Running the Show

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Irving Reines will always be a Brooklyn man at heart. He was born, raised, married and even raised his children in the New York borough.

When asked, he refers to his professional career as running a “folding box company” that he started in 1951. He made cartons, containers and packaging for products and had even won awards for his design and color use on a particular project.

After his wife of 51 years passed away, his daughter learned about B’nai B’rith Homecrest House, an independent living community located in Silver Spring, Md.

Irving and his family then toured the community over Thanksgiving weekend in 2001. Several months later, he became a resident, though he admitted it was difficult selling the longtime family home.

One of Irving’s major adjustments was having most of his relatives and friends back in Brooklyn, and for several years he would travel by bus to visit them. Irving, however, has his fair share of friends in his new home, being such an active member of the community.

Not only the captain of his floor, he takes part in the candle lighting for the B’nai B’rith Lodge at Homecrest House and recently joined the green team, helping to implement the resident recycling program.

It was soon after he arrived that Donna Tucker, the community’s assistant executive director, called him to see if he wanted to work in the convenience store. Carrying food and sundry items for residents, the store is open weekdays in the morning and early evening. Irving took over when the former manager left the community and now handles the crowds just as coolly and calmly. As residents walk into the store, they are greeted with his infectious smile.

When asked what his ‘bestsellers’ have been, he said, “Candy, ice cream and milk…we also have eighteen kinds of cookies!”

Irving, however, has his own favorite. “The ice cream pops are some of the best you will ever have. The best part is, when you’ve gotten down to the stick it says, ‘Pleasant Memories.’ That makes you remember when you were a kid and had Good Humor or Bungalow Bars!”

Six years ago, Irving also took over as moderator of the current events discussion group. He has helped the group grow to about twenty or thirty residents who meet weekly to discuss various topics such as the election, economy or even a recent movie.

Though his past will always remain in Brooklyn, it is safe to say that Irving has found the perfect home for his future.

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