Limitless Magazine

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For the Lake Norman area’s 55+ adults who place no limits on living their best lives!

March 2021

Diabetes +

Supermarket Shopping

The button


Vintage finds




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limitless letter

For the Lake Norman area’s 55+ adults who place no limits on living their best lives!

Publisher MacAdam Smith

Advertising Director

One in a Million I know a thing or two about collecting, at least I thought I did until this past week. My husband has always been a collector of many things, but when my son turned 8 years old, he taught him the importance of collecting baseball cards. It was a hobby they enjoyed working on together that soon became an obsession. Our vacations were planned around places that had great baseball and football card shops. It was always “let’s just stop in here right quick” which actually meant “we’re going to be here awhile.” Card collecting has been around for decades and apparently is still a fun and sometimes lucrative hobby. Today my son is 39 and still buys boxes and boxes of baseball cards in search of that one card that is worth millions. My husband has boxes and albums of baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards and even NASCAR driver cards

6 | March 2021

Sharon Simpson

worth $750,000; yep, that’s seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars! That’s a new house, a new car and some really cool-looking bedazzled boots.

hidden away in a closet. He hasn’t looked through them in years, but he can still tell you the ones he has and doesn’t have. The other day, these two avid collectors were comparing notes on what cards they have. My son pulled up a website that allows you to enter the particular card you have, and then it gives you its value. Much to my surprise, my husband has several cards that are actually worth big money! Turns out, he has Joe Montana’s rookie card (yes, I know who he is) which is apparently worth $3,900. That sounds like a Caribbean vacation to me! Plus, if it’s some kind of special rookie card, it’s

This issue we’re featuring a few collectors in our area who are not just in it for the money, but simply for the love of collecting. Stumbling over something of great value is just the icing on the cake. Whether it’s baseball cards, artwork, antiques or classic cars, collecting is a great way to make new friends, strength family ties and even advance your knowledge of history. For me, it’s about finding that very special Joe Montana rookie card worth $750,000. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have a few hundred boxes to start looking through . . . Happy collecting everybody!

Advertising Sales Executives Kelsey Innes Carole Lambert Beth Packard Trisha Robinson Kathy Wheeler Linda Wilson

Editor Renee Roberson

Event Coordinator Alison Smith

Social Media Specialist Lauren Platts

Graphic Design & Production Kerrie Boys, idesign2inc

Contributing Writers Trevor Burton Mickey Dunaway Bek Mitchell-Kidd Martin Rose

Cover Photo By Richard Rudisill


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About the Cover:

One Huntersville woman has been collecting buttons for more than 30 years.

March, 2021 | vol. 1 | No. 12

24 Explorers & Adventures 10 Treasure hunting

In Every Issue 18 This Month in History


Health + Happiness

Helping Hands

24 On the Scene

14 Smart shopping tips for Diabetes

22 A virtual day program at Hinds Feet Farm

26 In My Glass –



The grape that emigrated from Croatia

28 Limitless Learning –

Learn from the Experts

10 » One Man’s Trash

Be Bold 16 Gay Rudisill’s button collection

14 » Sugar Smart Shop

Advertising Profile 20 Albertine Florals Wine & Gifts

22 » Virtual Farm Fun

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Limitless Magazine is a 9-times a year publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Iredell County residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses. The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Limitless Magazine magazine is wholly owned by Oasis Magazines, Inc.

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explorers & ADVENTURES

TREASURE Hunting BY » Renee Roberson PHOTOGRAPHY BY » by Lisa Crates

10 | March 2021

Businesses help showcase the fruits of collecting

Browse the stacks at Old Dog Vinyl Records.

Popular Collectible Items » Vinyl records » Coins and currency » Antique furniture » Comic books » Classic cars » Old cards » Stamps » Vintage wine » Antique weapons » Jewelry Source: NewMediaWire


f you’re a collector, or simply enjoy browsing through the treasures of other people’s collections, add Main St. Antiques and Design Gallery to your list of places to visit soon. The antique mall is located three blocks south of downtown Mooresville, housed inside the former

Burlington Industries mill. Visitors can stroll through 160,000 spacious square feet of space and the treasures and collectibles of approximately 200 tenants. The building itself, with brick walls and original wood beams, lends itself to naturally showcase a variety of collectibles, antiques, vintage

clothing, artwork and custom upholstery. Michael Bay owns the entire mill property, which includes more than eight buildings and 40 acres. The 121-old structure that now houses Main Street Antiques sat vacant for almost 14 years before Bay saw the potential in the property and purchased it. | March 2021 11

explorers & ADVENTURES Model train enthusiasts will find a lot to love at this vendor booth at Main St. Antiques and Design Gallery.

Vintage finds

On a recent visit to the mall, I was first mesmerized by Toy Pickers, a vendor who specializes in selling vintage toys, games, cards and comics. It was fun to peer into the display cases and look at the carefully boxed toys I had played with during my childhood. It gave me several ideas for future gifts 12 | March 2021

for loved ones. Then, I moved on to see what some of the other vendors had to offer. Over the next two hours, I walked up and down the aisles, browsing collections of vintage records, dishes, home accessories, electronic equipment, cameras and much more. One person even had a display of antique cookbooks, which as an amateur cook, I found interesting.

I ended up purchasing a beautiful vintage vase and antique stainless steel coffee percolator my husband had been seeking out every time we went to a thrift store. I also found a homemade laminated wooden sign someone created using the Charlotte Observer article that ran right after the Carolina Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles and won the NFC Championship in January 2004.

A collection of military memorabilia to sort through.

I snatched it up quickly, knowing it was an item my teen sports-loving son could use for bedroom décor. A word of caution—checking out the treasures inside may help you work up an appetite. But don’t worry, though, you’ll find Alino Pizzeria and Barcelona Burger and Beer Garden right next door.

Those interested in selling and renting a booth through Main St. Antiques and Design Gallery can submit an application on the website, but word on the street says there is a wait list for vendors at this point in time. Learn more at

At first glance, it may seem like stores specializing in custom frames mostly work with finding the perfect way to showcase artwork and photography. But they can also help display memorabilia and collections LKN residents have brought into their homes over the years. Lake Norman Frameworks, located in Denver, has helped frame the sports jerseys of NFL and NBA players, NASCAR drivers, and create shadowboxes with wedding memorabilia and photos, vintage items passed down through families over the years. Owner Greg Cox is also community focused, often donating gift certificates to local charity auctions. Learn more at www.

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health + HAPPINESS

TOP 10 Grocery Store Tips for People with Diabetes

BY » Martin Rose


Be a Smart Shopper 14 | March 2021

or people with diabetes, smart grocery shopping and healthy eating play a key role in keeping blood sugar in the target range. We collaborated with Cheryl Kuhta-Sutter, RDN, LDN, a dietitian with Novant Health in Huntersville, to create these tips for smart grocery store shopping. Here’s what you should know: • Whole, clean food that is minimally processed will have the most nutrients and nourish your body. Food with a mixture of nutrients such as healthy fats, proteins and carbs keeps your blood sugar from spiking. • Aim for five items or less in the ingredient list. If this isn’t possible, compare other similar items and choose the one with fewer ingredients. • Planning saves prep time and creates balanced meals. The online tool My Plate (myplate. gov) can teach you how to create balanced, healthy meals. In the MyPlate model, half the plate is a non-starchy veggie, one-quarter is a lean protein and one-quarter is a whole grain or starch. When menu planning is complete, make your grocery list and stick to your list. • Don’t shop on an empty stomach – Grocery shopping when hungry makes you more tempted to put sweets and treats in the cart. Check your blood sugar before grocery

shopping. If your blood sugar is low you may not be thinking clearly, making it easier to buy tempting, empty calorie foods. • Shop the outside aisles for fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy or dairy alternatives, meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Generally, healthier and fresher foods are found in the store perimeter. • Shop the inside aisles for healthy options such as beans, lentils, flavored vinegars, spices, tuna fish, olive oil, and frozen fruit and vegetables (without sauce). • Choose whole grains carefully. The easiest way to know if a product is a whole grain is by reading the ingredient label and looking for the word “whole” as part of the first or main ingredient. For example, “whole” wheat, “whole”

kernel corn, “whole” oats. • Be wary of food claims like “lower in fat” or “reduced sugar.” Often these contain more carbohydrates than the original product. Aim for less than seven grams of added sugar per serving. • Always count the total amount of carbohydrates on the nutrition label per serving. Do not use a trendy term called “net carbs.” The American Diabetes Association and FDA do not recognize the term “net carbs.” This is a marketing trick to make people believe you can take total carbs and subtract fiber content to get net carbs. • When fresh fruits and veggies are out of season, substitute frozen ones. They should not have any added sugar.

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Hidden Gems Thousands of buttons found in one Huntersville woman’s collection BY: » Renee Roberson PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF: » Gay Rudisill


ost of us have buttons stuffed away in envelopes or drawers—buttons that come as “extras” with clothing just in case we lose one and need a replacement. Huntersville resident Gay Rudisill has those types of buttons, but they accompany 16 | March 2021

an impressive array of what is likely close to 8,000 buttons she’s been collecting since she was in her early 40s. That’s thirty plus years of buttons. They are displayed in beautiful glass jars, baskets and even in an old green battery case in her home and have served many purposes since she began her collec-

tion. She first discovered an interest in this type of collecting more than 30 years ago while attending an auction. She bid on a large batch of buttons, won them, and a collection was born. “Anytime I was somewhere, like a sale at a store, I would look for buttons,” she says. Some of her favorite places to

find buttons are flea markets, thrift stores, antique stores and garage sales. She especially enjoys coming across jars full of buttons where someone has been keeping them for years, and then decides to sell or donate them as one large group. Friends and acquaintances also gift her with buttons they find themselves

A treasured keepsake from Rudisill’s childhood is a cast iron child’s Singer sewing machine she got as a six-year-old.

about to donate because they know she’ll appreciate them. Rudisill says some of her favorite finds are buttons that look like they came from military uniforms, and ones from vintage coats (think the 1930s and 1940s) and glass buttons. “The most fun I have with it is imagining who wore these buttons,” she says. “What was the person like? What was the outfit like? What is the history behind this button?”

A family affair

Rudisill says there are a lot of memories that can be

found within those jars. They served as a bonding activity with her firstborn grandson. When he would visit with her, they would sit on her floor and sort, count and examine the buttons together. “We’d make patterns with them,” she says. “He’d practice counting with them, too.” About 15 years ago, she also found out her sister collected buttons. It was one of those things neither of us them had said much about, so they were surprised they shared the common interest. They enjoy hunting for buttons now

when they get together. Over the years, she’s used buttons from her collection to make homemade ornaments, and once she made individual Christmas trees out of dough and buttons to serve as miniature ornaments on the designs.

A lost art form

Rudisill says she believes everyone should know how to sew a button, and she occasionally dips into her collection if she needs to mend a shirt or pair of pants. Her mother sewed

beautifully, and she taught her daughters the craft. Another treasured keepsake from Rudisill’s childhood is a cast iron child’s Singer sewing machine she got as a child. When she was six years old, she went to the store and picked it out. That summer, she sewed her first outfit. She sewed all of her children’s clothes when they were little. And each of her grandchildren have sewed a pillow using that machine, and the machine still sits in her home today, alongside her many jars of buttons. | March 2021 17

this month IN HISTORY

Marching Orders BY » Mickey Dunaway


hese monthly columns can go hundreds of ways, and that is what makes researching and writing them so much fun. With “march” in the title this time, I thought I would look this month at significant military events in March. BTW: In an ordinary year, February, March, and November all start on the same day of the week. In a leap year, it is January, April, and July.


The siege and destruction of Fort Neoheroka began during the Tuscarora War in North Carolina. Attacked by a colonial force from South Carolina. Wouldn’t you know it!

historic Tuskegee Institute, too, where Dr. George Washington Carver taught and did his famous research into peanuts.


USAAF heavy bombers raid Berlin for a second time. About 10 percent of the 580 bombers were lost despite the escort of 800 fighters. So likely was the loss of bombers over Germany that crews were rotated out after ten missions. A good movie depicting the bravery of these crews is “Twelve O’Clock High” with Gregory Peck.

President Lincoln nominated Ulysses S. Grant to the rank of lieutenant general in March 1864.

Medal of Honor. When his unit was attacked In the Battle of Guildford by a North Vietnamese Courthouse, North Carolina, battalion near Polei Doc, he British General Cornwallis ran through the hail of enemy achieves a Pyrrhic victory fire to encounter several enemy over the American forces. 3-10-1864 at close range. He killed the Interestingly, a Pyrrhic President Lincoln enemy but was severely injured victory is so costly to the nominates Ulysses when blown from his feet by a victors that it is tantamount S. Grant to the rank of grenade. Despite his injury, he lieutenant general. And thus, to a defeat. After Guilford went on to destroy an enemy Courthouse, Cornwallis he became the commander machinegun position. Upon abandoned his campaign of all Union forces. learning his commander and to control the Carolinas. Before his appointment, only artillery forward observer George Washington had held had been killed, he assumed this rank. To this point, Lincoln 3-18-1970 command of the company. The U.S. postal strike of had made many mistakes Ignoring his injury and 1970 begins. It lasted for two refusing medical evacuation, with his generals, but on March 1, 1864, to use a mixed weeks. Army and National McNerney stayed with his unit Guard called out to stop it. metaphor, he hit a home run! until the next day when the Does cause one to wonder new commander arrived. how the average citizen could 3-7-1942 tell they were on strike?! First group of Tuskegee 3-29-1971 Airman graduate Army Lt. William L. 3-22-1967 Just off I-85, the Town of Calley Jr. was convicted Tuskegee, Alabama, hosts The 1st Sgt. David McNerney’s of murdering at least 22 actions on his day earned Vietnamese civilians in the Tuskegee Airmen National him the Congressional Historic Site. Be sure to visit 1968 My Lai massacre. 18 | March 2021


“Word of Honor” by Nelson DeMille is an excellent novel that uses the uncovering of a situation similar to My Lai years after the event as the plot of this intriguing story. --------------------------------O war, thou son of hell, Whom angry heavens do make their minister. Henry IV, pt. 2, 5.2 --------------------------------This quote is the epigram from my novel of the Civil War, Angry Heavens: Struggles of a Confederate Surgeon. With a new administration in Washington, all citizens must find ways of support so that we never become Ministers of Angry Heavens. Let us individually show other individuals by word and deed that we have affirmatively have the respect for the role that government must play in a civilized society.

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Special Advertising Feature

A Family Business That’s More than Flowers

Albertine Florals Wine & Gifts


hen Pam Hess, owner of Albertine Florals Wine & Gifts in Denver, made the decision to purchase the store from the previous owner two years ago, she and her family did so with thoughtful consideration. They wanted it to be much more than just a flower and gift shop, and their mission statement highlights that intent: Our primary goal is to honor creative expression. We will continue to help customers express their emotional sentiments through thoughtful floral arrangements and unique gifts; we will continue to support local artists by selling and promoting their artwork; and we will continue to foster a sense of creative expression in the community through lively gatherings and instructional classes. Pam’s daughter, Kate, worked at the shop as a designer for over a year before the owner decided to sell and 20 | March 2021

retire, and she approached her mom with the idea to buy Albertine’s. An artist in her own right, Kate manages the shop, and continues to create wedding and event arrangements and installation art. There are also 13 employees (many of them from the original store, including two floral designers with more than 30 years’ experience). Half of the store’s blueprint is reserved for work space and the other space showcases an impressive and unique array of gifts, wine and work from 17 local artists and artisans. “We work really hard at finding things no one on this side of the lake has,” says Pam. “I do my search for vendors starting in North Carolina. We are excited to share all the talent in Denver.” The store also hosts wine tastings twice a month, along with popup “sip and shops,” where local vendors can come in and set up tables to sell and demonstrate their products such as fine jewelry, homemade candles and hot cocoa

bombs. The space can also host special events such as book signings, painting and calligraphy classes and meetings for various groups. Albertine Florals Wine & Gifts truly is a family business. Along with Pam and Kate Hess, Pam’s husband, brother-inlaw, sister-in-law and her other children all help out in some form or fashion, whether it be repairs necessary to the space, technology, bookkeeping or taking orders and assisting customers. The store offers floral arrangements and delivery within a 17-mile radius, and they also keep busy with weddings, funerals and other special events. Customers can expect friendly and attentive service, and if they need help selecting the perfect gift, well, look no further than the carefully curated selection found right in the store. --------------------------------------–––––––– ALBERTINE FLORALS WINE & GIFTS 751 North Carolina 16 Ste. J, Denver 704.489.6202 |

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helping HANDS Hinds Feet Farm, located in Huntersville, is now offering virtual day programming to North Carolina residents with traumatic brain or acquired brain injuries.

Different programming at Hinds Feet Farm Traumatic brain injury survivors stay connected during pandemic

BY: » Bek Mitchell-Kidd PHOTOS COURTESY OF : » Hinds Feet Farm


arolyn ‘Puddin’ Foil started Hinds Feet Farm to help her teenage son, Phil, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. After many hard and sad years of trying to find a caring environment for Phil, the family decided to start a program of their own. Hinds’ Feet Farm now has two locations one in Asheville, and one on Black Farms Road in Huntersville. The organization cares for brain injury survivors,

22 | March 2021

lovingly referred to as members. There is a Residential Program which provides around-the-clock care and access to staff and experts including certified brain and therapeutic recreation specialists, and even an art therapist. Families are encouraged to visit anytime and be as involved as possible.

A high level of care

This level of care and access is uncommon. Martin B. Foil III, Phil’s brother and Hinds’ Feet Farm Execu-

tive Director says, “The closest thing to our program that I know of is in New Hampshire. There have been a lot of folks over the years that have voiced interest in replicating our programs in their own area/state but to my knowledge none have taken root.” There is also a therapeutic riding program, the “Equine Explorers.” Almost entirely run by volunteers, the program gives members the opportunity to learn about equine behavior and horsemanship, while also experiencing

sensory stimulation, response readiness, relaxation and often an elevated mood and self-image. Just like many organizations, Hinds’ Feet Farm has adapted in response to COVID-19 and now also offers a virtual experience. Members can Zoom in daily to engage with other brain injury survivors and participate in fun activities. Facilitated by the staff, members enjoy everything from discussion groups and dance to bingo and karaoke. There is no cost to the virtual members.

An unexpected bright side

Amanda Mewborn, Development Director, found a sunny side of going virtual, noting that “Before the pandemic, our Asheville and Huntersville members would get together quarterly to socialize. Now that we are doing virtual programming, we have been able to grow those friendships, and even start new ones. It has been an unexpected blessing for the members to get to

Members can also receive 24-hour care seven days a week at Puddin’s Place, located on the farm property.

spend so much time together and really find people they connect with.” The Virtual Day Program is currently offered: Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., with an additional afternoon session from 3 – 4 p.m. on Thursday and Fridays. Martin says his mother, Puddin, who passed away in 2010, “would be most proud of the hard work our members do every day and most importantly that they really enjoy being a part of Hinds’

Feet Farm.” Hinds’ Feet Farm is a non-profit organization that relies on support and donations from the community. Volunteer opportunities are available in many different areas of the organization. The annual fund is also a very effective way to ensure the ongoing success of the programs. To learn more, visit


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on the scene


Free Spin at Hearts on Fiber (Fridays) Bring

your spinning wheel, or drop spindle, or whatever you have to spin with and join like-minded crafters. All skill levels are welcome. This event is free and occurs every Friday and is usually outside the weather permitting. 4-6 p.m. Hearts on Fiber, 208 South Village Lane, Davidson,

Cardio Funk (Saturdays) Looking to change up your fitness routine? This class uses basic hip hop moves blended with high-energy cardio routines with instructor Lem Houston. 9 a.m. Pre-registration not required; register and pay at the door. $5 per class; $40 for a ten-class pass. Bailey Road Recreation Center, Bailey Middle School, 11900 Bailey Road, Cornelius, READ Davidson Discussion Panel (March 2, 16)

Join a virtual panel discussion of sequential portions of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson. Readers can read along in advance as “Davidson Discusses” portions of the book on these dates. 7 p.m. Stay tuned for registration information. To learn more about other books included in this year’s initiative, visit

Walk with a Doc (March 6) Join Cornelius PARC and Novant Health’s Lakeside Family Physicians for this walking

24 | March 2021

program designed for everyone interested in taking steps for a healthier lifestyle. You’ll take a few minutes to learn about a current health topic from a Novant physician, then spend the rest of the hour enjoying a healthy walk and fun conversation. It’s a great way to get active and enjoy all the benefits that come from walking. Free. 9 a.m. Space is limited; pre-registration required. Antiquity Greenway (meet at the trail head at 180 N. Zion Avenue, Cornelius).

Write Like You Mean It (March 11) Take a creative leap into the unknown. Explore the world of writing with fun prompts and supportive listeners. Register by midnight on Wednesday, March 10 with a valid e-mail address to receive the meeting link on the day of the meeting. Free. 10 a.m. This meeting is held virtually on Zoom.

WE’RE LOOKING FOR YOUR STORIES! Do you have a story idea for LIMITLESS you think our readers would enjoy learning about? Our May issue will explore adventures in the Coastal Carolinas, but we’re always looking for amazing movers and shakers in health and wellness and community volunteers. E-mail Editor Renee Roberson at



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in my GLASS

Vineyard in Dalmatia, Croatia, at the Adriatic coast.

Wherefore Art Thou, How one grape emigrated from Croatia and became “America’s Grape”

Daddy-O? BY » Trevor Burton


’ve got a Bucket List that has quite some depth to it. Near the top is spending some quality time with winemakers in Croatia’s wine country. Wine goes back a long way in this part of the world. Wine associated relics dating back over 2,500 years have been discovered. Greeks and Romans had their own influence on wine. Turks and the Ottoman Empire nearly spoiled the party. Fortunately, the Ottoman Empire was tolerant of Christianity. Priests and monks were permitted to continue making wine for church services. Catholic church traditions involving wine may have “saved” local wine production from complete extinction. Despite this long history of wine, Croatia has been somewhat of a vinous backwater until recently. Conflict and politics are a major reason. Under the communist system of Yugoslavia, wine production was centered in large 26 | March 2021

cooperatives. Private ownership of vineyards was discouraged. Quantity rather than quality became the main focus. In the early 1990s the Croatian War of Independence saw many vineyards and wineries destroyed. However, with the move back to small scale, independent producers, Croatian wines are once again pursuing quality. They are competing with the best in the world wine market. Along with the small scale, independent producers, there are many indigenous grapes that are used to make local wines. That’s another reason why Croatian wines are relatively unknown. For Western Europeans and for Americans, Croatian grapes are tough on the tongue to pronounce even though the wines are delicious on the tongue to taste. Grapes like Graševina and Grk, white grapes, don’t find their way to many western wine lists. Economically, I think you’ll see these

indigenous grapes overwhelmed by international favorites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Time is of the essence and I want to sip on some of Croatia’s indigenous treasures. There’s one Croatian grape that might buck the economic forces and that’s a neat tale. At the time of the California gold rush and, by way of Austria and the East coast of the United States, a wine found its way to quench the thirsts of the hordes of prospectors who flooded into California. The wine was a deep, hearty red made from the Zinfandel grape. Zinfandel became “America’s Grape.” Move forward in time to an adventure. A Croatian transplant, Miljenko Grgic, better known by his Americanized name, Mike Grgich, had become a winemaking rock-star in California. He noticed that Zinfandel wines seemed like familiar old friends. They tasted just like the vino his father

Photo by Trevor Burton

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fermented back in the Old Country. Grgich was not the only one to notice. A plant pathologist at UC Davis observed that Primitivo in the Puglia region of Italy closely resembled Zinfandel. Going directly across the Adriatic Sea to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, he discovered Plavac Mali, an indigenous variety that shared characteristics with both Zinfandel and Primitivo. Enter Dr. Carole Meredith, a grape geneticist at UC Davis and leading pioneer of DNA profiling. She began working with two Croatian scientists and the three of them went on an exploration quest. It lead them to a small vineyard. Many vines were intertwined and easy to confuse. However, the three explorers collected samples from a specimen identified

as Crljenak Kaštelanski (Tserl-yee-ehnak Kashhtell-ann-skee), a relative of Plavic Mali. Back home, after scientific analysis, Meredith wrote, “We have a match for Zinfandel. Quite convincingly, finally!” In a press release in 2002 she announced, “Zinfandel comes from Croatia. Crljenak Kaštelanski, Primitivo and Zinfandel grapes are a perfect DNA match.” She saved the Croatian grape from oblivion. Mystery solved. “America’s Grape” has Croatian origins. I’m hoping that Crljenak Kaštelanski enjoys fame in its own right and pulls along other indigenous grapes on its coat-tails. So, back to my Bucket List. Croatia; beautiful places to visit and some great grapes waiting. I’m bursting to get there.

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limitless learning

Where Will My Treasures Go?


uman beings have been collecting things since the dawn of civilization. We collect coins, stamps, artwork, comic books, dolls, firearms, figurines, baseball cards, memorabilia, china, automobiles, jewelry, wine, timepieces, antiques, and so on. How do you make sure your valuable and treasured collectibles will not wind up in the attic, a landfill, or a shelf in a local thrift shop? Or worse yet, become the subject of family strife and rancor? You need a written and legally enforceable estate plan that begins with a complete and thorough discussion about your wishes and concerns regarding your property, the future, and all your treasures, especially your family. Consider the following: Would it be best to transfer your collection during your lifetime or after death? What happens to your collection if you become incapacitated? Should you leave your collection to a charity or an individual? Do you want your collection sold and all the proceeds divided amongst your heirs? Are you concerned about protecting your family’s privacy; or are you comfortable with the details of your collection becoming a public record? Will a handwritten list referenced in your will be sufficient to transfer your treasures? Would it be best to transfer your collection to a Trust that plans for incapacity, protects privacy and assures that a qualified person distributes your property in accordance with your detailed instructions? If you want your grandson to have your coin collection, or your niece to inherit your artwork, you need to make your wishes known in a properly drafted and executed Will or Trust Agreement. If you die without a Will, the Court will appoint someone to administer your estate after your death. Family disputes over personal property will typically be resolved by an order to sell your personal property, including your collections, at a public auction, so the net proceeds can be divided amongst your heirs. To ensure that your treasured collectibles end up where you intend, reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney for help.

Louise Paglen, Estate Planning Attorney The McIntosh Law Firm, P.C.

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True Wealth– Pursue It Means Go!


s a child, I remember hearing that one of my relatives had won their state lottery. While it did not have a large effect on their lifestyle, it certainly was a stroke of luck. Though the outcome of winning was “lucky” the activity that led to the win is the basis of my focus in this first quarter of 2021 for True Wealth. Let me be more specific. Dream It - the January focus: Who would purchase a lottery ticket if they did not dream of winning it? My relatives imagined a different life for themselves due to the new found wealth they pictured they could have from winning it. Plan It - the February focus: They had to determine steps and consider their options. In this case buy the ticket, which may not have been that complicated but still had to exist. Finally, Pursue It – this month’s focus. They had to commit to and actually take action. Consider that in almost every sports race, whether horse, car or human, the word GO (or some kind of start indicator) starts the action. In your personal race to financial wellness, make this month your commitment to GO! Commit to start, to review your plan, and your progress on a monthly basis so that you can make adjustments as needed. Commit to increase your knowledge and become more educated about financial issues that may impact your wellness plan. Commit to a positive attitude because bumps will be encountered. And lastly, commit to celebrate your success as you move closer to your goals. Whether you like the phrase one foot in front of another, one hand over the other, travel the road one mile at a time, or my favorite, a pizza is eaten one slice at a time, financial wellness is an empowering journey not a moment in time. It is a trip meant to be traveled with the help and support of others and controlled by you. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

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What’s the difference between qualified and non-qualified money?


he financial planning community can be a confusing place even for experienced investors. One of the most common questions we’re asked is the difference between qualified (tax deferred) accounts, and non qualified (taxable) accounts. These are important questions, so let’s review this so you’re better equipped to understand how each account can work for you. Qualified accounts are most commonly your employer sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)’s 403(b)’s, 457(b)’s or even your traditional IRA. There are two primary benefits to qualified accounts. First, contributions to your qualified plan are deducted from your taxable income in the year that you make the contribution. Second, the growth on the account grows tax-deferred until you take money out. This offers compounded growth on your investments, which offers significant growth potential over time. But, you trade liquidity and flexibility for the tax advantages. They’re considered retirement accounts for a reason. The government has attached restrictions to ensure you don’t touch them before you retire. If you need money out of your retirement account before you reach age 59 ½, the government penalizes you an additional 10% for taking the early withdrawal (plus the tax owed on the withdrawal). The second issue is the IRS forces you to begin taking money from these accounts at age 72. They call this your Required Minimum Distribution, and they even tell you how much you have to take. In the event that you don’t meet the requirement, you’ll face a penalty of 50% on the withdrawal and still owe taxes on the distribution. So the reality of your plan is that you have a 12.5 year planning window where you have control over whether you take money out of your account or not, without penalty. This brings us to #3 - the future tax implications of your accounts. The tax that you owe on the withdrawal will be based on your tax rate when you take the money out. Guidance tells you that you’re likely to experience a lower tax rate in retirement. We question the likelihood of that. From a

lifestyle standpoint, do you think you’ll want to take a pay cut in retirement? Moving on to non-qualified accounts which don’t receive preferential tax treatment today. No deductions for the money you contribute, and no deferral on the growth you earn. There’s no restriction on how much or how little you decide to invest, and no limitation on what or when you take it out. The money that you use to invest in non-qualified accounts is the money that shows up from your paycheck and ends up in your bank account, so you’ve already paid tax on it. These dollars that you reinvest establish your “cost basis”. This is the money recognized by your investment company as dollars that have already been taxed, to make sure you won’t be taxed on them again. When you go to take money out of these accounts, you’ll be taxed on the growth in the account, but not on your cost basis. Finally there’s a third type of account - tax-exempt accounts. These are accounts that offer tax-free distributions. These are your Roth 401(k)’s Roth IRA’s, and HSA’s. There are also provisions in the tax code that exempt certain permanent life insurance from taxes. These accounts can be valuable if you think taxes might be higher in the future, because they can take tax risk and uncertainty off the table. A properly constructed financial plan should seek to achieve tax-diversification. With proper balance, you have the opportunity to potentially cut your tax bill in retirement keeping more of your money where it belongs, in your pocket. If you have questions about your personal tax strategy, we invite you to schedule a 30-minute discovery call by visiting Derek Bostian, CFP® Professional | Jason Rindskopf, WMCP® Two Waters Wealth Management | 704.275.2500

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