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Los Angeles Metro February 2015

southern california

lifeafter50.com

most romantic Hawaii’s Locations

Rekindling

romance

Melissa

Manchester –

grateful for the life she loves


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Contents

February 2015

14

26

30

28

Cover Profile

Departments

14 Monkeeing Around At Home With Micky Dolenz

6 50-Plus: What You Need To Know

Features

9 Tuned In To What’s On

23 “Xploring” Ways To Rekindle Romance Change things up and reignite your love life.

26 The Look Of Life After 50 – Melissa Manchester

The legendary singer and songwriter is grateful for a life she loves.

28 The Hallowed Hall Of Must-Knowtables * Jean Harlow

A quick look at things 50-plusers should be aware of. The best in February television viewing.

10 It’s The Law

Mitchell A. Karasov on brothers battling over business.   

35 Let’s Get Out

Legendary notables that everyone, of every age, should know.

Looking to get out and about? Our February/March calendar has some great suggestions.

30 10 Romantic Places To Say: “Aloha Wau La ‘oe!”

39 Rick Steve’s Travels

Hawaii offers the most romantic locations to say: “I love you!”

34 It’s Never Too Late To…Make A Match, Find A Find, Catch A Catch

Commit to exploring new possibilities for finding romance.

A visit to Verona, Italy – the City of Romance.

42 And Finally…The Bookworm’s Best, A Look Back And Just A Thought Before We Go

A book suggestion, memory, and a little something to leave you with.

Cover photo by Keith Munyan / www.keithmunyan.com All material published within this issue of Life After 50 and on www.lifeafte50.com is strictly for informational and educational purposes only. No individual, advice, product or service is in any way endorsed by Life After 50 or Southland Publishing, Inc. or provided as a substitute for the reader’s seeking of individualized professional advice or instruction. Readers should seek the advice of qualified professional on any matter regarding an individual, advice, recommendations, services or products covered within this issue. All information and material is provided to readers with the understanding that it comes from various sources from which there is no warranty or responsibility by Life After 50 or Southland Publishing, Inc. as to its or their legality, completeness or technical accuracy.

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Editor’s Note...

The Soundtrack Of Our Memories

F

or my cousin, Laurie Ann, and me, the soundtrack of one of our childhood summers was The Monkees self-titled first album. Laurie Ann and her little brother, Greg Allen (my aunt was adamant that both given names of her children be used), had one of those toy rooms that every kid craved. Laurie Ann and Greg Allen always had the latest and best toys that were stored in ceiling-to-floor shelves with a sliding ladder for storage and retrieval that gave the feeling you were in a magical toy shop. To this day, I can’t hear a song from “The Monkees” album without thinking back to that summer of 1967, playing it over and over again on a little record player in that toy room, and of Laurie Ann and me singing along to every song. I remember we especially liked “Last Train to Clarksville” and the line Bobby Hart wrote for that song: “Oh no-no-no…oh no-no-no,” that, even back then, we got as a tongue-in-cheek switcheroo on The Beatles’ famous lyric: “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” By the middle of the following decade, with my childhood and teens having passed into history, my head was already stockpiled with hundreds of songs that conjured up myriad memories. When I think back on that time – from the mid-1970s to the early-1980s – Melissa Manchester was one of the many artists that provided songs that would become permanently attached to the memories of places I lived, the friends I hung out with, the girls I dated, the cars I drove, and the dreams I dreamed. Manchester’s hit song, “Midnight Blue,” came out in 1975, the year I got my first “real” job as a radio disc jockey. That song was a part of our station’s regular playlist and I loved it. To this day, whenever I hear it, I have vivid memories of the rich characters I worked with there – “Fat Mike” Andrews and Joe “Cookin’” Clark – well-seasoned radio guys who were always playing “jock’s jokes” on me and also taught me so

Advertising Director/Associate Publisher Valarie Anderson Editor-in-Chief David Laurell Associate Editors Steve Stoliar, Claire Yezbak Fadden Art Director Michael Kraxenberger Editorial Assistants Max Andrews Marie Giusto Blauvelt

much about the craft of playing the boss hits, on that boss station, that our boss told us to play. In preparing for this issue, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Manchester and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, and to thank them for the memories they have provided me. “That’s the unexpected gift of songwriting,” Manchester told me as we sat having lunch in a San Fernando Valley restaurant. “You never know, when you are writing or recording a song, what people will eventually project onto your work – what special memories they will tie to your songs. There are millions of stories and memories that are tied to every popular song, and when that’s the case with one of your songs, it is a very gratifying and touching gift.” I think the most gratifying and touching gift we here at Life After 50 receive is the chance we get, every month, to share our visits with people such as Dolenz and Manchester – people, who through their talent and creations, have given us all such a great gift – the soundtrack of our memories.

David Laurell, Editor-in-Chief

Account Executives Los Angeles/South Bay: Jackie Kooper Jackiek@lifeafter50.com San Diego County National and Orange County Accounts: Phil Mendelson Phil@lifeafter50.com Ad Coordinator, Travel Landra DeLoach Landra@lifeafter50.com VP Of Finance Michael T. Nagami Human Resources Andrea E. Baker Business Manager Linda Lam Billing Supervisor Kacie Sturek VP Of Operations David Comden

For advertising/distribution inquiries contact: Valarie Anderson (310) 822-1629 x 121, Valarie@lifeafter50.com To contact our editorial department: (818) 563-1007 davidl@lifeafter50.com 5355 Mcconnell Ave LA CA 90066 Valarie Anderson Valarie@lifeafter50.com 310 822-1629 x 121 Follow us on face book ©2015 Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved

4 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


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50

Catch Up With The Captain

W

Plus

What You Need to Know By Claire Yezbak Fadden

You Can Go Home Again

H

ave you ever wanted to embark on a quest to discover your family’s ancestry? Actor, director and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy and the National Geographic Travel Team offer ancestral tourists a guide for family exploration. “Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Tips and Strategies to Find Your Family History” (National Geographic, 2015) combines 26 stories from writers who have traveled to find their family history around the world. Each story offers a personal take on journeying home, including actively searching for previously unknown ancestry, meeting up with distant relatives or visiting one’s country of origin. McCarthy, who shares his own story of exploring his Irish roots, is remembered for his roles in such films as “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Mannequin,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” and “Pretty in Pink,” and more recently, television shows “Lipstick Jungle,” “White Collar” and “Royal Pains.” For those in Southern California, you can meet McCarthy and have him sign your copy of the book on Tuesday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla. www.warwicks.com. (858) 454-0347.

Fifty Candles

F

ifty years ago this month Martin Luther King Jr. and 700 demonstrators were arrested in Selma, Alabama; 26-year-old Peter Jennings became the anchor of the “ABC Nightly News;” the Righteous Brothers’ song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” hit number one; the United States began regular bombing of North Vietnam; Beatle Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox; and Canada replaced the Union Jack flag with the Maple Leaf. Notable personalities born in February 1965 who are celebrating their 50th birthday this month include actor Brandon Lee, actresses Sherilyn Fenn and Maura Tierney, comedians Chris Rock and Carrot Top (Scott Thompson), film director Michael Bay, rapper Dr. Dre (Andre Romelle Young) and sportscaster Chip Caray.

6 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

illiam Shatner, best known as “Star Trek’s” Captain Kirk, shows no signs of slowing down at 83. With a new show on DIY he is preparing to release a Kickstarter funded book “Catch Me Up” (Kickstarter, 2015) about achieving great things in life at any age. “People over 50 have been pretty beat up lately with downsizing, a slumping economy and so many changes in the way things work,” says Shatner. “That’s why I wrote this book.” For a $10 pledge, backers will get a digital version of the book; $2,000 will bring a personal handwritten note from Shatner, while $10,000 will have you and five of your friends welcomed as Shatner’s guests at the William Shatner Charity Gala that will take place in April at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. For more information click on www.catchmeup.com.

Be A Sweetheart

W

ant to know how to be everyone’s sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Treat family, friends and co-workers to something they will all love by making easy and impressive sweetheart Valentine’s Day cookies.

Here are two ways to leave them smitten with sweets this Valentine’s Day:

Stackable Ombre Heart Cookies Prepare and roll out your favorite cookie dough recipe. Use the three smallest cutters from a four-piece heart nesting cookie-cutter set to cut out shapes. Bake and cool cookies. Divide royal icing (recipe on www.wilton.com) into three equal portions and tint three shades of rose. Thin out a portion of each shade following recipe directions. Use the full-strength tinted icing to outline cookies. Use lighter tinted icing in decorating bag to fill in cookies; gently tap to smooth icing. Let dry overnight. Use icing to attach cookies, stacking largest to smallest; place icing decoration on top.

Scalloped Heart Cookies Prepare and roll out your dough. Use largest cutter from the four-piece heart nesting cookie cutter set to cut out shape. Bake and cool cookies. Divide icing into four equal portions. Tint one of each portion light burgundy, dark burgundy and a combination of red-red and Christmas red. Reserve the last portion as white. Starting from the top edge of the heart, ice in dark burgundy, light burgundy, red and white to pipe V-shaped groups of two petals, one piped from left and one from right, to create row of petals in alternating colors. Repeat with second row between petals in first row. Continue to repeat pattern until cookies are covered. For more decorative and delicious Valentine’s Day cookie recipes, baking tips and inspiration, click on www.wilton.com.


A Little More You Need To Know

The Most Important Thing To Know This Month

Where You Need To Go Animal Magnetism

T

he Los Angeles Zoo is typically a family-friendly destination, but when they roll out their annual Sex and The City Zoo event on February 7, it’s an adults-only occasion. This extraordinary Valentine’s Day event celebrates romance in the animal kingdom. The lighthearted affair begins with a reception featuring tempting desserts, alluring wines and animal walkabouts, including chats with keepers and the chance to observe small animals up close. At the heart of the evening is a provocative presentation about relationships in the animal kingdom by an animal expert offering insights on animal mating, dating and cohabitating. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles. For more information and tickets call (323) 644-6042 or click on www.lazoo.org.

Living Smart To Protect Your Heart

W

hen it comes to recognizing and responding to the signs of a heart attack, early action can make the difference between life and death, but taking action even earlier to improve lifestyle and eating habits can make a big difference, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports about 25 percent of all deaths each year in the United States can be attributed to heart disease, making it the single largest killer of both men and women. Taking a preventive approach and making healthy choices can help manage your risk for a heart attack and other forms of heart disease. Consider these lifestyle tips from the CDC:

Manage Medical Conditions

Certain diseases and health conditions are known to put you at greater risk for developing heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Follow your doctor’s guidance to gain control of any medical issues early on.

Pay Attention To What You Eat

This means not only eating plenty of healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, but also reducing or eliminating less healthy options. Foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high blood cholesterol. One good option to start your day right is whole grain cereal.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

New Words

Y

ou might not find them in a dictionary yet, but they’re a part of the everyday American vocabulary. Here’s what they mean. Glamping: Glamorous camping; recreational camping incorporating accommodations and facilities more luxurious than traditional camping. Petrichor: The pleasant scent that accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. Wuzzle: To mix, confuse, jumble, bungle or muddle.

Exceeding the recommended weight range for your height puts you at greater risk for heart disease. Check with your doctor to determine whether your weight is in a healthy range. This can generally be determined by calculating your body mass index (BMI). If you are in an overweight or obese range, seek help from nutrition specialists to establish an eating plan that works best for you.

Get Moving

Exercise not only helps with managing your weight, it can also help with other problems, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. While adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, at least five days a week, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise plan.

Eliminate Or Reduce Unhealthy Habits

Smoking raises your risk of heart disease. If you are a smoker, a physician can assist you in finding a smoking-cessation program for your needs, and many insurance companies now cover these treatments. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure, which in turn escalates your chances of heart disease. Click on www.postshreddedwheat.com for more heart-healthy tips.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 7


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Better Call Saul – New Series, AMC – Premieres Sunday February 8 at 10 p.m. then airs every Monday at 10 p.m. For anyone who watched “Breaking Bad,” Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman character was always a highlight. The creators of that series decided he should have a series of his own, so they made it a sort of prequel to “Breaking Bad.” Set six years before Saul Goodman met Walter White, Saul is going by the name Jimmy McGill, and is described as “a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustling to make ends meet.” Jonathan Banks is reprising his role as “Mike the Fixer,” and the new cast includes Michael McKean and Patrick Fabian.

The Slap – New Series, NBC – Premieres Thursday February 12 at 8 p.m.

This “event” series is a complex family drama that explodes from one small incident, when a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child. The seemingly minor domestic dispute pulls the family apart, begins to expose long-held secrets, and ignites a lawsuit that challenges the core values of all who are pulled into it. Based on a successful Australian television series, this one stars Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton and Zachary Quinto, and was written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz.

All Of My Heart – New Original Movie, Hallmark Channel – Premieres Saturday February 14 at 8 p.m.

When a young woman inherits half of a house, she picks up her life and moves to the country to start afresh. The man who owns the other half of the house wants to sell it, but over time, develops a friendship – and possibly more – with the woman. That’s when her ex-boyfriend comes to win her back. Stars Lacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott and Ed Asner.

The Best In February Television Viewing By Sandi Berg

The Italian Americans – Four-Part Documentary Series, PBS – Premieres Tuesday February 17 at 9 p.m. This new four-part documentary series reveals how Italian immigrants challenged the notion of the American “melting pot,” chronicling four generations of Italian-American lives, from the massive late-19th century wave of immigration to today. The series strives to peel away myths and stereotypes with an emphasis on labor, entertainment, politics and war, as well as everyday struggles with family, work, identity, and belonging. Included are interviews with Tony Bennett, John Turturro, Gay Talese, Nancy Pelosi, Antonin Scalia, and more.

The Odd Couple – New Series, CBS – Premieres Thursday February 19 at 8:30

Matthew Perry stars as endearing slob Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as uptight neat freak Felix Unger, in this reboot of the popular play, feature film and television series. In this version, they play two former college buddies who become unlikely roommates after the demise of their marriages. Lauren Graham plays Oscar’s ex-wife, and other regulars include Lindsay Sloane, Wendell Pierce and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Tuned In To What’s On

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 9


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For those who are suffering from memory loss, concentration difficulties, or lack of energy, UCLA is conducting a 6-month research study comparing a 60 minute weekly memory enhancement training course to yoga meditation. If you are 55 years of age or older and not currently receiving any psychiatric treatment, you may qualify. Medical and psychiatric evaluations and limited physical exams are provided as a part of the study. Participants will undergo two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans. A complete psychiatric evaluation will be provided. Participants will be compensated. For more information, call UCLA at: (310) 794-9523.

10 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

It’s the Law Mitchell A. Karasov

Mitchell A. Karasov, Esq. has offices in Los Angeles, Ventura County and the Coachella Valley. He specializes in elder law with emphasis in estate planning, Medi-Cal eligibility, trust administration, probate, conservatorships of person or estate, estate and trust litigation and financial abuse litigation. For more information click on www.karasovelderlaw.com or call (818) 508-7192.

Curtailing Concerns In A Brotherly Business

Q

My brother and I have been partners in a successful business for years. More importantly, we have been best friends and have always been on the same page about the way we conduct our business. Unfortunately, in the last few years, behind my back, he started entering into some actions that were detrimental to our business. This wasn’t a big issue, but it was concerning enough that I had to put my foot down and tell him he couldn’t manage his part of the business anymore. This created a rift between us. Recently, I confronted him when I found out he took a large sum of money out of the company’s bank account. He told me he did it to cover gambling debts. While this was extremely unlike him, he has been acting in many uncharacteristic ways as of late. I told his wife about this and she confronted him. The next thing I knew, he retained a lawyer and filed a lawsuit accusing me of embezzling from our company. As mentioned, my brother has been acting very strange in the last year and I’m wondering if he has dementia. He has been diagnosed with early Parkinson’s disease, and my wife says that he may be getting dementia and that I should have him declared mentally inept. My attorney says I should counter-sue him to seek recovery of the money and to force him out of the business. The thought of doing that makes me sick. My lawyer talked with his lawyer, but that only escalated the problems. I really don’t want to force him out. I just don’t want him making decisions for the business, nor do I want to spend money fighting the embezzlement lawsuit. I just want my brother to get help. How do I stop the madness and provide him with the help he may need?

A

Your brother could be suffering from some cognitive deficits due to his Parkinson’s or even, potentially, from medications used to treat his disease. If someone in your family could suggest that he undergo a full assessment by a professional neurologist, it could go a long way toward getting to the root of the problem. There is a medication currently in use that can cause excess gambling, eating and/or inappropriate sexual behaviors. If his test is positive for cognitive deficiencies, your best route may be to pursue having him declared cognitively impaired and seeking the appointment of a conservatorship over his finances. Whomever is appointed as conservator would then become your de facto business partner. You could petition for yourself to be named as his conservator, or have an appropriate family member, or even a professional conservator, be named. More importantly, through the medical and mental health assessment process, it may be discovered that this was only a temporary bout of strange behavior and poor judgment caused by a medication and not an ongoing and degenerative cognitive problem. I wish you all the best in resolving this issue


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Cover Profile

Monkeeing Around at Home with

Micky Dolenz Story by David Laurell Photos by Keith Munyan / www.keithmunyan.com

A

mericans first met Micky Dolenz – then known as Mickey Braddock – back in the late 1950s in the role of Corky, sitting atop his pet elephant Bimbo’s back in the television series “Circus Boy.” Less than a decade later, after appearing in numerous television shows and upstart rock ‘n’ roll bands, the then-20-year-old Dolenz established his place in pop culture history while sitting behind a drum set as a member of The Monkees. Recently, in the family room of his stylish Southwestern-style home, nestled deep in the mountains of a canyon on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the actor and musician – who will turn 70 next month – invited Life After 50 to take a seat next to him on a couch. For the next few hours, the man who, along with Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, outsold The Beatles and the Rolling Stones in 1967 and gave the world a string of platinum albums and hit songs including “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Daydream Believer,” spoke candidly about his career, fellow bandmates, family and much more. As his wife Donna, a former flight attendant he married in 2002, transferred dishes from the table to the dishwasher following lunch, and his 31-year-old daughter, Georgia, periodically popped in and out between the home and adjacent workshop via a platinum- and gold record-adorned hallway, Dolenz sunk into the couch, which provides a dramatic view of the canyon below.

14 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


Life After 50 (LA50): So is this a fairly typical day for you? Micky Dolenz (MD): [laughs loudly] The short answer is: NO! I’m out on the road performing a lot. If I’m at home, which isn’t that frequent, I guess I do have somewhat typical days – working in my wood shop with Georgia. She and I have this furniture business we call Dolenz and Daughters Fine Furniture. It really started as a hobby and then it turned into a full-time business and has become something I absolutely love doing, so at least for the past year, making furniture has been a typical home day for me. I also love gardening, living up here in the mountains and being outside around the house. When I’m on the road, it’s the typical lifestyle for a musician on the road. I always say what every musician says: that they pay us to travel and we sing for free. You travel 48 hours for a two-hour gig. When I’m away from home, it is only when I get on stage that I can relax and have some fun. I think that’s true for every musician and that’s why we call it “playing.” But getting there and getting back, especially in these days with travel being what it is, it’s just horrible. LA50: Tell us more about Dolenz and Daughters. How did that come about? MD: Well, like I said, it began as a hobby. Georgia had studied theater in England, and in working towards her degree, she had to learn how to build sets and props, so she has learned how to use every tool imaginable. She had also learned a lot from me. Growing up, she always enjoyed being out in my shop with me and she was always very handy when it came to building and fixing things. So about a year ago, she and I were building a coffee table for a friend of hers and I joked that we should start a business called Dolenz and Daughters Fine Furniture. Well, she thought that was a great idea and ran with it. She put together our website and a shopping cart for people to purchase from us. She does a lot of the design work, which she is very good at. I tend to do the heavy lifting and fabrication and powersaw work, so what started out as a hobby and a joke has really taken off. Which means one day, I’ll be onstage jumping around and playing old Monkee songs and the next, I’m home covered in sawdust [laughs]. LA50: Were you always good at building and designing things? MD: Always, although, I guess for a long time it was kind of a closet thing. I never publicized it or talked about it in interviews. For me, since I was very young, it was always my avocation – something I just loved to do that was creative and relaxing and a release from the pressures of show biz. I certainly never tried to make a living doing it. I think it’s like with many people who have a hobby that has absolutely nothing to do with their vocation – just a great way to get away from it all. LA50: Was this something you learned how to do from your father? MD: I grew up in a show biz family, but my mother and father were not typical show biz people. My father was an actor and a singer and my mom was an actress and a singer – they met doing a play. But we never lived the Hollywood or Beverly Hills lifestyle. We lived in the San Fernando Valley on a ranch. My father always had tools and was always building things and working on DIY [Do-It-Yourself] projects. He also supplemented his income by making cabinets and doing carpentry works while he was trying to get established as an actor, so I was always around him in his shop and followed in his footsteps. As a kid, I

never gave it any thought. I just figured everybody’s father built and fixed things while looking for acting work [laughs]. LA50: Over the years, you have said you would have thought of becoming an architect had you not gone into show business. MD: I did more than think about it. When I was in college, at L.A Trade Tech, I studied to become an architect. I went there right out of high school. You know I had been an actor when I was a kid. But my parents, very wisely, took me out of the business and I just went to high school like every other kid. So after I graduated high school, I was kicking around with a friend wondering what we were going to do with our lives. I had always been into building things and also into electronics, so my friend said: “Let’s get our degrees in architecture and start a building business.” I thought that was a great idea, so we signed up at Trade Tech and I loved it. I was still going out on auditions to make some money, but my plan was just the opposite of everyone who has ever come to Hollywood. I had planned on becoming an architect and, if that didn’t work out, I figured I would fall back on a career in show business [laughs]. I know that sounds crazy, but that is just how I felt about it. I was doing little guest shots on

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 15


various television shows and was even up for some roles on various pilots. In fact, during the pilot season when I auditioned for “The Monkess,” I was up for three other pilots. Then, even when I got the call that I would be doing the pilot for “The Monkees” I didn’t quit school. I had been around the business all my life and was very aware of how difficult it is to sell a pilot. I had taken about 10 days off to shoot the pilot and then went back to school. Then, a few months later, they sold the pilot and got an order for the show from NBC. It was only then that I left school. LA50: You had put a few little bands together before you did “The Monkees.” How did you feel about being in a band that had been put together for you? MD: Well, we weren’t put together as a band. We were cast as actors, just as they would cast for any Broadway musical or film or television show. “The Monkees” was not a band; it was a television show about an imaginary band. LA50: But you guys did evolve into being a real band. MD: Yes, but at the beginning, I just approached it as an entertainer – an actor – who had been cast into a show, and I still see it that way. To me, it was an acting role that called for me to sing. I remember the producers told me I would be the band’s drummer and I told them I was a guitar player – which is what I did as a part of my audition – I had played “Johnny B. Goode.” And they just said: “Oh, whatever, well now you’re the drummer.” And I said: “Okay fine, when do I start?” It was just like when I was 10-years-old and they told me I was going to learn to ride an elephant. LA50: Before we get too much into how your life changed with the success of “The Monkees,” your dad passed away before you got that show. Have you ever thought about what his feelings might have been about “The Monkees” and the success you achieved? MD: Oh boy. I’ve thought about that so many times and, of course, I’ll never really know. I had asked my mom about that – what she thought he would have thought. He was an old-school guy. He had been born in Italy and was a real “old-country-off-the-boat” type guy. He was a strong disciplinarian who was very set in his ways. When my mom and I talked about that, she sort of implied that he may not have been too thrilled about the whole 1960s free-love and free-spirted, rock ‘n’ roll, hippie lifestyle. But who knows? He was an actor, so I’m sure he would have been thrilled that I got a successful series. One thing I do know for sure is that, had he been around, I would have made a much better deal than I did [laughs]. LA50: Micky, did the producers come up with the characters for “The Monkees” or did each of your own personas surface and evolve as time went by? MD: Before they even began casting for the show the producers had in their heads what they wanted. The show was kind of based on the Marx Brothers more than The Beatles. Even before they cast us, in the pilot script, they had one Jerry Lewis-type wacky guy, one more serious guy with a dry Will Rogers sort of humor, and so on. They wanted very distinct characters to play off one

16 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

another so the comedy would work. Then, when they began casting, they were looking for four guys that jumped out of the screen at you with that undefinable thing that every casting director looks for when they cast a role. LA50: Why do you think “The Monkees” was such a success? Why did it resonate so well with viewers? MD: It was a sitcom about a band who was not successful. It was a very different kettle of fish than “A Hard Day’s Night” or “Help!” In those films, The Beatles played themselves and, like in real life, they were a huge success and had fans chasing them all over. In our show, we were a struggling band who wanted to be like The Beatles. We were always out of work and never reached any level of success as a band within the show. I think kids could relate to that more so than they could to The Beatles, who were these mega-stars. Sitcoms traditionally work because people can relate to the characters and what they are going through. I think kids related to our dream and our struggle for success. I’m always amazed that people, even real fans of the show, missed that dynamic – that within the context of the show, The Monkees, as a band, were not famous or even successful. LA50: But that was a very different story when you separate the four of you as the actual band – The Monkees – from the show “The Monkees.” You were hugely successful with such great songs as “I’m a Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville.” And yet, one of your biggest hits is not one that first comes to mind when people think of The Monkees – your song, “Randy Scouse Git.” MD: That was a big hit for me. It went to Number Two on the charts in England and was only kept out of being a Number One hit by The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields.” That song has the distinction of being the only Monkee song that was written by one of us that made it into the Top 10. LA50: The song is about a party The Beatles, or as you call them in the song - “the four kings of E.M.I” - threw for The Monkees at the Speakeasy nightclub in London. Isn’t it kind of ironic that the song was edged out of being a Number One hit by the very guys who inspired it? MD: [laughing] Oh my, I never really thought of that, but it’s true. I’m very proud of that song. It was a stream-of-consciousness, kind of ‘60s sort of song about that party and just about a lot of things that were going on at the time in my life. In the lyrics, I mention Samantha, whom I call the Wonder Girl, who would go on to become my first wife. I mention Mama Cass. She was the girl in the yellow dress. In fact, the guy I was telling you about that I was going to go into the architectural business with, he became my stand-in on “The Monkees” and then one of our road managers. I also mention him in the song. He’s the


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LA50: How did you get the news that he had passed? MD: I was back east, in New York, working on a project. I was in my hotel room and my wife, Donna, called and said she had just gotten a call that Davy had died. I was in shock. It wasn’t a good day. LA50: Do you remember your last conversation with him? MD: Oh wow! I don’t think I’ve thought about that. It would have been at the end of the tour we had just done together. Gosh, at the end of a tour, you’re just scrambling to get off the bus, pack up your stuff and get home. We had actually been halfway through a tour and we were taking a break, so our last words would have been something like: “Hey, great show, travel safe, see ya soon.” It would have been nothing more than that. LA50: Kind of puts it into perspective, huh? How fragile life is and how quick things can change? MD: No shit! And you can quote me on that! Micky’s wife Donna, having heard her name mentioned, comes into the room and joins her husband on the couch. LA50: You guys will be celebrating 13 years of marriage this year. Since this is our Valentine’s issue, any advice on making a marriage work? MD: [laughs] Well, this is my third one, so I may not be the guy to ask. I was married to two wonderful women – Samantha, who unfortunately passed away last year. She and Donna had become very good friends. And my second wife, Trina, who I have three gorgeous children with. I think making a marriage work comes with making mistakes and learning from them and just as a part of our personal growth. Also, these days we live so much longer and for various reasons, people do have multiple relationships and marriages just like they have multiple careers. It wasn’t that long ago that you got married, had kids, worked the same job all your life and, by your 50s, it was pretty much over. But today, we live longer and, if we’re lucky, with good health, we can have new lives into our later years. LA50: Are you a romantic guy, Micky? birthday boy. I wrote that song in a hotel room while having breakfast after that party with The Beatles. I wrote it because Mike was always encouraging me to write, and when we got back to L.A., he was the one who suggested we record it. I’m very proud of that song. LA50: You mention that Mike encouraged you to write. I know you’ve been asked about him and Peter and Davy a trillion times, but would you mind sharing what first comes to mind when you are asked about them?

MD: You’ll have to ask Donna. LA50: Donna? Donna Dolenz (DD): Oh, he definitely is. You see the flowers in the vase there on the counter? Every morning, he gets up and goes out and cuts flowers for me. LA50: Any Valentine’s Day traditions or plans?

MD: Well I’m a huge Mike Nesmith fan – always have been. I’ve always had a great respect and love for his writing style and songs. In fact, I always do two or three of his songs in my solo show.

DD: No. Just what we love to do when we’re both in town. We just like to spend time together snuggled up here at home. We like to cook together and drink wine and watch television.

LA50: What about Peter?

LA50: How did you guys meet?

MD: Peter and I have always gotten along in a funny sort of way. We come from very different backgrounds. I’ve always admired his intellect. On “The Monkees,” we were all playing characters, but Peter really played a character more so than the rest of us. His character in the show was goofy and not at all like what he is like in real life.

DD: We were set up on a blind date in 1991. I mean, I knew who he was, but he didn’t know who I was. All he knew was I had a roommate who was a friend of a friend of his. Micky and I had both just gotten divorced and this friend said he thought we should meet.

LA50: And Davy? MD: He was one of my dearest friends. We had so much in common from the moment we met. We had both been child actors on television shows. We got married right around the same time. We had kids at the same time. We hung out a lot – our families hung out a lot. To this day, my daughter, Ami, and his kids are very tight. Losing him was like losing a brother.

18 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

LA50: Had you been a Monkee fan? DD: I was! I was a huge fan as a kid and thought it would be fun to meet him. So one day, I got a call that he was in Atlantic City and that I should get down there for a date with him. At the time, I was a flight attendant living in New York and didn’t have a car, so all I was thinking about was what sort of bus or train and whatever else I would need to take to get to Atlantic City. I really didn’t want to go, but this friend said he had staked his reputation on me


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showing up. So I got on a casino bus and went down and met him for dinner. Then we met and it was just instant chemistry. LA50: You say you guys like to cook together. Do you adhere to any sort of diet? MD: We adhere to the Mediterranean Diet. We really always have without even realizing it. My father was from Italy and her family is from Italy, so I think we have just always gravitated to the foods we grew up with – salads and olive oil and fish. LA50: Who cooks? MD: We both do. She didn’t cook much before I met her, but I did know how to cook and she’s really gotten good. DD: For the most part, he handles the grill and I do all the side dishes. LA50: Thank you for inviting us into your home. Before we go, you have to give us a tour of the manufacturing headquarters of Dolenz and Daughters. But before we do that, Micky, one last question: you’ll be hitting a milestone next month – the big seven-o. Any thoughts or philosophy on getting older? MD: [laughs] What do they say? “Age only matters if you’re cheese.” Oh I don’t know – all the clichés come to mind – Stay young at heart. Luckily, in my line of work, that’s not hard to do, because actors and musicians are like children. We never grow up. We get paid for playing. Maybe I’m not the right person to ask about getting older, because as a part of what I do, to stay relevant, you have to stay childlike in so many ways. Your attitude has to stay childlike – jumping around on stage and dancing and singing. I’m also very close to my kids. I’m working on a children’s book with Ami and doing the woodworking with Georgia, so being around the kids keeps my mindset young. I’m also very lucky to have my health, knock on wood. So it is a cliché, but I guess it really is all attitude – You never have to have a philosophy on getting older if you maintain a playful and childlike attitude.

MONKEE BUSINESS If you grew up as a fan of The Monkees, stop monkeying around and treat yourself to something really special – a custom-crafted piece of furniture actually made by a real-life Monkee. Dolenz & Daughters Fine Furniture is a familyowned business founded in 2013 by Micky and his daughter, Georgia, who personally design and handcraft furniture in their workshop at their Southern California home. They source only the highest-quality materials and use traditional woodworking techniques. They design each piece from scratch and donate a percentage of the proceeds from each sale to a variety of charities close to their hearts. For more information, click on www.dolenzanddaughters.com

20 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


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his month, with all the heart-shaped candy boxes, balloons and cards being passed around, it is important to remember that along with Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Month. According to the National Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Every single day, on an average of every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Additionally, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of another heart attack or a stroke in the future.

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“Xploring” Ways To Rekindle Romance special to Life After 50 by k.renee, owner and founder of www.Xploreher.com

as we celebrate romance and the release of the long-anticipated film “50 shades of grey,” this month is the perfect time to reignite your love life

L

ove it or hate it – it’s Valentine’s Day again. Personally, I choose to love Valentine’s Day and I’ll tell you why: Just as Halloween gives us an excuse to dress up like fantasy characters, Valentine’s Day gives us the chance to express our romantic desires. And when it comes to those desires, there’s good news for those of us who are over 50. According to many doctors, aside from those suffering with illness or disease, we can enjoy a healthy sexual life well into our later years. However, in order to continue having a fulfilling intimate life, we need to do so by adjusting to some of the new realities of our changing bodies and biology. As my partner said to me recently: “We have eyeglasses and lube everywhere!” I laughed at how true that is. Our new reality is manifested by what is stashed in our bathroom and bedroom drawers.

Our BOdies Change But Our Feelings dOn’t

Can you remember the feeling of being totally in love with your partner? Giggling like teenagers?

Not able to keep your hands off of each other? In today’s world, many men and women are still vibrant, vital and sexually active well into their later years. As we age, we mature sexually, which can lead to a sex life that is as enjoyable as it was when we were younger, and sometimes, more so. As we get older, we tend to take more time, to slow down, and to “make love” versus acting on immediate urges. We have an increased ability to communicate our needs, have a greater willingness to experiment with variety, and can be more technically proficient as lovers.

especially if you work out together. Find something new to do together: bike riding, a Zumba class, swimming, hiking, golf or tennis. You can hire a personal trainer to come to your home or work with a trainer at your local gym. You should also regularly check in with your doctor to monitor your blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol use and prescription medications for potential issues that may cause a loss of libido. Once you start moving, lose a few pounds and get in better shape, you will feel sexier, and with that will come the return of a much stronger libido.

the triCk is tO keep MOving

it’s as MuCh in the Mind as it is in the BOdy

A vibrant sex life may require taking the initiative for the needed changes in your lifestyle – both physically and mentally. One of the greatest things you can do to improve your sexual health is to get up off the couch, get moving and keep moving. Couples who are in physically good shape as a result of a proper diet and exercise regimen report having the strongest sexual desire and greatest interest in exploring new ideas in the bedroom. Regular exercise can improve your love life,

No matter what your age, if you are healthy, you are not too old for sex. Both men and women must get over any feelings of being “too old” for a healthy and fun sex life. Whether you are an empty-nester or a grandparent, take advantage of this time in your life. In fact, this may be the most rewarding and liberating time of your relationship in years, now that the kids are gone and no contraception is needed. Many of my empty-nester friends say that,

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 23


with no kids coming and going all the time, they are on their second honeymoon. So turn up the music, light some candles, have glass of wine (or two), make a romantic little dinner, dance (or do more) in every room of the house. This is your time to have fun! If you need another reason to continue a healthy sexual life, consider the health benefits. As cited by numerous doctors, the benefits of a healthy sex life are numerous for both men and women. A study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that those between the ages of 45 and 59 who have regular sex were overall healthier than those who don’t. Among the benefits the study reports are: • Strengthening of the immune system • Improving of heart health • Reduction of mild pain from the release of endorphins in the brain • Strengthening the pelvic floor in both men and women • Improved appearance of the skin from increased blood flow • Prolonged psychological benefits including lifting the effects of depression

use it Or lOse it

The old adage, “Use it or lose it,” happens to be true. We need to use our sexual organs to keep them in shape. Regular intercourse or use of a vibrator for women increases blood flow to the vaginal walls, which increases lubrication and elasticity. If the tissues are not used regularly, the area may become thin and dry, causing pain. The good news: this can be fixed and you will be right back and ready to “use it” again. For specific information on health issues for women such as menopause, cancer, pain, and chronic illness, I recommend the book “Love Sex Again” (It Books, 2014) by gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher. She goes into detail on the physiological aspects that may hinder one’s sex life and offers a solution for virtually every condition imaginable. It is a great read for understanding the mechanics of the female body and all that can go wrong in regards to sexual satisfaction and the solutions to make you healthy again.

Changing it up

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of a healthy sex life and how to prepare for years of enjoyment, let’s take a look at some of our habits and see if there is an opportunity to change things up a bit. Have you or your partner fallen into a routine that hasn’t changed in years? Have you neglected your intimate relationship with your partner for months or years? If so, you may need to start out with slower and smaller gestures to get those fires burning again. If you or your partner are not feeling particularly sexual these days, the causes can be either physical or psychological. The good news is that the physical elements are within our grasp to find solutions with the guidance of your doctor. The psychological issues we may face include stress,

24 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

depression, feelings of loss (a parent becoming an empty-nester), and the fear of our ability to perform sexually. With patience, focus, concerted effort and a good doctor or therapist, anyone can welcome back the fun of having a flirty relationship. Remember, having a fulfilling sexual and intimate relationship with your partner doesn’t always have to include erections, intercourse, ejaculation or orgasm. You can start rejuvenating the fires of passion by simply going back to some of the basics. In honor of the month of February and Valentine’s Day, if it’s been awhile since you and your partner have acted on your sexual feelings, use this month to jump start your love lives. Depending upon how long it has been, you may not be ready to act out the “50 Shades of Grey” quite yet, but there are many things you can do to spice it up:

Be Open tO variety and Change

Variety and change are the spice of life. Take a look at your daily routines, clothes, and entertainment choices: is there an opportunity to do something more updated or exciting? If you haven’t really glammed it up in a while, pull out a sexy dress and heels for a different routine on Friday night, even if it’s just for dinner at home. As my partner says: “It’s fun just to talk about and plan for something different.” He thinks the planning can be even more fun than actually doing something new. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Change can be exciting.

Be adventurOus

Try taking a class together, like wine tasting or photography. Plan a weekend getaway to a place you’ve always talked about visiting. Be a tourist in

your own town and stay in a local hotel and order room service, or do something physical like a dance class, horseback riding or canoeing.

COMMuniCate

If one of you is feeling more amorous than the other these days, you must talk about it. The one that is more “in the mood” may need to back off for a while and give the other partner a chance to mentally or physically catch up with the one that is ready to go. Open communication about where you both are will be invaluable to strengthening your relationship and building trust.

set aside tiMe FOr One anOther

Plan for time with just each other – no other couples or children or neighbors or work associates. Schedule a special date night once per week. Date nights can be as simple as having dinner at home with candles and wine and a fire in the fireplace. Take turns scheduling date nights and, when it’s your turn, head to that new bar or restaurant you’ve heard about. Most museums, zoos, and botanical gardens have a cocktail night with live music at least once per month. A few times a year, you should also plan a romantic getaway night or weekend at a local historical inn or winery.

Be Flirty and silly

Whether it is in or out of the bedroom, try something new together. What’s the worst thing that could happen? No one beside you two will ever know, so if it doesn’t work, just laugh at the results and say: “At least we tried.” Make eye contact. Look at each other when you are talking. Smile at


each other. Listen carefully to what your partner has to say. Kiss each other often. Hold hands and put your arms around each other. Get back to just enjoying each other’s company.

Be BOld

Read erotic articles or books alone or together, go skinny dipping, watch a sexy movie together. Get out of the bedroom. You have a whole house to yourselves so take advantage of every room, staircase, kitchen table, floor, guest bed – you get the idea. After a few weeks of bringing the romance and variety back into your relationship, you will revive the intimacy between you and your partner. Your partner will love the excitement of being heard, the physical closeness, the flirting, and new experiences. You will love how sexy it makes you feel to look forward to your special dates and time together with just each other. If you already have a strong intimate relationship and are ready to try some new ideas together, talk about what might be exciting. It may surprise you what your partner would like to try and their ideas may be very arousing for you as well.

With the “50 Shades of Grey” movie coming out this month, you would have to be living under a rock to not know about it. Over 100 million copies of the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy have been sold globally and, if you are like me, I’ve passed my copies around to my sisters and friends after I was finished reading them, so it is probably more like 150 million. With all the buzz about this film, please keep in mind that bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism are a part of a fetish lifestyle choice and not mainstream. Remember, “everyone” is NOT doing it. In fact, it has been reported that less than two percent of the population actually likes this type of activity, at least on a regular basis. That said, if you are also like me, you may be curious to try some of the things “50 Shades of Gray” explores. If so, talk to your partner, see what he or she may be willing to try. Again, it can be very arousing and exciting if your partner would agree to some light spanking, bondage or dominant/ subservient role playing. The most important thing when trying something new is to openly communicate with

your partner, have fun, giggle, enjoy and don’t take it that seriously. Who knows? It could turn out to be an epic fail, but it could also be a new source of pleasure and excitement. At least you tried something different, got out of mundane routines and brought some life into the bedroom. Another idea I have to share is one that is a part of my business, www.XploreHer.com, and that is to subscribe to a monthly pleasure kit that arrives at the same time every month filled with ideas for you to explore alone or with your partner. The kits are filled with books, DVDS, devices, personal lubricants, and toys that will help you enjoy activities like erotic massage and bath time together. At www.XploreHer.com we sell monthly kits that each include different items. Just think how much fun it would be to have “the box” show up each month for you to try something “out of the box.” By the end the year, you will have a collection of 12 months’ worth of fun and new exploration. Some items will become new favorites, some items might be a bust for you and your partner, but again, at least you can say you tried them.

Get Ready To Do Some Xploring K.Renee is the founder and owner of www.XploreHer.com, an online retail intimacy boutique and self-help site for women and couples to improve and maintain sexual health and wellness. K.Renee is a former Fortune 100 executive who found herself suddenly single after decades of marriage. She wanted to help other women and couples navigate the world of sexual health in middle-age and beyond and believes her own marriage may have been saved if she had reached out to a resource like www.XploreHer.com for advice and information. Her business is an upscale website dedicated to the business of passion and play whether you are in a relationship or not. The site is very secure, private and discreet and your e-mail address and other information will never be sold. K.Renee demands discretion, especially given the sensitive and private nature of these purchases. She highly recommends browsing her book list on numerous topics such as sex after menopause, guide books on how to try something new, and sex after 50. She also recommends looking through the products to “xplore” useful and sexy items like the extensive “50 Shades of Grey” products for those wanting to try something new. Can’t decide what to get? You can order a subscription to the monthly kits and get something new and exciting shipped to you at the same time every month. The site even offers you choices for secured storage. K.Renee was inspired to create this business and website after scouring the Internet looking for a safe, non-pornographic, non-vulgar place to shop for intimate items. “Just because you are interested in learning more about sexual health and well-being, doesn’t mean you want to see pornographic images of 20-yearold models,” she says. “This site was built by a woman for other women to feel comfortable and safe viewing the articles and products and to make purchases that will arrive on your doorstep in a plain U.S. Postal Service box.”

For more information, click on www.XploreHer.com.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 25


Melissa Manchester — Loving The Life

On the release of her latest album, “You Gotta Love The Life,” the legendary singer and songwriter shares her thoughts on embracing life with passion and gratitude By David Laurell * Photos by Randee St. Nicholas

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elissa Manchester, the Bronx-born daughter of a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera and his wife, one of the first women to design and establish her own clothing firm, honed her singing voice to a professional caliber, learned to play the piano and harpsichord, and was hired to sing commercial jingles, while still in her teens. She then moved on to become a staff writer for Chappell Music, signed her first publishing deal, studied songwriting with Paul Simon at New York University, performed in the Manhattan club scene where she was discovered by Barry Manilow, and backed Bette Midler as a founding member of the Harlettes trio, all by her early 20s. Today, with a five-decade-long career that has given the world a string of Top 10 hits including “Midnight Blue,” ”Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” and the Oscar-nominated songs “Through the Eyes of Love” and “The Promise,” Manchester is a Grammy Award-winning artist who continues to write, record, tour and teach music at the University of Southern California. “My parents had a huge influence on my life,” says Manchester on what gave her such drive at an early

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age. “My parents were like one gorgeous 14-yearold child. They were both artists and, even as adults, with their own children, they were still like beautiful children themselves who just thought life and living was a great idea. Through the lens of my mother,

everything about life – each and every day – was dazzling. They always supported me and my dreams and I am so grateful for that.” Manchester also says she was motivated by a feeling of optimism that seemed to permeate the world when she was kid. “I felt as if I could do anything,” she says. “But today, I see a real cynicism amongst young people that I believe is imposed on them by what they see on television and on the Internet,” she opines. “Young people don’t watch the news, but what does get through to them, as to what is going on in the world, is completely distorted by agendas and urgency. Everything is breaking news and ‘Stormwatch,’ which just means it’s raining out. In today’s world, there’s this hyper-urgency about every freakin’ thing, and, because of that, kids have no sense of discernment. They are growing up with this false sense of urgency over everything, and have no context or perspective for what is real – what is important and what isn’t.” When asked how this bodes for the generation that will soon be running the world, she shrugs: “It is amazing that we get along with young people as well as we do,” she laughs. “The cultural divide between us is just vast. For those of us over 50, we’re the


THE REINVENTION OF THE MUSICAL WHEEL While financing and producing her own album would have been a totally foreign concept to the Melissa Manchester of the 1970s and ‘80s, it is just a part of the ever-evolving world of today’s music business. “Today, the landscape in the music industry is largely unrecognizable for those of us who have been around awhile,” she says. “That is due to the democratization of music and how it is distributed. That’s fine, but it has brought with it a dilution of the way people listen to and purchase music. Today, I am my record label. I do everything that the big record companies once did. Like so many artists, I just couldn’t take working with the major record companies any longer. They end up owning all of your work and, unlike the trade out that once existed, in which they at least knew how to promote and distribute an album, they have no idea of how to operate in today’s world. The big companies lagged and lagged and thought the digital world would just be a phase. They really never have got on board with the realization that it’s a new world. The music business is in the midst of an industrial revolution and the wheel has been, and is, being reinvented;

single, “Feelin’ For You.” “Making this album was a constantly unfolding and unbelievable adventure,” says Manchester. “It is a combination of everything I’ve learned, everything I know, things that I didn’t know. It could have never shown up before it did, and there’s a story behind every song.” Asked if there is any particular story she may like to share about one of her new songs, Manchester says the album’s single was inspired by something that happened while she was in the Mississippi Delta doing research for a project. “One night I went to a juke joint – a place you go to listen to music and get trashed,” she says with a smile. “I was sitting there minding my own business, when this guy came weaving his way towards me. It was very dark and he was very drunk and looked like he was seeing three of me and trying to figure out which one was the best looking. Then he asked me if I was married. I said that I was and he looked rather disappointed and said: ‘Oh, that’s too bad ‘cause I got a feelin’ for you.’ Right away, just from the way he said that, I knew it was a song.” Sill maintaining a heavy touring schedule, Manchester says she has been thrilled with the reaction she has been getting on her new songs from audiences. “You just never know how new material will be received, because most people want to hear ‘Midnight Blue.’ But I’m pleased that the new songs have really been landing. This album, unlike anything else I’ve ever done, has made it so real to me that I really do love my life and what I do.”

Photob By Hayley Sparks

bridge generation. We lived in a world, not that long ago, without computers and cell phones and social media, when the pace of life was so different, when the way we got information was so different, when we just spent time outside playing. I tripped over adventures every day when I was growing up in New York. But today, life is so complicated and the world is so densely packed with distractions and regulations. My son has no recollection of being able to go up to the gate at an airport to great someone who was arriving. We are living in this cross-pollination of cultures and generations, and I don’t know where it is going to land, nor do I see a landing in sight. I just see waves upon waves of information inundating kids till they are numb to everything. There’s such a misplaced value on speed instead of content or context today.” And yet, while Manchester has concerns about today’s generation, she also believes they will work it out and prosper. “When I first started teaching, I thought I would teach my students, but the fact is, they have taught me,” she says. “My new album was financed by crowd-funding, which my students taught me about. One of my students was my project manager and other students were a part of the street team, and they were just amazing. There are a lot of smart kids out there who know a lot more than we ever knew. So they’ll work it out and maybe even show us how it all should be done. As Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote in ‘The King and I,’ ‘By our pupils we’ll be taught.’ ”

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVING THE LIFE and I don’t know, as we continue on in this new world, if the wheel will even still be round. There are incredible people making music today and they are educated on the business portion of the journey. I was an artist who delegated the business end of making music to people who I thought had my back – some did, some didn’t. But I see young people out there today who are well-educated in contracts and royalties and distribution, and that’s fantastic.” While Manchester says the business of making music has changed dramatically, she reveals that, when it comes to the actual music, she still holds on to what she recognizes. “This month I’ll release my 20th album, and it represents so many levels for me,” she says. “The title, ‘You Gotta Love The Life,’ came out of a discussion I had with my daughter. I was explaining that the artist’s path is not just about sharing your gift, but in also embracing the unconventional version of normal that comes with a life of being an artist. You have to love always looking for the next dot to connect to keep fresh and going.”

Asked to share her thoughts on turning 64 this month, and if she has adopted any philosophy on aging, Manchester laughs. “My mother always said these aren’t the golden years, they’re the rusting years. So I try to live healthy and stay active. I am really conscience about eating right and drinking a lot of water.” As to her philosophy on getting older, she says it’s a convergence of many different philosophies. “Living well is the best revenge, the Golden Rule, to never lose the sense of wonder and enthusiasm that life offers. Those are the first things that come to mind. And, most importantly, to be grateful. For me, gratitude is a tower of strength and power. My gratitude list doesn’t start with the biggest things. I’m grateful for the smallest things – every new day and every breath that doesn’t hurt. When you harbor a gratefulness for things that are so easy to take for granted – when that gratitude gets into your body and your conscience and your life – it totally separates you from the magnified distractions of this world we live in. It is through gratitude that I remind myself every day that you really do gotta love the life.”

AN UNFOLDING AND UNBELIEVABLE ADVENTURE Her new release, recorded at Glendora, California’s Citrus College where Manchester is an honorary artist in residence, has her teamed up with legends of jazz and pop including Al Jarreau, Dionne Warwick, Dave Koz, Stevie Wonder and Keb’ Mo’, who joins her on the offering’s lead

For more information on Melissa Manchester, her tour schedule and her new album, “You Gotta Love The Life,” click on www.melissamanchester.com

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 27


The Hallowed Hall of Must-Knowtables By David Laurell Illustration by Mark Hammermeister

Jean Harlow Although she was born Harlean Carpenter (sometimes spelled Carpentier) on March 3, 1911, in Kansas City, Missouri, no one ever knew her as such. She was, however, known worldwide as “The Platinum Venus,” “The Baby” and, more formally, Jean Harlow, a film actress who became a legendary star and sex symbol during her short career, which ended with her death at the age of 26 in 1937.

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rom the time she was born, Harlean was called Jean – which was also her mother’s name. To distinguish the two, they were referred to as “Mama Jean” and “Baby Jean,” the latter never even knowing her real name until the age of five, when she began classes at Miss Barstow’s Finishing School for Girls. Discovered by business tycoon, aviator, inventor and filmmaker Howard Hughes, who cast her in his 1930 film “Hell’s Angels,” Harlow became a star before her 20th birthday. Breathtakingly beautiful, sexy and sultry, with a great sense of humor and a superior intellect, Harlow went on to appear in a string of screen successes playing opposite such Hollywood heavyweights as James Cagney, Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. Sadly, while her professional life soared, her personal life was in shambles. After a failed first marriage that she had entered into when she was just 16, the then-22-year-old sex goddess married Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executive Paul Bern in 1932. Bern brought myriad problems to the marriage, including a penchant for physical abuse and a first wife who suffered from mental-health issues, whom he had never divorced. Two month after their nuptials, Harlow’s

marriage to Bern ended when, depending on what story one chooses to believe, he either shot himself or was murdered (the official cause of death was ruled a suicide), leaving his widow with enormous debt and, reportedly, damage to her kidneys due to his beatings. After Bern’s mysterious death – the subject of great speculation within the Hollywood community – it was reported that the studio, not wanting another scandal, defused a situation in which Harlow had become romantically involved with the very-married professional boxer, Max Baer. It was widely assumed that the studio, in an effort to cover up the affair, arranged a marriage between Harlow and cinematographer Harold Rosson, who would go on to have impressive credits including the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz.” Harlow’s marriage to Rosson only lasted eight months and, when it ended, the resilient Harlow, never one to be a victim, simply moved on. By the mid1930s, with more film successes to her credit, she had fallen in love with another MGM actor, William Powell. The couple were reportedly engaged, but kept from marrying for both personal differences they hadn’t ironed out and MGM’s unwillingness to allow it.

This feature is intended for you to clip and give to your children or grandchildren because…they must-know! 28 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


In 1937, while filming a romantic comedy, “Saratoga,” with Clark Gable, Harlow began to complain of fatigue, nausea and abdominal pain. Her doctor didn’t believe it was anything serious and, after her condition had first worsened, reports soon surfaced that Harlow began showing signs of improvement. Those reports would later be questioned by many including Gable who, during a visit, found her to be bloated and with a strong smell of urine on her breath – both known to be signs of kidney failure. On June 6, 1937, Harlow took a turn for the worse. She was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, where she slipped into a coma. The following day, just before noon, she died at the age of 26 of cerebral edema, a complication of kidney failure. After Harlow’s death, rumors circulated that she had not received any medical treatment for her condition because Mama Jean, a devout Christian Scientist, would not permit it. While this story circulated for years, there was no hard evidence to support the allegation. Devastated by Harlow’s death, Powell purchased a $25,000 private mausoleum on the main terrace of Forest Lawn’s Great Mausoleum in Glendale, California to serve as her final resting place. Following an emotional service at Forest Lawn’s Wee Kirk O’ the Heather chapel, Harlow’s body was entombed in the Sanctuary of Benediction behind a European marble slab that simply reads: “Our Baby.”

LEARN MORE

There have been numerous books written about Jean Harlow. Among them are: • “The Jean Harlow Story” (Popular Library, 1964) by John (Harlow) Pascal • “Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow” (Lightning Bug Press, 2000) by David Stenn • “Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937” (Angel City Press, 2011) by Darrell Rooney • “Platinum Girl: The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow” (Abbeville Press, 1991) by Eve Golden

Mark Hammermeister is an award-winning artist. His work is available for purchase at www.markdraws.com February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 29


10 Romantic Places To Say:

“Aloha Wau La ‘oe!” the spirit of aloha can be found at every turn on the Hawaiian islands and here are some of the most romantic locations to say: “i love you!” by maxine andrews

The Hawaiian Islands – The Aloha State – an amorous archipelago that lures lovers from all over the world to the tropical trance of its romantic mystique. With the 50th state’s ethereal beauty, swaying palms, magnificent sunsets and secluded sandy coves and beaches, it’s a no-brainer that Hawaii has always been a favorite destination for lovers to wed, honeymoon, celebrate anniversaries and rekindle romance. While each of Hawaii’s main islands overflows like volcanic lava with myriad backdrops for hot romantic interludes, the following 10 are “musts” for vacating Valentines to see and do:

OAHU – THE GATHERING PLACE 1

Kiss liKe you’ve never been Kissed before at Halona Cove Few images get the romantic sparks flying like the one between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the 1953 film, “From Here to Eternity.” The scene of the lovers embroiled in the throes of surf-side love was so steamy, the Motion Picture Association of America banned Columbia Pictures from using stills from the scene in their ads. You and your special someone can recreate that surf-frolicking kiss by visiting the cove where it was shot, which is located adjacent to Halona Blowhole, a 30-minute drive west from Honolulu.

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roCK your Hula baby at Hanauma bay Nearby Halona Cove you’ll find Hanauma Bay, which was an active volcano

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10,000 years ago. As the centuries have passed, the waves of the Pacific have worn away a part of the volcano’s wall, forming a natural horseshoe-shaped beach. Take your loved one’s hand, stand at the top of the cliffs of Hanauma, and revel in the views fit for a king – which is, perhaps, why it was used for many scenes in the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s 1961 film, “Blue Hawaii.”

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Get a sly smile from a Kamaaina Pack a little picnic lunch and some wine, rent a car – preferably a convertible – and ask a native Hawaiian (known as a Kamaaina) for directions to Tantalus Drive. They will take one look at you and your mate and break out in the slyest smile you’ve ever seen. That is because you would be hard-pressed to find a Kamaaina who hasn’t made that breathtakingly beautiful drive up to the 2,013-foot peak of Mount Tantalus


OAHU (Continued) with a special someone. Once at the summit, you’ll look down at the glistening blue Pacific Ocean lapping against Honolulu’s shores and the lush Moana Valley, often tinted by rainbows, and know why you got that sly look.

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basK in tHe Golden Glow of diamond Head’s sHores With its sandy and secluded shores, rocky outcroppings, old lighthouse, and spectacular views, strolling along

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Diamond Head’s shores will provide you and yours with a moment you’ll never forget. You simply must do this at sunset, when you will feel you truly are in the golden glow of paradise.

HAWAII – THE BIG ISLAND 6

let tHe flames of romanCe erupt at Kilauea and mauna loa The fury of nature is awe-inspiring and, while it brings with it the recognition of just how small and insignificant we are, it can also intensify just how very significant we are to the ones we love and care about. You will certainly have that feeling as you experience Hawaii’s two very active volcanos – Kilauea and Mauna Loa – which are a part of Hawaii Volcanos National Park. While helicopter rides are the best way to see the flaming eruptions and lava flows, there are few things as romantic as walking hand-in-hand along Devastation Trail, which will give you an upclose look at nature’s power.

blaCKen your soles on tHe sands of Kaimu While sandy beaches can be found in many parts of the world, the ones at Kaimu are so extraordinary, they must be seen to be believed. Kaimu is a little village in the Puna District on the island’s eastern shore, which was completely destroyed by an eruptive flow of lava from Kilauea in 1990. On the beaches of Kaimu, the Pacific Ocean (which should not be stepped into at this location due to the rough waters) confronts jet-black sand – the result of hot lava meeting cooling seawater.

KAUAI – THE GARDEN ISLE 7

ride a rainbow at waimea Canyon In the west-central part of Kaui, you’ll find Waimea Canyon, a 3,657-foot-deep, mile-wide, 10-mile-long gorge that was formed over millions of years from a massive geologic fault. To stand within Waimea Canyon at dawn or sunset is like standing within a prism. Hold on to the one you love in the shadows of the canyon’s jagged cliffs and allow the ever-changing colors to envelop you as if you were riding a rainbow.

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spend a sunset witH puff in a land Called Hanalei Located on Kauai`s northern tip, the Hanalei Valley, with its tranquil rice paddies, is a favorite of romantics and film-location scouts. Forget about “50 Shades of Grey,” Here you’ll find what the Kamaainas call: “40 shades of green.” If there is one thing everyone should have on their bucket list, it should be to experience sunset in this land with mountains that stretch into the ocean giving them the appearance of a sleeping dragon the Kamaaina call “Puff.”

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KAUAI (Continued)

9

experienCe tHe danGerous beauty of lumaHai beaCH Located near Hanalei, Lumanahi Beach is off the main highway and not easy to find without assistance. Once you do find it, you will find yourselves standing on the golden sand and black lava rock that have been used in numerous famous films including the 1958 classic, “South Pacific.” Considered to be one of the most “drop-dead gorgeous” beaches in the world, it is also one of the most “drop dead” dangerous ones. This is a beach that has waters that invite you to “look, but don’t touch” because of the tide, current and sharks.

MAUI – THE VALLEY ISLE 10

visit tHe sun at its Home on HaleaKala

In the center of Maui, you will find the 10,023-foothigh, dormant volcano known as Haleakala, which means “House of the Sun.” A 33-mile-long volcano that runs 24 miles wide, Haleakala’s crater alone is 21 miles in circumference, with a crater floor that rests 3,000 feet below its rim. To experience a sunrise at this elevation is considered to be one of the most aweinspiring and romantic experiences the world has to offer. Hawaiian legend says it was from this spot that the demigod, Maui, lassoed the sun with a rope made

of coconut fiber, slowing down its daytime course in the sky. To see this sight in all its glory, you must arrive in the very early morning darkness. Be advised: be sure to dress warmly because it will be cold. Make sure you stake your sunrise-viewing spot about a half-hour before sunrise, and then get ready for a show like no other. As you stand looking down at the cover of puffy clouds below, the sun will suddenly break through and appear to rise up from under the clouds, turning them red, orange and gold. If this sight doesn’t get your romantic flames a-burning, you had better check your pulse!

DINE ROMANTICALLY AT THE SHERATON MAUI RESORT & SPA The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, one of the most romantic resorts in the islands, doubles down on their romantic dining offerings for Valentine’s Day. Situated oceanfront on Kaanapali Beach, the resort offers dining experiences that are sure to create romance and lasting memories. Guests may choose from a four course prix fixe menu at Black Rock Steak and Seafood, and house guests may also choose to have a romantic dinner for two served on their guest room lanai, complete with a bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial, scattered rose petals and a long-stem red rose. The four course prix fixe dinner is $69 per guest and the private room service, available on a limited basis, is $250 per couple, inclusive of tax and service charge. For reservations call (808) 662-8059.

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It's Never Too Late To ... Make A Match, Find A Find, Catch A Catch

Special to Life After 50 by Sherri Murphy, CEO and VIP matchmaker at Elite Connections

If You’re Single, make This valentine’s Day The Day You commit To loving Yourself and exploring New Possibilities

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rom the time we are children, we are taught that Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year. School halls decorated with pink and red hearts are filled with children thinking about whether they should reveal their secret crushes. Teenagers use their allowances or after-school job money to make their first purchase for a significant other. And, as adults, we pressure ourselves to live up to the romantic Valentine’s Day hype we’ve been fed since we ourselves were back in grade school, leaving many singles feeling unnecessarily lonely or let down on February 14. As a professional matchmaker, I’m guessing that most people would expect Valentine’s Day to be my favorite holiday. Well, as surprising as it may seem, I find the whole Valentine’s hype to be a bit overrated. I mean, come on, good luck getting a great table at your favorite restaurant. And if you do, the organic intimacy felt on previous dates is now nearly unreachable with all the forced romance and unattainable expectations. Everything is supposed to somehow be more special just due

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to the calendar date. I am a believer that love is organic, that relationships ebb and flow, and romance is often found in small details. Neither love nor romance can be forced to fit a certain date, time or place. As February 14 once again approaches, you may be with that special someone you love and adore. That’s wonderful! Enjoy Valentine’s Day and use it as an opportunity to remind yourself and your partner of what you love and appreciate about one another. In my opinion, that’s what the day is really about: providing reminders of what you, hopefully, share and show to one another on every day of the year.

embrace YourSelf But what if you haven’t met that special someone? Are you doomed to a mid-February day of wallowing in self-pity and Chardonnay? Absolutely not! Being single on Valentine’s Day should, in no way, negatively affect your self-esteem or crush your hopes for loving again. Instead of thinking about what is lacking, shift your focus to all the new and exciting opportunities for romance that may lie ahead. Embrace this day of love as a day to love yourself! As clichéd as that may sound, one cannot truly love another before they learn to love themselves – and that begins with taking positive steps that manifest and create desired change in your own life. Put away your Kleenex and pass on the sappy movies and ice cream and make a plan for how, during 2015, you can improve your quality of life, with or without a partner. Sign up for the class you’ve been interested in, finish that project you’ve been working on, or plan the trip you’ve always wanted to take. Invest in yourself and the things you are passionate about. And don’t be surprised if, by doing this, it attracts the kind of person you have been seeking. Remember, confident people who are engaged in life are happy and dynamic and seek out the same in others.

IT STarTS WITh a NeW Self-PerSPecTIve During my 20-plus years as a professional matchmaker, I have seen far too many singles make the same mistakes over and over again. One such mistake has nothing to do with having the ability to identify qualities they are seeking in others, but rather, in neglecting to do the necessary work on themselves. They want someone who is engaging, stylish, open-minded, fun, curious and interested in life, and yet, they find themselves static and stuck in their own routines. I was once a divorced mother of two children who, after being single for 10 years, was highly skeptical of ever finding love again. I was stuck in a rut – doing the same things over and over again and hoping for different results. I was a busy real estate professional, working six or seven days a week and spending the little free time I had either with my children or playing tennis at my club. Since I preferred not to date people from either work or the club, I found myself alone and losing hope in romance. I knew I had to do something different and, finally, decided to work with a professional matchmaker. I did it because I had come to terms with the fact that my way wasn’t working and if I wanted to be successful in love and move my life in a new direction, I would have to be open to new possibilities. That is what I did and that is how I met Bill, who is now my wonderful husband and forever Valentine. The experience of utilizing the services of a professional matchmaker led me to open my own matchmaking agency, Elite Connections. I knew it worked and I saw a need for singles, like myself, to find a way to meet other serious and commitmentminded people. This is especially true for those over 50, when it can be harder to meet an abundance of quality singles. Many people prefer not to date those they work with and, as they get older, don’t have as many social opportunities to find potential romance. That is why it’s imperative to try new things and be open to new possibilities. This may be uncomfortable in the beginning, but as I can personally attest, the end results are well worth any initial discomfort. To learn more about Elite Connections and how Sherri and her matchmakers can help you take the first step to a different tomorrow, contact Sherri Murphy at (800) 923-4200 or via e-mail at info@eliteconnections.com


Let’s Get OUt A Preview of Upcoming Events for February/March By Claire Yezbak Fadden

eNteRtAINMeNt SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15 DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOODBYE In a side-splitting, historic finale, Dame Edna Everage (Barry Humphries) is capping a spectacular career spanning 50 years of bravura showmanship in this celebratory show. Surrounded by spectacular sets and gorgeous, talented dancers, Dame Edna keeps her audience enthralled with her sparkling wit, mischievous wisdom and razor-sharp banter. With her take-noprisoners comedy and hijinks, you can be certain Dame Edna is not going out with a whimper. Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, 135 North Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Through March 15. $55-$115. centertheatregroup.org. JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR The last seven days in Jesus’ life are dramatized with emotional intensity, thought-provoking edge and explosive theatricality. Propelled by a stirring score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, this classic rock opera illuminates the transcendent power of the human spirit with a passion that goes straight to the heart. DOMA Theatre Co. at The Met Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles. Fri.-Sun. through March 22. $20-$35. (323) 8029181.domatheatre.com.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17 THE NIGHT ALIVE Tommy owes more than he earns. When he is unexpectedly compelled to help Aimee, a young woman with much harder luck than his own, the taste of turmoil he suffers becomes a full-blown meal. With his trademark humor and humanity, Conor McPherson makes Phoenix Park, Dublin a place where anyone can rise from the ashes. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. Tues-.Sun. through March 15. $39$79. (310) 208-5454. geffenplayhouse.com. THE WHIPPING MAN The Civil War has ended, leaving destruction in its wake. As a raging storm illuminates what’s left of a once majestic plantation home, three Jewish men prepare for Passover—the owner’s son, and his family’s former slaves. Only one of them, Simon, remains strong in his faith, but it is threatened with truths about what happened in this house—and in their lives—during its antebellum days. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Tues.-Sun. through March 1. $30-$75. (626) 356-7529. pasadenaplayhouse.org. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18 ANNA CHRISTIE Real-life father and daughter Jeff and Zoe Perry, star as a sailor and the daughter he has not seen for almost 20 years in Eugene

LA/Ventura

February/March 2015

O’Neill’s 1922 Pulitzer Prize winner. This surprisingly contemporary classic crackles with fierce physicality, humor and drama. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Dates vary through March 8. $30-$34. (310) 477-2055 x2. odysseytheatre.com. GLENDALE NOON CONCERTS Ergo Muscia. Viola solo recital. First Baptist Church of Glendale, 209 N. Louise St., Glendale. Free. (818) 242-2113. glendalenoonconcerts.blogspot.com. WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION JAM Musicians and cowboy poets perform stories and songs of the romantic days of the Old West, contemporary music of the American West and songs of the open range and the American cowboy. The Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles. $6-$10. (323) 667-2000. theautry.org. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19 MUTANT OLIVE Mitch Hara offers up tales of a soul-sucking childhood, monstrous substance abuse, rampant sex, crashed cars, an out of body experience and a black cape — all during the course of an audition for “Death of a Salesman.” Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Thurs.-Sat. through Feb. 28. $25. (323)960-7861. plays411.com/ mutant. REBORNING A young artist who crafts custom made dolls begins to suspect that a demanding client may be the mother who abandoned her at birth. As she tries to unravel the mystery, she discovers the path to her own “reborning.” The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles. Thurs.-Sun. through March 15. $20-$34. (323) 663-1525. fountaintheatre.com.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15

PAINTING THE LIGHT: CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPES OF RICHARD SCHLOSS The oil paintings of Richard Schloss are a testament to the beauty of the land and sea that surrounds us—traditional, impressionistic and yet always unique in the genre of landscape painting. His exceptional and dramatic treatment of light creates and captures a moment in time that evokes memories of an unspoiled California. This exhibition of more than 35 paintings spans the painter’s 40-yearcareer. Museum of Ventura County, 100 E. Main St., Ventura. Through Feb. 22. $5. (805) 653-0323. venturamuseum.org.

AMERICAN BUFFALO Three small-time crooks plan to rob a man of his valuable coin collection, including what they believe to be an extremely valuable Buffalo nickel. A little out of luck and way out of their league when the con goes awry, it’s every man for himself in this modern classic that weaves humor and menace throughout an emotionally charged struggle for identity and dominance. Mature audiences. Deaf West Theatre co-produces with CSULA. State Playhouse, 5151 State University Dr. Los Angeles. Thurs.-Sun. through March 15. (818) 762-2998. deafwest.org. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20 ALL-AMERICAN GIRL Who will save the children? Playwright Wendy Graf explores the journey of an “allAmerican girl” as she develops from innocent youth to terrorist bomber. The Met Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles. Fri-Sun. through Feb. 22. $15-$20. (800) 838-3006. brownpapertickets.com.

IN MY LIFE A musical theatre tribute to the Beatles. A multi-media musical about the British rock group through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein. Features live music from renowned tribute band Abbey Road. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Scherr Forum Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. $43-$44. (805) 449-2787. civicartsplaza.com. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 THE SWING DOLLS: FROM ABBA TO SWING This dynamic female vocal trio captivates and entertains with stunning close harmonies, dazzling costumes and stylish choreography. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Scherr Forum Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. $43. (805) 449-2787. civicartsplaza.com. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 END OF THE RAINBOW It’s 1968, and Judy Garland, at 46, appears to be on the way to a full recovery following a lifetime of abuse, addictions and attempted suicides. The production features Garland’s most memorable songs including “The Man That Got Away,” “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” “The Trolley Song” and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Thurs.-Sun. through March 15. $34-$48. (562) 436-4610. internationalcitytheatre.org. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 VENTURA BLUEGRASS JAMS Milano’s Italian Restaurant, Patio, Ventura Harbor Village, 1559 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura. (805) 658-0388. milanositalianrestaurant.com. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL Based on the renowned works of Dr. Seuss, this musical delivers a message about the power of imagination and belief in yourself. A charmingly colorful story with an uplifting score is performed by whimsical characters like the Cat in the Hart, Horton the Elephant and Mayzie LaBird. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. Through March 8. Ticket prices vary. (714) 589-2770. 3dtshows.com.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 35


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February/March 2015 LA/Ventura publisher. Anxious to be rid of him and return to self-imposed exile, she attempts to terrorize him into fleeing. But he has a dark agenda of his own and will not leave until the final chapter is written. Audrey Skirball Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. Tues.-Sun. through April 12. (310) 208-5454. geffenplayhouse.com. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 GLENDALE NOON CONCERTS First Baptist Church of Glendale, 209 N. Louise St., Glendale. Free. (818) 242-2113. glendalenoonconcerts.blogspot.com. THURSDAY, MARCH 5 PROPERTIES OF SILENCE Poetry, science and history spiral out of control as a contemporary Phoenix realtor, her pool contractor husband and the famed 17th century poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz meet in a multi-layered dreamscape. Pasadena Playhouse, Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Thurs.-Sun. through March 29. $15-$30. (626) 396-0920. aboutpd.org.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28

WILSON PHILLIPS AND BILLY OCEAN

One of the best-selling female groups of all time, Wilson Phillips rocked the Billboard chart with the Top 10 songs “Release Me,” “Impulsive” and “You’re in Love.” Billy Ocean’s impressive roster of hits includes the “Caribbean Queen,” “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” and “There’ll Be Sad Songs” (To Make You Cry). Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. $50-$85. (562) 467-8818. cerritoscenter.com.

camellia talks. Descanso Gardens, Center Circle 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. Also March 1. $6-$9. (818) 9494200. descansogardens.org.

MARCH SUNDAY, MARCH 1

GINO VANNELLI Since his debut release of “Crazy Life,” in 1973, Vannelli has remained one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music. With hits including “I Just Wanna Stop” and “The Wheels of Life,” his standing as a powerful and innovative live performer, are sharper than ever. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. $39-$125. (888) 645-5006. sabantheatre.org. CAMELLIA AND TEA FESTIVAL Celebrate the camellia, which brightens winter days with its colorful blossoms and warms the heart when brewed into tea. Activities include: chado tea tasting, camellia crafts, camellia walk and talk, dance performances, a Japanese tea ceremony and

36 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

BILLY OCEAN Best known for songs like “Caribbean Queen,” and “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry),” Ocean has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime. The Canyon, 28912 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills. $39-$59. (818) 879-5016. canyonclub.net. FREE FIRST SUNDAY Free admission to the Museum of Ventura County including its galleries and any special events. Museum of Ventura County, 100 East Main St., Ventura. First Sunday of each month. (805) 653-0323. venturamuseum.org. TUESDAY, MARCH 3 SWITZERLAND A fictional account of legendary author Patricia Highsmith. Highsmith, master of the macabre, is racing to finish her novel when an attractive young man arrives representing her impatient

Doll,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and “Grease.” Their long-lasting career has led to the overwhelming success of the winning musical “Jersey Boys,” which chronicles the life of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and features all of their greatest hits. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, The Kavli Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. $83-$123. (805) 449-2787. civicartsplaza.com. SUNDAY, MARCH 8 SHUFFLE CONCERT In this musical celebration, the audience chooses what pieces will be performed. From baroque, classical, and romantic to jazz, pop, and Broadway. Pepperdine University, Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. $15-$35. arts. pepperdine.edu. TUESDAY, MARCH 10 VENTURA BLUEGRASS JAMS Milano’s Italian Restaurant, Patio, Ventura Harbor Village, 1559 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura. (805) 658-0388. milanositalianrestaurant.com.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6

THURSDAY, MARCH 12

BUDDY — THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY This rock ‘n’ roll musical about Buddy Holly and his short-yet-spectacular career features Holly’s classic hits such as “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be the Day” and “Oh Boy.” The performance also includes “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens and “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper, both of whom died with Holly in a 1959 plane crash, a tragedy known as “The Day the Music Died.” Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Also March 7. $35-$60. (562) 467-8818. cerritoscenter.com.

TRIBES The original off-Broadway cast members Russell Harvard, Susan Pourfar and Mare Winningham star in Nina Raine’s savage, funny look at family dynamics and the challenges of communication. Teeming with rich characters and revolutionary dialogue, this critically-acclaimed West End and offBroadway sensation boldly asks some of life’s hardest questions: what is communication and understanding, and can we truly have it—with anyone?. L.A. Theatre Works at the James Bridges Theater, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, 235 Charles E. Young Dr., Los Angeles. Also March 13-15. $15-$60; (310) 827-0889. latw.org.

SUNSET BABY When a former Black Revolutionary and political prisoner decides to connect with his estranged daughter, he discovers that fatherhood might be the most challenging revolution of all. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. $30-$34. Dates vary through April 19. (310) 477-2055 x2. odysseytheatre.com. SATURDAY, MARCH 7 FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS The original Jersey boy himself, Frankie Valli is a true American pop icon. His career with the Four Seasons, as well as his solo success, has spawned countless hits like “Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES ART WALK This self-guided, public art walk brings art lovers and community friends together in downtown Los Angeles. 411 S. Main St., between Second and Ninth Streets, Los Angeles. Free. downtownartwalk.org. FRIDAY, MARCH 13 MAME The musical shares Mame’s collection of eccentric, wealthy society friends. Her life is one endless party, until her young nephew Patrick walks into her life. Her mad-cap, free-spirited lifestyle with its focus on today changes while looking after her brother’s son. Kentwood Players, Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. Fri.-Sun. through April 18. $20-$25. 310-645-5156. kentwoodplayers.org. SATURDAY, MARCH 14 HENRY IV, PART I Part comedy, part tragedy, Shakespeare spins a tale of a young man caught between the joys of hanging around London pubs with the drunken and immoral Falstaff, and taking his


CALeNDAR

February/March 2015 LA/Ventura rightful place beside his father as a prince fighting to maintain the crown amidst civil war. The Antaeus Company, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hollywood. Thurs.-Sun. through May 3. $30-$34. (818) 506-1983. antaeus.org

eXHIBItIONs ARMIN HANSEN: THE ARTFUL VOYAGE In the West, Hansen became the first to realize the potential beauty of commercial fishing, and he chose the theme in large part because he knew it well from firsthand experience. His vibrant, blustery scenes of the sea communicate broadly the impact of hardship and physical labor and the importance of bravery. Pasadena Museum of Art, 490 East Union Street, Pasadena. Through May 31. $5-$7. Wed.-Sun. (626) 568-3665. pmcaonline.org.

AMAZING AUTOMOBILES: THE ULTIMATE CAR EXHIBIT Whether it’s the 1913 Mercer Raceabout, long considered the first race car, the Cadillac Papal Parade Phaeton known in pop-culture as the “Pope-mobile” or the car Danny Zuko races in “Grease,” cars play a memorable role in history. The exhibit is in partnership with the Petersen Automotive Museum to showcase some of The Petersen’s most stunning and memorable cars, including: 1956 XKSS owned by Steve McQueen, Batmobile driven by Michael Keaton in “Batman” (1989) and “Batman Returns” (1991) and the1946 custom Ford used by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in “Grease” (1978). The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley. Through May 1. $13-$16. (800) 410-8354. reaganlibrary.com. GRANDES MAESTROS Great Masters of Iberoamerican Folk Art, Collection of Fomento Cultural Banamex. A showcase of more than 1,200 works: colorful masks, intricate textiles, hand-carved miniature sculptures, yarn paintings, clay animals, religious and political altarpieces — associated with daily use or ritual purpose, and immersed in the traditions and identity of Iberoamérica. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Gem Vault, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles. Through Sept. 13. $9-$12. (213) 763-3466. nhm.org. LIGHT AND NOIR Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950. The birth of Hollywood is a Jewish and an American story alike. It is a story of immigration and innovation, beginning with the handful of visionary émigrés who

SUNDAY, MARCH 8

LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE

The 115-member Los Angeles Master Chorale performs, including Shawn Kirchner’s most ambitious piece to date, “Songs of Ascent,” a lyrical seven-moment work for voices and strings set to the Psalms pilgrims sang on their journey to Jerusalem. Korean-American composer NackKum Paik’s work, “Successions,” written for double choir, features the Chorale with special guest the Los Angeles Chamber Choir, under the artistic direction of Chung Uk Lee. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. $29-$129. (213) 972-7282. lamc.org.

founded the American film industry in the early 20th century. Less widely known are the stories of the German-speaking actors, directors, writers, and composers—many of them Jewish—who fled Nazi persecution in Europe and went on to shape Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” This exhibition pays tribute to their lives and work, revealing the profound ways that the émigré experience left a mark on American movie-making. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Tues.-Sun. through March 1. $7-$10. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org. DONNA SUMMER: FOUR SEASONS OF LOVE Donna Summer rocketed to international superstardom in the mid-1970s with her groundbreaking merger of rhythm and blues, soul, pop, funk, rock, disco and avantgarde electronica. The display from the first exhibition highlighting the legendary “Queen of Disco,” includes gowns, costumes and set designs sketches designed by Summer, written lyrics and notes as well as photographs spanning Summer’s entire career. Maintaining an unbroken string of hits throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, most of which she wrote, Summer holds the record for most consecutive double albums to hit number one on the Billboard charts. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Fourth Floor, 800 W. Olympic

Blvd., Los Angeles. Through Spring 2015. $12$13. (213) 765-6803. grammymuseum.org. BRUCE DAVIDSON/PAUL CAPONIGRO Two American Photographers in Britain and Ireland. The exhibition features approximately 150 works by the photographers to examine the work of two master photographers as they trained American eyes on enduring landscapes and changing cultural scenes. Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens, MaryLou and George Boone Gallery, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Through March 9. $12-$15. (626) 405-2100. huntington.org. KIM STRINGFELLOW’S JACKRABBIT HOMESTEAD Through photography and audio interviews, this exhibition details how the desire to flee the urban sprawl of Los Angeles and stake a claim in the fierce California desert resulted in both a collection of derelict cabins in the 1950s and the reclamation of the land for a burgeoning artistic community today. The exhibition also explores issues of land use and ecology that continue to complicate the settlement of the arid West. The exhibition also explores the commercial promotion of homesteading alongside the reality of life in the desert through primary sources including vintage magazines and audio interviews with

area residents. The Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles. Through Aug. 23. $6-$10. (323) 667-2000. theautry.org. PRIDE AND JOY The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the 1980s and bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late 1960s. His tragic death in 1990 at age 35 cut short a brilliant career in blues and American rock ‘n’ roll, just as he was on the brink of superstardom. Exhibition includes: several guitars, including Vaughan’s “Number One” Fender Stratocaster, early family photographs, original stage outfits, including Vaughan’s famous Indian headdress and handwritten lyrics. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Fourth Floor, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Through July 2015. $12-$13. (213) 765-6803. grammymuseum.org. Get the Word Out. E-mail your announcements to Claire Fadden, cfadden@lifeafter50.com. Include a brief description, location, date, time, cost, phone and website. Submission does not guarantee publication. Deadline for the March/ April calendar is February 1.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 37


MAINLY MOZART’S SPOTLIGHT SERIES LA JOLLA • RANCHO SANTA FE • CARLSBAD

FEBRUARY 6 - MAY 31

FEBRUARY 6 & FEBRUARY 8 Erin Keefe, violin; Ronald Thomas, cello Adam Neiman, piano MARCH 6 & MARCH 8 Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin Anne-Marie McDermott, piano The Miami String Quartet MARCH 27 & MARCH 29 Ida Kavafian, violin Steven Tenenbom, viola;Peter Wiley, cello MAY 8 & 9 Anne-Marie McDermott, Pedja Muzijevic, Anton Nel, Stephen Prutsman Four-Piano Spectacular! MAY 16 & 17 Sheryl Staples, violin; Cynthia Phelps, viola Carter Brey, cello; Shai Wosner, piano MAY 30 & 31 Steven Copes & Alexander Kerr, violins Hsin-Yun Huang, viola; Efe Baltacigil, cello Jon Kimura Parker, piano

ANNE MARIE McDERMOTT, SPOTLIGHT SERIES CURATOR

WWW.MAINLYMOZART.ORG • (619) 46-MUSIC

38 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


Rick Steve’s Travels Verona, Italy: City of Romance

By Rick Steves bout two hours from the bustling and touristy Italian cities of Milan and Venice, you’ll find Verona – a welcome taste of pure, easygoing Italy. Made famous by Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Verona is Italy’s fourth-most-visited city, and second in the Veneto region only to Venice in population and artistic importance. The locals – Veronese – marvel that each year, about 1,600 Japanese tour groups break their Veniceto-Milan ride for an hour-long stop in Verona, just to stand in the courtyard of the House of Juliet, where the real-life Cappello family once lived. The tiny, admittedly romantic courtyard becomes a spectacle in itself as visitors from all over the world pose on the almost believable balcony and take photos of each other rubbing Juliet’s bronze breast, which, supposedly, gives the fondler luck in love. The city is so famous for love that, every year, it receives countless letters addressed simply to “Juliet, Verona, Italy.” Volunteers respond to these mostly lovesick folk (click on www.julietclub.com) and have been especially busy since the release of the 2010 film “Letters to Juliet,” about a girl, played by Amanda Seyfried, who finds a letter while visiting the House of Juliet and travels through Italy to help reunite the author with her lost love. Beyond the romantic fiction of Verona, the town is also packed with genuine history. Because ancient Romans considered Verona an ideal resting spot before crossing the Alps, the city has a wealth of Roman ruins. The well-preserved amphitheater – the third largest in the Roman world – dates from early in the first century A.D. and still retains most of its

A

original stone. Over the centuries, crowds of up to 25,000 spectators have cheered Roman gladiatorial battles, medieval executions, and modern plays – including Verona’s popular summer opera festival, which takes advantage of the arena’s famous acoustics. Corso Porta Borsari was the main drag of Roman Verona. A stroll here makes for a fun, ancient scavenger hunt. Remnants of the town’s illustrious past – chips of Roman columns, medieval reliefs, fine old facades, and fossils in marble – are scattered among modern-day fancy shop windows. Any vist to Verona will bring you to Piazza Erbe, Verona’s market square, where vendors come to slice and sell whatever’s in season. People have gathered here since Roman times, when this was a forum. The whale’s rib hanging from an archway for 500 years was a souvenir brought home from the Orient by spice traders. Today, Piazza Erbe is for the locals, who start their evening with an aperitivo here. It’s a trendy scene, as young people fill the bars to enjoy their refreshing spritz drinks, olives, and chips. After spritzing, it’s time for feasting, and Verona has its share of excellent eateries. One of my happiest memories from a recent trip was eating with a friend at Enoteca Can Grande, where we let the chef, Giuliano, bring us whatever he wanted. The carne cruda (raw beef), was, as my friend put it: “Like seeing the smile of a beautiful woman after 10 years. You never forget her.” The mortadella (Italian-style baloney) was served with black truffle. It was exquisite. Imagine calling baloney exquisite. Well, you can if you just add truffle. Then came the

best polenta with anchovies I’d ever tasted. As it turns out, anchovies and polenta are a “good marriage.” For dessert: a plate of voluptuous slices of cheese. “Even if we do not talk,” said my companion, “with these cheeses we have good conversation.” As I held the warm and happy tire of my full tummy, I thought about how Italians live life with abandon – and how passionately they enjoy their food. Besides eating, the highlight of Verona for me is taking an evening passeggiata (stroll). It’s a multigenerational affair. Like peacocks, the young and nubile spread their wings across the wide sidewalk promenade, made broad by the town’s Venetian overloads in the 17th century so the town’s beautiful people could see and be seen in all their finery. Whenever I stroll here, I find myself surrounded by little love stories – romantic snapshots fluttering in and out of my world like a butterfly. A guy on a bike pedals gracefully by, his girlfriend sitting on the handlebars embracing him. A woman tells me that her husband is her “mezza mela” – half an apple. Apparently, when soulmates find each other in Italy, it makes the apple whole. I don’t know if all of the love that wafts through the Veronan air is related to the Romeo and Juliet hype – or if it’s just the natural high that comes from living in such a joyful and connected place. Rick Steve writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and radio. You can e-mail him at rick@ricksteves.com and visit his website at www.ricksteves.com.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 39


T Ravel MaRkeT p lace | Guide

TRavel Marketplace G u i D e

California

DOLPHIN BAY RESORT & SPA — Set along the rugged California Coast, just south of San Luis Obispo on California’s Scenic Highway 1, Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa is centrally located in Pismo Beach. The Dolphin Bay is the ideal hotel for romantic getaways or family vacations where guests stay anywhere from two nights to months at a time. With 60 spacious 1 and 2 bedroom suites featuring all of the amenities of a home, Lido Restaurant, The Spa at Dolphin Bay and an array of activities, guests can experience the best of the Central Coast.

800.516.0112 or www.thedolphinbay.com WINE COuNTRY TRAILS — Wine Country Trails by Horseback participants will enjoy a one hour or more (upon request), scenic, leisurely, guided tour on quality, wellseasoned horses. Riders will be guided through various charming vineyard trails, and will experience, first hand, the beauty that brings so many to the Temecula Valley. Riders will be able to choose from an early morning horseback ride, when the dew is still fresh on the vines, an afternoon ride, or an evening ride, with the sun setting as a backdrop to the vineyards. It’s new, it’s exciting,.and it’s romantic!

Request your Reservation 951.506.8706 www.winecountrytrailsbyhorseback.com

Colorado

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Hawaii

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Utah

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Virginia

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International

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For more information: Call 800.221.7179 or visit www.PacificDelightTours.com LuxuRY RESORT ACCOMMODATIONS ON AMBERGRIS CAYE, Belize is fast becoming one of the hidden gems to discover in the Caribbean. The island of Ambergris Caye Belize has been rated two years in a row as the number #1 island to visit in the world according to Trip Advisor.

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Hawaii follows HawaiiAleutian Standard Time (HAST) which is 10 hours behind the Coordinated Universal Time (UCT-10). It is 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time and 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time so add one extra hour to the time difference during this period (March through November). See more at: www.travelsmarthawaii.com


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February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 41


And Finally... The Bookworm’s Best A Life After 50 book review

by Terri “The Bookworm” Schlichenmeyer

My Boy, Ben: A Story of Love, Loss and Grace By David Wheaton

H

e was a once-in-a-lifetime dog. From the moment you brought him home until the day he left, you never had a minute’s problem. He was easy to teach, easy to trust, easy to love and, unfortunately, too easy to lose. You’ll never forget your once-in-a-lifetime dog – nobody does – and in the book “My Boy, Ben,” David Wheaton tells you about his. Years ago, there was always a dog or two at his household and Wheaton remembers several of them: big dogs, husky dogs, always ready to join a Minnesota boy with adventure in his heart. As the youngest of four kids, Wheaton cherished those dogs as his favorite playmates. As an adult and a world-traveling tennis pro, Wheaton knew that having a dog would mean asking his parents to help with the care while he was on the road. That was something they weren’t willing to do, so Wheaton continued to dream – until he received a note from his mother that mentioned a dog she had noticed. A few months later, he picked up a beautiful lab he named Ben. In the upper Midwest, says Wheaton, there are four distinct seasons, and for him, each holds a memory attached to his years with Ben. In wanting a hunting dog, Wheaton turned to a reference book for guidance; fall, therefore, reminded him of taking Ben afield. Winter was spent skating on a nearby pond, with Ben loping along behind. In the spring, as soon as the ice melted to reveal one of Minnesota’s lakes, Ben was in it. Summers were spent at the family’s cabin, exploring nearby woods and swimming. But as Ben aged, Wheaton tried to remember one thing: at the beginning of loving a dog, you know there’ll always be an end. His and Ben’s, he hoped, would be many years away. I liked “My Boy, Ben,” but there are two big surprises inside this book. I don’t think I’m ruining anything by telling you the first one: unlike other books that finish with the death of a dog, Wheaton puts Ben’s demise about halfway through this story. I wasn’t expecting that, and it was a pleasant aspect since it gives readers a leisurely chance to see what happens next. And what happens next was the second surprise: this book then takes a heavy Biblical turn, something that was unexpected in spite of the inclusion of some early-page scriptures. Whether the Biblical turn engages you or not, how could a dog parent, or anyone who loves, or has ever loved a dog, resist a book like this? You can’t; so bring a box of tissues and settle in. For the lab fan or anyone who’s every truly loved a dog, “My Boy, Ben” could be a once-in-a-lifetime book. “My Boy, Ben: A Story of Love, Loss and Grace” by David Wheaton, 2014, Tristan Publishing, $18.99, 264 pages. The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer who lives on a hill with two dogs and more than 12,000 books. You can read all of Terri’s book reviews, updated weekly, at www.lifeafter50.com. Just click on “Entertainment” and then “Book Reviews.”

A Look Back

W

hile the exchange of homemade Valentine’s Day cards can be traced back to the early 1700s in America, it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that manufactured cards began to surface. These cards became more popular as a universal postal system emerged. In 1847, 19-year-old Esther Howland received an elaborate Valentine. This inspired her to create her own cards made of products secured by her father, who owned the largest stationery store in Worcester, Massachusetts. Thinking there might be a market for her cards, Howland gave her brother, who was a salesman for their father’s company, a dozen samples to show clients. Hoping he could get about $200 worth of orders, she was shocked when he returned with over $5,000 in advance sales. In order to fill the orders, she recruited friends and family, and her card business was born. Howland, known as the “Mother of the American Valentine,” created many innovations in Valentine card design. She introduced wafers of colored paper placed beneath delicately cut lace, three-dimensional accordion effects, and mechanics in which pulling a string moved flowers to reveal printed verses. After three decades of successful sales, Howland joined forces with Edward Taft to create the New England Valentine Company in 1879. Two years later, they sold the company to George C. Whitney, owner of the Whitney Valentine Company, who continued manufacturing cards until 1942 when wartime paper shortages caused the business to close. 42 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

Just A Thought Before We Go

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~ Charles M. Schulz


February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 43


44 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


San Diego County February 2015

southern california

lifeafter50.com

most romantic Hawaii’s Locations

Rekindling

romance

Melissa

Manchester –

grateful for the life she loves


Contents

February 2015

14

26

30

28

Cover Profile

Departments

14 Monkeeing Around At Home With Micky Dolenz

6 50-Plus: What You Need To Know

Features

9 Tuned In To What’s On

23 “Xploring” Ways To Rekindle Romance Change things up and reignite your love life.

26 The Look Of Life After 50 – Melissa Manchester

The legendary singer and songwriter is grateful for a life she loves.

28 The Hallowed Hall Of Must-Knowtables * Jean Harlow

A quick look at things 50-plusers should be aware of. The best in February television viewing.

10 It’s The Law

Mitchell A. Karasov on brothers battling over business.   

35 Let’s Get Out

Legendary notables that everyone, of every age, should know.

Looking to get out and about? Our February/March calendar has some great suggestions.

30 10 Romantic Places To Say: “Aloha Wau La ‘oe!”

39 Rick Steve’s Travels

Hawaii offers the most romantic locations to say: “I love you!”

34 It’s Never Too Late To…Make A Match, Find A Find, Catch A Catch

Commit to exploring new possibilities for finding romance.

A visit to Verona, Italy – the City of Romance.

42 And Finally…The Bookworm’s Best, A Look Back And Just A Thought Before We Go

A book suggestion, memory, and a little something to leave you with.

Cover photo by Keith Munyan / www.keithmunyan.com All material published within this issue of Life After 50 and on www.lifeafte50.com is strictly for informational and educational purposes only. No individual, advice, product or service is in any way endorsed by Life After 50 or Southland Publishing, Inc. or provided as a substitute for the reader’s seeking of individualized professional advice or instruction. Readers should seek the advice of qualified professional on any matter regarding an individual, advice, recommendations, services or products covered within this issue. All information and material is provided to readers with the understanding that it comes from various sources from which there is no warranty or responsibility by Life After 50 or Southland Publishing, Inc. as to its or their legality, completeness or technical accuracy.

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Editor’s Note...

The Soundtrack Of Our Memories

F

or my cousin, Laurie Ann, and me, the soundtrack of one of our childhood summers was The Monkees self-titled first album. Laurie Ann and her little brother, Greg Allen (my aunt was adamant that both given names of her children be used), had one of those toy rooms that every kid craved. Laurie Ann and Greg Allen always had the latest and best toys that were stored in ceiling-to-floor shelves with a sliding ladder for storage and retrieval that gave the feeling you were in a magical toy shop. To this day, I can’t hear a song from “The Monkees” album without thinking back to that summer of 1967, playing it over and over again on a little record player in that toy room, and of Laurie Ann and me singing along to every song. I remember we especially liked “Last Train to Clarksville” and the line Bobby Hart wrote for that song: “Oh no-no-no…oh no-no-no,” that, even back then, we got as a tongue-in-cheek switcheroo on The Beatles’ famous lyric: “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” By the middle of the following decade, with my childhood and teens having passed into history, my head was already stockpiled with hundreds of songs that conjured up myriad memories. When I think back on that time – from the mid-1970s to the early-1980s – Melissa Manchester was one of the many artists that provided songs that would become permanently attached to the memories of places I lived, the friends I hung out with, the girls I dated, the cars I drove, and the dreams I dreamed. Manchester’s hit song, “Midnight Blue,” came out in 1975, the year I got my first “real” job as a radio disc jockey. That song was a part of our station’s regular playlist and I loved it. To this day, whenever I hear it, I have vivid memories of the rich characters I worked with there – “Fat Mike” Andrews and Joe “Cookin’” Clark – well-seasoned radio guys who were always playing “jock’s jokes” on me and also taught me so

Advertising Director/Associate Publisher Valarie Anderson Editor-in-Chief David Laurell Associate Editors Steve Stoliar, Claire Yezbak Fadden Art Director Michael Kraxenberger Editorial Assistants Max Andrews Marie Giusto Blauvelt

much about the craft of playing the boss hits, on that boss station, that our boss told us to play. In preparing for this issue, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Manchester and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, and to thank them for the memories they have provided me. “That’s the unexpected gift of songwriting,” Manchester told me as we sat having lunch in a San Fernando Valley restaurant. “You never know, when you are writing or recording a song, what people will eventually project onto your work – what special memories they will tie to your songs. There are millions of stories and memories that are tied to every popular song, and when that’s the case with one of your songs, it is a very gratifying and touching gift.” I think the most gratifying and touching gift we here at Life After 50 receive is the chance we get, every month, to share our visits with people such as Dolenz and Manchester – people, who through their talent and creations, have given us all such a great gift – the soundtrack of our memories.

David Laurell, Editor-in-Chief

Account Executives Los Angeles/South Bay: Jackie Kooper Jackiek@lifeafter50.com San Diego County National and Orange County Accounts: Phil Mendelson Phil@lifeafter50.com Ad Coordinator, Travel Landra DeLoach Landra@lifeafter50.com VP Of Finance Michael T. Nagami Human Resources Andrea E. Baker Business Manager Linda Lam Billing Supervisor Kacie Sturek VP Of Operations David Comden

For advertising/distribution inquiries contact: Valarie Anderson (310) 822-1629 x 121, Valarie@lifeafter50.com To contact our editorial department: (818) 563-1007 davidl@lifeafter50.com 5355 Mcconnell Ave LA CA 90066 Valarie Anderson Valarie@lifeafter50.com 310 822-1629 x 121 Follow us on face book ©2015 Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved

4 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


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50

Catch Up With The Captain

W

Plus

What You Need to Know By Claire Yezbak Fadden

You Can Go Home Again

H

ave you ever wanted to embark on a quest to discover your family’s ancestry? Actor, director and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy and the National Geographic Travel Team offer ancestral tourists a guide for family exploration. “Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Tips and Strategies to Find Your Family History” (National Geographic, 2015) combines 26 stories from writers who have traveled to find their family history around the world. Each story offers a personal take on journeying home, including actively searching for previously unknown ancestry, meeting up with distant relatives or visiting one’s country of origin. McCarthy, who shares his own story of exploring his Irish roots, is remembered for his roles in such films as “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Mannequin,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” and “Pretty in Pink,” and more recently, television shows “Lipstick Jungle,” “White Collar” and “Royal Pains.” For those in Southern California, you can meet McCarthy and have him sign your copy of the book on Tuesday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla. www.warwicks.com. (858) 454-0347.

Fifty Candles

F

ifty years ago this month Martin Luther King Jr. and 700 demonstrators were arrested in Selma, Alabama; 26-year-old Peter Jennings became the anchor of the “ABC Nightly News;” the Righteous Brothers’ song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” hit number one; the United States began regular bombing of North Vietnam; Beatle Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox; and Canada replaced the Union Jack flag with the Maple Leaf. Notable personalities born in February 1965 who are celebrating their 50th birthday this month include actor Brandon Lee, actresses Sherilyn Fenn and Maura Tierney, comedians Chris Rock and Carrot Top (Scott Thompson), film director Michael Bay, rapper Dr. Dre (Andre Romelle Young) and sportscaster Chip Caray.

6 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

illiam Shatner, best known as “Star Trek’s” Captain Kirk, shows no signs of slowing down at 83. With a new show on DIY he is preparing to release a Kickstarter funded book “Catch Me Up” (Kickstarter, 2015) about achieving great things in life at any age. “People over 50 have been pretty beat up lately with downsizing, a slumping economy and so many changes in the way things work,” says Shatner. “That’s why I wrote this book.” For a $10 pledge, backers will get a digital version of the book; $2,000 will bring a personal handwritten note from Shatner, while $10,000 will have you and five of your friends welcomed as Shatner’s guests at the William Shatner Charity Gala that will take place in April at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. For more information click on www.catchmeup.com.

Be A Sweetheart

W

ant to know how to be everyone’s sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Treat family, friends and co-workers to something they will all love by making easy and impressive sweetheart Valentine’s Day cookies.

Here are two ways to leave them smitten with sweets this Valentine’s Day:

Stackable Ombre Heart Cookies Prepare and roll out your favorite cookie dough recipe. Use the three smallest cutters from a four-piece heart nesting cookie-cutter set to cut out shapes. Bake and cool cookies. Divide royal icing (recipe on www.wilton.com) into three equal portions and tint three shades of rose. Thin out a portion of each shade following recipe directions. Use the full-strength tinted icing to outline cookies. Use lighter tinted icing in decorating bag to fill in cookies; gently tap to smooth icing. Let dry overnight. Use icing to attach cookies, stacking largest to smallest; place icing decoration on top.

Scalloped Heart Cookies Prepare and roll out your dough. Use largest cutter from the four-piece heart nesting cookie cutter set to cut out shape. Bake and cool cookies. Divide icing into four equal portions. Tint one of each portion light burgundy, dark burgundy and a combination of red-red and Christmas red. Reserve the last portion as white. Starting from the top edge of the heart, ice in dark burgundy, light burgundy, red and white to pipe V-shaped groups of two petals, one piped from left and one from right, to create row of petals in alternating colors. Repeat with second row between petals in first row. Continue to repeat pattern until cookies are covered. For more decorative and delicious Valentine’s Day cookie recipes, baking tips and inspiration, click on www.wilton.com.


A Little More You Need To Know

The Most Important Thing To Know This Month

Where You Need To Go Animal Magnetism

T

he Los Angeles Zoo is typically a family-friendly destination, but when they roll out their annual Sex and The City Zoo event on February 7, it’s an adults-only occasion. This extraordinary Valentine’s Day event celebrates romance in the animal kingdom. The lighthearted affair begins with a reception featuring tempting desserts, alluring wines and animal walkabouts, including chats with keepers and the chance to observe small animals up close. At the heart of the evening is a provocative presentation about relationships in the animal kingdom by an animal expert offering insights on animal mating, dating and cohabitating. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles. For more information and tickets call (323) 644-6042 or click on www.lazoo.org.

Living Smart To Protect Your Heart

W

hen it comes to recognizing and responding to the signs of a heart attack, early action can make the difference between life and death, but taking action even earlier to improve lifestyle and eating habits can make a big difference, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports about 25 percent of all deaths each year in the United States can be attributed to heart disease, making it the single largest killer of both men and women. Taking a preventive approach and making healthy choices can help manage your risk for a heart attack and other forms of heart disease. Consider these lifestyle tips from the CDC:

Manage Medical Conditions

Certain diseases and health conditions are known to put you at greater risk for developing heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Follow your doctor’s guidance to gain control of any medical issues early on.

Pay Attention To What You Eat

This means not only eating plenty of healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, but also reducing or eliminating less healthy options. Foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high blood cholesterol. One good option to start your day right is whole grain cereal.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

New Words

Y

ou might not find them in a dictionary yet, but they’re a part of the everyday American vocabulary. Here’s what they mean. Glamping: Glamorous camping; recreational camping incorporating accommodations and facilities more luxurious than traditional camping. Petrichor: The pleasant scent that accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. Wuzzle: To mix, confuse, jumble, bungle or muddle.

Exceeding the recommended weight range for your height puts you at greater risk for heart disease. Check with your doctor to determine whether your weight is in a healthy range. This can generally be determined by calculating your body mass index (BMI). If you are in an overweight or obese range, seek help from nutrition specialists to establish an eating plan that works best for you.

Get Moving

Exercise not only helps with managing your weight, it can also help with other problems, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. While adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, at least five days a week, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise plan.

Eliminate Or Reduce Unhealthy Habits

Smoking raises your risk of heart disease. If you are a smoker, a physician can assist you in finding a smoking-cessation program for your needs, and many insurance companies now cover these treatments. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure, which in turn escalates your chances of heart disease. Click on www.postshreddedwheat.com for more heart-healthy tips.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 7


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Mitchell A. Karasov, Esq. has offices in Los Angeles, Ventura County and the Coachella Valley. He specializes in elder law with emphasis in estate planning, Medi-Cal eligibility, trust administration, probate, conservatorships of person or estate, estate and trust litigation and financial abuse litigation. For more information click on www.karasovelderlaw.com or call (818) 508-7192.

Curtailing Concerns In A Brotherly Business

Q

My brother and I have been partners in a successful business for years. More importantly, we have been best friends and have always been on the same page about the way we conduct our business. Unfortunately, in the last few years, behind my back, he started entering into some actions that were detrimental to our business. This wasn’t a big issue, but it was concerning enough that I had to put my foot down and tell him he couldn’t manage his part of the business anymore. This created a rift between us. Recently, I confronted him when I found out he took a large sum of money out of the company’s bank account. He told me he did it to cover gambling debts. While this was extremely unlike him, he has been acting in many uncharacteristic ways as of late. I told his wife about this and she confronted him. The next thing I knew, he retained a lawyer and filed a lawsuit accusing me of embezzling from our company. As mentioned, my brother has been acting very strange in the last year and I’m wondering if he has dementia. He has been diagnosed with early Parkinson’s disease, and my wife says that he may be getting dementia and that I should have him declared mentally inept. My attorney says I should counter-sue him to seek recovery of the money and to force him out of the business. The thought of doing that makes me sick. My lawyer talked with his lawyer, but that only escalated the problems. I really don’t want to force him out. I just don’t want him making decisions for the business, nor do I want to spend money fighting the embezzlement lawsuit. I just want my brother to get help. How do I stop the madness and provide him with the help he may need?

A

Your brother could be suffering from some cognitive deficits due to his Parkinson’s or even, potentially, from medications used to treat his disease. If someone in your family could suggest that he undergo a full assessment by a professional neurologist, it could go a long way toward getting to the root of the problem. There is a medication currently in use that can cause excess gambling, eating and/or inappropriate sexual behaviors. If his test is positive for cognitive deficiencies, your best route may be to pursue having him declared cognitively impaired and seeking the appointment of a conservatorship over his finances. Whomever is appointed as conservator would then become your de facto business partner. You could petition for yourself to be named as his conservator, or have an appropriate family member, or even a professional conservator, be named. More importantly, through the medical and mental health assessment process, it may be discovered that this was only a temporary bout of strange behavior and poor judgment caused by a medication and not an ongoing and degenerative cognitive problem. I wish you all the best in resolving this issue

Better Call Saul – New Series, AMC – Premieres Sunday February 8 at 10 p.m. then airs every Monday at 10 p.m.

For anyone who watched “Breaking Bad,” Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman character was always a highlight. The creators of that series decided he should have a series of his own, so they made it a sort of prequel to “Breaking Bad.” Set six years before Saul Goodman met Walter White, Saul is going by the name Jimmy McGill, and is described as “a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustling to make ends meet.” Jonathan Banks is reprising his role as “Mike the Fixer,” and the new cast includes Michael McKean and Patrick Fabian.

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This “event” series is a complex family drama that explodes from one small incident, when a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child. The seemingly minor domestic dispute pulls the family apart, begins to expose long-held secrets, and ignites a lawsuit that challenges the core values of all who are pulled into it. Based on a successful Australian television series, this one stars Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton and Zachary Quinto, and was written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz.

All Of My Heart – New Original Movie, Hallmark Channel – Premieres Saturday February 14 at 8 p.m.

When a young woman inherits half of a house, she picks up her life and moves to the country to start afresh. The man who owns the other half of the house wants to sell it, but over time, develops a friendship – and possibly more – with the woman. That’s when her ex-boyfriend comes to win her back. Stars Lacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott and Ed Asner.

The Italian Americans – Four-Part Documentary Series, PBS – Premieres Tuesday February 17 at 9 p.m.

This new four-part documentary series reveals how Italian immigrants challenged the notion of the American “melting pot,” chronicling four generations of Italian-American lives, from the massive late-19th century wave of immigration to today. The series strives to peel away myths and stereotypes with an emphasis on labor, entertainment, politics and war, as well as everyday struggles with family, work, identity, and belonging. Included are interviews with Tony Bennett, John Turturro, Gay Talese, Nancy Pelosi, Antonin Scalia, and more.

The Odd Couple – New Series, CBS – Premieres Thursday February 19 at 8:30

Matthew Perry stars as endearing slob Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as uptight neat freak Felix Unger, in this reboot of the popular play, feature film and television series. In this version, they play two former college buddies who become unlikely roommates after the demise of their marriages. Lauren Graham plays Oscar’s ex-wife, and other regulars include Lindsay Sloane, Wendell Pierce and Yvette Nicole Brown.

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10 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


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Cover Profile

Monkeeing Around at Home with

Micky Dolenz Story by David Laurell Photos by Keith Munyan / www.keithmunyan.com

A

mericans first met Micky Dolenz – then known as Mickey Braddock – back in the late 1950s in the role of Corky, sitting atop his pet elephant Bimbo’s back in the television series “Circus Boy.” Less than a decade later, after appearing in numerous television shows and upstart rock ‘n’ roll bands, the then-20-year-old Dolenz established his place in pop culture history while sitting behind a drum set as a member of The Monkees. Recently, in the family room of his stylish Southwestern-style home, nestled deep in the mountains of a canyon on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the actor and musician – who will turn 70 next month – invited Life After 50 to take a seat next to him on a couch. For the next few hours, the man who, along with Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, outsold The Beatles and the Rolling Stones in 1967 and gave the world a string of platinum albums and hit songs including “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Daydream Believer,” spoke candidly about his career, fellow bandmates, family and much more. As his wife Donna, a former flight attendant he married in 2002, transferred dishes from the table to the dishwasher following lunch, and his 31-year-old daughter, Georgia, periodically popped in and out between the home and adjacent workshop via a platinum- and gold record-adorned hallway, Dolenz sunk into the couch, which provides a dramatic view of the canyon below.

14 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


Life After 50 (LA50): So is this a fairly typical day for you? Micky Dolenz (MD): [laughs loudly] The short answer is: NO! I’m out on the road performing a lot. If I’m at home, which isn’t that frequent, I guess I do have somewhat typical days – working in my wood shop with Georgia. She and I have this furniture business we call Dolenz and Daughters Fine Furniture. It really started as a hobby and then it turned into a full-time business and has become something I absolutely love doing, so at least for the past year, making furniture has been a typical home day for me. I also love gardening, living up here in the mountains and being outside around the house. When I’m on the road, it’s the typical lifestyle for a musician on the road. I always say what every musician says: that they pay us to travel and we sing for free. You travel 48 hours for a two-hour gig. When I’m away from home, it is only when I get on stage that I can relax and have some fun. I think that’s true for every musician and that’s why we call it “playing.” But getting there and getting back, especially in these days with travel being what it is, it’s just horrible. LA50: Tell us more about Dolenz and Daughters. How did that come about? MD: Well, like I said, it began as a hobby. Georgia had studied theater in England, and in working towards her degree, she had to learn how to build sets and props, so she has learned how to use every tool imaginable. She had also learned a lot from me. Growing up, she always enjoyed being out in my shop with me and she was always very handy when it came to building and fixing things. So about a year ago, she and I were building a coffee table for a friend of hers and I joked that we should start a business called Dolenz and Daughters Fine Furniture. Well, she thought that was a great idea and ran with it. She put together our website and a shopping cart for people to purchase from us. She does a lot of the design work, which she is very good at. I tend to do the heavy lifting and fabrication and powersaw work, so what started out as a hobby and a joke has really taken off. Which means one day, I’ll be onstage jumping around and playing old Monkee songs and the next, I’m home covered in sawdust [laughs]. LA50: Were you always good at building and designing things? MD: Always, although, I guess for a long time it was kind of a closet thing. I never publicized it or talked about it in interviews. For me, since I was very young, it was always my avocation – something I just loved to do that was creative and relaxing and a release from the pressures of show biz. I certainly never tried to make a living doing it. I think it’s like with many people who have a hobby that has absolutely nothing to do with their vocation – just a great way to get away from it all. LA50: Was this something you learned how to do from your father? MD: I grew up in a show biz family, but my mother and father were not typical show biz people. My father was an actor and a singer and my mom was an actress and a singer – they met doing a play. But we never lived the Hollywood or Beverly Hills lifestyle. We lived in the San Fernando Valley on a ranch. My father always had tools and was always building things and working on DIY [Do-It-Yourself] projects. He also supplemented his income by making cabinets and doing carpentry works while he was trying to get established as an actor, so I was always around him in his shop and followed in his footsteps. As a kid, I

never gave it any thought. I just figured everybody’s father built and fixed things while looking for acting work [laughs]. LA50: Over the years, you have said you would have thought of becoming an architect had you not gone into show business. MD: I did more than think about it. When I was in college, at L.A Trade Tech, I studied to become an architect. I went there right out of high school. You know I had been an actor when I was a kid. But my parents, very wisely, took me out of the business and I just went to high school like every other kid. So after I graduated high school, I was kicking around with a friend wondering what we were going to do with our lives. I had always been into building things and also into electronics, so my friend said: “Let’s get our degrees in architecture and start a building business.” I thought that was a great idea, so we signed up at Trade Tech and I loved it. I was still going out on auditions to make some money, but my plan was just the opposite of everyone who has ever come to Hollywood. I had planned on becoming an architect and, if that didn’t work out, I figured I would fall back on a career in show business [laughs]. I know that sounds crazy, but that is just how I felt about it. I was doing little guest shots on

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 15


various television shows and was even up for some roles on various pilots. In fact, during the pilot season when I auditioned for “The Monkess,” I was up for three other pilots. Then, even when I got the call that I would be doing the pilot for “The Monkees” I didn’t quit school. I had been around the business all my life and was very aware of how difficult it is to sell a pilot. I had taken about 10 days off to shoot the pilot and then went back to school. Then, a few months later, they sold the pilot and got an order for the show from NBC. It was only then that I left school. LA50: You had put a few little bands together before you did “The Monkees.” How did you feel about being in a band that had been put together for you? MD: Well, we weren’t put together as a band. We were cast as actors, just as they would cast for any Broadway musical or film or television show. “The Monkees” was not a band; it was a television show about an imaginary band. LA50: But you guys did evolve into being a real band. MD: Yes, but at the beginning, I just approached it as an entertainer – an actor – who had been cast into a show, and I still see it that way. To me, it was an acting role that called for me to sing. I remember the producers told me I would be the band’s drummer and I told them I was a guitar player – which is what I did as a part of my audition – I had played “Johnny B. Goode.” And they just said: “Oh, whatever, well now you’re the drummer.” And I said: “Okay fine, when do I start?” It was just like when I was 10-years-old and they told me I was going to learn to ride an elephant. LA50: Before we get too much into how your life changed with the success of “The Monkees,” your dad passed away before you got that show. Have you ever thought about what his feelings might have been about “The Monkees” and the success you achieved? MD: Oh boy. I’ve thought about that so many times and, of course, I’ll never really know. I had asked my mom about that – what she thought he would have thought. He was an old-school guy. He had been born in Italy and was a real “old-country-off-the-boat” type guy. He was a strong disciplinarian who was very set in his ways. When my mom and I talked about that, she sort of implied that he may not have been too thrilled about the whole 1960s free-love and free-spirted, rock ‘n’ roll, hippie lifestyle. But who knows? He was an actor, so I’m sure he would have been thrilled that I got a successful series. One thing I do know for sure is that, had he been around, I would have made a much better deal than I did [laughs]. LA50: Micky, did the producers come up with the characters for “The Monkees” or did each of your own personas surface and evolve as time went by? MD: Before they even began casting for the show the producers had in their heads what they wanted. The show was kind of based on the Marx Brothers more than The Beatles. Even before they cast us, in the pilot script, they had one Jerry Lewis-type wacky guy, one more serious guy with a dry Will Rogers sort of humor, and so on. They wanted very distinct characters to play off one

16 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

another so the comedy would work. Then, when they began casting, they were looking for four guys that jumped out of the screen at you with that undefinable thing that every casting director looks for when they cast a role. LA50: Why do you think “The Monkees” was such a success? Why did it resonate so well with viewers? MD: It was a sitcom about a band who was not successful. It was a very different kettle of fish than “A Hard Day’s Night” or “Help!” In those films, The Beatles played themselves and, like in real life, they were a huge success and had fans chasing them all over. In our show, we were a struggling band who wanted to be like The Beatles. We were always out of work and never reached any level of success as a band within the show. I think kids could relate to that more so than they could to The Beatles, who were these mega-stars. Sitcoms traditionally work because people can relate to the characters and what they are going through. I think kids related to our dream and our struggle for success. I’m always amazed that people, even real fans of the show, missed that dynamic – that within the context of the show, The Monkees, as a band, were not famous or even successful. LA50: But that was a very different story when you separate the four of you as the actual band – The Monkees – from the show “The Monkees.” You were hugely successful with such great songs as “I’m a Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville.” And yet, one of your biggest hits is not one that first comes to mind when people think of The Monkees – your song, “Randy Scouse Git.” MD: That was a big hit for me. It went to Number Two on the charts in England and was only kept out of being a Number One hit by The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields.” That song has the distinction of being the only Monkee song that was written by one of us that made it into the Top 10. LA50: The song is about a party The Beatles, or as you call them in the song - “the four kings of E.M.I” - threw for The Monkees at the Speakeasy nightclub in London. Isn’t it kind of ironic that the song was edged out of being a Number One hit by the very guys who inspired it? MD: [laughing] Oh my, I never really thought of that, but it’s true. I’m very proud of that song. It was a stream-of-consciousness, kind of ‘60s sort of song about that party and just about a lot of things that were going on at the time in my life. In the lyrics, I mention Samantha, whom I call the Wonder Girl, who would go on to become my first wife. I mention Mama Cass. She was the girl in the yellow dress. In fact, the guy I was telling you about that I was going to go into the architectural business with, he became my stand-in on “The Monkees” and then one of our road managers. I also mention him in the song. He’s the


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LA50: How did you get the news that he had passed? MD: I was back east, in New York, working on a project. I was in my hotel room and my wife, Donna, called and said she had just gotten a call that Davy had died. I was in shock. It wasn’t a good day. LA50: Do you remember your last conversation with him? MD: Oh wow! I don’t think I’ve thought about that. It would have been at the end of the tour we had just done together. Gosh, at the end of a tour, you’re just scrambling to get off the bus, pack up your stuff and get home. We had actually been halfway through a tour and we were taking a break, so our last words would have been something like: “Hey, great show, travel safe, see ya soon.” It would have been nothing more than that. LA50: Kind of puts it into perspective, huh? How fragile life is and how quick things can change? MD: No shit! And you can quote me on that! Micky’s wife Donna, having heard her name mentioned, comes into the room and joins her husband on the couch. LA50: You guys will be celebrating 13 years of marriage this year. Since this is our Valentine’s issue, any advice on making a marriage work? MD: [laughs] Well, this is my third one, so I may not be the guy to ask. I was married to two wonderful women – Samantha, who unfortunately passed away last year. She and Donna had become very good friends. And my second wife, Trina, who I have three gorgeous children with. I think making a marriage work comes with making mistakes and learning from them and just as a part of our personal growth. Also, these days we live so much longer and for various reasons, people do have multiple relationships and marriages just like they have multiple careers. It wasn’t that long ago that you got married, had kids, worked the same job all your life and, by your 50s, it was pretty much over. But today, we live longer and, if we’re lucky, with good health, we can have new lives into our later years. LA50: Are you a romantic guy, Micky? birthday boy. I wrote that song in a hotel room while having breakfast after that party with The Beatles. I wrote it because Mike was always encouraging me to write, and when we got back to L.A., he was the one who suggested we record it. I’m very proud of that song. LA50: You mention that Mike encouraged you to write. I know you’ve been asked about him and Peter and Davy a trillion times, but would you mind sharing what first comes to mind when you are asked about them?

MD: You’ll have to ask Donna. LA50: Donna? Donna Dolenz (DD): Oh, he definitely is. You see the flowers in the vase there on the counter? Every morning, he gets up and goes out and cuts flowers for me. LA50: Any Valentine’s Day traditions or plans?

MD: Well I’m a huge Mike Nesmith fan – always have been. I’ve always had a great respect and love for his writing style and songs. In fact, I always do two or three of his songs in my solo show.

DD: No. Just what we love to do when we’re both in town. We just like to spend time together snuggled up here at home. We like to cook together and drink wine and watch television.

LA50: What about Peter?

LA50: How did you guys meet?

MD: Peter and I have always gotten along in a funny sort of way. We come from very different backgrounds. I’ve always admired his intellect. On “The Monkees,” we were all playing characters, but Peter really played a character more so than the rest of us. His character in the show was goofy and not at all like what he is like in real life.

DD: We were set up on a blind date in 1991. I mean, I knew who he was, but he didn’t know who I was. All he knew was I had a roommate who was a friend of a friend of his. Micky and I had both just gotten divorced and this friend said he thought we should meet.

LA50: And Davy? MD: He was one of my dearest friends. We had so much in common from the moment we met. We had both been child actors on television shows. We got married right around the same time. We had kids at the same time. We hung out a lot – our families hung out a lot. To this day, my daughter, Ami, and his kids are very tight. Losing him was like losing a brother.

18 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

LA50: Had you been a Monkee fan? DD: I was! I was a huge fan as a kid and thought it would be fun to meet him. So one day, I got a call that he was in Atlantic City and that I should get down there for a date with him. At the time, I was a flight attendant living in New York and didn’t have a car, so all I was thinking about was what sort of bus or train and whatever else I would need to take to get to Atlantic City. I really didn’t want to go, but this friend said he had staked his reputation on me


February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 19


showing up. So I got on a casino bus and went down and met him for dinner. Then we met and it was just instant chemistry. LA50: You say you guys like to cook together. Do you adhere to any sort of diet? MD: We adhere to the Mediterranean Diet. We really always have without even realizing it. My father was from Italy and her family is from Italy, so I think we have just always gravitated to the foods we grew up with – salads and olive oil and fish. LA50: Who cooks? MD: We both do. She didn’t cook much before I met her, but I did know how to cook and she’s really gotten good. DD: For the most part, he handles the grill and I do all the side dishes. LA50: Thank you for inviting us into your home. Before we go, you have to give us a tour of the manufacturing headquarters of Dolenz and Daughters. But before we do that, Micky, one last question: you’ll be hitting a milestone next month – the big seven-o. Any thoughts or philosophy on getting older? MD: [laughs] What do they say? “Age only matters if you’re cheese.” Oh I don’t know – all the clichés come to mind – Stay young at heart. Luckily, in my line of work, that’s not hard to do, because actors and musicians are like children. We never grow up. We get paid for playing. Maybe I’m not the right person to ask about getting older, because as a part of what I do, to stay relevant, you have to stay childlike in so many ways. Your attitude has to stay childlike – jumping around on stage and dancing and singing. I’m also very close to my kids. I’m working on a children’s book with Ami and doing the woodworking with Georgia, so being around the kids keeps my mindset young. I’m also very lucky to have my health, knock on wood. So it is a cliché, but I guess it really is all attitude – You never have to have a philosophy on getting older if you maintain a playful and childlike attitude.

MONKEE BUSINESS If you grew up as a fan of The Monkees, stop monkeying around and treat yourself to something really special – a custom-crafted piece of furniture actually made by a real-life Monkee. Dolenz & Daughters Fine Furniture is a familyowned business founded in 2013 by Micky and his daughter, Georgia, who personally design and handcraft furniture in their workshop at their Southern California home. They source only the highest-quality materials and use traditional woodworking techniques. They design each piece from scratch and donate a percentage of the proceeds from each sale to a variety of charities close to their hearts. For more information, click on www.dolenzanddaughters.com

20 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


A NEW STUDY FOR PEOPLE WITH MILD TO MODERATE ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

NOBLE is a clinical study to evaluate an investigational drug for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Participants will receive the study drug or a placebo. During this study, if you taking Aricept or Namenda, you will continue to take it along with the study drug or placebo. Studies already done have shown that this investigational drug appears safe. It may work by protecting brain cells which would result in improved memory. But, this has not been proven yet. We are doing this study to find out if this is true. The study will enroll 450 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease at many research sites across the United States. Total participation time is about 14 months, which includes screening, about one year of study treatment, and follow up to check safety.

Selected eligibility criteria:

Women and men aged 55-85 years old with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

Receiving donepezil (Aricept) treatment for at least 6 months

Living in the community (not nursing homes)

Have a study partner that has regular contact with you about 10 hours per week and who will come to study visits with you.

Weight of no more than 220 pounds

For more information or to volunteer, contact:

To find participating sites for this study in the U.S., go to http://www.adcs.org/Studies/Noble.aspx, www.clinicaltrials.gov or contact the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR), a service of the National Institute on Aging.

This study is sponsored by Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd and is being conducted by theAlzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS).

(800) 438-4380 | www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 21


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Cardiovascular Care –

The Heart Of The Matter

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his month, with all the heart-shaped candy boxes, balloons and cards being passed around, it is important to remember that along with Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Month. According to the National Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Every single day, on an average of every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Additionally, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of another heart attack or a stroke in the future. Prevention, Signs and Symptoms As a service to Life After 50 readers, we have prominently posted tips for the prevention of heart disease along with the signs and symptoms that cardiovascular problems may be present on our website. To access this vitally important information, click on www.lifeafter50.com and then “Cardiovascular Care – The Heart of the Matter.”

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“Xploring” Ways To Rekindle Romance special to Life After 50 by k.renee, owner and founder of www.Xploreher.com

as we celebrate romance and the release of the long-anticipated film “50 shades of grey,” this month is the perfect time to reignite your love life

L

ove it or hate it – it’s Valentine’s Day again. Personally, I choose to love Valentine’s Day and I’ll tell you why: Just as Halloween gives us an excuse to dress up like fantasy characters, Valentine’s Day gives us the chance to express our romantic desires. And when it comes to those desires, there’s good news for those of us who are over 50. According to many doctors, aside from those suffering with illness or disease, we can enjoy a healthy sexual life well into our later years. However, in order to continue having a fulfilling intimate life, we need to do so by adjusting to some of the new realities of our changing bodies and biology. As my partner said to me recently: “We have eyeglasses and lube everywhere!” I laughed at how true that is. Our new reality is manifested by what is stashed in our bathroom and bedroom drawers.

Our BOdies Change But Our Feelings dOn’t

Can you remember the feeling of being totally in love with your partner? Giggling like teenagers?

Not able to keep your hands off of each other? In today’s world, many men and women are still vibrant, vital and sexually active well into their later years. As we age, we mature sexually, which can lead to a sex life that is as enjoyable as it was when we were younger, and sometimes, more so. As we get older, we tend to take more time, to slow down, and to “make love” versus acting on immediate urges. We have an increased ability to communicate our needs, have a greater willingness to experiment with variety, and can be more technically proficient as lovers.

especially if you work out together. Find something new to do together: bike riding, a Zumba class, swimming, hiking, golf or tennis. You can hire a personal trainer to come to your home or work with a trainer at your local gym. You should also regularly check in with your doctor to monitor your blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol use and prescription medications for potential issues that may cause a loss of libido. Once you start moving, lose a few pounds and get in better shape, you will feel sexier, and with that will come the return of a much stronger libido.

the triCk is tO keep MOving

it’s as MuCh in the Mind as it is in the BOdy

A vibrant sex life may require taking the initiative for the needed changes in your lifestyle – both physically and mentally. One of the greatest things you can do to improve your sexual health is to get up off the couch, get moving and keep moving. Couples who are in physically good shape as a result of a proper diet and exercise regimen report having the strongest sexual desire and greatest interest in exploring new ideas in the bedroom. Regular exercise can improve your love life,

No matter what your age, if you are healthy, you are not too old for sex. Both men and women must get over any feelings of being “too old” for a healthy and fun sex life. Whether you are an empty-nester or a grandparent, take advantage of this time in your life. In fact, this may be the most rewarding and liberating time of your relationship in years, now that the kids are gone and no contraception is needed. Many of my empty-nester friends say that,

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 23


with no kids coming and going all the time, they are on their second honeymoon. So turn up the music, light some candles, have glass of wine (or two), make a romantic little dinner, dance (or do more) in every room of the house. This is your time to have fun! If you need another reason to continue a healthy sexual life, consider the health benefits. As cited by numerous doctors, the benefits of a healthy sex life are numerous for both men and women. A study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that those between the ages of 45 and 59 who have regular sex were overall healthier than those who don’t. Among the benefits the study reports are: • Strengthening of the immune system • Improving of heart health • Reduction of mild pain from the release of endorphins in the brain • Strengthening the pelvic floor in both men and women • Improved appearance of the skin from increased blood flow • Prolonged psychological benefits including lifting the effects of depression

use it Or lOse it

The old adage, “Use it or lose it,” happens to be true. We need to use our sexual organs to keep them in shape. Regular intercourse or use of a vibrator for women increases blood flow to the vaginal walls, which increases lubrication and elasticity. If the tissues are not used regularly, the area may become thin and dry, causing pain. The good news: this can be fixed and you will be right back and ready to “use it” again. For specific information on health issues for women such as menopause, cancer, pain, and chronic illness, I recommend the book “Love Sex Again” (It Books, 2014) by gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher. She goes into detail on the physiological aspects that may hinder one’s sex life and offers a solution for virtually every condition imaginable. It is a great read for understanding the mechanics of the female body and all that can go wrong in regards to sexual satisfaction and the solutions to make you healthy again.

Changing it up

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of a healthy sex life and how to prepare for years of enjoyment, let’s take a look at some of our habits and see if there is an opportunity to change things up a bit. Have you or your partner fallen into a routine that hasn’t changed in years? Have you neglected your intimate relationship with your partner for months or years? If so, you may need to start out with slower and smaller gestures to get those fires burning again. If you or your partner are not feeling particularly sexual these days, the causes can be either physical or psychological. The good news is that the physical elements are within our grasp to find solutions with the guidance of your doctor. The psychological issues we may face include stress,

24 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

depression, feelings of loss (a parent becoming an empty-nester), and the fear of our ability to perform sexually. With patience, focus, concerted effort and a good doctor or therapist, anyone can welcome back the fun of having a flirty relationship. Remember, having a fulfilling sexual and intimate relationship with your partner doesn’t always have to include erections, intercourse, ejaculation or orgasm. You can start rejuvenating the fires of passion by simply going back to some of the basics. In honor of the month of February and Valentine’s Day, if it’s been awhile since you and your partner have acted on your sexual feelings, use this month to jump start your love lives. Depending upon how long it has been, you may not be ready to act out the “50 Shades of Grey” quite yet, but there are many things you can do to spice it up:

Be Open tO variety and Change

Variety and change are the spice of life. Take a look at your daily routines, clothes, and entertainment choices: is there an opportunity to do something more updated or exciting? If you haven’t really glammed it up in a while, pull out a sexy dress and heels for a different routine on Friday night, even if it’s just for dinner at home. As my partner says: “It’s fun just to talk about and plan for something different.” He thinks the planning can be even more fun than actually doing something new. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Change can be exciting.

Be adventurOus

Try taking a class together, like wine tasting or photography. Plan a weekend getaway to a place you’ve always talked about visiting. Be a tourist in

your own town and stay in a local hotel and order room service, or do something physical like a dance class, horseback riding or canoeing.

COMMuniCate

If one of you is feeling more amorous than the other these days, you must talk about it. The one that is more “in the mood” may need to back off for a while and give the other partner a chance to mentally or physically catch up with the one that is ready to go. Open communication about where you both are will be invaluable to strengthening your relationship and building trust.

set aside tiMe FOr One anOther

Plan for time with just each other – no other couples or children or neighbors or work associates. Schedule a special date night once per week. Date nights can be as simple as having dinner at home with candles and wine and a fire in the fireplace. Take turns scheduling date nights and, when it’s your turn, head to that new bar or restaurant you’ve heard about. Most museums, zoos, and botanical gardens have a cocktail night with live music at least once per month. A few times a year, you should also plan a romantic getaway night or weekend at a local historical inn or winery.

Be Flirty and silly

Whether it is in or out of the bedroom, try something new together. What’s the worst thing that could happen? No one beside you two will ever know, so if it doesn’t work, just laugh at the results and say: “At least we tried.” Make eye contact. Look at each other when you are talking. Smile at


each other. Listen carefully to what your partner has to say. Kiss each other often. Hold hands and put your arms around each other. Get back to just enjoying each other’s company.

Be BOld

Read erotic articles or books alone or together, go skinny dipping, watch a sexy movie together. Get out of the bedroom. You have a whole house to yourselves so take advantage of every room, staircase, kitchen table, floor, guest bed – you get the idea. After a few weeks of bringing the romance and variety back into your relationship, you will revive the intimacy between you and your partner. Your partner will love the excitement of being heard, the physical closeness, the flirting, and new experiences. You will love how sexy it makes you feel to look forward to your special dates and time together with just each other. If you already have a strong intimate relationship and are ready to try some new ideas together, talk about what might be exciting. It may surprise you what your partner would like to try and their ideas may be very arousing for you as well.

With the “50 Shades of Grey” movie coming out this month, you would have to be living under a rock to not know about it. Over 100 million copies of the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy have been sold globally and, if you are like me, I’ve passed my copies around to my sisters and friends after I was finished reading them, so it is probably more like 150 million. With all the buzz about this film, please keep in mind that bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism are a part of a fetish lifestyle choice and not mainstream. Remember, “everyone” is NOT doing it. In fact, it has been reported that less than two percent of the population actually likes this type of activity, at least on a regular basis. That said, if you are also like me, you may be curious to try some of the things “50 Shades of Gray” explores. If so, talk to your partner, see what he or she may be willing to try. Again, it can be very arousing and exciting if your partner would agree to some light spanking, bondage or dominant/ subservient role playing. The most important thing when trying something new is to openly communicate with

your partner, have fun, giggle, enjoy and don’t take it that seriously. Who knows? It could turn out to be an epic fail, but it could also be a new source of pleasure and excitement. At least you tried something different, got out of mundane routines and brought some life into the bedroom. Another idea I have to share is one that is a part of my business, www.XploreHer.com, and that is to subscribe to a monthly pleasure kit that arrives at the same time every month filled with ideas for you to explore alone or with your partner. The kits are filled with books, DVDS, devices, personal lubricants, and toys that will help you enjoy activities like erotic massage and bath time together. At www.XploreHer.com we sell monthly kits that each include different items. Just think how much fun it would be to have “the box” show up each month for you to try something “out of the box.” By the end the year, you will have a collection of 12 months’ worth of fun and new exploration. Some items will become new favorites, some items might be a bust for you and your partner, but again, at least you can say you tried them.

Get Ready To Do Some Xploring K.Renee is the founder and owner of www.XploreHer.com, an online retail intimacy boutique and self-help site for women and couples to improve and maintain sexual health and wellness. K.Renee is a former Fortune 100 executive who found herself suddenly single after decades of marriage. She wanted to help other women and couples navigate the world of sexual health in middle-age and beyond and believes her own marriage may have been saved if she had reached out to a resource like www.XploreHer.com for advice and information. Her business is an upscale website dedicated to the business of passion and play whether you are in a relationship or not. The site is very secure, private and discreet and your e-mail address and other information will never be sold. K.Renee demands discretion, especially given the sensitive and private nature of these purchases. She highly recommends browsing her book list on numerous topics such as sex after menopause, guide books on how to try something new, and sex after 50. She also recommends looking through the products to “xplore” useful and sexy items like the extensive “50 Shades of Grey” products for those wanting to try something new. Can’t decide what to get? You can order a subscription to the monthly kits and get something new and exciting shipped to you at the same time every month. The site even offers you choices for secured storage. K.Renee was inspired to create this business and website after scouring the Internet looking for a safe, non-pornographic, non-vulgar place to shop for intimate items. “Just because you are interested in learning more about sexual health and well-being, doesn’t mean you want to see pornographic images of 20-yearold models,” she says. “This site was built by a woman for other women to feel comfortable and safe viewing the articles and products and to make purchases that will arrive on your doorstep in a plain U.S. Postal Service box.”

For more information, click on www.XploreHer.com.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 25


Melissa Manchester — Loving The Life

On the release of her latest album, “You Gotta Love The Life,” the legendary singer and songwriter shares her thoughts on embracing life with passion and gratitude By David Laurell * Photos by Randee St. Nicholas

M

elissa Manchester, the Bronx-born daughter of a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera and his wife, one of the first women to design and establish her own clothing firm, honed her singing voice to a professional caliber, learned to play the piano and harpsichord, and was hired to sing commercial jingles, while still in her teens. She then moved on to become a staff writer for Chappell Music, signed her first publishing deal, studied songwriting with Paul Simon at New York University, performed in the Manhattan club scene where she was discovered by Barry Manilow, and backed Bette Midler as a founding member of the Harlettes trio, all by her early 20s. Today, with a five-decade-long career that has given the world a string of Top 10 hits including “Midnight Blue,” ”Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” and the Oscar-nominated songs “Through the Eyes of Love” and “The Promise,” Manchester is a Grammy Award-winning artist who continues to write, record, tour and teach music at the University of Southern California. “My parents had a huge influence on my life,” says Manchester on what gave her such drive at an early

26 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

age. “My parents were like one gorgeous 14-yearold child. They were both artists and, even as adults, with their own children, they were still like beautiful children themselves who just thought life and living was a great idea. Through the lens of my mother,

everything about life – each and every day – was dazzling. They always supported me and my dreams and I am so grateful for that.” Manchester also says she was motivated by a feeling of optimism that seemed to permeate the world when she was kid. “I felt as if I could do anything,” she says. “But today, I see a real cynicism amongst young people that I believe is imposed on them by what they see on television and on the Internet,” she opines. “Young people don’t watch the news, but what does get through to them, as to what is going on in the world, is completely distorted by agendas and urgency. Everything is breaking news and ‘Stormwatch,’ which just means it’s raining out. In today’s world, there’s this hyper-urgency about every freakin’ thing, and, because of that, kids have no sense of discernment. They are growing up with this false sense of urgency over everything, and have no context or perspective for what is real – what is important and what isn’t.” When asked how this bodes for the generation that will soon be running the world, she shrugs: “It is amazing that we get along with young people as well as we do,” she laughs. “The cultural divide between us is just vast. For those of us over 50, we’re the


THE REINVENTION OF THE MUSICAL WHEEL While financing and producing her own album would have been a totally foreign concept to the Melissa Manchester of the 1970s and ‘80s, it is just a part of the ever-evolving world of today’s music business. “Today, the landscape in the music industry is largely unrecognizable for those of us who have been around awhile,” she says. “That is due to the democratization of music and how it is distributed. That’s fine, but it has brought with it a dilution of the way people listen to and purchase music. Today, I am my record label. I do everything that the big record companies once did. Like so many artists, I just couldn’t take working with the major record companies any longer. They end up owning all of your work and, unlike the trade out that once existed, in which they at least knew how to promote and distribute an album, they have no idea of how to operate in today’s world. The big companies lagged and lagged and thought the digital world would just be a phase. They really never have got on board with the realization that it’s a new world. The music business is in the midst of an industrial revolution and the wheel has been, and is, being reinvented;

single, “Feelin’ For You.” “Making this album was a constantly unfolding and unbelievable adventure,” says Manchester. “It is a combination of everything I’ve learned, everything I know, things that I didn’t know. It could have never shown up before it did, and there’s a story behind every song.” Asked if there is any particular story she may like to share about one of her new songs, Manchester says the album’s single was inspired by something that happened while she was in the Mississippi Delta doing research for a project. “One night I went to a juke joint – a place you go to listen to music and get trashed,” she says with a smile. “I was sitting there minding my own business, when this guy came weaving his way towards me. It was very dark and he was very drunk and looked like he was seeing three of me and trying to figure out which one was the best looking. Then he asked me if I was married. I said that I was and he looked rather disappointed and said: ‘Oh, that’s too bad ‘cause I got a feelin’ for you.’ Right away, just from the way he said that, I knew it was a song.” Sill maintaining a heavy touring schedule, Manchester says she has been thrilled with the reaction she has been getting on her new songs from audiences. “You just never know how new material will be received, because most people want to hear ‘Midnight Blue.’ But I’m pleased that the new songs have really been landing. This album, unlike anything else I’ve ever done, has made it so real to me that I really do love my life and what I do.”

Photob By Hayley Sparks

bridge generation. We lived in a world, not that long ago, without computers and cell phones and social media, when the pace of life was so different, when the way we got information was so different, when we just spent time outside playing. I tripped over adventures every day when I was growing up in New York. But today, life is so complicated and the world is so densely packed with distractions and regulations. My son has no recollection of being able to go up to the gate at an airport to great someone who was arriving. We are living in this cross-pollination of cultures and generations, and I don’t know where it is going to land, nor do I see a landing in sight. I just see waves upon waves of information inundating kids till they are numb to everything. There’s such a misplaced value on speed instead of content or context today.” And yet, while Manchester has concerns about today’s generation, she also believes they will work it out and prosper. “When I first started teaching, I thought I would teach my students, but the fact is, they have taught me,” she says. “My new album was financed by crowd-funding, which my students taught me about. One of my students was my project manager and other students were a part of the street team, and they were just amazing. There are a lot of smart kids out there who know a lot more than we ever knew. So they’ll work it out and maybe even show us how it all should be done. As Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote in ‘The King and I,’ ‘By our pupils we’ll be taught.’ ”

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVING THE LIFE and I don’t know, as we continue on in this new world, if the wheel will even still be round. There are incredible people making music today and they are educated on the business portion of the journey. I was an artist who delegated the business end of making music to people who I thought had my back – some did, some didn’t. But I see young people out there today who are well-educated in contracts and royalties and distribution, and that’s fantastic.” While Manchester says the business of making music has changed dramatically, she reveals that, when it comes to the actual music, she still holds on to what she recognizes. “This month I’ll release my 20th album, and it represents so many levels for me,” she says. “The title, ‘You Gotta Love The Life,’ came out of a discussion I had with my daughter. I was explaining that the artist’s path is not just about sharing your gift, but in also embracing the unconventional version of normal that comes with a life of being an artist. You have to love always looking for the next dot to connect to keep fresh and going.”

Asked to share her thoughts on turning 64 this month, and if she has adopted any philosophy on aging, Manchester laughs. “My mother always said these aren’t the golden years, they’re the rusting years. So I try to live healthy and stay active. I am really conscience about eating right and drinking a lot of water.” As to her philosophy on getting older, she says it’s a convergence of many different philosophies. “Living well is the best revenge, the Golden Rule, to never lose the sense of wonder and enthusiasm that life offers. Those are the first things that come to mind. And, most importantly, to be grateful. For me, gratitude is a tower of strength and power. My gratitude list doesn’t start with the biggest things. I’m grateful for the smallest things – every new day and every breath that doesn’t hurt. When you harbor a gratefulness for things that are so easy to take for granted – when that gratitude gets into your body and your conscience and your life – it totally separates you from the magnified distractions of this world we live in. It is through gratitude that I remind myself every day that you really do gotta love the life.”

AN UNFOLDING AND UNBELIEVABLE ADVENTURE Her new release, recorded at Glendora, California’s Citrus College where Manchester is an honorary artist in residence, has her teamed up with legends of jazz and pop including Al Jarreau, Dionne Warwick, Dave Koz, Stevie Wonder and Keb’ Mo’, who joins her on the offering’s lead

For more information on Melissa Manchester, her tour schedule and her new album, “You Gotta Love The Life,” click on www.melissamanchester.com

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 27


The Hallowed Hall of Must-Knowtables By David Laurell Illustration by Mark Hammermeister

Jean Harlow Although she was born Harlean Carpenter (sometimes spelled Carpentier) on March 3, 1911, in Kansas City, Missouri, no one ever knew her as such. She was, however, known worldwide as “The Platinum Venus,” “The Baby” and, more formally, Jean Harlow, a film actress who became a legendary star and sex symbol during her short career, which ended with her death at the age of 26 in 1937.

F

rom the time she was born, Harlean was called Jean – which was also her mother’s name. To distinguish the two, they were referred to as “Mama Jean” and “Baby Jean,” the latter never even knowing her real name until the age of five, when she began classes at Miss Barstow’s Finishing School for Girls. Discovered by business tycoon, aviator, inventor and filmmaker Howard Hughes, who cast her in his 1930 film “Hell’s Angels,” Harlow became a star before her 20th birthday. Breathtakingly beautiful, sexy and sultry, with a great sense of humor and a superior intellect, Harlow went on to appear in a string of screen successes playing opposite such Hollywood heavyweights as James Cagney, Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. Sadly, while her professional life soared, her personal life was in shambles. After a failed first marriage that she had entered into when she was just 16, the then-22-year-old sex goddess married Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executive Paul Bern in 1932. Bern brought myriad problems to the marriage, including a penchant for physical abuse and a first wife who suffered from mental-health issues, whom he had never divorced. Two month after their nuptials, Harlow’s

marriage to Bern ended when, depending on what story one chooses to believe, he either shot himself or was murdered (the official cause of death was ruled a suicide), leaving his widow with enormous debt and, reportedly, damage to her kidneys due to his beatings. After Bern’s mysterious death – the subject of great speculation within the Hollywood community – it was reported that the studio, not wanting another scandal, defused a situation in which Harlow had become romantically involved with the very-married professional boxer, Max Baer. It was widely assumed that the studio, in an effort to cover up the affair, arranged a marriage between Harlow and cinematographer Harold Rosson, who would go on to have impressive credits including the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz.” Harlow’s marriage to Rosson only lasted eight months and, when it ended, the resilient Harlow, never one to be a victim, simply moved on. By the mid1930s, with more film successes to her credit, she had fallen in love with another MGM actor, William Powell. The couple were reportedly engaged, but kept from marrying for both personal differences they hadn’t ironed out and MGM’s unwillingness to allow it.

This feature is intended for you to clip and give to your children or grandchildren because…they must-know! 28 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015


In 1937, while filming a romantic comedy, “Saratoga,” with Clark Gable, Harlow began to complain of fatigue, nausea and abdominal pain. Her doctor didn’t believe it was anything serious and, after her condition had first worsened, reports soon surfaced that Harlow began showing signs of improvement. Those reports would later be questioned by many including Gable who, during a visit, found her to be bloated and with a strong smell of urine on her breath – both known to be signs of kidney failure. On June 6, 1937, Harlow took a turn for the worse. She was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, where she slipped into a coma. The following day, just before noon, she died at the age of 26 of cerebral edema, a complication of kidney failure. After Harlow’s death, rumors circulated that she had not received any medical treatment for her condition because Mama Jean, a devout Christian Scientist, would not permit it. While this story circulated for years, there was no hard evidence to support the allegation. Devastated by Harlow’s death, Powell purchased a $25,000 private mausoleum on the main terrace of Forest Lawn’s Great Mausoleum in Glendale, California to serve as her final resting place. Following an emotional service at Forest Lawn’s Wee Kirk O’ the Heather chapel, Harlow’s body was entombed in the Sanctuary of Benediction behind a European marble slab that simply reads: “Our Baby.”

LEARN MORE

There have been numerous books written about Jean Harlow. Among them are: • “The Jean Harlow Story” (Popular Library, 1964) by John (Harlow) Pascal • “Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow” (Lightning Bug Press, 2000) by David Stenn • “Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937” (Angel City Press, 2011) by Darrell Rooney • “Platinum Girl: The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow” (Abbeville Press, 1991) by Eve Golden

Mark Hammermeister is an award-winning artist. His work is available for purchase at www.markdraws.com February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 29


10 Romantic Places To Say:

“Aloha Wau La ‘oe!” the spirit of aloha can be found at every turn on the Hawaiian islands and here are some of the most romantic locations to say: “i love you!” by maxine andrews

The Hawaiian Islands – The Aloha State – an amorous archipelago that lures lovers from all over the world to the tropical trance of its romantic mystique. With the 50th state’s ethereal beauty, swaying palms, magnificent sunsets and secluded sandy coves and beaches, it’s a no-brainer that Hawaii has always been a favorite destination for lovers to wed, honeymoon, celebrate anniversaries and rekindle romance. While each of Hawaii’s main islands overflows like volcanic lava with myriad backdrops for hot romantic interludes, the following 10 are “musts” for vacating Valentines to see and do:

OAHU – THE GATHERING PLACE 1

Kiss liKe you’ve never been Kissed before at Halona Cove Few images get the romantic sparks flying like the one between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the 1953 film, “From Here to Eternity.” The scene of the lovers embroiled in the throes of surf-side love was so steamy, the Motion Picture Association of America banned Columbia Pictures from using stills from the scene in their ads. You and your special someone can recreate that surf-frolicking kiss by visiting the cove where it was shot, which is located adjacent to Halona Blowhole, a 30-minute drive west from Honolulu.

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roCK your Hula baby at Hanauma bay Nearby Halona Cove you’ll find Hanauma Bay, which was an active volcano

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10,000 years ago. As the centuries have passed, the waves of the Pacific have worn away a part of the volcano’s wall, forming a natural horseshoe-shaped beach. Take your loved one’s hand, stand at the top of the cliffs of Hanauma, and revel in the views fit for a king – which is, perhaps, why it was used for many scenes in the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s 1961 film, “Blue Hawaii.”

3

Get a sly smile from a Kamaaina Pack a little picnic lunch and some wine, rent a car – preferably a convertible – and ask a native Hawaiian (known as a Kamaaina) for directions to Tantalus Drive. They will take one look at you and your mate and break out in the slyest smile you’ve ever seen. That is because you would be hard-pressed to find a Kamaaina who hasn’t made that breathtakingly beautiful drive up to the 2,013-foot peak of Mount Tantalus


OAHU (Continued) with a special someone. Once at the summit, you’ll look down at the glistening blue Pacific Ocean lapping against Honolulu’s shores and the lush Moana Valley, often tinted by rainbows, and know why you got that sly look.

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basK in tHe Golden Glow of diamond Head’s sHores With its sandy and secluded shores, rocky outcroppings, old lighthouse, and spectacular views, strolling along

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Diamond Head’s shores will provide you and yours with a moment you’ll never forget. You simply must do this at sunset, when you will feel you truly are in the golden glow of paradise.

HAWAII – THE BIG ISLAND 6

let tHe flames of romanCe erupt at Kilauea and mauna loa The fury of nature is awe-inspiring and, while it brings with it the recognition of just how small and insignificant we are, it can also intensify just how very significant we are to the ones we love and care about. You will certainly have that feeling as you experience Hawaii’s two very active volcanos – Kilauea and Mauna Loa – which are a part of Hawaii Volcanos National Park. While helicopter rides are the best way to see the flaming eruptions and lava flows, there are few things as romantic as walking hand-in-hand along Devastation Trail, which will give you an upclose look at nature’s power.

blaCKen your soles on tHe sands of Kaimu While sandy beaches can be found in many parts of the world, the ones at Kaimu are so extraordinary, they must be seen to be believed. Kaimu is a little village in the Puna District on the island’s eastern shore, which was completely destroyed by an eruptive flow of lava from Kilauea in 1990. On the beaches of Kaimu, the Pacific Ocean (which should not be stepped into at this location due to the rough waters) confronts jet-black sand – the result of hot lava meeting cooling seawater.

KAUAI – THE GARDEN ISLE 7

ride a rainbow at waimea Canyon In the west-central part of Kaui, you’ll find Waimea Canyon, a 3,657-foot-deep, mile-wide, 10-mile-long gorge that was formed over millions of years from a massive geologic fault. To stand within Waimea Canyon at dawn or sunset is like standing within a prism. Hold on to the one you love in the shadows of the canyon’s jagged cliffs and allow the ever-changing colors to envelop you as if you were riding a rainbow.

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spend a sunset witH puff in a land Called Hanalei Located on Kauai`s northern tip, the Hanalei Valley, with its tranquil rice paddies, is a favorite of romantics and film-location scouts. Forget about “50 Shades of Grey,” Here you’ll find what the Kamaainas call: “40 shades of green.” If there is one thing everyone should have on their bucket list, it should be to experience sunset in this land with mountains that stretch into the ocean giving them the appearance of a sleeping dragon the Kamaaina call “Puff.”

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 31


KAUAI (Continued)

9

experienCe tHe danGerous beauty of lumaHai beaCH Located near Hanalei, Lumanahi Beach is off the main highway and not easy to find without assistance. Once you do find it, you will find yourselves standing on the golden sand and black lava rock that have been used in numerous famous films including the 1958 classic, “South Pacific.” Considered to be one of the most “drop-dead gorgeous” beaches in the world, it is also one of the most “drop dead” dangerous ones. This is a beach that has waters that invite you to “look, but don’t touch” because of the tide, current and sharks.

MAUI – THE VALLEY ISLE 10

visit tHe sun at its Home on HaleaKala

In the center of Maui, you will find the 10,023-foothigh, dormant volcano known as Haleakala, which means “House of the Sun.” A 33-mile-long volcano that runs 24 miles wide, Haleakala’s crater alone is 21 miles in circumference, with a crater floor that rests 3,000 feet below its rim. To experience a sunrise at this elevation is considered to be one of the most aweinspiring and romantic experiences the world has to offer. Hawaiian legend says it was from this spot that the demigod, Maui, lassoed the sun with a rope made

of coconut fiber, slowing down its daytime course in the sky. To see this sight in all its glory, you must arrive in the very early morning darkness. Be advised: be sure to dress warmly because it will be cold. Make sure you stake your sunrise-viewing spot about a half-hour before sunrise, and then get ready for a show like no other. As you stand looking down at the cover of puffy clouds below, the sun will suddenly break through and appear to rise up from under the clouds, turning them red, orange and gold. If this sight doesn’t get your romantic flames a-burning, you had better check your pulse!

DINE ROMANTICALLY AT THE SHERATON MAUI RESORT & SPA The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, one of the most romantic resorts in the islands, doubles down on their romantic dining offerings for Valentine’s Day. Situated oceanfront on Kaanapali Beach, the resort offers dining experiences that are sure to create romance and lasting memories. Guests may choose from a four course prix fixe menu at Black Rock Steak and Seafood, and house guests may also choose to have a romantic dinner for two served on their guest room lanai, complete with a bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial, scattered rose petals and a long-stem red rose. The four course prix fixe dinner is $69 per guest and the private room service, available on a limited basis, is $250 per couple, inclusive of tax and service charge. For reservations call (808) 662-8059.

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February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 33


It's Never Too Late To ... Make A Match, Find A Find, Catch A Catch

Special to Life After 50 by Sherri Murphy, CEO and VIP matchmaker at Elite Connections

If You’re Single, make This valentine’s Day The Day You commit To loving Yourself and exploring New Possibilities

F

rom the time we are children, we are taught that Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year. School halls decorated with pink and red hearts are filled with children thinking about whether they should reveal their secret crushes. Teenagers use their allowances or after-school job money to make their first purchase for a significant other. And, as adults, we pressure ourselves to live up to the romantic Valentine’s Day hype we’ve been fed since we ourselves were back in grade school, leaving many singles feeling unnecessarily lonely or let down on February 14. As a professional matchmaker, I’m guessing that most people would expect Valentine’s Day to be my favorite holiday. Well, as surprising as it may seem, I find the whole Valentine’s hype to be a bit overrated. I mean, come on, good luck getting a great table at your favorite restaurant. And if you do, the organic intimacy felt on previous dates is now nearly unreachable with all the forced romance and unattainable expectations. Everything is supposed to somehow be more special just due

34 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

to the calendar date. I am a believer that love is organic, that relationships ebb and flow, and romance is often found in small details. Neither love nor romance can be forced to fit a certain date, time or place. As February 14 once again approaches, you may be with that special someone you love and adore. That’s wonderful! Enjoy Valentine’s Day and use it as an opportunity to remind yourself and your partner of what you love and appreciate about one another. In my opinion, that’s what the day is really about: providing reminders of what you, hopefully, share and show to one another on every day of the year.

embrace YourSelf But what if you haven’t met that special someone? Are you doomed to a mid-February day of wallowing in self-pity and Chardonnay? Absolutely not! Being single on Valentine’s Day should, in no way, negatively affect your self-esteem or crush your hopes for loving again. Instead of thinking about what is lacking, shift your focus to all the new and exciting opportunities for romance that may lie ahead. Embrace this day of love as a day to love yourself! As clichéd as that may sound, one cannot truly love another before they learn to love themselves – and that begins with taking positive steps that manifest and create desired change in your own life. Put away your Kleenex and pass on the sappy movies and ice cream and make a plan for how, during 2015, you can improve your quality of life, with or without a partner. Sign up for the class you’ve been interested in, finish that project you’ve been working on, or plan the trip you’ve always wanted to take. Invest in yourself and the things you are passionate about. And don’t be surprised if, by doing this, it attracts the kind of person you have been seeking. Remember, confident people who are engaged in life are happy and dynamic and seek out the same in others.

IT STarTS WITh a NeW Self-PerSPecTIve During my 20-plus years as a professional matchmaker, I have seen far too many singles make the same mistakes over and over again. One such mistake has nothing to do with having the ability to identify qualities they are seeking in others, but rather, in neglecting to do the necessary work on themselves. They want someone who is engaging, stylish, open-minded, fun, curious and interested in life, and yet, they find themselves static and stuck in their own routines. I was once a divorced mother of two children who, after being single for 10 years, was highly skeptical of ever finding love again. I was stuck in a rut – doing the same things over and over again and hoping for different results. I was a busy real estate professional, working six or seven days a week and spending the little free time I had either with my children or playing tennis at my club. Since I preferred not to date people from either work or the club, I found myself alone and losing hope in romance. I knew I had to do something different and, finally, decided to work with a professional matchmaker. I did it because I had come to terms with the fact that my way wasn’t working and if I wanted to be successful in love and move my life in a new direction, I would have to be open to new possibilities. That is what I did and that is how I met Bill, who is now my wonderful husband and forever Valentine. The experience of utilizing the services of a professional matchmaker led me to open my own matchmaking agency, Elite Connections. I knew it worked and I saw a need for singles, like myself, to find a way to meet other serious and commitmentminded people. This is especially true for those over 50, when it can be harder to meet an abundance of quality singles. Many people prefer not to date those they work with and, as they get older, don’t have as many social opportunities to find potential romance. That is why it’s imperative to try new things and be open to new possibilities. This may be uncomfortable in the beginning, but as I can personally attest, the end results are well worth any initial discomfort. To learn more about Elite Connections and how Sherri and her matchmakers can help you take the first step to a different tomorrow, contact Sherri Murphy at (800) 923-4200 or via e-mail at info@eliteconnections.com


Let’s Get OUt

San Diego/Orange County/Inland Empire

A Preview of Upcoming Events for February/March By Claire Yezbak Fadden

February/March 2015

eNteRtAINMeNt

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15

TRISTAN AND YSEULT King Mark is victorious in battle and Yseult is destined to be his bride. But when he sends Tristan to bring her back, trouble begins. A cabaret band plays high above the stage as this classic myth about star-crossed lovers unfolds. South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Through Feb. 22. $22-plus. (714) 708-5555. scr.org.

YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s comic masterpiece set during America’s Great Depression. Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. $22-plus. Through March 22. (619) 437-6000. lambsplayers.org. SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL Based on the renowned works of Dr. Seuss, this musical delivers a message about the power of imagination and belief in yourself. A charmingly colorful story with an uplifting score is performed by whimsical characters like the Cat in the Hart, Horton the Elephant and Mayzie LaBird. Plummer Auditorium, 201 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton. Through Feb. 22. Ticket prices vary. (714) 589-2770. 3dtshows. com. DIRTY DANCING This record-breaking live theatre sensation, explodes with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Featuring hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love me?” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. $29-plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta. org. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17 THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN In a Soviet prison in 1952, Stalin’s secret police have rounded up 26 writers, the giants of Yiddish literature in Russia. As judgment looms, a 27th suddenly appears: a teenager, unpublished and unknown. Baffled by his arrest, he and his cellmates wonder at what has brought them together and wrestle with what it means to write in troubled times. Hal Linden as Yiddish writer Yevgeny Zunser. The Old Globe Theatre, Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $29-plus. Through March 15. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org. THE KING AND I Set against a dazzling and exotic backdrop of Siam in the 1860s, the musical shares the moving story of Anna, a governess, who tries to help an Eastern king to come to terms with the modern world, but finds himself challenged to resist the forces of ancient customs. Welk Resorts Theatre, 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr., Escondido. Dates vary through April 5. $45-$75. (888) 802-7469. welktheatre.com.

TROUBLE IN MIND This 1955 classic comedy is still one of the smartest plays about race. Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd Suite N, San Diego. Through Feb. 22. $27-plus. (619) 220-0097. moxietheatre.com.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15

THE DARRELL HAMMOND PROJECT

Based on Hammond’s acclaimed memoir, the show takes the audience on a heartbreaking and hilarious journey inside the life and mind of an American comic genius, trying to unravel the mystery of how a man repeatedly climbed out from the depths of despair to become a world-class comedian. La Jolla Playhouse, UCSD Campus, Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla. $58-$68. Through March 8. (858) 550-1010. lajollaplayhouse.org.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18 JAZZ WEDNESDAYS Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Téka. Laguna Beach Live!, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach. $20. (949) 715-9713. lagunbeachlive.org. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19 BIZET’S CARMEN Carl St. Clair, conductor, Milena Kitic, Carmen. Be seduced by Bizet’s irresistible rhythms as his riveting tale of love and lust comes alive. Carmen’s unforgettable score contains intoxicating melodies and the sultry sounds of Spain – highlighted by some of opera’s finest arias and best-loved moments. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa Also Feb. 21 and 24. $25-plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org. THE ADDAMS FAMILY Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family—a man her parents have never met. As if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done

before: keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Through Feb. 22. $10-$25. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org. THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE Edward Tulane is a very dapper china rabbit—a birthday present for 10-year-old Abilene, who loves him almost as much as Edward loves himself. But when he gets lost at sea, Edward finds he has a lot to learn. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Through Feb. 22. $22-plus. (714) 708-5555. scr.org. JAZZ AT THE MERC Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. $15. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org. SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM An intimate portrait of the famed composer in his own words...and music. The play features two dozen carefully selected songs that form a massive theatrical potency, from the beloved to the obscure. AVO Playhouse, 303 Main St., Vista. Thurs.-Sun. through March 1. $30-$32. (760) 724-2110. moonlightstage.com.

BOB NEWHART One of the most important, influential, and beloved figures in the history of American comedy, Chicago native Bob Newhart has been entertaining audiences around the world for over 50 years. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert. $45-$75. (760) 340-2787. mccallumtheatre.com.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 MURDER FOR TWO Multi-millionaire Arthur Whitney has been murdered at his own birthday party, and his killer could be any one of the guests. But this is no ordinary murder mystery. The entire world of this hilarious musical is brought to life by two incredible performers: one plays the detective, the other plays all 10 suspects, and both play the piano. The Old Globe Theatre, Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $29-plus. Through March 1. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 COMEDY AT THE MERC PseudoRandomNoise offers their unique style of audience-participatory improvised comedy where you play too by helping to write, direct and even star onstage with some of the region’s most talented comedic actors. Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Sundays. $12. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org. LIVE JAZZ ON THE PATIO Jimmy and Enrique. Bernardo Winery, Tasting Room Patio, 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. Free. bernardowinery.com.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 35


CALeNDAR

February/March 2015 San Diego/Orange County/Inland Empire JAZZ WEDNESDAYS Trumpeter Gabriel Johnson Laguna Beach Live!, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach. $20. (949) 715-9713. lagunbeachlive.org. WOW: FIRST WEDNESDAYS: THE LACEMAKERS Heloise Love, Miss Darla and Kim Donaldson make up this Escondido-based trio of multiinstrumentalists. Their lovely voices weave a delicate Celtic balladry, bluegrass, Appalachian tunes and original mountain music together with eight different instruments and three-part harmony. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, Center Theater, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Free. $12. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org. FRIDAY, MARCH 6 ST. PADDY’S POTATO FEST Dinner, entertainment and raffles. San Dimas Community Center, 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas. $8. (909) 394-6290.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18

SHEN YUN 2015

As a gong strikes, sounds from 5,000-year-old Chinese instruments rise to blend with a 40-piece Western orchestra. Sixty dancers take the stage in front of a 30-foot tall video backdrop as audiences embark on an adventure to long-ago dynasties through this all-new, enchanting spectacular. Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun 2015 weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends and modern heroic tales, taking the audience on a journey through Chinese culture. California Center for the Arts, Escondido @ The Center Theater, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Prices vary. (800) 988-4253. (800) 880-0188. shenyun.com. artcenter.org.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23 WHALE WATCHING Witness the longest mammal migration in the world, when approximately 20,000 gray whales pass San Diego on their annual 10,000-mile round-trip journey from the Bering Sea to the lagoons of Baja California. Learn about gray whale baleen, barnacles and prey from Birch Aquarium at Scripps naturalists. Leaves daily from San Diego Bay. $38-$43. Through April 19. (619) 234-4111. flagshipsd.com. (858) 534-7336. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26 JAZZ AT THE MERC Jon Mayer, solo piano. Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. $15. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27 ELLING SWINGS SINATRA With an astounding four-octave range, technical mastery and a natural knack for storytelling, Kurt Elling has been named best

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male vocalist for 14 consecutive years in DownBeat magazine’s annual critic’s poll. The Grammy winner turns his attention to songs of the one-and-only Frank Sinatra for an incredible evening. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Also Feb. 28. $69-plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Harper Lee’s groundbreaking novel about the explosive events surrounding a young girl growing up in a quiet southern town. LifeHouse Theater, 1135 N. Church St., Redlands. Weekends through March 22. $14-$18. (909) 335-3037 ext. 21. lifehousetheater.com.

TUESDAY, MARCH 3 ART OF ÉLAN: PRAYERS AND SONGS This deeply affecting program is filled with haunting melodies and jovial folk songs from around the world and features The Formosa Quartet, Art of Élan’s first ever ensemble-inresidence. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego. $20-$25. (619)232-7931. sdmart.org.

MARCH

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY This classic story ballet retells the tale of the beautiful Princess Aurora cursed by the evil sorceress Carabosse. And it all unfolds with Tchaikovsky’s ravishing and beloved score. American Ballet Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Through March 8. $49-plus. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org.

SUNDAY, MARCH 1

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4

CLASSICS AT THE MERC Chamber performances by the region’s best professional musicians. Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. Sundays. $12. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org.

THE ODD COUPLE Neil Simon’s classic comedy of two famously mismatched roommates. When recently failed marriages force fastidious Felix to cohabitate with the slovenly Oscar, the duo must determine whether their differences are irreconcilable. Laguna Playhouse, Moulton Theatre Main Stage, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach. Through March 29. Prices vary. (949) 497-2787. lagunaplayhouse.com.

LIVE JAZZ ON THE PATIO Jimmy and Enrique. Bernardo Winery, Tasting Room Patio, 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. Free. bernardowinery.com.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7 JOHNNY MATHIS One of the last in a long line of traditional male vocalists who emerged before the 1960s, Mathis performs his “Chances Are,” “It’s Not For Me To Say” and “Misty” continuing to delight audiences across the world. Special guest Gary Mule Deer. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert. Also March 8. Price vary. (760) 340-2787. mccallumtheatre.com. OEDIPUS EL REY In 430 B.C., the playwright Sophocles wrote one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the Western world: “Oedipus Rex”, the tale of a king who from birth was destined to murder his father and marry his mother. Contains adult themes, violence, language and nudity. San Diego Repertory Theatre at the Lyceum Space, Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego. Through March 29. $33-$44. (619) 544-1000. sdrep.org. SUNDAY, MARCH 8 TOKYO FISH STORY Generations, gender and tradition collide in this quiet play with a big heart, a touch of poetry, a hint of mystery—and just the right amount of enticing comedy. Plus, a sushimaking ritual that will amaze. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Through March 29. $22-plus. (714) 708-5555. scr.org. LIVE JAZZ ON THE PATIO Chini and Camberos. Bernardo Winery, Tasting Room Patio, 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. Free. bernardowinery.com.


CALeNDAR

February/March 2015 San Diego/Orange County/Inland Empire WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11 DINNER-DANCE The Widow or Widowers Club (WOW) of San Diego hosts a dinner/dance at the El Cajon Elks Lodge on Washington Ave., El Cajon. Wednesdays. $14-$18. (619) 461-7652. wowsd.org. THURSDAY, MARCH 12 ANNA IN THE TROPICS Be transported to Miami of 1929 to a rundown Cuban cigar factory where the workers discover the relevance of literature in their lives. In these factories, “lectors” are employed to read to the workforce while they roll. The arrival of a handsome new lector straight off the boat from Cuba is a cause for celebration - at least by the daughters of the owner. He unwittingly becomes a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners when the tropical heat and the search for the American dream become a volatile combination. AVO Playhouse, 303 Main St., Vista. Thurs.-Sun. through March 29. $30-$32. (760) 724-2110. moonlightstage.com. SHAMROCK’S PUB Happy hour mocktail social. San Dimas Community Center, 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas. $8. (909) 394-6290. SATURDAY, MARCH 14 COUNTRY LIVE! Old Town Temecula Community Theater, The Merc, 42051 Main St., Temecula. $15. (866) 653-8696. temeculatheater.org.

eXHIBItIONs SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 SEVEN BILLION OTHERS This ground breaking, multimedia exhibition, brings voices and compelling video portraits from more than 6,000 individual interviews filmed in 84 countries by nearly 20 directors. The 30-week presentation will allow visitors to identify what separates and unites us by giving direct access to individuals as diverse as a Brazilian fisherman, a Chinese shopkeeper, a German performer and an Afghan farmer. These interviews touch on our most visceral emotions and pose many thought-provoking questions and answers that speak to the human condition. Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park, 1649 El Prado, San Diego. Through Sept. 13. $7-$8. (619) 238-7559. mopa.org.

CIRCLE OF ANIMALS/ ZODIAC HEAD: GOLD The exhibition features a group of sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The installation consists of 12 gilded bronze animal heads – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – that are each a representative symbol from the ancient Chinese zodiac. Weiwei’s work extends beyond the visual statement and reaches into history. These sculptures were based on the zodiac heads originally located at the Imperial retreat Yuanming Yuan (Old Summer Palace) just outside of Beijing, where they adorned the famed fountain-clock. Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Dr., Palm Springs. Through May 31. $11-$13. 760-322-4800. psmuseum.org. IN THE STUDIO: ARTIST DIALOGS The exhibitions explores the art-making process from 1970 to the present through stories and artwork emphasizing the life of both the artist and assistants. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, Center Theater, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Through Feb. 22. $12. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org/museum. NAKED Twentieth Century Nudes from the Dijkstra Collection. Taken from the wide-ranging art collection of Bram and Sandra Dijkstra, this exquisite group of works contributes to the museum-wide focus on artwork concerning figurative and portrait themes. This group of works spans the 20th century including figurative paintings, drawings, and photographs specifically featuring the nude human figure, created by a wide array of artists Oceanside Museum of Art, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. Through March 8. $5-$8. (760) 435-3720. oma-online.org. CHINA’S LOST CIVILIZATION: THE MYSTERY OF SANXINGDUI During the summer of 1986, construction workers accidentally uncovered an astounding cache of more than 200 ancient jades, weapons, burned animal bones, some 60 elephant tusks, monumental bronzes and a life-sized statue of a nobleman at Sanxingdui, about 24 miles outside of the Sichuan Province capitol of Chengdu. Objects in the exhibition date to about 1200 B.C., a time when it was thought that the cradle of Chinese civilization existed 745 miles to the northeast on the Yellow River in China’s Central Plain region. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Through March 15. $12. (714) 567-3679. bowers.org. INGENIOUS! THE WORLD OF DR. SEUSS The highly popular traveling Dr. Seuss exhibition will include signature elements for the Balboa Park Centennial, emphasizing San Diego as the renowned author’s home and Theodor Geisel as the world’s most celebrated children’s author and an innovator. The lively and whimsical exhibition features rare early works, ephemera, illustration and editorial cartoons, as well as two newly released Geisel illustrations. The Seuss-land gallery features giant bronze Seuss character sculptures,

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22

ROBERT HENRI’S CALIFORNIA

Realism, Race and Region, 1914-1925. The legendary American painter Robert Henri made his first plans to visit California just over a century ago. “Westward Ho!” he exclaimed in 1914 in a letter to his former student, Alice Klauber, who lived in San Diego. This small and choice exhibition consists of a dozen outstanding examples of Henri’s work in California and brings together a number of Henri’s works produced during his sojourns in San Diego and Los Angeles. Laguna Art Museum, Segerstrom Gallery, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach. Through May 31. Closed Wednesdays. $5-$7. (949) 494-8971. lagunaartmuseum.org.

anchoring interactive family activities that emphasize the important themes and innovative nature of Seuss books. San Diego History Museum, Casa De Balboa, Balboa Park, 1649 El Prado, San Diego. Through Dec. 31. $6-$8. (619) 232- 6203. sandiegohistory.org. IN THE REALM OF NATURE Kay Sekimachi (1926-) and Bob Stocksdale (1913-2003). Throughout her 60-year career, Sekimachi has created unique works of art using skeletal leaves, hornet’s nest paper and grass. The exhibition includes examples of her translucent sculptural hangings and room dividers, along with other woven forms— accordion-formatted books, vibrant scrolls, seamless nesting boxes and jewelry. Hailed as a father of American woodturning, Stocksdale revitalized the craft of lathe-turned bowls. In his works, Stocksdale unveiled a compelling beauty in diseased and rare woods. Mingei International Museum, Balboa Park 1439 El Prado, San Diego. Through March 15. Closed Mondays. $5-$8. (619) 239-0003. mingei.org.

THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT The discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 is considered the most famous discovery in the history of archaeology, and in modern times, the context of its discovery has been lost. The exhibit allows visitors to experience a rush of excitement as they step into a moment only ever witnessed by Howard Carter, Lord Carnarvon and a handful of others. Through stunning and scientifically produced replicas, the exhibition invites visitors to enjoy the magnificent splendor of these priceless Egyptian treasures. San Diego Natural History Museum, 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego. 15-$27. Through April 26. (619) 232-3821. sdnhm.org. Get the Word Out. E-mail your announcements to Claire Fadden, cfadden@lifeafter50.com. Include a brief description, location, date, time, cost, phone and website. Submission does not guarantee publication. Deadline for the March/ April Calendar is February 1.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 37


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Rick Steve’s Travels Verona, Italy: City of Romance

By Rick Steves bout two hours from the bustling and touristy Italian cities of Milan and Venice, you’ll find Verona – a welcome taste of pure, easygoing Italy. Made famous by Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Verona is Italy’s fourth-most-visited city, and second in the Veneto region only to Venice in population and artistic importance. The locals – Veronese – marvel that each year, about 1,600 Japanese tour groups break their Veniceto-Milan ride for an hour-long stop in Verona, just to stand in the courtyard of the House of Juliet, where the real-life Cappello family once lived. The tiny, admittedly romantic courtyard becomes a spectacle in itself as visitors from all over the world pose on the almost believable balcony and take photos of each other rubbing Juliet’s bronze breast, which, supposedly, gives the fondler luck in love. The city is so famous for love that, every year, it receives countless letters addressed simply to “Juliet, Verona, Italy.” Volunteers respond to these mostly lovesick folk (click on www.julietclub.com) and have been especially busy since the release of the 2010 film “Letters to Juliet,” about a girl, played by Amanda Seyfried, who finds a letter while visiting the House of Juliet and travels through Italy to help reunite the author with her lost love. Beyond the romantic fiction of Verona, the town is also packed with genuine history. Because ancient Romans considered Verona an ideal resting spot before crossing the Alps, the city has a wealth of Roman ruins. The well-preserved amphitheater – the third largest in the Roman world – dates from early in the first century A.D. and still retains most of its

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original stone. Over the centuries, crowds of up to 25,000 spectators have cheered Roman gladiatorial battles, medieval executions, and modern plays – including Verona’s popular summer opera festival, which takes advantage of the arena’s famous acoustics. Corso Porta Borsari was the main drag of Roman Verona. A stroll here makes for a fun, ancient scavenger hunt. Remnants of the town’s illustrious past – chips of Roman columns, medieval reliefs, fine old facades, and fossils in marble – are scattered among modern-day fancy shop windows. Any vist to Verona will bring you to Piazza Erbe, Verona’s market square, where vendors come to slice and sell whatever’s in season. People have gathered here since Roman times, when this was a forum. The whale’s rib hanging from an archway for 500 years was a souvenir brought home from the Orient by spice traders. Today, Piazza Erbe is for the locals, who start their evening with an aperitivo here. It’s a trendy scene, as young people fill the bars to enjoy their refreshing spritz drinks, olives, and chips. After spritzing, it’s time for feasting, and Verona has its share of excellent eateries. One of my happiest memories from a recent trip was eating with a friend at Enoteca Can Grande, where we let the chef, Giuliano, bring us whatever he wanted. The carne cruda (raw beef), was, as my friend put it: “Like seeing the smile of a beautiful woman after 10 years. You never forget her.” The mortadella (Italian-style baloney) was served with black truffle. It was exquisite. Imagine calling baloney exquisite. Well, you can if you just add truffle. Then came the

best polenta with anchovies I’d ever tasted. As it turns out, anchovies and polenta are a “good marriage.” For dessert: a plate of voluptuous slices of cheese. “Even if we do not talk,” said my companion, “with these cheeses we have good conversation.” As I held the warm and happy tire of my full tummy, I thought about how Italians live life with abandon – and how passionately they enjoy their food. Besides eating, the highlight of Verona for me is taking an evening passeggiata (stroll). It’s a multigenerational affair. Like peacocks, the young and nubile spread their wings across the wide sidewalk promenade, made broad by the town’s Venetian overloads in the 17th century so the town’s beautiful people could see and be seen in all their finery. Whenever I stroll here, I find myself surrounded by little love stories – romantic snapshots fluttering in and out of my world like a butterfly. A guy on a bike pedals gracefully by, his girlfriend sitting on the handlebars embracing him. A woman tells me that her husband is her “mezza mela” – half an apple. Apparently, when soulmates find each other in Italy, it makes the apple whole. I don’t know if all of the love that wafts through the Veronan air is related to the Romeo and Juliet hype – or if it’s just the natural high that comes from living in such a joyful and connected place. Rick Steve writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and radio. You can e-mail him at rick@ricksteves.com and visit his website at www.ricksteves.com.

February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 39


T Ravel MaRkeT p lace | Guide

TRavel Marketplace G u i D e

California

DOLPHIN BAY RESORT & SPA — Set along the rugged California Coast, just south of San Luis Obispo on California’s Scenic Highway 1, Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa is centrally located in Pismo Beach. The Dolphin Bay is the ideal hotel for romantic getaways or family vacations where guests stay anywhere from two nights to months at a time. With 60 spacious 1 and 2 bedroom suites featuring all of the amenities of a home, Lido Restaurant, The Spa at Dolphin Bay and an array of activities, guests can experience the best of the Central Coast.

800.516.0112 or www.thedolphinbay.com WINE COuNTRY TRAILS — Wine Country Trails by Horseback participants will enjoy a one hour or more (upon request), scenic, leisurely, guided tour on quality, wellseasoned horses. Riders will be guided through various charming vineyard trails, and will experience, first hand, the beauty that brings so many to the Temecula Valley. Riders will be able to choose from an early morning horseback ride, when the dew is still fresh on the vines, an afternoon ride, or an evening ride, with the sun setting as a backdrop to the vineyards. It’s new, it’s exciting,.and it’s romantic!

Request your Reservation 951.506.8706 www.winecountrytrailsbyhorseback.com

Colorado

COLORADO TRAILS RANCH — What you need is a week unwinding and exploring the wonders of our first class guest ranch. Colorado Trails Ranch is not far from Durango, in lovely Southwest Colorado. Set in the spectacular panoramas of the San Juan Mountains, our dude ranch resort offers lifetime experiences for singles, groups and entire families. There isn’t one difficult activity in our perfectly personalized programs. The food is delicious, the comfort is wonderful and you’ll feel like a well cared member of the family.

800.323.3833 or www.ColoradoTrails.com

Hawaii

MAuI & KAuAI CONDOS — Save 15% Apr. 1– Dec. 20, on Maui or Kauai vacation condos (Promo MS15). Enjoy more privacy, value, and fabulous beach locations. Car/ condo deals, romantic getaways, and family/group discounts.

Call 800.367.5242 or book online at crhmaui.com! HALE PAu HANA BEACH RESORT – A vacation paradise on Maui! Located on Kamaole Beach II in South Maui, each of their 1- or 2-bedroom condominiums is beachfront with unobstructed ocean views, plus free wireless internet, parking and NO resort fees. Book your dream Maui vacation today!

Call 800.367.6036 or www.hphresort.com/50

40 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

Utah

SuNRIVER ST.GEORGE is southern Utah’s premier master-planned resort-style living community. Built in an unspoiled, rural location, SunRiver St.George provides a quiet, superbly planned community with occupancy limited to at least one resident 55 or better. From the golf course layout and community center design to the floor plans of our sensational SunRiver St. George homes, the resort-style living lifestyle is our central point of focus. SunRiver St.George is “building a lifestyle, not just homes.”

888.688.6556 or www.SunRiver.com

Virginia

OAK HALL HISTORIC ESTATE — Virginia is for lovers… and retirees and recreational enthusiasts! Historic Oak Hall Estate sits on 60 wooded acres, in the gracious town of Chatham, with big city amenities close by.

Call Ramsey Yeatts & Associates 434.250.5689 www.OakHallHomeandLandforSale.com

International

PACIFIC DELIGHT TOuRS — Air inclusive China Tours from $2,599*. Explore all of our Asia destinations: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, and India.

For more information: Call 800.221.7179 or visit www.PacificDelightTours.com LuxuRY RESORT ACCOMMODATIONS ON AMBERGRIS CAYE, Belize is fast becoming one of the hidden gems to discover in the Caribbean. The island of Ambergris Caye Belize has been rated two years in a row as the number #1 island to visit in the world according to Trip Advisor.

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Hawaii Time Difference

Hawaii follows HawaiiAleutian Standard Time (HAST) which is 10 hours behind the Coordinated Universal Time (UCT-10). It is 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time and 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time so add one extra hour to the time difference during this period (March through November). See more at: www.travelsmarthawaii.com


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South America

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February 2015 LIFEAFTER50.COM 41


And Finally... The Bookworm’s Best A Life After 50 book review

by Terri “The Bookworm” Schlichenmeyer

My Boy, Ben: A Story of Love, Loss and Grace By David Wheaton

H

e was a once-in-a-lifetime dog. From the moment you brought him home until the day he left, you never had a minute’s problem. He was easy to teach, easy to trust, easy to love and, unfortunately, too easy to lose. You’ll never forget your once-in-a-lifetime dog – nobody does – and in the book “My Boy, Ben,” David Wheaton tells you about his. Years ago, there was always a dog or two at his household and Wheaton remembers several of them: big dogs, husky dogs, always ready to join a Minnesota boy with adventure in his heart. As the youngest of four kids, Wheaton cherished those dogs as his favorite playmates. As an adult and a world-traveling tennis pro, Wheaton knew that having a dog would mean asking his parents to help with the care while he was on the road. That was something they weren’t willing to do, so Wheaton continued to dream – until he received a note from his mother that mentioned a dog she had noticed. A few months later, he picked up a beautiful lab he named Ben. In the upper Midwest, says Wheaton, there are four distinct seasons, and for him, each holds a memory attached to his years with Ben. In wanting a hunting dog, Wheaton turned to a reference book for guidance; fall, therefore, reminded him of taking Ben afield. Winter was spent skating on a nearby pond, with Ben loping along behind. In the spring, as soon as the ice melted to reveal one of Minnesota’s lakes, Ben was in it. Summers were spent at the family’s cabin, exploring nearby woods and swimming. But as Ben aged, Wheaton tried to remember one thing: at the beginning of loving a dog, you know there’ll always be an end. His and Ben’s, he hoped, would be many years away. I liked “My Boy, Ben,” but there are two big surprises inside this book. I don’t think I’m ruining anything by telling you the first one: unlike other books that finish with the death of a dog, Wheaton puts Ben’s demise about halfway through this story. I wasn’t expecting that, and it was a pleasant aspect since it gives readers a leisurely chance to see what happens next. And what happens next was the second surprise: this book then takes a heavy Biblical turn, something that was unexpected in spite of the inclusion of some early-page scriptures. Whether the Biblical turn engages you or not, how could a dog parent, or anyone who loves, or has ever loved a dog, resist a book like this? You can’t; so bring a box of tissues and settle in. For the lab fan or anyone who’s every truly loved a dog, “My Boy, Ben” could be a once-in-a-lifetime book. “My Boy, Ben: A Story of Love, Loss and Grace” by David Wheaton, 2014, Tristan Publishing, $18.99, 264 pages. The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer who lives on a hill with two dogs and more than 12,000 books. You can read all of Terri’s book reviews, updated weekly, at www.lifeafter50.com. Just click on “Entertainment” and then “Book Reviews.”

A Look Back

W

hile the exchange of homemade Valentine’s Day cards can be traced back to the early 1700s in America, it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that manufactured cards began to surface. These cards became more popular as a universal postal system emerged. In 1847, 19-year-old Esther Howland received an elaborate Valentine. This inspired her to create her own cards made of products secured by her father, who owned the largest stationery store in Worcester, Massachusetts. Thinking there might be a market for her cards, Howland gave her brother, who was a salesman for their father’s company, a dozen samples to show clients. Hoping he could get about $200 worth of orders, she was shocked when he returned with over $5,000 in advance sales. In order to fill the orders, she recruited friends and family, and her card business was born. Howland, known as the “Mother of the American Valentine,” created many innovations in Valentine card design. She introduced wafers of colored paper placed beneath delicately cut lace, three-dimensional accordion effects, and mechanics in which pulling a string moved flowers to reveal printed verses. After three decades of successful sales, Howland joined forces with Edward Taft to create the New England Valentine Company in 1879. Two years later, they sold the company to George C. Whitney, owner of the Whitney Valentine Company, who continued manufacturing cards until 1942 when wartime paper shortages caused the business to close. 42 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

Just A Thought Before We Go

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~ Charles M. Schulz


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44 LIFEAFTER50.COM February 2015

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