The Best is Yet to Come–Kensington Park
By Christy Brudin
“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” croons Tony Bennett in “The Best Is Yet to Come.” Albert (“Al”) and Anne Fishman couldn’t agree more. Al, a former music executive who promoted many of Mr. Bennett’s hit records, and Anne, a former teacher, spent a lot of time planning the perfect retirement. Now, they look forward to seeing exactly what their future holds.
Residents of Kensington Park Senior Living in Kensington, Md., the Fishmans enjoy the variety of activities and amenities available at the community. After long and successful careers, they are happy to relax and let someone else do all the work.
Both natives of Michigan, Anne and Al met at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After graduating, they married and settled in Detroit. The couple went on to have two children, Karen and Joan.
An English major, Al’s first job was at a Doubleday Bookstore. He was quickly promoted to manager of the record department. “One day, I got a call from the Columbia Records distributor in Detroit. He wanted to know what I was doing with all their records—if they were being broken or stolen,” Al said. “He couldn’t figure it out because my sale figures were double and triple the previous year’s numbers.”
After learning that Al was actually selling all the records, the Columbia representative offered him a job. His proficiency for record sales led to a long and successful career. After more than 15 years with Columbia Records, he left for a brief stint with RCA before returning to Columbia, where he was promoted several times.
“My focus was artists like Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Dave Brubeck—all of the greats. I became good friends with them and just had a great time selling their records,” Al recalled.
His career in the music business ended with Epic Records, a subsidiary of Columbia, as the national sales manager. “At that point, rock music had come in, and they wanted somebody to run Epic and push this music,” he said. However, Al never felt the same connection to this new genre of music and decided that it was time to change paths.
When a friend offered to sell his dental supply business in Washington, D.C., Al leapt at the opportunity. After building the business and selling it to a larger company, Al has continued to work as a salesman. “I’m still working today,” Al said proudly. “I’m 91 years old, and I still have six customers.”
After raising their two girls, Anne became a teacher. As a young woman, she studied Spanish at the University of Michigan and spent time abroad in Mexico and Spain honing her language skills. When the couple moved to the Washington, D.C. area, Anne became a Spanish teacher for the Montgomery County School System, teaching at the high school level for more than 25 years.
“I think happiness really is enjoying your job, and I did for so many years,” Anne said. “One day, I found myself falling asleep grading papers, and I knew it was time to retire.”
The couple lived in a large family home in Potomac, Md., for 48 years, but after Anne’s retirement, they began to consider a move. “We knew we didn’t need the big house and the four bedrooms anymore,” said Anne. “Our daughters really encouraged us to think about moving to a retirement community,” Al added.
At the suggestion of their son-in-law, the couple began working with a local care management firm, Debra Levy Eldercare Associates. After reviewing the Fishman’s needs and interests, the agency recommended five different retirement communities for them to consider.
“Over a period of a few months, we visited all these retirement communities,” Al said. “Kensington Park was clearly the one. It just stood out for so many reasons.”
Al and Anne fell in love with the intimate atmosphere and deep sense of community at Kensington Park. With only 61 independent living apartments, Kensington Park is a true boutique community. The community’s small size affords residents the opportunity to form strong connections with each other and the staff members. Staff members get to know all the residents and their families and focus on providing a warm and friendly environment.
In addition to the welcoming atmosphere, Kensington Park also offers comprehensive care options, with an assisted living community and memory care neighborhood available on the beautiful 8-acre campus. Under the new management team led by Director Tanya Walker, the community also continues to expand its schedule of activities and to enhance its connections with the surrounding city of Kensington.
Since making the move six months ago, the Fishmans have quickly settled into life at Kensington Park. Anne enjoys participating in exercise classes and visiting the fitness center. She also loves never having to make breakfast or dinner. “I think I even forget how to cook,” she joked.
For Al, Kensington Park provides both an ideal environment and peace of mind for the future. “I’m so relieved that we took our time and looked around and made a choice,” he said. “Our back wasn’t against the wall, and everything just gelled together for us so perfectly, from selling our house to moving to this wonderful community.”
After reviewing all their retirement options and choosing an intimate community that immediately felt like home, the Fishmans now look forward to many happy years. After all, they know that the best is yet to come.