By Chris Valuck

Plymouth Harbor CCRC Wellness CenterWith the Board of Trustees’ approval to move forward on the Wellness Center Project, the architectural firm THW Design has been retained and designs are now being prepared to transform the southwest corridor of the ground level of the tower which is the current location of all group classes and now referred to as the “club level.”  Offering something for everyone, the Wellness Center will nurture mind and body by providing opportunity for creative pursuits such as woodworking and art, as well as the physical and social experience of group fitness and after-class socializing.  The Spa will be relocated to the club level to provide massage therapy and facials.

The design of the space will be ‘open concept,’ with windows replacing most of the southwest walls to take advantage of the beautiful waterfront views.  Although the design is open concept, the art studio, woodworking, and the group fitness rooms will be private spaces off the main hub of the center, but still with the ability to appreciate nature through windowed walls.  The art studio will be self-contained with individual studio tables and lockers, as well as an area for art classes.  The woodworking studio will also be part of the design with a designated space.  The Spa will be more easily accessible once relocated to the Wellness Center.  A recreation space is also planned for socializing and interactive sports, i.e., Wii.  The group fitness room will have sound suppression walls, mirrored walls, and hard-surface floors to accommodate many different types of group classes as well as dancing, from line dancing to ballroom.  The cardiovascular and resistance training space will include state-of-the-art equipment such as Nu-steps, elliptical, recumbent bikes, and pneumatic resistance training machines.

Good news!  An additional staff person will be present on the floor to assist residents with orientations to the new equipment, as well as teaching additional group fitness classes.

David Houle, Plymouth Harbor, Senior living communityYou can read his bio, short, sweet and high-impact, on Oprah.com. It says, “David Houle is an award-winning futurist and strategist who has launched successful brands and is an in-demand speaker about the future. He writes the popular futurist blog Evolution Shift and lives his life slightly ahead of the curve.

On his own website, you can browse through a timeline of forecasts that illustrate his on-target futurist thinking as well as his speaking schedule across the globe. And then you can wander onto one of his YouTube channels and get lost in the forest of videos, each one more intriguing than the next.

You might wonder why all of us at Plymouth Harbor feel so proud of David Houle and his success as one of the world’s top ranked futurists and futurist keynote speakers on the world stage.  Well, he’s part of our family.

David’s parents, Bettie and Cyril Houle lived here at Plymouth Harbor from 1987 through 2000 and he visited many times during those years.   And this affiliation ran in the family even earlier as David’s aunt, Hazel Stevens moved into Plymouth Harbor in 1966 and was here for nearly 30 years.

Recently, David has been serving as a Futurist-in-Residence and guest lecturer at the Ringling College of Art + Design and took the opportunity to come visit with us. We talked about his family’s history in Sarasota – his grandfather had helped John Ringling with his development efforts and his father Cyril used to hide away in the old clock tower downtown on the bay front to read books in peace.  You have to smile when thinking of that image.  When Cyril and Bettie moved into Plymouth Harbor, they became instrumental in establishing the Library on the Mezzanine with their gifts of time and funding.  He thought everyone should have the luxury of reading books in peace on the bay front.

David himself grew up in Chicago and experienced over 20 successful years in media and entertainment earning many awards and accolades.  Then he turned to the future and has been speaking about the future for 7 years now. His influential first book The Shift Age was published in 2008 and his second book, Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education, written with Jeff Cobb was published in March 2011. The New Health Age: the Future of Health Care in America, co-authored with Jonathan Fleece, was published by Sourcebooks in January 2012.

His attention at the moment is on his latest book, “Entering the Shift Age” just published by Sourcebooks in January of 2013.  Residents and our Harbor Club members will have the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of this new Shift Age with David Houle in person at the Foundation Forum on Monday, March 25 at 3:00 p.m. in Pilgrim Hall.  He will lead us in a dynamic discussion on our entering the Shift Age, a time of transformation and change. The Foundation Forum is hosted by The Plymouth Harbor Foundation.

To quote from the introduction to his newest book:

David Houle, author, Entering the Shift Age, at Plymouth HarborThis will be one of the most transformative times in history. In the past, man-made developments like tools, machines, and technology defined an age. Today, Houle argues that our own power of conscious connection will fuel the speed of change so much that change itself will become the norm. In this eye-opening and thought-provoking book, Houle identifies and explains the key forces that have shaped our lives thus far—from business to technology to the environment—and how they will continue to affect your world for the next twenty years. Entering the Shift Age is your crucial roadmap to the future.

Are you ready to stretch your perspective far into the future? 

Henry and Janet Jacobs

It’s never too late for love!  New residents Henry and Janet Jacobs proved it when they were married onFebruary 11, 2013, in Plymouth Harbor’s MacNeil Chapel.

The newlyweds first became acquainted 35 years ago when they were both members of the ‘Swedish Walking Club’ in Maryland.  Janet lived in Timonium and Henry resided in nearby Towson.

Years passed and their lives converged again about 25 years later.  According to Janet, “things got a little more serious” between them during the past couple years.  They decided to marry and Henry made all of the arrangements in just seven days.  He said, “There was never any question as to where we’d have the wedding; the chapel is beautiful!”

Twenty-six guests joined the happy couple — friends and family from Michigan as well as several cities throughout Florida.  Henry’s 18-month old great-great niece, Reese Rose, served as flower girl.  The ceremony was followed by a dinner in the private dining room.

 

Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay is proud to present Black Orchids, an exhibition of photographs by Ellen Gottlieb Steele, in the Mezzanine Gallery, March 12 – April 22, 2013, with open reception Tuesday, March 12 at 4:30 – 6:00pm.

Ellen Gottlieb Steele has been a printmaker-photographer for many years. Her works hang in many private collections throughout the United States and Europe. In 2006, one of her photographs was chosen to be shown in the S. Dillon Ripley Center at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  Steele has had two one-woman shows in New York and this is her second show in the Mezzanine Gallery at Plymouth Harbor.

All of the images in this show are photographic. None of them have been altered by any computer-generated process. Their abstract nature is a result of the actual printing process itself. Some of them have been enhanced with the application of watercolor. The photographs were taken in Sarasota at Selby Gardens in 2012.

Black Orchids, an exhibit of photographs by Ellen Gottlieb Steele – at the Mezzanine Gallery at Plymouth Harbor, March 12 – April 22, 2013. Open reception, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 4:30-6:00pm.

It’s not Broadway, Off or even Off-Off Broadway, but the Plymouth Harbor Players is on a streak of smash hits with this latest production,” The Bride on the 17th Floor.”  This is the fourth in the series of Don Wallace’s “..on the 17th Floor” adventures with residents at, ahem, ‘Puritan Cove,’ where there’s always a bit of humor, and this time, a who-done-it  with some suspense. Did the ending take you by surprise?

The Plymouth Harbor Players - The Bride on the 17th Floor

The Courtroom in "The Bride on the 17th Floor"

The charm of community theatre on any stage is the courage shown by amateurs in the spotlight. Some of the actors in “The Bride…” courthouse scene had to memorize 20 consecutive pages of script and lively dialogue.  That’s a tough assignment, even when you have the safety net of an off-stage prompter.

Those stars included Bill Brackett  as Lionel Willet, the defense attorney, and Arnold Freeman as Philip Bostwick, the accused gold-digger or mourning newlywed, take your pick.  The ornery Judge Stanley L. Bernstein got some extra laughs with Bobby Broderick’s characterization. Heather Shaw played the sharp prosecuting attorney, Leslie Giles.   Stage Manager Jeanne Nunn also provided advice to keep the courtroom scenes realistic.  Former stage manager Peggy Wallace had some fun this year as the ingénue, the lovely and well-to-do Virginia Brown who married Phil and then disappeared on their honeymoon cruise.

Over 25 residents were involved in making this production a success, many of them behind the scenes.  Naomi Wittenberg pulled things together as the producer and several volunteers created sets, managed props and assisted costume changes with limited space and resources.

Plymouth Harbor Players on Stage

Congratulations to the cast & crew!

Anyone involved would quickly credit their success to the inspiring professionalism of the show’s writer and director, Don Wallace, who’s done a bit of this before.  He started working with soap operas on radio and television after WWII. Perhaps you saw his early directing on The Edge of Night,or the two shows that he helped create, All My Children and One Life to Live.

Don says writing the story is not so tough, but directing is exhausting!  There were three rehearsals a week since early January and auditions just before the holidays.

“Our amateur actors have something in common with all the professionals I’ve worked with,” says Don. “As soon as they get the script, they have changes to suggest!”  But seriously, he says it is very meaningful to work with the Plymouth Harbor Players.  Urging them to keep up the pace of action is more of an issue than acting skill or lines, but that’s not the reason this is important.  Both he and his wife Peggy were in agreement, the stimulation of acting keeps everyone young and it’s often a much needed escape from all other daily worries.

Does Don have something in mind for “something on the 17th Floor” for next year? “Perhaps,” laughs Don, “If we’re not on a cruise to Antarctica!”

The Cast

Barry Dobson, CEO – Harry Hobson
Samantha Tobin –  Ann Williams
Lionel H. Willett – Bill Brackett
Philip Bostwick – Arnold Freedman
Chiquita Mathews – Francie Jones
Virginia Brown – Peggy Wallace
Millicent Murgatroid – Anne Moore
Leslie (Les) Giles – Heather Shaw
Bailiff – Louis Schneider
Honeybunch – Carol Lawrence
Jury Foreman – George Spelvin

Kudos to everyone ‘behind the scenes’ as well!  Residents: Naomi Wittenberg, John DeJongh, Bruce Wallace, Peggy Wallace, Jeanne Nunn, Alida DeJongh, Robert Lawrence, Pauline Thoms, Bev Wright, Nancy Gross and Norma Schatz.  Staff:  Maryanne Shorin, Karen Smith, Hugh Kelly and Jeanne MacArthur.

By Becky Pazkowski, Vice President of Philanthropy

Last weekend, I was walking across the John Ringling Bridge on my morning walk when I noticed a women – of more years than I – walking along slowly, holding on to the railing. She wore a cotton house dress and carried a water bottle around her waist and a tote over her shoulder. Lots of people walk and run that bridge, as you are aware, but, this was the first time I had seen a women of this many years taking the journey.

Plymouth Harbor next to Ringling bridge in Sarasota

Many Sarasotans walk the bridge for fitness and peace of mind.woman – of more years than I- walking along slowly, holding on to the railing. She wore a cotton house dress and carried a water bottle around her waist and a tote over her shoulder. Lost of people walk and run that bridge, as you are aware, but, this was the first time I had seen a woman of this many years making the journey.

When I reached her I said hello and asked how she was doing. She was fine, she said. I asked if she made this walk often. No, this was the first time. I commented that it was a tough walk. She said it wasn’t tough, just long. She assured me that she was going to go slow, and was hoping there would be a bench at the other end where she could sit and rest while waiting for the #4 bus. Satisfied that she was safe, I moved on.

What happened next was wonderful. A young man (when I say young I mean in his 40s) was jogging behind me. When he reached me, he asked me if the woman was okay. I told him what she told me. He said his car was on the other side, and if she needed a ride he would be happy to give it to her. Why was this wonderful? This young man saw something out of the ordinary, and he stopped to see if there was anything he could do. He was probably busy, deep in thought, and could have passed by without another thought. But he didn’t.

After a few more steps, I stopped and looked back. The young man had waited for the woman and was talking with her. I waited a little longer until she caught up with me again, and asked if she was sure I couldn’t walk with her. She said she was a nurse, 90 years old, going to be fine, and very grateful for our concern. Then she said, “I am going to write to my daughters and let them know I found a couple more.” I didn’t ask what she’d found, but I assume she meant friends.

When I reached Bird Key Park, I looked back until I saw her making her way down to the Park. She had indeed made the journey, and I was glad to see that she had done it without our help, but certainly with a few caring hearts embracing her journey. It made my heart a little lighter that day, just letting her know that I cared.

That is what life is like here at Plymouth Harbor….caring hearts embracing each others’ journey. Many gentle acts of kindness happen every day at Plymouth Harbor, and we don’t always hear about them. We wouldn’t be surprised to know they happen, but it warms our hearts to know when it does.

Just last week, I learned of an employee who was on a family medical leave, and had reached the end of her own “paid time off” and would not be paid for the rest of her leave time. As is the case with most of us, that would have been devastating financially. Quietly, other staff member and management rallied around her and donated their own “paid off time” so that she would continue to receive a paycheck. She was touched and very grateful. But those who were able to help her felt even better than she did!

Another employee’s child was in need of a surgery, which would be covered through health insurance. However, the surgery had to take place across the state, entailing travel and lodging costs, something they were not planning on or prepared to pay for. The Plymouth Harbor Employee Assistance Fund, funded through donations, was able to cover those costs for the family.

Employees at Plymouth Harbor, organized under the caring leadership of Bert Adams (who you all know, I’m sure) have formed a group called Plymouth Harbor Volunteers Who Care. This group regularly gathers together to help All Faiths Food Bank distribute donated food to the needy. The group also has adopted John Ringling Boulevard in an effort to Keep Sarasota Beautiful, helped build Habitat for Humanity homes for our Sarasota neighbors, and came to the aid of those in Arcadia who needed relief during hurricane Charlie. When I spoke with Bert, her face lit up when she started talking about everything the PH Volunteers Who Care had done.

Together, we are a community of caring hearts, embracing the journey of others, performing gentle acts of kindness along the way. Stay alert, observe, and let me know of other gentle acts that you encounter. They are happening all around us, because it is how we behave here at Plymouth Harbor. I am proud to be among you.

Five Star quality and service is an everyday reality for Plymouth Harbor’s Swiss-born Executive Chef René Weder. Trained at the Culinary School of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Chef René further honed his skills at four and five star resorts throughout the United States during his 25-plus years.
Whether it was at the five star Boca Raton Hotel and Club, Hyatt Resorts in Hilton Head and Beaver Creek or the famous Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Colorado, Chef René’s exceedingly high culinary standards were met on a daily basis and diners were served in elegant style.
The results didn’t change when he made the move last year to Sarasota and took on the responsibility for managing dining services at Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay. He supervises a skilled culinary team and oversees service in Plymouth Harbor’s casually elegant Mayflower Dining Room and the Plymouth Rock Café. He is also responsible for the very active catering services which provide a unique resource for residents who wish to plan private parties, larger events and gatherings.
He plans regular dining adventures such as extravagant seafood buffets and a very popular Sunday brunch while never repeating a menu within a month. Residents vie for the opportunity to enjoy one of his Chef’s Tables with seating in the kitchen and a special menu prepared before their eyes.
While the culinary standards are high, Chef Rene has found another level of personal service that he can offer at Plymouth Harbor. “Our tastes change as we get older, and dietary restrictions complicate our dining experience,” shares Chef Rene. “Too often, establishments such as ours eliminate salt, or modify the preparation for all, which makes for an unnecessarily bland experience for some.”Chef Rene enjoys getting to know each resident prepares food to meet their specific preferences and needs.
“A fine dining experience is one of life’s greatest joys.” believes Chef René. “I would never want to compromise on this, and I don’t think our residents should either.”