A Warrior’s Journey of Return

howard goldin girlI’ve known Howard Goldin for about 25 years. When I met him, he was Spring Valley’s Chief of Police, and he helped my kids do a science fair project on “the science of crime”. After he retired, he and his friend Ed Frank started sharing their experiences as combat Continue reading

History and Home Decor

ilanablog6“You have to be open to different things if you want your life to evolve,” Ilana says, and her story is a perfect example of that. As owner of Ilana Perles Designs and co-owner of George and Perles Estate Sale Services, Ilana demonstrates versatility and talent. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you that Ilana did most of the decorating in my house, including the design and remodel of my kitchen which I love. But Ilana is no ordinary decorator. When I worked with her, she used everything from her artistic talent to her love and knowledge of history to create the exact atmosphere I was going for. Continue reading

Music on Memory Lane

sheriblog3 “It feels like a new beginning!” Sheri grins, showing off her terrific smile. She’s not talking about her dental work – she’s referring to her new occupation. Sheri and her husband, video DJ Jeff Sherer, bring fun to senior centers and nursing homes. Jeff serves as the DJ and Sheri is the dancer. Together, they create a bright spot for their audience members, many of whom have uneventful and often lonely lives.

As scenes from musical performances and landmark events of eras gone by appear on a large screen, Jeff plays the music that takes his audience down “Memory Lane” while Sheri dances, “shmoozes” and invites people to join in. They have trivia contests where the audience gets a chance to win CDs from Jeff’s vast collection. It’s an extravaganza born from passion: a passion for music, and for caring. Sheri worked as a nurse for 30 years, fulfilling her innate need to nurture and care for others. Her partnership with Jeff is a fun, energetic way to express that same ability. Continue reading

Retro Rockland Reminiscing

 

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Gene with his puppy, Jackie

One topic that frequently comes up when chatting with patients is how Rockland County has changed over the years. “Life in Rockland today is a whole different ball game,” Gene Jackson says. And he should know. Gene was born in Suffern Hospital in 1943 and has lived in Rockland ever since. He grew up in Spring Valley and remembers that back then Rockland had many farms, and people would come to Spring Valley to vacation in hotels like Singer’s. Gene’s dad ran a landscaping business, Harry Jackson Landscaping. Gene remembers walking to school with his friends and coming home for lunch every day. He attended Spring Valley High School and has fond memories of an idyllic childhood. “It was safe to walk into town back then. We used to go all over the place by ourselves. If we got up to any mischief the police knew all our families and would just send us home to our parents.” Continue reading

Marketing, Marathons and Motherhood

tyblog1Tanya finds a free moment to talk to me as she’s putting the finishing touches on a speech she’ll be delivering to a group of interns next week on how to be successful in marketing.
“I’m trying to be careful and not sound like I’m full of myself, but they want me to talk about my successes,” she tells me, “I also want the chance to talk about Team Lifeline, I need to raise awareness whenever I can“. Twenty-nine years old, with seven years experience in marketing for the Assisted Living industry, Tanya was recently recruited to work as Marketing Director for Team Lifeline. The organization is an endurance training program that brings teams to destination races to raise money for its parent organization Chai Lifeline, a charity that benefits children with life threatening illnesses. Team Lifeline participants raise money through marathons 10K races and bike races all over the country. Continue reading

Coaching for Wellness

“With all the technology we have today, people actually get disconnected,” Suzanne explains. “It’s a blessing and a curse.  I’m using technology to reverse that.”

I’ve known Suzanne for about twenty-five years. She’s a high-energy mother of three who teaches full time. When she was doing her doctorate, she taught me the differences between auditory, visual, tactual and kinesthetic learning. I was surprised to stumble across her facebook page and contacted her to find out what it was about. Continue reading

Paint and Punchlines

blogvivian2 “I’m new to stand up, so I haven’t completely decided which direction to take with my material,” Vivian tells me as I scroll through pictures of her children and grandchildren on her phone. I’ve known Vivian for close to twenty years, watched her five amazing kids grow up in my practice, and I can tell you that she may be new to stand up, but she’s always had the gift of humor.
I first met Vivian when my daughter took her watercolor class, her talent and exuberance opening floodgates of creativity in her young students. Working out of her home as well as her studio in Nyack, Vivian produces vibrant colors and a whimsical style that echo her personality. Some of her work hangs in local eateries, and most recently she created the painting, “Prohibition River” as part of the Nyack Flash Sketch Mob. She’s also an amateur photographer with a keen eye and instinct for esthetics.
blogvivian3Vivian is a transplant from Asheville, North Carolina, the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Her family was featured in Helen Epstein’s book “Children of the Holocaust” because of her sister’s performance at the Miss North Carolina pageant of Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude, the music played during Hitler’s invasion of Poland. When I ask her about the experience of having Epstein write about her family, Vivan says “Oh yeah, that writer dated my brother for a while!”
As Vivian describes her experience doing stand up at Levity, the local improv comedy club, and considers going to an open mic night, she makes frequent stops to read and respond to text messages from her kids. Her eldest daughter (married to a dentist!) is moving to a new home. How soon will she be there to help with the move and the grandkids? Her youngest, studying in Israel emails an apartment lease in Hebrew for her to decipher, her son who writes apps in California is on a hike and she worries about him taking enough safety precautions. Through it all, Viv keeps the dialogue going with all of us in stitches. Her banter is sometimes delivered in a series of accents with facial expressions to match.
I want to ask her more – about the photography, the comedy, see some paintings –but Vivian has to go. Time to help her daughter with the move. This is a woman who can create art in many forms, but her most valued creation is waiting for her in New Jersey with two kids and a moving truck.