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Author Archives: Trish Utter

Be prepared for the upcoming Florida Summer!

– Knowledge is Power!

by Christopher J. Balamucki, MD

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than 5.4 million cases diagnosed in over 3.3 million people yearly. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans can develop skin cancer in their lifetime. In fact, there are more cases of skin cancer each year than all of the cases of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer. There have been more skin cancers diagnosed over the past 30 years than all other cancer combined! As you may expect, it represents a tremendous cost in our healthcare system with an estimated $8.1 billion spent yearly treating skin cancers in the United States.

Local Celebrity Spotlight – Robert A. Rush, PA

Robert A. Rush is one of only four attorneys in the State of Florida who has been designated an expert in both Civil and Criminal law, but you probably don’t know that he produced a Broadway Show about Elvis and that he does his own landscaping at his office! This down to earth attorney would rather hang out in his vegetable garden than be caught up in glitz and glam. Rush’s employees often get vegetables from his garden and homegrown flowers, which makes for a very happy office. This conservative, high-profile attorney has been caught listening to rap music. You can never judge a book by its cover!

Where are you from and why did you move to Gainesville?

I am from New York, but moved to Alachua in 1977 and attended the law school at UF. I still live in the same, small, brick house after all those years. I love the simple, tranquil lifestyle that Alachua has to offer.

How do you relax?

Ha, not much!!! I work at least 60 hours a week by choice, as I love what I do. When I can, I enjoy spending time with my horses and chickens. I also love to garden. My two German Shepherds, named Scout and Atticus, keep me busy with long walks in the woods. I enjoy a walk on the beach, but that is not very often.

Where do you like to go for a weekend getaway and why?

Amelia Island, as it has miles of unspoiled beach. It is so peaceful and quiet and is a good place for me to unwind with a good book. While I am there I like to fish, play golf and love the local food. Plus, it is only an hour and a half away!

Location, Location… Dislocation

When you or a family member are faced with a medical emergency, you look for the best, most efficient care possible, and what better than a full-service Emergency Room that is faster and closer to home? The Newberry and surrounding communities in Alachua County can now rest assured that the team at North Florida Regional’s Freestanding Emergency Room West End is fully prepared to provide them and their loved ones with some of the best possible emergency care.

In the past year, North Florida Regional Medical Center has achieved records that put Guinness to shame, With an AHCA certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, record growth for inpatient surgery, and 58% of the births in the community taking place at their Labor and Delivery department, it is clear that the hospital’s demand is ever increasing.

Those Who Help Others Sometimes Need a little Help Themselves

by Trish Utter

I have known the founders of Gentle Carousel, Jorge and Debbie Garcia-Bengochea, for years. Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is an award winning, all volunteer 501(c)(3) charity. They travel the country with their miniature therapy horses and help those that cannot help themselves. The Garcia-Bengochea’s started Gentle Carousel when they found that most horse therapy programs were designed so that people had to visit them, but as many are confined to a hospital bed, that would be nearly impossible. Their unique and well trained miniature horses that visit trauma victims and patients on location have become a huge hit all over the U.S.

It was a total shock when I turned on the news and saw that two of the Garcia-Bengochea’s beloved horses had been ripped apart and killed by roaming dogs! The couple live in the country. In rural areas, it has become a big problem with other land owners who allow their dogs to roam free. Even a small dog can cause a stampede of livestock. In this case, it had devastating results. I cannot imagine waking up to find your beloved animals mauled to death. One of the horses that survived was treated by a local vet, but later passed away from the injuries it received. A ‘Go Fund Me’ page has been set up to pay for the vet bills. Replacing these precious horses that have had years of specialized training is no easy task.

Bosshardt Realty – 30 Years of serving Gainesville

March 15, 2017, marked the 30th Anniversary for Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC. Carol Bosshardt, owner and founder of the company, opened her brokerage with one simple philosophy – take care of the customer. For Carol, simply helping one sell or purchase a home was not enough. She wanted to base her company on world class service, establishing strong relationships, and giving back to her community. She has more than exceeded these goals.

Carol, originally from Rockford, Illinois, learned about real estate and new construction from her parents. Her mother was a Realtor, and her father was a builder. This foundation stuck with her even after she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelors of Arts in Social Work. In 1977, Carol integrated her mother’s experience with her own foundation in human services to follow her true calling: working with people. It is not a surprise that Carol received the Paul Harris “Service Above Self” Award for service to her community.

Carol chose to open her own real estate brokerage because she wanted to make the real estate industry more professional than what she had been experiencing for the 10 years prior. She recalls the level of training and professional services in Madison, Wisconsin, was far superior to what she was experiencing in Alachua County. It was her mission to do something about that. She wanted her company to have high training standards, the highest level of professional services, and truly give back to the community that would offer her these successes.

America’s Most Jaw Dropping Piece of Real Estate

The mountain air is fresh in Ashville, North Carolina. The huge, beautiful trees sweep across the 3-mile driveway. The winding narrow approach road gives visitors time to sit and relax, but wonder what is around the next corner, until you eventually get to a large iron gate, and then……….…the HOUSE!!!!!

If you ever wanted over the top drama and opulence and have a few hundred million to spend, then the Biltmore Estate is it. Some might say it looks like an English manor house, but you could put a manor house inside this gigantic mansion many times. It even makes Downton Abbey look like a dollhouse!

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning…or should I say…chucking out junk. I can’t believe I am still sorting out things from 20 plus years ago. Am I a hoarder? Things seem to be multiplying in the house. It is hard when you have had family things left to you as I have held onto things out of guilt. It is only now that I realize it is time to …let GO!

What got me started on this trend was when a friend of mine who has some beautiful clothes let me see her closet. Unlike my tightly packed closet this huge walk in closet was bare! I thought maybe she had been robbed! She laughed and told me that she only keeps things for a short time. “No point in keeping things I never wear,” she said. I went straight home and looked at each piece of clothing. How long had it been since I had worn it? Does it fit? Would I miss it? I threw out clothes that don’t fit. If I ever do lose weight to fit in them again they will be out of date anyway. If you have shoes that really aren’t that comfortable and haven’t been worn in years…toss them.

An Interview with Doris Meneely Scott at the age of 104!

by Trish Utter

Ward Scott has told me stories for years about his mother, Doris. How at the age of 104 she still plays the piano and enjoys the company of younger people. Doctors are amazed that she plays new music on the piano all the time.

“In the evening the family would roll up the rug, invite people over and they would play the piano, sing and dance” said Doris.

“She always stayed out of the sun. She doesn’t wear glasses, no hearing aids but she does not like her hair the way it is now. She does not understand tattoos, she calls them drawings,” said, Ward with a fond smile on his face.

Doris lives in Gainesville with her other son, Robert, his wife Joan and their 8 year old granddaughter, Hannah. Robert told me that he found Hannah and Doris playing in the back room with Hannah spinning Doris around in an office chair and Doris laughing her head off. He said, “It’s like having two kids in the house.”

What year were you born in and where?

July 25, 1912, Urbana, Illinois, the year the Titanic sank.
What was your childhood like?

Did you have a sport, hobby?

I most remember the Depression. When the next door neighbors lost their house, we took in the entire family for two years. We had a big garden and grew our own vegetables and fruits. When I graduated from Urbana High School in 1929, I attended the University of Illinois. I majored in Physical Education, was a member of the Gregorian Literary Society, The Academic Honorary Society Torch, and the Women’s Glee Club.

I earned a “Major I” at the University of Illinois and participated in soccer all four years I attended the university. I was also a toe dancer, an ice skater, took apparatus, and played volleyball. I even played baseball on a women’s team when women didn’t play softball.

When I graduated from the University of Illinois in 1934, I became a teacher in a one room school house in Dewey, Illinois. Later, after my husband went to war against the Japanese in the Pacific Theatre as an officer in the 77th Division, Combat Engineers, I taught Physical Education for four years at Champaign High School until he returned from the war.

I had a younger brother too, Ward, after whom my oldest son is named. When my brother and my husband left for war, I didn’t know if either one would come back. So I named my first son after both of them, Thomas, for his father’s first name, and Ward, after my brother’s first name. That way if neither returned, I had their names in my son’s name. My brother Ward died at the age of thirty-six from a complication from childhood diphtheria. It was miraculous that he lived through childhood at all, for little was known in those days about how to treat the disease.