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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Members of the Family /   Editorial List

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 Members of the Family

You are receiving this newsletter on the day of the 110th Fearless Caregiver Conference. The event is hosted in Boca Raton and I look forward to (or am in the middle of) a great day of celebration, wisdom sharing and community with the area’s family and professional caregivers. We will also be honored with the presence of a handful of our 2011 Caregiver Friendly Award Winners. Yet, one of the faces that I always look forward to seeing at our South Florida events will, for the first time in 16 years, not be in the audience. 

I grew up in North Miami Beach, Florida and remember many of those who lived on my street as being part of one big family—an extended family of uncles and aunts, if you will.  Each of them (for a little kid) having definitive personalities.  There was fun and funny Mr. Jack, who owned gift stores on Miami Beach,  Uncle Herbie, a cohort of the renowned drummer Buddy Rich and was (if you could call anyone this in the 60’s) the beatnik with the greatest records in the neighborhood. Uncle Billy owned a women’s swimwear (cool) company and drove an Austin Healy (even more cool, James Bond’s car). I never did find the secret weapon switches in his car.  Just down the street lived Aunt Gilda, full of bawdy jokes and big smiles, and her husband, Uncle Jerry, who owned restaurants and always made even a kid feel important.

As members of this community moved on and the houses became inhabited by at least a few more generations of kids, I know that they were all extremely important to helping me become who I am today. I honor them all and think it is important for professional caregivers to remember that every client or resident was once an Uncle Herbie, Mr. Jack, Uncle Billy, Aunt Gilda or Uncle Jerry.

Each and every one of my parents’ friends as I was growing up will always inhabit a special part of my soul and I am thankful to them all.  

Jerry Kay
June 28, 1919 - July 6, 2011


Gary Barg

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