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‘Free to be yourself’

Irene Reiter relishes life at Ann’s Choice

Created date

February 21st, 2012

Why did Irene Reiter, who s heavily engaged in job and volunteer activities in Philadelphia, move to Ann s Choice, the Erickson Living community in Bucks County? I moved to Ann s Choice because I wanted a place with tremendous variety lots of intellectual programs, clubs and social activities, and a swimming pool and fitness center. Also, having somebody prepare my dinner every night was a big attraction. Irene, a Ph.D. and retired English department chair, loves books. Off campus she teaches literature courses in adult education programs three days a week, attends a literature study group, presents book review programs, and facilitates fiction book clubs. On campus she belongs to Learner s Forum, attends every course the Ann s Choice Lifelong Learning Academy offers, and gives intriguing presentations about items people take for granted or that have unusual histories. A bit of a ham, her programs always create a buzz, as when she dressed in period costume to portray Annie Edson Taylor. In 1901 Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Irene also captivated her audience with Tale of the Toothpick. She relayed the history, manufacture, distribution, and etiquette associated with the mundane and skinny sliver of wood. Ann s Choice makes it easy for me to do all these things, she says. You re free to be yourself. You do what you want, when you want. And the people are genuinely nice. She s usually only at home to sleep, which she does in the smaller bedroom of her two-bedroom Oxford-style apartment home. When she moved, she traded two separate apartments in Philadelphia for the convenience of two bedrooms in one apartment home at Ann s Choice. Her second apartment housed her huge book collection. Now her books live in her larger bedroom, double-shelved in custom-made bookcases crafted by the Custom Interiors department at Ann s Choice.

The joy of discovery

Since her move, Irene has developed a second passion, billiards. At first, she watched her neighbors play billiards in the Keystone Clubhouse lounge. Then one of them, James Bulera, asked if she d like to learn. She d never played before, and she thought she wouldn t be good enough, James says. Still, she gave it a try. She practiced and she s pretty good now, he says. A pool shark is a very good player, says Irene. I m a minnow compared to these players, who are all very good. But I m having such a great time, and they re putting up with me. She has her own cue stick, one she found in a thrift shop, and billiards buddy and woodshop member Dick Reppert made her a shorter bridge so she could more easily line up her shots. Before she moved, Irene consulted friends who already lived at Ann s Choice. They were people interested in many things playing Scrabble, cards, reading, birding, all kinds of things, she says. They could do all those things here, and they all were very happy. That made a difference.