal.” But Turner didn’t like it. They’d just delivered a suitcase of cash to Tony’s man in Valdosta. They were going to get a grand each for that. A grand or two didn’t seem worth the risk against ten years. Hal put his hand on Turner’s shoulder. “We’ll wait ‘till there’s no one around. I’ve done it a hundred times.” “Bull,” Turner said. Hal smiled. “A couple of times.” “You don’t even have to go in. Hal and I’ll do it. You can drive.” Turner looked ahead, past the Olds, at the highway. “I can’t drive shift.” “What?” “I said I can’t dive shift.” “Jesus, Turner. What are you good for anyway?” “I’ll go in alone,” Hal said. “No. I wanna go in. I wanna use the Glock.” Jimmy looked around. “You drive. I’ll go at it alone.” “We split it fifty-fifty,” Hal said. “What about me?” Turner said. “You’re not a part of it.” Hal said. “I’m in the car. That makes me accessory.” “But you ain’t doing nothing,” Jimmy said. “Fine,” Turner said. “I’ll go in with you.” Jimmy smiled at Hal. “Can you drive shift?” Jimmy pulled his gun out from under the seat and removed the safety. Hal dug through the trashcan next to the pump. He picked out a couple of paper bags and gave one to Jimmy. “Keep it in here. They can’t get you for ten if they can’t prove you used a gun.” Then he gave the other bag to Turner. “You can fake it.” The three of them leaned against the side of the Olds and watched. Two employees were working the counter. When the last customer left, Hal got in the driver’s seat and pulled the Olds around the side of the store. Jimmy put the bag over his gun and looked at Turner with a crazy grin, his eyes wild with adrenaline. Turner and Jimmy walked slowly to the front of the store. They could hear the rumble of the engine idling. Turner nodded. They pulled their t-shirts over their noses and stormed in. “Don’t move!” “Hands up. Now!” The clerks raised their hands and looked at each other. Turner pushed one of the clerks back. “Keep them up. Move back.” “He said back up! The both of you.” Jimmy waved the bag with the gun. “You.” Turner pointed his bag at the clerk closest to him. He was young, maybe twenty, and had a deep brown complexion and his hair was trim and gelled back. He looked as if he was making an effort in life. Chasing the dream. “Get the cash from the register and put it in a bag.”
Jimmy moved his gun from one clerk to the other. “Now!” he yelled. “All of it.” The clerk startled like he’d woken from a dream. He glanced at his co-worker. Then he stepped up to the register, pressed a button and the drawer sprang open. He took the money from the tray and put it in a plastic bag. “And under the tray.” Jimmy waved the paper bag. “All of it.” The clerk pulled out the tray and took out the money in fistfuls and shoved it in the bag. When he was done, Turner took the bag and pushed him back. “The safe,” Jimmy said. “Don’t forget the safe.” Turner looked at the front of the store. It was deserted. “Open the safe,” Jimmy said. The clerk’s hands trembled. “The manager. He not here.” He had an accent, not quite Cuban. Mexican. “I don’t give a damn,” Jimmy yelled. “Open it.” The clerk stared at Turner, pleading. Jimmy cocked his gun. Turner moved forward and put the paper bag against the clerk’s head. “Open the safe, now.” “I don’t know how. I swear.” His voice quivered. He closed his eyes and began to pray in Spanish. Turner took a step back and looked at Jimmy. “You.” He smacked the other clerk on the head with the gun. “Open the safe.” The clerk was fat. His whole body trembled as he moved back into the office. Jimmy jumped over the counter and followed him in. The other clerk kept praying with his eyes closed, his hands up in the air. Turner stared at the gold wedding band on his finger. He could not imagine his life, his work, his wife and kids. He would be telling this story to his friends for the rest of his life. Jimmy ran out of the office and jumped over the counter. “We got it, man. Hal was right.” He held up two plastic bags full of money. “Gotta be two grand, easy.” They backed up slowly, paper bags pointed at the clerks. When they reached the exit door, Turner stepped out. “Come on.” Jimmy stayed inside. He didn’t move. “Jimmy.” Jimmy’s eyes were like a pair of ping-pong balls. He removed the bag from his hand, aimed the Glock and pulled the trigger. The explosion cracked across the store and escaped into the lot and got lost among the citrus. The Mexican clerk jumped and waved, then clutched his chest with both hands. “What the heck?” Turner grabbed Jimmy by the shirt collar and pulled him out of the store. A whiff of gunpowder rushed around them. “What’d you do that for?” “It’s broke in.” Jimmy shrieked like madman on speed. He waved the Glock. “It’s broke in, man.” They ran around to the side of the building and stopped. Hal was gone. The Olds was gone. Phillippe Diederich short fiction has been published in numerous national literary journals. His first novel, “Sofrito” about a CubanAmerican who travels to Havana to steal a secret recipe, is available from Cinco Puntos Press at bookstores everywhere. www. phildiederich.com August 2015
By Lenore Myka
#1 We drank it on the night of our first-year wedding
you too much of ginger ale and the hangovers weren’t
anniversary. If I’m recalling correctly it was some particularly
worth it, but I knew that you thought stouts made you
good brand or so we’d been told; neither one of us would
more sophisticated and manly. We were both twenty-four
have known if it was and never did learn any better. My
and thought we’d grown up.
mother gaped when I held it up for her inspection. To think it will be wasted on the two of you, she said. The thing I admired the most wasn’t its flavor but the
We watched our wedding video snuggled on the couch together, your arm draped over my shoulders, my hand on your knee.
bottle itself. I liked gripping it around its long, narrow neck
Your father must have spent the entire night behind
and taking swigs from it, pretending I was Daisy Buchanan.
that recorder you said, and I had to agree. I was reminded
You said, It needs to be chilled, and held up the plastic
of the feeling I had at our wedding as the lights and music
bucket I’d used hours earlier to wash the floors of our new
and faces blurred and swirled around me in the August
rental, that one-bedroom with the broken thermostat so
heat. The camera was my father’s only way of hiding in
that in the dead of winter we kept the windows wide open,
plain sight. At one point I wrested it from him, turned it on
walking around in shorts and T-shirts. You were making an
his face and felt I’d never understood him better than in that
effort; you were proud. I kept my mouth shut. Even then, so
moment, feeling the comfort in no longer being an object
early in our marriage, I was learning.
of attention, attention that seemed oddly assigned for such
You found some plastic cups the former tenant had left
a strange reason as successfully finding someone to love.
behind and we toasted to the buildings you would design
Now, decades later, I understand what an achievement
(including, I added, our future house), and the galleries
a successful marriage really is, though it seems wiser to
that would house my paintings and the adventures we’d
applaud its longevity, rather than its naïve start. I wanted
have, traveling around the country — better, the world. The
to stay behind that camera for the rest of the evening and
plastic didn’t clink so we made our own sounds, snorting
would have if you hadn’t gently tugged it away from me.
with laughter, the carbonation tickling our noses.
You handed the camera back to my father and he
We drank the champagne with chocolate covered
thanked you in an unnecessarily profuse manner and
strawberries I’d bought at a pastry shop down the street, an
gripped your shoulder, and for a moment the two of you
extravagant purchase for us at the time, and after one glass
looked at each other without speaking. It was that moment
you wandered into the kitchen to get a can of Guinness.
that sealed the deal for the two of you. His good opinion
You said you never much cared for champagne; it reminded
of you never wavered. August 2015
#2 That night of our first anniversary, after the video had
The second bottle was a Spanish red. For four years you’d
run through, we sat for a long while in the darkness. There
been snatching it out of my hands. Not yet! you’d cry. Not
were unpacked boxes strewn around us; we’d managed to
that one! I hadn’t realized you were superstitious until those
plug in the television but hadn’t yet located a lamp, light
four bottles were given to us. I was much more lax about the
bulbs. I finished eating the strawberries and wiped my face
possibility of drinking them, especially when we’d just spent
with the back of my hand and you knocked the beer cans
all our savings on a down payment for the house on the North
off the coffee table when you stood up. I’ll clean them up
Shore and money was tight and we were faced with going to
first thing tomorrow you said and even back then I knew
the dinner party of friends who appeared more successful
you wouldn’t. Arguments you have for a lifetime, I thought.
than ourselves empty-handed. We argued a lot back then.
Something my mother had said to me once. I woke in the middle of the night to one of your hot
You said I’d complained about not having a place of my own and now that I did all I could see were its faults.
hands on my abdomen, the other cupping my breast. I
I didn’t think suburbia, I cried. I thought loft in Soho! I
turned to meet your mouth. It was open and warm and
did not say what I was really thinking, how it was supposed
to be a house built by you.
Your buddy, the one you and your other friends
Kids! you shot back. House! Whoever said anything about
nicknamed Rover for how much he got around during
a loft in Soho? I didn’t drag you into this. You said you wanted it.
college, the one who lived out in Northern California and
I know. I sobbed. But I changed my mind. Can’t I
designed video games for a living and spent weekends in Sonoma at his then-girlfriend’s family house, he was the one who gave us the four bottles, his wedding gift to us.
change my mind? You held my head in your hands, pressed your forehead against mine. Yes, you said. Absolutely. Just give it a year?
Each one intended for a special anniversary — first, fifth,
A year, I agreed. And though you were kind and made
fifteenth, twenty-fifth. Each year carefully selected so that
a point of asking me had I changed my mind, I got used to
the wine would have aged with us.
giving it a year and another year more.
I never would’ve thought Rover could be such a
You used the wine as an excuse; you said the bottles
romantic, I said when I saw the basket filled with wine
wouldn’t taste right if we drank them too soon, they needed
bottles. You have no idea, you said.
to mature. You were so worried about me opening the other
That night of our first anniversary together, I ended
two bottles prematurely that you hid them all which, I now
up finishing the rest of the bottle all on my own. The next
realize, made me angrier than I should have been. It’s not
morning in bed you leaned over my face and put your
about trusting you, you kept saying over and over again,
mouth to my ear and whispered, I told you so. You gave
but I kept hearing the voice of Dr. Horowitz in my head (we
me a huge glass of water and a bottle of aspirin and seated
were seeing him once a week at that point): It’s not about
me in front of the TV with a plate of toast and tea and I
the baby, it’s not about the car, it’s not about money. Still, I
remember thinking: This bodes well.
thought: If it’s not about trust then what is it about?
What happens after our twenty-fifth? I asked you and
As it was, we didn’t drink the bottle until months
you said Twenty-fifth what? and I said Anniversary, of
after our anniversary; what with Lila having a tough time
course. You shrugged. Maybe Rover figured we’d be settled
transitioning into preschool (so early, our poor girl’s
enough to buy our own expensive wine by that point. But
challenges), Maggie only just born, me postponing my
it bothered me, the conclusiveness of that twenty-fifth
graduate degree at the school of education (again), and your
anniversary bottle. Had Rover done that because he knew
new job at the architecture firm. One of the reasons we
something we didn’t, was maybe older at twenty-four than
bought the house we did was for that new job; you could
we were, knew some secret about life that we had not yet
take the commuter rail into town, walk home to unwind.
Somehow, I kept forgetting this. Eventually, we brought the Spanish red for that last
Thanksgiving dinner at your parents’ house. We’d been the
turned without responding, hurried into the kitchen.
first to arrive; Maggie had been colicky and fussy; you’d
What else could I do but follow after her?
taken her and Lila for a drive around the neighborhood to
Days later, on the ride home, you wouldn’t say a word
see if they would both fall asleep. I warned you to drive
to me. You couldn’t believe I’d learned before you about
carefully, the roads were becoming slick with new snow
their decision to split, had held it inside me for days, and
and you didn’t even look at me, just flicked your hand and
hadn’t told you.
backed out of your parents’ driveway without a word. You
How, you wanted to know, could I not tell you?
were still frustrated by our conversation in the car ride
I’m not sure why at the time it was so hard for me to
down, my indecisiveness about going back to school, back
say, Because I love you. I suppose we weren’t saying that to
to work. You’re the one worried about money, you’d said.
each other all that much back then.
I watched you drive to the end of the road and turn, standing
We drank the wine the same day I’d given it to your
there in the cold long after you’d left. I was thinking about that
mother, just before Thanksgiving dinner. Red seemed better
car. The blue Honda. We bought it used from a man recently
suited for the cheese hors d’oeuvres, your mother said.
widowed who said it had belonged to his wife. A month and
White went best with poultry. Your father said: I like red
half before our wedding. We told each other stories about the
with everything and your mother’s eyes narrowed in a way
road trips we’d take together in that car, cross-country, all the
only I yet understood. Still, she complimented the vintage,
way to the Grand Canyon and back. You whistled “(Get Your
said it was complex, lively. Those Spaniards! Your parents,
Kicks on) Route 66” for months. I was thinking about the house
unlike us, knew about wine.
you were supposed to build, that car. I was wondering how many more promises life would force us to break.
That Thanksgiving night, I was already awake when Maggie woke up. I told you it was okay, I knew it was your
A month after that Thanksgiving the Honda’s transmission
turn but this was my Thanksgiving gift to you, I’d let you
died and we added new car payments to our growing list of
sleep this time, take care of her myself. You kissed me,
adulthood grievances. We still haven’t seen the Grand Canyon
tugged thankfully on my pajamas. It wasn’t anything serious;
and you tease me, knowing how much I hate the expression:
she was just hungry and after I fed her I carried her around
Add it to your bucket list. Next year, I say. Next year, you agree.
the dark rooms of your childhood home and told her some
That afternoon, while you drove the girls in circles, I
of the many stories you’d told me about growing up there.
was alone in the house with your mother for about an hour;
You always liked to tell those stories of your childhood and
not that long, all things considered, but as it turned out, long
those stories got me to thinking: Even if the ending wasn’t
enough. I could smell the turkey and one of her famous pies
what they’d imagined, your parents had done a good job,
baking. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. It’s pecan, she said, her
given you a good childhood; after all, you wouldn’t have
brow furrowing. Can’t you tell by the smell?
had those stories if they hadn’t. I thought maybe that was
Your father, she said, was out.
the best anyone could offer. And so I made a promise to
We brought this, I said, and I will never forget her
our youngest child then, hoping that despite her sleeping,
expression when I handed the wine bottle to her, explained
despite her being a baby, it would seep into the crevices of
that it had been intended for our fifth anniversary but we’d
her memory, find a home there somewhere: I’ll do my best.
never gotten around to celebrating, things had been so busy,
At the time I thought I was making this promise to
we both felt so tired at the end of most days, what with the
Maggie, but I realize I was making it to Lila too, and to you
baby’s sleep schedule and Lila’s pre-school and your new job.
— to all of us.
We figured it would be a nice thing to share with you and
For many years you didn’t know this specific detail: After
Don, I said. Your mother’s eyes pooled up; her lips trembled.
I put the baby to bed I went back downstairs and into the
She held the bottle with her fingertips, as if it were a butterfly
kitchen and through the back door. I worried about the back
wing and might crumble to dust, and I thought it might slip
door; no matter how much WD-40 your father dripped into
from her hands, shatter on the tile floor of the foyer. She
its hinges it still screeched and I didn’t want anyone else to
#3 wake up and find me. Even though there was nothing wrong
Is it our silver yet? Or bronze? you asked that morning
with what I was doing, I didn’t want to have to explain; I
and I said: I don’t think there’s such a thing as a bronze
wanted this to be my little secret. I have learned over time
anniversary and silver is old — twenty-five or fifty. Fifty
that we all need to keep some secrets, even if they seem
is golden I think, you said, but fifteen should count for
innocuous from the outside, and I know this is true because
something, especially since I can’t even remember our
when you did finally find out about it, I felt that a piece of
myself that was all my own had been lost. The clouds looked like the heads of old ladies floating by; they kept turning the moon off and on. The snow had
I remember our tenth, I said. You were quiet for a minute. I’m sorry, I said, I shouldn’t have said that. It was unnecessary.
stopped falling and covered the yard, making it bright enough
You said: No, no, that’s okay. It’s okay. I’m sorry too,
for me to see where on the deck your father had tucked the
and I slapped the pillows on our bed and said: Haven’t
garbage bin. The bottle was right on top of the other empty
we apologized enough? Let’s say on this, our fifteenth
cans and bottles; it had that label I admired, expressionist
anniversary: It’s over! It’s done. No more apologies.
inspired, a bullfighter (What else? Those Spaniards!) mid-
You smiled. No more apologies? At all?
twist, his cape fanned out like a single scarlet wing, strong
Well, no more apologies for that. Deal?
enough to carry him up into the sky. One wing; that’s all
Deal, you said. Still, shouldn’t it have some metallic-
he needed to fly. Back in our bedroom I tucked the bottle in a baby blanket and stuffed it in the diaper bag. When we were leaving and you took the luggage out to the car
sounding name? This anniversary? Fifteen years. Fifteen! Copper, I said. Maybe it’s our copper anniversary. Aluminum?
you said you sure hoped there were bars of gold in that bag
Aluminum. Definitely not that.
and I thought that even if there was a bottle in there, it was
I was still in my pajamas — it was one of those times —
empty and couldn’t have added that much extra weight.
and mercifully you didn’t say anything to me, didn’t ask if I
It made me wonder if you knew, still makes me wonder
was going to go to class or if I planned on getting dressed,
though you swear to this day you did not. Once we got
what my schedule for the day would be. I’d quit another
home I went up to our bedroom and locked the door. The
desk job, was back to that interminable graduate degree.
bottle was the first thing I unpacked. For years I tucked
Gently, so gently you asked: What about painting? And
it in the back of my closet along with the cigar box that
though I loved you even more for it, I made the mistake
contained a copy of our wedding invitations, a newspaper
of thinking you wouldn’t understand, so successful you’d
from the day we’d gotten married, a cork from the bottle of
become. A partner at the firm. You were finally building
champagne we — or rather I — had drunk during the toasts.
a house, a weekend retreat, for us. Sometimes, I hardly
When years later you finally discovered it you said: Why
would you keep it? But this time your tone wasn’t the same
I sat on the bed watching you loop your belt through
as it had been that Sunday afternoon driving away from your
your trousers, pull your socks over your feet, standing on
childhood home; this time your face was as open and bright as
a single foot at a time. You were still strong and athletic,
the snow-covered yard I’d fished that bottle from. As I said, it
but then it wasn’t as if you were old, just shy of forty. But
was many years later and we’d come a long way by that point.
still, we both felt so old then, didn’t we? And yet in some
I don’t know, I said at first, trying to think of the right
ways I remember feeling much too young because it seemed
words. Maybe I wanted a reminder.
impossible for my child’s mind to manage all that was going
A reminder of what? you’d asked, and I wanted more than
on in our lives at that point. In that moment, sitting in our
anything to wipe away the wounded expression on your face.
bedroom, I yearned for those days when I could ask my
That wasn’t our brightest time.
mother what to do and she would tell me, as if life could be
No, I said, it wasn’t. But I wanted a reminder of a promise I’d made.
as simple as a recipe you follow instructions for. Beat the eggs with the cream. Fold the liquid into the flour mixture.
Pour into a greased pan. Bake until golden.
It went on like that for a few weeks, our tenth
You never could tie a tie, still can’t, and I always had
anniversary wedged somewhere in the middle. I
to help you. But this morning, though you struggled and
imagine neither one of us felt any cause for celebration.
struggled, I wasn’t paying attention and let it go on so long
We didn’t even drink that bottle the year of our fifteenth
that finally you said: Help! Please! I felt you study my face
anniversary. As I recall, after I tied your tie, I walked you to
as I crossed the long strip of fabric, brought it up and over
the front door and we kissed each other, a tender kiss, and
itself, inching it toward your throat. When I was done you
said Happy Anniversary and that was it. We never did decide
cupped both my cheeks in your always warm hands and
on what to call that anniversary — copper, aluminum, nickel.
said: She’ll be alright, sweetheart. Someday we’ll look back
And when you came home after a long day at work we had
on all this and laugh. I nodded but inside I thought No,
dinner with the girls but drank diet soda instead.
there are some things you just never have the ability to
It wasn’t until five years later that we opened up that
laugh about and this is one. It was one of those things I still
third bottle. You’d rediscovered it and the fourth in the
wish I hadn’t been right about.
basement (your hiding place from me apparently even
It’s a shame about that particular bottle because I think
too good for you), when you were cleaning things out,
that quality-wise, it probably was the best of the four. French
your way of coping after dropping Lila off at college. You
Bordeaux, wasn’t it? What was Rover thinking, I’d said to
brought the bottle upstairs, blowing the dust off of it saying:
you around the time of that tenth anniversary, coming from
Look what I found, and we ended up cracking it open, right
Northern California and buying us only one California red?
then and there, three in the afternoon on some Saturday
Where was his loyalty? You said, Just because someone’s a
in late August. I remember the humidity, the mosquitoes
romantic doesn’t mean they’re loyal and I said: How ironic,
we swatted away as we sat on the porch. You kept raising
coming from you. Thankfully, you didn’t respond; you,
your hand to your brow whenever you turned to face me,
unlike me, have always been good at biting your tongue.
shadowing your eyes from the sun. It was the first time
My rage back then was all to do with Lila. I took it out
in a long while we’d been alone together and both of us
on you, as humans are wont to do when we feel helpless,
seemed keen on resisting the urge to talk about what was
most immediate in our minds. It will be good, I said, to
In retrospect, I should’ve anticipated the question; it made sense, after all, for the doctor to ask it of us. What I didn’t anticipate was your swift reply; at the time it felt like a betrayal.
spend more time with you again. You smiled. It will be good to spend time with you too. We shared a single glass; one of us still had to pick Maggie up from swim practice and we weren’t sure whose
Any history of depression in the family? A hereditary
turn it was. Finally, you offered: I’ll go. You’ve always done
link, of course, yes, it was perfectly reasonable. But in
that, offered to go, for sports practice pick up and drop off,
that moment I paused and you leapt.
to replace the empty carton of milk, to mail out the last
Well, yes, you’d said, gesturing toward me and then, seeing my expression: Wouldn’t you agree? Later, in bed, I said: Are you saying it’s my fault? Lila’s problems are my fault? No. You were impatient with me, tired. Don’t be ridiculous.
of the Christmas gifts at the post office, to find the right bottle of wine for some new recipe I was trying out. You always offered to go, even with those rare late night calls, our struggling child. Those were the times we both knew it would be too hard for me to go, and despite my guilt I was grateful that you never said a word about it. We must
Now I’m ridiculous?
have been cats then — nine lives, nine chances. I started
Listen. This isn’t about you.
counting them up, all our close calls, and worried so much
Actually, I said, it is. How dare you say that to that man?
it kept me up at night. We were running out of lives.
It’s none of his business. In fact it is, you said. If it’s going to help our girl out, it is.
What did I do? I’d cry and you’d always say, Don’t go there, and wrap your arms around me, even on those August 2015
occasions when I resisted. You’d repeat over and over into my hair: We did our best, and I’d think of that second bottle hiding in the back of the closet, mere feet from where we sat embracing, and I’d relax for a moment, wondering if it was the time to tell you about it, if it might serve as some sort of palliative when I’d come closest to losing all hope and belief. But I knew it wasn’t enough, my
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best. I knew, though you never said it, that sometimes you felt that way. How could you not? There must have been some connection. Perhaps if I’d handled my own issues differently, Lila wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital, dropping out of school. Maybe she would have gotten to the other side faster, I don’t know. I know you’d say the past is past, there’s no sense in rehashing it all; she’s fine, after all, our Lila. But I’ve always been better at looking back rather than forward; I leave that job to you. After you went to pick up Maggie, I put the cork back on the bottle and placed it in the refrigerator and there it stayed until it went bad and smelled of vinegar and I had to dump it, three-quarters full, down the kitchen sink.
#4 We both agreed: the fourth bottle wasn’t all that good. The only California wine among them all, a Shiraz, and neither one of us cared for it. That didn’t stop us from finishing it though. In the midst of drinking it, I remember asking you: Whatever happened to Rover? What was his real name? Adam, you said, his
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name was Adam. I don’t know why I asked you; I already knew what his name was from all the stories you’d told me about your time together. I held a place in my heart for him; somehow I thought he was responsible for our survival. As long as there were bottles to drink. But I wanted you to tell stories to me again, I wanted to feel as if I was hearing them for the first time, learning about you for the first time. I wanted that freshness we’d shared together so long ago to sweep back in, as if riding on a breeze coming through the window. You obliged, of course; you’re infinitely obliging. I leaned back in the Adirondack chair and stretched my legs out in front of me and closed my eyes, focusing on your voice and the taste of that disappointing wine, trying to find something redeeming in it, besides of course, the fact that it was wine. We were at our weekend retreat, just the two of us. The world around us was dappled with color. At one point in your story you stopped to say: Maybe we should have drunk this sooner? Maybe it was intended for our fifteenth? But I was too focused on the details of the story you were telling, the one that took place in San Francisco, how the two of you marched in a protest, shutting down the Bay Bridge or some such youthful nonsense, to respond. I started to imagine that time
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in our lives, how I’d visited San Francisco during the year that you’d lived there
Michael B. Edwards, Broker
in New York, what if I hadn’t chosen to live with my boyfriend at the time for
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the summer months? What if? What if? I nearly burst into tears thinking of what a
with Adam and wondered: What if I’d passed you on the street and we didn’t even know it? What if you hadn’t moved back to the East Coast for that internship
close call it was, our meeting.
You can drive yourself crazy with What ifs, you said, reaching for my hand. You had an ability — a superpower, I called it — not to look back. I envied that in you. I envy that in you. It’s not that I’m disappointed; it’s not that I wish I lived my life any
differently than I have. It’s just that I sometimes wish I’d lived a thousand different lives, in addition to this one I’ve been living with you. I felt guilty admitting that to you. I felt it was the deepest betrayal, deeper than any you had ever inflicted on me. But you nodded and said, I understand. I really, really do. And I knew in my heart that you did.
anniversary, you surprise me. A bottle. A fifth bottle. I hadn’t expected that. An Argentinian Malbec. The people’s wine, I say. You remembered. Malbecs are my favorite. I know, you say. We’re old enough now, to buy our own. A table wine. Cheap, you joke. Cheap, I agree, just the way I like my wine. Like I’ve said, neither one of us ever did learn any better. Lenore Myka is the author of King of the Gypsies: Stories, winner of the 2014 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Her fiction has been selected as distinguished by The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Required Reading series. Learn more about Lenore at www. lenoremyka.com. August 2015
Listing Europe By Dora Simpson
“Le train... un léger retard,” droned the disembodied voice over the intercom as the train slowed to a stop. “La neige.”
Steve — his eyes were shut again. Rebecca closed the book. The ride from Brussels to Paris on the high-speed Thalys train
Rebecca grabbed the French translation book
should’ve taken an hour and a half. A rare snowfall
from her purse and thumbed through it. A slight
in the city of romance, what are the odds? For true
delay. The snow.
Floridians, snow indeed seemed like a romantic
The clock on the cabin wall behind her husband,
treat; however, Wisconsinites by birth, Rebecca’s
Steve confirmed they were running behind schedule.
family was very familiar with the effects of snow.
“We’ll have to skip the walk I planned down Rue
Running noses, freezing toes, fogging glasses, and
Cler,” she said, “and get lunch near the Louvre
the potential to fall on their assets, was not her
instead or supper after it closes.”
idea of romantic. If foresight were a power she
“I got Babybel cheese left from breakfast,” their
possessed, she would’ve chosen late spring rather
sixteen-year-old daughter, Emily offered without
than the middle of winter. Sure, she’d packed for
looking up from the computer.
winter conditions: ski jackets, snow pants, and
Steve looked out the train window. “What time’s closing?”
waterproof hikers. They brought hats, mittens, and scarves, and even packed wool pants, cashmere
“Six.” By the time they arrived at the station,
sweaters, and cold weather Under Armour, but they
purchased their tickets, and then rode the métro
also had their nine-year, Florida-thinned blood. No,
to the stop nearest Hotel La Serre it’d be almost
the thought of walking the streets of Paris bundled
one-thirty. Check in meant another fifteen
up was far from Rebecca’s idea of romantic.
minutes lost from their day. Travel from the Métro
Frustrated with the delay, Rebecca shoved
École Militaire directly to Concorde Métro was a
the book back in her purse and tried to suppress
minimum of twenty-five minutes with the walk.
the growing anxiety as she visualized her carefully
A few quick photographs of the place Maria
crafted plans slide across the tracks and derail into a
Antoinette was beheaded, and then off through
snaking pile of carnage.
Jardin des Tuileries Gardens. “We’ll only have
She stared out the window at the thick layer of
about three hours,” she said. She looked up at
white covering the landscape. Trees, their branches August 2015
heavy with wet snow, stooped over the fields as if
It never failed, when she had an event to
it were harvest time. Plumes of gray smoke drifted
plan her thoughts become persistent, obsessive
over the dark forest that nestled the wall of houses.
thoughts — the kind that demanded a pencil and
There was no beginning or end to the sky, just a
paper to lock into place. Most events required
continuation of white as if God had dropped the
lists: homework, cleaning, shopping, bill paying,
houses and trees onto a blank canvas, and then,
weekend trips... Sometimes, Rebecca made lists
distracted by his other plans, forgot to add the sky.
to remind her to make lists. Many times, she
Rebecca wondered if God had an itinerary for
had two or three lists going for the same task.
creating the world — a list of things he needed to
Still. She couldn’t stop herself any more than a
do — or if he was the spontaneous type.
jumper could stop their body from plummeting
She tried to be the spontaneous type; much
to the earth. So, she wrote lists and ritualistically
like hotels tried not to have a thirteenth floor
crossed out each item upon completion. An
— moving from the twelfth to fourteenth — but
unexplainable interior force compelled her. The
in reality the floor was still there. Out of sight
ritual gave her a sense of completion. One thin
worked for those obsessed over numbers and
line of wet ink sliding across each letter and the
bad luck. Lists were her thing, but numbers were
word — the task — was erased forever.
magical and informative. She was born on the thirteenth.
the cabin. It was a palette of red and white. Red
It was also the score of her recent screening on
seats. White tables. Her window seat faced forward, and thankfully, the one next to her remained empty.
“You are most likely suffering from an obsessive-
Steve and Emily’s seats faced hers. Between the
compulsive disorder,” the screen warned. “Seek
seats was a table; not the flip-down kind found on
immediate professional help for an OCD evaluation.”
airplanes. Each person could setup their laptop with
I’m a lister. But professional help? So what if
plenty of room for documents and a drink. Above,
she made a list or two? Yet, there was that time,
their backpacks fit in racks. Travel by train, other
after seeing her lists on the counter, Steve smiled
than the delay, was preferable she decided.
and said, “Honey, you forgot to put Walk out the
“Are there bathrooms on the train?” Emily asked.
door on your list.”
“At the back of the cabin,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca sat back in her seat, crossed her
“Through the doors.” The look on Emily’s face told
legs, and tried to block the mental images of her
Rebecca a solo trip wasn’t part of Emily’s plan. “The
itinerary. It’s always the same. The lists started
dining car is on the other side of the bathrooms,” she
as a gentle whisper in the cerebrum. Soon, the
continued. “We could get a snack.”
voices turned into maddening chatter, each item
“And a glass of wine,” Steve said, standing up.
on the list repeated in exact order, a forgotten
Emily pushed her coat off her lap and stood too.
item, and then she had to return to the beginning
“Finally,” she said, stretching. She looked around
Thirteen was her magical number. Psych Central.
The train began to lurch forward again.
“Should I bring the computer?” she asked.
again. Her heart rate rocketed as she constructed
Rebecca looked at the seats across the aisle
these mental lists, but her palms gave way to
from them. An older, British-looking couple slept in
perspiration as the virtual images evaporated like
the rear facing seats; and opposite the gray-haired
morning mist under an unyielding sunrise. Closing
woman, a younger mother rocked her swaddled
her eyes to visualize the mental notebook never
infant. “Just put it in your seat and cover it,” Rebecca
relieved the building anxiety.
told her. “It should be fine.” Her advice went against
everything she’d read on the internet about safety
“Two glasses of Chardonnay, and a glass of Diet
and security abroad. She picked up her purse and
Coke,” Steve said to the bartender. “What did you
slung it over her head in a cross-body fashion. “We’ll
want to eat?” he asked Emily.
only be gone a few minutes.”
“Can I get an Earl Grey instead? And the
When they reached the back of the cabin the
Croque-Monsieur Campagne?” Emily asked. “The
doors automatically opened and a rush of air hit
toasted ham and cheese sandwich,” she said for their
them. The sound of wheels clanking across the
benefit. Her French was not perfect, but it surpassed
tracks filled the four-by-four space. The smell of
anything Steve or she could conjure.
fresh baked bread tugged at her empty stomach. “I’ll hurry,” Emily said as she stepped into the compartment.
Both Steve and Rebecca ordered a fresh baguette sandwich and they sat in the empty car to eat. Steve and Emily couldn’t seem to let
Steve leaned against the large-item luggage rack
the bathroom situation go. Rebecca tried to pay
next to the men’s bathroom. “What time were we
attention to their conversation, but the words from
supposed to be at the Louvre?”
the touring plan danced in and out of focus and
“I’d hoped to be there by two. Four hours
provoked her. She unzipped her purse, withdrew
barely gave us time to see the top twenty must sees.
the itinerary book and pencil. The lead made a soft
Attempting it in three seems like a waste.”
shushing sound as she drew a straight line through
“What do we have to do tomorrow? Can’t we go then?”
Get bottle of wine for later, Walk Rue Cler, and Get lunch in quaint Paris café.
“Not open on Tuesdays. We leave early for
Steve’s hand slid over hers and she stopped mid-
Switzerland Wednesday, so today was the only time.”
stroke. “Come on. I’ll get us another Chardonnay,”
The bathroom door opened and Emily stepped out, her face flushed. “I couldn’t go,” she said, then added, “the toilet is open.” “Open?” Rebecca asked. “Like a urinal?” “No. There’s a hole in it. You pee outside... on the tracks. It’s like an outhouse, only nature catches everything.”
he said, removing the pencil. With a fresh glass of wine in hand and the book tucked safely under Rebecca’s arm, they headed back to their seats. “Can I use the Kindle?” Steve asked, after they were seated again. Rebecca shook her head, then withdrew it from her purse, and handed it to him. Emily was already
“Gives a whole new meaning to connecting
in a computer coma. Rebecca went back to staring
with nature, doesn’t it?” Steve said, then chuckled.
out the window, thinking about how they could
Smile lines formed around his green eyes. “Imagine
maximize their time at the Louvre.
if you had to do other?” “And the train stopped at a station while you were going,” Emily said, wrinkling her nose. “Okay. Enough of that talk,” Rebecca said, though she wanted to laugh with them.
Vacations were the albatross wings of lists for Rebecca. There were lists for restaurants, for sightseeing, for train schedules, for theater performances, for items to pack, for things to do before they went, for things to do when they got
They walked through the next set of doors into
there, for things they didn’t know they needed to
the dining car. It looked like a spaceship with its
know, and for emergency phone numbers in case
sleek sliver and grayish-blue counters. Rebecca ran
they were lost, pick pocketed, sick, or killed. Did
her hand over the round shapes of the cabin and
God have this problem too? Did he have lists that
inhaled the espresso that filled the air.
spanned remarkable lengths?
Rebecca smiled as she imagined God’s list.
again, he was back. This time his voice was harder, a
Day 1: Create the heavens
bit guttural, as he spit out the English words like bad
Create the earth
peanuts. “Our arrival into Gare du Nord has been
Turn on the lights
delayed one hour.” Rebecca retrieved the travel book and her
Day 2: Define Heaven
• Who gets in
• Ivory or pearly gates?
• Harps or violins?
After bath, fix earth.
“Don’t worry. We’ll have plenty of time,” Steve said, then went back to the Kindle. She went back to her itinerary and flipped to item, she expunged numbers twelve to twenty on her
• Surround dry land by sea.
must see list. Finally, she proceeded to the Musée du
• Add vegetation
Louvre page and wrote, “2 hrs. tops!”
• Plant a garden.
Images of the Louvre’s floor plans flicked through her mind like a slide show as she tucked the
Day 4: Create heat for earth
book away again. They’d just follow the tour plan
instead of exploring freely, she decided. “We’ll see
• Name it sun
• Scold angels for carving man in moon
the big five at least,” she mumbled. For months, she had compiled the research,
Decorate the heavens
set the itinerary, and written the books. Her
itinerary had started out in a college-ruled
• Call them blinkers, night lights, stars
notebook with a few thoughts and ideas, but
Day 5: Fill water with living creatures
her thoughts were on a treadmill, coming faster
Create birds for the air.
than she could write. She flipped page after page,
until finally she wrote Trip Itinerary at the top of a
• Oops - hide penguins on earth
fresh sheet. Below, she bullet-pointed her desired
Day 6: Create land animals
destinations — first listed by desire to see, erased
and listed by things to do, erased again, and
• Dang, hide platypus in water
• Write a list of rules for people
finally listed by map location:
Plant a tree that is good for climbing bears fruit
• Make it a knowledge tree
***Modify rule list
• Big Ben and Houses of Parliament
• Westminster Abbey
My list would definitely contain more details,
• Buckingham Palace
she thought, as she turned away from the wall of
• Tower of London
white outside the train window.
The soothing cadence of the French voice
page 21. With one swift stroke through each line
Before she could reach for the translation book
interrupted her editing of God’s imagined list, “Notre
heure d’arrivée à la Gare du Nord a été retardée
• Take bus or book tour?
Ramsgate – Jazz bar
worksheets for flight information and hotel searches,
Dover... sunset over The English Channel
then added expense worksheets for shopping, travel, sightseeing, and transportation. All of Europe lay
The English Channel, she thought. To be so close
stretched before her like the open palm of a hand and
to Paris. Paris was doable, she reassured herself after
the European train lines crisscrossing the landscape
a quick internet search. From Dover we’ll take the
were lifelines. She added train schedules and maps.
Eurostar. A day trip. She started to erase England,
More lists begged for her fingers to tap dance across
but the pink eraser marked her mistakes with black
the keys. Like a sleepwalker who couldn’t remember
and pink smudges and the green chrome holder ate
a midnight stroll, she expanded the simple trip to
holes in the smooth lined paper. She tried to fight off
London into an eight-country tour across Europe.
the anxiety that moved in like a dark storm cloud.
Looking back, she realized introducing new
Her hands began to shake from the adrenaline spike.
stimuli was not a good thing for a lister. After twenty-
It’s just a list. A faint whisper lurking in the shadows
five years, her husband had not fully grasped this
of her mind suggested she let it go. She couldn’t.
concept either. Rebecca told herself that anyone
Frustrated, she drew a line through the whole list
traveling abroad would take a travel book with them
and tore out the page. On a clean one she wrote
— that was why writers write them. She rationalized
England to the far left, while Paris took up residency
that she was a writer, so why not write her own travel
at the far right. The England destinations she rewrote
book? She contended that any good writer must do
and added the Eiffel Tower, Shakespeare & Company
research before taking on such a tedious task. It all
Bookstore, Notre Dame, Musée du Louvre, and Arc
made sense at the time... it was what normal people
de Triomphe to the right-sided list. She scanned the
would do. Of course, she ignored Steve when he
list with satisfaction.
said, “Don’t most writers visit a destination in order
Uh-hum, the voices quietly interrupted her small celebration. Will one day be enough?
to write about it afterwards?” ***
Rebecca did a Google Map search, flipped to the
The train jerked to a stop and the announcement
next page, and drew a rough sketch of Paris noting
confirmed they’d reached the second destination
each destination’s location. She listed all the nearby
on their month long tour of Europe. Rebecca
métro stations, and thought, Dang! One day would
clipped the carabineer to her purse zipper — a
not do. She found the perfect Paris hotel: Hotel La
pickpocket precaution. Meanwhile, Steve grabbed
Serre. The triple in-suite had deeply discounted
the backpacks. They slipped their jackets on, then
rates, but only one room remained. She booked it.
tugged the twenty-pound bags over their shoulders
Next. London hotel. The flight. End of story. Right?
and strapped the waist belt. By now, the other
That’s what she’d thought.
passengers were migrating toward the exit at the back
While she waited for the airlines to open ticketing for their dates, Steve and her fed off travel
of the cabin. Steve edged his way into the stream and Emily and Rebecca shuffled stepped behind him.
shows highlighting Europe. She dreamt about the
Outside the train, they followed the blue signs
destinations. Her thoughts marinated over the
with Sortie printed in big, white letters through the
possibilities. Then Steve revealed that his true
station until they reached the belly full of turnstiles.
travel destination desire was Rome. The voices
Beyond, escalators whisked travelers out of sight.
skipped the gentle whisper stage; they bypassed
The blue signs above sported symbols and arrows
the maddening chatter and broke the sound barrier
that pointed in all directions. None of them were
with the prospects. Rebecca abandoned pencil and
translated in English. Rebecca struggled with the
paper for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. She opened
zipper on her purse before she remembered the clip. August 2015
She cursed under her breath and then fumbled to
Tarts crumbs around the toaster. “It’ll be hot then,”
unclip it. After it released its hold, she retrieved the
translation book. Her pulse quickened and she began
After they hung up, she checked the clock and
to sweat. Why hadn’t she looked up the Gare du
then loaded the dishwasher, threw towels into the
Nord station? Perhaps now would be a great time to
washer, cleaned the litter box, swept the entire
find out what would happen if she was spontaneous.
house — cursing the animal hair on tile the entire
“Excusez-moi, vous parlez anglais,” Rebecca
time — and checked the time again. Dang! She
said in barely recognizable French to a passing
opened the dining room sliding glass doors, stepped
out onto the lanai, and splash water up onto the
The woman kept walking without ever looking away from her phone.
double-stepped through the French doors into their
Rebecca swallowed and tried three more
bedroom, leaving wet footprints puddled on the oak
times. The tall, business suit kept walking too. The
laminate. In her haste, she tripped over their Golden
older tweed jacket replied in a slow, but beautiful
Retriever, Elliot. “Sorry, pup,” she said, and kissed
French. She thanked him in her best rendition of
him on the muzzle. Rebecca realized with nagging
English-laden French and continued her search. The
guilt that Elliot’s nudging the past two hours was his
fashionable mother was the most helpful. In broken
attempt to coax her into serving him lunch. She half-
English, she directed them to go back to a booth with
jogged back through the kitchen, nearly slipped on
an ACCUEIL sign on the top.
tile from wet feet, scooped his food into his dish,
“Did she say A-C-C-U-E-I-L?” Emily asked. She
and then scratched his ears. When he was muzzle-
continued without waiting for an answer, “It’s near
deep into kibble, she rushed back into her office and
the trains. We walked right behind it.”
grabbed a blank piece of paper and pen.
“Way to pay attention, finally,” Steve said, and held his hand up for a high-five. Rebecca followed her sixteen-year-old through the Paris station. The vaulted ceilings created a dull
• Find someone to watch animals. Back in her room, she grabbed clothes while slipping out of her pajamas. Five minutes left to shower. No problem.
echo as they weaved their way through the luggage-
But there had been a problem, only she hadn’t
toting crowd. She couldn’t help thinking of all the
seen it. She was not sure where it all started to
hours spent compiling her lists. She chewed on the
go wrong — when that preverbal light switch was
inside of her cheek when she remembered the time
flicked on or if it all happened gradually over time.
Steve’s call had interrupted her typing.
She wondered what would happen if she stopped,
She was carving out the details to visit Michelangelo’s David when her phone rang.
if she never made another list. Would she have withdrawal symptoms like a gamer or an alcoholic?
“What took so long to answer?” Steve had asked.
Would her hands shake uncontrollably, her body
“I was in the pool,” she said, pushing in her
convulse on the floor? Would she spontaneously
desk chair. “Well, I’m leaving work,” he said. “Do we need anything from the store?”
combust from the inner friction of needing to put ink to paper to silence the voices from commanding her actions? Charles Dickens had mild obsessive
She power walked into the kitchen and stuffed
compulsive tendencies. She wasn’t sure whether
the still-frozen chicken back in the freezer. “I was
she was comforted by that knowledge, or more
planning on picking up Chinese. Why don’t you stop
disturbed by it.
on the way,” she said. She grabbed a wipe from the Clorox container and quickly cleaned up the Pop-
pool deck with her foot. No time for perfection. She
She’d start a list, but she had a vacation to make, not another list.
Be Good to Your Heart By M. El Shahawy, M.D.
Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer in the U.S. causing more than 750,000 deaths each year. Up to seventy-five percent of deaths are attributed to ischemic heart disease or other heart and vascular disease. An association between several risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases has been observed in many studies and are very prevalent. Every third or fourth American has at least one of these risk factors. Most of these risk factors are asymptomatic and can silently lead to catastrophic cardiovascular events, and sometimes it is too late to do something about it. These events can sometimes occur even without any of the well-known risk factors known to date. Therefore, combining early assessM. El Shahawy, M.D., M.S., FACP, FSCCT, FASH, FESC, FAHA, F.A.C.C CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, Universities of Florida and South Florida Cardiovascular Center of Sarasota 1950 Arlington Street Suite 300 Sarasota, FL 34239 941.366.9800 cardiologycenter.net
ment of cardiovascular health in asymptomatic subjects, and the detection of subclinical hardening of the arteries and other risk factors, will result in timely and appropriate initiation of a preventive program by an expert in the field. Remember, one ounce of early prevention is better than pounds of late aggressive therapy for a cure, which might be too late. It is important to point out the early assessment of cardiovascular health must be done by state of the art equipment performed by a well-trained staff and interpreted by a qualified professional in the field of preventive cardiology. Such an approach will offer the best chance to reduce the high risk for cardiovascular diseases. Be good to your heart â€“ focus on early prevention. There are many ways to categorize cardiovascular disease risk factors. For this article, I will discuss categorization based on the evidence that modifying the individual risk factors would likely make a difference to the patient. According to the 27th Bethesda Conference, the proposed risk factor categories include: Risk factors for which interventions have proved to reduce the incidence of coronary artery disease events: Cigarette smoking; LDL cholesterol; Thrombogenic factors; Hypertension; Left ventricular hypertrophy. Risk factors for which interventions are likely, based on our current pathophysiologic understanding and on epidemiologic and clinical trial evidence, to reduce the incidence of coronary artery disease events: Diabetes; Physical inactivity; Obesity; HDL cholesterol; Postmenopausal status. Risk factors clearly associated with an increase in coronary artery disease risk and which, if modified, might lower the incidence of coronary artery disease events: Psychosocial factors; Triglycerides; Oxidative stress; Lipoprotein (a); Alcohol beverage consumption. Risk factors associated with increased risk, but which cannot be modified, or whose modification would be unlikely to change the incidence of coronary disease events: Age; Family history and many others; Gender. Dietary modification, exercise and maintaining ideal weight are important throughout the course of evaluation and management of many of the major risk factors. At Cardiovascular Health Assessment Center at the Cardiovascular Center of Sarasota, we have screened over 2500 asymptomatic subjects in the last several years, which resulted on numerous occasions in early discovery of subclinical cardiovascular disease leading to initiation of an appropriate management program. These early discoveries of subclinical disease were presented at numerous national and international cardiovascular meetings all over the world. Because of this, Sarasota is now recognized for its cardiovascular prevention program nationally and internationally. We have had patients, students and doctors from all over the world visit our center to learn more about our program for early CV prevention. The Center was the first beta site to adopt this program eight years ago from the University of Minnesota. If you would like to learn more about the Center and the numerous publications we have made in this field, please visit our website at cardiologycenter.net.
By Ryan G. Van Cleave
Red Carpets & White Lies
Who better to share the glitz and
husband? A lawyer, just like Black’s fa-
glamour of Miami than Lea Black, the
mous lawyer husband Roy Black (yes, the
Texas native that America got to know
one who represented Justin Bieber, no
through Real Housewives of Miami?
less!). But here’s the thing most readers
Black’s new novel shares the story of
are surprised by — the book can easily sit
Miami socialite Leigh Anatole White, a
beside the best chick lit books out there.
woman known for her super extravagant
Summoning echoes of Jackie Collins,
annual Charity Ball. For those interest-
who always spilled the secrets of the rich
ed in the behind–the-scenes workings
and shameless, Black shares scandal after
of gala planning and star-studded event
scandal as plenty of White’s friends seem
management, this book delivers.
far more interested in drinking and having
About putting on a lavish ball like
affairs than helping with the party.
her own Charity Ball, Black explains that
Black is a mother, wife, philanthro-
it takes “A lot of begging. Making sure
pist, author, television personality, polit-
people know how appreciated they are
ical activist, and entrepreneur who has
and being truly grateful for their con-
risen to the heights of Miami society.
tributions and commitments. Pulling in
Those experiences enliven this book
a lot of favors, paying them back, and
with a sense of authenticity readers will
coming from a place of wanting every
appreciate. And for those who can’t get
dollar to count, every guest to be treat-
enough of the world of Miami’s super
ed like royalty, and every kid to have the
rich? Black already has a spin-off char-
best chance at a life of contributing to
acter in mind that deserves their own
the world and a life they love to live.”
book. Which one? “I can’t wait to see
If you want to find the parallels be-
who people guess or think,” she says.
tween Black’s world and that of her pro-
If you want to enjoy a fashion-fabu-
tagonist White, you can. It’s kind of like
lous read this summer, give Black’s new
an Easter egg hunt in that way. White’s
book a chance.
For more information about Red Carpets & White Lies (Beaufort Books, hardcover, 320 pages, $24.95) or the author, please visit www.theworldofleablack.com
Walter’s Way: How a Relief Kid Survived TB, Corporate Betrayal, Bankruptcy, Made Millions, and Touched the Lives of Billions I’m a sucker for books like this. I didn’t know who Walter was prior to receiving this book — I confess. But the subtitle had me hooked. Who doesn’t want to know more about a guy who seems to have had a truly incredible life like
SELLING? It WOULD BE MY
pleasure to assist you.
this? What does it mean to have “touched the lives of billions”? I was intrigued. Sarasota resident Walter Scherr’s memoir reveals how a Depression-era kid from Queens managed to overcome a life-threatening illness like tuberculosis (which kept him from being able to enlist after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) and get on the fast track to success. Because of his illness, he wasn’t able to really begin a career until he hit his late 20s. “Maybe that’s why I was so driven to succeed,” he admits. “I always felt like I had a lot of catching up to do with my peers, who were already out of college and ensconced in their business by that point.” Scherr’s path isn’t all roses and fireworks, though. He spent
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time in detention in a communist country, and he was nearly wiped out by one of the world’s largest international companies. But to follow the life of this 90-something is to get a history lesson on some of the most important happenings in the past century, from World War II to the Cold War stand-off with Russia, to the tumultuous social upheaval in the 1960s and 1970s. Scherr was there for it all. In 2005, Scherr was honored by the U.S. Congress with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his outstanding and invaluable service to the community. Talk about making your mark on the world! Want to know exactly how he earned such an honor? Give this intriguing book a chance. It’s also important to note that 100% of the profits of this book are donated through the Vera and Walter Scherr and Family Foundation to nonprofit organizations. Scherr wouldn’t have it any other way.
For more information about Walter’s Way: How a Relief Kid Survived TB, Corporate Betrayal, Bankruptcy, Made Millions, and Touched the Lives of Billions (Wiley, hardcover, 256 pages, $29.95) or the author, please visit www. waltersway.com
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This tense Young Adult thriller by debut author Chandler Baker tells the story of
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Stella Cross, who is sure her days are num-
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bered when she’s told at age fifteen she has acute cardiomyopathy. But an unexpected transplant two years later from an anonymous donor gives her a second chance at life. Still, no gift ever comes without strings. Her new heart aches — call it excruciating pain, really — every day at 5:08 p.m. without fail. The only thing that seems to soothe her? The new kid, Levi Zin. Then the hallucinations start: classmates dying, still-beating pig hearts, blood and more blood. Levi, too, starts to demonstrate a creepiness that is getting harder to deny. The book’s odd subtitle — “his heart is in the wrong place” — looks to take on more and more dimensions as this story picks up steam. The ending is both unexpected and surprising, which isn’t the norm for a debut author. Readers of any age might find much to admire in this story that touches on horror, obsession, and issues of identity.
For more information about Alive (Disney Hyperion, hardcover, 360 pages, $17.99) or the author, please visit www.chandlerbakerbooks.com
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August 2015 issue of SCENE Magazine