A beautiful morning welcomed the first of the continental breakfast gatherings in the Pavilion. These gatherings will continue throughout spring and summer every Friday morning. The complimentary pastries, scones, and muffins along with fresh fruit, juice, and coffee are always a big hit.
Gathered together were many residents and their dogs, coming and going, and enjoying the sunshine. With bocce to watch, friends to chat with, and the Tai Chi group waving at us from the veranda, it was great to be outside and enjoying a beautiful spring day. If you haven’t made it out yet, drop in from 9 until 11 a.m. whenever you can find a free Friday morning. You’ll become a regular!
—by Nancy Bartels
Line Crossing Ceremony Plaque
Wall of Remembrance Picture/Plaque no. 37
The ceremony of “Crossing the Line” is an initiation rite in the Dutch Merchant Navy, Royal Navy, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and other navies and commemorates a sailor’s first crossing of the Equator. Sailors who have already crossed the Equator are nicknamed (Trusty/Honorable) “Shellbacks” and are often referred to as “Sons of Neptune.” Those who have not yet crossed are nicknamed (Slimy) “Pollywogs.”
Equator-crossing ceremonies, typically featuring King Neptune, are also sometimes carried out for passengers’ entertainment on civilian ocean liners and cruise ships.
The two-day event (evening and day) is a ritual in which previously indoctrinated crew members (Trusty Shellbacks) are organized into a “Court of Neptune” to indoctrinate the Slimy Pollywogs into “The mysteries of the Deep.” In keeping with the spirit of initiation, physical hardship is tolerated and each Pollywog is expected to endure a standard initiation rite in order to become an Honorable Shellback. Depending on the ocean or the fleet tradition, there can be variations in the rite.
The eve of the equatorial crossing is called Wog Day and is a mild type of reversal of the day to come. Wogs (all of the uninitiated) are allowed to capture and interrogate any Shellbacks they can find (e.g., tying them up and cracking eggs or pouring aftershave lotion on their heads). The Wogs are made aware of the fact that it will be much harder on them if they do anything like this.
After crossing the line, Pollywogs receive subpoenas to appear before King Neptune and his court who officiate the ceremony. The court usually includes his first assistant, Davy Jones, and her Highness, Amphitrite, and other various dignitaries, who are all represented by highest-ranking seamen. Some wogs may be “interrogated” by King Neptune and his entourage, using “truth serum” (hot sauce + aftershave) and whole uncooked eggs put in the mouth. During the ceremony, the Pollywogs undergo a number of increasingly embarrassing ordeals such as wearing clothing inside out and backwards, being swatted with short lengths of fire hose, being locked in stocks and pillories and pelted with mushy fruit, and having to kiss the Royal Baby’s belly which is coated with axle grease. All this is done largely for the entertainment of the Shellbacks.
Once the ceremony is complete, a Pollywog receives a certificate declaring his new status as a Shellback. Another rare status is “Golden Shellback” for crossing the equator at the 180th meridian (International Date Line) or an “Emerald/Diamond Shellback” for crossing the equator at a Prime Meridian.
This plaque is the property of PVE resident Shellback Chuck Smith. This picture is located on the wall separating The Club from the hallway and just inside The Club’s center doorway on the left.
—by Chuck Smith
Move-Ins since the Last Issue
Mobley, Reid, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret)
5814 Constitution Avenue
From Vacaville, California
Frantz, Jacob “Jack” and Mary Alice
3102 Estates Drive
From Santa Rosa, California
Lyon, Kenneth “Ken,” Col., USAF (Ret), and Shirley
4115 Constitution Avenue
From San Rafael, California
Referred by Ruth Wolfe
Kunkel, Clifford “Cliff,” Col., USAF (Ret), and Jean
4020 Constitution Avenue
From Napa, California
Allen, Richard, Cdr., USN (Ret), and Joyce
5116 Independence Drive
From San Jose, California
Memorial Day Quiz
1. On what date was Memorial Day first observed and where?
2. Memorial Day originated with another name. What was it?
3. Who said “For love of country they accepted death?”
4. In what year was Memorial Day declared a federal holiday?
5. Who started the custom of wearing red poppies?
See page 15 for the answers.
Our Own Celebration
On May 27 there will be three days of festivities in Charlotte, North Carolina, revolving around the NASCAR race. The Valley Forge National Historical Park will conduct special ceremonies, while Washington, D.C. will have its Memorial Day parade down Constitution Avenue, including veterans from 50 states passing in front of the White House. In Boston, you can watch jugglers, clowns, and others performers on the cobblestone streets of Faneuil Marketplace. And, of course, there’s Indianapolis, where some 500,000 spectators will cheer at the Indy 500.
Here at PVE we have the best of all Memorial Day Celebrations—a community of friends joining together for a hometown, old-fashion Memorial Day Ceremony put on by our own people.
Chairman Lew Martin will start the program in the MPR (not the pavilion) at 11:15 a.m. It will include music, readings, a wreath ceremony, one of Jack Albrecht’s excellent video productions, and the Wall of Remembrance. And something special—the winners of the Patriotic Committee’s essay contest will be here to receive awards. Their subject was “How to be a Good Citizen” and some 30 Fairfield High School students in dance and physics classes took part. The top three winners will join us during the program to receive recognition and prizes. Our Memorial Day tribute will be an appropriate ceremony done in the PVE tradition.
—by Ted Terrill
Bettie Hillier Loving Wife and Mother
Arrived: January 1998
Departed: March 22, 2013
Edward “Ozzy” Nelson, Lt. Col., USA (Ret) Loving Husband and Father
Arrived: October 1997
Departed: March 29, 2013
Herbert “Gene” Neilson, Col., USAF (Ret) Loving Husband and Father
Arrived: January 2010
Departed: April 11, 2013
Hazel Schroeder Loving Wife and Mother
Arrived: September 2004
Departed: April 11, 2013
Solano Winds, Fairfield’s community concert band, returns to PVE for the final concert of the 2012/13 season on Tuesday evening, May 7. Music Director Bill Doherty has selected the theme “Musical Narratives” for this program. Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, Humoresque on Swanee by George Gershwin, Variations on a Korean Folk Song arranged by John Barnes Chance, and El Relicario by Jose Padilla will be featured. Solano Winds will also play two selections by Percy Grainger, Harvest Hymn and Shepherds Say.
This May concert marks the 14th year that Solano Winds has performed for residents, presenting four or five concerts at PVE each season.
On Friday evening, May 10, Solano Winds will be joined by the UC Davis Concert Band under the direction of Peter Dolan and perform at the Downtown Theater in Fairfield. The UC Davis band will open the program with several selections chosen by Mr. Dolan.
—by Liz Wildberger
Memories of Mom
My mom was a piece of work who was so naïve, so full of love, so strong a Christian (she was a convert to Catholicism so of course more strict than the Pope), and probably the worst driver ever created. These examples from her beautiful life are indelibly marked in my heart.
⦁ When I was a first classman (senior) at the Naval Academy, she addressed envelopes to me as “Midn. David L. Allard 1/2” instead of 1/C.
⦁ One of her favorite activities was driving the family car uptown to pick up Dad. She would get there early and get a good parking place in front of the court house so she could just watch people and guess what their fancy lives were like (to Mom everyone had a fancier life, but she would never trade places.)
⦁ If any friend of hers (and even me when I got orders to a squadron in California) were going to visit any state of the Union, she would ask them to look up and say hello to the few former locals she knew who had moved there.
⦁ During Lent she insisted that all the kids kneel down in the living room to say the rosary. In my very early days I didn’t know the rosary from Hanukah and was extremely bored but under a stronger hand than my teacher, Sister Geramais. I always knelt at the same easy chair, which was upholstered in old fashioned, well worn brocade—but still good enough to imagine mazes, auto tracks through a forest—whatever I could make up until the 15-minute ordeal was over.
⦁ Mom baked constantly, and we all patiently waited to eat her offerings at mealtime. Often there was little left after she gave so much of it to friends and neighbors.
⦁ In our early years, when Mom made “meat pie” (with the best flaky crust) for dinner, she usually only had one good piece of meat. She would mark the crust with a code mark so she could make sure Dad got the piece with meat. We didn’t care and it became a joke. But she was born in Finland, and her veggie “pasties” were so good anyway.
⦁ Mom outlived two of her kids. One was my brother Mike, a Navy A4 casualty in North Vietnam three weeks short of his 27th year, leaving his wife, three tiny boys, and Mom and Dad. They had been his occasional source of bail and constant pinochle and cribbage partners and among his closest friends. The second was my sister Pat, who died of cancer at 57. Mom never fully recovered. When she passed her last breath at 94, it really was her third death. But she never let it affect how she related to all of her family and friends to the end.
—by David Allard
Precipitation at PVE
As reported in the newspaper, the rainfall during January through March was the lowest since 1896 when just 2.95 inches was recorded. At PVE, approximately 3 inches was recorded during that period. Fortunately, PVE received above average rainfall from October through December 2012. So we have a total of 20 inches of rainfall through April 15. This is approximately 7 inches less than the average for the past 15 years.
Water Storage at the reservoirs that impact PVE is as follows: Lake Berryessa 85% (86% last year), Lake Oroville 86% (87% last year), and Lake Shasta 85% (91% last year.)
Thanks to Don Reh and Charlie Ridgeway for helping to collect the rain data this year.
Trivia (Thanks to Ruby Hardy)
Q. Atlantic hurricane names are recycled how often?
A. Every six years. The name Sandy has been removed from the list.
—by Peter Palmos
Bill and Vicki
As a kid, Bill Getz was fascinated with aviation. He hiked to the local airport and performed odd jobs to earn rides in airplanes. The Pearl Harbor attack came when Bill was a 17-year-old high school senior. He turned 18 in March 1942 and passed tests to become an Aviation Cadet, graduating when he was 19 and, after months of training, assigned to fly his B-24 crew on a circuitous route to the Eighth Air Force, England. Bill said, “We were a bunch of teenagers flying a four-engine bomber across the Atlantic.”
In 68 days, Bill’s crews completed 31 missions. That was the second shortest time in Eighth Air Force history. Instead of returning home, though, Bill volunteered for a special scouting force organization of ex-bomber pilots flying P-51 fighters as “eyes for the bomber commander,” flying ahead of the bomber stream to report vital information. During one mission, Bill shot down an ME-262 German jet, although the scouts normally were not supposed to engage enemy aircraft.
After the war, Bill flew the Atlantic as a scheduled airline captain. Later he worked on development of the H-bomb and then on the Air Force’s new ballistic missile program. Both were the nation’s highest priority. He retired from the Air Force in 1962 after 20 years of service.
In civilian life, he held senior positions in industry, including vice president of the parent corporation of Visa International. He served as an assistant controller of the Atomic Energy Commission before retiring.
While in high school, Vicki D’Amico Getz modeled for Hale’s Department Store in San Francisco and was voted “Miss Hale’s.” Then, she became a claims representative for the Social Security Administration (SSA), where she was always the choice to act as a model for SSA advertisements.
Finally, she became a successful residential real estate broker, and that’s how she met Bill. He was selling his house, which Vicki showed to a Texas couple. They loved the house and bought it. Bill loved the agent and married her. The couple bought homes in Hillsborough and Maui and seven rental properties in Maui that Vicki managed.
It was in Maui that Vicki became a lifesaver. First, she saw a man in trouble on a surfboard while sipping cocktails with others on a veranda. She pointed him out, and soon a lifeguard was on the way to rescue. Next, she was lounging on a crowded Kapalua beach when she saw another surfer visibly floundering. Apparently, no one else there had noticed. So Vicki took action and help was on the way. Finally, she was in the rear of a small store when she noticed an elderly man sitting on a box, breathing heavily. She asked if he was okay. He made motions indicating no, so Vicki ran to the clerk and soon there was a 911 response. Three people are alive today thanks to Vicki Getz.
The Getzs have settled in at PVE. Bill previously compiled two books of “Songs of the Air Force.” Since their arrival here, he has written three novels and is working on another. Vicki is into virtually every activity available in our community, and her homemade biscotti are famous throughout our campus.
—by Ted Terrill
The PVE Golf Club’s “Jokers Folly” tournament enticed 25 players to enjoy summer-like weather and a great day on the links. True, they were concerned that the Joker might show up at any time, but he did not appear until later.
The Moaners and Groaners dinner was delayed a few minutes awaiting the arrival from Hollywood of a few of our players who were rehearsing for the big upcoming Spring Follies show. Walt announced a new guy who could putt with his eyes closed and make every putt in sight. Herb Heberling did that several times and he assumed that was the only way to putt. Kathy Thomson complained about finding another golf ball in her back yard. She was convinced it belonged to a PVE player, but the ball had a strange name printed on it. Both Kathy and Dinny Fisher requested that PVE players have their name etched on their golf balls for identification.
The low putts (22) went to Bill Cockroft, Glenn Dow, Don Herrington, and Bud Conyers. Their other strokes were not so low.
Walt said that just as he arrived home, this blond guy (he may have been wearing a wig) told him that he was the Joker and suggested a deal to delete one hole at random from the scorecard of each team. Before seeing the scorecards, Walt asked a neighbor to give him a number between 1 and 18 for each team. Walt adjusted all cards to comply, giving each team their “new” score. Those numbers were read to the teams and the reaction came as it hit some teams in a negative way. Just then, the blond guy popped up again and said he had one more idea. Walt asked what he wanted. The blond guy then said “APRIL FOOL.” As the blond guy snuck off into the sunset, Walt recalculated the scores once again, and the results for this month are:
⦁ 3rd Place (75): Walt McDaniel, John Gearhart, Herb Heberling
⦁ 2nd Place (73): Bob Carlisle, Ben Montoya, Dave Allard, Jack Nicklaus (Is he a new guy?)
In February 2013, author and computer scientist Ping Fu became the object of a “Human Flesh Search,” instigated by Chinese dissidents who were enraged by her depiction of her life during the Cultural Revolution in China.
Clerisy, PVE’s book discussion group, will discuss her controversial memoir at its meeting on May 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ron Ridley Room of the Community Center. Charlene Farber will facilitate the discussion.
In 1966, the author was taken from her Shanghai family and returned to the city of her birth, Nanjing, where she found her parents had been sent to the countryside for “re-education through labor.” Ping cared for her younger sister, studied Mao’s Little Red Book, performed compulsory military service, and worked on farms and in factories.
She fled to the United States and began her academic life while working as a cleaning lady and babysitter and, when her English language skills improved, as a waitress.
Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds offers an opportunity to examine the Chinese Cultural Revolution as described by a person who survived its rigid tenets and rose to intellectual brilliance in her field of computer technology. All residents are invited to be part of the review and discussion of this timely memoir.
—by Liz Wildberger
The mother of our five children has been if not the very best “Mom” ever, then among the millions who are “the best.” Soon after our retirement, we moved from our home in San Jose to my mother’s home in southern California. My mom was then 93 and she received such good care in her own home from her daughter-in-law (my wife Elizabeth) that she lived for 10 more years, passing away quietly in her sleep at age 103. She had always been most appreciative and thankful for the loving care she received. (Bob Carlisle)
The Spring Follies
A completely delightful presentation of the PVE Spring Follies on April 5th and 6th was titled “Radio Days” and was written by Liz Wildberger with help by Jan Holderness. Dick Feaster acted as producer and director. The sponsor of the show was the Scholarship Committee, which provides scholarships for PVE employees.
The program offered a look back on the days when radio was our only home entertainment. The theme was particularly pertinent to the PVE audience. What fond memories it provoked!
First, we saw Jeremy Ferrell and Jackie Haupt, eagerly awaiting a program on the old radio in the living room, no doubt the only radio in the house at the time. These two, both staff members and scholarship recipients, played excellent parts, especially good because they had not lived during this era. Master of Ceremonies, Spike Flertzheim, introduced all the old radio shows, which were just unseen programs at the time. We, however, were privileged to see the production side of the play on the other side of the stage, which was cleverly done.
Dick Tracy was hilariously performed by Bob McCoy and Dave Allard. Then along came Little Orphan Annie played by Jan Hewitt, wig and all. Her dog Sandy was played by Bob McCoy with lots of woofing. A soap opera, “Strife Faces Jan,” featured Jan Holderness and Betty St George, who played Portia. How could we forget those soaps? Howard Herron provided sound effects. On the other half of the stage, Pat Williams, with her knitting, listened in. Ray Arnold was perfect as the announcer.
A singing group called “The Bums” gave us Dair Rausch, Nancy Pastori, Phyllis Riley, and Ann Waldman with a surprise visit by David Rausch.
After the intermission, we had a lovely piano solo by Mila Edwards. Linda McCrory announced the weather and said that it was raining cats and dogs, and there appeared her real life pups! Next up were the Getz’s, Bill and Vicki, who gave us a typical George Burns and Gracie Allen skit. “Say Goodnight, Gracie.”
Do you remember the Major Bowes amateur hour? Bruce Bartels emceed as the Major, complete with his gong. The contestants for the evening were mostly singers—Cletus Nelson, Al Kocher, Kim Marshall, Ted Terrill, Peter Wolffe, Dick Feaster, and Bill Edwards. Charles Watry and Jack Spencer played ukuleles and sang a Spike-Jones-like Hawaiian chant. Craig Higgins did impersonations with Pat Wolffe showing pictures of each one. There were a few “gongs” along the way.
Jan Hewitt, filling in for Kate Smith, ended the amateur hour with a fine rendition of “God Bless America” and the studio audience joined in singing.
The final skit was a takeoff on Bob Hope’s troop entertainment. Dick Feaster played Bob Hope and Bob McCoy played Jerry Colonna. The entire show ended with Dick Feaster singing “Thanks for the Memory” which brought the audience to its feet as they also joined in singing. All in all, it was grand affair. And the curtain actually worked this time.
On Monday, April 8, Scott Jacobson joined the Dining Services staff as the Dining Room Manager. Scott comes highly recommended. A graduate of the University of Denver with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management/Business, Scott has managed and served in a number of Bay Area restaurants. He owned his own restaurant during the dot.com era, was the dining room manager at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo and assistant manager at Forbes Mill Steakhouse in Danville, and has served and trained staff in the art of fine dining and service in other venues.
Scott jumped right in immediately, making himself known in the dining room as well as the café, doing everything from bussing tables to meeting residents and listening to their comments. I met him first when he was setting up for the Dining Committee dinner, and I was very impressed with his attention to detail.
To showcase the Chef’s Table events they have been doing for Marketing, David and Dwayne prepared a delicious Chef’s Dinner for the Dining Committee after our recent committee meeting. They have done these events over the past several years, and I’m sure they have been instrumental in influencing many new residents that this is the place to live.
Dwayne created the menu, featuring an ahi tuna appetizer with sticky rice topped with seaweed, a wonderful beet salad over kale, and filet mignon with cauliflower couscous. It was fun to watch David and Dwayne plate each course. Seeing each ingredient added to the plate made us more aware of the flavorful combinations they had created. I was especially impressed with the textures and tastes of each of the ingredients, which added a crunchy, savory, or sweet taste to each item. The meal finished with a flambé of Bananas Foster. It was certainly a meal to remember!
Congratulations to Harpreet Khakha and Liz Hoeffer who are the Dining Services Employees of the Month. Food received a 90.8% rating and Service 97.1%. Bon Appétit!
—by Nancy Bartels
Mother knew just the right ice-breaker before I entered high school. She let me plan a birthday slumber party at the ranch in May. It was legendary! At least 10 or 12 “close” friends would come out to the ranch in the back of the pickup, hayride style. The girls spent the night, and Daddy took the boys back to town after kite flying, square dances, and supper. (Jan Hewitt)
Alias Corky, a blue merle Australian Shepherd, was whelped on an Arizona ranch in 2004. Before moving to PVE, she had seldom walked on grass. She was more accustomed to running full tilt on gravel, skillfully avoiding cactus and prickly flora while chasing rabbits, quail, and ground squirrels. Her life was good.
Corky taught herself to swim. Her owners, Ray and Shirley Arnold, would throw toys and Frisbees across the pool so she could exercise without walking on hot pavement. On seeing PVE’s wildlife for the first time, Corky sat down, staring hard at the turkeys, which must have looked like escapees from Jurassic Park. Then, the ultimate herding opportunity dawned. A choke chain nipped that idea in the bud.
After a month at PVE, Corky has learned the following: When her family gets in the car, she does not need to run and jump in because they are not going back to Arizona. Walking around the block at least twice a day on the grass is not bad. Each visit to the guard gate gets doggie treats. Life may be pretty good here!
One of the Montoya’s daughters liked cats more than dogs and had several. When one daughter asked her grandfather why they didn’t have a dog and said she wanted one, Ben thought about her question and realized that he hadn’t had a dog for many years. There was an unusual solution to both their dog desires. He would buy one and share it with his granddaughter. He and Ginney would keep it at their house when they were home, and the dog would live with and belong to their granddaughter when they traveled.
They agreed on the breed, a Beagle, and Ben found a new litter of puppies and bought a female. How would they name her? The granddaughters thought she was so sweet. How about Taffy? Another said she didn’t like taffy. She preferred toffee. So Toffy she is. Everyone has enjoyed Toffy’s time with them, including Toffy.
Now that the Montoya’s live at PVE, Toffy belongs to them full time. She is learning tricks from Ben, such as refusing “Army” food, and watching for rabbits and squirrels. She hasn’t caught any yet. She’s not allowed out.
—by Freddi Miller
Sniff . . . Sniff . . . The Game is ON
Visiting Police K-9s began their narcotics work with it; the Scotties who came to PVE last spring loved it; PVE resident dogs will, too. What is it? K9NoseWork!
April’s issue of The Whole Dog Journal* describes K9NoseWork being introduced to Shelter Dogs around the United States. Shy, stressed-out dogs benefit from just a few nose work sessions, and they frequently are adopted into homes after only one or two sessions. Our dogs, shy or well adjusted, can use their incredible sense of smell to have fun with this activity.
Start with four or five empty cardboard boxes scattered around; one open box has a (smelly) food treat. If the dog does not begin to investigate the boxes, tell him “Find it.” Most dogs understand this command. If not, walk casually among the boxes until the dog begins to investigate. Praise the dog for finding the treat and allow him to eat it. That’s it! Allow a few minutes away from the area and then return for another hunt. As the dog learns the game, add a few more boxes and place one or two on a different level.
For two-dog families, work only one dog at a time. This is not a competitive game.
* If you would like to read more about this activity, my Whole Dog Journal will be in the PVE Library for the month of May.
—by Freddi Miller
Aerobic Exercise: The Secret of the Good Life
Why Aerobics? According to Chris Crowley and Jen Sacheck, there are four key principles of aerobic exercise:
1. It builds and rebuilds our aerobic base. Actually, we were built to move.
When we use our bodies, we do not wear the system down; we build it up. When you do aerobic exercise, you actually create millions and millions of new mitochondria. You grow miles of new capillaries, and actually increase the horsepower of the whole machine. Use it and it grows; let it sit idle and it rots.
2. It fundamentally changes our blood chemistry in a way that radically improves our health.
When we do serious aerobic exercise, our blood chemistry goes from inflammatory to anti-inflammatory. This is instrumental in reducing, by a whopping 50 percent, our risk of heart attacks, strokes and adult onset diabetes, many types of cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.
There isn’t a pill or medical regimen in the world that begins to come close.
3. It improves our mood and fights depression.
As we age, we realize that often times we become grumpy. Mood in general is serious business; depression is very serious business. The single most effective thing we can do to improve our mood is aerobic exercise.
4. And lastly, aerobic exercise makes us smarter.
Wow! I can’t say much more, so no more excuses, just do it. If you need guidance, encouragement, or information on your personalized aerobic routine for fitness, please contact me. Your fitness team is here for you!
—by Jan Olson
The Club Is Jumpin’
Some of us have been reading about them in the Friday Flash, others have been lucky enough to stumble upon them on the way to or from the dining room. We’re talking about the action occurring at The Club on selected Friday evenings. Denise Flowerday and Club Manager, Amanda Adkins, have been hard at work in our favor, providing a variety of fun and enjoyment from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. By the time you read this, some of us have already enjoyed the artistry of Jack Convery and his banjo (we tried unsuccessfully to name a tune he didn’t know); Bill Pence, singer extraordinaire; and rhythm/blues and smooth jazz from the KDM Jazz group. The exciting PVE Ball – Fairfield High School Prom (with the Honeybee Trio) will interrupt the series on Friday May 10. On the following Friday, May 17, the Club will host Jeff Wessman, whose repertoire exclusively consists of Frank Sinatra’s music. Bill Pence will be back on May 24.
Mark your calendars and invite your friends to join you for the fun. With advanced planning, it’s easy to arrange dinner between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. at any of our three dining venues so you can take advantage of these fun filled Friday evening events.
Heads up! Starting in May, on the second Monday of the month, you can become a star yourself with karaoke, led by phenomenal Bill Pence, who will sing for us between residents’ own performances with the mike. It will be something to see, for sure.
—by Dave Allard
Mr. Black Back on Terra Firma
Mr. Black, a black feral cat with a white bow-tie, had come to us for asylum after being abandoned by his owners, and had become a part of our feline family, actually playing with our Rausch cats through the screen door. PVE maintenance staff acknowledged his presence and Mr. Black was declared “the best mouser in the community.”
On the night that we returned from a wedding in Phoenix, we heard coyotes howling. Next we heard blood curdling cat screams!
The following day we began hearing cat meowing in the distance and looked all around for Mr. Black in Laurel Creek and the meadow area. The crying intensified and involved other neighbors in the search. Terri, our caring security guard, helped as well. She then discovered him overhead, about 25 feet up in the giant Oak tree, (that is next to the pedestrian bridge). Mr. Black was perched in the elbow of a large branch. He responded back, in answer to our calls, but made no effort to get down.
We phoned and emailed a number animal rescue people, as well as the police and fire departments—the fire chief suggested that a bowl of warm milk be placed at the base of the tree.
Our own vet, Dr. Russum, speculated that Mr. Black had probably been injured during the coyote encounter and would have difficulty lowering himself down the tree trunk. He felt that we could enhance his healing by feeding him dried food with water added to keep him hydrated,
Early on, we had obtained help from (PVE Staff) Terri and Rick, Angeline, David, and Dwayne to place a long log up near the branch where Mr. Black had settled. Dining service staff had placed tuna fish in a strategic spot to entice Mr. B. to descend the log, but to no avail!
During Easter break our family went to Mendocino so the rescue team (Bill Drake and Terri and Rick from Security) fed Mr. B. via a plastic dish rigged to a long pole.
A month later, despite violent winds, rains, lightening, and thunder, Mr. B. clung to his perch!
Dr. Russum had suggested a way to lower him in a basket if he would just step into it! So we rigged this up and were to be assisted by our team.
The next morning, while preparing to run an errand, I heard a soft meow. Just outside the screen porch door stood Mr. Black! He had landed without our assistance!
So now, happily, after five weeks aloft, he can return to his number one assignment, “Champion Mouser for PVE”!
—by Dair Rausch
Are You a Socialite?
Hematite, Bauxite, Lucite, Cellulite, Cronkite . . . you’ve probably heard of all these, but what about Socialite? If you are an anti-boredom activist and live here at PVE, you could be a contender for the title. This new group of renegades met for the first time on Sunday, March 17, in The Club, for a gourmet beer tasting experience. An oxymoron you say? We beg to differ! Our final sampling was “black velvet,” a combination of Guinness stout and champagne. We then progressed to the Multi-Purpose Room for a nostalgic glimpse of young John Wayne in a re-mastered 60 year-old classic movie, The Quiet Man.
April’s Sunday theatre outing to see “Damn Yankees” in downtown Fairfield filled our chartered bus, and a good time was had by all. Our May get-together will occur on Sunday, May 19. At present, this is still in the conceptualizing stage, but as soon as plans are finalized, details will be circulated to those whose names are on the list. (Signing up in the Green Book commits you to nothing but gets your name on our exclusive PVE Sunday Social Register so you will have first right of refusal.) Who knows what may be in store? We welcome all fun suggestions! Contact Jeanne Michael with your ideas (428-0180 or mail box 5207).
—by Pat Williams
Style and My Mother
When I picture my mother as she looked to me in 1937, I see her in a brown and orange tweed coat and a brown felt hat. The coat was a hand-me-down from my Aunt Cis and my mother wore that coat for years and years. I’m sure that at the time it was the only coat she owned.
Around the house, she always wore a cotton apron with little flowers on it, and the other thing I clearly remember was a sweater. It was blue, a medium shade of blue, and it was made of a thin silky knit material. Style-wise it looked like a man’s sweater with a V-neck and long sleeves. The edge of the sleeves and the bottom edge of the garment were embellished with thin contrasting lines of beige and black stripes, as was the neckline. This was finished with two beige and black pompoms on the ends of a crocheted cord that were meant to be tied in a bow.
When I started school (the starting age in England is five years old) there was no money for new clothes. In one sense, it didn’t matter; no one else was much better off in our part of London in 1937, and in some ways, I was more fortunate than many. As an only child, I never had to wear clothes that were hand-me-downs from older siblings, which was quite a common occurrence in those days.
I remember one day when a girl came to school in a new dress. She strutted around the classroom, so proud of herself, and I was so envious! I ached to have a new dress, although I knew, even at five years old, there was no money for dress material in my mother’s purse. But I did so want to have something new to wear just like that other girl.
The next morning I got dressed for school and went to show my mother. “Look, Mummy, I have a new dress.” It was my mother’s blue sweater. I had tied the bow tighter, so it didn’t fall off my shoulders, and I turned the sleeves back so they made cuffs. The sweater came way below my knees, but I was so happy!
My mother looked at me and laughed. “You can’t go to school in that!” “I can, I can. It’s my new dress!” I said and pirouetted around. It felt so good. I was on top of the world. I had a new dress!
I will say this for my mother; she let me wear that outfit, and watched me trot off down the alleyway toward the school. She waved with one hand, and the other hand was over her mouth. I never understood why at the time.
My mother was wise in ways that had nothing to do with book learning or years of education. I suspect this was my very first demonstration of the oft-heard adage, “When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”
—by Pat Williams
I am shown in my mother’s arms at my christening party. I look like most Irish babies—rumpled face and dangling chubby legs and feet. My mother, as always, looks delicate, ethereal, and very pleased to be thin again. (Liz Wildberger)
Brandy and Escargot
When I was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in the mid-1970s, a group of us usually had a party at the home of the widow of a master sergeant who had been killed in a local auto accident. Lydia did not have a lot of money, but she did love to party. So we provided all of the food and beverages.
She provided a small house with a nice patio and a swimming pool. One summer Saturday afternoon we were all there. I had brought my Basset Hound, Brandy, with me. She and Lydia’s Dachshund were good friends and did their own thing. Neither one liked the pool so there was no competition with the human guests.
I also brought escargot for my food contribution. There were several people there that day. After our semi-buffet eating and drinking, I asked one of the women guests how she liked the escargot. She informed me she didn’t eat any. When I asked why, she told me she had given one to Brandy, who had mulled it around in her mouth getting all the butter and garlic off, and then “Pitooue!,” spit it out with great gusto. I did not ask anyone else how they liked theirs.
Each May, I find myself nostalgic about two very important people in my life—my mother and my godmother. Aunt Mary, my godmother, was the family picture taker. She had a Kodak box camera, and for many years, I thought the photographer had to say, “Oh, damn!” before the picture could be recorded. Cameras were not user-friendly in the 1930s.
I deduced that mothers never said “Damn!” or handled cameras. Nor did they wear high heels on a daily basis, go to an “office” in downtown Baltimore, or lead the generally glamorous life I imagined Aunt Mary to lead.
Mothers stayed home and made clothes; soft velvet dresses for Christmas, navy blue linen coats with Irish lace collars for Easter; hand smocked pongee pastel party dresses for summer; May procession and First Communion dresses. Godmothers took goddaughters to interesting places to show off these clothes. Aunt Mary took me to museums to see exhibits that she thought would interest me, like Egyptian tombs and mummies; she took me to the Lyric Theater to hear John Charles Thomas sing in “The Student Prince.” She took me ice-skating at the Sports Center on specially designated afternoons. My godmother, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music was my initial piano instructor. When she tired of “Teaching Little Fingers to Play,” she introduced my mother to a friend who was said to be good with children.
Mothers gardened—not vegetables, but flowers, and produced colorful and lavish borders and beds during three seasons of the year. Mothers grew, godmothers picked. That’s just the way it was. I wonder if that was a metaphor for the relationship that existed with their daughters and goddaughters. Whatever it was, it showed me the best of two worlds, and I consider myself very blessed by their efforts. Happy Mother’s Day, you two!
—by Liz Wildberger
The Original Las Vegas
I was born in the “Original Las Vegas, (“the meadows” in Spanish) and lived there until I was 10 years old, when the Santa Fe Railway transferred my Dad to Topeka, Kansas in January 1938.
When the Santa Fe Railway built into northern New Mexico in 1879, they were looking for passenger business. At that time in the latter part of the nineteenth century, the threat of tuberculosis was like the threat of cancer today; there was no cure, only recommended treatment of high dry air. With an altitude between 6,500 and 7,000 feet on the edge of a desert, here was the necessary high dry air to treat tuberculosis victims.
As a result, the Santa Fe built a 270-room hotel, the Montezuma, in the 1880s, five miles from Las Vegas, attracting European royalty and affluent people from the eastern United States who could afford TB treatment. The Santa Fe and its Fred Harvey restaurateur imported fish on dry ice from the Gulf of Mexico and provided gourmet cuisine along with gambling, a true international resort.
At that time, Las Vegas, Nevada, didn’t exist. It wasn’t incorporated until 1905 when the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad built through southern Nevada (later integrated into the Union Pacific). The startling boom of Las Vegas, Nevada, began with the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. Subsequently, Hollywood influenced development as an international entertainment capital.
In the meantime, “the Original Las Vegas” has languished as a sleepy little city of some 14,000 souls. The Montezuma is no more with the eradication of TB; we kids used to ride our bicycles in what had been its lobby. Las Vegas even lost the impact of the Santa Fe Railway and Amtrak. The city has changed very little, as evidenced by the fact that the park I played in as a five-year-old hadn’t changed a bit when I visited there in 2009.
On a personal note, my mother and father were TB victims who resided at Valmora, a tuberculosis sanitarium about 25 miles north of “the Original Las Vegas.”
—by Hank Hough
PVE and FHS—A New Team
Residents and staff at PVE have begun to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the students and staff at Fairfield High School (FHS). This relationship started when Denise Flowerday, Life Enrichment manager at PVE, began talks with some of the teachers at Fairfield High. The first activity was the walker, scooter, car wash on St. Patrick’s Day. Students from the advanced placement government class conducted the washes at several locations on the campus. One resident was heard to say, “That was the best car wash my car has ever had.”
About 100 residents recently attended the production of “Once upon a Mattress” at the Fairfield High theatre. The play was a fundraiser for the drama group at the high school. The reviews were great, and all who attended enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the young people.
Next up is the essay contest sponsored by our Patriotic Committee. Students from the government class will turn in essays by April 30 on “How to be a Good Citizen.” These will be judged by a panel of PVE residents, and the best essays will be read by the students at our Memorial Day program on May 27.
Another upcoming event is the intergenerational senior ball to be held here at PVE on May 10. Students from the leadership, ROTC, government, and drama classes will be at PVE that day dressed in their finest formal dress to mix it up with residents in a dance featuring the Honey Bee Trio. It should be a great way to meet these fine boys and girls and let them know how much we appreciate our young neighbors. Diane Heberling, Chair of the Activities Committee, is working with other residents to plan the dance.
Finally, Chuck Smith will be working with a group of retired resident officers to develop a mentoring program for the high school ROTC members (and others planning to enter military service). More on this later.
This intergenerational effort is in its early stages, but the results to date seem to indicate a strong interest by Fairfield High School students and staff, as well as residents here at PVE. The future looks bright as we plan for future events.
—by Bruce Bartels
My mother made my wedding dress. She was a talented dressmaker who never used a paper pattern but rather used a dress form that adjusted in size. She called the dress form “Dolly.” The finished dress had long sleeves, a modest neckline, and a six-foot train. Instead of machining the center seam on the train, my mother cut around the flower shapes on the lace, matched them so they intertwined and sewed them together by hand. You needed a magnifying glass to see where the lace was joined. (Pat Williams)
Memorial Day Quiz Answers
1. On May 5, 1866, Henry Welles, a drugstore owner in Waterloo, New York, heard stories of those returning from the Civil War. He encouraged all shop owners in town to close for one day to honor soldiers killed in the war and buried in the Waterloo Cemetery.
2. Decoration Day.
3. James A. Garfield
5. Moina Michael, who said, in her 1915 poem, “. . . It seems to signal to the skies that blood of heroes never dies. . . “.
New Inheritance Rules
Congress recently made some significant changes in the estate tax code that may affect many of us. What changed? In 2012, Congress made a permanent high-estate-tax exemption for those who die in 2013 and after of $5.25 million with inflation adjustments in future years. Under a provision called portability, that exemption can double when a surviving spouse assumes a deceased spouse’s exemption, and unlike in the past, one does not need a so-called bypass trust to make this happen. Any estate assets below the exemption amount will not be subject to federal estate tax.
Estate planning may now be simpler for you and cheaper under the new rules. But you might need to undo or repurpose existing trusts or family partnerships. Under the new rules, existing estate plans actually might work against your heirs.
Example: If a spouse states in a will that a bypass trust should be established upon his/her death to preserve the estate tax exemption for the remaining spouse and the couple’s assets are well below the federal exemption of $5.25 million, leaving that trust in place could force the couple’s heirs to pay higher capital gains taxes than if the bypass trust was not in place. That’s because assets placed in a bypass trust do not receive a “step-up in basis” upon the death of the second spouse. Heirs cannot minimize capital gains taxes because they cannot use the fair value of the assets at the time of the second spouse’s death as their new cost basis when they calculate capital gains taxes in the future.
A review of your estate plans with an Estate Tax Attorney may be in order.
—by Bill Cockroft
June is National Rose Month. However, many flowers in our community are already in bloom. Take a ride around campus, including a stop at PVE’s garden, and enjoy the many flowers we have here.
Elysian Fields Staff Organization
Editor Phyllis Mosher
Associate Editor Bruce Bartels
Copy Editor Jan Holderness
Photography Dick Betchley
Biographies of Residents Ted Terrill
Life at PVE Bruce Bartels
(human interest stories, Nancy Bartels organized activities,
and campus events)
Memories Liz Wildberger
(of past events and
Fitness Writer Jan Olson
Paws/Pets Writer Freddi Miller
Poems Marty Wildberger
Distinguished Emeritus Staff
Jack Albrecht Linda Faraday
Bill Gum Constance Gum
Miz Lively Marj Parker
Joe Sanner Joan Teague
Elly Vasak Madelynne Wolfe Layout and production of this issue provided by Natalie Karst