By: Stephanie Vaccaro
Photos By: Mark Czajkowski
For many, retirement means life gets busier, and that’s been true for Prince Resident Bruce Jeffries-Fox.
Mr. Jeffries-Fox, now 61, spend much of his career in research, He was a research fellow for AT&T, where his work ranged from new product development to advertising to marketing and public relations.
He took an early retirement program and worked for a news analysis company, and then later launched his own public relations research consulting firm before officially retiring.
“So, I’m now here…supposedly retired by busier than ever,” Mr. Jeffries-Fox said.
After having lived in Cape May for a number of years, Mr. Jeffries-Fox and his wife chose Princeton because they wanted to live in a university town for its cultural offerings.
“I’m into music, and my wife is into art,” he says. “Princeton has so much to offer.”
So much so that they can’t do all the activities offered by the town, the university and Windrows, the adult community they call home.
“It’s wonderful,” he says adding that, by contrast, Cape May experiences a quiet period in the winter where many shops, theaters, and restaurants are closed.
He’s found that retirement has afforded him the time to actively pursue music. He plays in a professional band and has a recording studio in his home. He plays the bass, keyboards, a little bit of flute and violin.
Princeton Windrows has a number of musicians among its residents.
“There’s a very active music, sub-community, here — singers, instrumentalists — and we have concerts here all the time,” he says. “At least twice a month there’s some kind of a musical concert doing on. So, I just feel surrounded by music. Being that that’s how I really define myself in retirement, that’s terrific.”
Music isn’t his only venture. He also serves on the internal communications committee at Windrows where he’s getting to use some of his professional expertise to improve the communication of the community.
He’s also organized a croquet competition after discovering a number of fellow croquet lovers in the community.
“I came here having always loved a sport where you can walk around leisurely and talk and drink at the same time,” Mr. Jeffries-Fox says. “And that all sounds pretty good to me.”
In the fall they started playing in the community green over several weekends. Because of its popularity, they’re it up again this year.
“I’m more active now than ever because pesky work kept getting in the way,” Mr. Jeffries-Fox says. “And now with that out of the way, I’m free. And the people that I meet — I have folks here — other baby boomers — who are making movies, have taken up instruments, have gotten into photography. It’s a change to pursue all these lifelong dreams. And my friends are doing that.
He’s currently writing a science fiction musical based on the 4,000 year old clay tablets from Sumeria called “The Ancients.” “The tablets have a lot of interesting stories in them about where mankind came from, how mankind learned how to do things and how to have civilization,” Mr. Jeffries-Fox says. “And being a science fiction fan, many people interpret what is said there as essentially science fictions, that the gods came down from above. So, this is sort of a tongue-in-cheek musical about what they tablets say.”
The production will take place in his studio.
“People come in and record their parts and layer them together and build up an entire orchestra and so forth and chorus. And then it will be on my website as downloadable files.”
He likened the production to the “radio plays” of the past, when people gathered around a radio at home to listen to stories.
“It will be sort of like that,” he says. “We’ll do it in chapters, and you’ll be able to download like a 15-minute segment of it at a time.”
“Several people here at Windrows, musicians and singers, will be part of it,” he says. “But also, I have an awful lot of friends from Cape May, some of whom are Grammy Award-winning musicians. So, they’ll be the main musicians, probably.”
“The Ancients” is Mr. Jeffries-Fox’s second musical. The first was call “Garbage Dreams.”