I Remember Pearl Harbor

Naval photograph documenting the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Battleships USS WEST VIRGINIA and USS TENNESSEE are seen after the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo: PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES)My brother, Ted, was having trouble “finding” himself. We were still in the Depression, jobs were non-existent, he was dating a girl who lived 45 miles away, he had no car, no money so – he joined the Navy. As a college graduate, he qualified for their Officer Training Program and was assigned to a training ship in New York harbor. Life was looking better but his love life flopped. She returned his engagement ring. After several months, Ted received a commission as Ensign in the US Navy. He got orders to report to the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor on December 1, 1941.

Enroute to Hawaii, Ted stopped in California and ordered a new Oldsmobile to be picked up on his return to the States. Little did he know that would be years later. We got a letter from him that first week in December. He was ecstatic. His world had turned around. He was on a major ship in Hawaii and even had a “Side Boy” assigned to him. Life was his oyster!

I was dating Ellen (my wife-to-be) and on December 7th we went to the Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute. We heard the news on the trolley going home, “The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.” We went to church. Everyone did.

After a few agonizing days, we received a telegram. It said, “I’m O.K. I’m in a pup tent on the bank of Pearl Harbor. I have a change of underwear. That’s all. I’ll write later. Love, Ted.” We learned that Ted’s ship was sunk and his quarters were under water. Some time later the ship was raised sufficiently enough for Ted to get to his locker (which was still underwater) and he retrieved the engagement ring.

Later in the war, Ted was assigned to Atlantic submarine duty out of Boston. He reconnected with his girlfriend in Reading. She again accepted the much-traveled engagement ring and they were married. Today, Ted and Anna Mae Burchill, both 98 years old, live in a retirement community in Florida. He is in nursing care and she is in assisted living – but they are still together.

— Charlie Burchill

Editor’s Note: God bless them.

In the Run

The scene? The Cafe in the dining room. The time? Usually 5pm. Across from our table I often notice a man who appears very distinguished, almost resembling the artist, Degas, but quiet in nature. I hear from others that this man is most interesting, I can’t resist being inquisitive and curious, and I set up an interview. Our Villager for December is Gene Grayson.

Gene, an only child, was born in New York City. He attended public school until 5th grade, and then went to the Ethical Culture School, New York City. After high school, Gene entered Cornell University; but in 1942, at age 19, Gene was drafted into the Army, taking basic training at Columbia, South Carolina. He discovered most of the men there were also nineteen years old. Gene was assigned to the 87th Infantry Division (3rd Army – Patton’s Army) and served as a forward observer and radio operator with the 912 Field Artillery. Today, Gene attributes his bad back to the 40-pound radio he carried on his back during WWII. He fought from the Saar Valley to the Battle of the Bulge to the German surrender. One day riding in the back of a jeep, Gene turned on his radio, and heard another infantry company calling for help. Their backup could not hear them, but he did. Gene called their artillery unit, relayed their distress, and let them know their outfit was in trouble, and where they were. Gene saved many lives improvising this communication, and for his quick action, was awarded a Bronze Star. He stayed until the end of the war, and was discharged in 1945, with the rank of Corporal.

After the war, Gene returned to Cornell to finish his education. He earned a B.A. in English Literature, and then, not knowing where to go for a job, stumbled into Advertising. In the beginning of his career he worked for Grey and Ted Bates Advertising. At Grey, he met Florence, who also worked there, and they married in 1953. Gene and Florence had one daughter, Laura, who lives in Perkasie, PA. Gene later took a job at Ogilvy and Mather, working there for sixteen years as Creative Director, Senior Vice President and became a member of the Board. He wrote, or supervised, 28 million dollars worth of TV advertising for Rolls Royce, KLM, General Foods, Hershey, Dove, Pepperidge Farms and International Paper to name a few.

Gene tells a story of doing a TV commercial for Dove for dishes. He wrote a funny story that needed an actual dove to fly through a window. Hidden on the other side of the window was a cage of female doves. The male dove was being enticed with female doves, bird food and bird trainers: all to no avail. The filming began at 9 AM, and finally at 6 PM, one dove flew through the set.

Gene hired Danny Thomas for the commercial for Maxwell House. Danny was in the show, MAKE WAY FOR DADDY. They became good friends and often had dinner together. Gene also used Danny’s daughter, Terre, for his commercials.

Gene lived in Tenafly, New Jersey for many years and came to Pine Run after his wife passed away. At 91 years old he is truly glad to be here. Although Gene is basically a quiet and reserved individual, I found him most charming, thoughtful and funny once I got to know him.

— Elinor Cohen

Re-Creating the Pine Run Welcome “Green” Wagon

Last August, Ceil asked me if it would be possible to repair the Pine Run “Green Wagon”, a basically classical buckboard wagon historically used on farms in their fields and to transport produce to market. I think our wagon is between 100 to 130 years old.

I formed a team with Irv Thompson and Tom Swartz to see if we could possibly at least repair the platform box, which had rotted out over the years. We concluded that it could not be repaired, but we strongly felt that a new platform could be made exactly as the old one. The metal frame was in excellent condition and could be used. The real problem was not the platform but the wagon wheels. They had deteriorated to the point where they would have to be replaced. This became our main focus and our biggest problem. We explored the possibility of locating a replacement wagon. This became an impossible task and proved to be cost prohibitive. In all probability it would be in the range of $30,000 and up. We were not sure that one existed that would meet our requirements, even for that amount of money. So, back to the drawing board.

We removed the platform and used a piece of it as a paint sample. Irv decided to use one-half inch PVC instead of wood for the sides, front and back, and pressurized wood for the platform under-frame. The floor of the platform would be three-quarter inch PVC. PVC has an outdoor lifespan of 25 to 30 years so we do not anticipate it would create a near-term problem.

The Wheels. The wagon had four rubber tire-sealed bearing wheels, two 36 inch diameter wheels in the back and two 34 inch wheels in the front. The front wheels could be pivoted so the wagon could be steered, and the fact that they were smaller made turning a little easier. These deteriorated wheels had to be removed and replaced and because of the antiquity of the wagon and its wheels, this was a complicated and major effort. It took us a long time to realize that we had to knock off the end of the wheel hubs in order to get at the square nuts on the end axles holding the wheels on. It took a while to learn that the nuts were left handed on the right side and right handed on the left side. We were finally able to remove the wheels. The wheel axles were tapered and about 6 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. This made it complicated to find new wheels that would fit these dimensions.

There were no distributors or manufacturers in our area that had, or could get, wagon wheels that would fit our requirements. Searching the internet, we located a number of companies in the Mid- and Southwest who specialized in wagon wheels, but their prices, with freight and shipping costs, were prohibitive. I went to the Amish in Lancaster County and they had an outlet in Gordonville, PA, which sold their Ornamental Wagon Wheels and I felt that we could adapt these wheels to meet our requirements. At Gordonville, I saw the actual wheels and realized that some way – somehow – they could be adapted to our axles. No 34 inch wheels were available so we bought two 32 inch and two 36 inch wheels. Brandon, in Maintenance made two different-diameter copper tubes as a double axle sleeve, and with brass washers we were able to mount the wheels and secure them with the original nuts.

The next step was to paint each of these wheels with a primer coat and two coats of high quality outdoor house paint to provide maximum protection when the wagon was exposed to the weather. Painting the wheels was a time-consuming task because there were four wheels with 12 spokes per wheel. Using our samples, we purchased green paint for the platform and yellow for the wheels from Austin Briggs. The special striping for the platform and wheels was ordered from 3M.

We built a special painting jig to allow me to paint both sides at one time. Just finishing the wheels took about sixty man-hours! But, now, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel and we were in a position to do the final assembly of the wagon. The platform was built, painted, striped and attached to the wooden mainframe. The wheels were painted, striped and the outer bands painted with a rust-resistant special paint. The final assembly took time, with a few small problems that were easily solved. We applied axle grease to the wheels and installed them. Irv, Tom and I finally put the wagon together and met our deadline of the October 2015 Fall Festival. It was a fun project and we learned a lot. We just hope that you like and enjoy the “new” wagon.

— Jack Venner

How to Use Our Library

Lucky are we who come to Pine Run and find an inviting library awaiting us! Located just behind the lounge in the Community Building and overflowing a bit onto shelves in the Pub, it offers books in both regular and large print, hardbacks and paperbacks, and a rather comprehensive selection of magazines. There are also reference books including atlases, dictionaries, coffee-table histories of the World Wars and the works of favorite artists. The books on the shelves—fiction, biographies and many others of interest—can be signed out at the high desk by the doorway to the lounge. Take the card from the back of the book, sign your name and the date, and leave the card on the desk. Also, add three weeks to the date and enter it on the “Date Due” list pasted in the back of the book (a reminder for yourself). When you return the book, just leave it on the desk’s lower shelf.

Borrowing a paperback is easier yet. Simply choose a book from the four revolving racks (the Carousel) located in the back corner of the library. Take the paperback home and read it: then bring it back and slip it into the rack again (no signing in or out necessary). On the shelves in the Pub are also a number of audio-videos and DVD’s for you to borrow. On the other hand, reference books must remain in the library or the Pub (most are marked with a red “R” pasted on the cover). But do sit down for a bit and enjoy them—whether photos of Pearl Harbor, pictures of the stone houses in Bucks County or artwork by Andrew Wyeth and others.

We are constantly adding new books to our library, which means retiring those that are seldom read. New ones are chosen from various best seller lists and from recommendations by Villagers. The library is funded by the Pine Run Village Board, and the books are generally purchased from the Doylestown Book Shop (from whom we receive a discount). We accept books donated by Villagers, too, but because of limited shelf space, not all can be added to our collection and must be “re-donated” to other places.

The library also offers wide selection of magazines as well as local and Philadelphia newspapers, the Wall Street Journal and the Sunday New York Times. Once the magazines are replaced by newer issues, Villagers are welcome to take and keep out-of-date numbers (found on the shelf along the side of the library room). Newspapers however are discarded the following day.

So do make yourself familiar with our Pine Run library! It is always open for your browsing, but don’t be surprised to find the small tables in use by bridge and/or table-top game players. They gather most afternoons and some evenings, but we hope you’ll be there too. The books are waiting!

— Mollie Hallowell, Librarian

Library Committee: Mollie Hallowell (books), Mary Ann Crozier (magazines), Ruth Gerhart, Doris Gleason, Rose Jones, Jean Kraus,
Pat Patterson, Jayne Reddie and Mildred Vreeland.

Who’s jumping in the giant leaf pile at Beech Cluster?

Autumn scene at Pine Run…with leafy details by Marc Stine:

Last year we collected a little over 200 cubic yards of leaves. To date this season we estimate to have already collected and recycled 80 yards of shredded leaves. The leaf trucks haul our donations to two offsite collection facilities that recycle them into compost and blended soil mixes.

We started picking up leaves this year in the second week of October and will continue to collect into December. Right now the majority of the leaves from our crabapples, linden, tupelo, sweetgum, locusts, ash trees and a fair number of maples are down. The trees that retain their leaves the longest on our campus are the pin oak and beech trees.

Halloween Festivities

Pine Run Associates show their Halloween spirit with a theatrical display of pumpkins in the Health Center. Paint, fabric, lights, and spooky props come out of the bountiful “Life Enrichment” closets of Tracy Mullarkey and Emily Cuff to help the creepy creations take shape. Eerily amazing is the Pumpkin Graveyard all aglow with lights and complete with tombstones, crackling leaves, and a headless horseman. The charming bug-eyed Purple Hat Witch is a flash back to tradition – her twisted stem nose, with sparkling granny glasses, and a giant black bug perched at the end could be a crowd favorite. A bright yellow Pumpkin Bee with a diaphanous tutu livens up the funky contest as does the giant Candy Apple Pumpkin wrapped in cellophane. All of the entries, even the bizarre Golden Plunger fashioned by Housekeeping lure the eye and reveal the uncanny talent we can all celebrate at Pine Run!

The festivities continue on October 31 with costumes, parties,
and a Safe Trick or Treat for children.

Making Their Day! Garden Beach Trip

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripHave you ever wondered what it would be like if you take someone you love back for one last trip to the beach? The Jersey shore is place held dear in the memories of so many of the residents we serve, their family members, and of course many of us that grew up in this part of the county.

Garden team member, Emily Cuff, had this dream and shared the vision with us to consider. After many, many months and hours of planning and consideration, we were excited (and admittedly a little nervous) when Barbara Dumas and Cathleen Stewart gave us approval to move forward.

It paid off… In ways that words can never describe, eleven Garden residents and their family members had their day made over and over when they boarded the Hagey’s coach this past Tuesday morning for day trip to Ocean City, New Jersey.

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripThe excitement was palpable Tuesday morning. Not all the residents remembered where they were going, and some thought they were getting on a plane or boat rather than bus, but the child-like excitement of leaving on vacation was in the air at the Garden.

One family member told me that every ounce of effort and every challenge was more than worth it the moment they got that first view of the ocean!

One resident, that spends many minutes of every day at the Garden wondering where she is or wondering where her family is or insisting that we need to get her to work sat so contentedly on the boardwalk. Her son said to her, “Do you know where you are mom?” and she replied, “Of course I do. This is the board walk in Ocean City”… She and her family had gone to Ocean City for years… Indeed, others from her family met her and her son there on Tuesday!

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripOne resident that rarely speaks repeatedly said, “Beautiful, just beautiful” as associates gave her a ride in a wheelchair on the boardwalk.

Nearly everyone enjoyed ice cream and one of our residents with her husband happily patronized many of the food vendors along the board walk!

Family members bonded.

Some residents enjoyed squawking at the seagulls while others enjoyed people watching and had laughs at some of the attire they saw of those they saw on the boards and the beach. A few even got their toes in the sand!

A trip like this, with a group like this, was not pulled off without a lot of hard work! I fear I may forget to thank someone… But thank you to all that played a part big or little!
• Emily Cuff – brain child and primary planner, organizer, communicator – everything!
• Lauren Kulp – chief medic and insurer that everything would be safe
• Brittany Snyder and Andrew Phillips – RCA’s – so pleasant – so into it – did the dirty work with a smile and really cared that this was the best experience possible
• Our brave family members that trusted in us for the adventure and helped every step of the way, especially that day
• Barbara Dumas and Cathleen Stewart – for trusting in us enough to do something completely different and allowing us to “Make Their Day” in a big, big way
Making Their Day! Garden Beach Trip• ALL the associates of the Garden – those that stayed behind, those prepped in days ahead packing bags of clothing, copying transfer emergency packets and med lists and more!
• Dining – wonderful bagged lunches and snacks and beverages – all perfectly packed for the residents, their family members, the team members on the trip
• Elizabeth Ivers – our wonderful volunteer who is so reliable that it’s like having another paid associate helping us
• Security – for helping us save space for the bus
• Hagey’s bus company for trusting us that we’d do everything right to serve this challenged population on a bus trip and even helping us brainstorm what we needed to do and how we needed to adapt to make it work for this group
• And for anyone that I’m forgetting – please forgive me
It truly took a team!

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach Trip

Make a Wish

Dear Ceil,

Make a WishThank you for putting together another great Make a Wish Day!!! Great job organizing the day and making sure the wishes were granted to our villagers. It is always so amazing to me to see all of us come together to do what we do best…Make the Day of those we serve.

I always say that we get so much more than we give and these days are true evidence of that statement. It leaves you with such a good feeling to know that you helped someone have a brighter day with a small act of kindness. I know this year was hard with so many of our wish granters on vacation and having so many wishes submitted but looking around at everyone having a good time while working hard just truly makes me Pine Run Proud!! This event truly brings our community together as associates from different departments have the chance to work together and those of us not involved every day with our villagers have a chance to get out there and meet new ones and cross paths with those we have helped in the health center.

Make a WishThe car wash is just a blast…go team wash, dry and vac!!!! Thanks to everyone, we rocked out about 30 cars. There were a few hose mishaps and water bottle dumps which added to the fun of the day! An extra big thanks to all of those on the vac/window station which is definitely the most work simply because of the heat involved. So many of those who had their car washed, as well as those headed to the hub, commented on how hard everyone was working and how nice the event was. I was fortunate enough to be able to bring my kids to wash cars for the entire day and show them the spirit of giving to others for simply nothing else than to make someone’s day. Such a very important lesson for kids to learn. Make a Wish

As I said, you often get so much more than you give when you do for others. Jake said on the ride home, “Mom this morning I was going to ask how much I was going to make today but now I don’t want anything because it was really nice to do this today and I had so much fun. The villagers I talked to were so nice and very happy to have had this done for them. You work at the best place ever and you should never quit.” Our spirit was truly palpable and the best part is it spanned across generations!

Thank you again for organizing this wonderful day that has become a Pine Run tradition that allows us to be part of this great community beyond our everyday roles. It really does re-energize you!

— Kristy, Unit Manager 3rd Floor, Pine Run Health Center

Make a Wish GardenThank you Kristy, you shared your thoughts of the spirit of the day beautifully!

I’m still tallying things up and it looks like we have completed 165 wishes, with 8 more to go. We will be fulfilling those wishes this week.

Make a Wish Ice Cream Thank you to the many associates who helped make this day possible. It is always amazing to me how excited someone can be about cleaning someone’s oven or washing their car! The Villagers LOVED the day as much as we did. I’m sure everyone who granted the wishes slept like a rock Friday night!! Seeing the faces of everyone as they waited in line at the Jack and Jill ice cream truck was priceless. I will be sharing those photos with everyone, as well as the thank you notes I receive as they come in. Thank you again for your Pine Run Spirit.

Make a Wish Ice CreamAs the Villagers say “they know of no other retirement community who has such an event as this, and they can’t believe how we go above and beyond their expectations!”

— Ceil Krajewski, Director of Life Enrichment, Pine Run Community

Our Swans

Our SwansFor those of you new to Pine Run, it seems a good time for you to be formally introduced to our swans. The “season” will soon be here for the annual swan watch and for them the “best time of the year.” For new folks, let me introduce them to you.

Their names are Coo and Honey. Their history here goes back a dozen years when we first came to Pine Run. They have been a colorful addition to life here and have given us some interesting and difficult times. Their adventures have been many. There is a story of drama, runaways, mayhem and murder! For some of us they are very special, and, with care from the staff and several Villagers, they have brought many interesting stories and excitement.

Coo, the male, must be about 15 years old, but we really do not know. Honey is about 8. I purchased her from a trusted breeder in Illinois and had her flown in to join our lonely male. We always hoped for them to have some cygnets and grace our pond with growing families. This will not happen, but each year the swans do their thing and try. Apparently the male had been neutered before being sold to us. I do not know the source of that bird but the female, I know, is fertile. We know that it takes “two to tango” but they do not know this and keep trying. It is in their nature to do what swans do in the early spring.

When, if ever, it warms up, you will, if you are lucky, see the swans do their mating dance on the pond. It is beautiful. They swim together side by side, rubbing their necks together, entwine them and they dive together. Mating is done under the water (shy). Honey will lay 4-5-6 eggs in the nesting area we provide for them (up top near the mail room entrance). Coo will work hard to make a nice nest and stay with Honey. They do take turns with the egg sitting but generally it is the female that does this – (surprise, surprise). Several futile weeks will go by and we will feed them up top in the nest area. When Honey appears too tired, we take the eggs away and they go back to life on the pond. Then the summer begins, but without cygnets. That is a disappointment. Some consolation is that the pond has snapping turtles in it and baby swans are a tasty morsel. Seeing that happen would be so hard to see.

So that is our routine. We hope you are fortunate and see the very lovely “Swan Lake” mating ritual. We try very hard to take good care of these birds and hope they bring you pleasure. If you are interested in helping with their care, please let us know.

— Richard and Alice Wetherill

Come, Let’s Take a Walk

Let's Take a Walk“Come, let’s take a walk!” This invitation is one I usually will accept willingly. Since childhood, walking has been an enjoyable activity for me. It was fed by an innate curiosity. I wanted to know where that path led or what was in the woods below the homes nearby. It was in the woods that I found, to my delight, little purple flowers to pick for Mom and saw a creature I learned was a woods turtle. Another finding was a plant called “skunk cabbage”. I discovered it aptly named when I inadvertently broke off a leaf.

My curiosity has not diminished with adulthood for I still yearn to see where the unfamiliar road may lead. This curiosity has taken me on solo journeys to the New England states and Florida.

Walking rewards me with peace of mind and soul in times of loss and distress. This was especially true when walking in the early morning or the evenings when I walked the quiet dimly lit streets of the small town where my husband, Del, and I lived. After Del’s death, my walking was limited to walking our dog, Duke.

A friend and neighbor suffered a series of tragic events. She lost her mother followed by two major surgeries. There was no family nearby to help her deal with these events so I stepped in. I offered comfort and help getting counseling and did whatever I could. She had difficulty sleeping and we discovered walking helped her relax enough that she could go to bed and sleep. Thus began our routine of evening walks. We walked the dimly lit streets of the little town and, in time, she recovered, but we continued our walking. Our walking became a time of enjoyment as well as a time of relaxation.

When I moved from Western PA, I continued my walking but now I was accompanied by my little Schnausers. First it was Charlie then Dutch. These walks provided exercise for the dogs and for me reflection and appreciation of my blessings and the beauty of God’s world. When I moved to Pine Run, I still had a reason to walk several times a day with my dog, Dutch. Dutch is gone and now I must find a new way to get out and enjoy the world around me.

My ability to walk has been somewhat compromised in the last few years but I still want to walk even though it’s not as easy as it once was. Though aging may affect our ability to walk, the joy is still there when we make the effort even with the assistance of walkers or motorized vehicles. We can still enjoy the beauty around us. There are still the skies above – sometimes even a cloudy, rainy sky can be fascinating. There may be a sunrise of red and gold or a sunset with glowing colors to give us a fleeting moment of wonder. We just need to take the time to look. At Pine Run, we can enjoy a pond alive with geese and our own graceful swans. One evening as I walked slowly from my cottage and approached the pond, it appeared to be a glittering sparkling field, I was so caught up by its beauty, I had to stop to take it in. It gave me a feeling of awe, peace and joy that I shall treasure.

— Phyllis Cassidy