PRIME TIME May 2013
Nancy and Bob Pulley: creative team
Entrepreneurs follow dreams
As I write this, it’s finally beginning to look like spring, though the temperatures don’t always feel like it yet. While hardly the worst as far as snow totals or sub-zero temperatures, the winter of 2013 certainly could be described as one of the most persistent. However, knowing Indiana weather I would not be surprised if we find ourselves dealing with overbearing heat and humidity very soon. The weather around here can be unpredictable, to say the least. But so can life. When we climb out of bed in the morning, we may have a good idea of what the day will bring. But what about next week or next month or next year? In one of his songs John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” And while that unpredictability often can be frustrating, it also can add spice to our days. Americans are living longer than ever. For many, the days of working 40 years for the same employer and then retiring to the rocking chair or fishing hole are long gone. These days we might have two or even three different careers, and at least one of those might happen after we’ve supposedly retired. For many boomers, “What’s next?” can be an exciting question. Tim Cooney is a good example. The owner of Advantage One Imaging Center has long been active with the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. Recently, through circumstances he probably couldn’t have imagined two years ago, Cooney changed his status from chamber volunteer to chamber employee. Rose Wright and Harold Hutchinson decided to start their own businesses after age 50. You’ll meet them in this issue of Prime Time. You’ll also meet Brian and Linda Teel, a Brown County couple who will soon join the growing ranks of Americans retiring to another country, in this case Panama. And you’ll meet Sharon Sweet, an equestrian whose skill is surpassed only by her persistence. Along with our artistic cover couple, Nancy and Bob Pulley, all these folks have one thing in common. They are living proof that the so-called autumn years can often be quite sunny and warm.
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 1
This & That
Nancy and Bob Pulley
Retiring to Panama
Living their dreams
Hormone replacement therapy
St. Paul Lutheran quilters
Calendar of events
Sharon Mangas column
2 â€˘ MAY 2013 â€˘ PRIME TIME
38 Comments should be sent to Doug Showalter, The Republic, 333 Second St., Columbus, IN 47201 or call 812-379-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertising information: Call 812-379-5652. ©2013 by Home News Enterprises All rights reserved. Reproduction of stories, photographs and advertisements without permission is prohibited. Stock images provided by © Thinkstock.
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 3
This & That Honor our veterans It wouldn’t be Memorial Day weekend in Columbus without the now traditional Salute concert on the lawn of the Bartholomew County Courthouse. This free concert by Columbus Indiana Philharmonic is held annually in honor of those who have served and who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. David Bowden, CIP musical director and conductor, will lead the orchestra through a rousing program of music guaranteed to boost your patriotic spirits. So come to the courthouse lawn, enjoy the music and honor those who protect the freedoms we enjoy. This year’s concert, the 13th annual, will begin at 7 p.m. May 24. Information: 376-2638, ext. 110 or email email@example.com.
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Volunteers needed The inaugural Mill Race Marathon is expected to bring thousands of visitors to Columbus on Sept. 28. If you plan to run in the full marathon, the half-marathon or the 5K run/walk, more power to you. But if you’re not up to running and would still like to be a part of this major community event, why not volunteer? Organizers say they’re going to need about 350 volunteers for a variety of roles, from VIP greeters, to bib number handout to water spot personnel and more. For more information or to volunteer: millracemarathon.com.
The Jai Baker Band blends country, pop and rock. The group will kick off the 2013 Neighborfest season June 6 in the 300 block of Washington Street. These monthly concerts are free and run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Other Neighborfest dates are: July 11 — Gordon Bonham, Gene Deer and Benito DiBartoli pay respect to one of the blues greats, Stevie Ray Vaughn. Aug. 1 — Max Allen Band covers a variety of musical genres. Sept. 5 — Rusty Bladen Band plays high energy rock ’n’ roll.
Bring your lawn chairs
Corn on the cob … yum! Fresh produce season began early this year with the new Spring Farmers Market, held 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays on Fourth Street, between Jackson and Washington streets. This year’s event runs through May 25. Also new this year is a midweek farmers market, which will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday from June 5 through Sept. 25, also on Fourth Street. The regular Saturday downtown Columbus Farmers Market will begin June 1 and continue through Sept. 21. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the market will again be held in the Cummins parking lot between Brown and Lindsey streets. The Saturday market features fresh produce grown by local farmers/ gardeners, fresh-cut flowers, herbs, home-baked goods (including glutenfree), coffee, tea, lemon shake-ups, local art, jewelry, mosaics and live music. PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 5
[this & that]
Books for Boomers “Rita Moreno: A Memoir” By Rita Moreno (Celebra) Fans eager to learn what it was like to dance for Gene Kelly (in “Singin’ in the Rain”), share a soundstage with Yul Brynner (in “The King and I”) and perform the choreography of Jerome Robbins (in “West Side Story”) aren’t likely to be satisfied with Moreno’s brisk treatment of her work. She focuses her story on a journey of selfdiscovery, and it’s that introspection that gives her memoir its punch. Surrounded by the Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy — she is one of the few to win all four top show business awards — she is a survivor who defeated her own demons as well as those conjured by others. Her book celebrates that victory and the spirit behind it. — Associated Press
“Life After Life: A Novel” By Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur Books) “Life After Life” is both an engaging puzzle and a meticulously detailed historical novel that spans the two World Wars. With the introduction of Ursula Todd, a woman who lives her life over and over, Atkinson plays with second chances and alternate histories, and poses endless, fascinating questions: What would the world be like if we could start over when things went terribly awry? Could our decisions, big and small, avert wars? Make us happier? Stop death in its tracks? “Life After Life” is simply a terrific novel, rich with history and possibility, that will leave the reader pondering long after the final page. — Viewpoint Books
“Call the Midwife” By Jennifer Worth (Penguin Group US) Fans of “Downton Abbey” and “Mad Men” have fallen in love with the PBS series based on Jennifer Worth’s best-selling memoir of life in post-war London. In the 1950s, 22-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London’s East End slums. While delivering babies all over the city, Jenny encounters a colorful cast of women — from the plucky, warmhearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with 24 children who can’t speak English, to the prostitutes of the city’s seedier side. — Viewpoint Books
6 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
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feat of clay world of words The Pulleys have created their lifestyle based on love of art
By Karen E. Farley n photos by ANGELA JACKSON
ob and Nancy Pulley met at a small-town pottery shop in southern Indiana in the early 1970s. “When we first met, we were both interested in Eastern religions and had something like a ‘be here now’ philosophy,” Nancy says. Her husband, Bob, agrees. “It was hard to find like-minded people back then,” he adds. After 35 years of marriage, the Pulleys are still likeminded and have inspired others through their art — Bob as an art teacher and sculptor, and Nancy through her writing. In college, Bob chose education as a major, but wasn’t sure what subject he could teach. “I tried English classes, but I was a slow reader. Then I tried science, but it involved math. In my sophomore year, I took an art design class and loved it. I thought, ‘I can teach that.’ I could actually get credit for something that was so much fun.”
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[Cover Story] After college, he started a pottery business in Huntingburg with fellow artists. It lasted only three years, but the smell and feel of clay would continue to inspire the well-known Indiana artist.
Teacher and artist A few years later, he got his master’s degree at Ball State University in sculpture and ceramics. The couple moved to Columbus, where Bob taught elementary art for 18 years and high school art for 10 years. He retired from Columbus North High School in 2010. His teaching has inspired many to pursue a career in art. His work has been showcased in galleries and corporate collections in the Midwest. His sculptures, which he describes as flowing from his life, can be seen in several locations around Columbus and the world. In 2006, Bob was the only local artist exhibiting in the Public Art Columbus Sculpture Invitational. Two years later, the city of Columbus purchased his series of 11 sculptures titled “Ancestral Way” that are on permanent display on the north side of Third Street between Lindsey and Brown streets. “‘Ancestral Way’ is a dynamic collection of anthropomorphic figures,” says Karen Shrode, the executive director of Columbus Area Arts Council. “Each has a distinct personality, which I love. Columbus is fortunate to have work such as Bob Pulley’s in our community.”
Poet and gardener Bob is just one of the artists in the family. Nancy shares a passion for beauty in nature that can be seen around her home and in her writing. “When we met, we both had visions of living somewhere where we could have a studio and garden and room to raise a family,” she says. The Pulleys moved to Ogilville in 1983. They turned their garage into a studio for Bob and made a garden for Nancy. Although she enjoys growing heirloom tomatoes, Nancy spends hours reading and writing poetry in the quiet of their country home. “I have always loved the sound of poetry,” she says. “When I was little, we would sit on the swing outside and my mother would read from ‘Hiawatha’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.” Nancy graduated from Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis). She received a B.A. in English. Her poems have appeared in the “Indiannual,” “Arts Indiana Literary Supplement” 10 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Opposite page: The Pulleys are always creating. Nancy composes a new poem, while Bob works on his latest sculpture. Above: Design ideas sketched by Bob hang in his home studio along with photos of completed pieces.
PRIME TIME â€˘ MAY 2013 â€˘ 11
[Cover Story] and other publications. In 1992, she won the Indiana Writers Center Poetry Chapbook contest. Her chapbook “Dream Puzzle” was published in 2009. In 2010, she retired as case manager from Aging and Community Services in Columbus. Over the years, she attended workshops and readings at the Indiana Writers Center in Indianapolis. Bob encouraged her creative writing, along with helping out with household chores. “Bob has always been very supportive of my writing,” she says. “He gives me the quiet time I need to write, attends readings with me and is pretty much supportive of any creativity in the family.”
Art and inspiration Bob and Nancy Pulley have the same inspiration when it comes to creating their art. “Whenever we go for a walk, we come back inspired to create something new,” she says. “Nature always inspires my poetry and Bob’s art.” The couple’s children, Emily, 34, and Dylan, 26, grew up with parents whose love of nature and art could be seen everywhere. “We had a pretty inspiring childhood,” Emily says. “They gave us an appreciation for art and the outdoors. With Mom’s poetry and Dad’s pottery, it was always fun. I would watch Dad make little flowerpots, and I would help. He would always make art such a big deal.” Both children inherited the creative spirit from their parents. Dylan is a graphic artist for a local newspaper, and Emily has an online vintage store. Since retiring, the Pulleys hike, sing at their church and spend time with their grandson, Oliver. They plan to continue their art, while they enjoy nature and their family. “I have 60 poems for a book that I hope to publish in the next couple of years,” Nancy says. As for Bob, he continues to add new sculptures to his personal collection at home. He is currently working on two 9-foot sculptures outside his studio. He also plans to travel throughout the Midwest for art installations and competitions. For the Pulleys, retirement isn’t the end of a career; it’s a time to explore, challenge themselves and give birth to new ideas, whether on paper or at the potter’s wheel. PT Some of Bob’s work can be seen at www.robertpulley.com. Nancy’s poetry is featured at www.nancypulley.weebly.com. 12 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Clockwise from top: Many of Bob Pulley’s sculptures find a home on the couple’s property. Nancy helps him move one of his creations. An avid gardener, she waters some new plants.
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 13
A tropical retirement Americans find they can live better and live for less abroad By Karen E. Farley n photos by Aaron Ferguson
ith so many books and articles written about where to retire on a fixed income, some are looking abroad to enjoy their next adventure in life. Last summer, Linda Teel of Nashville picked up a copy of International Living magazine from the Community Closet Thrift Shop, where she volunteers once a week. Linda, a legal secretary, retired several years ago, and her husband, Brian, a clinical psychologist, recently retired from his private practice in Nashville. “I was going through the donations and saw an article about the top 10 places to retire,” Linda says. “We went to Panama a few years ago, and it was number two on the list.” In 2010, the couple visited Panama City while on a cruise for their 25th wedding anniversary. Brian, 72, and Linda, 65, both liked the idea of living in a tropical country with access to mountains and beaches. With the current economy, more Americans are looking into retiring abroad. About 350,000 American retirees receive Social Security benefits in countries other than the U.S., according to the Social Security Administration’s 2012 annual statistical supplement. The natural wonderland of Panama is rated among the top places in the Americas for retirement. AARP The Magazine lists Panama as one of the best places to retire abroad. But the tropical weather is just one reason people choose this country the size of South Carolina.
More than good weather Panama recently earned the No. 2 spot in InternationalLiving.com’s annual Global Retirement Index 2013. Now in its 22nd year, the index assesses factors such as the price of groceries and average temperature. Editors also compare utility costs and the friendliness of locals. With that information, the top countries out of 100 were scored in categories 14 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
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[lifestyle] such as real estate, climate, special benefits for retirees and health care. Though Panama is mostly a Spanish-speaking country, language is not a barrier in most areas. The currency is the U.S. dollar, which makes shopping easy for foreigners. For retirees entering Panama, a tourist visa is good for three months. After that, Panama has a Pensionado, or retiree program. The Pensionado is available to permanent retirees receiving a pension from a foreign government — such as Social Security — or from a private company. For those looking for extra income, “green cards” are not necessary to work in Panama. As a resident, personal income tax is based on local income. Panama is a modern country with doctors in all specialties. For most ongoing health care, local clinics offer low-cost services and insurance is not needed, but the Teels plan to purchase health insurance at a local HMO for major medical care. In the January issue of Forbes magazine, Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of International Living magazine, says Panama City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with great restaurants and excellent hospitals. She adds that it is a banking and commercial hub with an international community. “Panama is committed to attracting foreign retirees and offers the world’s best incentive program to do so, making it convenient and easy to get residence there,” explains Stevens. According to U.S. News Money, Panama offers a number of diverse lifestyle options to people interested in retirement, ranging from beachfront living to a cooler mountain climate. The combination of warm weather, tropical flowers and low cost of living is what attracted the Teels to Panama.
Making the move After months of research, the couple chose the highland town of Boquete (pronounced Bo-KAY-tay) for their retirement home. They plan to hike, birdwatch and spend time in town with the locals. Linda taught English as a Second Language for several years and will take classes at the language institute. Brian plans to get involved in the medical community and experience zip lining or white water rafting. Since they don’t speak Spanish, they are learning some basic phrases to help them get around. They plan a trip in July to look at rental properties and will make the final move in the fall. 16 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Linda Teel weaves on one of the looms at her home in Nashville. She plans to take it with her to Panama.
For those interested in learning more about retiring abroad, check out these resources: Books “How to Retire Overseas — Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (For Less) Abroad,” by Kathleen Peddicord “Retirement Without Borders: How to Retire Abroad — in Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, and Other Sunny, Foreign Places (And the Secret to Making It Happen Without Stress),” by Barry Golson Online InternationalLiving.com
The Teels’ dog, Sydney, will have to be put in quarantine for 30 days once they reach Panama.
Living here has its advantages Meals based on your personal preferences, nonstop activities, and a staff always ready with a smile and a helping hand– that’s Silver Oaks Health Campus. We provide Columbus with a host of services, including assisted living, long-term care, memory care, and skilled nursing services. Come and experience our customer service difference and see just how good life can be at our campus. Call or stop by today for more information or to schedule your personal tour.
812-373-0787 • 2011 Chapa Drive • Columbus, IN 47203 • silveroakshc.com PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 17
For couples on limited budgets, Social Security can provide affordable living in many countries like Panama. “We will be able to live on Linda’s Social Security, and mine will be for the extras,” Brian says. The couple’s two children are very supportive of their parents’ decision to move abroad. When asked about any disadvantages of the move, Linda could think of only two. “The distance from family will make it a little harder,” she says. “But with the money we save, we may be able to pay for their flight. I will also miss friends and springtime in Brown County.” Many individuals and couples like the Teels are moving to other countries to retire in comfort and live within their means. In 2006, Lee Zeltzer retired to Boquete from Tucson, Ariz. He writes a blog of his life experience at www.boqueteguide.com and is now a semi-retired entrepreneur. “The reasons are many; some of what attracted me keeps me here,” says Zeltzer. “I came because of the low cost of living, the large English-speaking com18 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
munity, the tranquility, the weather and the desire for a change of pace. But the best reason to retire overseas is to take the opportunity to grow, to grow mentally, grow emotionally and grow culturally.” Boquete has a comfortable climate and an established expatriate community. Other places listed as the top places to retire in Panama include Las Tablas — beach retirement on a budget, Santa Fe — remote mountain hideaway, El Cangrejo — suburban life, and Coronado — city beach near Panama City. For some, Panama may not be their destination of choice. Other top countries in the Retirement Index include Ecuador, Mexico, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Spain and Colombia. Though their main reason for relocating to Panama is quality of life and low cost of living, Brian and Linda Teel are ready for paradise all year long. PT
Opposite page: Linda Teel holds two woven baskets from Panama. Above: She points to Panama on a globe. Left: Brian Teel holds a photo from International Living magazine showing where they plan to make their home.
PRIME TIME â€˘ MAY 2013 â€˘ 19
Hoosier spirit Entrepreneur Tim Cooney makes friends and connections through every endeavor By Barney Quick n photos by Carla Clark
im Cooney is one of those people who came to Columbus as a young man and soon made himself an integral element in the city’s flourishing. The range of ways he has enriched the fabric of its economic, civic and social ties is wide indeed. He’s an entrepreneur. The company he founded in 1979, Advantage One Imaging Center, has evolved from a photo-developing service into a comprehensive graphics resource, offering posters, trade show and point-of-sale products, video transfers and photographic restorations. He’s a relationship-builder, who values networking opportunities not only for their business possibilities, but for the chance to get to know his fellow human beings. He’s a consultant, whose perspectives on what the area’s business community needs in the way of skills and knowledge is sought by a number of educational and training institutions.
20 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
He’s a gardener and a cook, who relishes evenings and brunches when guests gather around his fire pit, surrounded by his acclaimed hostas, to partake of his culinary offerings. He’s a leader, as indicated by his willingness to step in as interim president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as by the term he served as president of the Columbus chapter of Business Networking International. The Iowa native attended Indiana University and moved to Columbus and founded Advantage One shortly afterward. He says he’s here to stay: “I’ve made so many friendships here, I feel like this is where I’ll be planted.” While his firm in its present incarnation mainly engages in business-to-business services, he says that he still has a core of longtime customers who come to him for restorations. “The thing about being a hometown entrepreneur is that people are loyal,” he says. “That’s flattering.”
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 21
[profile] He reflects that making the transition to projectbased business “took some getting used to. When I was mainly into photo finishing, I’d measure a day’s success by what was in the cash drawer. That’s not the case now.” When he closed the retail operation, he moved from his longtime Central Avenue location to a showroom on 10th Street. It is open to the public Monday through Friday. Serving as the chamber’s interim president from November to March required some deft balancing. “I like the energy around this place, but I’m still passionate about my business.” Following Cindy Frey’s appointment as president, Cooney stayed on as the chamber’s membership director. His bullishness on the chamber is a reflection of his natural sociability. “When I first started, I was kind of a maverick, thinking it was mainly about the plaque on my wall. When I started attending various meetings, it became a whole different ballgame.” In the local BNI chapter, he has been president, vice president, visitors’ host and part of the membership committee. “It has led to some good business, but mostly I’ve acquired some lifelong friends,” he — Tim says. “I’d go to bat for those people.” He has served on Harrison College’s Community Development Advisory Board. It looks over the college’s proposals for curriculum expansion and offers feedback from a business standpoint. He served a similar role on the Atterbury Job Corps Business Council. “They would ask us what we were looking for employee-wise, or we would help with referrals.” He leaves ample time for balance in his life. He and his wife, Jane, are planning trips in their camper this summer. They’ll take their dogs and mountain bikes. “I tell my friends it’s another one of Pee Wee’s Big Adventures,” he says. He does all the cooking at home. He’s particu-
larly pleased with his soups and casseroles. “I also do a lot of experimenting on the grill with marinades.” His love for that activity dates to a job he had in Bloomington during college. He was the graveyardshift cook at the Hour House. “When I left, they gave me a spatula with the phrase ‘World’s Greatest Grill Cook’ inscribed on it.” He is credentialed as an advanced master gardener. His yard boasts nearly 600 hostas and is a tour stop for horticultural enthusiasts. “The Southern Indiana Day Lily and Hosta Society came one time in a Greyhound bus,” he recalls. “That kind of aroused the neighbors’ attention.” A 60-step staircase descending from his house to his ravine garden was built between Memorial Day and Labor Day one summer. “Friends helped me on Saturdays for pizza and beer,” he says. He also can restore cars. “I got a 1990 convertible Cadillac Allante from my stepfather,” he says. “I completely rehabilitated it, and I’ve taken it to some car shows.” His friends reciprocate his kind words for them. Harold Hutchinson, coowner of HK Auto/Truck Service Center, says, “Tim could have run a Fortune 500 company. He’s been Cooney blessed with great motivational and leadership skills.” Lisa Shafran, who has worked with Cooney in his capacity as a Heritage Fund Development Committee member, says, “His entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of the small business community continue to help us frame a targeted approach to potential donors. He recognizes everyone has a voice and should be heard, which is a quality not everyone shares. But probably above all he is an avid dog lover, which makes me value him as a friend, unconditionally.” Cooney thinks there is something about the Hoosier ethos that makes for the sociability for which he’s known. “I spent some time on the West Coast, and the people I related to the best all seemed to come from Indiana.” PT
“The thing about being a hometown entrepreneur is that people are loyal.”
22 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Cindy Frey, Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce president, and Tim Cooney, membership director, go over some project plans.
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Rose Wright, owner of Sweet Rose Bakehouse
on a roll with
cakes an By Barney Quick n photos by Carla Clark
Serendipitous circumstances enable entrepreneurs to tackle longtime dreams 24 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Harold Hutchinson, one of the owners of HK Auto
t’s often assumed that if one has an entrepreneurial bent, it will show itself early in one’s working life. That’s not always the case, however. Columbus provides examples of those who have solid track records of success in ventures they started after the age of 50. Rose Wright’s lifelong passion for baking has translated itself into an ever-more-popular local source of pies, muffins, cookies, scones and rolls. As a soup-and-
sandwich lunch spot, Sweet Rose Bakehouse is becoming a social hub where conversation and camaraderie are a key element of the atmosphere. It’s located midpoint between the east and west sides of the city, in a historic little brick structure at the corner of 16th Street and Home Avenue. The demographics among its enthusiasts range from students to seniors. Wright is a native of Starlight and graduated from PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 25
nearby Borden High School, as did her husband, Jerry. After his graduation from Purdue, he landed an engineering job at Cummins. They moved to Columbus in 1979 and raised three children here. She had discussed her desire to start a bakery with her family and found them supportive. Then one of those fortuitous events occurred that really got the process started. “I was driving down Home Avenue one day and saw a going-out-of-business sign on Terra Cotta Ltd., the previous shop in this building,” she recalls. “I stopped in and asked Doyle and Nancy Marley, the owners, if they planned to sell the building.” They an26 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
swered affirmatively. “I convened a family meeting and announced that I’d found the ideal location. My daughter-in-law said, ‘Before you say where, let me say I’ve found your ideal location. It’s at 16th and Home.’” Thus was the site confirmed. It was sweetened with the win-win aspect of the building’s sale: “It meant a lot to Doyle and Nancy to have something special go in here.” Then it was time to undertake the steps involved in creating the bakery. “We applied for a loan and it was approved,” she says. “My husband drew up plans for the kitchen. Our contractor was someone who had done work for us in the past.”
She discovered that the process is fraught with details, such as inspections by the fire and health departments, and compliance with building codes. “We felt supported by our contractor and our accountant,” she says. Opening day was March 1, 2011. The previous Saturday was a “dress rehearsal,” as she puts it, a thank-you gesture to everyone who had helped. On opening day, neighbors had flowers delivered to the bakery. Regarding her approach to baking, she says, “I lean toward the classics — fruit pies, German chocolate cake, the cookies everybody loves.” She and her staff do take custom orders. “We’re happy to give customers’ family recipes a try.” The main self-discovery she’s made throughout the venture is that “it’s really brought my husband and me closer together. We bonded by jointly working on my business plan and playing to our individual strengths.” The advice she would give to over-50 aspiring entrepreneurs includes research, such as visiting businesses similar to what one wants to create, as well as crafting a business plan. She cites SCORE as a great help with that. “You should also commit yourself to sacrificing a lot of free time. I’m still working on achieving balance in my life.”
“I lean toward the classics — fruit pies, German chocolate cake, the cookies everybody loves.”
In the case of Harold Hutchinson, co-owner of HK Auto/Truck Service Center, circumstances catalyzed his long-dormant dream. He had been working for the organization known as Dave Burt Motors in its last incarnation for 32 years when the owner decided to close. “When you lose your job, you start thinking from a wider perspective,” he says. It took hardly any time at all for longtime custom-
— Rose Wright
“My mindset is that I can work a 12-hour day whether I’m 25 or 55. I’ve always had drive.” — Harold Hutchinson
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 27
[lifestyle] ers to find Hutchinson once he and Toby Kleffman opened their original facility behind the Circle K in Garden City. In fact, they soon realized they needed more space and equipment, so they moved a short distance north on Jonesville Road. “The demand was phenomenal,” he says. Hutchinson is an Ashland, Ky., native who spent years as a marine electrician in the federal government’s employ, working on battleships and submarines. When that career ran its course, he assessed his array of skills and decided to work on cars. In 1977, he heard about an opportunity at the Columbus dealership. When he decided to start HK Auto, he had the full support of his wife, Shirley, and his son and daughter. In fact, Shirley works at the business in an administrative capacity. Does he have the energy level required for the entrepreneurial life? “My mindset is that I can work a 12hour day whether I’m 25 or 55,” he says. “”I’ve always
had drive.” Regarding the nature of the auto repair field, he says, “It has two sides: technical and people-oriented.” He says that means finding people with each of those skill sets. Regarding his partner, Kleffman, he says, “He’s the Michael Jordan of the under-the-hood world. I’d known him since 1995 when he worked for me as a technician at Dave Burt.” Years of making acquaintances in that field allowed them to put together the highly experienced and credentialed 13-person staff they currently have. His advice to would-be business creators is to know the field, know your competitors and consider your location. “How visible do you want your facility to be?” he says. What he finds most satisfying about HK Auto is solving problems. “Everybody has particular needs for particular cars. Not everybody in this business wants to tackle every problem, but the truth is that with proper skills and training, there’s no reason you can’t.” PT
From left, co-owner Toby Kleffman, mechanic Chuck Brewer and co-owner Harold Hutchinson confer about a customer’s truck. 28 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Shirley and Harold Hutchinson review purchase orders. Shirley joined her husband in the business and handles all the bookkeeping and accounting.
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A change in approach Science behind hormone replacement therapy has evolved
D By Jenni L. Muncie-Sujan
r. Helen Kinsey of Columbus Gynecology says the most common time to start hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is when a woman is going through menopause and shows symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and, eventually, vaginal dryness. Other menopausal symptoms can include mood changes, anxiety, sleep problems, low libido, increased risk of heart disease and low energy. Dr. George Albers of Southern Indiana OB/GYN addresses the fears associated with HRT. “There was a big push not to use HRT,” Albers says. “Everything changed, and we were avoiding HRT on everyone, but now, with further investigation, we can safely say that HRT is of benefit and should/could be used in those suffering from menopausal symptoms.” Some of the symptoms can cause their own side effects, he says, such as painful intercourse from vaginal dryness that can “drastically alter some relationships.” “Things have changed significantly,” says Kinsey. “We know more about hormone levels, different applications of hormones, the different hormones involved. We have much more information. The science has progressed.” According to Kinsey, standard medicine will say to consider HRT if you have significant bothersome symptoms. Her experience is that if someone is bothered to the point of being disturbed in day-to-day life, they will ask about it. Now, she says, the general opinion in the medical field is that when HRT is begun close to menopause and used within eight years of menopause, women are at a lower risk level. The standard medical advice, she says, is to take HRT as long as you have the symptoms.
30 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
“When you’re close to menopause and in your 50s, it is likely safe for most women,” says Kinsey. She acknowledged some uncertainty in the conclusions of some studies. “There still is a question about after four years of use if there might be a slight increase in the risk for breast cancer for Premarin and the synthetic — medroxyprogesterone,” Kinsey says. She says treatment should be started as close to menopause as possible, but it is not as safe to begin treatment in your 60s, usually a post-menopausal age, because a woman’s body is not used to the treatment, presenting the possibility of more risks. Albers agrees that, in women over 60, HRT can be more of a health risk and alternatives should be considered. For some women, Kinsey recommends what is considered a more natural option: bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT. According to her, this version of HRT uses hormones that are natural to the woman’s own body. She says that, unlike Premarin, the chemical compounds used are already in a woman’s body. Albers says that some types of antidepressants and seizure medications have proved to effectively relieve hot flashes, but he is of the opinion that natural alternatives such as plant estrogens and herbal treatments have never been shown to improve outcomes over placebo. Kinsey says that each woman can be tested through a blood, saliva or urine sample to find out what specific hormones need to be adjusted. She said the levels might be different from woman to woman, but as for the hormones a woman produces, each woman will be the same. She said that testing is not the first routine step in administering HRT. She said a woman does not need to be tested to use hormones, but if she is not responding to typical treatment, that might be a reason to be checked. Convenience is another reason she promotes the use of BHRT. The estrogen treatments come in patches, gels, creams and sprays. These topical options result in fewer cases of blood clots than with oral Premarin. She says that using Premarin as HRT can lower a woman’s sex drive, in addition to the natural lowering of her libido because of menopause. If a woman takes estrogen and has a uterus, Kinsey says that person runs an increased risk of uterine cancer. To counteract this risk, she said, progesterone should also be used at the same time. Progesterone, she says, can be taken orally, in a patch or in a cream. Kinsey says that one of the reasons she likes natural
progesterone and natural estrogen is that they work with the female body’s natural pathways as an antidepressant to decrease anxiety. She says it may also help improve sleeping patterns, prevent osteoporosis and protect against uterine cancer. Some unpleasant but tolerable side effects of HRT, according to Albers, are nausea and headaches. He says most women can avoid these issues if they time the administration of HRT to be taken at night in the lowest possible dose. He says HRT is approved only for “acute outward signs of menopause.” In regard to effectiveness, he says, nothing works better in treating the symptoms of menopause than estrogen. While Albers says HRT is not used as a measure of disease prevention, it does reduce cases of coronary heart disease, bone fractures, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer, in addition to increasing life expectancy. But, he adds, disease prevention is always helped by diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and medications. “If you can live through the symptoms, then, personally, no permanent harm done,” says Albers. “If you cannot, then seek treatment and don’t suffer.” PT
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 31
incurably sweet on horses Columbus equestrian is always ready to ride By Jenni L. Muncie-Sujan n photos by Carla ClarK
’ve just always had horses,” says Sharon Sweet of Columbus. “I’ve been in love with horses all my life — I think since the first time I laid eyes on them.” Sweet said her grandfather had work horses in the 1950s, and he used horses for farming. “That’s the first I remember of being around a horse,” she recalls. “We would go to town to get groceries at the G.C. Murphy dime store, and there was a horse ride. I think it cost a nickel.” In this farming mindset, Sweet recognized as a child that animals were not for entertainment. They each had a purpose. “Animals had to be worth their keep,” she says. “A cow was for milk and a chicken was for eggs, so horses were a luxury.” As a child, Sweet took every opportunity she had to be around horses. Her mother’s employer paid for its employees and their families to visit Riverside
32 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 33
Amusement Park in Indianapolis once a year, where Sweet would ride horses all day. At last, her family understood her connection with horses. “They did finally buy me a pony when I was 10 or 11, but I outgrew it quickly,” she recalls. “And we moved to town. Then that was the end of it. I think Mom and Dad gave him away.” Three blocks away from their new home in Columbus was the 4-H Fairgrounds, where FairOaks Mall is now located. The fairgrounds had stables and barns for boarding horses, a track and a grandstand. “I hung out there a lot,” says Sweet, explaining why her next big decision was not difficult to make or to carry out. When she was a senior in high school, she started saving lunch money to buy a horse and bridle for a total of $125. She paid for half with the lunch money savings and made payments until it was completely purchased. She kept the horse at the fairgrounds. Her parents never knew about that horse. “I kept that horse for a while then got a better horse,” she says. “I got married and had a daughter.” Then Sweet started speed racing: barrel racing and pole bending. She took her daughter, Sharon Noble, with her, sometimes taking her on the horse as she rode. 34 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Opposite page: Sharon Sweet sits next to an accumulation of her awards. She and her horse earned a first-place award in the form of this chair by competing and earning points all season. She won the stools as a second-place award and displays a comforter made of ribbons she has won since she began competing. Above: One of the more unusual awards given to Sweet and her horse was this Sioux bow and arrow set.
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[profile] “I met a lot of people — the old cowboys around here,” she says. “They taught me a lot.” Sweet has been riding and showing horses in Western Pleasure classes for the past 10 years. She shows quarter horses, her preferred breed. “I love all horses,” she says. “They are fascinating to me.” She dresses for the events in chaps and boots and uses a show saddle. “I show — walk, jog, lope. It is judged on how the horse performs. “Your horse gets a lot of recognition,” she says, later pointing out a variety of prizes she has won over the years. “There aren’t too many people who can make a living [at showing horses]. I’m not one of them. I do it for the pleasure.” Sweet says she shows around Indiana, “and that’s about as far as I go,” citing the cost of diesel fuel for pulling the horse trailer. “I showed him in over 30 shows last year,” she says, referring to her horse, One Good Hero. “We traveled a lot.” Sweet has owned One Good Hero, also called Nero, for six years and has won second place in Indiana Quarter Horse Association open shows multiple times. She also won high point horse for the year in a couple of places, along with several high point winnings for individual shows. “In 2012, I finally won it,” she says with a smile, referring to the event that gets most of her attention: Western Pleasure. “That was something on my bucket list. I was really proud of my horse for that.” For Sweet, the enjoyment of owning a horse is not all about winning. She takes pleasure in the daily routine. “I like to go out there to see my horse, check on him and feed him,” she says, noting that caring for a horse is more work than people may realize. “You are committed,” she says, listing the daily chores for feeding and caring for the horse and extra expenses such as veterinary checkups and blacksmith costs. Sweet retired from the former Reliance Electric. She and her husband, Daw Sweet, live on a 12-acre property on the west side of Columbus. They have a riding ring and a barn with four stalls. “My husband likes the horses,” says Sweet, “but he wouldn’t sit at a show all day. He’s proud of what I do, but it doesn’t interest him. He knew I had baggage when we got married,” she says with a laugh. Not surprisingly, during some of the summers from 1998 to 2011, Sweet worked at Brown County State 36 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
Park as a trail guide. “I didn’t learn all this on my own,” she says, referring to lessons she has taken. But she points most certainly toward the help of Mary Branum, her friend since elementary school, who owns Grandview Stables in Columbus. “She’s my eyes — tells me what I need to not do or do better,” she says. Branum’s indoor arena is where Nero gets “muscled up” for the season of shows. “He came pretty well trained [six years ago],” says Sweet. “I just kind of put some buttons on him.” Nero is now about 12 years old, and Sweet is comfortable with the way she has chosen to take care of him. “I let him loose in the winter, so he can be a horse. I think he likes that,” she says. “He doesn’t stay stallbound like a lot of horses.” Branum agrees with her choices. “Her horse, like us, wouldn’t want to be locked in a bathroom until someone wants to get us out. Everyone gets out, even the stallions,” Branum says. “I think this makes this horse better. So many trainers jerk them in and out of a stall and say, ‘Do this,’ or ‘Do that,’ but Sharon loves her horse. She is a team with the horse. He knows what she wants before she asks him.” Sweet explains that horses are like people: They all have different personalities. “He’ll pick on you now and then,” she says, “pull on your shirt to get your attention.” Recently, she tried something new. “I rode him bridleless to see if I could do it,” she said. “The bridle is the control. With him, you could control him with your legs. It’s like riding with no steering wheel. He’s a well-trained horse.” She compares her love of horses to other seemingly innate human passions. “Painting, music, race cars — it’s something you’re born with,” she says.
Sweet knows one thing as a fact: Horses are always going to be around her in one way or another. “It’s all about the horses — about different ways to enjoy them,” she says. And she does not have any plans to slow down. “I still love to show,” she says. “I can’t see not doing that.” PT
“I love all horses. They are fascinating to me.” — Sharon Sweet
PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 37
The itch to stitch Church women sew quilts for people they’ll never meet around the world By Marcia Walker
38 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
photo by Greg Jones
More than 200 completed quilts, representing hundreds of volunteer hours, are displayed in the sanctuary for blessing at St. Paul Lutheran Church-Borchers. PRIME TIME â€˘ MAY 2013 â€˘ 39
Angola. Cambodia. Mauritania. Jordan. Armenia.
The distance between these far-off lands and the rolling fields and patches of woods that mark the northern Jackson County neighborhood of Borchers can be measured in miles, lifestyles and cultures. But a group of women associated with St. Paul Lutheran Church is working hard to bridge the gap. They are participating in the Lutheran World Relief Quilt Campaign, making quilts that will end up going to people in need in a number of different countries. Last year, the Borchers group contributed 238 quilts to the nationwide effort that resulted in 417,000 quilts. “They want us to do 25 more than last year,” Olga Otte said, adding that the goal is 500,000 quilts. Strictly speaking, these are blankets, not quilts, since they are not pieced together. Instead three layers are tied together with knots. The finished blanket measures 60-by80 inches; a knot, with yarn or heavy thread, is placed every 9 to 10 inches. As far as uses, one needs to think outside the box. These quilts don’t necessarily end up as a bed covering. In some countries, the quilts may be used as baby carriers, sacks for transporting goods to market, shawls and even sun shades. Regardless of their ultimate purpose, they serve as reminders that someone cares, a link between different countries. The group at Borchers meets on Mondays and Wednesdays during January, February and March. No one knows exactly how long ago they began meeting, but members who have been associated with the project the longest believe the gatherings started sometime in the 1970s. In the early days, as many as 20 women would gather for the day, bringing their lunch. Sessions these days are a half-day with a break in the middle for refreshments. Wanda Engelan has been coming regularly for years.
“There’s something about (taking) fabric and making something. It’s addictive.”
40 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
— Wanda Engelan
photo By Marcia Walker
From left Wanda Engelan, Olga Otte, Linda Rust, Dot Goodwin and Linda Booher pose with their 100th quilt. The group at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Borchers, made 222 quilts this year.
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[Volunteers] “Sometimes I think of slowing down or think I’m going to get burned out, but I never do,” she said. “I really enjoy it. There’s something about (taking) fabric and making something. It’s addictive.” The women meet during the winter months because most are from farming families, and traditionally, winter is their slow season. But actually, the project is on the minds of many all year long as they keep an eye out for bargains on material and supplies. These days, the core group includes Engelan, Linda Booher, Dot Goodwin, Olga Otte, Linda Rust, Dixie Otte, Dorothy Simmons, Lucy Angel, Florence Otte, Lou Ann Hoevener and Mildred Carter. But it’s an incomplete list, because many people help behind the scenes. Some anonymously leave donations of material, while others take blankets home to tie the knots. Besides helping people across the seas, a secondary benefit is that members are helping themselves as well. There’s a sense of camaraderie, and strong friendships have developed. Several of the women are widows; the
group has helped sustain them during a difficult period in their lives. “There’s a lot of support,” Goodwin agreed. “My husband died four years ago. It’s not a formal thing … it’s a support of friends and helping each other out.” Booher is not a member of the church but lives in the neighborhood and also lost her husband. “She sews good so we let her come,” Olga Otte jokes. This year’s quilts were blessed at a special service the last Sunday in April, called the End Gathering. They were displayed throughout the sanctuary for both services. This year, the women turned out 222 quilts, not as many as last year but still an impressive number. And some will turn around and start working on another project channeled through Lutheran World Relief. Members of the church also work on health kits, school kits, layette kits and sewing kits. All of which keep people like the members of the quilt group busy and happy. “It’s just a fun place to be,” Olga Otte said. PT
photos By Marcia Walker
Wanda Engelan, Linda Rust and Linda Booher work on one of the quilts. Opposite page: Dot Goodwin pins a quilt. 42 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
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calendar of events
June 9 — Columbus Symphony Orchestra: Sounds of Summer. 7:30 p.m., Mill Race Park amphitheater, Lindsey Street. Admission: $10 adults; $5 seniors; free under 12. Featuring classic hits of the R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire (arranged for orchestra by IU student Nicholas Hersh), plus music by Indiana legends like Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter and Michael Jackson.
— Friday Night Cruise-In. 5:30 to 9 p.m., Hope Town Square. Free event. Information: 314-1823, macy_6593@yahoo. com, or www.communitycenterofhope.org.
— Wonderland Tea. Literacy Blooms hosts this fundraiser for the Book Buddies program. Seating times: 1, 2 and 3 p.m., Historic Irwin Gardens (rain location,
44 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
inside inn). Admission: $15 per person (2 and under free). Tickets: 376-4461.
— Ladies Day Out Expo. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bartholomew County Fairgrounds. Free fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. More than 50 vendors, food and beverages. Information: 343-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— St. Bartholomew Concert Series: Ivory Keys. 7 p.m., 1306 27th St. Free event featuring pianist Ray Kilburn, Ball State University faculty member. Information: 3799353, ext. 237 or email@example.com.
— Yes Cinema Comedy Showcase — David Dyer. 8 p.m., Yes Cinema. $20 advance/$25 at the door. Information: yescinema.org.
— 2013 Relay For Life. Free overnight community gathering giving everyone the opportunity to fight cancer and save lives. 6 p.m. to 6 p.m., Columbus East High School athletic field, 230 S. Marr Road. Information: www.relayforlife. org/columbusin, 376-6781 or melissa.head@ cancer.org.
— Tour de Trails Bike Challenge. Mill Race Park. Onsite registration 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; rolling start 9:30 a.m. Admission: $25. Information: 376-2680.
— Salute, 7 p.m., Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans, Second and Washington streets. Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s free concert in honor of those who have served and who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Information: 376-2638, ext. 110.
June 1–Sept. 21 — Farmers Market. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each Saturday in the Cummins parking lot between Brown and Lindsey streets. Purchase fresh produce grown by local farmers/ gardeners, fresh-cut flowers, herbs, home-baked goods (including glutenfree), coffee, tea, lemon shake-ups, local art, jewelry and mosaics, while enjoying music by local and regional musicians. Information: 371-3780. June 5–Sept. 25 — Columbus MidWeek Farmers Market. 4 to 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday on Fourth Street, between Jackson and Washington streets. Purchase fresh produce and plants grown by local farmers and gardeners.
— Americana Music Series, Ben Bedford. 7:30 p.m., Unitarian Universalist building, 7850 Goeller Blvd. Admission: $12 advance/$15 door/$5 ages 18 and younger, available at Viewpoint Books.
— Hope Arts & Antiques Fair. Hope Town Square. Artisans, antiques, primitives.
— JCB Neighborfest, Jai Baker Band. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 300 block of Washington Street. Free. Jai Baker blends country, pop and rock to create a musical style everyone can enjoy. PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 45
— Americana Downtown, RJ Cowdry. 7 p.m. concert; doors open at 6:30, Jacksson Contemporary Art Gallery, 1030 Jackson St. Admission: $10 to $15 suggested donation.
— Friday Night Cruise-In. 5:30 to 9 p.m., Hope Town Square. Free event. Information: 314-1823, macy_6593@yahoo. com, or www.communitycenterofhope.org.
— Smoke on the Square. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Hope Town Square. Mark your calendars, barbecue lovers and cookers, for the third annual barbecue competition. Admission: Free to public; entry fee for competition; meals for purchase. Information: 546-4499, 314-1823 or macy_6593@yahoo. com.
— Noon Kids Concert, Donner Park shelter house. Free show featuring the comedy, juggling and magic of Derek Dye.
— Hope Arts & Antiques Fair. Hope Town Square. Artisans, antiques, primitives.
— Noon Kids Concert, Donner Park shelter house. Free show featuring the science of magic with Daniel Lusk.
— Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration. Free event. Hope Town Square. Food, games, live music and fireworks. Information: 546-4673.
June 15 — Girlfriend Ride. Registration 7:30 a.m.; ride begins at 9 a.m. at Columbus Learning Center. This is a bicycle ride for the ladies only — the feelgood, action packed, girlfriend-iest bicycle ride of the year. Ride for a good cause, Turning Point Domestic Violence Services in Columbus. You can go 10K, 25K or 50K. 46 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
— JCB Neighborfest, Max Allen Band. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 300 block of Washington Street. Free. This trio covers a variety of musical genres. You never know what will be on their set list.
— Friday Night Cruise-In. 5:30 to 9 p.m., Hope Town Square. Free event. Information: 314-1823, macy_6593@yahoo. com, or www.communitycenterofhope.org.
24 July 5-13 — Bartholomew County 4-H Fair. Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds. Information: bartholomewcountyfair.com.
— JCB Neighborfest, Gordon Bonham, Gene Deer and Benito DiBartoli. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 300 block of Washington Street. Free. Don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes as these three pay respect to one of the blues greats, Stevie Ray Vaughn.
— ArtFEST. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Washington Street, free. Enjoy artwork from local, regional and national artists: mixed media, ceramics, fiber, leather, furniture, glass, jewelry, printmaking, sculpture, woodwork. Information: www.columbusartfest.com.
-24 — Glass blowing workshops and iron pour. Held in conjunction with ArtFEST. Information: caac@ artsincolumbus.org.
— Hope Arts & Antiques Fair. Hope Town Square. Artisans, antiques, primitives.
— Johnson-Witkemper Insurance Biggest Block Party Ever. Starts at 5:30 p.m. downtown Columbus. Plenty of local and regional bands on three stages; special menus from downtown restaurants, beer and wine. $8 adults (children 12 and under free). All proceeds benefit Columbus Area Arts Council.
— Hope Arts & Antiques Fair. Hope Town Square. Artisans, antiques, primitives.
August 17 — Rock The Park. Concert featuring REO Speedwagon, 7:30 p.m., Mill Race Park. Ticket sales begin June 17. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org. PRIME TIME • MAY 2013 • 47
My Back Pages Sharon Mangas
When watching a movie meant leaving the house
call from the Nielsen Co. got me thinking about the changes I’ve experienced during the course of my life. “We’re questioning people about moviegoing habits,” the Nielsen rep said. “Do you have time to answer a few questions?” What I started to say was, “How did you get my phone number? I’m on the ‘no-call’ list!” But instead, I took the bait. “I’m not sure I’m a candidate for your survey. I rarely go to movies.” (These days, watching movies at Casa Mangas means donning jammies, plopping on the couch and downloading something from Netflix.) To my surprise, the survey lady was ecstatic. “No, that’s perfect. You’re just the kind of person we want to talk to.” After I said I’d gone to no more than two movies at an actual theater in the last two years and walked out of one of them (“Black Swan”), our conversation concluded. The art of moviegoing, like so many other things, has been transformed by rapid changes in society and big leaps in technology. My year-old granddaughter, Lillian Ruth, who already knows how to swipe a smartphone, will surely think I’m talking about the Land of Oz when I tell her stories from my childhood. In the 1950s and ’60s, moviegoing was a ritual for children. Every Saturday afternoon, kids from the neighborhood would band together and walk downtown to the movie theater. Insert whatever town or city you want to here. It was the same everywhere. Most kids had chores to do on Saturday mornings, but after that, Saturday was our day. We ruled. At the theater, for the grand sum of 50 cents, we could watch a cartoon, a Little Rascals short and a feature film. We’d fill up on 10-cent candy bars, nickel packs of gum and stale popcorn. We cheered the good guys and booed the villains.
There were few adults around. Helicopter parents hadn’t been invented yet. If someone got unruly, we flagged down an usher, usually a pimply-faced teenager, to intervene. Our moms gave us dimes to tuck in our shoes for emergency calls … from a pay phone. Back then, Mom was always home. And no doubt she was happy to have an hour or two to herself on Saturday afternoon. Checking in at today’s watercooler — Facebook — I asked friends to share things they remembered from childhood, things our grandchildren will never experience. Before Google, we went to the library to look up information. Before word processors, we used typewriters, and we had to retype a whole page if there were more than three errors. We used rotary dial phones and listened in on party lines. One friend remembered recording reel-to-reel tapes for her dad when he was serving in Vietnam. “Now we have Facebook,” she says. We had freedom. Boomers played outside for hours and didn’t head home until street lights came on. We used our imaginations more. We played cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and little girls’ all-time favorite: house. One friend recalled, “There were no props of any consequence to our play. All we had was imagination. Elaborate stories were acted out, various dramas carried forth, and it was all ad-lib.” Some things are better left in the past, like spankings with fraternity paddles, blatant discrimination, cars without seat belts and cigarette smoke everywhere. But it’s a pleasure to remember sweet and innocent things. I’ll enjoy sharing “way back when” stories with Lillian, but I hope she’ll teach me about the joys of growing up in the 21st century, too. Childhood is still magical; it’s just different for kids today.
Sharon Mangas can be reached at email@example.com. 48 • MAY 2013 • PRIME TIME
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