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Community. Connection. Caring.
Dates to Remember
STL Village Nosey Neighbor Tour of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
Saturday, October 10th
Bus departs from Forest Park Visitors Center for a guided tour of Cahokia Mounds followed by lunch (Dutch Treat) at La Gardenia Restaurant. $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Pleas register at (314) 802-0275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
STL Village presents Village Aglow!
Thursday, October 15th
5:30 pm to 8:30 pm St. Louis College of Pharmacy
4588 Parkview Place
St. Louis, MO 63110
Fundraiser to benefit STL Village, St. Louis College of Pharmacy. "Lighting the Way to Aging Better Together".
More Information and Ticket Sales
Alzheimer's Meet Up
Wednesday, October 21st
Forest Park Boat House
6101 Government Drive
Join us for a short walk through the park as we recognize caregivers. Lunch at the Boat House to follow.
Please RSVP for any of these activities to: email@example.com or (314) 802-0275
|Spotlight on STL Village Volunteer Linda Pinsker By Jane Baker|
If you don't already know about her resilience and independent spirit, her witty streak or ironclad memory, you soon will.
The youngest of four children, Linda was born on the prairies of Kansas. Her brother and two sisters were 12, 14 and 20 years older. "That age gap had a direct bearing on my upbringing. I was more like an only child than the youngest child. Because I was born three hours before my sister, Judy, turned 12, she considered me her personal property," she jokes. "That worked for me when I was in my teens and would visit her in St Louis and she would buy me lots of clothes."
Linda's family lived a typical Midwest life: her mother was a fulltime mother; her Dad owned a small business, Pinsker Steel. Growing up, she took art lessons and loved helping her mother make Christmas decorations and Easter eggs.
She went through the large public school system in Wichita. In January of her senior year in High School it occurred to her that she should start thinking about college. Since no one in her family had attended college, this thinking was a radical new possibility. She went to the counselor's office, flipped through the thick college index and stumbled across Grinnell College. It met her criteria for being small, selective, liberal arts oriented, and not in Wichita. The rest is history. Her most vivid college memories include a Women's Lib protest against a speaker from Playboy Magazine and the fact that the generally long-winded Buckminster Fuller took only 22 minutes in giving his address at her graduation.
Equipped with a degree in American Studies, she briefly worked in a plastic surgeon's office and then started graduate school at the University of Iowa in January of 1973. She finished her Master's Degree in 1974 and started teaching History and Government at a High School in Kansas City. " I don't know what I was thinking," she admits, "I was only 24 years old and my students were only a few years younger than I was. It wasn't like I had a lot of tested wisdom to offer them."
A year and a half later, she was hired by a grant-funded program under the Health, Education, and Welfare umbrella to develop curriculum for a multi-cultural, non-sexist curriculum. It was also a time of transition in her family: her Dad died when she was 24, leaving the family business to her older brother. Linda also met Mary Lynne in Kansas City while working for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and the two soon became a couple. The two decided to move to San Francisco where some family lived.
The good news is that they liked California despite the fact that 80% of their income went to pay for their mortgage. "We ate a lot of rice and beans in those days," Linda reports. After that initial shock, they quickly learned the game of trading up, and ended up with a ranch house outside of Petaluma overlooking the hills of west Sonoma County. They lived there until 2002. In the California decades, Linda held a number of jobs. In 1984 she worked as the Director of Product Development for Krames Communications, a publishing company that focused on producing safety and informational brochures. Awhile later, Linda partnered up with two of her Krames co-workers to found Parlay International, which provided a similar service but with a focus on one-page reproducible handouts. "This was the dawn of desktop publishing," she explains. "The baby Mac had just come out. It was a time of electric change. It was a big learning curve, but I loved it." The ever-resilient Linda also took on new family responsibilities. When her brother died, the family tapped a long-time employee to manage the business under Linda's supervision. Then her mother moved to California to be closer to her daughters. Sadly, her sister Judy died in 1997, followed by her mother 15 months later. At that point, Linda left Parlay and moved back to Wichita to take on Pinsker Steel.
In her words, "It was not a good fit. And it was really hard. When you're leading a 48-year-old family business, you feel a responsibility to keep it going. I stepped into an especially difficult time-when raw material costs were fluctuating wildly." Locked into contracts with bids that did not reflect this fluctuation, the business suffered. Linda ultimately decided to shut down the business in 2004.
Since neither Linda nor Mary Lynne wanted a "real job", the two decided to buy a Budget Blinds franchise in Hutchinson, Kansas. "We did everything related to the business for the first few years." Using the principles of relationship marketing, they prospered. However, as time wore on, they realized that they wanted to relocate to St Louis to be closer to Mary Lynne's family.
They purchased a condo in the CWE in 2011 and rented it out for two years. Before making the final move they celebrated with a transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona. "My sister, Marilyn, thought we were crazy to be at sea for 6 days, but it's really relaxing." Linda's favorite part of the sea days was being on a flash dance team that performed on the day before reaching the Canary Islands. They arrived in the CWE in 2013.
It turns out that, thanks to her sister Judy, Linda knew the area. She remembers in detail the CWE in the 1960's when her brother-in-law would drive her down to Gaslight Square in his big-finned Cadillac. Top down on a hot summer night. She still recalls the honking cars, bustling crowds, and the beat of music floating out to the city streets.
"I've always loved music; it's almost a magical connection," she describes. "More than anything, I like moving to the beat. Unfortunately, Mary Lynne doesn't share that same enthusiasm. At our wedding in July 2015 (after 37 years of being a couple) she completely messed up the 3-minute Soul Train dance that we had learned and covered herself by accusing me of making steps up!" Indeed, a lot has changed now in the CWE. But the two enjoy its walkability, artsy feel and the many restaurants and free events. They've made it their home. On top of being a distributor for SendOutCards, Linda enthusiastically participates in the Tuesday night line dancing classes at Schlafly library. A carryover from her childhood, she continues to be a voracious reader, favoring mystery books where the main character is brilliant but flawed. In addition , she helps out with the bookkeeping for STL Village and co-chairs the Activities Committee. Through her greeting card business, she donates and coordinates the distribution of birthday cards to STL Village members.
"Mary Lynne and I joined STL Village initially because we wanted to expand our circle of friends to beyond our family, "she continues. "We've certainly accomplished that and more! In fact, a fellow member even invited us to stay with them while we were having our bathroom remodeled. That was a tremendous help and very generous. However, we mostly look at STL Village as a "pay it forward" investment. At this point, we really don't need services that they offer. To us, it's more of an insurance that STL Village will be around in the future. In the meantime, we're very much enjoying the social aspect."
Yes, let's talk about resilience, independence, and wit.
"Do you know how many times my career has been close to rock bottom? Each time, I was like, 'Girl, figure it out. Reinvent yourself."
|Interview with Village Member Anna Forder By Harry Wilson|
Anna graduated from St. Louis University in the early '60s and went to work at the Juvenile Court for several years. She then earned her master's degree in social work at the University of Missouri in 1967.
During the most intense years of the Viet
Nam War, she served with Catholic Relief Services in South Viet Nam aiding orphaned and needy children. She handled adoptions, resettlements, and pre and postnatal care services in an environment that was difficult and dangerous. In 1968, she transported two orphaned children to Australia, where they were adopted. She stayed on in Sidney to help run the child guidance clinic at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
Upon her return to the U.S., Anna attended night law school at St. Louis University, while working at the Juvenile Court as the supervisor of the adoption department. She graduated and obtained her law license in 1974, and then entered a solo law practice for five years.
In 1979, she applied for a position on the St. Louis Circuit bench, and was chosen for a judgeship by the late Governor Joe Teasdale. She thus became the first woman to serve on the circuit court bench in St. Louis and the second in Missouri, the highest trial court in the state. Anna served full time and then part time at the circuit court, for a total of 31 years. During that time, her best memories are as the Juvenile Judge. It gives her great satisfaction knowing she helped many juveniles get on the right track and turn their lives around.
As a part time judge, Anna also had the opportunity to try cases outside St. Louis. In particular, she recalls trying a long bench case (no jury) in Cape Girardeau that involved a contested will. A surviving spouse remarried, and when he died, the children of the first marriage and the second spouse ended up in an expensive and emotional trial over the estate assets. Good estate planning, she notes, would have avoided all of that. She now envision a new service for STL Village: provide legal assistance for Village members, such as inviting estate planning lawyers to speak to Village members about the advantages and potential problems involved in planning one's estate.
At the Village, Anna is a volunteer driver and attends Village events regularly. She would like to see a more diverse membership. She has a vision that the Village could raise enough funds to buy the now vacant Berger Memorial building and use it for offices, meetings, and its chapel.
Anna has two adult sons and five grandchildren. She attends St. Cronin's Church to ensure, she says, that she doesn't think of herself too importantly and to be involved in her life-long passion -- helping other people.
St. Louis Trivia Question:
Question: What makes the MUNY so unique?
(Answers on next page at lower left.)
since July 2015
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Contact us at:
or (314) 802-0275
We invite comments and suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Louis Trivia Question Answer:
Answer: The Municipal Theater of St. Louis, also known as The Muny, is the first and largest outdoor musical theater in the United States.
We wish to acknowledge and thank our Strategic Partners for their generous support.
St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors
A faith-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving seniors in the St. Louis, Missouri area.
Kuhlmann Leavitt, Inc.
A nationally known and certified woman-owned, multidisciplinary design firm located in St. Louis that creates fresh, intelligent, appropriate design solutions.
STL Village Leadership:
Madeline Franklin, Executive Director
Board of Directors:
Jennifer S. Kovar, JD,Co-Chair
Sally Nikolajevich, Co-Chair
Arthur J. Culbert, Ph.D., Vice Chair
David S. Weber, Secretary & Treasurer
Gail A. Brown
Robert 'Mac' Findeiss
Malaika Horne, Ph.D.
Tom Meuser, Ph. D.
Nancy Morrow-Howell, Ph.D.
Mary Alice Ryan
Gloria C. Gordon, Ph.D., Board Member Emeritus
Natalie Galucia, Ex Officio
STL Village News
A quarterly publication of STL Village
6633 Delmar Blvd. 2nd Floor,
St. Louis, MO 63130
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STL Village does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, marital status, familial status, disability/ handicap, or sexual orientation.