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Bonus Years Biographies

A significant life often is the sum of little things

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 3, 2019 Have you noticed how some individuals and many organizations have a need to do “big” things with their time, talent and treasure?  For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – who has been making the rounds in Washington with a…

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A visit from England brings memories into view

Remembrances.  Reflections.  Recollections.  Time for musings is clearly a benefit of the bonus years.  With each passing year, our life experiences pile up.  Some we want to forget, especially memories of those times we got in the way of good judgment.  But most memories are rooted in positive anecdotes, rich tales or experiences that tell…

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Time to cultivate longtime relationships is a bonus years benefit

by Phil Burgess, unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, September 1, 2019 Tomorrow is Labor Day, first celebrated in 1882 in New York City.  By 1885, Labor Day celebrations had spread to many industrial centers around the US – and in 1894 President Grover Cleveland made it official, formally establishing the…

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Writer in bonus years has more chapters on her to-do list

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, August 4, 2019 (Photo credit: Annapolis resident Priscilla Cummings is the author of recently published young adult book, “Cheating for the Chicken Man”. (By Joshua McKerrow / Baltimore Sun Media Group) Renown cellist Pablo Casals once said, “The person who works and…

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‘Golden Girls’ sitcom gets real-life reboot

Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, June 23, 2019 In a recent article on aging, Kori Miller asks “How do you feel about growing old? For some, it’s a scary time filled with change and loneliness. But it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, it shouldn’t. We’re social…

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Bonus Years Interview in the Talbot Spy

The following article is used with permission from “Better to Wear Out Than Rust Out While Aging with Phil Burgess” by Dave Wheelan, published on May 28th in the Talbot Spy. For the last four years, the Senior Summit, an annual gathering for seniors, children of seniors, and caregivers on the Mid-Shore, has gone out…

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Some people are evergreens, never dormant, always renewing

Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, May 23, 2019 We’ve all heard of early bloomers, youngsters who perform at adult levels – and late bloomers, who are slow to get off the mark. These realities only show that different folks blossom in different seasons of their life.  But occasionally, we…

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Work after a life of work appeals to many in their bonus years

For those of us in our bonus years, conversations with children and grandchildren are usually satisfying, often sweet.  However, sometimes we’re faced with offspring who will skeptically roll their eyes whenever we speak with awareness and enthusiasm about issues they think they invented. Example: If you talk about recycling, some Millennials will dismiss your views…

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Telecom retirees answer call of history, preserve important artifacts

Unabridged from my weekly Bonus Years column the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, May 12, 2019 For nearly four years, beginning in 2005, I had the privilege of working as senior executive in the largest telecommunications company in a nation not my own.  That company was Telstra, Australia’s telecommunications giant, which also owned…

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Annapolis man turns his setbacks into a comeback

Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, December 14, 2018 Last week, Mary Sue and I were ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s red donation kettle located at City Dock by Zachery’s jewelry store in downtown Annapolis. That’s when I first met Steve Rice. Like many others that brisk Monday morning,…

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You can’t separate a boy from his toys, no matter his age

Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 23, 2018 I’ve known Bill Lesko for more than two decades. But not really, I discovered. Last week, I found out why: Lesko and his partner, Martha Fox, a retired elementary school math teacher, are always on the go. Lesko is always interesting…

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Thanksgiving, fall’s finale, is just around the corner

Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 16, 2018 Thursday next is Thanksgiving – first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789 and formally established as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. None of us should need a special day to count our blessings or express gratitude. Still, Thanksgiving…

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Disposing of cherished historic cars is a new kind of downsizing

Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 26, 2019 Our bonus years spark thoughts of “the good ‘ole days.”  I’m not talking about board games like Monopoly, card games like canasta or fads like hula hoops.  I’m thinking about important things – like your first car. My first car was…

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The need for transition assistance happens at all ages

Unabridged article from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 12, 2019 (The 50-seat Light House Bistro is more than a restaurant. It is also what some people call a “social enterprise” — a business enterprise that has social goals embedded in its business objectives. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Several months…

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Renaissance woman finds new calling in her bonus years

The American author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, told us that “Vitality exists not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” For a living example of “Fitzgerald’s Law,” journey down to Annapolis Maritime Antiques on Severn Ave. in Eastport.  There, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:00, you…

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Retirement, for some, is an opportunity to keep on serving

(Dick Libby, of Annapolis, officiated at the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan at Washington National Cathedral in 2010, 50 years after he had been ordained there as an Episcopal priest. [Capital Gazette]) Poet Robert Browning talked to us about “…the last of life for which the first was made.” For some, the link between the first…

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Downsizing to a condo does not require downsizing memories

This past week I crossed paths with one of the most interesting women I’ve met in a long time.  Her name is Anne-Marie Baikauskas (pronounced by-KAWS-kiss).  She lives in Heritage Harbour, an active 55+ community in Annapolis which includes a community center with many community amenities and social events.  Baikauskas lives in a mid-rise condo.…

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Only a genealogist thinks a step backward is progress

The Maryland State Archives, located on Rowe Blvd. just west of College Creek, is the central repository for what the law calls “state government records of permanent value….” including birth and death, marriage and divorce records, last wills and testaments and records of the history of Maryland – from the earliest times of Lord Baltimore…

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Retirement can be an experience with many chapters

(Photo Credit: In 2017, Craig Sewell, longtime chef and owner of A Cook’s Cafe in Annapolis, announced his retirement after 15 years. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Annapolitan Craig Sewell is, to my way of thinking, a poster boy for the way many of us will spend our bonus years: in serial retirements that…

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Good literature tells truest truths about death and dying

Last December, just before Christmas, I read a retirement story in the Capital about Michael Parker, a US Naval Academy English professor, due to step aside after 38 years on the Yard. A notice that someone is about to retire always catches my attention. However, buried in the Parker story was an added attraction: It…

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