BridgePoint resident pursues musical passion post-retirement

Mary Larsen/Town Crier
BridgePoint at Los Altos resident Bob Hodson’s plectrum banjo was made in 1930 – the same era as much of the music he plays.

For Bob Hodson, a resident of BridgePoint at Los Altos, retirement meant finally finding time to pursue a lifelong interest. After playing piano and clarinet in his youth, the banjo resonated with him in college, but learning to play it would have to wait several decades.

Original vs. Advantage: Two ways to get your Medicare

There are two ways to receive your Medicare benefits.

The more popular way is Original Medicare. With Original Medicare, you can choose any doctor, hospital or other health-care provider you wish, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider directly.

Resident celebrates 100 years of 'la dolce vita'

Courtesy of Patti Rose
Frank Mike Mazzola, above with his wife, Kay, commemorates a century of life.

Los Altos resident Frank Mike Mazzola turned 100 Oct. 1. While he did not get his picture on a Smucker’s Jam Jar for his 100th birthday, he celebrated locally at three special parties.

It all started with his family on his birthday. Then his neighborhood, Woodland Acres, marked the occasion with a house party. The festivities ended Oct. 12 with his friends gathering at St. Simon Catholic Parish for a party and Mazzola singing his favorite Italian song – in Italian, of course.

Retired engineer is a real 'ham'

Franklyn Weiss demonstrates one of his portable ham radios at Moldaw Residences last weekend. He said it’s been “a great hobby for the past 20 years,” allowing him to connect with people both locally and around the world.

Since retiring in 2001, former Mountain View resident Franklyn C. Weiss has given back to the community in several ways through his expertise in ham radio. He’s volunteered at El Camino Hospital and with the Mountain View Police and Fire departments, making sure the emergency radios remained operable.

Now living at the Moldaw Residences in Palo Alto with his wife, Harriet, the retired electrical engineer and patent attorney has been an amateur radio aficionado since his college days.

Memory guru performs unforgettable feats at SIR luncheon

Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Chester Santos impresses a Sons In Retirement crowd with his memory prowess during a recent Los Altos Hills appearance.

Memory expert Chester Santos wowed a lunchtime meeting of local retirees last week, first by remembering the names of all 50-plus people in attendance, then by asserting they could have great memories, too.

The self-described “International Man of Memory,” who appeared at a Sept. 4 gathering of Sons In Retirement (SIR) Branch 51, said his oft-performed feats such as memorizing names and decks of cards have been honed through training “that makes the most efficient use of the brain – everyone sitting here today, you are all capable of doing extraordinary things with your memory.”

Worried about Alzheimer's? How I found hope

My brother and I were hiking a few months after our mom, Carol Peters, died in 2009. We had watched her slow, inexorable decline over the last decade due to Alzheimer’s disease. It had been a tough, sad and painful process.

As we walked along the trail, we discussed whether or not we wanted to get genetic testing to see if we inherited the “Alzheimer’s gene.” I started the hike convinced that, yes, I would get tested. I wanted to know – learning is good, knowledge is power, etc. My brother was less sure. We discussed the possible outcomes, trying to visualize how we would react.

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