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October 23, 2023 Leanne Hoppe 1.5 min read

CVCOA Partners with Mad River Libraries for Cycle of Memory Film Screen and Discussion

Waitsfield, VT (October 23, 2023): Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) has partnered with Mad River Libraries for a community film screening of Cycle of Memory, the new award-winning documentary about two siblings' bicycle adventure to find the memories their grandfather lost to Alzheimer's disease. There will be a short, facilitated discussion after the film, along with shared community resources to support those who are dealing with the impacts of this disease.

Open to the public and offered free at Joslin Memorial Library in Waitsfield, the film, which runs 72 minutes, will be shown on Sunday, November 5, 2023, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. This will be a dementia-friendly event. Those interested in attending can simply show up for the screening.

Library Director Cory Stephenson said, “The MRV Libraries want to provide space for people caregiving or living with dementia to get together and create community. This film also highlights ways for people of all generations to connect with loved ones with memory loss.”

Mel Schwartz escaped the Great Depression on a bicycle adventure he’d remember for the rest of his life. But when Alzheimer’s takes Mel’s memories away, it’s left to his grandkids to recreate the life-changing bike trip and find those memories again.

Guided by old photographs of the 1945 trip, they search for places aged by time. But while searching for Grandpa Mel’s past, the two are confronted with their own fraught history. If they’re going to complete the turbulent journey, they’ll have to face their own emotional potholes and tumultuous relationship.

With the help of a grandmother learning to live alone for the first time, Mel’s lifelong friend and co-adventurer on the bike trip, and a family collection spanning 1950s film reels to 1990s video tapes, Cycle of Memory explores the importance of intergenerational connection, healing painful pasts, and leaving a meaningful time capsule for the future.

CVCOA’s Director of Family Caregiver Services, Barb Asen, noted, “Navigating relationships, changing abilities and differing perspectives, this material invites us to think with honesty and creativity about making meaningful connection within and across generations, and even beyond lifetimes.”