Issue Date: Apr 30, 1999
Tickling the ivories Marshall Stalley found new life as a piano player when he retired from Rutgers in 1982 after a career that spanned 21 years. A sociologist, he was both an administrator and an educator at Rutgers. When he retired, he was teaching environmental studies at Cook College.
Two years into retirement, he attended a group course on jazz piano improvisation, and later took private lessons with the instructor. "I played piano before, but hadn't had any real theory or any real guidance in improvisation."
In the group session, he met a piano player who was also a drummer. He then put an ad in the paper and got a clarinetist who knew a banjo player -- and before long they had a Dixieland band together.
"We were all old, unemployed and retired," jokes Stalley, who is now 85 and lives with his wife, Ruth, in a retirement community in Bridgewater.
Marshall's Dixieland Band plays about once a week for senior centers and other groups of people who remember the classic jazz of the 1920s and early 1930s, before big bands.
"Darktown Strutters Ball," "Up a Lazy River," "Back Home Again in Indiana" and "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" are some of the tunes. "We only use the music to be sure that we are all in the right key. We find it works better that way," he says with a chuckle.
The band has had a number of Rutgers gigs including graduations for Cook and the business school. It has been a familiar attraction four times a year at the Rutgers Club for about 10 years. Stalley sometimes does solo jobs.
"We play for our own amazement," Stalley says wryly. "For those people who want to pay us, we've never turned it down. But we really don't play for money, just for fun."--Douglas Frank
Hiiii-Yaaaaah! Keeping active after her retirement two years ago hasn't been difficult for Nan Baldwin, a former career counselor who served the School of Law-Newark for 28 years.
"I choose to be busy," says Baldwin, a resident of North Bergen. "I worked all my life, and this is the first time I have the freedom of choice about what I do."
Baldwin, a fourth-degree black belt, teaches Seido Karate at the Golden Dome Athletic Center on the Newark campus twice a week. "I love teaching karate," she says. "It keeps me physically, mentally and spiritually fit. I've gained so much from karate myself that I felt the need to give back. I've developed confidence in myself, the ability to do anything I want to. I can go anywhere by myself. It's taught me focus: When I decide to do something, I focus until I accomplish it."
A karate teacher at Rutgers for 11 years, Baldwin's classes have evolved to include meditation, visualization techniques and breathing exercises. She also encourages her students to keep journals, something she's done for more than 30 years.
In fact, she's writing a book based on her journals that will blend her travels, her relationships and even her former job at Rutgers. "I tell my class that it's going to be an international best seller," she says with enthusiasm. "Now I think it will be made into a movie."
For Baldwin, making time to sit at the computer to write these days has been difficult. Each week, she takes four karate classes at World Seido Karate Organization and also teaches two spiritual metaphysics classes at the Unity Center, both in New York City. At Unity, she also teaches discovery classes to children on Sundays and often gives feng shui workshops to help people arrange their furniture to create energy in their homes.
But Baldwin gains the most satisfaction from the simple things in her life. Each day, she meditates for a half-hour and then walks her Maltese puppy, Jupiter, to the park and around the lake.
"I love my life," she says. "I'm blessed, and I'm very grateful. Every day I give thanks."--Alice Roche Cody
Back to the roots Thanks to retirement, Bob and Annette Winters of Sparta, Tenn., can regularly sport their costumes of choice: Bob dresses in a calico trade-cloth shirt, leggings and moccasins and wields a 6-inch knife, while Annette wears a wrap skirt and shirt topped off with beads and silver jewelry.
Since leaving their jobs at Rutgers in 1986--Bob as a maintenance mechanic for housing and Annette as assistant supervisor for payroll services--the couple has more time to spend portraying 18th-century Eastern Native Americans at living history re-enactments and demonstrations across the country.
"I'm just an Indian, I'm not a chief," says Bob with a laugh, adding that he's part Shawnee Indian. "When in costume, I always carry a knife. A knife to a native person was a tool. When I worked as a maintenance mechanic, I always had my belt knife handy to cut tile or old plaster. It's the same with native people."
Annette, who is an excellent seamstress, designs and sews all their historically correct outfits. She also weaves 18th-century-style sashes, ties and garters on her fingers, Native American style.
"You just can't go to a store and say I need this 18th-century shirt," says Annette. "I make all our clothes. We did research in reference books, because you have to be correct. There are knowledgeable people in the public and at re-enactments."
The two follow a Native American lifestyle as much as possible. Bob spends many hours examining excavated Native American pottery and re-creating the pieces at his home kiln. Also a skilled flint knapper, he re-creates spear and arrow points, knives, drills and scrapers that Native Americans used.
For Bob and Annette, the historical re-enactments serve as mini-vacations. "You get out there and forget the modern world," says Annette, who works as an educational assistant at the grammar school she once attended. "There are no clocks, radios or news. It's a good way to get away from it all, but it's a culture shock when you get back." --Alice Roche Cody
Way out West Throughout his 40-year career at Rutgers, Arnold Zucker always remembered the adage: "It doesn't matter what you retire from, it matters what you retire to." So, when he retired as head of Rutgers' office of state relations in 1991, he and his wife, Harriet, wanted to pick the perfect place to settle down.
First, they tried Santa Fe, N.M., but found the winters too cold. Then they visited San Diego, but found it too congested. Their next stop -- Vancouver, Canada -- passed the test. "This is the best joint to retire to," says Zucker, who can see snowcapped mountains from his home. "With each day that passes, we find it more enchanting and lovable than the day before."
Zucker fills his Canadian retirement with a wide range of activities. For one, he serves on the board of his local community center, a place where residents gather for meetings, exercise classes, yoga and ice hockey. Here he gives workshops on public speaking, which he calls joyful speaking.
Zucker also does voice-overs for commercials on a local cable network -- a throwback to his early days in Rutgers radio and television. And he's branched out into acting: Zucker feigns a specific illness for medical students taking standardized tests. "I spend the day following a script, taking on the role of an illness," says Zucker, who has pretended to have a broken leg, a heart attack and pneumonia.
The Zuckers also fill their retirement with travel. In May, they will visit Eastern Europe, stopping at Budapest, Vienna and Prague. This fall, they will tour the Northwest Territory by train. And each year they manage to return to Rutgers, Zucker's alma mater.
This is the retirement of Zucker's dreams. "Some people choose to sit in a rocker, and that's OK for them, but I'd go crazy," he says. "Retirement frees us to do the stuff we want to do. We don't have to punch the nine-to-five clock." --Alice Roche Cody
Hello, Philly! As former associate dean for academic services at Rutgers-Camden, Ed Mauger promoted the arts and culture on campus wherever he could. For the college's summer session, he organized a performing-arts program, which featured free orchestra concerts, dance programs and theater shows. When he ran orientations, he often included an introduction to the city of Camden.
After retiring and moving to Philadelphia in 1995, he formed a corporation called "Paideia" to celebrate the culture of the 18th century. This Greek term was used by the Athenians to signify all the elements in a society that help us to become more fully human. Paideia runs "Philadelphia on Foot," a set of walking tours that highlights the offbeat of Philadelphia's history.
"It's not a cookie-cutter tour where you go to the corner, give memorized tidbits, then go to another corner," says Mauger. "I'm able to integrate social history, anecdotes and architecture to help people make different connections. History takes on an added life, and visitors feel that they've gotten something special out of their visit to Philadelphia."
In the "Saints and Sinners" tour, for example, visitors explore churches and taverns and hear stories about the street life. The "Four Funerals and a Wedding" tour examines colonial history through events, catastrophes and weddings, including the funeral of Ben Franklin and the wedding of Benedict Arnold.
In anticipation of the 2000 Republican Convention in Philadelphia, Mauger created a walking tour for staunch conservatives that includes only right turns. For the liberals, he devised a tour composed of all left turns. There's a tour that features the women's suffrage movement and one on local graveyards. He also tailors tours for specific groups, such as judges, lawyers and history majors from local universities.
"I like to take people around the environment of Philadelphia," he says. "It has the largest collection of English colonial architecture -- 2,000 original buildings. There are wonderful neighborhoods that look the same as when Ben Franklin walked the cobblestone streets 250 years ago."
"Philadelphia on Foot" can be reached at (800) 340-9869. --Alice Roche Cody
This article was published in the Apr 30, 1999 edition of the Rutgers Focus and is available online at http://urwebsrv.rutgers.edu/focus/article/link/419/