Harwood Place Residents Publish Children’s Book

Harwood resident Betty Sydow’s bucket list wish to have a book published came true via a fable about a sparrow that evolved into a children’s book “The Adventures of a Sparrow Named Stanley.” Sydow, who wrote the story in a creative writing class at Harwood Place, turned to her friend and artist Carolou Lennon Nelsen to illustrate the book.  With the help of Milwaukee-based publisher Hidden Timber Books, “The Adventures of A Sparrow Named Stanley is now available in print and online.

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Wauwatosa Now

The sweet and inspiring picture book for children ages 3-11 chronicles the adventures of Stanley the Sparrow, who wants to be famous and have more friends, but doesn’t know how.  A wise gray owl helps him along the way.  It includes 15 original watercolor pencil drawings by Nelsen and valuable lessons on friendship, persistence and individuality.

As part of the Lutheran Home’s 110th Anniversary celebration, Harwood Place, its sister retirement living community, created the Bucket List project and asked residents to share their requests. “We are so excited that Betty was willing to share her wonderful story, “The Adventures of A Sparrow Named Stanley” with us.  When I found out that she and fellow resident illustrator, Carolou, had been working on this project for over a year, I was immediately impressed.  Our residents have amazing talents, and this book showcases their determination and creativity,” stated Amy Bielawski, Director of Life Enrichment & Volunteers at Harwood Place.

“I am so grateful to everyone for the opportunity to have this book published and to Carolou for bringing the book to life with her beautiful illustrations,” said author Betty Sydow.  “The sparrow is one of the most underrated birds and I wanted to tell the story of the importance of being the best you can be, no matter how unoriginal you think you are,” she added.The book is available in hardcover, paperback and online nationwide at amazon.com, BN.com, iBooks, and other online retailers, as well as at the Harwood Place Gift Shop located inside Harwood Place at 8220 Harwood Ave, Wauwatosa.  This is the first book for both women.


A Bucket List ‘Slam Dunk’

The Bucket List Journey began with a slam dunk on New Year’s Eve! At the age of 82, it was Harwood Place resident, Rightie Pappenheim, who requested, to attend a performance/game of the Globetrotters on New Year’s Eve/Day. 

Not only was Rightie able to attend their incredible performance at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, she was also the recipient of a surprise visit by two members of the Harlem Globetrotters team! The Globetrotters were so delighted to hear they were a part of Rightie’s bucket list, that Slick Willie Shaw and El Gato Melendez made a special visit to her home at Harwood Place.  Rightie’s bucket list request, and her visit with the Globetrotters, caught the attention of many local, and even a few national, news and media outlets.  Rightie never imagined so much excitement would come of her request, but after all these years, she is happy that she can finally check this item off her bucket list.

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Take the Journey…

“If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page.” – Mark Houlahan

Join us in 2016 as we take the Bucket List Journey with the residents of Harwood Place Retirement Community!  No matter our age, we all have things in our lives that we wish we would have done, would have seen, and would have tried.  It’s not too late!  Harwood Place residents were given the opportunity to create their individual bucket lists, and it is our goal to accomplish as many as possible!  This is a unique opportunity for residents to share new experiences with one another as we check items off our lists.  We are very excited to take this journey with our residents and we hope you will follow us along the way!