Program Report: Goldie Byrd – Alzheimer’s

 

Judy Kinney, who runs the Durham Center for Senior Life and has been a member of the Club since November, introduced Dr. Goldie Byrd, the project leader for the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Disparities Engagement Network as well as the Executive Director of the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health (COAACH) at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.  

Dr. Byrd began with some of the basics of the disease. Alzheimer’s, of course, is one type of dementia. There is no cure and nothing that slows down the progression.  The primary risk factor is age…it’s a disease that slowly destroys the brain and may be doing so for 15 years before any symptoms emerge. Ultimately it leads to death. 1 in 3 seniors will die of Alzheimer’s. 

Dr. Byrd was handicapped by having to condense a much longer presentation into 20 minutes, however, she approached it with good humor and several important themes emerged. 

First, if there is anything we can do ourselves to avoid or delay the disease is to TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES. She pointed out that Alzheimer’s is a neurological disease and the best defense is the same thing recommended for cardiovascular disease and lots of other problems that old age can bring with it, that is, healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction and, above all, don’t smoke.  The stress reduction piece of this formula always surprises me, but she pointed out that approaching life cheerfully reduces the chemicals the flood our system and protected us when avoiding saber tooth tigers was a major concern. I guess nobody lived long enough to get Alzheimer’s, which was only identified as a separate disease in 1906. Maintaining close relationships and keeping your mind active is also important.  [Read more…]

Program: Ashleigh Bachert – Durham Sports Commission

I took a look at the Durham Sports Commission’s website in preparation for writing this and noted that besides our speaker, Executive Director and Rotarian Ashleigh Bachert, the Durham Rotary Club is very involved. Rotarian Ingrid Wicker-McCree the Athletic Director at NCCU, and honorary member Dan Hill, who introduced Ashleigh are both on the board. Also on the board is former member Bill Kalkhof, the retired President of Downtown Durham Inc. Rotarians Shelly Green, the current head of Discover Durham and her successor Susan Amey were there at the meeting. Discover Durham nursed the Commission into existence and currently shelters and otherwise supports it. No doubt the city and county officials in attendance had a roll as well.

Ms. Bachert must have taken lessons from Kalkhof, whose updates on Downtown Durham were rapid fire and jammed with statistics and other facts that were impossible to summarize in these program write-ups.

Even if you didn’t know it already, the genesis of the Sports Commission in Discover Durham was pretty obvious with its emphasis on attracting sporting events to Durham to bring fans into town to spend their money and enjoy all of our attractions. Sports tourism is what Ms. Bachert called it.

Dan Hill introduced Ashleigh Bachert

To illustrate how this happens, Ms. Bachert went through an example of what it would cost a family to have an 11-year-old to play basketball competitively…it added up to about $20,000 annually. This would have shocked my father, whose primary investment for me when I was playing high school sports was fifty cents per practice for the two root beers from the drink machine that I would chug afterwards. If it was going to cost him even the 60’s equivalent of $20K I would have had to have been satisfied with a plywood backboard in the yard and a free library card.

[Read more…]

Program – Tom Miller: Preservation Durham

Who would believe a program about cemeteries could be so hilarious and yet informative? Tom Miller of Preservation Durham did just that.  Thanks, Tom.  In his introduction of Tom, Past President Don Stanger pointed out that our speaker had steered Hope Valley’s designation as a National Historic Register site through the rigorous nomination process.

As Tom pointed out, the success of any historic preservation group is measured by how much it can “slow down” the destruction of historic sites.  By that measure it appears to me that Durham began turning the corner by the early 21st century.

Tom Miller was introduced by Don Stanger.

Among Tom’s special interests are Durham’s cemeteries, especially its first public cemetery—Maplewood.  Earlier burials were on church grounds or in family plots.  Established in 1872, Maplewood was indeed the town’s first public amenity.  It was not universally popular.  Some residents probably thought proper streets or public water were more important.  But not recently arrived carpetbagger, Louis Austin, who had been drawn to Durham because its politics were dominated by northern Republican business interests.  Austin agitated for a ball-field instead.  To promote his cause and annoy his opponents he repeatedly fired a canon until it grew so hot it exploded.  Without family or funds, the mortally wounded Austin was interred in an unmarked pauper’s grave.  Diligent sleuthing in the late 20th century revealed its location, leading to the erection of a grave marker.

One of the most handsome and imposing mausoleums in Maplewood belonged to the Duke family.  Early members of that prominent family were initially interred there.  In 1935, shortly after the completion of Duke University Chapel, remains of the foremost Dukes—Washington and sons Ben and Buck—were transferred to the small Memorial Chapel situated to the left of the chancel.  Poor Brodie Duke, Ben and Buck’s older half-brother—and not as temperate in taste or love as they—remained behind in Maplewood.

Other significant individuals interred in Maplewood include Bartlett Durham who donated land on which a train station was built for the North Carolina Railroad and around which houses and business establishments began springing up in the 1850s.  Soon this town would be named for Bartlett Durham.  Another is W. T. Blackwell, the richest man in Durham, whose “Bull Durham” smoking tobacco generated his fortune.  Mail order tombstones, mostly from the early 20th century, are scattered about.

(A Hebrew cemetery would be established a few years later at Beth El Synagogue and in the 1920s the city of Durham constructed Beechwood Cemetery located near White Rock Baptist Church for African American burials.)

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg

 

New Member – Jim Tucker

Please welcome new member, Jim Tucker.

Jim Tucker is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist.  He co-founded the investment and financial planning firm of Tucker Bria Wealth Strategies, LLC.  He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jim enjoyed a successful business career prior to entering the wealth management field in 2003.  His business experience includes time as a Wall Street investment banker and as an investment manager for a regional mall real estate portfolio of a national insurance company.

Jim’s entrepreneurial endeavors include being a member of the management team that grew Natural Wonders, a mall-based nature and science gift retailer, from a venture capital backed start-up into a publicly traded company.  Additionally, he was an early employee of the Charlotte-based technology company, AvidXchange.

Jim earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University (A.B., Public Policy) and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jim is a former Duke University swimming record holder and current member of U.S. Masters Swimming.  He enjoys wine, food and travel or any combination of the above.  Jim’s service focuses are in the areas of affordable housing, K-12 education and autism.

Jim and his wife, Valerie Hausman, have two sons, Andrew (20) and Justin (18), and reside in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

New Member – Itir Keskiner

Please join us in welcoming new member, Itir Keskiner

Itir Keskiner is a Certified Life and Leadership Coach with her own practice in Durham, NC. After 15 years of consulting and marketing leadership experience at Accenture, Unilever, Samsung, and Burt’s Bees, Itir uses her expertise in leading organizations, driving growth, and solving problems to help her clients transform their lives and businesses. Itir earned her M.B.A. from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business in 2009 and her B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University in 2004. Itir serves on the Duke Alumni Women’s Forum Steering Committee and volunteers with various local non-profit organizations. Itir is an avid Crossfitter, world traveler, art lover, mom to five backyard chickens, and foodie.

 

New Member – Ralph Haynes

Please join us in welcoming new member, Ralph Haynes.

As a military child, Ralph was in 12 schools in 12 years, throughout the United States and Europe.  He subsequently became a physician, specializing in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine where he had been on the faculty of Emory’s School of Medicine until moving to Durham.

He and his wife, Patricia, an OBGYN, raised their six children to successful adulthood, one of whom lives in Durham and has the two grandchildren that have attracted Ralph and Patricia to this new neighborhood.

Additionally, he has had a second career: after completing the obligated military service of his generation, he remained in the US Army Reserves which provided remarkable opportunities for a change of pace as well as fascinating adventures to unusual parts of the world. He had the good fortune of serving at all levels of command, ultimately becoming a Major General and Deputy Surgeon General of the Army, and thereafter the senior medical general on the Staff of the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon until retirement.

Ralph joined the Atlanta Rotary Club in 1989; he has acquired many worldwide friends through Rotary and values this organization greatly and is therefore immensely pleased to join the Durham Rotary Club!