The Consumer Vision

May/June, 2011

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746 Telephone: 508-994-4972

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Publisher: Bob Branco

Editor: Janet Marcley

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Note: For searching purposes, three asterisks (***) have been inserted just before the beginning of each new article or section.



A Notice from the Publisher

Light for the Blind in the Philippines

The Growing Lament of the Poor

The Almost Chef

The Digital Age Goes On without Us

Ice Cream and Soda

Food and Drug Interactions, Coastline Elderly Nutrition News Community Notices


Celebrate Older Americans Months, Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

Consumer Vision Trivia Contest


A Notice from the Publisher

The Consumer Vision is putting together a cookbook of recipes from our readers. If you have a recipe you'd like to share with the public, please email it to or send it by regular mail to the Consumer Vision, c/o Bob Branco, 359 Coggeshall St, New Bedford, MA 02746.

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Light for the Blind in the Philippines

by Susan Jones

In 1972, a blind man named Dr. Arthur Lown retired from his job with the Atlanta Public Schools and set off with his wife Inez and their three children. They had been accepted and trained by Wycliffe Bible translators, and they were given the work of managing the guest house in Manila where missionaries could stay when they needed to seek medical treatment or conduct business in the city.

Not long after arriving in the Philippines, Dr. Lown was approached by three blind pastors who wanted Braille Bibles in their own language, Tagalog. Dr. Lown had experience providing Braille books for blind children in Atlanta. So he began the project, eventually providing Bibles in all three major Filipino languages in Braille, large print and cassette. But he also realized that blind Filipinos' needs were far deeper and more wide-ranging than simply providing Braille Bibles could fulfill. Most were uneducated and lived in abject poverty.

Being a man of vision, and realizing it would take a team of people to begin to accomplish all that was needed, in 1988, he founded the organization that today is known as Resources for the Blind Inc., RBI.

In 1991, they began educational initiatives. They envisioned blind children integrated into public schools, much as they are in the States, learning alongside their sighted peers. The process was long, and the obstacles were numerous. Teachers had to be convinced they could teach blind children, and needed training in the alternative techniques of blindness. Parents, who saw their blind children as a burden with no potential or future hope, had to learn that those children could grow into mature adults, living purposeful lives, using their God-given potential to make significant contributions to society.

Like many worthwhile initiatives, the ministry to blind people in the Philippines grew more multi-faceted. They funded hospital-based training for ophthalmologists, and Cataract operations; held camps where blind children could work on skills, gain encouragement and support from one another; and experience the love of Jesus through caring mentors and the study of the Scriptures.

Today, RBI holds workshops in the summer to train teachers to teach the blind and visually impaired children of the Philippines. They also prepare the blind children and their families for full integration into the public schools. They hold screenings for early detection of eye diseases. They conduct about 3000 cataract operations a year to restore sight to many who have lost it. They do early intervention with pre-schoolers, some with multiple disabilities, to prepare them for school and life. They provide counseling and rehabilitation services for people losing their sight, and for parents, to teach them how to raise their blind children. RBI partners with organizations such as IBM to provide computer and job-skills training for high school and college students. They send many of their finest teachers to the U.S. and other countries to gain knowledge and experience with which they can return to the Philippines and train more teachers. RBI produces virtually all the Braille and large-print books blind children need for their education.

Last fall, I was blessed to travel to the Philippines, and see all of this marvelous work. I met the director, Randy Weisser, and most of the staff; I visited blind people in their homes, and learned something of how they live their lives. The God-given inspiration and Asian ingenuity I witnessed were nothing short of remarkable. My goal in writing this article is to acquaint you, the reader, with this outstanding organization, and ask you to consider supporting them in whatever way you can. With your support, this organization has tremendous potential to expand into other countries where blind people desperately need the services they are prepared to offer. I encourage you to visit their website,, where you can find a wealth of information to further acquaint you with Resources for the Blind Inc. and their mission.

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The Growing Lament of the Poor

by Karen Crowder

45 years ago we heard of them in the Bible, "the poor will always be with

us, we give to the collection, We Donate boxes of clothing to charities

" "they are given to them:" They were distant, not us; we are comfortable and warm in our homes

Forty years ago they occasionally asked for money

The churches announced "give canned goods or food at thanksgiving

With the '70s' recession the lament was hushed; "they are not one of us

Thirty years ago we began hearing of "homelessness - people living on streets

They were people who did not wish to work? Or

Down on there luck they could not find shelter This never would happen to us.

25 years ago homelessness was often the news,

There were few shelters for working "people who could no longer afford apartments"

With sky rocketing rents homes no longer affordable

The poor , grew, the lament is louder

Churches ask for larger donations of clothing and gifts for "needy


Fifteen years ago the lament of the poor is strident

Churches hand out tags at Christmas

children's wishes for gloves to keep there hands warm in bitter cold Why is homelessness so rampant in a country still prosperous,

People are buying million dollar homes and condos, renting high-end apartments

People say they have to work harder for the American dream, , What is happening to the fabric of this great land?

With ordinary families on the street?

In 2010 the poor grow, Even people in nice apartments and homes With Jobs absent, people aging, anger and frustration growing Prices growing higher, government benefits getting scarcer The lament of the poor once hush is angrier

It could be one of us, a lost job inability to pay bills can land us on the cold mean streets

We raise our hands for help and know the frustration of the poor who are us

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The Almost Chef

by John Justice

It was the summer of 1967 when I first met Mr. Tetsarkis. At that time, I was working for the Sohmer Piano company as a tuner. I had just learned that the company was going to close down for an entire month. No one ever told me about that when I joined them a few months before. What was I going to do for a month? How would I pay my bills or even eat for that matter?

So there I was, putting the finishing touches on Mr. Tetsarkis's Sohmer console when he came in and introduced himself. He sat down to watch me and was impressed by the way I navigated around inside the instrument. I showed him how it was done and we began talking. This man was a chef but he was also one of those people who can draw your story out of you without even trying. I found myself telling him about the bad news I had just learned. He was quiet for a minute or two. Just about then, his two daughters came bustling in and he was busy with them. But he hadn't forgotten me. "If I show you how, can you run a dishwasher and sort silverware?" he asked. I replied that it wouldn't be the first time. "I used to work in the kitchen at scout camp, doing exactly that and putting away the dishes. It was one way to earn a merit badge I wanted." "Okay, Jack, that sounds good to me," said the chef. "Meet me tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. at Shraff's Restaurant. Do you know where that is?" I had stopped in there more than once to grab a sandwich. The next day was Wednesday and that was the day I began an adventure I would never forget.

Shraff's was silent and empty when I walked through the front door that morning. He must have been watching for me because Mr. Tetsarkis came and greeted me warmly. He showed me another entrance that led through a stock room and right out into an alley. "Here's where you come in. I made a place for your dog right over here in the corner. Jack, you can't bring her into the kitchen. I hope you understand that. We'd have all kinds of trouble with the Board of Health or whatever," he explained. "Just hang up your jacket if you have one and put on one of these white coats. We always have plenty of them back here. They're big enough to fit almost anyone." I knew that Star would stay right where I put her as long as I took her out regularly. As he was talking, I shrugged into the knee-length coat and buttoned it. The sleeves were long but he showed me how to fold them up and then came up with two sleeve garters. As he fitted them onto my wrists, he described what he was doing. "We all wear these, Jack, especially around the equipment in the kitchen. They hold your sleeves tight so they won't end up anywhere they shouldn't be." In my new white coat, I walked into the big noisy kitchen. Our first stop was a place where I washed my hands with special soap. The chef insisted that we all do this regularly. There was a sink and towels ready for anyone who needed them.

Then, Mr. Tetsarkis introduced me to the rest of the staff. There were a couple of women, some older men and a kid who couldn't have been more than eighteen. My work area was straight along one wall, just past the area where the salads were prepared. I could feel the heat from several different kinds of cooking equipment and I was a bit scared, at first. I shouldn't have worried though. Everything had safety railings or was situated in such a way that you could walk right past without getting into trouble.

The chef showed me the big Kitchen Aid dish washers. There were two of them, side by side, and they were the biggest dish washers I have ever seen! Each one had three shelves with wire racks designed for different kinds of dishes and there was a huge tray with square compartments to hold the silverware. He explained that when the dishes came out of the machine, they were so hot that you couldn't touch them right away. He showed me my work area, one section at a time. "These big sinks are to rinse the dishes before you put them into the machine. The busboys are supposed to scrape them before they bring them back here but make sure that all of the food is off of the dishes before you load them. One of these machines can get clogged and if it does, we have half the cleaning capacity and that really slows things down. When you're emptying the machines, you slide the racks out and put them over here on this railed stand. One of us will grab the dishes and put them up here in the storage area. But it's your job to make sure that the flatware is sorted correctly. One of the busboys or the waitresses will come in here and grab enough silver to set an entire table. It slows them down if they have to sort things out."

The breakfast shift had started and before I knew it, there were stacks of dirty dishes and bins filled with glasses and silverware piling up all around me. But soon enough, I got into the swing of things and was running both machines pretty well. Mr. Tetsarkis had some patience but it was limited. I heard him giving one of the prep cooks a tongue lashing because he didn't arrange the salad properly. "It's got to look good as well as taste good. Look at this mess! We're not running an animal farm here, Sam. I don't want to see a sloppy salad like that again. If I do, you'll be helping Jack with the dishes!"

The busboys did try to scrape the dishes but as Mr. Tetsarkis had warned, not everything was removed from the plates. Without being told, I changed the rinse water before it became too greasy to do any good.

There were extra tray baskets and flatware carriers for each machine. I would fill one and put it into the machine and, before I knew it, the next one was empty and ready for me.

The detergent was no problem at all. Instead of loose powder like the kind you can buy in a grocery store, there were premeasured cakes of Cascade, all ready to go. All you had to do was peel off the wrapper and put them into the compartment. With both machines going at full speed, we went through about 12 of those detergent cakes in one breakfast.

You don't think about what goes on in a big commercial kitchen like that. You just sit down, order a meal and it comes out hot and ready to eat.

Every person in that room had a job to do. One man was making eggs in every style you could imagine. Huge commercial toasters put out bread, English muffins, corn muffins and so on, twelve pieces at a time. At another work station, a lady was making home-fried potatoes, hash-browned potatoes, grilled tomato slices and so on.

Things quieted down a bit and I heard a sound I couldn't explain. One of the staff members would close down a lid, then you could hear a rumbling sound as if something was being thrown up against the plastic. After a few seconds, the machine would stop and then the whole process would start all over again. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked Mr. Tetsarkis what I was hearing. He chuckled and explained. "That's the potato peeler. We don't use pre-cut potatoes here, Jack. Every single potato, no matter what kind it is, is prepared by hand. They taste better that way. You're done for the moment so let me show you." He led me to a big machine that was about waste high. On the top was a big rounded plastic dome. He unlatched it and lifted it up so that I could feel the machinery inside. He warned me that the blades were sharp so I was very careful. There were several big cylinders stretching across the machine. Each one was fitted with blades that were designed to spiral around the shaft. Mr. Tetsarkis explained that the potatoes were washed and then placed inside this giant peeler. When the lid was latched down, a foot pedal was pressed and the rollers began to spin rapidly. The potatoes were rolled and tossed up against the dome. But each time they hit those blades, some of the skin was removed. Placed at strategic intervals throughout the machine were stationary cylinders which would bounce the potatoes right back onto the peelers again and again. I wondered where all of those peels were going and he showed me a deep tray which could be removed from beneath the cutting surface. He explained that the machine had to be disassembled and cleaned regularly. Everything could be removed and dipped in big utility sinks where all of the juice and fragments were removed.

By that time, lunch was beginning and I was back at my station, filling the dish washers and removing the trays when they were finished. As I worked, I heard bits of conversation all around me from the other staff members. Although each of us had a different task, we worked as a team. I realized that all of our work together was what made this kitchen operate successfully. Mr. Tetsarkis was everywhere, supervising one operation, jumping in when he was needed at one work station or the other. It felt good to be part of a work crew like that. Occasionally, I would hear Mr. Tetsarkis place a finished dish onto the slowly moving conveyer belt which carried the food out into the dining area. I would hear one waitress or another putting in her order and moving away to help the next customer. I found out later that each waitress or waiter had a number. When an order was ready, Mr. Tetsarkis would push buttons on a small control board and the corresponding numbers would come up on a screen just above the food conveyer. It was quite an operation.

I didn't realize how hot it was in that kitchen until later when I stepped outside for a breath of air and to walk that wonderful dog of mine. The temperature in the alley was probably in the 80s but it felt cold to me for a minute or two. During the lull between lunch and dinner, we could have anything we wanted from the menu. Everyone got a chance to eat. I can't remember what I asked for the first day but I think it was a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich. It tasted so good on whole wheat bread with a touch of mayonnaise.

Before I knew it, my first day was done. Mr. Tetsarkis gave me a word or two of encouragement as I took off my coat and got ready to leave. "You did very well, Jack. You'll be just fine here. I could see you getting used to the job and learning better and faster ways to do things. You are good with your hands. Maybe I'll show you a thing or two in the kitchen."

The next day, the young kid Kenny was placed on the potato peeler. But he wasn't really paying attention. He kept it going for too long and ended up with a dozen marble-sized potatoes. Mr. Tetsarkis yelled at him and decided to teach the boy a lesson. He made Kenny take the machine apart, clean all of the cutting rollers and empty the catch tray. Then he came over and asked me if I'd like to learn how to use that machine. "It's perfectly safe, Jack. The machine won't start until that dome is down and locked."

He showed me how to place the big Idaho potatoes so that they would get the best results. But I had one question: "How will I know when they're done?" "That takes practice, familiarity with the machine and common sense," the chef replied.

I stopped the first batch too soon and they weren't completely peeled yet. I put them back in for another couple of minutes and this time, I got them right. When the potatoes were peeled, I'd put them onto a deep sided tray right next to the machine. With all of that noise, I never heard anyone taking the finished product but somehow, they would disappear. The chef was pleased with my work and said so. After that, Kenny was doing the dishes and I was running the potato peeler. Then came the time to clean that machine. I have seen some messes in my day but nothing could compare to that peeler. The catch tray was easy enough to empty but getting all of those cutting cylinders clean was a real challenge. At first, it took me longer to get that machine back together but I learned quickly enough.

One day, we had stuffed peppers on the menu. Everyone who could be spared was recruited to prepare the peppers. Mr. Tetsarkis showed me how to

"crown" the peppers. With a sharp knife, you slice off the top where the stem is. Then, you reach inside, detach the seed ball and remove it. The idea was to do this without damaging the pepper. I did manage to ruin one or two before I got the technique right. At first, I did it exactly the way the chef had showed me. I would stand the pepper up and then slice the top off with the knife moving away from me. Mr. Tetsarkis insisted on that.

"If that knife slips and it's heading toward you, you're going to get hurt." But then I discovered a different way of doing it and for me, it was quicker. I laid each pepper down on one side, facing from left to right. Then, I would quickly slice down through the crown and flick the end pieces and the seed ball into a nearby container. I had no idea that some of the other people were watching me. Then Mr. Tetsarkis started to laugh. "See that? You guys just learned a better way from the blind man." After that, everyone was using my method and it was a lot faster, as long as the knife was sharp. I found out the hard way that it isn't a good idea to press too hard on a green pepper. The sides are weakened if they don't crack right away and when that happens, they'll come apart when you try to stuff them.

Kenny was really mad at me. He never said much to begin with but I had made him look like a fool and for that reason, he stopped talking to me at all. Then, he started doing things to make it harder for me. He moved the foot pedal on the peeler so I had trouble finding it. He moved a waste bucket out from beneath a counter just enough for me to kick it. Fortunately, I wasn't going too fast so the thing didn't tip over. At first, I didn't realize what was going on but it wasn't long before I got the message. But I always seemed to find a solution to whatever stunt he pulled. Then one day, he went back into the stock room and led Star outside. She was friendly and would go anywhere with anyone. Then he came and told me that she had run out the door when he opened it. That did it! I didn't say a word. But I went back to the door with my heart in my mouth. My God! What if she just wandered away? Suppose somebody came along and found her out there. They might steal her just because the opportunity was right in front of them. I told Mr. Tetsarkis what had happened and went out the door like an express train. But that incredible dog was just sitting there, waiting for me to come and get her. I picked up her leash and was turning to go back inside when the chef stopped me. "Wait a minute, Jack. Has that dog ever left a place where you put her before?" I shook my head. I thought quickly about the situation. The chef must have figured out what Kenny had done. He didn't say anything more at that time. I brought Star back in, put her into her corner and went back to work. At about 2:30 that afternoon, Mr. Tetsarkis called for a staff meeting. We all gathered at the first two tables, just inside the dining room. There were still a few patrons in the place but they were up near the front. The chef started asking questions of each person. At first, I wasn't sure what he was driving at but I did begin to understand. It appeared that Kenny had done a lot more things to try to trip me up but some of the other staff members intervened and did what was necessary to keep me from falling or getting hurt. His worst trick was when he poured some cooking grease on the floor, right in my path. Sam, the salad man, saw him do it and grabbed some paper towels just before I arrived on the scene. By the time Mr. Tetsarkis was finished, the kid was squirming in his chair and his face was red. Finally, the chef asked him straight out. "Kenny, were you doing all of this to try

and hurt Jack?" The kid was quiet for a minute or two but he finally admitted that he was furious when I ran the peeler better than he had done it. He hated running the dish washers. To him, it was the lowest, meanest job in the place. He said that only dummies or blind people were fit to run dishwashers. After that remark, everyone went silent. Even the three or four customers at the counter stopped talking. Instead of blowing his top which was what I thought was going to happen, Mr. Tetsarkis asked Kenny how long he thought the restaurant would keep going without clean dishes. Kenny was really getting embarrassed by then, so he wouldn't answer. The chef continued. "What is the one thing that is common to all restaurants, no matter what kind of food they sell?" When Kenny didn't answer, Roberta, one of the ladies on the staff, chimed in. "I can think of a few things but what comes to mind first is the dish washers." The chef nodded and continued with his comments. "That's right. No restaurant could ever function without someone washing dishes." I thought about that for a moment. Then, Mr. Tetsarkis made one more remark. "Okay, Kenny. I'm going to send you home for the rest of the day. I want you to take that time and think about what I'm going to tell you. I have given Jack all kinds of tasks since he started here. Not once has he complained or asked why. Not once has he done anything but his very best on whatever job I gave him. Frankly Kenny, I would rather have ten more Jacks than one more of you. Go home Kenny. Think about what has happened here. You can do one of two things. First, you can quit and never come back here again. Or you can give me your word that you won't pull any more of these childish pranks.

But if you do come back, let me tell you one thing. We'll all be watching you. If you step out of line one time, you are finished here. That's your decision, Kenny. If you can give me your word, then come here tomorrow and go back to whatever job I assign to you." Kenny stood and left the restaurant. I couldn't help wondering what he would do. After that confrontation, I wasn't sure I would be able to come back.

The next day, it was raining heavily. I brought along a big roll of paper towels because I was sure no one would want to smell wet dog all day long.

I brought her inside the stock room, took off her harness and used quite a bit of the roll, drying her off. She thought it was a big joke and tried to take the roll of towels away from me. Finally, she was reasonably dry and I found a trash can close by to put the wet towels.

I went inside and headed toward the dish washers, thinking that was where I'd be working. But there was Kenny, already lining up the trays and filling

the soap dispensers. Mr. Tetsarkis greeted me and brought me into the salad-preparation area. "I need someone to make fancy vegetables for a

lunch we're having today," he said. "I'm going to teach you how to make fresh vegetables look really nice. For that, you'll need a couple of

tools." He opened a drawer and produced some of the weirdest looking things I had ever seen. The first one he showed me was a device that would turn carrots into fancy curled strips which were used for decorating plates of tuna or chicken salad. First, you pressed the carrot onto a vertical spike. Then, you cut off one end and make it flat. Finally, you used a

tool which had a little drill bit on one end and a long sharp blade attached to it. The chef showed me how to insert the bit and then rotate the cutter, making neat spirals of the carrot. My first efforts made the cuttings too thin or too thick but it wasn't long before I got the idea. After that, it was just using a constant pressure and not pushing too hard.

My next job was to make rosettes out of red radishes. We used a smaller spike to stabilize the radish, and then cut the top of it right across in an X pattern. Finally we would run additional cuts right through that X shape until there were six separate cuts in the radish, each one about a quarter-inch deep. With the tip of the knife, we would widen the cuts a little bit to form what looked like the top of a rose. Then came the delicate work of what the chef called "leafing" the radish. Starting near the base of the radish, we would hold the knife at a slight angle and cut down just a little bit. Then we would rotate it on the spike so that the

cut went all the way around. Just as before, we would widen the cut a little. On a good-sized radish, you could do this two or even three times. When it was finished, the radish actually looked like the bloom of a rose. Mr. Tetsarkis could turn out quite a few of these in a relatively short

time. I was really slow at first but after a while, the process became comfortable. When the rosette was finished, I would put it into a stainless steel bowl and go to the next one.

Scalloping tomatoes was a messy job but I learned that technique as well.

We would use tomatoes which weren't too ripe. That was important. The

fruit had to have a bit of firmness. I would remove the top quarter of a tomato. The next part of this process was tricky. You had to make two cuts right across the fruit which were angled in such a way that they met at the base of the cutting. If you did it right, you could remove the trimmed piece, leaving a neat scallop which ran right across the tomato. The chef told me about a procedure for removing some of the tomato to create a bowl which could be filled with salad. He used what looked like a spoon with sharpened edges. Starting about a quarter inch in from one side, he would press the sharp edge down into the tomato and then rotate it with a twist of the wrist. The result was a beautiful scooped section which would hold the salad nicely. I made several of those and Mr. Tetsarkis was very pleased. Before I was finished, he was really impressed by the work I turned out and told me so. Sam and I worked side by side. He agreed with the chef about trying to watch precision work like that. "You have an advantage there, Jack. You're used to using your hands and not looking at what is going on." Mr. Tetsarkis told me that using touch in a situation like this was better than trying to look at the work. "After a while, concentrating your sight into a small area like that will give you a headache."

I was really beginning to enjoy myself and to feel at home in that kitchen. My month was almost up and I was seriously thinking about staying on at this job. On the last day, I asked for a meeting with the chef and we sat down together. I had butterflies in my stomach for sure, but I had to give my idea a try. "Mr. Tetsarkis, I really enjoy working in the kitchen. I like preparing food and I think I'm pretty good at it. I can only get better

with time. I was considering staying on if you'll have me and continuing to learn from you. What do you think of that idea?" The chef was quiet for a minute or two and I wished I could see the expression on his face. Finally, he broke his silence. "Jack, I could tell you that you are out of your

mind. I gave you a chance because I like you and I have seen how well you use your hands. But no one else in this business is going to see past your blindness. All they'll think about is the hundreds of ways a blind person could get hurt in a commercial kitchen. The thing is, they would be right. My staff is good and I have had talks with them about making sure you get from place to place without trouble. But in another kitchen, they wouldn't be nearly as considerate. Oven doors are left open while food is

transferred from one process to another. Knives are left out because it takes too long to put them away and then take them out again. Food gets spilled on the floor and nobody has time to clean it up. Grease fires start and everyone jumps to put them out. I am proud of my crew, Jack. They accepted you and you have become a part of our staff. But one of these

days, I'm going to want to retire. When I do, a new chef is going to start running things his way. Maybe he'd let you run the dish washers but that wouldn't be the only problem. Restaurant kitchens are a dangerous place for people with perfect vision. Besides, you have talents these people wouldn't dream of. You'd be wasting your time doing vegetable preparation or running the washers. No Jack. I think your future lies along a different path. I have enjoyed having you here but tomorrow, as we planned all along, should

be your last day. Go back to work for Sohmer or do whatever you want to do with your life but don't even think about working in a restaurant kitchen unless it's the only choice you have."

That was a hard pill to swallow. But I knew this man reasonably well by

that time. Once he set his mind on something, there was no way to change

his position. I went home that evening and spent half the night trying to cope with the chef's rejection. I didn't get much sleep. Finally, after going over things again and again, I resigned myself to the fact that I

would have to do something else with my life. I had dreams of making my way in the restaurant business, managing my own place some day. But the longer

I thought about it, the better I understood Mr. Tetsarkis's remarks. He was right.

The next day, I went in and everything went fine. I was back on the dish washers and wasn't thinking much about my last day. But 2:00 PM came incredibly fast. I was getting ready to take off my coat and just leave

when Kenny stopped me. "Mr. T wants to see you out front, man. You can bring your dog with you this time." So for the first and only time, I

worked Star through the kitchen and out to our usual tables. As soon as I came through the swinging doors, everyone started clapping and cheering. Kenny guided me to a seat at the head of the table. Star looked at everyone and wagged her tail. She and I settled down and Mr. Tetsarkis made a speech. "I don't want to embarrass you, Jack, but I have something to say. In all

my years, I have never known anyone to work harder or try harder than you have in this past month. We all feel that way. We are proud to have known you and we have a gift for you." He gave me two packages. One of them contained a brand new white jacket. The other one had a set of tools like the ones I had been using. I found the little block where I used to put the radishes and tomatoes. In its own little case was the sharp vegetable knife and here was the spiral cutter I used for the carrots. I have to admit that I had tears in my eyes. Mr. Tetsarkis patted me on the shoulder and spoke

to us again. "Wherever you go, whatever you do, Jack, you'll have six

people who will remember you for the rest of their lives." "Make that seven," said Kenny. "I tried to hurt you or get you in trouble and all you did was to try harder. I have to respect that, and I do." Every one of those people came over and shook my hand. Roberta kissed me on the cheek

and Anna, who had never said two words to me, gave me a hug. "I'll never forget any of you. Thank you for taking such good care of me for the past month. If it weren't for you guys, I probably would have ended up dead half a dozen times," I said.

Normally, I would have taken the train up to the George Washington Bridge terminal and then switched to the bus for home. But this time, Mr.

Tetsarkis drove me all the way home.

Today, some politician or bureaucrat might have made a big deal about the

way I was treated in that kitchen. Someone would probably have too much to say about equal opportunity and the rights of the blind. There is a time at which common sense has to over rule things like that. There are blind

people who work in kitchens, running dish washers or whatever task they are set to, but they are exceptions. Either they have unique abilities or the organizations employing them have made special arrangements with their lack of sight in mind. The fact is, a commercial kitchen is indeed one of the most dangerous work places imaginable. I salute those who do work in them and express my most sincere gratitude to those who have given the blind workers a chance.

John and Linda Justice

with Guide Dogs Jake and Zachary

personal e-mail:

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The Digital Age Goes On without Us

by Karen Crowder

Smart phones are everywhere in 2011

Companies smile boasting "every house should own one

they do so much, playing tunes, keeping finances straight,

Always informing us about current weather, time, and news of the day You

It is hard to keep up with aps twitter and emails

Have companies forgotten the blind?

They make token adjustments "there are so few of them."

For us the expense of an accessible smart phone might be too great There is hope with new accessibility laws now passed

It is said restaurant menus will appear on IPads

Companies are ferociously advertising this technology

They think "the blind" won't buy from us.

Our tiny minority has been forgotten by "big corporations"

In there haste to invent newer accessibility is forgotten,

Sadly we realize simple tasks we did independently

Turning on an oven heating or cooling our homes

Running our washer or dryer now take sighted assistance

adapting flat buttonless smooth screens

The word digital can

strikes terror into hearts of blind folks

It means lack of independence

That glossy screen looking so pretty, having no indentations for us.

Companies must sit up, take notice - new laws say we are not invisible Elderly and young people with little vision will be asking for

those old devices with knobs and buttons

A TV or stereo I can run with little sighted help.

This is not easy; everything now has flat screens, hard with failing eyesight

With innovation we will see a blossoming of accessible technology for all

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Ice Cream and Soda

by Karen Crowder

That dish or cone of chocolate ice cream tasted creamy and

Delicious on hot summer afternoons at an amusement park or beach

That soda was wonderful on sultry afternoons at the park fizzing

Filled with ice cold lemonade is just right on a sweltering afternoon

Mom and Dad say "don't drink too much tonic.""

Dad gives the dire warning "it can ruin your teeth."

Smiling children think "What do they know?"

Feeling the cool of the formica drug store counter,

We anticipated that delicious concoction

whirring in the soda fountain

Coffee cokes milk shakes,

a thick creamy chocolate frappe or ice cream soda

These treats special on summer afternoons.

Will our children miss out on these memorable treats,

Will they be allowed to try a frosty milk shake or real soda

In our artificial ice-cream and soda world

What memories will these fake creations hold

They will never know the delightful sip of syrupy fizzy cola

or that creamy ice cream cone

Which left lasting memories of summer on your tongue

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Food and Drug Interactions Coastline Elderly Nutrition News Kimberly Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.

Many older adults take prescriptions drugs and can be at risk for negative food and drug interactions. The effect food can have on medication can be either positive or negative. Food can either interfere with the body's ability to absorb a medication (which can result in a reduction of the dose received), or food can increase absorption (which can result in improved availability of the drug or risk of toxicity).

Let's summarize the most common problematic pairings between drug and food and their interaction. Please be sure to contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions regarding medications you take and possible side effects.

Drug Food

Drug Effect

Some Statins (e.g., Lipitor, Zocor) Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Increase

& Cranberry juice

Antidepressants (MAO inhibitors) Chocolate & other foods Increase

containing Tyramine

Allergy meds (e.g., Allegra) Black Pepper Increase

Anticlotting agents (e.g., Plavix) Fatty Fish Increase

Blood Thinners (e.g., Coumadin) Leafy Greens Decrease

Beta-Blockers Natural Licorice Decrease

Antibiotics Milk &

Calcium-fortified Decrease


(Source: Today's Dietitian, December 2010)


Community Notices

Hi, All,

Please read the following ad and feel free to also forward it to others. Thanks.


I am a teacher of English and a totally blind lady from Macedonia. I work in a school for blind children, but also co-operate with the Macedonian association of the blind. They run 2 magazines for the blind and one program related to people with disabilities on the national radio here.

If someone would like their story told in a written biography or an interview, feel free to email me at: I am sure the blind community and the producer would be happy to hear from you.

Looking forward to your replies. Adrijana

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by Lucille Burkhardt

Did you ever think that a mail-delivery service could be so stupid? Case in point, I, Lucille, had ordered a Persacorder cassette recorder from C Crane in California on Thursday, February 10th. Here it is, Thursday the 17th and it still has not arrived. I was as explicit with C Crane as I could be, so there is no excuse as to why the item in question should not have arrived on schedule, which would have been on Wednesday, February 16th. At last check, on the 16th, the item was located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Now, it should not take over 24 hours to travel approximately 25 miles to get to Little Rock. It was wrongly assumed that the customer (Lucille Burkhardt) was unavailable, when I was home all day. After talking with FedEx, and discovering some uncertainty as to the whereabouts of the item, I made it clear that under no uncertain terms, I wanted the item delivered promptly. As of this writing, the item has not arrived; but it should still expect to.

It seems that, with a company as reputable as FedEx, things like this should not occur. After all, what are tracking systems for? After this episode, I am requesting UPS, whose reputation, in my opinion, is flawless. I'm basing this statement on the experience I have had in dealing with them. Of course, the prices between the two carriers are identical, so I am not losing financially. I certainly hope that this episode has shed some light on things. With all the technology available today, it really makes one stop and think. Now, if FedEx had any "Common Sense," they would have phoned me, especially since I went out of my way to track this item down. When are people going to straighten up and fly right? After all, the only way to go is up. Now that I've decided to use the services of UPS, it's bon voyage to FedEx, which, by the way, is located in Tijuana, Mexico. What next, the Philippines? To this I say, "What a pathetic state of affairs."

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Celebrate Older Americans Month Coastline Elderly Nutrition News Kimberly Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.

May is known as "Older Americans Month"! The Administration on Aging now estimates that there will be nearly 72 million people over the age of 65 in the United States by 2030! People are living longer, but not always healthier.

There are many changes that take place in our body as we age. This means that it is extremely important to keep nutrition and healthy lifestyles a part of your daily routine.

Here are a few tips for living the healthiest life possible:

? Make sure you take enough Calcium and Vitamin D, to counteract the effects of weakening bones. You can get these valuable vitamins and nutrients from low-fat milk and yogurt.

? Vitamin B will help your digestive system stay on track, so make sure you include whole grains and nutritional supplements in your diet.

? Keep your body hydrated. Water is essential for helping your body flush out toxins and keep joints healthy. Besides water, it is a great idea for elderly people to focus on foods that are high in water content such as fruits and vegetables.

? Enjoy some good fat in your daily diet. Olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocadoes are all sources of good fats. Good fats actually help remove the bad cholesterol from your body.

? Incorporate foods that are rich in fiber to alleviate the common problem of constipation - especially when combined with staying properly hydrated. Whole grains, fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber.

Your body is constantly changing with its nutritional needs. Make sure to contact a dietitian if you need to better understand the best ways to get adequate nutrition in your golden years.

(Source: Insider's Health Newsletter, Volume 237, May 2010;

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Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the March/April Consumer Vision: The closest planet to the sun is Mercury. Congratulations to the following winners:

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts Jean Marcley of Brenda, Arizona

Chad Grover of Corning, New York

Don Hanson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Joe Tavares of New Bedford, Massachusetts

And now, here is your trivia question for the April/May Consumer Vision:

Name all five children on the Cosby show.

If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.

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