Talents and Interests
Bring Buoyancy to Life at Pine Run Retirement Community
by Jennifer Updike

It is easy to see why artists and other creative souls are drawn to Pine Run’s lovely 43-acre setting on Ferry Road in Doylestown Township. Long green vistas surround charming apartments and cottages tucked into cluster neighborhoods, where paved walking paths connect explorers to water’s edge.
“Our Villagers often express that they feel a deep connection to nature here,” says Executive Director Maria Santangelo. “Whether you’re a birdwatcher, a dog walker, or simply seeking solitude, our beautiful landscape can inspire creativity.”

Meet Lou and Patricia Metzger
The Metzgers fell in love with Pine Run as soon as they decided it was time to find a retirement community. “Our roots are in the local area, and Pine Run had the vibe we were looking for,” note Pat and Lou Metzger. 
Even before they moved in, Lou says, “We thought: What a lot of creative people are here.” Pat, a talented artist who graduated from Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) says she was delighted to see how “curious and always willing to learn” Pine Run Villagers are. “People here have such a broad range of interests … it’s great,” she adds.
Perhaps the most important thing that attracted the couple to Pine Run, Pat says, was the “kind openness” of the residents. “That’s what impressed us the most.”
Both Lou and Pat are avid kayakers, having paddled in oceans, rivers, and lakes across the country and into Canada. They spent 14 days canoeing on one adventure, and countless hours both canoeing and kayaking. 
“It’s our passion,” says Lou. When Lou, who has always enjoyed woodworking, discovered that Pine Run had a fully equipped wood shop, he was “thrilled.” Just a few weeks ago, he launched an ambitious project to build a kayak from scratch.
With the help of master woodworker Irv Thompson, who heads up Pine Run’s wood shop, Lou is now building a 14-foot sea kayak of cedar strips, covered with fiberglass and epoxy. Pat, he notes, serves as his “artistic consultant” helping with design and wood selection.
“The boat has generated a lot of interest,” says Lou. “People stop by the wood shop and check out the progress. Interesting, friendly conversation always ensues.” This is another part of Pine Run that the couple greatly enjoys. “Pat and I appreciate the strong sense of community,” Lou adds. 
Add the bucolic beauty they find all around them to the living arrangements and the Metzgers say they find Pine Run meets all their needs. 
“I see birds, deer and the changing seasons, it’s so lovely,” Pat says. “Our apartment is bright and open with high ceilings, and yet homey enough for me to be comfortably immersed in my art studio, creating graphics for various activities here on campus, and reawakening my love of drawing and painting while Lou makes his way to the wood shop to add more strips to his developing kayak.”

Meet John Pinto
A Brooklyn native, John’s creative journey began as a teenager, when he left his high school track team, where he was a varsity sprinter, to join the drama club. It was a fortuitous decision. After a brief detour to Brooklyn College, he auditioned for the drama program at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts and was among the first to graduate from that division of the prestigious school.
Despite his talent, John says he “didn’t get too much traction on the professional stage.” He moved on to theater management, where he was a business manager for a touring company. Although he loved the theater world, he wasn’t satisfied with the money it offered. 
“I need to make a living,” he remembers thinking. With a keen mind for business, he took the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and was offered a full scholarship to Pace University, where he graduated first in his class.
While with the PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm, John was artfully matched with clients such as the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. In his finance role at a reinsurance firm, he traveled around the world with his wife, Joanne. John and Joanne’s fondness for all aspects of the theater never waned as they often worked together, with Joanne involved backstage with props, production, and set design.
John has returned to the stage in recent years, acting in 34 community theater productions in the area. “It feels good,” he says of acting again. “There are so many really talented people in community theater.”
When it came time to downsize from their Yardley home, the couple’s thoughts immediately turned to Doylestown and Pine Run. 
“There are great restaurants, the County Theater, Peace Valley Park, and a rich social and cultural life here,” John explains. “We knew Pine Run would be a perfect fit for us.”
Their beautiful, bright Pine Run cottage is appointed with decorations from the stage and their global travels. Joanne is very active in the community, enjoying Pine Run’s exercise classes, yoga, and helping run movies. 
“We love it here,” says John as he takes in the comfortable living room, which is flooded with natural light. “We don’t worry about a thing. We’re taken care of, and we don’t need to rely on our kids. We have peace of mind.”

Pine Run Retirement Community
777 Ferry Road
Doylestown, Pa.
(800) 992-8992

Photography by Allure West Studios


Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, February 2020.