Senior Golfers Living the Dream

Dr. John Aber Sr. of Greensburg, PA

Dr. John Aber Sr. of Greensburg, PA

By: Paula Green and Marianne Reid Anderson

 Fresh air, sunshine, having so much fun that you don’t realize that you are exercising. Isn’t this what retirement is supposed to be all about? What follows are the stories of two local senior golfers and their experience in living the dream and how you can join them.

Golfers never retire or stop playing. Even the professionals, they just move to the Senior Players Tour. If you attended the Constellation Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club this past June, you may have seen Dr. John Aber Sr. of Greensburg. Aber proudly served as an Honorary Observer, a VIP experience and walked inside the ropes, an area that’s typically off limits to everyone except players, officials and media members at the Constellation Senior Players Championship

Dr. Aber, 72, years old, is an avid golfer, a game he almost had to give up due to chronic pain in his knee. Aber had been officiating as a USGA rules official and playing golf while dealing with knee pain for about two years, when he realized that he needed to have surgery.

However, in October 2009, Aber had a virus in his lungs that left him in a coma for three months, which delayed his knee surgery. After he came out of the coma, he didn’t think he would live. As he began recovering from the coma, he initially couldn’t walk during his first physical therapy session. He would have to wait a year before having replacement surgery given the state of his legs following the coma.

Once he had his knee replaced he was walking the SAME day as the procedure and without pain.

According to Dr. Aber, “there were two keys to my success and short rehab: One was that I started rehab BEFORE the surgery to strengthen my leg muscles so rehab afterwards would be easier. Second, I chose a surgeon with a great deal of experience. When I met with Dr. Steve Thomas of Greater Pittsburgh Orthopedic Associates, I asked, on average, how many of these do you do a year and he said 400 and I said ‘you’re the guy I want’ – I knew his technique would be quick and experienced.” » Read more

Mike Huckabee Featured Speaker at St. Barnabas Fundraiser

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Huckabee-Mike3Will Mike Huckabee run for president in 2016?

Attendees of St. Barnabas Founder’s Day celebration will gain insight on this national leader considered by some to be the Republican front runner in the 2016 election.

The 44th governor of Arkansas and host of political talk shows on radio and Fox News Channel will receive the St. Barnabas Charities Hance Award at a reception and dinner to be held Thursday, May 1 at the Marriott Pittsburgh North in Cranberry Township.  Proceeds from the event benefit the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund.

The annual fundraiser is expected to draw a crowd of more than 400 and features many opportunities to boost the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund, which last year provided more than $6 million in charity care to patients of St. Barnabas Nursing Home, Valencia Woods at St. Barnabas and the three Arbors living assistance facilities.

Generous support is provided by sponsors UPMC Health Plan, CooksonPeirce Wealth Management, Trib Total Media and K & L Gates.  Richard M. Scaife is the dinner’s honorary chairman.  Elderly U.S. Army veteran and St. Barnabas Nursing Home patient Robert Brenner will greet the governor as he arrives at the Marriott. 

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with St. Barnabas supporters competing for winning bids on vacation packages, a mink coat and signed artwork during the silent auction in the Marriott’s atrium, along with a wine cellar lottery featuring Wine Spectator top-rated and select wines. 

Exclusive to dinner guests attending the VIP Photo Reception, is an intimate gathering with Huckabee and former Allegheny County Executive Jim Roddey featuring individual photos with Huckabee.

The conservative political commentator is planning to talk about the American Dream – and how it is still alive and well as long as we continue to believe in it.

When not talking politics on the radio or hosting The Huckabee Report, the former governor is passionate about music, playing the bass guitar for American rock band, Capitol Offense.  The group has played for political events and parties, even entertaining at unofficial inaugural balls in Washington, D.C. in 2001 and 2005.

Huckabee currently hosts Huckabee of Fox on Fox News Channel and Cumulus Media Networks’ syndicated radio program, The Mike Huckabee Show.  He is also an ordained minister, a devoted family man, and the author of nine books, four of which have made the New York Times best seller list: A Simple Government, Doth the Right Thing, A Simple Christmas and Can’t wait Till Christmas.

He served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007 and was named by Time magazine as one of the nation’s five best governors.  In the 2008 Presidential election, Huckabee won the Iowa primary, but ultimately dropped out to the race, clearing the way for John McCain to become the Republican nominee.

Huckabee spent 12 years as a pastor and was the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Southern Baptist State Convention.  His rock’n roll band, Capitol Offense, has opened for Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band.

Huckabee joins a distinguished roster of Founder’s Day speakers and Hance Awardees including President Gerald Ford, First Lady Barbara Bush, actor Charlton Heston, Vice President Dan Quayle, education secretary William Bennett, actress Debbie Reynolds, inspirational leaders Rev. Norman Vincent Peale and Dr. Robert Schuller, community and political leader Elsie Hillman, former Steelers Andrew Russell and Rocky Bleier, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and many more.

All of these men and women represent the visionary leadership, spiritual commitment, and compassionate spirit of the man who founded St. Barnabas in 1900, Gouverneur P. Hance.  The Hance legacy has made possible the lifetime care of thousands of men and women in St. Barnabas’ 114 years – regardless of their ability to pay for that care.

St. Barnabas Founder’s Day notable Americans such as Debbie Reynolds who helped raise fund for the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund in 2008.  Reynolds pictured with with William V. Day, President of St. Barnabas Health System, and patient Gloria Henze. 

Set Sail for Cruising! Tips on What to Bring and What to Pack

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By Marianne Reid Anderson and Terri Caldwell-Stanisha

My husband just went on a Caribbean cruise with our dear friends Terri and Dave Stanisha and Kathy and Gene King. Based on this trip and Terri’s previous cruising, we came up with a few tips to pass along that offer convenience and some will even save money.

Book as much of your cruise entertainment ahead of time as you can, for example, every cruise that lands in a port-of-call has excursions and tours that you can take of the island or town. On our cruise we booked an excursion to become part of a working crew of an America’s Cup racing yacht in Saint Maarten, a round of golf on Antigua and we booked a land and sea tour of St. Lucia complete with a tour guide and catamaran. Even though some can be pricey, the great thing about excursions through the cruise line is that the local tour companies are contracted to get you back before the ship sails eliminating any stress about taxi’s or traffic.

If you like coffee and don’t want to pay for the specialty coffees, bring travel mugs and your favorite instant coffee such as Starbucks® Vivi instant packs, General Foods® International Coffee or bring your favorite tea.

Be sure to order room service a lot and at any time of the day. This special treat is “free” as part of your meals and is particularly great for mornings. For breakfast, just put your order in the night before by filling out the breakfast card in your room, designating the time you’d like breakfast and hang it on your door knob. The staff picks up the card in the night and then serves it right on time. (Be sure and have them bring extra hot water for your coffee-to-go listed above).

Pack your various medications, both prescription and over-the-counter in your carry-on luggage. Also check with your doctor about any conditions you may have and be sure to bring a few days extra in case there are delays at sea. If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to discuss this with your doctor and see if he/she recommends wearing a prescription patch to prevent motion sickness. Or you may want to try a non-medicinal remedy called a Sea Band® that you wear on your wrist designed to help with seasickness via pressure points.

Be sure and bring a watch while visiting the islands and you don’t have your cell due to the expense of International data plans. And make sure it is set to ship’s time because you must be return to the ship according to its set time or you will depart without you. For example, many of the islands we were visiting, were an hour ahead (Bolivia time) as opposed to our standard East coast time.

Also, if you are traveling with a group or other couples like we all were, we highly recommend bringing walkie talkies. Today’s walkie talkies are very affordable and have a 3 mile radius. You just need to make sure you are all on the same frequency. This way you can meet up and verify locations via the walkie talkies. You will be amazed at the roaming, texting and international data plan savings you will have.

Bring lanyards for important cards like your ship’s card which is also your room key and your charge card for extras aboard ship that are billed back to your room. Your ship’s card is also how you depart and return to the ship. We recommend water-tight lanyards that you can order from Amazon®. They are made of clear plastic that have a water-proof seal so can protect your cell-phone and use it to take pictures right through the lanyard.

If you like your tunes, be sure and get the party started by bringing a radio dock for your phone so you can have music in your room, on the balcony and at the beach

Bring wrinkle release so you don’t have to pay to get your shirts ironed.

Bring a flashlight because you just never know when you’ll need one.

Print out your room to check the accuracy of your room charges the day before so you’re not like all the others down at the guest relations desk on the last day when you are trying to depart. » Read more

Andrew Bayne Memorial Library Centennial Celebration

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Bayne LibraryBy: Paula Green

           The Andrew Bayne Memorial Library, located at 34 N. Balph Street, is celebrating 100 years of serving the Bellevue Borough.  “This is a unique, small community and the folks here really do support the library, it is really great to see,” said librarian and cultural director, Denise Plaskon.

“We are very excited about our upcoming centennial anniversary celebration.  On May 16, is the first part of the festivities where we will have an adult’s-only party from 6- 8 p.m.  Then on May 17, is the family birthday get-together which will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.,” Plaskon added.

In March, the library went through a major computer upgrade to enable them to better serve the community.  The facility has undergone many positive changes over the years, and has expanded its horizons since it was founded a century ago by Amanda Bayne Balph and Jane Bayne Teece.

These two sisters bequeathed their old homestead and four acres surrounding it to the Bellevue Borough to be used as a library and park. The library was named Andrew Bayne Memorial Library in memory of their father, Andrew Bayne who also was a member of The Constitutional Convention of 1837-38 and subsequently elected Sheriff of Allegheny County in 1838. » Read more

Senior Fun: Re-Enacting Radio Days

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Microphone_101445268_no BGBy Barbara Killmeyer

Several years ago, my husband Don and I heard about the fact that Macy’s in downtown Pittsburgh sponsored activities for seniors. This was called Oasis and included several things such as, a choral group and The Vintage Radio Players. We thought it would be a good, fun thing for us to do. We were in the choral group for a while, but we were attracted to the Vintage Radio Players and that’s where we really had the most fun. They obtain original scripts from old time radio shows. We did shows such as Baby Snooks, The Great Gildersleeve, and George Burns and Gracie Allen. At some point Macy’s said they could no longer sponsor any of the activities so we would be without a place to rehearse. Two of our members went looking for a place where we could meet and they were lucky enough to get permission for us at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh. This has worked out wonderfully. They don’t charge us so any donations we get goes entirely to them.

We meet twice a month to rehearse and what Don and I do is this: since we are senior citizens we have bus passes. We take an earlier than necessary bus into town and we had been walking to Nathan’s restaurant where we had lunch before going on to our meeting. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago when we got to Nathan’s there was a sign in the window that they were closed, no longer in business. But, the church where we meet has a cafeteria in their basement that is open to the public so we still go in early and we go to the cafeteria, which has some very good food, and we have our lunch there before going upstairs to our meeting.

We will entertain for any group anywhere in the Pittsburgh, or Pittsburgh suburban area.  The audiences seem to really enjoy hearing those old time radio shows and we enjoy doing them. Of course, older audiences enjoy them more than a young group would because the older people remember the shows and it takes them back to the days of sitting around the living room listening to the radio with the family.

If anyone would be interested in having us come to entertain your group you can get more information and make arrangements by calling Jeanne Miller at 412-8548-1811.

Barbara Killmeyer is the Author of: It’s Nobody’s Business but Yours www.barbarakillmeyer.com, www.trafford.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, or directly from the author.  Visit Barbara’s blog at http://barbarakillmeyer.net/wp-admin

PyroFest 2014! America’s Largest and Most Fantastic Fireworks Festival

Pyrofest: Voyage Through the Universe

By Marianne Reid Anderson

Appearing on May 24, 2014 at Hartwood Acres, PyroFest is a one-of-akind spectacular fireworks event designed to amaze, thrill and captivate audiences of all ages. On May 24th the sky will become a festival of light and pyrotechnic special effects that are choreographed with split-second timing to a monumental musical score.

Produced by Pyrotecnico, PyroFest 2014 brings techniques and products from around the globe in an effortless array of pyrotechnic presentations to include both daytime and nighttime fireworks that will dazzle spectators.

Pyrofest will also include all-day, live music and be sure and have the grandkids visit the PNC Kid’s Zone presented by the PA Leadership Charter School to enjoy this fun and fabulous area designed just for them. Concession stands will be serving all your festival favorites. Ales and Lagers will also be available for attendees over 21 years old with proper identification.

Parking is limited at Hartwood Acres; therefore once it is full, additional parking and a convenient free shuttle service from Hampton High School is also available. Hampton High School is located at 4591 School Drive, Alison Park, PA 15101.

Purchase your tickets early by going to www.pyrofest.com and click “Buy Tickets.” Purchase price is $23 for general admission; Students/children receive a discounted price of $14. Children 6 and under are FREE. There are also special VIP passes available for $70 each.

For more information about PyroFest 2014, visit www.pyrofest.com.

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