Michigan man finds time to pursue his passions at active senior living community in Bucks County.
Dick Ault always wanted to be a writer. In third grade, he wrote a story about pioneers on a wagon train migrating westward. His teacher read it aloud to the class and proclaimed, "Now, that's what an adult story sounds like."
Some interesting career twists, including a two-year project in Australia, stood between Dick and his dream. But the published author now has two novels and one non-fiction book to his credit. Happily living at Ann's Choice, an Erickson Living-managed senior living community in Bucks County, Pa., Dick now writes every day. He is an active member of the writers' group and volunteers at the on-campus TV studio.
Through those pursuits Dick has met a number of fellow residents whom he now calls good friends. Janice Edelman, who also works at the TV station, is an avid pool player, and the two meet often for games. He found Chelsea Rounds and David Rector, the TV studio coordinators, incredibly helpful and welcoming. He also has become close to Gloria Donohue of "Nana's Cookery" YouTube fame, whom he met on a walk.
He credits his daughter-in-law with helping him find Ann's Choice.
"She and my son live in Yardley, and I wanted to be near family," he says. "My wife passed away in 2019, and I couldn't imagine living in the home we'd shared for 30 years without her." He came to Pennsylvania in the spring and toured several communities.
"I was struck by the positive things people said about Ann's Choice as we passed in the halls. 'Oh, you must move here. It's the most amazing place, you'll love it,'" Dick recalls. "The friendliness, plus the combination of things I was looking for, made Ann's Choice the clear winner."
Originally slated to move in March, Dick decided to wait until family visits were permitted. "I moved into my adult son's basement for three months instead of the other way around," he laughs.
He arrived in September, and has found it easy to meet people.
"Even with masks, everyone I encounter says hello and smiles," he notes. "All of my neighbors welcomed me, and we've become very friendly. It has been a positive experience."
The road to Ann's Choice
Dick is a native of Saginaw, Mich. After teaching for four years, he was named a high school principal at age of 27. He earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership and was invited to teach classes and supervise interns for a program at General Motors in Flint.
"They asked me if I was interested in a pilot program on social research in conjunction with the University of Michigan," recalls Dick. "The best part was relocating to Australia for two years. It sounded like an incredible experience, so I grabbed it."
He thought he'd return to public education, but spent 11 and a half years as an internal consultant for GM. In 1980, he joined the American Productivity Center in Houston as a senior consultant. After two years, he left to work with a variety of companies, including many Fortune 500s. When he retired in 1998, he thought he'd devote himself to writing.
"Unfortunately, I found the writing life to be isolating, so I played a lot of golf," he laughs. "I am now a reformed golf addict and write every day."
His two novels take place in different eras but share a political theme. The first, The Names in the Hat, explores issues affecting our democracy, with a love story in the background. The second, Dismissal, is set in Australia in the mid-70s.
"It's about an American expat experiencing Australia's greatest constitutional crisis, with a nod to the women's movement and the sexual revolution," he notes. "It's based on my observations, but it's not biographical," he says with a smile.
Dick is delighted to share portions of his work via taped readings produced at the TV studio. "It's a wonderful way to let others hear what you're working on," he says. "I hope people enjoy my writing as much as I enjoy creating it."
To learn more about Ann's Choice's active retirement lifestyle, visit AnnsChoiceCommunity.com.
Ann's Choice, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 103-acre campus in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,900 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, Inc., who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Ann's Choice can be found at AnnsChoiceCommunity.com
Photo: Dick Ault moved to Ann's Choice and immediately made good friends at the TV studio and writers' group. The published author writes daily and often shares his work in video segments produced by the TV studio. (Photo credit: Janice Edelman)
Written by Dorrie Anshel