Boston Globe (November 14, 2010): Feeling Him Slipping Away

Publication Date: 
Sun, 11/14/2010

Bruce Vincent works his way up and down the aisles of the grocery store he has owned for two decades, methodically unpacking crates of food, stocking shelves, and breaking down the empty cartons.

Midway down aisle 2, Vincent hesitates, unsure where the fudge-coated peanuet butter cookies go. The redesigned package throws him, so he tucks them amid crackers on the top shelf and continues down the row.

On closer inspection, Vincent has left behind a trail of similar mismatches, which his 26-year-old son, Brian, now the boss, wearily but discreetly fixes. Used to be, the elder Vincent would gently correct the mistakes of his son, who started sweeping floors and stocking shelves at Vincent's Country Store where he was 10 years old.

That was before Alzheimer's disease.

At 48, a face still wrinkle-free, Bruce Vincent is starting to forget things he has long known - how to stock shelves, how to make changes at the cash register, how to read a digital clock. A casual  acquaintance probably wouldn't notice anything amiss, because he often obscures his forgetfulness with quick one-liners. But his family sees it.