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Devonshire Times keeps community members informed

Created date

February 19th, 2018
Devonshire community members who write for or occasionally contribute articles to the Devonshire Times include (from left) Fay Shapiro, Adele Breslow, Jean Cohen, Dellie Rosen, Betty Lauer, and Jim Hix.

Devonshire community members who contribute to the Devonshire Times.

There’s no more delightful way to find out what’s happening at Devonshire in Palm Beach Gardens, than to read Devonshire Times, the community’s newsletter.

To keep community members informed on important community matters, each bimonthly issue features a letter from Executive Director Jim Wingardner and a report from Resident Council President Jack Head.

Every issue also includes a restaurant review, a book review that praises or pans without giving away the plot, and a photo centerspread of people having fun at Devonshire.

As the paper’s centerspread photographer, Betty Lauer displays a talent for catching her neighbors at their very best. You can’t help but smile, and wish that you, too, lived at Devonshire when you look at their happy faces.

Readers can also count on page after page of interesting articles about clubs, activities, and events taking place at Devonshire.

The paper’s staff of community members always finds just the right turn of phrase to capture and hold a reader’s interest regardless of the subject.

‘This activity is a good one’

Why do people volunteer with the Devonshire Times? Often it’s because they’ve simply been asked.

Jean Cohen, who moved to Devonshire from Singer Island nine years ago, has been with the paper for eight years. She was asked by the staff to join after she wrote a letter to the editor.

For her part, Jean keeps working on the paper because she likes to write. No spectator, Jean also likes to participate in activities. “This activity is a good one,” she says.

She doesn’t focus on one specific type of article; Jean is a generalist who writes deftly on just about any topic. For example, in an early piece she described the community through the eyes of the Devonshire shuttle.

A recent article, “The Secret (?) Mailbox,” provided a lighthearted, conversational explanation of where to deposit comments meant for specific Devonshire department heads or even Erickson Living’s CEO.

As Jean wrote, “We want you to know about the Brass Mailbox used for the Top Brass.”

Writers’ lives

Adele Breslow, one of the paper’s newer members, often pens first-person scoops about Devonshire’s various clubs and activities. She also muses about whatever piques her interest and she thinks would intrigue other community members.

Adele’s first foray as a writer occurred at age 10 when she launched a neighborhood newsletter.

“We kids were trying to get advertising from local stores, and we also sold the newsletter for about a nickel,” she recalls. “I wish I’d saved an issue because it was so bad.”

When the paper died after about three years, Adele put her pen aside until she found herself writing paper after paper to earn a masters degree in psychology. And then, after retiring from her career as a school psychologist, she wrote her memoirs.

Adele moved to Devonshire from Wycliffe Golf and Country Club in Lake Worth. “I think [writing for the paper] keeps me sharp,” she says. “And it’s creative in that I can pick my topics.”

Occasional contributor Dellie Rosen’s articles take much the same tack as Adele’s. Dellie, who moved from Valencia Pointe, has the ability to adjust her tone to match her subject. She slowed the tempo, for example, when she wrote about the calming benefits of Devonshire’s adult coloring group.

For another article, she took a conversational, tongue-in-cheek approach to share a slice-of-life experience that made readers feel as if she’d told them her story face to face.

Jim Hix, the Times’ newest staff member, is a retired engineer whose avocation is photography.

He and his wife Edie moved from the Berwick area of PGA National less than two years ago.

Jim is never without his camera. He uses it to record the Hixes’ lives, to photograph bird and animal life here, and to take photos at Devonshire events.

With the exception of the Times’ centerspread, he photographs whatever the staff requests. “I like that it’s a changing environment,” Jim says, “different people doing different things in different locations. I’m on assignment at least once a week.”

He considers volunteering with the paper to be one of the more fun things he does. Away from Devonshire, he also attends presentations at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in Jupiter. “They’re technical people,” says Jim, “so I enjoy the technical aspects of what they’re doing.

He also appears to be the paper’s technical translator, as evidenced by an article he wrote explaining in layman’s terms the functional elements of Devonshire’s operational weather station. Jim described how those elements apply to daily life and how they would provide data to Devonshire’s engineering staff in times of weather emergencies.

Everyone on staff is involved in other activities, which makes them excellent reporters about life at Devonshire and the people who call it their home.

“We always knew we’d move to Devonshire,” says Jean. We’d been invited to dinner there and knew how wonderful it was and how elegant the apartments were. As far as we were concerned, Devonshire was like the Taj Mahal.”

She, like all of her Devonshire neighbors, wouldn’t live anywhere else.