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Prime Time

F r e e!

MaRCH 2014


Look and feel your best EatIng HEaLtHy

Nutrition starts at grocery store Meet HeLeN BerGeNtY

Essay: Down Memory Lane

“The older I get, the better life becomes”

Thomaston Savings Bank

Committed to Community

Since 1874, Thomaston Savings Bank has helped support the goals, dreams, and future of our customers. Looking back with pride on our achievements, we’re moving forward with dedication to a continued tradition of community banking. We invite you to stop by one of our conveniently-located branches to experience the best of community banking. Our top priority is to help you make the most of your money, now and always.

Member FDIC |

Local 860.283.1874 | Toll-Free 855.344.1874

2 TSB Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014 Press: Prime Time Publication - January 2014 issue Community Banking AD - The Bristol Size = Full Page: 5 columns (9.667”) x 10.75”; Color



4 Eating Matters Finding the right foods 6 for you Inside Elder Law 9 Serving Her Town

Helen Bergenty living non-stop


8 Your View 13 Elder Law 14 Health Advice 15 Exercise 16 Games 18 Calendar 22 Essay Connecticut Prime Time is published monthly by Central Connecticut Communications, LLC, One Herald Square, New Britain Connecticut 06051. Free copies are distributed throughout Central Connecticut Michael E. Schroeder Editor and Publisher (860) 225-4601 ext. 246 Erica Schmitt Staff Writer eschmitt@ (860)225-4601 Chris McLaughlin Designer Gary Curran Advertising Director (860)225-4601 Joseph Cannata Jr. Distribution Director (860)225-4601

We want your contributions!

Comments and suggestions should be sent to the editor at CT Prime Time, One Herald Square, New Britain, CT 06010; faxed to (860)225-2611, or emailed to


Dryness of the eyes often gets worse in the winter Mrs. Jones came into my office tions. Wind can be very irritating this week as she was having some to the eyes, as it causes evaporatrouble with her eyes. tion of the surface tears. Also, low She is an avid reader who is humidity conditions can cause happiest when she is buried in a significant evaporation of tears good book. and worsening of dryness. Over the last few The winter months weeks though, she can be very difficult Dryness of was having a hard for patients with the eyes is time reading more dry eye. Household than 15-20 minutes. an extremely heating systems She would find that can often suck the common her eyes got very moisture out of the tired, heavy and condition. It is air and lead to very irritated. We did an dry environments. estimated that exam and I found Colder temperatures 10-15% of the also produce lower that her eyes were very dry. In fact population has ambient humidity they were so dry levels. some form of they had developed Initially, awaredry eye. some scratches on ness of the problem them. She was very is key to treatment. surprised by this, Staying out of very but she did tell me that she also dry environments and away from has very dry hands at this time of windy conditions is important. year. Often, artificial tears are a helpDryness of the eyes is an ful adjunct. These tear drops are extremely common condition. It available in the pharmacy and is estimated that 10-15% of the can be used up to three to four population has some form of dry times per day. A good eye exam is eye. On top of this, dryness is essential, as it will help diagnose much more common as we get the severity of the dryness and older, because the body tends to help to plan a course of action. make fewer tears. I discussed the situation with Sometimes dryness is caused Mrs. Jones and she was relived. by significant medical conditions She was afraid she was gong such as autoimmune disease. blind. We planned on her using More commonly dryness is just artificial tears four times per day something many people have to for the next few weeks, especially deal with, and we don’t have a when she was reading. specific cause. The Eye Center of Grove Hill The surface of the eyeball specializes in all forms of eye requires a healthy layer of tears problems. If you are bothered by in order to function and feel tired, heavy, irritated or dry eyes, normal. Dryness is much more come in and be evaluated. It may symptomatic in certain condijust save your sight! March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME


Plainville’s Helen By Erica Schmitt


ood living and generous giving never stop for Helen Bergenty. The town native, now 84, is president of Plainville’s monthly and non-profit “good news” newspaper The Hometown Connection, but she’s carried many more titles over the years. “I have found it to be true the older I’ve become the better my life has become,” she’ll tell you with a smile. A 1947 graduate of Plainville High School, Bergenty played for the very first girls’ basketball team in town. Now called the Blue Devils like the boys’ team – they were known then as “The Blue Angels.”

Helen Bergenty poses for a picture with former governor and senator Lowell P. Weicker.


needed an outlet for feelgood news – her grandson hitting a home run in his baseball game or the seniors putting on a dance at a local church. Seventeen years later it’s still going strong, sent to every home and business in town and supported by all local advertising. Bergenty calls it her “biggest accomplishHELEN BERGENTY ment.” “I just love people,” she says. “My mothAfter graduating then working er taught me years for more than a decade, she went ago the golden rule on to attend the University of – treat people the Connecticut and become proprietor way you’d like to be of the Starline Real Estate Agency. treated – and that’s She and Bill Bergenty, her hus- what I do. Believe band of 63 years, have one son, two me, it works.” grandsons and one great grandson, Zeke, who is just 18 months old. Longtime town residents might remember when she ran Helen Bergenty, 84, reminisces for the Office about the old days in her office at of High Sheriff The Hometown Connection. of Hartford County back in 1970. Although she lost, Bergenty is still proud to say she was the first-ever woman candiand recipient of the 2006 St. date in the running for such That philosophy has taken her Joseph Archdiocesan Medal of a position. from serving on the town coun“The one thing I can take from cil for 14 years to twelve terms as Appreciation. At present Bergenty serves as a Helen is never give up,” says Kathy Justice of the Peace and former committee member with Our Lady Pugliese, chairwoman of Plainville president of the Junior Woman’s of Mercy Church, on the Board of Town Council and also the volun- Club of Plainville. teer in charge of design and layout She was also a hospice volunteer, Directors with ARC of Plainville and the Plainville Community of The Hometown Connection. one of the founding members of Fund and as vice chairman of the The reason Bergenty started the the Plainville Chapter of AARP, past district director of the General town’s Republic Committee, among all-volunteer “hometown” paper Federation of Woman’s Clubs was because she felt Plainville many other volunteer roles.

Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

“I have found it to be true the older I’ve become the better my life has become.”

Bergenty still at it

The only thing she set out to accomplish that she hasn’t – at least in recent memory – is piloting a plane. “I took flying lessons when I was about 50 years old,” Bergenty remembers, adding with a chuckle, “I had more nerve than brains in those days.” She and the instructor were headed out towards Waterbury one day and the wind was so strong Bergenty call recall the plane going backwards. “The next day I was supposed to fly solo but I chickened out. That’s the only thing I can think of. Everything else I’ve taken on.”

Top, Helen Bergenty, the furthest right on the bottom row, was one of Plainville High School’s “Blue Angels” back in 1947. Lower left, she was crowned “Wonder Woman” on her 80th Birthday. March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME


Nutrition: Navigating By Erica Schmitt


urveys show that navigating the grocery store is one of the most difficult regular tasks for seniors. Anna Russo, a Registered Dietitian at the Connecticut Center for Healthy Aging in Southington, works with seniors to improve their eating habits and align them with any health conditions they might have. Here she shares some insight into the first step of creating a healthy diet: grocery shopping. “A lot of seniors have been having difficulties navigating grocery stores due to so many choices and multiple brand items. All grocery stores are designed to keep you busy and stimulate shopping,” says Russo, who advises older adults with various illnesses on how to choose foods that won’t exacerbate their symptoms. Limiting regular grocery shopping to the same one or two stores is best in order to learn where everything is, especially those items you purchase most frequently. While larger chain stores offer countless brands of the same products, smaller stores are typically easier to navigate, with fewer aisles and more personalized service. Butcher shops in these stores are often able to personally pack single meat items on request, and bakery goods are usually prepared on-site. Sale items are also competitively-priced with those in the larger stores. 6

Once you determine the right foods to eat, she suggests writing a master grocery list to take along on all store trips. Before going, check the store’s circular for sales and coupons. On average a senior living alone should spend between $30 and $80 on groceries every week, depending

Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

on personal taste, portion size and budget. Once inside, keep in mind it’s the perimeter of the store where fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and fish are located. Foods in the center aisles tend to be more processed. (This general rule of thumb excludes bread or dry

and canned single ingredient items like beans, grains, or baking supplies.) Some may find it helpful to bring along a family member, who can do their own shopping simultaneously while helping to read food labels, check pricing, and reach heavy or highly-placed

items. Nutrition labels can be confusing, but Russo suggests picking items with three or less grams of fat per serving, three or more grams of fiber per serving, and 140 mg or less of sodium. Sugars are included within the tally of carbohydrates, and can be disguised on an ingredi-

the grocery store ent list as dextrose, maltose, malt syrup, corn syrup, or high-fructose corn syrup. If any of these pop up in the first 3 to 5 ingredients listed, then the food is high in sugar and may also be high in calories. A common misconception is that healthier foods are more expensive. Fresh produce is usually the least pricey, and whole wheat pasta, brown rice and oats are non-perishable, so they last longer. Sweet potatoes, frozen vegetables and beans are also good value options. Also, don’t let all the new fad diets throw you for a loop. The gluten-free diet for example, has grown in popularity. But according to Russo, only those diagnosed with Celiac Disease by a physician should adhere to its strict limitations. “You can do more harm by becoming deficient in B

Anna Ruso

vitamins,” she explains. Older adults need fewer calories, so their choices should be more nutrient-dense. “If you don’t choose wisely, you may gain unnecessary weight,” added Russo, who has been a dietitian over 23 years. “Basically, choose the foods that give the biggest bang for the least caloric buck,” she continued. “Focus

on eating fresh produce,whole grains, low-fat dairy and adequate protein, while watching food labels for fats, salt and hidden sugar, and omitting as much processed food as possible.” A simple way to do that is by following the basics of the Food Pyramid Guidelines, developed by the U.S. Dept. of

Agriculture. On a daily basis, that means eating 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of fruit, 2 to 3 ½ cups veggies, 5 to 10 ounces whole grains, 3 cups of low- or non-fat dairy, 5 to 7 ounces protein (meat, fish, beans, eggs and nuts) and less than 5 tsp. fat.

“Basically, choose the foods that give the biggest bang for the least caloric buck.”

March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME


In-home non-medical assistance services for seniors, elderly and disabled adults. • Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care • Live-in or Hourly Arrangements • Our bonded and insured caregivers, homemakers, companions and CNA’s are available for you or your loved one.


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Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

We want to hear your stories Heading a new magazine for seniors across Central Connecticut, the Prime Time staff would like to hear from you – our readers. We welcome letters, story ideas and other submissions. But we will also be presenting a question of interest each month for you to consider. It may prompt you to delve into your past and rekindle old memories of life milestones, or ask you to recall where you were during important moments in American history. Sometimes, we may even be curious about your thoughts on a current preMiere issue issue. connecTicuT If the monthly topic strikes a chord with you, please do february 2014 consider mailing in an answer. We only ask that you keep it critical role between 100 to 200 The of nutrition words (a few paragraphs) – that way we will have room to feature all submissions. making a move: Thank you in The search for advance for your a new home He’s making interest. We look forthe most of life ward to reading your Meet peter spano thoughts, and sharing them with our readers in the April 2014 issue! Buds will soon appear on the trees and crocuses will pop their heads out of the soil - the first signs that spring is awakening the world. What kind of springtime garden are you planting this year? Can you offer any planting tips? What about recipes for making the most of your harvest come summer? If you have any photos of your gardens, please send those along too. Please mail submissions to: Prime Time, 1 Court Street- 4th Floor, New Britain, CT. 06051. You can also email them to:

Prime Time

Kevin Bartram | Staff

The staff of the law office of Stephen Allaire is pictured at the office in Bristol. Allaire has over 30 years of experience in practicing elder law.

Preparing for retirement: Elder law

By Erica Schmitt


hen looking ahead to your later years and preparing for retirement, considering loved ones’ best interests is likely to be a priority. This can mean finalizing a living will, securing assets, considering healthcare options, and preparing documents to protect your rights in the best and worst of times. But unless you have a background in law, it can be a difficult course to navigate without some help. That’s where Bristol Attorney Stephen Allaire and his team of elder law experts come in. “We assess a family’s needs and figure out a plan of care for them,” explains Allaire, who has over 30 years experience in elder law. Among the team of 12 staff who make up Allaire Elder Law, LLC, are Charlotte Audet, certified care manager and Daniela Silluzio, MSW

elder care coordinator. They have worked with families all over the state, including many in Bristol, New Britain, Southington and Plainville. “Two-thirds of what we do here is to keep people out of nursing homes,” Audet says. “We figure out where they or their loved ones can get the care they need, how they can pay for it, and what government programs can help them pay for it.” They can secure up to $70,000 for a husband and wife to remain in their home, and over $24,000 more in

veterans’ benefits for those who have served our country. “We’re there to advocate for the family and the patient,” Silluzio says. They encourage people of all ages to consider making plans for their later years – before it’s too late and important decisions fall into the wrong hands. Many of those who walk through the office doors are caring for a spouse or parent with dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, or another life-threatening illness.

“It’s a lot of stress taking care of a loved one, and sometimes it’s hard for them to accept help,” Audet says. “They’re terrified they’re going to lose all of their assets,” she continued. “We can help save all of their assets and get them the care they need at home.” Often times one of the first steps taken is to prepare a living will. Not only does this allot someone’s possessions to those they wish after they pass away, but it also puts their financial affairs in the right hands. “We make sure people have the documents they need right when they come in the door, in case they can sign for themselves or they pass away,” Allaire says. Bringing peace of mind to families is their number one goal. For more information, visit Allaire Elder Law, LLC is located at 271 Farmington Ave in Bristol. Call (860) 584-2384 to make an appointment.

March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME



Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

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For more information on our services, rates and availability, or to schedule a tour call 860-667-2256 today.


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We are accepting applications for our one and two bedroom units waiting list!

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Please visit March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME


Where You Can Get Prime Time FREE Every Month

A sampling of hundreds of locations in Central CT Berlin

∎ ICMA, 16 Ledgewood Dr Queen St  ∎ Starbucks Coffee, 838 Farmington Ave ∎ Starbucks Coffee, 641 Farmington Ave  ∎ CT Senior Resource Institute, 138 ∎  S tafford Diner, 100 Stafford Ave ∎ Berlin Senior Center, 33 Colonial Dr Wellington Dr ∎  R iverside Restaurant, 170 Riverside Ave  ∎ VFW, 152 Massirio Dr ∎ Super Natural Market & Deli, 430 N  ∎ The Pines, 61 Bellevue Ave  Main St ∎ HealthSouth, 255 N Main St Suite 5  ∎ St Matthew Church, 120 Church Ave ∎ Sheriden Woods Health Care, 321 ∎ Hillside Community Church, 435 Broad St Stonecrest Dr ∎ Price Chopper, 835 Washington St ∎ Nursing Care Center of Bristol, 61 Bellevue Ave  ∎ Apple Rehabilitation Cromwell, 156 ∎ CVS, 60 Middle St  Berlin Rd. ∎ Shop Rite, 1200 Farmington Ave ∎ Jerome Home, 975 Corbin Ave ∎ Walnut Hill Care Center, 55 Grand St ∎ Care Management Associates, 43 ∎ 1st Church of Christ Congr., 830 Enterprise Dr  ∎ Farmington Post Office, 210 Main St Corbin Ave Judi ∎ Hearing Balance and Speech Ctr, 291 ∎ Utopia Home Care, 88 Scott Swamp Rd ∎ New Britain Post Office, 135 Chestnut St ∎ Grove Hill Medical Center, 300 Kensington Ave ∎ New Britain Senior Center, 55 Pearl St ∎ Roly Poly Bakery, 587 Main St Independent Retirement Living ∎ Park Hill Manor, 105 Vine St ∎ Story Bros. Auto, 84 Burritt St ∎ Rite Aid, 1350 Stanley St ∎ Beacon Prescriptions, 543 W Main St Your All-Inclusive, Monthly Rent Includes: Upcoming Events at The Lodge ∎ East Side Restaurant, 131 Dwight St • Around-the-clock, live-in managers ∎ Paradise Pizza, 10 East St Saturday, april 12 • 2-4 pM • Housekeeping WedneSday, april 16 • 2 pM and linen service ∎ VFW, 41 Veterans Dr honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day, • ThreeInchef-prepared meals daily The Spring Market is Here! ∎ South Church, 90 Main St We invite you to attend • Wellness program ∎ Calvary Christian Center, 265 W an Estate Planning Workshop: Meet with our experts and • Life-enriching activities Main St Judi prepare your house for sale! ∎ Embassy Church International, 250 Keeping Life Simple Arch St Topics include: “7 Threats to Your Family ∎ Fresenius Medical Care, 2150 Corbin Ave Organizing & Downsizing, Security & Estate Plan” ∎ RSVP, 830 Corbin Ave Moving, the Real Estate




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50 Cold Spring Road, Rocky Hill • 860-721-1940 Wills & Trusts • Asset Protection • Home Care & Market,I Mortgage n e pupdates e n d e n tNursing R e tHome i r eIssues m e• Medicaid n t L iQualification ving and Individual Living Resources at The Lodge.

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Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014


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∎ Rocky Hill Public Library, 33 Church St ∎ Rocky Hill City Hall, 761 Old Main St ∎ Emeritus at Rocky Hill, 60 Cold Spring Rd ∎ Atria Greenridge Place, 1 Elizabeth Ct ∎ Stop and Shop, 80 Town Line Rd ∎ Elks Lodge, 825 Cromwell Ave


∎ Southington Public Library, 255 Main St ∎ HOCC at Bradley, 81 Meriden Ave ∎ Rite Aid, 500 Queen St ∎ Shop Rite, 750 Queen St ∎ 3 Gardens Jensen Communities, 52 S Rd ∎ Whole Donut, 405 Queen St ∎ Eddie’s Bakery & Country Mkt, 1631 Mount Vernon Rd ∎ Apple Valley Worship Center, 594 W Center St


∎ Plymouth Town Hall, 80 Main St ∎ Whole Donut, 151 Main St


∎ Sunrise Healthcare, 240 Church St ∎ Cedar Mountain Commons, 3 John ∎ Farmington Senior Center, 321 New H Stewart Dr ∎ Geriatric Rest Home, 256 New Britain Ave Britain Ave ∎ Stop and Shop, 44 Fenn Rd ∎ VFW, 85 Kitts Lane ∎ VFW Post 9929, 83 South St ∎ Our Saviours Lutheran Church, 1655 Main St ∎ Church of the Holy Spirit, 183 Church St ∎ Nathan Hale Senior Center, 1532 Berlin Tpke ∎ Walgreens, 1100 Silas Deane Hwy ∎ Plainville Post Office, 56 Whiting St ∎ Starbucks Coffee, 1090 Silas Deane Hwy

West Hartford




We now offer

Lymphedema management

By Attorney Stephen Allaire eran or his widow, and a lawyer that


understands all the financial, physical, emotional and legal needs that a family faces if parents need a little or a huge amount of care to stay out of a nursing home. Life care plans take into account all aspects of the elder’s needs, in an overall approach. The government resources potentially available can exceed $8,000 per month to care for someone at home. Often families try to give the care on their own, but no matter how admirable that is, at some point it is just not possible for the healthy spouse, or the children, to provide all the care. That is where the various programs supplementing family resources come into play. It can make the entire difference in staying at home, or being forced into a nursing home. Now, it is my experience that those residents of Buickville came out of the depression, and World War II or Korea, and are very strong and independent, and loathe to seek help. But a little bit of help, received early enough, can be the difference between staying at home, or ending life in a nursing home. So the point of this article is to say that if your family is faced with needs for care, even if you would rather pull up that chin and bear it, the wiser path is to seek out a thorough and comprehensive plan which will change as the needs for care change. Let’s face it, if your elder loved one has physical and mental infirmities today, those conditions are not going to change for the better. They are going to increase. Use all the resources available to the family to keep them at home. In Buickville. Attorney Stephen O. Allaire is a partner in the law firm of Allaire Elder Law, LLC, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc., with offices at 271 Farmington Avenue, Bristol, (860) 584-2384), or on the web at If you have a question, send a written note to Attorney Allaire at Allaire Elder Law, LLC, 271 Farmington Avenue, Bristol, CT, 06010.


at Sheriden Woods

heriden Woods Health Care Center in Bristol is now offering a new therapy, Lymphedema Management to treat individuals who have problems with their lymph drainage system. Sheriden Woods offers Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which is the most effective approach to treat chronic lymphedema. CDT is a gentle, non-invasive, and highly effective therapy. Todd J. Palladino, OTR/L Director of Rehabilitation, is certified in the four components of Complete Decongestive Therapy, compression therapy, exercises, and skin care. With this certification, Todd is now able to establish a CDT treatment plan for individuals with primary or secondary lymphedema and perform the indicated treatment. Our facility is honored to be able to offer this treatment to their current and new residents.

Sheriden Woods Health Care Center also specializes in providing short-term rehabilitation, long-term, dementia, respite, and hospice care. For more information about the services we provide visit our website, or to schedule a private tour, please call 860-583-1827.

321 Stonecrest Drive, Bristol, CT 860.583.1827


his is a warning that Buickville is not like that movie “Pleasantville.” A short while ago a family was in my office to discuss options for care for their parents. After the usual introductions, we began to review the parents’ health needs such as help with bathing, dressing, taking medications and all the things that people may need as the infirmities of old age set in. After we had established a good idea of what was needed, the discussion turned to finances, both income and assets. When asked what kind of car the parents had, the kids laughed and said, “A Buick, of course. They live in Buickville.” Why? Because a good percentage of their parents’ friends also drove Buicks. Any of you with elderly parents know what they meant. There is an entire generation that raised their families in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s that drove Buicks or Oldsmobiles, and to their kids a common humorous question is, “Do they have a Buick Century or a Buick Skylark?”The entire family laughs when I ask,“Is it a Century or a Skylark?” But after we have a chuckle, the real issues of those in “Buickville” come tumbling forth. How to keep mom and dad at home? What do you do to get the help needed to keep mom or dad happily in Buickville as their health declines? The critical step is to seek knowledgeable, comprehensive advice on the care needed, the financial resources available, both government and private, and the legal requirements of government programs such as Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders, Level I and II, Medicaid (Title 19), and VA Aid & Attendance. That advice is best found at an elder law firm that does what some call “life care planning”. Simply described, that means a firm that has geriatric care staff to evaluate needs and advise on care, staff that can handle applications to Connecticut programs, including Medicaid, and VA funds for a vet-

Managed by Athena Health Care Systems March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME


Living healthy

Prompt treatment for foot injury

Everyone probably knows someone who has had a foot ailment – maybe even you. A more common and uncomfortable condition, known as hallux rigidus, affects the big toe joint and causes pain and stiffness in or on top of the big toe joint, which absorbs most of the pressure when walkANTHONY BABIGIAN, D.P.M. ing and is affected by most movements we make. This particular condition is a progressive disorder that has mild, moderate and severe stages. An

effort should be made to get early treatment before it progresses. There are structural and functional causes of hallux rigidus. Structural causes are due to an elevated or long bone behind the big toe. Functional causes are due to a tendon not pulling correctly. Trauma to the big toe joint can also cause symptoms as well as some systemic diseases like rheumatoid, psoriatric and reactive arthritis or gout that would need to be ruled out. Early signs and symptoms include pain, stiffness, difficulty with certain activities, swelling and inflammation. End-stage symptoms are

pronounced pain even when resting, pain in the lateral knee and low back as well as limping. Diagnosis is made with a foot exam and the help of weight-bearing X-rays. If the condition is in the early stages, conservative treatment including orthotics (molded supportive orthosis that fit within the shoe), supportive shoes, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and injection therapy are helpful in relieving symptoms and stopping the progression. If the condition is in the middle stages corrective surgery can relieve symptoms and reposition bones so it does not advance to the

severe stages. If the joint is destroyed surgery can fuse it or another option is to surgically place an implant within the joint. It is recommended that those who suffer from hallux rigidus seek help early on.

Colon and rectal malignancies are among the most common cancers in the United States. Thankfully, the mortality rate has gone down over the last twenty years in large part to early detection methods or screening. It is one of a small number of cancers including prostate, cervical, breast and skin for which screening is available. Techniques including the digital rectal exam and mammogDr. Peter raphy can help pick Bloom MD up cancer of the prostate and breast respectively at an early stage. This allows early intervention which greatly increases the chances of

a cure. The same holds true for colorectal cancer. Many health providers and experts agree that the most comprehensive screening test for colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy. For practitioners skilled in such a test, it allows for both the detection and removal of polyps which are cancer precursors. In the vast majority of cases, it takes several years for a polyp to grow into cancer. It has been shown in clinical trials that polyp detection and removal can in fact prevent colon cancer. It is recommended that all persons get screened for colon cancer when they reach age 50. However, only a fraction of persons over the age of 50 get screened. There are various reasons. I will mention two common

barriers patients often tell me. First, “I feel fine and my bowel movements are normal. Why do I need a colonoscopy?” As mentioned above, polyps take many years to grow. They are often asymptomatic at a small size, but if one grows into cancer, it will eventually cause symptoms, e.g., anemia, bleeding, change in bowel habits. However, at that point, the cancer may have spread which worsens the prognosis. Another common complaint I hear relates to the bowel preparation prior to the procedure. It is imperative to drink a solution which acts as a strong laxative to clean the colon of stool. While this process is arduous, it is often made easier by split dosing and consuming other clear liquids concur-

rently. Informing a patient of a cancer diagnosis is never easy. However, it is particularly difficult in the case of colon cancer. In that situation, it may have been prevented if the patient had a colonoscopy at an earlier interval. If you or a family member is age 50 or over, call your primary doctor and ask about the importance of a colonoscopy.

Anthony Babigian, D.P.M., is a member of The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) medical staff and practices at Grove Hill Medical Center, One Lake St., New Britain, 860-832-4666. For referrals to HOCC physicians, please contact our free Need-A-Physician referral service by phone at 1-800-321-6244 or online,

The importance of a colon cancer screening


Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

Peter Bloom, MD, is an attending physician with Bristol Gastroenterology Associates and the Connecticut Gastroenterology Institute at Bristol Hospital. His office is located at 25 Newell Road, Suite E-36, Bristol. For more information and an appointment with Dr. Bloom, please call 860-583-9252.

Look and feel your best By Kimberly DiBattista


ith the warmer weather approaching, many folks can’t wait to ditch their heavy coats as well as some of those extra pounds that may have accumulated over the long cold winter. As you get excited to go back the gym or partake in various outdoor activities such as running, walking, golf, tennis and gardening, you may forget to get your body and mind prepared before jumping right in. Now is the perfect time to get back into shape and enter the warmer months feeling and looking your best. Here are some tips to get you started:


Some folks may not have done much activity during the winter months which can cause muscles and tendons to become tight and weak. Implementing a daily stretching routine will increase flexibility and improve range of motion. Properly warming up the body prior to heading out for a jog, to play ball, or even tend to the garden can decrease the risk of injury as well as muscle soreness.

Participants warm up in a circle as a group.

Bunny Guinness using a garden bench for exercise from the book, “Garden Your Way To Health and Fitness”.

injury. It takes about two to three weeks for your body to adjust to a new exercise routine. Most exercise injuries are due to overuse and occur when muscles, tendons and bones are pushed past their limits. If you experience pain and discomfort, it is best to stop the activity and possibly take a few days off. This will give your body the needed time to rebuild, repair and recover. Of course, a little soreStart slow ness is perfectly normal for Regardless of the activi- those starting to exercise. ty or sport, attempting too However, if you have permuch too soon can result in sistent pain, you should call

your doctor.



Kimberly DiBattista

Now is the perfect time to get back into shape and enter the warmer months feeling and looking your best.


taxing the heart and other organs. Some medications also can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid and become dehydrated. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. It will also help the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently and, therefore, increasing your level of performance.

Staying hydrated is important year-round, but particularly during warmer weather and when coming out of “hibernation.” Drinking water is one of the best ways to hydrate your body. Hydration is not just important during physical activity; just sitting in the hot sun can cause your body Eat healthy to need more fluids. Medical conditions such as diabetes Incorporating healthier and heart disease may also eating habits can help get mean that you need to drink your body ready for spring more water to avoid over- activities. Oftentime you

turn to what we call “comfort foods” during the winter months. They are normally high in fats and simple carbs, and are likely to cause you to pack on a few extra pounds. Since many fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs become available this time of year, it is a great time to start incorporating them into your diet. A proper balance of lean proteins, fats and carbs are essential in helping to lose weight and maintaining a healthy body. Kimberly DiBattista is a certified personal trainer at Powerhouse Gym in Berlin and Malibu Fitness in Farmington.

March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME


Theme crossword Itiching to go by James Barrick 1. 5. 9. 14. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 24. 26. 27. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 36. 38. 42. 44. 47. 48. 49. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 66. 67. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76.


ACROSS Philippines island Wretched Electrical unit Beneath the decks Candid Unseen emanations Plains tribe “-- 911!” The casting of spells Broiled eel Versed Gone up Some contracts Extinct wild ox Late-night TV name Merit Mud daubers Nicholas I and Nicholas II Sped Laughed Laughing hard: 2 wds. “-- Got the World on a String” Pennsylvania port Loosen Fathered Organ part Courtroom fig. Produce “Dead Souls” author Like an oddball Inept, socially Gambled Mark of distinction Burglary Stabat -Fabric pattern Mother superior Sorrow Claims Secures a certain way Kind of league Big buildings Org. cousin The 45th state Stations Hanging fishnet

77. 78. 79. 81. 83. 85. 87. 88. 89. 91. 93. 96. 97. 101. 103. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 19. 23.

Fey or Yothers Turf Grateful passenger Weedy grass Carries out Austrian state Wearing an amplifying device False: Abbr. Coward and others Hebrew letter: Var. Tibetan guide “-- Vice” Fred and Wilma’s era: 2 wds. Inky: Hyph. Wed: 2 wds. Carrier to Tel Aviv: 2 wds. Supple Grant’s successor Lacerated -- d’Ivoire Ruhr river city Datebook abbr. Sun-disk deity DOWN Intimidates Larger-than-life Sister of Meg, Jo and Amy Disjoin Erupts anagram Toward the mouth Blunderer Bent backward, as a plant part Hollow in a bone Poplar What udometers measure T-man: Abbr. Pronounced Mysteries Fender and Sayer Formerly Pans for stir-frying Rights org. Bangtail

Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

25. 28. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 43. 45. 46. 50. 52. 54. 55.

Start of a toast Acad. Any dog Mrs. Fred Mertz Durum, emmer, etc. Main vessel Pocketknife Venues Young haddock Everything but the -- -Suggest Storage place Intimidation Compound variant Fierce fellow Vespiary “Le -- du printemps” Beatitude One of the Bowls

56. 58. 59. 60. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 71. 72. 75. 76. 77. 79.

Marks time Sprocket parts Waterproof shoe Flimflammed 720 hours, roughly Dawn Harm Wrinkle-prevention treatment Platters “The Purple Rose of --” Recipient Burn with steam Choral composition Beverages Hapless Window in a garret Bet on the horses Relative of “bah”

80. 82. 84. 86. 89. 90. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99.

Article Catkin Coterie Machines for turners Most suitable position Of wood Lane or Griffin Design detail Island city Coup d’-Becomes tangled Eye boil “Cat on -- -- Tin Roof” “Pretty Woman” star Richard -100. Paradise 102. Fleur-de- -104. -- Claire







Find the solution to these puzzles on page 20


March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME


C.A.L.E.N.D.A.R Berlin AARP

A Seniors Safe Driving Class for drivers age 60 and over, sponsored by Berlin AARP Chapter 3035, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Berlin Community Center located in the Berlin Peck Library building on Kensington Road. The class provides a certificate that entitles a discount on car insurance premium. Pre-registration is required. Contact Barbara Dixon at 860-828-6295.

Plainville seniors

Senior center members are welcome to join the open painting group on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. This is an informal group; no instructor. No registration necessary. The Plainville Senior Center will offer computer courses as follows: Computer Fundamentals: Two sessions, Tuesdays, March 25 and April 1, 1 to 3 p.m. Cost is $30, which includes a Windows

Cedar Mountain Commons has free blood pressure screenings on March 27.

Senior wellness clinic 7 book for each student to keep. You will learn more about computers, Windows 7, editing documents and how to save and use documents on your hard drive or flash drive. Register at the center. The Plainville Senior Center has the perfect solution for those who like to eat at a restaurant but do not like to eat alone. The Friends Helping Friends group is made up of single, divorced and widowed seniors. They meet for lunch


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Central Connecticut Senior Health Services director of care coordination, and local attorney Valerie DePaolo. Enjoy a complimentary dinner at 5 p.m. with the presentation to follow at 5:30 pm. For more information or to RSVP, call Marie Terzak, retirement counselor, at (860) 2761020.

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Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

at a local restaurant on Center), 30 Greenfield St., the third Friday of each Wethersfield. month at 11:30 a.m. Call the Plainville Senior Mulberry Center to register for the Gardens hosts lunch.

Cedar Mountain Commons offers blood pressure screening

Cedar Mountain Commons will offer a free blood pressure screening Thursday, March 27, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., at the Wethersfield Senior Center (Pitkin Community

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planning night

The New Britain Health Department conducts a senior wellness clinic Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the New Britain Senior Center, 55 Pearl St. Services include blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring, medication management and general health assessment. The clinic is staffed by health department nurses and is free of charge. Call (860) 826-3464 for information.

A discussion about estate planning, advance directives, Medicaid, assisted living, adult day care, long-term care and other topics will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1 at Mulberry Gardens of Alzheimer’s Southington, 58 Mulberry support group St., Plantsville. Future Alzheimer’s Support Planning Night will be led by Sharon Robinson, RN, Group meetings are held PROVIDING:




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the fourth Tuesday of every The next meeting will be month at 3:30 p.m. at held Wednesday, April 16. Andrew House Healthcare, To RSVP, call Kate Lubin 66 Clinic Drive. Questions, at (860) 229-3707. call Kathy Mulrooney (860) 826-2812.

Arbor rose at Jerome Home sets open house

An open house at Arbor Rose at Jerome Home, 975 Corbin Ave.,an independent, assisted living and memory care community, will be held Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Denise Lebrocquy, retirement counselor, will facilitate the open house. For more information or to RSVP, call Denise Lebrocquy, (860) 229-3707. Arbor Rose, offering independent and assisted living with memory care on the campus of Jerome Home, is a not-for-profit member of Central Connecticut Senior Health Services.

Arbor Rose at Jerome Home offers caregiver group

Being a caregiver is a difficult challenge. It is easy to feel overburdened by making financial decisions, managing changes in behavior or even helping a loved one with daily tasks that once were easy. A free caregivers support group is offered on the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Arbor Rose at Jerome Home, located at 975 Corbin Ave.

is the window to our overall health. Staying up to date with all medical exams should go hand in hand with dental exams. Come learn how to best take care your teeth. RSVP to the Lunch & Learn of Connecticut Center for features Dine Healthy Aging, 81 Meriden Ave., Southington, at tollwith a Dentist: free 1-877-4AGING1 The Connecticut Center (1-877-424-4641). for Healthy Aging’s next Lunch & Learn event, Dine with a Dentist, Caregiver will be held Thursday, April 17, from noon to support group Alzheimer’s 1 p.m., at The Hospital The of Central Connecticut, Association’s Caregiver Bradley Memorial cam- Support groups will be pus, 81 Meriden Ave., held the third Tuesday Southington. Special guests of each month at 10 a.m. will be Dr. Sunita Kalluri, at the Plainville Senior graduate of New York Center, 200 East St., (860) University, and Maegan 747-5728. The groups are Connolly, RDH, gradu- designed to provide emoate of Lincoln College of tional, educational and New England. The mouth social support for care-

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You are invited to an open house at Arbor Rose on April 13. givers through regularly scheduled meetings. They help participants develop methods and skills to solve problems. The groups encourage caregivers to maintain their own personal, physical and emotional health, as well as optimally care for the person with dementia. Call 1-800-2723900, or visit

Alzheimer’s support at Mulberry

A monthly Alzheimer’s support group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Mulberry Gardens of Southington, 58 Mulberry St. The support group is for families and caregivers. See CALENDAR, Page 20

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March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME



Continued from Page 19 Topics include communication techniques, caregiver support, wandering, religion, music, behavior, family dynamics, validation breakthrough, and more. For information and registration, call Marie Terzak (860) 276-1020. (Contact Marie if you would like free care for your loved one during group session).

Southington Care Center and Jerome Home offers biodex screening

The Biodex Balance System at Southington Care Center and Jerome Home, 45 Meriden Ave., is making a world of difference. “Challenging and effective,” that’s what patients are saying about the expanded Balance Testing and Training Program at Southington Care Center and Jerome

Home. The program, built around the innovative Biodex Balance System, can be used for fall screenings in older adults, as well as testing and treatment of post-surgical and neurologically impaired patients. Post-surgical patients can objectively “track” progress and speed recovery time and the program can also act as an objective evaluation of patients after an injury. The Biodex program can help determine who is at risk of falling by identifying “risk factors” in just a few minutes. Results are displayed on the large color screen for instant biofeedback as well as printed for “tracking” and insurance reimbursement. The system compares your results to stored normative data or to previous tests. If a patient is found to be at risk of falling, a series of suggested interventions can be offered. Free Biodex balance screenings are offered at Southington Care

Center and Jerome Home, by appointment only. Southington Care Center (860) 378-1234. Jerome Home Rehabilitation is located at 975 Corbin Ave., New Britain, and can be contacted at (860) 3568233. Southington Care Center and Jerome Home offer skilled nursing and rehabilitation services and are not for profit members of Central Connecticut Senior Health Services.

Marian Heights adult day center offers friendship club

The Marian Heights Friendship Club, which meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is giving people the opportunity to make new friends. The group meets at Mulberry Gardens at Marian Heights Adult Day Center, located at 314 Osgood Ave.

The next gathering will be held Tuesday, March 11. The Friendship Club provides transportation, activities, meals, exercise and more. The mission of the Marian Heights Adult Day Center is to provide the highest quality community-based day program in a safe and positive environment. Care is provided to individuals with a variety of socialization and cognitive needs. For more information about the Friendship Club or to RSVP, call Tonya Lok at (860) 3574264.

Tour of the Betty Larus Adult Day Center at Avery Heights:

The Betty Larus Adult Day Center at Avery Heights invites the public to tour its center on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to




Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

1 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The Adult Day Center provides activities, care and supervision for older adults during the day while caregivers work or take “a breather.”Hot meals are available and transportation will be provided to and from the center. The Betty Larus Adult Day Center is located at 705 A New Britain Ave., Hartford. Call for more information at (860) 2784773.

The Orchards at Southington offers tour:

A tour of The Orchards at Southington, 34 Hobart St., an independent and assisted living community, will be held Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Coffee will be served. Edesa Ciscar, retirement counselor, will lead the tour. For more information or to RSVP, call (860) 628-5656.


Staying active at Healthtrax

By Erica Schmitt

their workout, they are supplied or longtime friends with a specialized and Terryville residents SilverSneakers Frances Girouard and ball, small handLea Belhumeur, staying active held weights and is both fun and easy. a stretchy elastic Girouard, 78, and tubing band with Belhumeur, 77, participate handles. Each is in the SilverSneakers Fitness also given a chair Program at the Healthtrax to use for standing gym inside Bristol Hospital’s support, as needWellness Center four days a ed. week. “It’s nice because “It exercises our muscles it gives them all the basic and keeps us agile,” Belhmeur elements of fitness – cardioexplained after their workout vascular, endurance, strength on a recent day, as the pair conditioning, range of was waiting for the Dial-A- motion, flexibility and balance Ride bus to bring – everything people need as them home. they get older,” said Sara Van Some days Slyke, group fitness direcupwards of 40 tor and one of a people meet in the few certified fitness room Healthtrax for the proinstructors who gram, which facilitates the course combines each week. upper-body While their personal exercise with capability may intimidate low-impact seniors from trying the class, aerobic choreVan Slyke reassures them ography. Those that everyone’s workout can who attend be customized to their own range in age needs. from ear“You can put the amount of ly-fifties to resistance you want on your late-eighties. band, lighter or heavier … To comyou can make it as difficult pliment or as easy for yourself as you


want,” she explained. A few weeks ago, a new woman joined a class but kept one hand firmly planted on her cane in order to stay stable as she did low leg lifts along with the rest of the group. It wasn’t long before she showed up to class confident and without it in tow. “Ever since I started coming I see such a difference in the blood pressure of people here,” pointed out Christine Christgau, a registered nurse with Bristol Hospital Home Care and Hospice who visits the center once a month to offer free screenings to those using the gym facility. “I’ve also done screenings inside the grocery store and they screen much more normally here, because these seniors are active,” she added. Members of participating Medicare health plans may qualify for a free Healthtrax membership through the SilverSneakers Fitness Program. This provides access to all Healthtrax amenities, custom-designed SilverSneakers classes taught by certified

Healthtrax at Bristol Hospital Wellness Center offers a SilverSneakers Fitness Program. instructors, health education seminars and fun social events, along with a Senior Advisor to help along the way. For those whose medical insurance doesn’t qualify them for this free option, Healthtrax does also offer discounted rates for senior citizens. Bristol resident Norma Newman has been going to SilverSneakers for over six years. She and other regular attendees even go out to lunch once a month after their workout. “It gives me more energy,” she said. “It makes me

feel vibrant.” Silver Sneakers class is held at Healthtrax Monday through Friday at 11:35 a.m. Aqua Silver, a pool variation of the course ideal for beginners, is designed for those who prefer gentler and milder water movements. It is held at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Find out if your Medicare health plan offers the SilverSneakers program by visiting or by calling your health plan’s customer service department. Healthtrax is located at the Bristol Hospital Wellness Center, 842 Clark Avenue, (860) 5831843.

March 2014 • Connecticut PRIME TIME



A trip down memory lane

By William Stortz


hile writing my memoirs for my two Grandchildren, Sydney and Russell, so that they might have better picture of how it was when I was growing up, I thought that it might be interesting to share some of those memories, especially of my teenage years. I lived in New Britain, but I am sure that with the similarity between Bristol and New Britain, much of it will seem quite familiar to you. My neighborhood was all multi-family houses, from 2 to 6 families. Everybody knew everybody, and while there were many different ethnic backgrounds, communication was not difficult, being it in the neighborhood grocery store or from one back porch to another while hanging out clothes. We all walked to school, walked home for lunch, and then walked back again. The walk to High School for me was just about one mile, and I walked both ways. Some kids that lived farther away took one of the buses that went through each different neighborhood. Very few lived more than 2-3 blocks from a bus stop. There were 7 different Bus companies, each covering a different section of town, and all ending up downtown. There was another separate Bus company that went to Hartford whenever one wanted to go there. New Britain was an industrial town, known as the Hardware City of the world, and almost everybody walked to work at the nearby factories, and even walked home for lunch. I live on the corner of the block, and there were enough kids my age within a block each way to play various games, from baseball and football to hopscotch, ring o leave io and so on. This was essentially before TV became a staple in each house. When a house got a TV, it usually was a 6 inch black and white set. We kids watched the Howdy Doody show, the Mickey Mouse Club. Ironically the adults occasionally watched with us. Later on, as we stayed up later, there was the Ed Sullivan Show and the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, perhaps the forerunner of 22

Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

Mike Orazzi | Staff

Former Bristol Mayor Bill Stortz talks with Tim Gamache and Omer Deabay at the Bristol Veteran’s Council booth during the 28th Annual Bristol Home & Business Expo in Feburary.

American Idol. Arthur Godfrey was very popular, and by today’s standards, these shows were very tame. TV sets soon had larger screens; some had color, which required a special antenna. It was not unusual for someone to put up a “color antenna’ as a status symbol, even though they didn’t have color set. People looked out for each other, and it was not uncommon for a neighbor to say “Billy, put on your jacket”, you’ll catch a death of cold. . Or for them to tell my parents when I did something wrong. On the other hand, when I delivered the daily newspaper and cut through their back yard, they would say, “Billy take some Grapes, have some pears, etc. I and my friends, would politely decline, but come back after dark and fill our pockets. They knew what was happening and sort of looked the other way. There were no back yard pools: we had to go to the pool at walnut Hill Park, or other parks. During this era Polio was major concern, and we were occasionally kept from places like swimming pools. Those that contracted Polio were usually

hospitalized, so we really didn’t get to see the impact until sometime later. We were warned about it, but rarely ‘saw” it. As I got older, in 1950, the Korean War started. There was an active Draft, some of my friend’s brothers got called. As the time passed, the possibility of getting drafted affected some of us, from trying to get into college, to joining another branch of the service such as the Navy to avoid being drafted into the Army. One of the fellows I played baseball with was recalled and he was killed in Action. In High School virtually no one had a car. When one dated a girl, one took the bus to her house, then took the bus downtown, took the bus back to her house, and since the buses usually stopped running at 11 o’clock, one had to walk home. The streets were quite safe, but when I came to Park Street, which had 7-8 bars, I usually walked on the other side of the street. There were seven movie theaters in town, so there was always a good selection of movies, and

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admission was about 25 cents. If one went to an earlier show, there were a number of soda shops to go to before one went home. Many of them were the same ones we went to after school. It seems like each one was a staked out territory; one Club went to one shop, one fraternity or sorority went to another. Sorta just worked out that way. Downtown New Britain, not unlike Bristol was alive and vibrant during these times. Stores were not open in the evenings, We listened to except on Thursday, which brought out large numbers of people downtown on music on records, Thurs. to shop and to socialize, to end on the radio. No up having coffee or a soda. And chat. tapes, no CDs. When the stores closed we basically all ended up in the soda or coffee shop. Radios would The Women and the Girls shopped, play the “top we men stood outside the soda shops like the song “Standing on the corner, forty, the most watching all the girls go by”. popular songs of There was a full range of downtown stores: furniture, clothing, jewelry, music that week. Some and record shops, and so on. That was favorite singers before the advent of the Mall, especially were Joni James, nearby West farms. We listened to music on records, on Theresa Brewer, the radio. No tapes, no CDs. Radios Guy Mitchell, Jo would play the “top forty, the most popular songs of that week. Some favorite Stafford. singers were Joni James, Theresa Brewer, Guy Mitchell, Jo Stafford, Nat “KING” Cole Doris Day... When we would meet in the soda shop, we played the popular songs on the Juke Box. 10 cents a song, three for a quarter. When some of us got cars we would go to the soda shops on the edges of town, where we danced to the music from the Juke Box. Usually six rode in a car, but it all worked out. There is so much more of that was “The way it was”. This has brought back many wonderful memories. Most of them were with and about people, and as time goes by, we add to those memories. The, as now, people were the real important thing, the things that we really remember that really matter, truly treasure. Wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

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Connecticut PRIME TIME • March 2014

CT Prime Time March 2014  

Monthly magazine, covering topics important to seniors and their families of the Central Connecticut area.

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