active adult living
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Also inside Guitarist Nils Lofgren. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Barn quilts in Jackson County. . . . . . . . . . 16 Coffee and kindness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Baby boomers and divorce. . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Jeanette Menter column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Mill Race Center travel schedule. . . . . . . . 30
Comments should be sent to Doug Showalter, The Republic, 333 Second St., Columbus, IN 47201 or call 812-379-5625 or email@example.com. Advertising information: Call 812379-5652. ©2012 by Home News Enterprises All rights reserved. Reproduction of stories, photographs and advertisements without permission is prohibited. Stock images provided by © Thinkstock. Publisher: Chuck Wells; Special Publications Editor: Doug Showalter; Copy Editor: Katharine Smith; Writers: Derrick Carnes, Jeanette Menter, Marcia Walker; Photographer: Greg Jones; Graphic Designer: Phillip Spalding.
Cindy Massey, page 10
On the cover: Connie and Terry Marbach Story, page 4
Retirement resolutions, page 24
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journey Marbachs take countless steps to appreciate the wilderness
By Marcia Walker
or Connie and Terry Marbach it all started with a book. Twenty-two years later, it ended with a book, too — journals of their trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. The Marbachs’ decision to hike the entire 2,650-mile path surfaced after they read “The High Adventure” by Erick Ryback. He hiked the entire trail, which winds through three states and links the Mexican border with the Canadian border, in one trip. The Marbachs tackled the trail in sections. “I was just at the library one day and found this book,” Connie said. “I brought it home to Terry. He read it and said, ‘Let’s go do it.’” Top: Terry and Connie Marbach celebrate at the end of the trail on Aug. 14, 2007, at the Washington border with Canada. Right: Glacier Peak Wilderness in Washington.
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The Marbachs, who live at Harrison Lake, were familiar with the outdoors. Terry grew up on a farm in northeast Indiana. Connie, who grew up in the same area, was involved with Girl Scouts as a child. Later, the couple led youth groups on many canoe trips to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. Connie, who taught for several years before devoting full time to raising a family, also had been a counselor at a Girl Scout camp. “We’d both rather be outdoors than indoors,” she said. Terry cites a nine-week, cross-country camping trip, taken the summer after he completed graduate school, as reinforcing his appreciation for the natural beauty and wilderness areas of the United States. “We camped across the U.S. for those nine weeks,” Terry said, adding that the couple packed their gear in a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle. “We got to see a lot of national parks and visit a lot of places still reasonably unvisited, not overrun with people.” The Marbachs, who attended the same high school, launched their PCT expedition in 1986, taking the last steps along the path in 2007. Although both had experience with day hikes, it was their first serious venture with backpacking.
One day at a time Day one was April 26, 1986, a hike that took them through areas of desert with desert flowers and cactus. The last segment of their journey, which began on July 28, 2007, took them from Steven’s Pass in Washington to Manning Park in British Columbia. During that particular trip, the Marbachs encountered snow leftover from the prior winter, dozens of fallen trees and several avalanche sites, which required finding detours. “You do it one step at a time. … You just worry about today, getting that behind you,” Terry said, in response to a question about motivation. Terry, who ended up in Columbus because of a job with Irwin Management Co., explained that hiking the trail in segments has definite advantages. One is that hiking can be done during months that are more conducive to being outdoors. Backpackers who opt to hike the trail in one trip will most likely have to contend with winter weather at some point along the way. Most of the time, the couple hiked alone, but 6 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
In the beginning: Terry and Connie Marbach at the Mexico/ California border April 26, 1986.
Pacific Crest Trail Passes through: 24 national forests Seven national parks One national recreation area 33 wilderness areas Six state/province parks Four bureau of land management lands The trail was completed in 1993 but is continually being rerouted due to natural phenomenon such as fire and storms. The Marbachs spent 230 days hiking the trail, only eight of which were done with family and friends. To through-hike the trail takes five to six months, based on hiking 20 miles a day.
several times they hiked with friends. One of their hiking companions is Columbus’ Jim Farless. Backpacking brought Farless and the Marbachs together through the Wilderness Wanderers. Farless said Terry is a meticulous planner. “He does an excellent job of planning, getting permits, handling the logistics,” Farless said. It takes dedication, commitment and perseverance to accomplish what the Marbachs have, Farless said. He added that their accomplishment stands out even more because they did it together. “I know very few backpacking couples,” Farless said, noting the sport is usually enjoyed by either the husband or wife but not both. “It’s really nice they have been able to share that activity together.” Connie kept a journal of every trip. She compiled
those journals into a book, and last year, the couple published it for their children and grandchildren. Farless finds that amazing as well. “I marvel at Connie’s ability to keep notes, to transcribe them into a book form,” he said. “That takes a lot of commitment itself.”
Pleasure from pain? Farless said many people do not understand why backpackers do what they do. “To backpack, especially as long as they have, you have to have the ability to suffer because you are either hot or cold, you never have enough food, you can’t carry enough to keep satisfied,” he said. “You have insects. You are sleeping on the ground; you have to make compromises in your hygiene. … You have to experience a reward that is great enough to overcome those inconveniences. It’s a foreign concept
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Mount Ritter in Ansel Adams Wilderness in central California. to many, who don’t understand how you get enjoyment or pleasure.” Farless said the Marbachs’ feat has inspired him to hike the Appalachian Trail, using the same approach, hiking in segments. The Appalachian Trail is on the East Coast, linking Maine and Georgia. The Marbachs have not limited their hiking and backpacking trips to the PCT. Since completing the trail, Terry has hiked in Bhutan. Both have taken backpacking trips on the Superior Trail in Minnesota, the Grand Enchantment Trail in Arizona, the Fitz Roy Grand tour in Argentina and the Torres del Paine Circuit in Chile. And they have branched out from backpacking. Terry has rafted the Tatshenshini River in northern Canada, and both completed a biking trip along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The two said a motivating factor for backpacking and hiking is visiting places most people don’t get to experience. But through the years, they have noticed a significant increase in the number of people heading out to wilderness areas. During their inaugural trip along the PCT, a 140-mile excursion that took 12 days to complete, the Marbachs had the 8 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
Early morning camp visitors: papa mountain goat and kid. trail mostly to themselves. “We only saw one other person who was actually hiking,” Terry said. “That has changed over the years, and the trail has become more popular.” Their outdoor experiences have heightened their appreciation of the natural world as well as the work of individuals and groups to keep places wild. “I think all our travels have made us realize how many special areas we have been able to be a part of and enjoy because other people have worked hard to save them,” Terry said.
And they are doing their part to help preserve open areas. Terry has served on the board of the Nature Conservancy, and both are involved with the Sycamore Land Trust. The Bloomingtonbased nonprofit organization works to preserve land in 26 counties in southern Indiana, including Bartholomew, Brown and Jackson. “It’s very important to be involved with organizations trying to save some of the landscape. … With more and more development, people need places to go to recreate,” Terry said. While achieving their goal of hiking the entire PCT is satisfying for the Marbachs, their journey means much more than that to them. It was as much a spiritual journey as a test of their physical abilities. “You get to see things most people don’t get to see; not that many people get to see some incredible scenery,” Terry said. “Every day was an adventure.” The Marbachs wear the medals that recognize all who complete the Pacific Crest Trail.
“It’s just very special to be out in the wilderness like that,” Connie said. “It gives you a real respect for what creation is all about.” PT
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Cindy Massey displays the salsa and bread she sells to benefit Hilltop Christian Camp.
On a mission Cindy Massey uses medical and culinary skills to spice up life for others story By Derrick Carnes l photos by greg jones
indy Massey, cradling a steaming cup of peppermint mocha in both hands, says, “I don’t know if I’m worthy of anything like
this.” She is referring to being profiled in Prime Time. But anyone who knows Massey would agree that this is just the sort of thing she would say —humble and direct. They might also agree that the noteworthy as-
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pects of her life and times are plentiful. Massey is the mother of two and works as a surgical tech at Columbus Surgery Center, one gear in the medical machine that gives daily assistance to those needing it. At 52, she competes yearly as a triathlete. She also sells her own salsa by the case, donating all of the proceeds to local Christian camps and churches. She calls this contribution Salsa for the Savior.
“She’s one of the most genuinely selfless people I know,” says Anne Bingham, her co-worker and longtime salsa customer. “She grew up around here, so a lot of people know her, but she is just so involved in this community.” Massey began contributing to the community at a young age, starting at the center — her household. Her family spent a great deal of time outdoors during her childhood. Whenever an injury would arise — be it a bee sting or a sprained ankle — she played the role of nurse. Helping those around her came naturally, and she enjoyed it. When college came calling and she lacked a vocation, she held on to helping. Massey went to Ivy Tech Community College — “about a million years ago,” according to her — and her contributions began to slowly ripple outward. She became a surgical technician. “I enjoy being a professional, and that’s what it takes to be a surgical tech,” Massey says. “When people are under a local or an IV sedation, you can comfort them, pray with them occasionally, if that’s what they want, or give them a warm blanket. I en-
joy the interaction.”
Ripples spread But helping patients in her community was not enough, and soon Massey’s talents continued to spread. She lent her talents to mission trips that took her to places like Mexico and post-Katrina Louisiana. On a medical mission in a small Mexican town, she saw what other countries lacked in health care. “It was very rustic. They had a hospital, but we were in a separate area that looked like a medical tent out of the 1950s,” she says. “We were doing surgery on two patients at a time, and we didn’t have as many sterile supplies as we would’ve liked. It makes me grateful just to be able to sit here in a warm place and drink a cup of coffee.” Massey has her own health to be grateful for as well. She’s training to compete once again in the annual Sprint Triathlon at Tipton Lakes. The first year she participated, it was from the sidelines, supporting her daughter, who competed in the half-
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mile swim, 17.5-mile bike ride and 3.2-mile run. After a few people asked if she planned to compete, Massey began considering it. With family bike rides and ski trips with her children, she led an athletic life, but becoming a triathlete seemed outside the realm of possibility. “I’ve always been kind of athletic, tried to keep my shape up, but when you have a family, you focus on them and what they need, and not necessarily on yourself,” she says. “Finally, I decided I was going to try it.” After completing her first race, the sense of achievement alone was enough to bring her back for seconds. In her next race, she shaved five minutes off her original time. “There was a 76-year-old man competing, so I thought the least I could do was keep training,” Massey says. “I’m not doing it to have people look at me. I’m doing it to feel good and maybe encourage someone else to try. Because people always say they never think they could do it, but I didn’t think I could either.”
Homemade goodness This ambition and the humanity of her profession seem to have come together with Salsa for the Savior, Massey’s salsa-making charity. With this, her contributions rippled outward more strongly than ever. Salsa for the Savior began when Massey gave money to her church to help with a building project. Afterward, she asked herself how she could help beyond donating whatever cash was in her pocket at the time. Salsa came first, and everyone seemed to like it. She decided to sell it and turn the profits over to the church. Before long, she was selling sourdough wheat bread, chocolate bread and Amish cinnamon bread along with her classic salsa. “We were really encouraged by her first check,” says Eric Carlson, the manager and treasurer at Hilltop Christian Camp, one of Massey’s chief beneficiaries. “Instead of just donating $10, Cindy showed us that we could make something with $10 in seed money, sell it, and then donate maybe $30 or $50.” When Carlson wrote about Massey’s first donations in the Hilltop newsletter, her contributions 12 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
Massey pedals her bike indoors on a trainer when the weather keeps her from riding on the road. encouraged others to make ripples of their own within the community. Her story inspired one woman to donate hundreds of dollars that she had made selling fudge. Today, Massey struggles to keep up with demand. “When it comes to be tomato time, in July or August, I have people signing up to buy five or six cases at once,” she says. “Someone asked me once why I give all the money away. I said because it wouldn’t be Salsa for the Savior if I didn’t. Not only is it helping to further Hilltop, but they have a summer mission trip as well, so this money could be used worldwide to help supply food or make fresh water.” Because of the labor intensity, Massey does not see Salsa for the Savior expanding any time soon, although this was the first year that local markets were able to donate tomatoes to the cause. For now, she is content making her ripples in the community, hoping at the very least that she will inspire others to create their own. PT
By Kiley Armstrong l Associated Press
E Street Band’s Nils Lofgren ready to be on the road again NEW YORK — There ain’t too many of us left. For Nils Lofgren, who’s using the familiar refrain as a song title, it’s both a call to arms for old friends like Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sam Moore — and a goodbye to lost brothers like sax player Clarence Clemons. What it’s most definitely not: the last gasp of a dying breed. Lofgren — who proudly titled his new album “Old School” — has surpassed his 60th birthday with the vigor of a much younger man. He’s pain-free after hip replacement
‘Old School’ musician Top: Nils Lofgren plays the national anthem at a Stanley Cup playoffs hockey game. Above: The E Street Band performs on the “Today” show in 2007. PRIME TIME • FEBRUARY 2012 • 13
surgery and is eagerly awaiting an upcoming tour with Bruce Springsteen and the other members of the E Street Band. But first things first: Lofgren’s album is dedicated to his late comrade, Clemons. For 27 years, Lofgren stood alongside the Big Man, two friends sharing the spotlight and a shenanigan or two. The personal and professional aftershocks from Clemons’ sudden passing in June have not subsided. His sax was a pillar of the E Street sound; Clemons also was the band’s spiritual center. Though eagerly anticipating the tour, Lofgren is also “dreading the journey to get up to speed without Clarence.” He’ll miss their “whispering dialogue in the dark” ... helping each other with “the next surprise song” ... popping into Clemons’ dressing room before shows. They talked every week between tours. Springsteen’s struggle with the “ominous, complex issue” of how to musically fill the Clemons void is “a rough one” that Lofgren doesn’t envy — but whatever the decision, he backs his Boss “a thousand percent.” Despite the lingering heartache, Lofgren is brimming with hope and humor. “I look at the people standing,” says Lofgren. And performing.
Quick learners After decades of honing their craft before huge live audiences, E Street musicians can “play songs
Lofgren and Bruce Springsteen play with the E Street Band in Asbury Park, N.J. we’ve never played before, figure out how to cover for each other,” communicate with hand signals. They can “work on an arrangement 30 seconds onstage while the teleprompter guy frantically searches for a lyric from a sign Bruce has thrown down like a Frisbee at him.” Besides musical adaptability, physical fitness is crucial. “God willing, we’ll all be up for it,” says Lofgren. “I certainly am counting on that.” At her recent recording session, E Street’s Patti Scialfa and her husband, Springsteen, “were in great shape.” But Lofgren sheepishly admits that he’s working off a “15-pound tire.” On the road, he’s “very disciplined.” Performing is “a big workout” in itself; he also hits the gym. At home, though, he’s “truly a sweet junkie.” While glued to a football game, he’s been known to polish off a pint of vanilla Swiss almond ice cream, buried beneath a mountain of chopped white chocolate and even more nuts. He dryly advises adding “a couple of hits of skim milk to keep it low-fat.”
Back on his feet
Lofgren plays with Clarence Clemons on tenor sax during a concert. 14 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
Once a gymnast, Lofgren has long been known for his stage stunts as well as his instrumental prowess.
The double-hip replacement three years ago eliminated his pain for the first time in 15 years. Wear and tear had finally gotten the best of him: “too much city court basketball, and back flips on my trampoline, and jumping off drum risers for four decades onstage.” During the post-surgical period, Amy Lofgren propped the phone to her husband’s ear as Neil Young, his lifelong mentor, sustained him. “I’ll never forget: At the end, he said, ‘Hey, you know, heal up and get well. ... Need you around. There ain’t too many of us left,’” recalls Lofgren. “Right then, through the haze of pain meds, I recognized that as the potential to be a great song.” Lofgren marked his milestone birthday while making the album. When he sings about “The New 18,” his 60-ish character is “lost” but determined to “claw back to some dignity.” “There’s a lot of people my age that are unemployed; they’re losing their home; they’re losing their spouse; their kids have turned on them. ... It just takes one wrong turn or one wrong circumstance to throw your life into chaos — at any age.”
Ready for anything His own top priority is a healthy mix of family and work. But concerts with the E Street Band involve a certain kind of managed chaos. “Last tour with E Street, I think we had something like 53 instruments on the road,” he recalls. Lofgren observes which instruments Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt are strapping on, then decides what sound will best complement them. “It’s very organic,” says Lofgren. “Sometimes Bruce ... won’t say anything. He’ll start playing something and you pick up what you hear and it’ll work. Other times ... he’ll look back at me and point” — sometimes at the pedal steel, a standmounted, 10-string guitar with foot pedals and knee levers, played with a round, metal slide bar. After the last E Street tour, he was summoned to record with another Rock Hall inductee, Jerry Lee Lewis, on lap steel, a 6-string guitar with Hawaiian origins that’s played flat on the lap, with a grooved metal slide bar. Lofgren’s glad he “shut up and said yes” instead of emphasizing his lack of experience. During one “funky” passage, Lewis shouted out: “Play that steel, killer!”
“In my mind, I went, ‘Are you talkin’ to me?’” Lofgren says gleefully. “And I realize I’m the only steel player in the room.” He also revels in a wildly creative group called “The Whack Brothers,” which hangs out at the Springsteen homestead in New Jersey. They got their name while recording with Scialfa at the home studio. Lofgren — inspired by the uninhibited, super-artistic vibe there — was “lettin’ my freak flag fly ... comin’ up with some crazy part I was hearin’.” “Man, Nils,” observed Springsteen, “that’s pretty whack.” Soon, the muse was striking left and right: “We all came out with whacked out parts.” “If you have musicians of that caliber, there’s no point in tying their hands,” says Lofgren. “And if you’re smart, you put ’em in an environment where they have some time to explore ideas.” It could be a lesson for just about any walk of life. “Amidst the whacked out parts that don’t work,” says Lofgren, “you come up with some extraordinary stuff.” And when that happens, “Life is grand.” PT
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PRIME TIME • FEBRUARY 2012 • 15
Artist’s barn quilts brighten Jackson County landscape story and photos By Marcia Walker
rtist Brian McIntosh’s rural Jackson County studio is a corn crib built in 1916. The corn crib is part of a farm that dates to the 1860s and is the homeplace of Herschel Forgey, his landlord. Forgey was born in the home, part of which is a log cabin now covered with siding. “I was going to have a studio in town, but I decided to clean this out and do it here,” McIntosh said, during an impromptu conversation that took place on an unseasonably warm winter day. “Herschel loves it. He likes seeing something going on at the farm where he grew up.” McIntosh is making a name for himself by painting barn quilts, quilt patterns painted on wooden
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blocks that are most often hung on the outside of buildings, usually barns and sheds. The colorful quilt blocks have turned up in several Midwestern states, and there is even a barn quilt trail in Marshall County in northern Indiana. Becky Alexander, who lives just up the road from McIntosh, met the artist soon after moving to the neighborhood. “I just moved to the area and was driving past and noticed them on his barn,” Alexander said. “Then I started noticing them on other barns. I stopped and talked to him … and decided I wanted one for myself.” Alexander ended up purchasing two. One fea-
in paint tures evergreens, a reflection of her love of trees. The other is a multicolored quilt pattern. “I love quilts. … I have one my mother made. … I love quilt patterns,” she said. McIntosh grew up in French Lick, attended the Herron School of Art, then spent time in the military before eventually making his living as a structural engineer. He lived in Florida many years before moving back to Indiana three years ago. His wife, Carol, has family ties here. “Back in the ’90s, I quit painting for years. … I came back up here, and it seemed like the thing to do,” he said. Although he had moved away from painting,
McIntosh didn’t forget advice passed on to him by his high school art teacher, Wanda Wilkins. “‘You’re going to come back to your art,’” McIntosh said, recalling Wilkins words. “‘It’s something that gives you light, something you enjoy doing.’”
Varied influences When asked about artists who have influenced his work, McIntosh mentioned Jackson Pollock, a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. The work of Pollock, who died at age 44, has been featured posthumously in exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
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Brian McIntosh with some of his paintings in the rural Jackson County corn crib he uses for a studio.
“I try to mimic the process Pollock used,” he explained. McIntosh also mentioned J. Otis Adams, an impressionist who grew up in Indiana. Adams painted with T.C. Steele in Brookville; both were members of the Hoosier Group. Adams and other artists from that group founded the Herron School of Art. Last year, McIntosh was forced to set aside his efforts for eight months after contracting pseudomonas, an infection that can affect many parts of the body. Even now, he suffers from side effects but is again able to wield a paintbrush. He doesn’t limit his artwork to barn quilts, painting portraits and scenes on saw blades to accommodate his customers. He also does commercial work. “I don’t want to lodge myself in a slot and can’t get out of it,” McIntosh explained. He also paints murals. One hangs on the side of a historic brick building in Ewing, a small neighborhood that technically is part of Brownstown. 18 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
Darlene Butt, who owns that building as well as several others in Ewing, said she met McIntosh after a truck smashed into the building housing her antique store. The impact punched a hole in the brick wall. “He came in and said he was a plasterer,” Butt recalled. “That’s what we needed, not someone who just hung sheet rock. … He worked on that building.” Butt said while talking with McIntosh, he mentioned that he really wanted to get back into art and asked how one got his name out in a small town. Jokingly, she suggested he paint the side of a building. “He came back to me and said, ‘I’ve been thinking about that,’” she recalled. McIntosh and Butt struck a deal. She provided the materials, and in return, he painted the mural, featuring historic structures around Ewing, including a covered bridge that was torn down. The mural
Covered Bridge Art Co. 5629 N. Road 225W, about 5 miles north of Brownstown 812-498-4112 is painted on boards, Butt explained, and McIntosh painted it in sections.
Branching out His work as a structural engineer comes in handy when painting buildings, McIntosh noted. “That’s worked real well for me. You understand how things are built.” That the mural features historic buildings is an indication of another of McIntosh’s interests. He enjoys local history and helps with exhibits in the Antique Building during the Jackson County Fair. He also is interested in the photography of the late Otto Ping, who documented Brown County during its early years. McIntosh has located some of
Ping’s negatives, which he hopes to restore for a local historical society. Although he is branching out into other endeavors, McIntosh acknowledged that barn quilts are becoming almost a signature item for him. “I can’t believe the response I’ve had,” he said. He does little to advertise, but the quilts seem to advertise themselves. His studio is located next to a country road; the colorful, eye-catching barn quilts cover not only the walls of the corn crib but other outbuildings as well. The blocks lure people to stop and visit, and McIntosh appears to enjoy those visits as much as he enjoys painting. He especially enjoys meeting children, explaining one of the first senses they use is visual. McIntosh isn’t satisfied to just create art, he wants to connect people to art. Barn quilts help him accomplish that goal. “It’s been a real pleasure to share with people and keep their minds on artistic things,” he explained. PT
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By Cassandra Spratling Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press/MCT photos
Dan Dewey carries Starbucks coffee he bought for cancer patients at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Mich.
Father’s spirit lives on in weekly Starbucks runs 20 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
DETROIT — At 10 a.m. every Thursday — the same day he usually took his dad for chemotherapy treatment — Dan Dewey is at the cancer unit of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospital in Pontiac, Mich., taking coffee orders. By about 10:30 a.m., he’s at the Starbucks down the street. Everyone knows to expect him: the staff and patients at the hospital, as well as the folks at Starbucks, where workers have come to fill Dewey’s orders so efficiently, they rarely get complaints from customers anymore. But every now and then, someone wonders why that guy in white shorts and a gray sweatshirt is holding up the line buying so many cups of lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, strawberry smoothies, and, oh yeah, somebody wanted hot chocolate. But the regulars know. And when the complainers find out, well, they fall silent. And some of them put money down to help cover the costs. Dewey buys the coffee for cancer patients every Thursday because his dad, Edgar Dewey, told him to. Dan Dewey started his weekly runs when his dad was a patient in the center in 2007. And he continues even though his dad died at age 87 in 2008. His dad had cancer, but the cancer didn’t kill him. He conquered cancer twice. Dewey swears he died of a broken heart, just a few months after the passing of his wife of 62 years, Mary Jane Dandison Dewey. He simply lost the will to fight a third bout with cancer after his high school sweetheart died. But the sweet essence of his heart lives on in Dan’s Coffee Run. Dewey, 65, a retired educational broadcasting operator for Birmingham Public Schools, used to pay for the drinks — averaging about $50 a trip — out of his own pocket before a Starbucks staffer stepped in. One of the baristas, Valerie Edgington, decided last year to create a special debit-like card through which people can donate money for coffee runs. People can put money on the card in person or via a website (www.danscoffeerun.net) and Facebook page she set up. She also made T-shirts that sell for $20 and stickers ($5) to help spread the word and encourage contributions. “He never asked for anything special,” Edgington said. “He just came in every Thursday ordering all these
different drinks. Finally, I asked him what he was doing, and I wanted to help.” Now there’s usually enough money on the card to cover the costs, but when there isn’t, Dewey goes back into his own pockets. He has to. See, when his dad was dying, he told him to keep getting drinks for the chemo patients. The coffee warmed his body and his soul. He wanted that for others. So does his son. The doctors and nurses say there may be something therapeutic about Dewey’s visits. “It’s definitely a mood-lifter, and a positive attitude is beneficial for any patient going through cancer treatment,” said Kathy Courtney, oncology nurse and unit manager. Oncologist Rajan Krishnan, the doctor who treated Dewey’s dad, said the visits remind him of times gone by in his native India, when people stopped by simply to share a cup of tea or coffee. Doing so showed people they mattered. Why Starbucks? “Well, the whole point of Starbucks is that it is spe-
Dewey and his coffee are a welcome distraction for cancer patients and their visitors. cial,” Dewey said. “I could get coffee any place, even out of the machines. But when you’re stuck in a chair getting chemo, it’s not fun. I want to add a little — what’s the word? — panache. It’s not just, ‘Here’s the coffee.’ It’s a little bit extra. The whole idea is to make them feel special.” PT
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FEBRUARY 22ND, 5:30PM Learn about a ONCE IN A LIFETIME travel opportunity to Cuba. • Tour with reputable group • Engage in people to people contact • Set itinerary providing meaningful experiences • Open to Mill Race Center members and associates (under 50 membership) • Tour Cuba September 20-29, 2012 • Deadline to register for trip is March 30th.
Experience Fun and Fellowship 900 Lindsey St., Columbus • 812-376-9241 • www.millracecenter.org PRIME TIME • FEBRUARY 2012 • 21
Baby boomers boost
divorce rate By Jeff Kunerth l Orlando Sentinel
ORLANDO, Fla. — Lucie Elmer’s life follows the familiar trajectory of her generation: marriage at a young age, divorce and remarriage. The second marriage lasted 28 years, and when it ended a couple of years ago, Elmer joined the legions of other baby boomers who are raising the divorce rate among those in their 50s and 60s. “Even though I was a very independent person, when it came to being divorced at this age, now it’s just you,” said Elmer, 54, of Orlando, Fla. “It’s frightening and exciting.” While the overall divorce rate in the United States has declined, divorce among those age 50 to 64 has 22 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
spiked. What once was considered unusual — older people getting divorced — is now becoming commonplace. “Historically we thought, ‘Older people, they don’t get divorced,’” said Susan L. Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University in Ohio. “Now one in four people getting divorced is over the age of 50. In 1990, it was less than one in 10.” Brown’s research found that the divorce rate for those 50 to 64 increased from 6.9 divorces per 1,000 marriages in 1990 to 12.6 in 2009. At the same time,
the overall divorce rate in the United States dropped from 18.95 to 17.92. The increase in more people getting divorced later in life is the continuation of the pattern of divorce and remarriage among the baby-boom generation and the life-cycle transition that takes place upon retirement. Retired couples often face difficulties in adjusting to a life together that doesn’t include work. Spouses who once defined themselves by what they did at work can experience an identity crisis once they stop working. Meanwhile, spouses accustomed to being alone most of the day must adjust to having somebody else around, disrupting their routines. And sometimes retirement simply means two people who have been married for a long time must reintroduce themselves to each other. “You really have to redefine together what your understanding of retirement is like and then talk about how the two of you together are going to make that happen,” said Toby Weber, 64, a “retirement coach.” Good marriages survive that retirement transition. Bad marriages can be made worse. If one or both of the spouses experienced divorce in the past, they are more at risk to divorce later in life, Brown said. The divorce rate for aging boomers is twice as high for those who were previously divorced than those who were on their first marriage. Lucie Elmer’s first divorce when she was young proved to her that she could survive a second divorce in her 50s. It wouldn’t be easy, but she knew what to expect. “It’s a roller coaster, but the roller coaster does level off,” she said. Elmer says she has no intention of ever remarrying, but as she ventures into the world of dating again, she finds men her age are often looking for someone younger. “They’re still looking for Barbie,” she said. For those looking to remarry later in life, the pool of potential mates increases for men because the ratio of women to men increases with age. For women, it becomes harder to find a potential husband. There are other issues as well. Late-life divorce can be financially devastating, with the woman qualifying for half the man’s retirement savings. Remarriage also raises concerns over estates and inheritances among the couple’s children.
Cathy Gendreau said she got the house and half her husband’s retirement in the divorce but struggles to keep up with the payments. She admits the house feels a little empty at times. “It’s lonely,” said Gendreau, 51, of Apopka, Fla. “I still have our big, old, beautiful house, but I’m working my butt off to keep it.” Gendreau, who works several jobs, including as a tutor and financial adviser, said she never thought too far ahead while married but is now focused on her 12-yearold son — the youngest of her four children — and a better life ahead as she reaches retirement. “I’m going to work as hard as I can for as long as I can so I can enjoy my old age,” she said. And though many older men may be looking for wives to take care of them in their old age, some women don’t want — or need — that responsibility. Elmer sees herself in a committed relationship in her future, but not as a wife. “I see myself as single, but with a significant other, someone you can do things with,” she said. “It could be dinner; it could be travel; it could be the arts festival.” PT
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integratedinsuranceservices.com PRIME TIME • FEBRUARY 2012 • 23
Resolutions for retirees
Financial decisions and commitment to exercise dominate the list By Dave Carpenter l AP Personal Finance Writer
etirees may be past the days of resolving to work out more or buy fewer $4 coffees. Yet
when it comes to money in particular, resolutions may be even more important for those living on fixed income. From financial nuts and bolts to more holistic aims, here’s a look at seven worthy resolutions for retirees in 2012:
24 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
Stretch your body and mind.
Choose daily pursuits that keep you physically, mentally and socially engaged. There’s abundant evidence that continued physical activity helps people live longer, feel better, avoid depression and keep their mental skills sharp. “Functional disabilities shouldn’t keep you from exercising,” says Dr. Amy Ehrlich, a geriatrician. She puts frail elderly patients on a walking program. If they can’t walk, she puts them on a swimming program. And if they can’t swim, she has them take a water aerobics class. Studies show that people benefit from efforts to stay cognitively sharp — from doing a daily crossword to playing games to reading. Maintaining social ties also is critical. Older people who volunteer in schools, for example, feel happier, more useful and more satisfied with their lives.
PRIME TIME • FEBRUARY 2012 • 25
Get disciplined about money matters.
Retirees should set up a formal budget and stick to it. Being thrifty without a plan only goes so far when unexpected expenses arise, especially at an age when health care costs can start to mount. It’s also wise to record your financial goals and plans, such as how much money you expect to withdraw from savings every month. “The more detailed the information about your spending requirements and investment goals, the greater your chances of success,” says Bob Stammers, director of investor education for the nonprofit CFA Institute for financial analysts.
Attack your debt.
Along with putting on pounds, new retirees are prone to running up debt with their newfound freedom. Paying off credit card debt should be a top priority. After the card debt is zeroed out, use only one
26 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
card and pay off the balance monthly. If an emergency expense leads to a balance, don’t let it linger or it will erode retirement savings. If your savings are languishing in a money market account or certificate of deposit earning practically nothing, you can put a chunk of it to greater use by paying off a credit card with an interest rate of 15 or 20 percent. Having savings yields at rock-bottom lows presents a rare opportunity to instantly improve your finances. “There may never be a better time than now to clear up all of your credit card debt,” says Michael Kresh, a certified financial planner.
Invest in dividend-paying stocks.
It’s tough for retirees to get meaningful income on their money from the traditional sources. The best-paying money market and savings accounts yield just 1 percent, five-year CDs no better than
1.95 percent, according to Bankrate.com. Even the U.S. government’s 10-year Treasury note has been hovering around 2 percent. For a bit more risk in the short term, blue chip stocks that pay dividends offer a combination of reliable income and good odds for share price appreciation over the long haul. Income investors have few alternatives to dividend stocks in this environment, says Howard Silverblatt, senior analyst for Standard & Poor’s. The average dividend stock yielded 2.8 percent in 2011, and investors can better that with such blue chips as General Electric Co., 3.8 percent, or Pfizer Inc., 4.7 percent. Other good options include dividend-heavy mutual fund T. Rowe Price Equity Income (PRFDX), which gets a gold-medal rating from Morningstar, and exchange-traded fund Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (VIG), which carries a five-star rating.
Be more generous.
Resolve to be more charitable, giving to worthy causes for others as well as your loved ones. It’s rewarding and makes tax and financial sense, too. Remember that you can give gifts of up to $13,000 annually without triggering taxes. Helping a younger family member can also set an admirable precedent that reinforces the importance of charitable giving. You may want to consider a charitable gift annuity, in which you donate to a large charity and receive regular lifetime payments in return. “In times of very low interest rates and declining returns on assets, this is a good way for retirees to increase their cash flow and get an income tax deduction while helping a charity,” says Michael Dribin, a trusts and estates attorney.
you need help finding a financial planner near you, check the website of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, http://findanadvisor. napfa.org/Home.aspx . A basic estate plan includes a will, living will, durable power of attorney and health-care proxy.
Check into long-term care insurance possibilities.
Consider getting a long-term care policy. It may already be too expensive if you have health issues or are well into retirement. But note that roughly a fifth of those who sign up for coverage do so at age 65 or older, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. About 70 percent of people over 65 will require long-term care services at some point. And neither private health insurance nor Medicare pay for the majority of the services people need — help with personal care such as dressing or using the bathroom independently. That can be a devastating financial burden without coverage. An assisted living facility costs an average of $38,280 per year, a semi-private room in a nursing home runs $73,000 and home health aides charge $19 to $21 an hour, according to the insurance association. A typical long-term care policy costs upwards of $4,000 per year for a 65-year-old couple. By 70, for those still able to qualify, that more than doubles. So don’t delay on this one. PT
Get your estate plan in order.
Make sure your estate plan and financial documents are updated. Tax laws change and documents may be out of date. Beneficiaries may need to be revised. Set up a review with an attorney and investment adviser to make sure all of your plans are current. If PRIME TIME • FEBRUARY 2012 • 27
A true story of courage under fire She was only a skinny woman in her early 20s when World War II tore her world apart. Her family — what was left of it — had finally returned from a year in a Russian camp. The wall dividing East Germany from the West was going up, slowly making it more difficult to get to freedom. Miss Pilan knew she had to join her sister in Munich if she was ever going to escape the threats of communism in the East. After a tearful goodbye, her mother sent her on her way. She would have to “go dark” — around the checkpoints instead of through them — because she didn’t have the proper papers. After a long train ride, she sat on a cold bench. The rest of her journey would have to be on foot to avoid being spotted. Suddenly, another young woman appeared and asked if she could sit next to her. She was also embarking on the risky journey to the West. After a brief conversation, it was clear neither one of them knew exactly how to get where they wanted to go. One thing was for sure: The Russians had most places under surveillance, including the patch of thick forest they would have to get through to have a chance at making it. Then, as if by divine intervention, a young man approached. He asked where they were headed. They naively told him. “Stay right here. Don’t move. I heard Russians on the main road. You must wait and go into the forest in the very early hours of the morning, while it’s still dark. Keep going until you see a path, then go right and stay on it until you see a river. You must cross it. Once you
28 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
get to the other side go left toward the bridge, and you will be free.” No doubt fearing for his own safety, he quickly disappeared. Too scared to talk, they sat in silence until 3 a.m. Then they slowly entered the dark forest. It was utterly silent except for the nocturnal sounds of nature. For hours, in absolute silence, they walked. Then it appeared: the path! They turned right and broke into a run. Suddenly the heavy quiet was shattered by gunfire. The girls froze and looked into each other’s terrified eyes. Without talking, they bolted. Shots ricocheted and echoed off the giant trees. They heard shouting. They didn’t understand the language, but the girls knew what they were saying: “Stop or we will shoot.” Stories about what Russian soldiers did to females of any age before shooting them were common. The girls kept running. Just when it seemed their legs would give out, the river appeared, again just as the young man had said. The shooting seemed far away as they surveyed the incredible sight before them. In every direction, suitcases, clothes and other items were strewn all over the ground and floating in the water. Swallowing hard, Miss Pilan wondered out loud, “Do you think people just panicked and left their things to escape?” Then it came to both shaking girls. Perhaps those poor souls never made it. Maybe the Russians took what they wanted and left the rest as a message to others who might follow.
Slowly, the two women tiptoed around the pillaged remains, took off their boots and stepped into the freezing water. With halting breaths, they stumbled across the shallow river.
That triggered a crushing migration toward the gates. Without thinking, Miss Pilan, who happened to be standing right in front, grabbed onto the handrail and was helplessly shoved on board.
In a few minutes they stood on the other side, hearts pounding. Miss Pilan’s companion shouted, “We’re free!” Just like that, it was over. The gunfire continued, but they had escaped. The bridge was within sight. They were safe, for now.
She felt guilty because she would never see her traveling companion again, never even knew her name. But she had done what she had to do to survive. Because of that, she would soon see her sister and start a new life.
Finally, they saw a train station overflowing with people, all waiting for their ride to freedom. How long would the two women have to wait for any hope of getting on the next train? They were cold, hungry and scared. “You wait here. I’m going to find out what’s going on,” Miss Pilan told her anxious companion, who complied. Standing tall and walking with purpose, so as not to stand out, she pushed her way toward the ticket office. At that very moment, a train whistle screamed.
They say everybody has a book in them. This is just one chapter in my mother’s. “Somebody up there was watching over me — I wasn’t that smart,” she would chuckle when recalling that time, but I always saw a distant sadness in her eyes. She had done and seen things movies are made of just so she could live. My mother said it was luck. I think it was true courage under Russian fire. Jeanette Menter is a freelance writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Mill Race Center travel schedule
All departures will be from the parking lot of the westside Walmart. Information: 376-9241 or email email@example.com.
Rising Star Casino in Rising Sun. Includes $5 food coupon and $10 slot play. $37 members, $47 non-members. Depart 8:30 a.m., return 5 p.m.
guys!) for three days and two nights of comedy and fun in Louisville, Ky. Enjoy yourself at the Galt House Hotel with a stellar lineup of comedians and entertainers. Departure times to be announced later.
Outlet & Specialty Shopping with lunch on own. $39 members, $49 non-members. Frontgate Outlet Center in the Cincinnati area. Lunch at Jim Dandy’s then a stop by Jungle Jim’s International Market. Depart 8:30 a.m., return 5 p.m.
Hawaiian Adventure. Featuring Oahu, Kauai and Maui. Three nights stay on each island. Double $4,264; single $5,664; triple $4,214; non-member rates $50 more.
“The Music Man” at Beef and Boards. Live theater with lunch; $80 members, $90 non-members. Departs 10 a.m.; returns 4:30 p.m.
Bestest Friends Event. Cost $468 per person double occupancy member, $634 single member, non-members $20 extra. Gather your best women friends (sorry, 30 • FEBRUARY 2012 • PRIME TIME
Horseshoe’s Casino. Includes $12 food credit and $5 in slot. $37 members, $47 non-members. Depart 8:30 a.m., return 5 p.m.
Branson Show Extravaganza. Admission to seven shows. Four nights lodging, four breakfasts and four dinners. Double $565 per person members, $605 per person non-members, $120 extra single occupancy, $75 due upon signing.
important information meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Mill Race Center (5:30 p.m. March 1 in case of inclement weather). Reservations for the meeting: 376-9241. Registration for the Cuba trip is very limited; sign up early to secure your seat. Deposits must be complete by March 30 to reserve your spot. $3,699 per person double occupancy; $600 single supplement; $199 cancellation waiver.
Oct. 25-Nov. 3
Mackinac Island and the Beauty of Northern Michigan. Four nights lodging, four breakfasts and four dinners; tips for guides and bus driver included. $575 double per person members, $615 non-members, $150 single supplement.
Discover Cuba. Calling all adventurers, educators and historians for a trip you can brag about to your friends. An
Discover Tuscany, Italy. Double $3,199; single $3,499; triple $3,169 (per person); non-members add $50 per person. Book by April 25 and save $100 per person.
Christmas on the Danube. Featuring a six-night Danube River Cruise. Prices range from $2,799 to $3,299 per person depending on cabin.
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